Athlete of the Week: Sweet, Nuguse top lists, softball opens season with team of the week
Aidan Thomas | Monday, February 14, 2022
The beginning of spring sports saw some new teams thrown into the voting for athlete and team of the week, as Notre Dame softball and lacrosse both earned their first awards of the year. Meanwhile, Holy Cross also produced their first award-winner in the fifth week of Observer Athlete of the Week voting.
Women’s Athlete of the Week: Abby Sweet, Notre Dame Softball
Last year’s Observer Female Athlete of the Year, Sweet kicked off her 2022 season in style, rapping out 11 hits in 16 at-bats this weekend. That was good for a .688 average over five games. As the Irish went 5-0 over three days, Sweet knocked in eight runs. Two of those came in a crucial spot Friday. With Notre Dame trailing Boston University 3-2, Sweet came up with a runner on in the top of the seventh. She drilled a two-run homer for a 4-3 lead that Notre Dame preserved. Batting out of the leadoff spot, Sweet sparked the Irish to a hot start on the diamond all weekend and earned the Women’s Athlete of the Week.
Honorable Mention: Madison Ahern, Notre Dame Lacrosse
Notre Dame women’s lacrosse started off their season with a dominant 24-5 victory over Central Michigan. While there was a bevy of contributors in the victory over the Chippewas, Ahern stood out. She tickled the twine six times and dished out an assist, contributing to seven of 24 Irish scores. That was enough to earn honorable mention over a couple of competitive candidates this week.
Men’s Athlete of the Week: Yared Nuguse, Notre Dame Track & Field
Breaking an NCAA record is a pretty surefire way to earn Athlete of the Week, and Nuguse accomplished the task this past weekend. The Olympian claimed his second NCAA record, this one in the 3000-meter race. He also holds the 1500 record. This record-breaking effort came at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. He blistered through the event in 7:38.13, breaking an 18-year-old record of 7:38.59. The effort was more than enough to claim the Men’s Athlete of the Week by a large margin in the voting.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Black, Holy Cross Men’s Basketball
Black’s stats for the week are impressive – 43 points and 21 rebounds over two games. However, more impressive was an absurd performance on Saturday that boosted him into contention for Men’s Athlete of the Week. In Holy Cross’s 86-73 win over Saint Ambrose, Black was a force all over the court. He tallied 29 points and 15 rebounds in a monster double-double effort. He did damage from 3-point range, going 6-10 from beyond the arc and also dished out three assists to earn the honorable mention.
Team of the Week: Notre Dame Softball
The Irish softball squad got off to a rocking start this past weekend, as they racked up five straight wins against Bucknell, Boston University and Charlotte. The victories ranged from the tight 4-3 affair with BU to a 16-1 domination of a previously undefeated Charlotte squad. Sweet led the team at the plate, while the pitching staff dominated. Alexis Holloway threw ten innings and gave up just one run, while Shannon Becker fired eight innings of shutout ball. Peyton Tidd got the win in the final game of the weekend and added three hits to lead the offensive onslaught versus Charlotte.
Athlete of the Week Nominations
Sweet (ND Softball, 1st nomination), Ahern (ND Women’s Lacrosse, 1st), Julia Schultz (SMC WBB, 1st) and Holloway (ND Softball, 1st)
Nuguse (ND XC/TF, 1st nomination), Black (HCC MBB, 1st) and Dane Goodwin (ND MBB, 1st)