First Quarter: Women's Soccer
This past Sunday, the Irish ladies claimed the Big East National Division Title with a 3-1 win over Providence. This achievement brings the ND title tally to thirteen: ten from the divisional format of the conference and three as a result of winning the overall championship. Considering these ladies have only been members of the Big East Conference for 16 seasons, this record is pretty remarkable; but unsurprising when one considers the consistently outstanding talent featured on the Irish roster. Currently ranked No. 4/5, the team is 14-1-1 for the year; with upcoming matches against Villanova (October 22) and Georgetown (October 24), however, that win column will undoubtedly improve to an even sweet 16. Following the conclusion of their regular season play, the Irish will enter the Big East tournament with the first game slotted for October 28 at a yet-to-be-determined site. Being the loyal Irish fan I know you are, I’m sure you’ll be tuning in. But if not, we’ll have all the latest news and scores right here.
Second Quarter: Men’s Soccer
At a record of 7-4-3, the boys of Notre Dame soccer have seemingly struggled to capitalize on offensive opportunities and find the back of their opponent’s net. With three shutout losses (they managed to sneak one in against West Virginia), three ties after fruitless double-overtimes, and only two wins with a goal margin greater than two, it’s an easy argument to make. What doesn’t fit this picture, however, is the extreme talent and high capability level of this Irish squad – including previous members of the U-14 through 18 U.S. National Teams and their pools. So what’s the problem? Experience. Our roster consists of 8 freshman, 6 sophomore, 8 juniors, and 7 seniors; only two of these seniors saw game action prior to their junior year, with the minutes of play for current juniors and sophomores doing little to impress. What this team needs, unfortunately, is time. With three games left in regular season - match-ups against the strong competitors of Connecticut, Pittsburgh, and Georgetown – the Irish players have multiple opportunities to prove themselves and display the talent their backgrounds suggest. Here’s hoping it happens in time for the start of the Big East tournament November 17.
-Men’s and Women’s Cross Country concluded their seasons at the Pre-NCAA meet, with the boys placing seventh and the girls placing twenty-third overall on October 16.
-Men’s Golf finished second at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio, TX on October 18, next weekend they travel to California for the Saint Mary’s Invitational. The women’s team recently finished fifth at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Knoxville, TN; next they will compete in the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, NC.
-Men’s Lacrosse defeated Johns Hopkins 10-7 in the San Francisco Fall Classic on October 16.
-Men’s Tennis is set to host the Midwest Regional Championships starting this Saturday, with the women traveling to Ann Arbor for their Midwest Regional.
-Women’s Basketball is set to participate in the first Super Six Series, a set of games in which two teams are chosen from the top six conferences (Big East, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC), with the resulting twelve scheduled to face off six early-season games.
-Volleyball (currently 12-8 for the season) will play this Saturday in South Bend against Syracuse.
Third Quarter: Hockey
Last Thursday and Friday, the Irish opened their season at home with a pair of games against Lake Superior State. Both nights, the boys left the ice with a 4-2 win blazing on the scoreboard. Scoring a goal apiece in the first match-up were freshmen David Gerths and Mike Voran, junior Billy Maday, and senior Calle Ridderwall. Sophomore goaltender Mike Johnson racked up 26 saves, shutting out the Lakers in the third period after their pair of goals split between the first and second. On Friday, seniors Calle Ridderwall and Ben Ryan along with freshmen T.J. Tynan and Anders Lee each recorded goals for the Irish – 3 in the first period and 1 in the third. Once again, Johnson tallied 26 saves, with a shutout in the third period. This Saturday, Notre Dame faces off against a top-ranked Boston College team that is certain to test the legitimacy of these early Irish wins as well as indicate where they deserve to be placed in early CCHA ratings. Despite a 16-11-2 series record that favors the Eagles, the Irish have won four of the last six encounters beginning in 2003-04. Not to mention, the Irish are still seeking vengeance for their defeat at the hands of BC in their first NCAA Tournament Championship. What does this all mean? That when the puck drops this Saturday at 7:05, our boys are going to swiftly and soundly destroy this overrated Back-Up team and reclaim their rightful place at the top of the CCHA.
Fourth Quarter: Basketball
Let’s take a break from the official-sounding game reports and stats. It’s confession time: I hate the NBA. I also hate high school basketball…but that has a lot to do with my required attendance at every. single. game. as a member of the dance team (yes, I was on the dance team – judge as you will). So logically, I must hate college basketball right? WRONG. I love it. Every spring break while my friends are timing their tequila shots to a serenade of raucous whistles, I’m getting spilled on as I paw my way towards the television and the magic of the NCAA tournament. When it was recently announced that the Irish are pegged to finish seventh overall in the Big East Conference, I wasn’t sure quite how to feel. Preceding the Irish are (in order) Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown, West Virginia, and St. Johns; and they are followed by Louisville and Marquette (tied for eighth), Connecticut, Seton Hall, Cincinnati, USF, Providence, Rutgers, and DePaul. Woof. See what I mean? The Irish are crushed in the middle of the conference, in between some insanely talented bookends. If we have learned anything from coach Brey and past seasons, however, it’s that rankings and season records are deceiving. As such, I’m attempting to take the current team placements lightly. Luckily, the Irish appear to start this season with a rather light load: two exhibition matches against Marian and Catholic, continuing on to face Georgia Southern, Liberty, Chicago State, and Maine before the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s hoping these games give the Irish the wins and the confidence they need to get started on a consistent and successful season.