Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2022*

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

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58 JANUARY 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TODD D. BURLAGE T he magical run for the Notre Dame men's soccer team ended in the national semifinals Dec. 10 when the fourth-seeded Irish were beaten 5-3 on penalty kicks by eighth-seeded Clemson after playing to a 1-1 draw in timed play at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Notre Dame was making its 23rd NCAA Championship appearance but had reached the College Cup only one other time in program history. The Irish won the 2013 national championship in their other College Cup appearance — the equivalent of the NCAA basketball Final Four — defeating Maryland 2-1 in the title game. Even in defeat, fourth-year Notre Dame head coach Chad Riley celebrated his players after they responded to a preseason prediction of a last-place fin- ish in the six-team ACC North Division with a first-ever ACC title and a deep run in the NCAA Championship. "I love this team," Riley said. "I am so proud to be their coach." Clemson (16-5-2) went on to beat No. 2 Washington (17-2-2) Oct. 12 to claim the NCAA title and the College Cup. The Irish (14-5-5) fell behind 1-0 to Clemson at the 11-minute mark of the first half, 10 minutes before Notre Dame senior forward Jack Lynn tied the game at one goal apiece. It was Lynn's 10th goal of the season, which led all Irish scorers in 2021 and tied his best single-season goal scor- ing mark during his stellar Notre Dame career. Lynn — who also led Notre Dame this season with 24 points, 72 shots and 30 shots on goal — recorded a team-best five shots against Clemson. Notre Dame entered the College Cup hotter than any team in the country, re- cording seven straight wins — including both regulation and penalty kick victo- ries — and the first ACC championship in program history. Led by red-hot goalkeeper Bryan Dowd, Notre Dame pitched six shut- outs during its seven-game unbeaten streak before the loss to Clemson, and outscored those seven opponents 11-1. In all, the Irish pitched 13 shutouts this season, with Dowd in net for 10 of those. The steady improvement and impres- sive late-season run for Notre Dame was one of the top storylines during this fall sports season on campus. The Irish went 3-4-1 in their first eight matches before turning things around with an 11-1-4 record over their final 16 outings. Following his team's terrific run through the ACC Championship — which included a 2-0 semifinal win at Pitt Nov. 10, that snapped the Panthers' 19-game home winning streak — fol- lowed by three victories in the NCAA Championship as the nation's 20th- ranked team, Riley expressed his per- sonal admiration and appreciation. "They are true competitors and em- body every value we aspire to live up to," Riley proudly explained. ✦ Men's Soccer's Postseason Run Ends In National Semifinals Senior forward Jack Lynn delivered a goal against Clemson in the College Cup, but after playing the Tigers to a 1-1 draw the Irish lost 5-3 on penalty kicks to the eventual national champions. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS ND SPORTS Irish Roundup FENCING (MEN 12-0, WOMEN 16-0) The Irish men and women both went 5-0 in the Elite Invitational Dec. 5 at Columbus, Ohio, beating Wayne State (22-5 and 26-1), Ohio State (19-8 and 15-12), Air Force (23-4 and 22-5), Pennsylvania (16-11 and 18-9) and John Hopkins (23-4 and 21-6) … Notre Dame will next take part in the USA Fencing North America Cup Jan. 9-12 in San Jose, Calif. HOCKEY (12-5-0 OVERALL, 6-4-0 BIG TEN) No. 10 Notre Dame had its six-game win streak snapped with a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Ohio State Dec. 3, but bounced back the following night to defeat the Buckeyes 5-1 … The Irish also split a pair of home contests against Michigan State Dec. 10-11, winning the opener 3-2 before falling 1-0 in overtime the next day … Notre Dame is off until it hosts Niagara Jan. 1-2 in South Bend. MEN'S SOCCER (14-5-5 OVERALL, 4-2-2 ACC) The fourth-seeded Irish defeated Wake Forest 2-0 in the NCAA Championship's round of 16 Nov. 28 in South Bend … Notre Dame then edged Pitt 4-2 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw through two overtimes in the quarterfinals Dec. 4 in South Bend … The Irish's season came to an end in the College Cup Dec. 10 in Cary, N.C., when eventual national champion Clemson defeated them 5-3 on penalty kicks after another 1-1 draw. SWIMMING & DIVING Notre Dame returns to competition Jan. 14-15 in Princeton, N.J., when it takes on Princeton and Navy. TRACK & FIELD The Irish opened the indoor season by hosting Bethel, Butler, DePaul, Detroit Mercy, Grace, Mar- quette, Notre Dame, Toledo, Valparaiso for the Blue & Gold Invitational Dec. 3 … Notre Dame claimed event titles in the women's long jump, women's pole vault, women's shot put, men's and women's 800 meter, and the men's and women's weight throw. VOLLEYBALL (13-15 OVERALL, 10-8 ACC) Notre Dame concluded its season with a 3-0 victory at Florida State Nov. 24 and a 3-1 loss at Louisville Nov. 26. — Steve Downey

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