Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 26, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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14 NOV. 26, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED UNDER THE DOME MOVING? Let us know your new address! Call us 1-800-421-7751 Irish student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom Patrick Berneski — Soccer The fifth-year senior de- fender from Warrington, Pa., was one of three members of the Notre Dame men's soccer team to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-Dis- trict team, along with senior forward/midfielder Thomas Ueland and junior midfielder Jack Casey. Berneski tied for the team lead in goals in 2018 with six, the most of any defender in the ACC. He also led the way for an Irish defense that notched six shutouts. Sabrina Flores — Soccer The senior midfielder from Livingston, N.J., was one of two members of the Notre Dame women's soccer team named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, along with junior for- ward Jennifer Westendorf. Flores started all 19 games for Notre Dame in 2018 and tied for the team lead in assists with five, while also netting one goal. Charley Niego — Volleyball The freshman outside hit- ter from Chicago led the way for Notre Dame in a 3-2 loss to Florida State Nov. 11. She recorded 21 kills and four blocks in the hard-fought defeat. Through 26 matches, Niego — the nation's No. 68 overall recruit according to — led the Irish in kills (303), and ranked second in digs (283), fifth in blocks (53) and sixth in hitting percentage (.200). Alex Steeves — Hockey The freshman forward from Bedford, N.H., was instrumental in Notre Dame's 6-2 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor Nov. 10. He net- ted goals at the 3:46 mark in the first period and again at the 1:35 mark in the second period, and added an assist to his stat line for three to- tal points — the first of his Fighting Irish career. Steeves appeared in nine of Notre Dame's first 10 games in 2018 and posted a plus-2 plus/minus. TOP OF THE CLASS ✦ GIMME FIVE Were it not for World War II, Notre Dame's series with USC would be the longest uninterrupted series in inter- sectional play instead of the Fighting Irish versus Navy. The Notre Dame-USC rivalry began in 1926, while the school's football history with Navy followed the ensuing season in 1927. The only time either series had a hia- tus was when Notre Dame did not play the Trojans from 1943-45 because of travel restrictions during the war and the discouragement of large crowds in vul- nerable areas along the coast (even the Rose Bowl was played at Duke in 1942). The series with USC resumed in 1946, or after World War II ended in 1945. Here are the most consecutive years Notre Dame has played any opponent: Opponent Streak 1. Navy 92 (1927-present) 2. USC 73 (1946-present) 3. Purdue 69 (1946-2014) 4. Michigan State 36 (1959-94) 5. Army 29 (1919-47) Stanford has moved into sixth place at 22 in a row since 1997, with no stoppage currently in sight. Getting To Know … SENIOR FORWARD ELIJAH BURNS Hometown: "Troy, N.J." High School: "Blair Academy." Major: "Psychology." Nickname: "EB." Favorite Food: "Chicken Parmesan." Favorite Place To Eat In South Bend: "My house." Favorite Professional Sports Team: "The Phila- delphia Eagles." Favorite Movie: "I'll go with 'Remember The Ti- tans.'" Favorite Music: "R&B." Favorite Musician: "Tupac Shakur." Favorite TV Show: "'How I Met Your Mother.'" Favorite Part About Playing For Notre Dame: "I just enjoy being with my teammates. This a great environment for school and for basketball. This is the best place to be." Who's The Best Player You've Ever Lined Up Across From? "I've played against a lot of good play- ers. Especially playing against Bonzie Colson every day when I got here, and Zach Auguste my freshman year. But I've played against a lot of good guys, so I'm not going to single anybody out." CHARTING THE IRISH REACHING NEW HEIGHTS DEFENSIVELY The Fighting Irish defense has been consistent all season, with coordina- tor Clark Lea's unit allowing more than 20 points just four times. Through the first 10 games of the season, Notre Dame ranked in the top 30 nationally in multiple categories, including 15th in scoring defense (18.7 points allowed per game), 25th in total defense (330.1 yards allowed per game) and 29th in pass defense (191.2 yards allowed per game). The Irish are also on pace to post their best efficiency mark defensively, according to the Fremeau Efficiency In- dex (FEI). The FEI is a "college football rating system based on opponent-ad- justed possession efficiency." Through 10 games, Notre Dame ranked eighth nationally with a 1.4 rating in Defensive FEI, which "is scoring value generated per opponent drive adjusted for start- ing field position and opponent offenses faced." It would be the first top-10 finish in the metric for the Irish under head coach Brian Kelly. In his first eight seasons, Notre Dame finished in the top 20 just three times (2011, 2012 and 2017). NOTRE DAME'S DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY UNDER BRIAN KELLY Year DFEI Rating (National Ranking) 2018 +1.4 (8th)* 2017 +1.6 (19th) 2016 -.02 (63rd) 2015 +.01 (57th) 2014 -.150 (78th) 2013 -.293 (30th) 2012 -.476 (16th) 2011 -.407 (18th) 2010 -.305 (27th) * Through first 11 weeks of the season

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