Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

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

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48 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY LOU SOMOGYI N otre Dame is accurately described as a "cold-weather school." Thus, it is apropos that, along with several other northern/Big Ten schools, it had one of the best winter seasons of the 2018-19 school year while moving up to No. 8 overall in the Division I Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup standings. The autumn sports phase con- cluded with the College Football Playoff national title game Jan. 9, and the winter phase ended April 25 with a total of 263 Division I teams having accumulated some points. The Fighting Irish winter sports programs added 342 points to their 280 fall score for a total of 622. The 342 points this winter came as fol- lows, with 100 the most any sport can get by winning a national title. • Women's basketball, which won the national title in 2018, earned 90 points by finishing as national run- ner-up to Baylor. • The fencing program (the scoring combines both the men and women) that won it all each of the last two seasons finished third at the National Collegiate Fencing Championships for 85 points. Foil Nick Itkin captured his second individual national title among seven Irish All-Americans. • For the first time ever, the hockey team qualified for the 16-team NCAA Tournament a fourth straight year while winning the Big Ten champi- onship for the second consecutive season. It advanced to the Northeast Regional final (Elite Eight) before losing to eventual NCAA runner-up UMass. That earned 60 points, with teams Nos. 5-8 deemed a "fifth-place finish." • The men's indoor track and field program chipped in 52 points with a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Cham- pionships, highlighted by a national title from the men's distance medley relay team of Dylan Jacobs, Edward Cheatham, Samuel Voelz and Yared Nuguse. • The men's and women's swim- ming and diving programs combined for 55 points in the standings after finishing 36th (31 points) and 41st (24 points), respectively, at the NCAA Championships. Overall, 13 sports could score points during the winter phase: men's and women's basketball, women's bowl- ing, fencing, men's and women's ice hockey, rifle, skiing, men's and wom- en's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor track and field, and men's wrestling. Notre Dame does not offer five of those sports: women's bowling, women's ice hockey, rifle, skiing and wrestling. Only men's bas- ketball did not score among the eight other winter sports. Notre Dame finished ninth in the fall standings by scoring 280 points from four different sports, with 153 different schools (including FCS foot- ball) tallying points. The 280 points from the fall were: • 75 points for a No. 5 finish in football. Notre Dame was the lone school in the fall top 10 to also finish in the top 10 in football. • 73 points in men's soccer, which ad- vanced to the quarterfinals (Elite Eight) under first-year head coach Chad Riley. The program also had two Academic All-Americans in Thomas Ueland (first team) and Jack Casey (second team). • 70.5 points for a No. 8 finish by Fighting Irish No. 8 In Directors' Cup After Productive Winter The women's basketball team led the way for Notre Dame's winter sports, earning 90 points in the Directors' Cup competition with its national runner-up finish. PHOTO COURTESY FIGHTING IRISH MEDIA TOP 10 IN DIRECTORS' CUP Northern schools, including Notre Dame, com- prised six of the top eight spots in the Directors' Cup standings following the winter session of the 2018-19 NCAA sports season. Here were the standings — including the fall portion from August through January — when the winter seg- ment of the competition was released April 25. Southern schools are projected to make more inroads after the warm-weather season sports in spring are tabulated near the end of June. Rk. School Points 1. Stanford 1158.75 2. Michigan 912.75 3. Penn State 830.50 4. Wisconsin 715.50 5. Minnesota 661.75 Kentucky 661.75 7. Ohio State 652.50 8. Notre Dame 622.00 9. Virginia 621.00 10. Florida 609.75

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