When we caught you up on the week in ND athletics last week, the men's soccer team had gotten off to a 7-0 start with wins over MSU and Michigan, the women's team had earned two wins, volleyball had claimed two wins and one loss, cross country (men and women) had earned first in the National Catholic Championships at Notre Dame, the men's tennis team had notched 6 singles victories and one (well, half of one) doubles victory, and the softball team had won in dominant fashion in an exhibition match at IUPUI .
This week, the men's soccer team saw it's winning streak snapped, but there was plenty of good news for the Fighting Irish.
Soccer: After opening the season 7-0, the 8th-ranked men's team dropped their first game in Big East play at Louisville over the weekend. They now stand at 7-1 on the season. Despite very strong play, the Irish lost 2-1 to the Cardinals, with their sole goal coming from Ryan Finley on a penalty kick. The game winner for Louisville came on a penalty kick late in the game. The men's team faces no. 14 Indiana on Wednesday and Connecticut on Saturday.
The women's team (7-3-1, 4-0-0 Big East) continued both Big East and non-conference play this past weekend with another pair of wins, this time over Pittsburgh and Oakland. The Irish conquered Pittsburgh 2-1 at home on Friday with goals from Cari Roccaro (who won Big East player of the week honors) and Glory Williams; the Irish allowed one Pittsburgh goal in the final five minutes of the game. The Irish dominated offensively, outshooting Pittsburgh 21-6, with 12 corner kicks and a 9 shots on goal, besting Pitt's 2.
The Irish outplayed Oakland over the weekend, as well, notching a 3-0 victory Sunday at Notre Dame. Cari Roccaro, Crystal Thomas, and Anna Maria Gilbertson put the ball in the net for the Irish and once again, the team dominated offensively, showing the development needed for the young group.
Volleyball: The Irish (9-5) notched two big wins over the weekend. First, they conquered Cincinnati in 5 sets, outhitting the Bearcats and dominating the nets. They then went on to beat no. 10 Louisville 3-2 in straight sets, earning their first win over a top-10 team since 2009; the Irish victory snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Cardinals.
Toni Alugbue was named Big East player of the week after turning in another strong set of performances. She put up 26 kills v. Cincinnati in a career performance and another 18 kills v. Louisville.
Golf: The men's team played in their first fall tournament in Chapel Hill, NC, in mid-September. The Irish claimed 9th place at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate at the UNC Finley Golf Course, and while the finish was disappointing, several players performed very well and team improvement is imminent.
The 49th-ranked women's team played in their first fall tournament mid-month, as well, at the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, MI. The Irish finished in third place, just five strokes behind Michigan State. Three players shot under par and the team is looking forward to a solid season.
They won't begin play until October 12th, but the Notre Dame hockey team received a preseason ranking of number 10 this week in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine preseason poll after ending last season unranked.
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. While the football team enjoys a bye week, Irish student athletes continue to compete. Go Irish.