The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Win-streaks, Tournaments, Shut-outs

SO much cheer-cheering for old Notre Dame. - Wesley Hitt

Notre Dame student athletes took to the field, court, pool, and rink this week to earn Irish victories in men’s soccer, volleyball, hockey, fencing, men’s swimming and diving, and basketball.

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

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Soccer: Saturday night, mirroring the football team's late-game heroics, the no. 5 men's team (14-3-1, 6-2-1) came back strong in the second half after falling behind 0-2 to beat Syracuse, 4-2, in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championship. Following up on two goals from freshman Patrick Hodan and a third from Kyle Richard (assist from Hodan), Ryan Finley put the ball in the net right between the opposing goalie's legs with five minutes remaining. The Irish face Connecticut Friday night (CBS Sports Network, 7:30 EST) in their next tournament match, the league semifinals.

The no. 25/30 women's team (13-5-2, 9-2-1 Big East) fell to no. 15/10 Marquette, 1-0, in the semifinals of the Big East conference tournament over the weekend. The hard-fought game's single goal came with just 19 minutes of play remaining. Despite the loss, the Irish earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship tournament. They face Wisconsin-Milwaukee in their first-round match on Friday night at Alumni Stadium (7:00 EST).

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Volleyball: The Irish (19-6, 12-1 Big East) continued their impressive run in conference play, marked by a now TEN-game win streak, by taking down Big East foes Seton Hall and Rutgers over the weekend. The Irish battled Seton Hall for the win in a 3-1 contest Saturday. Sunday, they took Rutgers down in another 3-1 match away from home. This weekend, the Irish face Cincinnati at home (Friday) and Marquette in Milwaukee (Sunday). Should they win out, the Irish would earn the no. 1 seed in the Big East Tournament and a share of the Big East regular-season title. Strong season.

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Hockey: The no. 8/7 Irish (6-2-0, 3-1-0-0) split their games against no. 11 Western Michigan over the weekend. Friday, the Irish dropped an aggressive match to the Broncos, 3-2, after a 2-goal, 18-shot third-period rally failed to get Notre Dame back on top. Duly-mocked WMU goalie Frank Slubowski (yes, this is hockey) had 35 saves on the night, but was pulled Sunday after giving up 3 goals to the Irish in 24 minutes of play. In their second match, the Irish convincingly beat WMU, 4-0. Notre Dame gave up just 14 shots on the night, all stopped by Summerhays, who also had his first assist on Anders Lee's empty-net goal from 180 feet away as the game came to an end.

The Irish football team isn't the only one travelling to Chestnut Hill this weekend: Friday night, Irish hockey faces top-ranked foe Boston College at 7:00 EST.


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Swimming and Diving: The men's team (3-0) claimed a tight 156-144 victory over no. 18 Purdue in an impressive weekend dual meet at Notre Dame.

The no. 18/22 women's team (0-2) unfortunately couldn't get past no. 19/24 Purdue in an even closer 152-148 loss. However, the Irish won 9 of 16 events in the dual meet.

Both Irish teams face Pittsburgh and Louisville this weekend in dual meets at Notre Dame.

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Fencing: Two Irish fencers finished second at the Penn State Garret Open over the weekend. The Irish claimed silver and bronze in women's epee and in the men's sabre. Twelve of thirty Notre Dame student athletes finished in the top-10 in their respective events.

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Basketball: In last Thursday's exhibition match, the no. 7/6 women's team dominated Edinboro University's Fighting Scots (uh-oh: Celtic intertribal warfare alert) by a score of 88-28. The Irish forced 33 turnovers for 36 points and Skylar Diggins and Jewell Loyd combined for 33 points and 10 assists on the night.

The women open their season Friday afternoon against no. 19/21 Ohio State on the deck of the USS Yorktown in South Carolina (televised on NBCSN at 4:00 EST) in the Carrier Classic.

The no. 22/23 men's team held their second exhibition match Friday night at home where they mixed it up with Cardinal Stritch University. The Irish struggled in the first but took over in the second half, walking away with a 70-56 victory in the exhibition game.

The men open the season Saturday against Evansville at 2:00 EST in the Purcell Pavillion.

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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 Boston College - and everybody else.

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