Notre Dame Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame women’s soccer completed the 2021 season with an ACC conference record of 7-3, good for a fourth seed in the ACC tournament. The team was eliminated in the first round of conference tournament play to the fifth-seeded Clemson Tigers. The Fighting Irish were able to ascend further in the Women’s College Cup, losing out in the round of 16.
This year the Irish landed sixth in the 2022 preseason ACC coaches poll. An impressive performance in the 2021 NCAAs, coupled with a hot 4-0 start to the 2022 season, lends hope that Irish could advance to the semifinals or even the finals of the ACC tournament this season. To get there, Notre Dame will have to wade through a stiff field of ACC competition such as 2021 Women’s College Cup champions Florida State and 2022 ACC women’s soccer preseason favorite Duke.
Notre Dame sophomore Korbin Albert, possibly the most dynamic attacking midfielders in the ACC, is one player to look out for this season for the Irish. Last season Albert was awarded third team all-ACC honors and racked up 12 goals. This ranked second nationally amongst Division I freshmen. In August, she was named to the 2022 women’s soccer preseason all-ACC team.
Notre Dame Men’s Soccer
Notre Dame men’s soccer won their first ever ACC title last year in an impressive run that included the defeat of Louisville on penalties in the quarterfinals and the shutout of Duke in the championship round. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish went on to fall to the Clemson Tigers on penalties in the semifinals of the 2022 Men’s College Cup.
In the ACC preseason coaches poll this year, Notre Dame men’s soccer earned one first place vote. The team is predicted to finish third in the ACC’s coastal division. Just off their 2021 NCAA victory, the Clemson Tigers were selected as the 2022 preseason ACC men’s soccer favorite. This season the Fighting Irish will hope to overcome the replacement of their top-two goal scorers with a returning core of young contributors. Don’t let Notre Dame’s home opener loss have you fooled; the team fell to 1-3-1 last season before making their stunning post season run. Expect the Fighting Irish to make a final four appearance in ACC tournament among 2022’s conference competition.
Returning as one of the top goalkeepers in the country, junior Bryan Dowd will be the anchor of the Fighting Irish defense this year. A Notre Dame postseason legend, Dowd secured six straight shutouts over the ACC and NCAA tournaments last season. Dowd stands alone as the only goalkeeper on the 2022 ACC preseason watch list.
Notre Dame Cross Country
Last fall, Notre Dame hosted the 2021 ACC Cross Country championships. The Fighting Irish men captured their second consecutive ACC championship last season and will hope to win their fourth team title in five years in 2022. The Notre Dame’s women’s cross country grabbed a fifth-place finish at the ACCs in 2021. In seven of the past eight seasons, the Fighting Irish women have placed in the top five at the ACC championships. At the 2021 NCAA division I Cross Country Championships, the men’s team finished ninth and the women’s team finished fifth. Notre Dame men’s coach Sean Carlson earned his second consecutive ACC Men’s Coach of the Year award in 2021.
This season the Fighting Irish will host two meets in September, including The National Catholic Invitation on September 16th. Bank on both the men’s and women’s teams being strong contenders for ACC champions and top five finishers nationally. The 2022 ACC championships will be held in late October at Charlottesville, VA where the Syracuse men and NC State women are perennial contenders. The 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships will take place in November at the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Keep an eye on senior Olivia Markezich this year as she comes off an All-American season in 2021 and an 11th place finish at the NCAA championship. All-American returners for the men include senior Jake Renfree and junior Joshua Methner.
Notre Dame Volleyball
Forget about 2021, Notre Dame volleyball is looking to transition this year under new head coach Salima Rockwell. A three-time All-American at Penn State, Rockwell has filled three assistant volleyball coaching since arriving in South Bend. The Fighting Irish landed ninth in ACC’s 2022 preseason volleyball coaches pool. Louisville, who received ten first-place votes in the coaches poll, and Pitt, who received five first-place votes, are expected to be top contenders this season in the ACC. Notre Dame finished eighth last season in the ACC and Fighting Irish fans should hope to see the team finish in the top half of the conference in 2022. An invitation to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament this season would be a step in the right direction for the Fighting Irish.
A key returning player for Notre Dame is junior libero Hattie Monson. In the 2021-2022 season Monson played in all 103 sets for the Fighting Irish and led the team with 407 digs. Monson was honored as member the ACC All-Freshman team in 2020 and as a member of the ACC All-Academic team in 2020 and 2021. SMU transfer Kaylyn Winkler is another name to look out for this season for Notre Dame Volleyball. Winkler led the AAC with a .384 hit percentage in 2021 and led her team, the Mustangs, with 114 blocks. The Irish will also hope to see leaders emerge among the five freshmen welcomed to the team for the 2022 season.