Irish student athletes earned conference championships over the last week in men's and women's fencing, men's swimming and diving, and women's basketball. Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.
Hockey: The no. 11 Irish (21-12-3, 17-8-3-2) earned a second-place finish in regular-season CCHA standings and happily swept Bowling Green over the weekend, opening the series with a 4-3 win on Friday. Goaltender Steven Summerhays had 32 saves on the night and the Irish were outshot, 35-25. The Irish pulled ahead, 3-0, with goals coming from Eric Johnson, T. J. Tynan, Jeff Costello, and Mario Lucia; two came on power plays after the Irish had gone 0-for-17 scoring on power plays in the four games previous.
Saturday, the Irish claimed a thorough 4-1 senior night victory with senior Mike Johnson minding the net. The Irish had 26 saves from Johnson and goals in all periods from senior Nick Larson, Mario Lucia (1g, 1a), David Gerths, and Anders Lee; two came on power plays. ND was just barely outshot, 27-26. The Irish pulled out of their mid-season slump very well, going 5-1-3 over their last nine games.
They enter the playoffs on the weekend of March 15-17 at the CFIA.
Tomorrow night (March 7), a documentary following Notre Dame hockey through their victory at Solider Field (sound familiar?) airs on NBC Sports Network at 10:00 p.m. Check out the very intense and filmic trailer below.
Lacrosse: The no. 2 men's team (3-0) won another thrilling three-overtime match, this time in their chilly home-opener against no. 9 North Carolina, 10-9. The overtime goal once again came from freshman attackman Matt Kavanagh, who secured the Irish victory in sudden-death overtime after doing the same against Penn State last week.
They face Hofstra at home this Saturday at noon.
The no. 7/9 women's team (4-0) claimed an impressive victory in their home opener vs. no. 13 Ohio State, 13-8, last Wednesday. Saturday, they earned a close win over Duquesne, 10-8. Tuesday night, the Irish faced Detroit and just wrecked them. A 13-0 halftime score turned into a dominant 22-1 win, tying the school record for most points scored in a home game.
The Irish face Boston University on Saturday.
Fencing: The Irish hosted the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships this weekend and dominated the competition. Notre Dame fencers claimed four gold and three silver medals among the six individual weapon class titles in individual competition on day one. The golds came in men's foil, men's and women's epee, and women's sabre (did you know that a fencer wielding a sabre is called a "sabreuse"?). The silvers came in women's foil and men's and women's sabre. On day two, in team competition, ND fencers claimed gold in men's sabre and women's epee, and silver in men's epee and women's sabre. The Irish, both men's and women's teams, won the MFC Championships team crown, defending their 2012 title against runner-up Ohio State.
The Irish host the NCAA Regional Championships this weekend where they can qualify up to 12 fencers for the upcoming 2013 NCAA Championships.
Swimming and diving: Both men's and women's swimming and diving teams competed in the Big East Championships last week in Indianapolis.
The men's team's Big East Championship-winning performance was dominant, and men's head coach Tim Welsh was named Big East Coach of the Year. The Irish set a championship record for total points, outpacing second-place Louisville, 991-851.5. They claimed victories in seven events and broke school records eight times. According to UND.com, senior swimmer Bill Bass "finishes his Big East career in sole possession of the greatest number of individual All-Big East honors in Notre Dame history (10), and his overall count, including relays, settles in at second in program history (20), trailing only Irish legend John Lytle (22)." A full recap of the performance can be found here.
The women's team claimed second overall at the Big East Championships, coming up short behind Louisville. The Irish won 10 events; head coach Brian Barnes was named Big East Women's Swimming Coach of the Year and head diving coach Caiming Xie was deemed Big East Women's Diving Coach of the Year. ND's Jenny Chiang and Emma Reaney were named Most Outstanding Diver and Swimmer, respectively. Reaney broke two meet records, four school records, swam three NCAA A cut times, and won six events. A full recap can be found here.
The Irish now set their eyes on the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 21-23.
Baseball: The no. 22 Irish (8-2) continued their outstanding start to the season this weekend at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. Friday, they claimed wins over Tennessee, 3-2, and Massachusetts, 9-4, giving them their best season-opening record since 1960. On Saturday, the Irish conquered no. 25 Virginia Tech, 3-0, behind strong pitching. They dropped their last match to Rhode Island, 4-3, on Sunday.
The Irish face UCLA, USC, Oklahoma, and UC Santa Barbara this weekend in Los Angeles.
Softball: The Irish (12-5) again happily claimed victories in all 4 of their weekend games at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. Notre Dame downed Boston College, 14-3, and Georgia Tech, 6-2, on Saturday; they then conquered LIU, 5-0, and Maryland, 5-3 on Sunday. That makes it an eight-game win streak for ND.
The Irish face UC Davis, New Mexico State, and Arizona State this weekend in Phoenix.
Tennis: The no. 18 women's team (9-4) went 2-1 over the weekend, blanking Western Michigan, 7-0, beating DePaul, 5-2, and falling to no. 2 Duke, 5-2.
Notre Dame faces Georgia in Athens next Tuesday.
The no. 29 men's team (7-5) conquered no. 59 Wisconsin, 5-2, over the weekend, overcoming a 2-0 deficit for a strong win. Tuesday night, the Irish faced no. 17 Illinois and impressively won out, 4-1.
Track & Field: Notre Dame hosted the talent-laden Alex Wilson Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Irish claimed a women's distance medley relay school record (though it earned them second place) and three top-five finishes, all in the men's weight throw (they claimed third through sixth places!). Notre Dame claimed second in women's high jump. ND's women's distance medley relay time is good for fourth best in the nation this season.
On Saturday, ND's Rebecca Tracy broke the meet, school, and track record in the women's mile with a time of 4:33.53, putting up the sixth-best time in the country this season. Fifteen top-five finishes were claimed by the Irish, including 2 first-place finishes (women's mile, women's 60m hurdles) and 4 second-place finishes (women's shotput, women's high jump, men's 400m).
Notre Dame is headed to the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend. Best of luck to all.
Basketball: the no. 2 women's team (28-1, 16-0) has now rattled off 23 consecutive wins (tying the program record), played the longest game in program history (Monday night's 3OT bout against UConn), won the Big East conference title outright, gone undefeated in conference, and earned the program record for most wins in a season.
The Irish conquered Providence, 92-57, on Saturday, then downed no. 3 UConn, 96-87, in a thrilling 3OT match on Monday night in Skylar Diggins's last game in the Purcell Pavilion. Against Providence, Diggins put up 28 points and Kayla McBride, 24.
Monday, Notre Dame struggled against a talented UConn team, trailing most of the game after a cold start, but they kept fighting. Diggins earned a double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds; McBride put up a career-high 26 points, including a crucial 3-pointer to push the game into overtime on a night when the Irish were a miserable 1-of-12 from beyond the arc. Natalie Achonwa put up 17 points and 8 rebounds in the contest. After clawing their way through the first two overtime periods, the Irish pulled away in the third and found their hard-fought victory.
The Irish face either Rutgers or USF in the Big East quarterfinals on Sunday (2:00 p.m. EST, ESPNU) in Connecticut, then, should they advance, they'll head to the Big East semifinals on Monday (6:00 p.m. EST, ESPNU). The Big East final is on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. EST (ESPN).
The no. 21/20 men's team (22-7, 10-6) suffered a hard loss to no. 22 Marquette, 72-64, on Saturday, with flu-stricken Jack Cooley watching from the bench after 15 minutes of play. Tuesday night, the Irish hosted St. Johns for senior night and went on a mad second-half run after slogging through the first half. After trailing 26-22 at the half, the Irish somehow ended the night with a 26-point victory, outscoring the Red Storm 44-14 in the second half and finishing with a 66-40 final score.
The Irish face Louisville on Saturday (4:00 p.m. EST, CBS). The Big East tournament's first round game is on Tuesday.
Golf: The women's team is headed to Arizona for the Clover Cup this Friday and Saturday.
We'll bring you updates again next week on all our Notre Dame Olympic sports. Go Irish.