Playing like champions. Big East Champions.
Notre Dame student athletes took to the field, court, and pool this week to earn Irish victories in men’s soccer (BIG EAST CHAMPIONS, FOLKS), women’s soccer, volleyball, swimming and diving, tennis, and basketball.
Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's match-ups.
Soccer: Big news: the no. 5 men's team (16-3-1, 8-2-1) won the Big East Championship title Sunday after downing both Connecticut and Georgetown. Friday night, the Irish beat no. 8 Connecticut, 1-0, in the tournament semifinals, with Dillon Powers scoring the game's lone goal. Sunday, in the championship match, Notre Dame and no. 6 Georgetown pushed the contest into double-overtime. Ryan Finley's goal in the 109th minute, his 20th of the season, clinched the Irish victory, 3-2. The Irish last won the conference title in 2003 and, before that, 1996.
The Irish earned the top overall seed for the NCAA Championship and will play the winner of Cleveland State-Michigan State on Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
The no. 23/30 women's team (13-5-2, 9-2-1 Big East) conquered Wisconsin-Milwaukee in their first-round match at Alumni Stadium in the first round of the NCAA championships. This weekend, they face the winner of the first-round match between Wake Forest and Georgia Southern.
Volleyball: The Irish (20-7, 13-2 Big East) split their weekend matches after mounting an impressive 11-game winning streak. Friday night, which was senior night, the Irish were down 2-0 before turning the tables on the Cincinatti Bearcats, who fell to the Irish 3-2 after three dominating sets. Sunday, the Irish fell to Marquette in straight sets in a game plagued by errors. Riding on a long and successful season of wins, the Irish have earned a no. 3 seed in the upcoming Big East tournament.
Hockey: The no. 7/8 Irish (6-3-0, 3-1-0-0) travelled to Chestnut Hill to face top-ranked Boston College last Friday and lost out, 3-1. After a scoreless first period, the Eagles put two in the goal in the second, and then a third into an empty net late in the third period. Thomas DiPauli put the Irish on the board mid-way through the third period in a game that saw the Irish attempt a season-low 20 shots on goal to the Eagles' 22. The Irish face no. 13 Michigan this Thursday and Friday night.
Swimming and Diving: The no. 18/21 men's team (5-0) conquered both Pitt and Louisville in their weekend dual meets. The Irish outscored the Panthers 176-124, winning 10 of 16 events. Against no. 23/16 Louisville, whom they had not beaten since 2006-07, the Irish won a close and very exciting meet, 155.5 to 145.5. The Irish head to the Hawkeye Invitational on Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
The no. 18/20 women's team (1-3) split their weekend dual meets, dominating Pitt, 188-112, and dropping their Saturday contest against no. 19/22 Louisville, 162-138. The Irish won 12 of 16 events against Pitt, and vs. Louisville, both teams won eight, but the Cardinals came out ahead of the Irish. This weekend, the Irish swim in the Kansas Women's Classic.
Tennis: The men's team finished up their fall season with a very strong showing at the Tribe Invitational, bringing home six singles wins in 8 matches and three doubles wins in four on just the final day of the tournament. In sum, the Irish claimed 10 of 15 doubles matches and 20 of 26 singles matches. The Irish begin play again on January 19th.
The women's team finished up their fall season over the weekend at the Western Michigan University Super Challenge. The Irish racked up a handful of wins and close losses in the tournament in both singles and doubles play. They begin the 2013 season on January 18th.
Cross country: The women's team took home third at the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals over the weekend among a field of 32 teams. With one of their top runners suffering an injury mid-race, the men's team took fifth at the same from among 30 teams. Both the men's and women's team have received an at-large bid in next weekend's upcoming NCAA Championships.
Basketball: Now that the season has begun, we'll leave the details to OFD's basketball guys (the excellent 4pointshooter, CW, and alstein) and give you only results here.
The no. 7/6 women's team opened the season against no. 19/21 Ohio State on the deck of the USS Yorktown in South Carolina and took home the win, 57-51.
The no. 22 men's team sits at 2-0 on the season after downing Evansville, 58-49, in the season opener and Monmouth, 84-57, Monday night.
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 Wake Forest - and everybody else.