Students. Sports fans. Irish. - Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
Notre Dame student athletes continue to post impressive performances as several sports’ seasons wind down. This week, hockey and basketball pick up the pace while soccer and volleyball (almost) pack it up.
Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.
Hockey: As is their wont, the no. 6 Irish (9-4-0, 5-1-0-0) split their weekend matches against no. 7 North Dakota. Friday, the Notre Dame lost, 2-1, with a 2nd Irish goal in the final seconds being waved off (to the hearty objection of coach Jeff Jackson). Both counted and uncounted goals came from Anders Lee and the Irish out-shot North Dakota, 36-17 (!).
Saturday, the Irish hit the ice again and conquered North Dakota, 5-2, in a very exciting match (though the crowd was perhaps less attentive as the ND-USC game kick-off drew nearer). The Irish had two goals each from captain Anders Lee and Jeff Costello, and a fifth from defenseman Kevin Lind - who scored short-handed. Notre Dame pounded North Dakota with 41 shots and Irish goaltender Summerhays stopped 30 of 32, including a huge save on a breakaway when the Irish were up 1-0. Summerhays is currently the CCHA's no. 2 goaltender, with a 4-1-0 record (with 1 shutout) and a 94% save percentage.
This was the first time North Dakota has played at Notre Dame since 1980-81 and the visiting team enjoyed the support of more fans in attendance than usual. Friday's game featured a sell-out crowd in the CFIA and Saturday's attendance was pretty good, given the impending ND-USC match-up on its heels. The Irish face Lake Superior State in conference play on Friday and again on Saturday. Let's go for the sweep.
Soccer: The other no. 1 Notre Dame team, men's soccer (17-4-1), brought their season to a heart-breaking end with a double-overtime loss, 2-1, to no. 16 Indiana in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. It was with that single goal in the 102nd minute that the Hoosiers claimed the upset at Notre Dame on Sunday. The Irish scored first, then had a second called back in regulation on a whistled foul on a free kick in the 81st minute. Notre Dame's 17 wins this season are their most since 1988 - this is a season to be extremely proud of.
The no. RV/23 women's team (16-6-2) lost their NCAA quarterfinal match, 1-0, against no. 7/4, top-seed FSU Friday night. While the Irish edged the Seminoles in shots and shots on goal in the second half, getting great offensive pressure, they weren't able to put the ball in the net. With that, the Irish end their very strong season. Much to look forward to from this group over the next few years.
Volleyball: The no. 3-seed Irish (20-9, 13-4 Big East) lost their bid to mount a comeback against Ohio in the Big East Tournament last week, falling, 3-2, to end the regular season. After losing their first 2 sets, the Irish came back and controlled the next two, only to lose out in the last. While the loss was certainly a disappointment for the Irish, they did secure an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament and will face Ohio State (22-10) on Friday for their first tournament match.
Basketball: The football team wasn't the only crowd of Irish student athletes in L.A. over the weekend. The no. 5 women's basketball team outplayed no. 19 UCLA, 76-64, before a supportive crowd. The Irish face Central Michigan on Thursday.
The no. 20 men's team sits at 5-1 on the season after conquering both Saint Francis (PA), 69-52, and Chicago State, 92-65. Five players scored in double figures against Saint Francis and the Irish were 10 of 16 on 3-point attempts against Chicago State. They face no. 8 Kentucky on Thursday (7:00 p.m. EST, ESPN2).
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.