- There will be a contingent of Dublin media attending the Notre Dame-Navy football game Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium - in advance of the Notre Dame-Navy game that will kick off the 2012 season next September in Dublin, Ireland. - The pep rallies prior to the Notre Dame-Navy (Oct. 28) and Notre Dame-Boston College games (Nov. 18) will be held at Purcell Pavilion ... doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the Irish football squad enters at 6:30 p.m. ... there are no tickets required. - A contingent of Notre Dame administrators traveled to Washington, D.C., Wednesday and met with FedExField officials at the stadium - in addition to meeting at St. Matthew's Cathedral and at the National Mall and the Capitol Lawn, sites of the Mass, pep rally and band concerts, respectively, when the Irish play Maryland Nov. 12. - For the second time this season (and fourth time in her career), Melissa Henderson has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week ... in addition, Henderson was named to the Top Drawer Soccer and Our Game Magazine national teams of the week ... Henderson turned in one of the top single-match performances in the 24-year history of the Notre Dame women's soccer program during last Friday's 5-1 Senior Night victory over DePaul at Alumni Stadium ... the All-America striker and Hermann Trophy candidate tied a school record with four goals in the match (including two in a 58-second span midway through the second half) on the way to tying no fewer than seven school records ... Henderson also became the first BIG EAST player in more than 13 years to score four goals in a regular-season conference match, a feat last accomplished on Oct. 16, 1998, by former Seton Hall All-American and England National Team star Kelly Smith in a win over Pittsburgh. - Frank Dyer started the 2011-12 season with a fast stroke and has been named the BIG EAST Conference Athlete of the Week for men's swimming and diving ... Dyer posted a pair of individual victories while competing against Texas Christian, Oakland and Michigan in dual meet action ... his NCAA B-cut 200 freestyle time performance of 1:37.92 was the nation's fastest at the time of the race and currently ranks second ... Dyer is fourth among all NCAA performers in the 100 freestyle (44.57). - The University of Notre Dame has established an endowed scholarship in memory of Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame junior who died a year ago today (Oct. 27) when the aerial lift on which he was videotaping football practice fell in high winds ... in conjunction with the anniversary, Notre Dame's president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., is writing to members of the Notre Dame family, inviting them to contribute to the scholarship fund and/or to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund that has been established by his family ... contributions to the family's memorial fund will be used to support those causes about which Declan would be most enthusiastic, in particular, Horizons for Youth, a Chicago organization committed to helping children graduate high school by providing need-based scholarships, a summer program, one-on-one mentoring, enrichment outings, tutoring, and college preparation ... the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Scholarship at Notre Dame will assist students who are not only in financial need, but who also have demonstrated the traits that made Declan original, whether through a particular interest in filmmaking, service to under-privileged youth, creative writing, or other passions. - The 14th-ranked men's soccer team notched its third straight victory with a 2-1 win over Providence on Wednesday afternoon at Glay Field in Providence, R.I. ... all three of the victories have come on the road ... Notre Dame opened the scoring in the 10th minute as senior midfielder Brendan King sent his shot into the lower-left corner of the net from 12 yards out after a give-and-go with sophomore forward Leon Brown ... the Fighting Irish led 1-0 at halftime ... Harrison Shipp gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 80th minute when he scored from eight yards away off a cross from senior defender Greg Klazura.
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- SI.com selected a 2011 Midseason All-America team and put Notre Dame's Manti Te'o as a second-team linebacker. - Notre Dame's "Dig Pink" match certainly lived up to its name ... the Fighting Irish scooped 62 shots - including a match-high 20 digs by Kristen Dealy - during Sunday's 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-19) BIG EAST Conference volleyball win against USF in front of 1,460 fans at Purcell Pavilion ... Dealy was one of three Irish players with double-digit digs as senior Frenchy Silva (17) and sophomore Andrea McHugh (10) helped anchor a defensive effort that held USF to a .107 hitting clip. Notre Dame partnered with Dig Pink, a national initiative devoted to promoting breast cancer awareness spearheaded by the Side-Out Foundation, to help raise money for the Secret Sisters Society of South Bend. - A career-high two-goal effort from Harrison Shipp led the way as the No. 15 Notre Dame men's soccer team defeated Pittsburgh, 3-1, on Saturday evening in BIG EAST Blue Division play at Ambrose Urbanic Field in Pittsburgh ... Notre Dame jumped on top in the 33rd minute on an own goal and Shipp gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute. - Women's tennis senior co-captains Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews punched their ticket Sunday to the championship of the ITA Midwest Regionals doubles draw, which will take place today at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio ... the Irish duo recorded a pair of victories on the day to put them in the title matchup ... after opening up with a decisive 8-1 opening match against Belinda Niu and Brittany Wowchuk of Northwestern, Frilling and Mathews found themselves in a semifinal matchup against RachelWhite and Melissa Kopinski of Illinois ... the Irish tandem jumped out to a quick 4-1 advantage in their semifinal tilt but saw the Illinois team win the next two games to close the margin to one game ... Frilling and Mathews were undeterred, however, claiming four of the next five games to pull away for an 8-4 victory. - Notre Dame four boat, in its first taste of competitive action on the season, earned a fifth-place finish in the championship four race at the Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River on Sunday ... the Irish finish also represented the second-best result amongst collegiate boats in the race ... the Head of the Charles is an extremely reputable race worldwide, as it is the second largest two-day regatta in the world, with more than 8,900 athletes rowing in around 1,750 boats in 56 events ... the Irish boat, comprised of coxswain Abby Meyers, along with Molly Bruggeman at stroke, Olivia Kacsits at the third seat, Erin McConnell at the second seat and Courtney Gaberino at bow concluded the race in a time of 18:40.01 to secure the fifth-place result by more than 11 seconds over Yale, who crossed in 18:51.45.
AL.com - A group of University of Notre Dame student-athletes and administrators wrapped up a week of volunteering in tornado relief Thursday on a fall break service trip organized by Notre Dame and the University of Alabama. The trip, called Fight for Tide, brought 24 students and six administrators to Tuscaloosa to work in collaboration with Project Team Up, an initiative to rebuild communities partnered with Nick Saban's foundation Nick's Kids. Students representing the Notre Dame baseball, cross country, cheerleading, fencing, men's golf, women's lacrosse, rowing and track and field teams were selected for the trip based on essays they wrote. Sarah Smith, program coordinator for student athlete welfare and development at Notre Dame, said the idea to help Tuscaloosa began with a former Notre Dame employee who currently works in the ticket office at Alabama. He emailed the athletics office at Notre Dame and asked them to collect relief supplies that Alabama would pay to ship. Smith, who is originally from a town an hour away from Joplin, Missouri, began to come up with an idea of a service trip when students started talking over the summer about going to down to Tuscaloosa to help. "I just kind of ran with the idea and started calling people to see if it would be a possibility, and people started wanting to support it and make it happen," Smith said. After arriving Saturday, the group has worked at two sites in Alberta City, clearing storm debris on lots where new houses are planned to be built. They also met with Alabama athletics director Mal Moore and went on the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium, had dinner with Notre Dame's Alabama alumni club at Dreamland, attended Mass with students at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish on the Alabama campus and toured the baseball and softball facilities. On Thursday, at a site just off University Boulevard on 21st Avenue East, Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy and several players joined the group from Notre Dame in clearing debris from destroyed houses and carrying limbs to the street. Notre Dame baseball player Tommy Chase said the experience changed his perspective on the important things in life. "I look at this as a great opportunity to help where there's a need," Chase said. "We get caught up at school doing a lot things for ourselves, whether it's in sports or in the classroom. Those are all great things, but it's revolved around our own needs and goals. Being able to come down here and help others is really important for my own personal development, but also I want to hopefully inspire this community in some way." Notre Dame sophomore cheerleader Erin Garfield took time away from her team to travel to Tuscaloosa because the fall break gave her time to join the service trip. On Saturday night, she'll be cheering on the sidelines as the Irish face USC in South Bend. "It's just been a great experience all around, hearing all these stories from people who experienced the tornado and getting to meet all these amazing people, Garfield said. Alabama sophomore softball player Ryan Iamurri said she was glad to share the experience of volunteering in Alberta City with the students from Notre Dame. "When you live here, you kind of get back in your normal routine, and if you don't cross this bridge (to Alberta), you forget what it's like," Iamurri said."It was so nice of them because we realize there's still so much more to do. To come out here with them is special."
The Monogram Club continues to bring Irish fans the "Monogram Club Musings" following each home football game throughout the 2011 season ... This past weekend, the Monogram Club joined with the athletics department to honor former Notre Dame football head coach Dan Devine by dedicating a new statue of the Hall of Fame coach at Gate A of Notre Dame Stadium. More than 60 members of the Devine family returned to campus to celebrate the momentous occasion. The Club also hosted MLS All-Star Matt Besler ('09) at halftime of the men's soccer game versus Connecticut and put on its usual mix of popular football weekend activities. - For the third-consecutive home game, a pre-game flyover electrified the crowd before the opening kickoff. Saturday's flyover featured a USAF B-2 stealth bomber named the "Spirit of Ohio." - During the contest, Notre Dame football head coach Brian Kelly and the rest of the Irish sideline wore the adidas Breast Cancer Collection, a line of apparel and headwear created to support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Notre Dame players also sported pink arm, wrist and head bands as well as pink gloves. - The weather for Saturday's game was so perfect, Notre Dame Stadium announcer Mike Collins quipped you could "put it in a bottle and sell it." The warm, sunny temperatures were certainly noted by NBC News' Chief Environmental Affairs correspondent Anne Thompson ('79), who may have jotted down a few notes for an upcoming report on global warming. She stopped by the Monogram Club pregame reception on Saturday to share some stories and memories, as she roomed with Devine's daughter, Sarah, during her undergrad career at Notre Dame and has remained close with the family ... During her 14-year career with NBC News, Thompson has covered a number of front-page global events, including the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., the Martha Stewart trial, the Columbine school shooting, and the 2010 Gulf Oil spill. She won an Emmy for her extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina in 2004. - Comedian Brian Regan enjoyed Friday's Dan Devine statue dedication and reception as a guest of the Devine family. Hopefully his flight to South Bend went smoothly, because he's been known to poke a little fun at the airline industry. - The Muse spotted former NBA standout Pat Garrity ('97) at events throughout the weekend, including the Devine proceedings on Friday afternoon. Garrity received his MBA from Duke University this past spring and has moved on to a financial services career in Connecticut. The Muse wonders if Pat can still throw it down like he did during his time with the Magic.
- 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)
- 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.
Fighting Irish Digital Media intern Josh Flynt ('11) continues to provide the inside scoop on the Notre Dame football program for Irish UNDerground. Here's a look at what to watch for this weekend when the Irish return to the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium ... Home Sweet Home: It's been a few weeks since the Irish were back home under the Dome. After a short trip to West Lafayette last Saturday, Notre Dame will spend the rest of October at home in South Bend. The matchup with Air Force will be the first of three home games this month. After this weekend, the Irish will have two weeks to prepare for a primetime showdown with USC on Oct. 22 before squaring off against Navy during Halloween weekend. As head coach Brian Kelly said on Tuesday, "Our guys love playing at home. There's nothing better than the pageantry of Notre Dame game day." However, the excitement of a home game can also be accompanied by many distractions, which the Irish will need to put aside if they hope to continue their three-game winning streak. "I've talked about this several times. There's a balancing act. You'd like to be at home, but you don't mind being away once in a while because it allows you to really focus," Kelly added. Honoring Devine: On Friday afternoon, a sculpture of former Irish head coach Dan Devine will be dedicated at Gate A of Notre Dame Stadium. Devine, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the coach of the 1977 national championship team, will be the fifth Notre Dame football coach to be recognized outside the stadium. After this weekend's dedication, each of the University's national championship coaches - including Knute Rockne (north tunnel), Ara Parseghian (Gate B), Frank Leahy (Gate C) and Lou Holtz (Gate D) - will have been honored with a statue. Option Attack: In my experience playing video games, the option playbook is one of the most fun offensive sets. If I ever told that to a defensive coordinator, he would probably laugh at me. While it may be a fun scheme for the offense or in a video game, the option and its occasional trickery can give the defense nightmares. Notre Dame's rushing defense has been one of its key strengths through the season's first five games. The Irish have limited the strong running games of teams such as Michigan State and Pittsburgh, but perhaps their biggest test will come against an Air Force squad that is one of the best in the nation on the ground. In addition, quarterback Tim Jefferson remains a threat passing the ball as well. The Falcons, do not throw often, but when they do, they're efficient. Jefferson has completed 70% of his passes for 493 yards this season.
Former Notre Dame standouts Bilal Duckett and Philip Tuttle will be among a group of professional soccer players that will take part in a mission trip to Haiti in December to visit orphanages and conduct soccer clinics to help the children and young adults of the country. Haiti, which is located in the Caribbean, has been in need of support ever since a major earthquake ravaged the country in January of 2010. The natural disaster left over 300,000 people dead and 1.6 million people homeless. The Vision International Ministries (VIM) is sponsoring the mission. Tuttle's mother, Annette, is in full-time ministry at Shiloh Community Church in Manchester, N.H., and she oversees the mission program there in addition to working with VIM. This will be Annette's fourth trip to Haiti since the earthquake. She has also traveled to the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia and the Dominican Republic. "VIM uses medical clinics as their main focus while sharing the love of God to the various people they come across," says Philip Tuttle. "However, this trip will focus on preaching the gospel through soccer clinics as well as visiting orphanages to minister to the children. Soccer is the national sport of Haiti so we are excited to have a number of professional players coming with us. There will be 15 people heading down and five of them currently are professional players. I am excited to watch as God uses these players and the game of soccer to minister to the children and young adults of Haiti." Tuttle was a goalkeeper for the Irish from 2006-10 and he now plays for the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer Leagues (USL) PRO. Tuttle played in 33 career games, including 29 starts, with the Irish and he registered a 16-10-4 record with nine shutouts. "I have always wanted to go on a mission trip to another country and I'm thankful to be given the opportunity to use a game that has given me so much joy and excitement over the years as a tool to help others in need," adds Tuttle. "This is the first soccer specific trip VIM has ever done and I see it as an exploratory one. When I first asked Bilal (Duckett) about going he didn't hesitate at all. I asked him if he had any plans for the offseason and when I began to explain what my plan was he jumped right on board. Since then the trip has grown. "We've had a number of responses from other professional players who share the same passion as us that we've actually had to turn them down due to a lack of accommodations in Haiti. I see this as the first of many trips to different countries all over the world and in the future would like to bring as many Notre Dame players as possible." Duckett currently plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer (MLS). The club selected him in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The Georgia native started 40 of a possible 42 matches at right back during his junior and senior seasons at Notre Dame. Duckett helped the Irish post 14 shutouts during that time. "I got on board with the trip quickly because I feel that I've been given a great opportunity as a professional soccer player to give back to the community," states Duckett. "We all heard about the tragic earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Although it's no longer breaking news, there's still a lot to be done for the people in Haiti. We hope that we can bring some joy and supplies to Haitians."
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