Ultimate highlights weekend of Irish club sports
Joe Meixell | Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Notre Dame sent two boats to San Diego last weekend to compete in the 35th annual San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay.
The Notre Dame Novice eight boat finished third in the Petite Final on Saturday afternoon in a time of 6:30.25.
The Notre Dame Varsity eight boat also finished third in the Men’s Collegiate Varsity Cal Cup Petite Final, 9th overall.
Notre Dame’s top boat narrowly missed a second-place finish – which would have qualified them for the grand final – by a margin of only 0.35 seconds behind the University of California Davis Saturday morning. In the Petite Final, it was nip and tuck down the course between the top three boats, Notre Dame, Drexel, and the University of San Diego. Drexel jumped out to an early lead, which it would not relinquish despite a strong challenge from the San Diego and Notre Dame crews in the final 500 meters.
Notre Dame and San Diego battled back and forth before the Notre Dame boat took a slight advantage heading into the final 400 meters of the 2000-meter race. But San Diego made a push at the finish and the Irish couldn’t answer.
The Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s seven-rider team finished in fifth place in the IHSA Regionals at Purdue. Krista Jones’ third-place in intermediate flat was the team’s highest score. Heather LaDue, Jennifer Gilardi and Kelly Daniels placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively in the novice flat.
Daniels also took fifth in novice fences.
Notre Dame finished second in a field of ten teams at the MCSA team race qualifier this weekend in Wilmette, Ill. With the strong showing, the Irish earned a spot in Team Race Nationals in Newport, Rhode Island on May 30-June 1. Wisconsin finished first in the qualifier, with Northwestern and Michigan finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Notre Dame hosted 13 teams in the 12th annual Whitesmoke Invitational at South Bend’s Tarkington Fields at Boehm Park.
The Notre Dame women’s squad opened the weekend against Valparaiso, winning easily 13-1. It followed with another victory over DePaul, 13-3. The team’s third game of the day came against long time rival, Purdue Brickhouse. Seniors Loretta Brown and Libby Whiting drove the offense against a quick Brickhouse defense, and junior handler Jean Whitney played exceptionally well as the Irish came out on top 13-6.
Sunday morning featured single-elimination bracket play, with Notre Dame facing North Park in the quarterfinals. The Irish came out looking flat in the beginning, falling behind 9-4. But the Irish put together 7 straight points to win 11-9 and advance to the semi-finals. The Irish were not able to sustain their intensity as they bowed out in the semifinals with a 15-1 loss to Michigan State.
The Notre Dame men opened up pool play against DePaul. The team came out a little slow but after some key plays by Thomas Rivas, Notre Dame pulled away for a 13-3 victory. The Irish then blew out both Lewis and Purdue by respective scores of 13-2 and 13-6.
This set up a showcase match against the Notre Dame alumni team, which also went undefeated in pool play. The Irish came out hard and played with an increased passion that wasn’t seen earlier in the day. Leadership on the defensive side by grad student Steve Kurtz was the key to establishing the early tone of the game. After battling back and forth for most of the game, Notre Dame’s conditioning proved to be the difference as it pulled away from the alumni late in the game. A final score thrown by senior Eric Morin capped Notre Dame’s 15-10 victory.
Sunday proved to be a much more challenging day for the team. After a first-round bye, Notre Dame opened against the Michigan State alumni team. The alumni team was very talented but Notre Dame had the advantage of training and practice. In a grueling battle, the leadership of Irish senior captain Mike Florack was the difference in a 13-10 win. The Irish then took on a South Bend club team with more experienced and talented players. After a tight first half, the defense of sophomore Mike Carilli helped the team dominate the second half and win 15-8. The final was a rematch between Notre Dame and the Notre Dame alumni team. Notre Dame played open lines and strayed from its usual game plan as the Irish fell 15-11.
Notre Dame competed in its first two events of the season, traveling to Fishers, Ind., for the Ice Box Bass Tournament before heading to Baldwin, Mich., for the WMU Steelhead Tournament. In the Ice Box, the Irish four-man squad placed third behind Indiana and Purdue. Garrett Coggon, Ted Kratschmer, Matt Dobertien and Matt Babcock competed for the Irish with Babcock catching the second-largest fish of the tournament.
The club did not place in the Steelhead tournament, as the only prizes captured were a couple of raffled door prizes.
The Irish competed in the Marian Midwest Cycling Classic this weekend and were challenged by a mile of windy roads through the Marian College campus. John McDunough started things for the Irish in the men’s D race. McDunough was aggressive throughout the race and was rewarded with a top-10 placing. In the men’s C race, Irish rider Kirk Post finished in 10th place.
The only men’s A rider to make the trip was Tim Campbell, who took sixth place in the sprint to finish 10th overall.
Women’s Water Polo
Notre Dame headed to Purdue last weekend for the Boilermaker Invitational. They faced off against the Michigan State “B” team Saturday morning, and won by a convincing final score of 10-3. Irish goalie Maggie Hyde recorded six saves in the victory. Cristina Romano and Bridget O’Neill each had a hat trick, while Ali Durkin added two. Meghan Pearl and Kelly Horner each chipped in with a score.
The Irish faced a tough Purdue Alumni team later in the day but came away with a 12-5 victory. Romano zipped the ball by the goalie six times in the contest, and Horner put another three goals away. Pearl, Durkin and Ali Schilling each had one. Betsy O’Neill and Hyde split time in goal.
For the third game of the day, the Irish squared off against varsity opponent Wheaton College, with the Irish prevailing 11-6. Bridget O’Neill led the scoring with three goals, and Romano, Horner and Kristen Harchut each added two more. Schilling and Emily Harig completed the scoring with one each, and Betsy O’Neill and Hyde split the cage, making a combined eight saves.
On Sunday the Irish went up against Michigan for the fifth time this season. The Wolverines handed a flat Irish team its first lost of the year, an 8-2 blowout. Bridget O’Neill scored both of the Irish goals. The Irish will head to Dayton next weekend for the Midwest Division Championships.
The Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s gymnastics club sent four women to Ann Arbor for the Michigan Madness Meet. Despite competing as individuals since there were not enough athletes to field a complete team, the Irish looked strong. Sammy Bello, Sophie Troy, and Kelleen O’Leary were particularly strong on the balance beam. Each stuck her routine and turned in a season-best score.