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    Daily Dish - 10.10.11

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    5714138.jpeg - Despite an overwhelming edge in shots and quality scoring chances in the second half and both overtime periods in its BIG EAST Conference women's soccer match at Rutgers, Notre Dame wasn't able to find the winning solution and wound up sharing the spoils with the Scarlet Knights, as Sunday's matinee ended in a 0-0 draw at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. ... it was the fourth consecutive shutout for the Fighting Irish and keeps Notre Dame unbeaten in its last four matches, as well as six of their last seven outings ... the Fighting Irish finished with a 21-9 advantage in total shots for the afternoon, including a 17-3 edge during the final 45 minutes and the two 10-minute overtime sessions.

    - A second straight BIG EAST Conference volleyball road win came in the form of a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-12) victory for Notre Dame Sunday afternoon at the West Virginia Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va. ... paving the way for the Irish over host West Virginia was senior Kristen Dealy and her 16 kills ... in fact, Dealy hit an eye-popping .533 on the day without an error in 30 attempts.

    - Sean Lorenz, Anders Lee and T.J. Tynan each had a goal and an assist and Notre Dame got strong play from its special teams as the Irish rallied to overcome a 2-0 second-period deficit on the way to a 5-3 hockey win over the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs Saturday night in front of 6,303 fans at AMSOIL Arena ... Nick Larson and Kevin Lind added the other two Irish goals while Sam Calabrese chipped in a pair of key assists for a two-point night on the score sheet ... Steven Summerhays made 21 saves in helping Notre Dame to a split of the weekend series.

    - The 11th-ranked men's soccer team played No. 1 Connecticut to a scoreless draw in BIG EAST Blue Division action on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,943 fans at Alumni Stadium on the Notre Dame campus ... the tie snapped Connecticut's 11-game win streak.

    - Here are some of Brian Kelly's comments from Sunday's media teleconference:

    "We've said, listen, if we want to make the playoffs we have to win each and every week. We said, let's get to the top 14 in the country, you're in the playoffs and that means you've got to win a lot of games. It's a must-win situation each week and every game is a playoff game for us."

    "Any time you are preparing against the option, yards have nothing to do with the outcome. It's about keeping the points down."

    "When you have to prepare for triple option and the ability of the quarterback to run, you put in one less coverage for Michael Floyd and you put in one less blitz package to get after Tommy Rees because you're afraid you may get caught in that when (Andrew) Hendrix is in the game So it protects him (Rees) more when you have that kind of versatility in your offense."

    "When you can protect the quarterback at the level that we do and to run the ball the past two weeks for over 250 yards, that's about as complete as it gets for an offensive line."

    - Here are some leftover football notes from the Notre Dame-Air Force contest:

    * The last time Notre Dame had seven different players score TDs in a game was in the 48-17 win over Arizona State in 1999 at Notre Dame Stadium.

    * The last Notre Dame QB to run for 100 yards was Carlyle Holiday who had 22-109 vs. Boston College in 2001; Andrew Hendrix had six for 111.

    * The 555 total yards by Notre Dame is the most this season (551 last week at Purdue).

    * Notre Dame's 59 points are most by an Irish team since 62-0 vs. Rutgers in 1996 in Lou Holtz's last game at ND Stadium

    * It was first time Irish have scored 50 anywhere since a 57-7 win at Stanford in 2003.

    * It was first time Irish have been over 50 points at Notre Dame Stadium since a 52-20 win over Boston College in 1997.

    * The last time a Notre Dame team scored more points in any half than first-half 42 vs. Air Force was 48 in second half vs. Georgia Tech in 1977.

    * Last time an Irish QB threw four TD passes in first half of a game was Brady Quinn who did it in 2004 in first half vs. Washington at Notre Dame Stadium.

    * Tommy Rees now has at least one TD pass in 11 straight games - third on all-time list behind Brady Quinn (16) and Jimmy Clausen (13)

    Daily Dish - 10.7.11

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    greendevine.jpg - The sculpture of former Notre Dame football coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Dan Devine was officially blessed and dedicated this afternoon at the Dan Devine Gate of Notre Dame Stadium (formerly Gate A) on a sunny, 81-degree afternoon ... the 50-minute ceremony was led by master of ceremonies Jack Nolan ... it included opening and closing performance by the Notre Dame glee club ... five of Devine's seven children were in attendance, plus countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren (in fact, they gathered to pull the covering off the sculpture), adding to around 60 Devine family members on site ... more than 20 former players were in attendance - Ed Bauer, Luther Bradley, Nick DeCicco, Tom Desiato, Marty Detmer, Mike Favorite, Vagas Ferguson, John Flood, Tom Gibbons, Bob Golic, Kris Haines, Steve Hartwig, Jerome Heavens, Ted Horansky, Larry Hufford, David Meadows, David Mitchell, Lou Pagley, Joe Restic, John Sweeney, Bob Tull and Mike Whittington ... former Irish assistant Brian Boulac was on hand, and former assistant Johnny Roland will attend the game Saturday.

    - Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, a student at Notre Dame during the early portion of the Devine era, noted, "Every Catholic university ought to have a Devine gate!" Swarbrick also noted that, unlike in many coaching changes, Devine did not inherit a broken program (the Irish had been a combined 21-2 the previous two season) and even with that unique challenge "he achieved at the highest level." ... in closing, Swarbrick said, "You'll note we've got one gate we can still name, so we're working on it." ... University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., also a student when Devine was coaching, recalled a story former athletics director Kevin White told upon visiting Devine in the Phoenix area when Devine's health was waning ... despite Devine's success at Arizona State, Missouri and the Green Bay Packers, White noted that almost all of the memorabilia in Devine's home represented his Notre Dame experience ... in blessing the sculpture, Father Jenkins called Devine a "master motivator who brought out the best in his players." ... former Irish safety and punter Joe Restic represented the former Irish players and noted he was part of the first class recruited by Devine ... Restic pointed out that Devine was hired as the Arizona State head coach at age 31 and won 27 games in three seasons, then went on to a similarly-successful run at Mizzou ... Restic related a number of tales surrounding the wearing of the green jerseys against USC in 1977 and called it "one of the top 10 motivational ploys in the history of college football." ... fittingly, there were plenty of items of green apparel in the audience ... Devine's brother, Deacon Jerry Devine, spoke on behalf of the family and noted the Dan Devine phrase at the base of the sculpture: "Leave the field a better player. Leave Notre Dame a better person." ... he added, "You must go deeper than X's and O's to understand Dan completely. His effect on his former players was immeasurable." ... earlier at the kickoff luncheon, Nolan read a note from Regis Philbin congratulating the Devine family on the sculpture dedication.

    - Former Fighting Irish All-American and current Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler will be honored at halftime of Saturday's Notre Dame-Connecticut match ... Besler played at Notre Dame from 2005-08 ... as a senior, he became the first player in program history to earn both first-team All-America and first-team AcademicAll-America honors in the same season ... Besler was a three-time all-BIG EAST honoree and was named the 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... in July, Besler competed in the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star game against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena ... he is the first MLS All-Star in program history.

    - Former Notre Dame men's lacrosse All-American David Earl recently was selected by the Minnesota Swarm in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) 2011 Entry Draft ... Earl was taken in the third round with the 27th overall selection ... Earl is coming off a successful rookie season in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) ... he and his Hamilton National squad fell to the Boston Cannons, 10-9, in the 2011 MLL title game in August ... Earl scored two goals in Hamilton's 11-9 semifinal win over Denver ... Earl tallied 17 goals and four assists in 10 games during the 2011 MLL campaign.

    Tradition at Notre Dame

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    How We Do What We Do

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    typewriter.jpgWhen you consider all the technology available today, it's downright amazing to think how archaic athletic communications were just a few short years ago.

    Need the latest University of Notre Dame football statistics? They'd be calculated and typed by hand on a manual typewriter (eventually the "big innovation" IBM Selectric typewriter came along), reproduced and mailed on Sunday nights and maybe you'd receive them via ordinary mail by Thursday.

    Need them quicker than that? The hit commodity in technology in the 1970s was the Xerox Telecopier (a facsimile machine) that required either four or six minutes (depending on how clear you wanted the type to read) to send a single page of copy to another Telecopier on the other end.

    If a media representative out of town needed your entire news release, depth chart and stats, it might take an hour or more to send it all.

    Breaking news happening on one of the Irish athletic fields? There was no simple way to communicate it. Pick up the telephone and dictate. Call media outlets one at a time to alert them about a hiring or press conference.

    Three technology advances changed everything in the sports information world everywhere - cell phones, the Internet and e-mail.

    For years the joke around the Notre Dame athletic offices was that the Irish quarterback on a given day might break his leg and - given that practices were closed to the media - there was some chance no one would find out until the next day.

    There was no texting, no Facebook - maybe no way for the word to get out other than old-fashioned word of mouth.

    The World Wide Web prompted the offering of athletic sites like und.com that debuted in 1995. In the beginning sites like Notre Dame's offered strictly the basics - mostly what was available via traditional press releases. There was no video in the "early days," and media members weren't yet routinely carrying computers or laptops. So, quite often, the plea to media to utilize school sites for time-sensitive items like statistics went unheeded.

    About that same time, cell phones changed the face of telecommunications. When current athletics staffers consider all the detailed scheduling and adjustments that go into, for example, a weeklong stay for a postseason bowl game, it's hard to imagine how those events ever occurred without cell phones. The Orange Bowl provided some new contraption-style portable phones to Notre Dame reps one year, but they looked more like walkie-talkies than the current variety and they didn't exactly fit in your pocket.

    For Your Viewing Pleasure

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    annual.report.jpg

    Click HERE
    (or on the sweet women's soccer national championship trophy in the photo above)
    to view the 2010-11 Notre Dame Athletics Annual Report

    Daily Dish - 9.29.11

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    1800493.jpeg - At 9:00 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 24, most Notre Dame students could be found sleeping, alarms perhaps set to blare moments before the football team faced Pittsburgh at noon ... yet, at that moment the women's swimming and diving team was preparing for a youth clinic at the Rolfs Aquatic Center ... dedicating their time until 4:00 p.m., the swimmers volunteered to instruct nearly 100 local participants in a Coaches vs. Cancer event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and the local RiverBend Cancer Services.

    - The men's lacrosse team has announced its 2011 fall schedule along with other dates of importance in the months of September and October ... on the field, the Fighting Irish will face Air Force and Navy during their fall exhibition season ... the Air Force contest will take place Oct. 8 at Notre Dame's Arlotta Stadium ... later that day, the Fighting Irish football team will play host to the Falcon gridiron squad ... Notre Dame will face Navy on Oct. 15 at Miller Field in Annapolis, Md.

    - Melissa Henderson has accepted an invitation to participate in a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team next week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. ... the camp, which features 24 of the nation's top college players and young professionals, will take place from Oct. 2-7, and will be jointly overseen by U.S. Soccer Women's Development Director Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer Women's Technical Director April Heinrichs and U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage ... Sundhage will be at the camp to evaluate players for possible call-ups to U.S. National Team camps heading into next January's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, and potentially for the run to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    - For just the second time in six years, the coaches and media agree on who should own the No. 1 position in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's annual preseason polls ... Notre Dame received enough points from the conference's 11 head coaches and 72 media members to be named the preseason favorite in both polls ... in the coaches' poll, the Fighting Irish captured eight first-place votes

    - Tyler Eifert was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission ... Eifert registered a career-high eight receptions, including four on the 11-play, 85-yard, go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter at Pittsburgh that gave the Irish a 15-12 lead ... his four grabs on the touchdown drive totaled 34 yards ... Eifert also added a critical two-point conversion reception ... the eight catches by Eifert tied him with Kyle Rudolph (twice in 2010), John Carlson (2006), Anthony Fasano (2004) and Ken MacAfee (1977) for second most ever in a game by a Notre Dame tight end.

    - In addition to the standard ESPN telecast Saturday of the Notre Dame-Purdue football game, there also will be a separate ESPN 3D origination - with former Irish Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown providing the analysis on that version.

    - National Football Foundation historian (and former Sports Illustrated writer) Dan Jenkins recently selected his 20 greatest college football plays - and one of those was John Lujack's open-field tackle of Doc Blanchard that preserved the 0-0 tie between Army and Notre Dame in 1946.

    - Here are some interesting numbers on Notre Dame's athletics web site, UND.com, from 2010-11: the top states in terms of users of the Notre Dame site were Indiana (13.45 percent), Illinois (9.16), California (7.43), Ohio (6.22), Pennsylvania (6.22) and New York (5.88) ... the top schools in terms of use of the mobile GameTracker feature were (in order) Notre Dame, Michigan and Alabama (based on more than 200 school and conference sites produced by CBS) ... the top four sites in terms of page impressions and unique browsers were North Carolina, Michigan, Texas and Notre Dame.

    Daily Dish - 9.21.11

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    4721381.jpeg - The women's golf team battled gusty winds and a tough course on Tuesday afternoon on the way to a 23-over par mark of 311 during the second round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge ... Notre Dame will enter Wednesday morning's final 18 holes, trailing first-place Oregon by 12 strokes as the Ducks moved into first place with the low round of the day, a 16-over mark of 34 ... Ashley Armstrong is Notre Dame's top golfer after 36 holes after rounds of 73-77 for a six-over 150 ... that puts her in a tie for 14th place, seven strokes behind the leaders.

    - Former football standouts Dave Casper and Rocky Bleier will be among the honorees tonight at the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at Hawthorne Race Course ... a delegation of Notre Dame athletic administrators will be in attendance.

    - The men's lacrosse team will take part in a "barnstorming" trip to central Indiana this Saturday ... the Fighting Irish will hold a practice/intrasquad scrimmage at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind., to help energize the growth of lacrosse in the Indianapolis area.

    - Much has been made of the 13 turnovers by the Notre Dame football team through its first three games combined ... interestingly enough, the 1977 Irish team had 14 turnovers through three games - and went on to win the national championship ... the 1966 and 1973 Notre Dame teams, both national title winners, both had 10 turnovers through three games.

    - The football team ranks 10th nationally in third-down defense - permitting only 10 conversions on 40 third-down attempts ... over the last seven games combined Notre Dame's defense has give up an average of only 90.9 rushing yards per contest ... Tommy Rees is the first Irish quarterback to lead his teams to wins over USC and Michigan State and win a bowl game (Miami in Sun Bowl) since Kevin McDougal did that in 1993.

    Keeping the 'Student' In 'Student-Athlete'

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    Daily Dish - 9.19.11

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    atkinsonmsu.jpeg

    Weekly Sports Schedule - 9.19-9.25

    - Melissa Henderson posted her second hat trick of the season and fifth of her stellar career, leading No. 12/14 Notre Dame to a clinical 4-1 BIG EAST Conference women's soccer win at Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 1,400 fans at Gettler Stadium ... Henderson netted two goals less than nine minutes apart midway through the first half after the Fighting Irish spotted the Bearcats an early lead ... she then completed her three-goal day with a key insurance score in the 65th minute ... Lauren Bohaboy opened her goal-scoring account with a tally in the final three minutes, while Elizabeth Tucker dished out two assists.

    - A goal from Harrison Shipp in the 54th minute was all the 16th-ranked men's soccer team needed to defeat Michigan State, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium ... Notre Dame now has a four-game unbeaten streak, which includes three straight victories ... Shipp had a game-high three shots on goal ... Will Walsh made five saves for Notre Dame to earn his second shutout of the season ... Walsh has all seven decisions this season for the Irish.

    - Notre Dame stayed focused in front of a raucous crowd of 3,410 at the Wisconsin Field House to sweep the host Badgers, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23), in volleyball action Saturday night ... the win was the first ever for the Irish volleyball program on Wisconsin's home floor and snapped the Badgers' six-game winning streak heading into the contest ... Notre Dame was led by InnTowner Invitational MVP Kristen Dealy, who connected for eight kills and a pair of solo blocks with nine digs in the finale ... Hilary Eppink (nine kills) and Frenchy Silva (14 digs) were named to the all-tournament team.

    - The men's golf team jumped two more spots on the final day of the Olympia Fields Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Ill., finishing Sunday in a tie for eighth amongst a deep 15-team field ... the Irish closed with a final day 294 (+14) to conclude the 54-hole tournament at 883 (+43) ... Stanford held on for the tournament title, finishing up the event with a score of 849 (+9) for a full 16-shot victory over both Auburn and Oklahoma State who finished tied for second at 865 (+25) ... in addition, with Notre Dame's tie for eighth, the Irish posted victories over three teams which appeared in last season's NCAA Championship final four: Augusta State, Duke and Ohio State.

    - The men's tennis team managed a pair of singles victories in a rain-shortened final day at the Illini Invitational in Chicago on Sunday ... Casey Watt earned his first victory of the weekend, taking down California's Riki McLachlan in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3 ... Blas Moros closed out the weekend with a 2-2 singles record after dropping Alabama's Stuart Kenyon, 6-3, 6-4.

    - Former Irish assistant football coach Urban Meyer will be one of the color commentators on ABC Sports Saturday for the noon Notre Dame-Pittsburgh telecast ... he'll join Dave Pasch and Chris Spielman.

    - Former Irish baseball player Steve Sollmann is back on campus working as an academic counselor in the Academic Services for Student-Athletes department ... Sollmann played second base and was a 10th-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004 ... he had a .360 career average at Notre Dame and earned All-America honors in 2003 and was a two-time Academic All-American.

    - Notre Dame fans are lining up to attend winter sports ... led by a near 300 percent increase in hockey sales, all three winter sports season (hockey, men's and women's basketball) ticket sales are on pace to exceed their 2010-11 season-ticket totals.

    - Brian Kelly comments from his Sunday media teleconference included these tidbits:

    "I think right now he (Aaron Lynch) shows himself very well as a guy that can get after the quarterback. He's relentless and he's very, very physical. He doesn't beat you with speed off the edge, he beats you with power."

    "I got a chance to shake hands with every one of the 1966 players (in town for the national championship team's 45th reunion) as they came off the stage for our pep rally on Friday and our team got a chance to interact with them as well. It was a great way to mix our team with Ara Parseghian and his championship team."

    "If we can control the line of scrimmage, take care of the football, play better pass coverage, especially at the end of the game, we're probably sitting here with a different record."

    "They're not going to forget the fact that they've let two games slip away. You want that feeling of: We're not going to let this happen again. Enough is enough. If that's what they do the rest of the year that's a good place to be."

    - Kicker David Ruffer is Notre Dame's 2011 nominee for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete program ... offensive lineman Chris Stewart was a winner of that award a year ago ... Ruffer was a first-team Academic All-American in 2010 with his 3.9 GPA.

    - The connection Saturday with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch attending the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game is former Irish football walk-on defensive back Chris Ham, who works with Busch in the marketing area ... a 1995 Notre Dame graduate in business, Ham lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., and is president of his own consulting form as well as director of motorsports for Lennox Motorsports.

    - Army quarterback Trent Steelman, Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton, and Notre Dame running back/kick returner George Atkinson III have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games through Sept. 17 ... Blanton was instrumental in Notre Dame's inaugural win of the season, a 31-13 home decision over No. 15 Michigan State ... Blanton thwarted a late Spartan rally when he secured an interception deep in Notre Dame territory and returned it 82 yards, setting up a game-sealing field goal for the Fighting Irish ... Atkinson tallied 142 yards on four kickoff returns, highlighted by an 89-yard scoring scamper, in Notre Dame's win over Michigan State ... Atkinson is the first Fighting Irish freshman to return a kickoff for score since Raghib Ismail in 1988.

    - Quarterback "hurries" are an inexact football statistic since they are not kept routinely in college press boxes and are not considered official by the NCAA ... still, Aaron Lynch's six hurries Saturday against Michigan State are more than any single Irish player had in all of 2010.

    - Notre Dame's fall slate for men's lacrosse includes an Oct. 8 home game against Air Force (10 a.m. at Arlotta Stadium on the morning of the Notre Dame-Air Force football game) and an Oct. 15 road date at Navy (noon at Miller Field in Annapolis, Md.).

    - Michael Floyd's 31 receptions after three games (10.33 per game) rank him fourth nationally (USC's Rob Woods has 33) ... Floyd also is fourth in receiving yards per game at 132.33 each.

    - Notre Dame's football schedule this week ranks 28th by the NCAA in degree of difficulty, with Irish opponents standing 15-9 (.625) ... Irish opponents still unbeaten include South Florida, Michigan, USC and Stanford.

    - Looking way ahead to Notre Dame's next home football game Oct. 8 vs. Air Force - the featured event of the weekend will be dedication of the Dan Devine sculpture.

    - Tickets remain on sale to the public through the Purdue ticket offices for the Oct. 1 Notre Dame-Purdue football game in West Lafayette.

    - The women's tennis team and head coach Jay Louderback have announced their 2011-12 schedule.

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