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How Notre Dame goalie Liam Entenmann reminds himself whom he plays for

IMG_7504by:Jack Soble05/13/24


During the 2023 season, Notre Dame goalie Liam Entenmann wrapped both sides of his throat protector in athletic tape. He wrote 10 letters on the tape to remind himself whom he plays for.

“JR,” “BL,” “WC,” reads his left-hand side. “MF,” “MR,” reads his right.

Each of those letters is a person, either someone in Entenmann’s life or someone he looks up to, who has tragically passed away.

“I got my heroes over here,” the all-time great netminder said Thursday, pointing to the left-hand side of his throat protector. “And then people that I miss and want to play for on the other side.”

“JR” is Jimmy Regan. Like Entenmann, Regan graduated from Mineola (N.Y.) Chaminade and went on to play high-level college lacrosse. Unlike Entenmann, Regan starred at Duke.

“I’ll look past that, because, you know,” Entenmann said with a smile. “Don’t love Duke, but Jimmy Regan’s a great guy.”

Regan became an Army Ranger after 9/11, and he was killed by an IED in February 2007 in Iraq. According to the Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, Regan was a sergeant who “rejected lucrative wall street job opportunities and law school scholarships to volunteer for military service.”

Like many in the lacrosse world, Entenmann reveres Regan for what he accomplished on and off the field.

“BL” is Brendan Looney, who played at Navy and who Entenmann said is “considered to be the ultimate teammate.” Looney became a Navy SEAL, but was also sadly killed in September 2010 in Afghanistan.

“Brendan Looney, in life, was a shining beacon of light, integrity, and kindness,” Looney’s obituary on the Travis Manion Foundation’s website reads. “In death, he continues to inspire greatness in others.”

“WC” is Welles Crowther, a former Boston College lacrosse player whose story is well-known. Wearing his red bandana, Crowther was an equities trader and volunteer firefighter who saved as many as 18 people in the South Tower on 9/11. He gave his own life to do so.

“These are three of my guys that I look up to a lot,” Entenmann said.

“MF” and “MR” are Mike Farrell and Marc Reeves, respectively. Farrell played club lacrosse with Entenmann growing up and had been attending the Villanova School of Business when he passed away in a tragic car accident in 2021.

“Wasn’t crazy tight with him, but he’s one of those guys who was a really solid guy, and someone I want to be like in that regard,” Entenmann said.

Reeves was a lacrosse coach on Chaminade’s staff when Entenmann was there, and he passed away in January 2022.

“Marc was known and loved by all of us, especially the hundreds of young men he cared for over these many years,” Chaminade head coach Bob Pomponio said in the Chaminade High School Tarmac’s tribute to Reeves. “The outpouring of love and compassion by not only his former players, but also the parents and coaches, is a true testament to Marc’s positive impact on us all.”

Nothing happened last season that made Entenmann start wearing the tape. He told reporters that he thought about it one day and said to himself, “What do I want to think about before I put my helmet on?”

“When I look at these people or look at the memories — or not the memories, but the ideas I have of these people in my head, just really reminds me how fortunate I have it, how lucky I am to be where I’m at and surrounded by who I’m with,” Entenmann said. “It’s honestly very humbling. There’s a lot of people that have it a lot worse than I do. My worst day at Notre Dame is still, grand scheme, pretty good. I’m very aware of that and very thankful for it.”

Entenmann, a graduate student, is a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award as the best player in men’s college lacrosse. He won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year Awards for the second season in a row, and he’s considered the best netminder in the college game.

During Notre Dame’s 14-9 first-round win over Albany, Entenmann was brilliant. He made 6 stops, including a kick save in the first quarter that drew big cheers from the Arlotta Stadium crowd.

“I hate to say we’ve grown used to it, but we certainly have — we’re not surprised by it, that’s for sure,” Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan said after the game. “He’s just so good. He just battles on every single shot, and you’re never surprised when he makes the save, no matter how hard it is.”

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