Blue and Gold Illustrated

October 28, 2023

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

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58 OCT. 28, 2023 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY TODD D. BURLAGE E ven Irish senior Ellie Ospeck admits to a certain amount of surprise when she talks about the terrific season she's having while the No. 11 Notre Dame women's soc- cer team chases down the 2023 ACC title. For the most part, the Irish midfielder/ forward made her mark as a reliable and talented substitute, recording 6 career points on 3 goals during her first three sea- sons with Notre Dame. That all changed this preseason when Ospeck was switched from mainly a back- line wingback that focused on defense to an attacking forward that is asked to score and distribute. To say Ospeck has made the transition look easy would be a grand understatement. In just 14 games playing at her new posi- tion, Ospeck has already shattered her ca- reer-best marks with 4 goals, 7 assists and 15 points, which tied for the most points on the team and ranked 10th in the ACC. "Yeah, I would say I'm surprising myself a little bit," Ospeck shared. "I have definitely taken the time and put in the work into my finishing and the attacking part, which has been super exciting. "It's something that I have always loved to do. But yes, I have surprised myself at times." It's been a season of firsts for Ospeck. In back-to-back wins for the Irish over Boston College Oct. 5 and Miami Oct. 8, the Danville, Calif., native tallied 1 goal and 5 assists to earn ACC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career. "That was really cool," Ospeck said of her achievement. "I guess I wasn't really thinking about it. And to get all the love and support from my teammates for it was re- ally awesome." Against Boston College, Ospeck scored 1 goal and dished out 2 assists to record the first 4-point game of her career. Then against Mi- ami, she dished out a career-best 3 assists. What a difference a year and a position switch can make. "It wasn't too much of a shock to be thrown up [to forward]," Ospeck said. "But I definitely had to zone in and understand each piece of the new role and what I needed to be doing, both offensively and defensively." Coming from Northern California, just east of Oakland, Ospeck is a long way from home. But the chance to play at Notre Dame for two years (2020 and 2021) with her older sister, Erin, was too attractive to pass up. "Playing together was incredible," said El- lie, who plans on returning for a fifth sea- son in 2024. "Having her as an influence was definitely impactful on my decision to come to Notre Dame, and I'm really grateful I did. It's exceeded all my expectations." ✦ Ospeck has already shattered her career-best marks with 4 goals, 7 assists and 15 points through 14 matches. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS Soccer Senior Ellie Ospeck A Surprise Standout On Offense Irish Roundup CROSS COUNTRY The Fighting Irish men and women took part in the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational Oct. 13 in Madison, Wis. … Both squads will compete in the ACC Championship Oct. 27 at Tallahassee, Fla. HOCKEY (1-1-0 OVERALL, 0-0-0 BIG TEN) Notre Dame split its weekend series with Clarkson Oct. 7-8 in South Bend, dropping the first game 3-1 before rebounding for a 3-0 victory … The Irish play at RIT Oct. 14 before returning home for a two-game set versus Boston University Oct. 20-21. MEN'S SOCCER (8-1-3 OVERALL, 4-0-1 ACC) The No. 8-ranked Fighting Irish notched a 1-0 home win over No. 14 Duke Oct. 7 … Notre Dame defeated Oberlin 6-0 Oct. 10 in South Bend … Next up were games at Virginia Tech Oct. 13, at Michigan Oct. 17 and at Wake Forest Oct. 20. WOMEN'S SOCCER (9-2-3 OVERALL, 5-1-1 ACC) No. 11-ranked Notre Dame routed Miami 7-2 Oct. 8 in South Bend … The Irish fell 4-1 at No. 1 Florida State Oct. 12, and continue the road swing at North Carolina Oct. 19 and NC State Oct. 22. VOLLEYBALL (9-5 OVERALL, 3-3 ACC) The Fighting Irish lost 3-1 at Duke Oct. 6 but rebounded for a 3-2 win at North Carolina Oct. 8 … Notre Dame hosts Virginia Oct. 13 and Pittsburgh Oct. 15, before hitting the road for matches at Virginia Tech Oct. 20 and at Wake Forest Oct. 22.

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