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    A New Home

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    While our student-athletes have been working hard in preparation for the start of the fall season, we've also made a few improvements in anticipation of the new school year.

    From this point forward, Irish UNDerground will be utilizing the Wordpress platform powered by NBC Sports.

    Here's a look at our three new blog websites:

    UNDerground: Notre Dame Athletics

    Strong and True: Notre Dame Football

    Irish United: Notre Dame Men's and Women's Soccer

    Go ahead and bookmark these now. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside the athletic department, we are committed to bringing you coverage of Notre Dame athletics unlike any you can find elsewhere.

    Get ready. 2012-13 is going to be an exciting year to be Irish.

    Get to Know Melissa Henderson

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    Former Irish women's soccer star Melissa Henderson ('12) is continuing her career at the next level, playing with the Boston Breakers of the Women's Professional Soccer League Elite (WPSL Elite). Through ten games, Melissa's squad is 8-2-0 and tied with Chicago for first place.

    Check out the video above from the Breakers' YouTube channel (BostonBreakerstv) featuring a Q&A with the Garland, Tex. native.

    While you're at it, here's a look back at "Student. Athlete. Irish.," a Fighting Irish Digital Media series that Melissa was featured in last fall.

    Coach Waldrum In Norway

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    Notre Dame women's soccer head coach Randy Waldrum currently is in Norway as part of his role as the head coach of the United States Under-23 Women's National Team, leading a 17-player roster that includes former Fighting Irish two-time All-America forward and 2010 Honda Sports Award recipient Melissa Henderson.

    The Americans are scheduled to play three exhibitions in the coming days, facing the Sweden U-23s (noon ET, Friday) and the Norwegian U-23s (noon ET, Sunday; 6 a.m. ET June 19), with all three matches to be played in Stjordal, Norway. During his trip, Coach Waldrum will offer his unique insights on the United States' highest youth level national team (one rung below the Women's National Team that will compete in the London Olympics later this summer), as well as the sights and sounds from an unforgettable trip to Scandinavia.

    Sunday, June 17

    USA U23s - 2012 Three Nations Champions.JPG

    Champions!!! The US U-23's defeated Norway 4-1 today to win the Three Nations Tournament. Norway had defeated Sweden 4-2 earlier in the week, we tied Sweden 1-1, so the championship came down to today's game. We played very well for most of 90 minutes and you can see that we are getting better each day we are together. Our tie against Sweden was the first time we had played this team of players together and we got better in the second half of that game. It continued on today and we look much more comfortable with each other today.

    We went ahead 1-0 with a goal from Sarah Hagen who intercepted a pass out from the Norwegian goalkeeper. She did a great job of finishing it off and punishing them for that mistake. Norway came back a few minutes later to tie the score at 1-1 off of a counter attack when we turned the ball over in midfield. Then Amanda DaCosta put us ahead shortly after Norway had tied the game with a goal that came after several shots of ours was blocked by the goalkeeper and Norwegian defense. Then later before halftime Morgan Marlborough broke free down the flank and scored from a very difficult angle to put us up 3-1 at the half.

    We played very well in the second half continuing to build on our performance and we were rewarded with a fourth goal late when Courtney Verloo tracked down a lose ball and beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball. She cut the ball back from the endline and found Stephanie Ochs who curled a left footed shot into the upper 90 from about 20 yds out. The rest of the game was managed very well by a team that had the look of a true professional team! Very proud of these young women...

    We will train light in the morning and then go into the town of Trondheim where we will shop and have dinner out. Then on Tuesday we will play Norway again in a friendly game before we head home on Wednesday! I'm looking forward to an afternoon away from here and seeing a different part of Norway. I am hoping to go see the men's professional team of Rosenborg train tomorrow while in Trondheim...I can do without the shopping!!!

    But thank you to all of you that had us in your thoughts today, and for all the well wishes I received before the game! As I've always said, there are no better fans than those of the Irish Nation!!!!

    Checking In With Randy Waldrum

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    Women's soccer head coach Randy Waldrum, who is currently serving in a similar capacity with the United States Under-23 Women's National Team, checks in with Irish UNDerground from La Manga, Spain ... from Feb. 20-March 2 the team will compete in the Four Nations Tournament that also features the U-23 sides from Sweden, England and Norway ... Waldrum has named a team for his first international matches at the helm of the USA's oldest youth national team that features four players with experience playing in WPS and an additional five players who were high draft picks this past January ... the roster is rounded out with some of the top collegiate players in the country ... for more pictures of Waldrum's experience in La Manga, click here!

    Thursday, March 1 - Four Nations Cup Champions! USA defeats Norway 5-0 in what proved to be the championship game to capture the title in La Manga. I'm so proud of the way this team responded to the loss to England on Tuesday. We came out today with intensity, focus, and the standard of excellence that is expected from our U.S. National Teams.

    We couldn't ask for a better start with early goals coming from Sinead Farrelly and Amber Brooks. Then as halftime neared Sinead scored once again to give us a 3-0 lead at the half. The only thing to do then was to make sure we kept our intensity high, not turn the ball over in dangerous areas, and add to our lead if possible. It was a great exercise in learning how to manage the game at the international level when you have the lead. Morgan Marlborough scored a great goal to put us up by four in the second half, and then Taylor Lytle scored to put the game more than out of reach with our 5th goal of the day.

    Interesting tournament as Norway opened the tournament up coming from behind to defeat England 2-1. We then knocked off Sweden 2-0. The next round saw Sweden defeating Norway 3-0, and England defeating the US 2-1. So going into today's final round every team had one loss and one win. The first game today pitted Sweden against England, and that game ended in a 2-2 tie. Therefore as long as there was a winner in our game, whomever won was going to be the Champion. Luckily for us our team came out to play right from the start, learning from the slow start of the England game.

    Amber Brooks was named the tournament MVP and she is our captain. The funny thing is they called her up first to receive the tournament MVP trophy which was this nice glass trophy. She accepted the trophy and brought it back to where our team was. Then with all four teams and the fans around the center circle, she was asked to come up again as the captain and accept our championship trophy which she did. Then when she got back to the team, she bent over to set it on the ground and the top fell off of it and it landed on her MVP trophy breaking both of them ... the other three teams plus our own could not stop laughing ... it was hilarious! I teased her that she was Sergio Ramos the captain of Real Madrid who while celebrating a recent championship on top of a bus as it drove through the parade downtown, dropped the championship trophy and the bus ran over it!

    Guess you would have had to been there, but trust me it was so funny! Hopefully U.S. Soccer is not mad!

    La Manga and the resort was a great host, it was an incredible week for all of us, and I couldn't have asked for a better group to coach. They worked hard, played well for the most part, and represented the USA the way I want them to. Our staff was amazing and contributed greatly to our success. Special thanks to assistants Bryan Blitz of Missouri, and Phil Wheddon of Syracuse. Also to the support staff of Ryan, Phil, Doc, and Ryan for their work behind the scenes keeping us healthy, organized, and taken care of in every way.

    It was a great experience too for both myself and Jazmin Hall who I hope now understands what it takes to continue to compete at the highest level possible. I think she will return to campus newly focused and pushing herself and her teammates to achieve even more. Thanks to all of you who have tweeted, emailed, and followed this journey of ours, and I'm so proud to represent Notre Dame with this USA team!

    Until the next trip to Norway in June ...

    Go Irish!

    Twas the Night Before Christmas ...

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    Irish Update

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    What Would You Fight For?

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    Student. Athlete. Irish.

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    Irish Update

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    Ask Us Before You Ask Them

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