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Club Sports: Women’s hockey splits in Illinois

| Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Notre Dame traveled to Hoffman Estates, Ill., Friday evening, where a hard-fought battle against the Flash ended in a 3-1 victory.

Notre Dame started the game firing on all cylinders. Midway through the first period, senior captain Gillian Allsup scored off a pass from sophomore defenseman Mara Catlaw. The Irish capitalized on a hooking penalty and added to their lead with a power-play goal from Junior Margot DeBot. DeBot finished a behind the net feed from Catlaw to put the Irish up 2-0. Junior Brinya Bjork finished off the Irish scoring with a third-period unassisted goal to put the game out of reach for the Flash.

The Notre Dame defense played strong with an excellent game from junior newcomer Lauren Miller. Sophomore goalie Stacey Collins made 24 saves in goal and allowed just one shot past her.

On Saturday evening, the team faced off against the Flash once again. The Hoffman Estates team got off to an early lead when Donna Cucuau scored 20 seconds into the game. Cucuau struck again late in the second period as the Irish struggled to clear their own zone. After having dug themselves an early hole, the Irish refused to give up and played very strongly in the third period.

A tripping call sent Kris Keely to the penalty box and put the Irish on the power play. Junior Kristin Hepburn won the faceoff to Allsup, who sent the puck back to Catlaw. Several screens in front allowed for Catlaw to finish the puck into the lower left corner. Minutes later, freshman coach E.J. Borg called a timeout to strategize. The Irish pulled their goalie, but were unable to capitalize and gave up an empty net goal with two seconds remaining in the game, which the Flash won 3-1.

Notre Dame will return to action this weekend, when the Irish host the Brew-City Blades for a weekend series at the Joyce Ice Arena. The Irish women will play on Friday at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Women’s Water Polo

The Irish kicked off their season on Saturday with a tough loss to varsity program Wheaton College. The Irish scored early with an advantage goal by senior Ali Durkin but were outscored 6-3 by the Thunder in the first half.

The Irish came back strong in the third quarter and were able to tie the game at 7-7 with the help of sophomore Victoria Anglin and juniors Maisie O’Malley and Erin Gibson.

However, the Irish weren’t able to hold onto their momentum and Wheaton’s strong shooters were able to get the Thunder back in the game. The final score was 11-8.

The Irish finished their day Saturday with a scrimmage against Lindenwood University. The Irish were led by sophomore Laura McCoy, whose strength in the two-meter position kept the Irish in the game. Senior Liz Casazza led Notre Dame’s stellar defense with six steals.

The Irish are looking forward to next weekend when they will compete in an invitation at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.


Notre Dame’s ski club opened its season this weekend with strong performances from both squads. Led by Justine Murnane’s first-place overall finish, and freshman Hilary Rolfs’ runner-up performance, the squad claimed first place.

Seniors Tom and Chris Knoedler took sixth and seventh, respectively, in leading the men to a second-place team finish in the sanctioned MCSA event.

Erin McNeil finished second and Pat Lane ninth, as the women’s and men’s snowboarders finished second and fifth overall, respectively, in their events.


Notre Dame competed at the Northwestern Round Robin over the weekend of Jan. 22-23. The squad played four matches, beating the University of Illinois-Springfield. 6-3, but losing to Northwestern, 9-0, Washington University St. Louis, 7-2, and the University of Illinois, 8-1.

The 10-man squad was led by freshman T.J. Sarda, who stepped up to No. 1 this week and competed well against the best that other schools had to offer. Freshman No. 2 Paul Mickan continued to elevate his game, with a win against UIS and a hard-fought loss against UIUC. Sophomore No. 3 Mike Todisco and senior No. 5 Kenneth Schlax showed determination in a pair of five-set marathons against UIS. Junior Matt Sushinsky, back from studying abroad in Australia, returned without missing a beat at No. 4.

Freshman Clayton Smith, No. 6, showed promise for the future in his matches, going 1-3 on the day. Freshman Chris Sander, No. 7, helped secure the victory over UIS. Freshmen No. 8 Luke Pardue and No. 9/10 Casey O’Meilia earned victories over Washington and UIUC, respectively. Senior No. 8/9 Karen Riedl enjoyed her opportunity to play squash this weekend, as she is busy every other weekend with women’s ice hockey. The club is priming for nationals at Harvard in February.