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Sports

Athlete of the Week: Taylor sets program record, Clark dominates

| Monday, April 4, 2022

With no more winter sports, the spotlight turned to spring sports this week. Some athletes and teams turned in fantastic performances. In the end, there were two first-time winners for the Athletes of the Week.

Men’s Athlete of the Week: Jake Taylor, Notre Dame Lacrosse

Junior Jake Taylor entered Saturday’s game with three career goals, two of them coming this year. He is also fresh off an ACL tear recovery. He was hardly expected to be the X-Factor for the Irish against the Orange. However, all Taylor did was come out of the gates shooting, and he never looked back. With a couple of highlight-reel finishes, Taylor notched eight goals, setting a program record. While almost quadrupling his career total, Taylor sparked the Irish to a dominant 22-6 victory over Syracuse. His program record earned him the Men’s Athlete of the Week. 

Honorable Mention: Ryan Cole, Notre Dame Baseball

In just eight official at-bats this weekend, graduate student left fielder Ryan Cole rapped out five hits. Two of those hits left the ballpark, and Cole drove in five runs. On Friday night, Cole notched two of Notre Dame’s four hits in an extra-inning victory. He generated Notre Dame’s only runs by launching a two-run bomb in the 12th inning. On Sunday, Cole blasted a three-run home run, notched three hits and scored three times in Notre Dame’s 9-7 win. For his efforts, Cole earned an Honorable Mention in his second nomination. 

Women’s Athlete of the Week: Emma Clark, Notre Dame Softball

On a weekend where Notre Dame’s offense put on a clinic, senior Emma Clark was at the center of it all. She finished the three-game series versus Georgia Tech with ten hits in 16 at-bats. Clark scored ten times on the weekend. She only knocked in one run, but it was a critical one. With the Irish down 12-11 in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday afternoon, Clark ripped a two-out RBI single to tie the score. Notre Dame went on to walk it off in the eighth inning. With a .625 weekend batting average and five-hit game, Clark earned Women’s Athlete of the Week. 

Honorable Mention: Alayna Campbell, Saint Mary’s Tennis

The Belles got off to a 2-0 start in conference play this past week, dominating their first two conference opponents 9-0. In those two games, freshman Alayna Campbell displayed pure dominance, playing both at No. 2 singles and at No. 1 doubles. In two conference doubles matches, Campbell and her partner Lucy Chamberlin dropped just two games, winning 8-1 on both occasions. In singles, Campbell swept her first opponent, 6-0, 6-0. On Saturday, Campbell dropped a few games but still cruised, 6-1, 6-3. A strong week against conference competition earned Campbell her first nomination and the Honorable Mention. 

Team of the Week: Notre Dame Baseball

This one was a bit of a tight call, but the Irish dazzled on the diamond this week. After a midweek 11-2 victory over Northern Illinois, Notre Dame traveled to Florida State. There, the Irish whipped the fifth-ranked Seminoles in three straight games. This boosted the Irish to 5-4 in ACC play, and it gave them their first sweep of a top-10 team since 2015. Notre Dame earned the Team of the Week for the second time this spring. 

Nominees

Men’s Athlete of the Week: Taylor (1st nomination), Cole (2nd), John Michael Bertrand (2nd), Taichi Kho (1st) 

Women’s Athlete of the Week: Clark (1st), Campbell (1st), Bridget Kane (2nd), Julia Andreach (1st)

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About Aidan Thomas

A junior marketing and ACMS major at Notre Dame, I've countered the success I've enjoyed as a New England sports fan with the painful existence of a Notre Dame football fan.

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