Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 26, 2016

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

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50 SEPT. 26, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY DAVID MCKINNEY T he Notre Dame men's soccer team was off to a 6‑0‑0 start as of mid‑ September, something that did not go unnoticed around the country. On Sept. 6, in fact, the Irish claimed the No. 1 spot in the National Soc‑ cer Coaches Association of America Division I National Top 25 poll, after receiving 15 first‑place votes. It marked the seventh time in the last four seasons that the Irish have been ranked No. 1. The national recog‑ nition was the result of a blazing‑hot start by the Irish that came against quality competition. During Labor Day weekend, the Irish notched a pair of top‑25 wins, defeating No. 15 Stanford (2‑1) and No. 22 Cal (5‑0) in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Bloomington, Ind. Then on Sept. 10, the Irish made quick work of No. 15 Virginia Tech. Behind a hat trick that featured two goals in a five‑minute span from se‑ nior center back Brandon Aubrey, the Irish cruised to a 4‑1 victory to open ACC play. "It's just something that we work on at the training field all the time," Aubrey said of his three goals. "With [Fifth‑year senior midfielder and tri‑ captain] Evan [Panken] putting in crosses and me running to the back post for the headers — finally it came off tonight." Four days after the triumph over the Hokies, the Irish posted a dramatic 1‑0 victory over Connecticut. Junior striker Jon Gallagher netted the deci‑ sive goal in the 103rd minute to keep Notre Dame's record perfect. With the goal, Gallagher became the third Irish player to have a game‑winning goal in 2016, joining Aubrey and Panken. "It was a team performance again, and everybody had their moments in the game," head coach Bobby Clark said. "It's hard to single one out, but Jon Gallagher always looks very dangerous when it comes to getting goals." ✦ Senior center back Brandon Aubrey tallied a team-high six goals during the men's soccer team's 6-0-0 start that helped it ascend to the top spot in the national rankings in September. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS Men's Soccer Rises To No. 1 In The National Rankings Irish Roundup MEN'S GOLF Notre Dame finished tied for fifth out of 14 teams in the USF Olympic Invitational, hosted by the University of San Francisco at the Olympic Club Golf Course Sept. 12‑13 in San Francisco. The top Irish finisher was senior Matthew Rushton, who shot a 1‑over‑par 214 in the three‑round event. His 12 birdies were the second most among the field of 74 golfers. Notre Dame combined for 47 total birdies in the tournament, the most by any team. Next up for the Irish was a trip to Scottsdale, Ariz., to participate in the Georgia State Maui Jim In‑ tercollegiate Sept 23‑25. WOMEN'S SOCCER (5-1-2) The No. 20 Irish took a trip to California Sept. 10‑11 and came away with a pair of draws. The first came at Santa Clara, a scoreless affair that went into double overtime. The Broncos put six shots on goal, but six saves from senior goalkeeper Kaela Little kept zeroes on the board. At No. 2 Stanford the next day, the game ended in a 2‑2 tie, again going into a second overtime. Down 2‑1 in the 57th minute, freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf sent a free kick to the back of the net for her team‑leading fourth goal of the year. The Irish were slated to travel to Syracuse Sept. 18 and North Carolina State Sept. 22, before returning home to face Pitt Sept. 25. VOLLEYBALL (7-2) Notre Dame captured another regular‑season tournament title by sweeping San Diego State and Stony Brook before defeating host Rhode Island in four sets at the Art Carmichael Invitational Cham‑ pionship Sept. 9‑10 in Kingston, R.I. Sophomore libero Ryann DeJarld had 40 digs in the three Irish matches and was named the tourna‑ ment's MVP. Joining DeJarld on the all‑tournament team were sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Nunge and junior middle blocker Sam Fry. The Irish were scheduled to open ACC play against Louisville Sept. 23 in South Bend. — David McKinney "IT WAS A TEAM PERFORMANCE AGAIN, AND EVERYBODY HAD THEIR MOMENTS IN THE GAME." HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK

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