The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Hat Tricks & Boiler Rooms

Notre Dame student athletes took to the field, court, course, water, and rink this week and earned Irish victories in men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and hockey.

Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's match-ups.

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Soccer: Before the football team took the field against BYU on Saturday, the no. 7 men's soccer team (12-3-0, 4-2-0) took the pitch against Providence before a packed home stadium. On the back of Ryan Finley's impressive second-half hat trick, the Irish beat Providence, 3-0. Finley's goals all came within a span of just over nine minutes, undoubtedly to the perplexed shock of the Friars. Finley sits on a team-high of 14 goals in 2012, scoring multiple goals in four games for the Irish.

Wednesday, Notre Dame faces Marquette at home (7:00) in a can't-miss Big East Blue Division match. They travel to Milwaukee for the second of two contests on Saturday to conclude the regular season.

The no. RV/24 women's team (12-4-2, 8-1-1 Big East) pulled out the victory in double-overtime Friday against DePaul in Chicago, 1-0. The win gave the Irish a share of the Big East National Division title and victory in 10 of their last 11 matches. The Fighting Irish begin post-season play at Alumni Stadium on Sunday when they host their quarterfinal match against Syracuse.

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Volleyball: The Irish (15-6, 8-1 Big East) continued their impressive run in conference play, taking down Big East foe Georgetown on Friday in straight sets and trailing only once in the match. They then claimed victory over Villanova in a second sweep on Sunday, bringing their win streak to six matches. The Irish face Pittsburgh and USF this weekend.

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Hockey: The no. 10/9 Irish (3-1-0) had a rough home-opening night in the Compton Family Ice Arena Thursday, when they dropped their first match to no. 13/13 Minnesota Duluth, 3-1. An overly-charged Notre Dame team committed a series of unfortunate penalties early in the game that swung all the momentum in their opponent's direction, especially when a rough high hit led to a Notre Dame player's being swarmed by the Minnesota Duluth team, given 5 minutes in the penalty box, and ejected from the game. An ensuing penalty opened things up for the Bulldogs, playing 5 men to Notre Dame's 3, and they scored. The Irish wouldn't come back that night.

The Fighting Irish recovered convincingly on Friday, though, when they beat Minnesota Duluth 4-1. Notre Dame goaltender Steven Summerhays stopped 33 of 34 shots and the Irish took 40 shots on the Bulldog's goal, including 21 in the first period. They also logged fewer penalties in the full game Friday than they did in just the first period of Thursday's game. Hopefully the Irish can sustain that high level of play moving forward.

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Rowing: The varsity eight team finished 12th in the championship eight race at the Head of the Charles Regatta over the weekend against a 40-team field that included the 2012 Olympic gold medal winning United States Rowing team (what...). The team competes again on November 10th against Ohio State and Michigan in Columbus, OH.

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Golf: The Notre Dame men's team finished up its season yesterday at the Georgetown Intercollegiate in Beallsville, MD, competing against a 12-team field. The Irish begin the spring season in mid-March. On the first of two days of play, Notre Dame was just one shot behind the leader, holding strong in second place. Amazingly, they finished in the same spot: as runners up, two strokes behind the leader, the University of Toledo. Paul McNamara III tied for 6th place and Andrew Lane and Tyler Wingo tied for 11th in the tournament.

Last week, the no. 17/20 women's team finished a three-day tournament, the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic (held at the Jimmy Austin OU golf club), in second place - behind OU - in a field of 18 teams and 95 participants. In an impressive finish, Irish freshman Lindsey Weaver tied for second with a five-under par 211. Ashley Armstrong tied for 13th.

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Tennis: Both teams competed in the 2012 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing over the weekend. The men's doubles pair of Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge fell in the finals but went 5-1 in the tournament. Women's team standout Britney Sanders (7-1 on the season) played well but lost in the singles final at the Regional Championships to a highly ranked opponent.

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Fencing: There is no competitive sword-fighting going on just yet, but Notre Dame dedicated the brand new Castellan Family Fencing Center this past Saturday. The facility is located in the Joyce Center and greatly improves the physical space in which the eight time-national championship-winning Irish fencers practice. One remarkable example: previously, "the fencing locker rooms consisted of a cage in the Joyce Center boiler room, with only a wall of towels separating the men's and women's areas. Clearly, a change had to be made."

Also worth noting: "The new facility, which features" regulation-length fencing strips (previously lacking), "locker rooms, a team room and conference room, coaches' offices, manager's office and an armory, is located in the north dome of the Joyce Athletic Convocation Center, the former location of the Joyce Center ice arena." An armory. They have an armory.

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We'll bring you updates again next week on the Notre Dame Olympic sports and help you to root for the Irish beyond those long-awaited and well-loved fall Saturdays. Go Irish. Beat Oklahoma - and everybody else.

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