The no. 1 men's soccer team (11-1-5, 7-1-3 ACC) claimed 2 big victories this past week and a share in the ACC regular season title. Last Tuesday, the Irish beat no. 18 Michigan State on the road, 2-0, behind goals from (do we even need to say it?) Harrison Shipp and Vince Cicciarelli. The two scored just 37 seconds apart midway through the 2nd half. ND and MSU were about even in shots and corners, with MSU claiming 11 fouls to ND's 8.
Friday night, the Irish controlled the game vs. Pittsburgh at home, earning another 2-0 victory and tying Maryland in the ACC for a share of the regular season title. Notre Dame and LB Andrew O'Malley kept Pitt away from the Irish goal all night, leading in shots on goal (13-1) and corner kicks (14-1). Numerous shots bounced off the Pitt post and crossbar, and their goalie had a great night, but the Irish finally put the ball in the back of the net on a penalty kick from Harrison Shipp late in the 1st half. With under 9 minutes remaining, Vince Cicciarelli again notched the 2nd goal for the Irish in a beautiful solo effort. The ACC title is the 1st for a Notre Dame program.
This Tuesday, Notre Dame takes on Duke at home in the ACC Championship quarterfinals (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND). If they win, they'll advance to the ACC semifinals in Germantown, MD, Friday night (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3). The ACC final is on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET (ESPNU).
The no. 23/16 women's team (11-7-1, 7-6-1 ACC) was idle after falling in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship two weeks back, but earned two good pieces of news this past week: first, defender and captain Elizabeth Tucker's ejection from ND's last game (and suspension from the next) was overturned by the NCAA on Notre Dame's appeal. Tucker had been inexplicably carded after an altercation between a different Irish player and an opponent, and a 2nd yellow card later in the game led to her ejection.
She'll be back in the line-up when the Irish host Iowa in the 1st round of the NCAA Championship this Friday. Notre Dame earned an at-large bid to the tournament after struggling against a devastatingly tough schedule this season.
The Irish begin play in the first round of the NCAA Championship this Friday evening at Notre Dame when they host Iowa (7:00 p.m. ET).
No. 4 Irish hockey (7-3-0, 1-1-0) once again split their weekend series, this time, with no. 1 Minnesota, a team coached by Irish winger Mario Lucia's dad and ND hockey alum Don Lucia.
Friday night, the Irish won out, 4-1, behind great goaltending from Steven Summerhays (31 saves) and goals from Bryan Rust, Sam Herr, and Garrett Peterson, plus an empty-netter from Jeff Costello. After a scoreless 1st period, the Irish and the Gophers traded goals. The 1st 2 goals for the Irish came on 2nd-period power plays.
Saturday, the Irish dropped a high-scoring 2nd match with the Gophers, 5-4, ending an 11-game home win streak. The Irish fell behind after 2 1st-period goals from Minnesota (1 on a power play), then answered with a goal from Shayne Taker. Another Gopher goal was answered by one from ND's Mario Lucia. In the 2nd period, Minnesota pulled ahead, 4-2, before Lucia notched his 2nd goal and Stephen Johns netted a power play goal as the period drew to a close, tying the game at 4-4. Midway through the increasingly chippy 3rd, Minnesota put their game-winner in the back of the net behind a screened Summerhays and the Irish were unable to answer.
The Irish take on Merrimack at home this Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET (WatchND and NBC Sports Network), then again on Saturday evening (7:05 p.m. ET).
Irish Volleyball (11-14, 5-8) split their weekend matches. Last Wednesday, they fell, 3-0, to Syracuse on the road after excruciatingly close play in sets 2 and 3 (the Irish ceded a 22-15 lead in the 2nd). Saturday night, they turned it around and claimed an impressive 5-set victory over Boston College after falling behind, 2-0.
Friday evening, the Irish face Miami (FL) on the road. They then travel to Tallahassee to face FSU at noon on Sunday.
Men's swimming and diving (2-4) split their weekend meet in Pittsburgh, defeating Pitt and being defeated by Virginia Tech, both decisively. The Irish earned 6 event victories and 5 runner-up finishes in the tri-meet.
The men's team welcomes Michigan State this Friday and Wisconsin on Saturday.
The women's team (2-3) dominated their tri-meet this past weekend in Pittsburgh, blowing Pitt and Virginia Tech out of the water and earning 10 of 16 event victories and 4 runner-up finishes.
The Irish next face Valparaiso at home on Friday and Wisconsin on Saturday.
The men's tennis team was idle this past week, but Greg Andrews headed to the National Indoor Championships in New York. There, he played into the second round before falling in a close match. With that, the Irish finish their fall campaign and will return to the court at the end of January.
The women's team finished up the fall season this past weekend at the Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic in Florida and at the Western Michigan Super Challenge in Kalamazoo. In Michigan, one Irish doubles team made it to the semifinal round of the tournament and all played past the first round. In singles play, 2 went undefeated. The half of the team in Florida didn't fare quite so well, dropping all opening round singles matches. The doubles teams advanced to the quarterfinals and semifinals before taking a loss. The Irish next commence the spring season at the end of January.
After finishing 3rd and 4th at the ACC Championships 2 weeks ago, Notre Dame cross country enjoyed a deserved rest this past week. The Irish head to the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals Friday in Madison, WI.
No. 21/22 men's basketball opened the season with a 74-62 win over Miami (Ohio) last Friday (alstein covered the game for you here). They then dismantled Stetson on Sunday afternoon, walking away with an 80-49 victory. CW has a write-up for you here.
Up next for the Irish is Indiana State, Sunday at noon in the Purcell Pavilion (12:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, RSN).
No. 6/7 women's basketball opened the regular season with a 99-50 win over UNC Wilmington at home on Saturday, then rolled past no. 20/18 Michigan State on Monday evening in an 81-62 effort.
The Irish next face Valparaiso at home on Saturday afternoon (2:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).
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. For now, go Irish. Beat everybody.