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    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    1. Season tickets for the 2011-12 Notre Dame hockey schedule at the new Compton Family Ice Arena will go on sale to the public tomorrow (July 7) beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Murnane Ticket Office, by calling 574-631-7356 or by logging on to und.com/tickets. Prices start at just $252 for adults and $126 for youth/seniors. The new Compton Family Ice Arena features great sightlines from all three seating levels -- on the glass, in the main seating bowl and the mezzanine level -- wide concourses with plenty of concession stands, restrooms and state-of-the-art video boards to enhance your game-day experience. A seating chart for the Compton Family Ice Arena is available at the und.com/tickets page on the Notre Dame website. New season ticket holders will receive all games that will be played in the Compton Family Ice Arena and will have the option of purchasing tickets for all games played at the Joyce Center (Oct.13-14 vs. Ohio State and possibly the Oct. 21 game against Rensselaer). This year's Fighting Irish home schedule (at the Compton Family Ice Arena) features games with Boston College, Northeastern, Boston University, Michigan, Michigan State, Alaska, Ferris State, Western Michigan and Bowling Green and a January exhibition game against the Russian Red Stars. Here's what a new Notre Dame hockey season ticket holder will receive:

      1. A 10% discount on tickets

      2. Exclusive "Open House" at the Compton Family Ice Arena (Date to be determined)

      3. An limited edition Compton Family Ice Arena gift for each ticket holder account

      4. The opportunity to attend monthly (Oct.-Feb.) Question and Answer sessions in O'Brien's on the Compton Family Ice Arena club level with head coach Jeff Jackson

      5. Pre-sale access for the Brian Boitano Skating Spectacular (and any similar events that will take place at the Compton Family Ice Arena)

      6. One free public skating voucher for each season ticket purchased

      7. E-newsletters throughout the season

    On Wednesday, July 13, WSBT Radio's Sportsbeat will be broadcasting live from in front of the Murnane Ticket office from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.. The ticket office will remain open until 7:00 p.m. that evening to allow all fans the opportunity to purchase their tickets. Coach Jeff Jackson and members of the team will be in attendance at the event throughout the two-hour live broadcast along with a special appearance by the Notre Dame Zamboni. Maury's Pat's Colonial Pub will provide hot dogs at the event -- with Gatorade and popsicles also available. Fans who purchase new season tickets prior to or during the event will receive a coupon that will enter them into a drawing for autographed memorabilia from Coach Jackson and members of the Irish hockey team.

    2. The University of Notre Dame football team placed two student-athletes on the Maxwell Award Watch List and one on the Bednarik Award Watch List, it was announced Tuesday. Junior QB Dayne Crist and senior WR Michael Floyd were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, while junior LB Manti Te'o earned recognition on the Bendarik Award Watch List. The Maxwell Award is given to college football's player of the year, and the Chuck Bednarik Award is given to thedefensive player of the year in college football.

    3. Former Notre Dame All-America runner Molly Huddle won the women's 5,000-meter title at the USA Track & Field Championships, which were held June 23-26 at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. In addition to Huddle's title, former Irish standout Mary Saxer placed fifth in the pole vault. Huddle, who holds the American women's record in the 5,000 meters, clocked a time of 15:10.01 to earn her first national title. The victory guarantees her a spot in the IAAF World Championships in South Korea to be held Aug. 27-Sept. 4. It was Huddle's second title of the year, as she won the 5,000meters at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 15. Huddle concluded her Irish career in 2007 with a school-record 10 All-America designations. Saxer earned a fifth-place finish in the pole vault, with a jump of 4.40m (14 feet, 5 1/4 inches). Saxer graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 after earning All-America status on three occasions. As a senior, she placed in the top 10 at both the NCAA Indoor (ninth) and Outdoor (third) championships.

    4. The Notre Dame men's basketball team will face a familiar BIG EAST foe twice during the 2011-12 conference regular season, as the Irish will take on defending national champion Connecticut in a home-and-home series for the fifth consecutive year. The conference released its regular-season matrix on June 30 for the upcoming campaign. In addition to the Huskies, Notre Dame's two other repeat opponents for the '11-'12 seasonwill be Rutgers and West Virginia. The upcoming '11-'12 season will mark the fifth year since expansion that the Conference will be employing an 18-game regular-season slate with all teamsplaying each other at least once and three opponents twice (home and away). Notre Dame will head into this season riding a 19-game home win streak (dating back to the final two games of the2009-10 season) at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center as it finished undefeated at home last year (17-0). In fact, the Irish have finished undefeated at Purcell Pavilion in three of the last five years. The Irish's single-game home opponents this season will be DePaul, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, USF and Syracuse. Notre Dame's nine-game conference road slate will be highlighted by visits to Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova. Each of the 16 BIG EAST teams will play either 12 or 13 conference games against NCAA tournament teams.

    5. Fewer than 400 tickets remain to win a VIP Weekend package to the Oct. 22 football game between Notre Dame and USC. Enjoy one of the most highly anticipated football games of the fall in VIP style courtesy of the Notre Dame Monogram Club. The Irish will play a night game in Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since 1990, so don't miss out on a unique opportunity to be there when the Irish battle the Trojans in this annual rivalry game. Grand prize includes:

    • Two seats for the game between Notre Dame and USC

    • Two pre-game field passes

    • Hotel accommodations Friday and Saturday nights (Inn at Saint Mary's)

    • Two tickets to the Friday football luncheon in the Joyce Center

    • Two tickets to the Friday night reception in the Schivarelli Football Players' Lounge located in Notre Dame Stadium.

    • One VIP game-day parking pass

    • Two tickets to the athletic department's pre-game hospitality village

    • Gift bag of Notre Dame gear and apparel

    Entrants do not have to be Monogram winners. Upon purchasing a raffle ticket online, a confirmation will be sent to your provided email address. Be sure to print this confirmation email for your records. If you have any questions, please call the Monogram Club office at 574-631-5450. The grand prize drawing is scheduled to take place Sept. 21, 2011 -- and the winner will be contacted by a MonogramClub staff member. Winners taking part in the VIP Weekend must be over the age of 18.

    6. Notre Dame softball head coach Deanna Gumpf and her five-year old daughter, Tatum, recently presented a check for $12,046 to the pediatric oncology unit of the South Bend Memorial Hospital. The Irish softball program raised more money than any other school in the nation this past season as part of the NFCA's Strikeout Cancer initiative. Notre Dame's Strikeout Cancer game was played against Louisville on April 17. Louisville even auctioned off its game-worn jerseys and donated the money to Notre Dame's cause. Tatum, who was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of that contest. "It was very emotional for all of us, because that was the first game she was able to attend since she was diagnosed," said Gumpf, whose team advanced to the regional round of the 2011 NCAA Softball Championship. "It was very cool, and Tatum loved every minute of it." The Gumpf family recently returned from its "Make a Wish" trip in Orlando. Tatum brought along her mother, father and older brother, Brady. The family splittime at the Disney, Sea World and Universal theme parks. Tatum continues to take medication daily and makes regular visits for treatments and checkups.

    7. Notre Dame head diving coach Caiming Xie recently accepted an offer to aid the United States diving team as an assistant coach and interpreter for the FISU World University Games (Aug. 11-23) in Shenzen, China. Caiming, the reigning BIG EAST Conference men'sdiving coach of the year, will enter his 17th season with the Irish in 2011-12. A tutor of numerous conference champions, All-Americans and Olympians, Caiming boasts a wealth of international experience on his resume. Caiming served as the 1980 Chinese Olympic diving coach. He also has served as a technical consultant for United States Diving since 1994 and has held clinics and presentations for the United States Diving national team. TheChinese national team coach from 1977-90, Caiming coached Sun Shu-Wei, a gold medalist in the men's platform competition at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and Zhu Jin-Hong, who finished fourth in the women's platform in Barcelona. Caiming's divers alsohave earned medals at the Asian Games, World Cup, World University Games and World Championships. In 2009, he was an assistant coach for the United States at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. The United States earned six medals at the event.

    8. Notre Dame rising senior Petar Petrovic recently set the Serbian swimming record in the 100 back after going 56.99 (long-course meters) at a national meet in his native country. The performance was 0.5 seconds short of earning an invitation to the upcoming World Championships. Later in the same meet, Petrovic went 27.03 in the 50 back to finish among the head of the pack in that race. The Notre Dame record holder in the 100 back, Petrovic also earned the Serbian title in the 50 back in 2006.

    9. From her experiences on Notre Dame's first varsity women's basketball team to her current career as one of the top eye physicians in the nation, it seems only fitting that Dr. Carol Lally Shields be described as a visionary. For her pioneering efforts in the classroom, on the playing court, and in her professional work, Lally Shields was inducted into the Capital One Academic All-America® Hall of Fame during a ceremony last week at the Marco Island (Fla.) Marriott Resort & Spa, inconjunction with the College Sports Information Directors of America's (CoSIDA) annual workshop. Lally Shields becomes the sixth former Notre Dame student-athlete to be inducted into the Capital One Academic All-America® Hall of Fame, as selected by CoSIDA members. Since the Hall of Fame's inception in 1988, 112 individuals have been distinguished with the honor. After accepting the award from CoSIDA president Larry Dougherty, Lally Shields sat down for an onstage interview session with event emcee and ESPN personalityRece Davis. In addition to discussing her work as an ophthalmologist, Lally Shields spoke about the art of balancing academics and athletics during her time as a student-athlete at Notre Dame and how crafting the skills of time management and self discipline prepared her for a career in medicine. "I worried that being an athlete at Notre Dame would take away from my studies, but, in fact, it was the exact opposite," Lally Shields said. "When I came back from practices, I felt good about myself and I was able to put mymind to my work. It helped me academically and led me to develop a sense of pride in myself. I believed that I could accomplish anything." Lally Shields was joined at the gala by four other inductees as members of the Class of 2011, including Wabash College basketball player Peter Metzelaars ('82), track and field star Dr. Randall Pinkett from Rutgers University ('94), women's volleyball standout Dr. Julie Bremner Romias ('94) of UCLA and NCAA champion diver Dr. Megan Neyer ('86) from the University of Florida. Lally Shields becomes the first female Notre Dame student-athlete to be inducted into the Capital One Academic All-America® Hall of Fame. The other Fighting Irish inductees have been former football players Bob Burger (a 2006 inductee), Robert Thomas (a 1996 inductee), Dave Casper (a 1993 inductee) and Joe Theismann (a 1990 inductee) as well as basketball standout John Paxson (a 2005 inductee). Lally Shields becomes part of the Hall of Fame as an honorary member. Annually, the Academic All-America® Hall of Fame and CoSIDA honor aworthy candidate whose collegiate career preceded the program in their particular sport. The eligible candidate's academic and athletic achievements must meet minimum criteria for selection to the Academic All-America®. As a senior in 1979, she became the first woman at Notre Dame to receive the Byron Kanaley Award, which is presented annually to senior student-athletes for excellence in athletics, academics and leadership. It is the highest honor bestowed to a student-athlete at the University. As a junior, she led the Fighting Irish in scoring at 10.7 points per game in the first year of the varsity program at Notre Dame and averaged 12.8 points per game during her senior campaign. Lally Shields was the team's most valuable player in 1978-79 and also was the winner of the '79 Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete award for excellence in academics and athletics after earning Dean's List recognition all eight semesters. Lally Shields served as team captain in her senior season and graduated with a 3.91 cumulative grade-point average with a degree in pre-professional studies from the College of Science. Following graduation, she went on to earn her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. A world-renowned ophthalmologist, Lally Shields was presented an honorary doctorate of science degree from Notre Dame in 2005. She currently is an ocular oncologist at the Wills Eye Institute, America's first eye hospital located in Philadelphia, Pa. Throughout her professional career, Lally Shields has been the recipient ofnumerous awards, including The Retina Research Award of the Retina Society in 2006 that honors and supports an active researcher in the field of retinal disease. The Philadelphia Magazine has recognized Lally Shields as a top doctor in Philadelphia annually since 1994. She was first woman recipient of the Donders Award given annually to an ophthalmologist of international acclaim by the Netherlands Ophthalmological Society.In 2006, Lally Shields became the first woman to receive the Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award presented by the Notre Dame Monogram Club and given to active club members who are distinguished in their profession, demonstrate responsibility to and concern for the community, and display an outstandingdedication to the spirit and ideals of Notre Dame.

    10. GrassrootSoccer staff, coaches and participants last week had the honor of meeting First Lady Michelle Obama along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu during Mrs. Obama's visit to South Africa. The First Lady met with Tommy Clark, M.D., the founder and CEO of Grassroot Soccer. Clark is the eldest son of Notre Dame men's soccer head coach Bobby Clark. Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is an international non-governmental organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV. To date, GRS has educated 400,000 young Africans in HIV prevention towards a goal of one million youth by World Cup 2014. As part of her mission to inspire young people, Mrs. Obama paid a special visit to Cape Town Stadium, home of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where she addressed a group of 100 youth and participated in HIV prevention activities led by GRS coaches. During a briefing with Dr. Clark and Mphakiseng Molefe (the assistant master coach), Mrs. Obama and Archbishop Tutu learned about the history and mission of GRS. Mphakiseng told her story of growing up in a risky environment and how GRS enabled her to overcome the challenges she faced as a young South African woman. Her experience with GRS now allows her to teach young people to make the best decisions for their future. She also shared how GRS has given her unique opportunities to become a youth leader in her community. Mrs. Obama and Archbishop Tutu participated in two Grassroot Soccer Skillz activities designed to teach HIV prevention and life skills to young people. They cheered on the students and dribbled a soccer ball alongside them, demonstrating their enthusiasm for youth education and empowerment.

    11. The 2010 Notre Dame football game programs were voted best in the nation among all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.

    12. The Notre Dame fencing program has promoted Gia Kvaratskhelia to the position of associate head coach, it was announced by Irish head coach Janusz Bednarski. Kvaratskhelia will continue to work primarily with the foilists in terms of his coaching responsibilities on the strip, but he will now also be the primary assistant to the head coach in terms of recruiting, scheduling, public relations, compliance, academic services, summer camps, and administration of the overall program. In February 2011, Kvaratskhelia also was honored for his international feats, being named the2010 U.S. Fencing National Coach of the Year. For the past three year's Kvaratskhelia served as one of the designated coaches of the U.S. men's andwomen's foil team, travelling to Marseille with the cadet boys and girls championships, Budapest for the junior women's foil championships and London for the junior men's foil championships.During his four seasons at Notre Dame, the Irish have qualified the maximum 12 fencers for the NCAA Championship each year, including the national championship effort in 2011 that saw Ariel DeSmet take home the gold medal in men's foil. It marked the second-straight gold medal for the Irish in foil, as Gerek Meinhardt took home the title in 2010. In addition, he has helped guide 14 foilists to All-American status. Kvaratskhelia came to Notre Dame following 10 years as the coach of the Kanza Fencing Club in Salina, Kan. He transformed the club from a small recreational club into one of the nation's top foil centers, earning 2002 USFA National Developmental Coach of the Year honors.Kanza fencers appeared in the national finals on 15 occasions, receiving nearly 50 national medals. Kanza also produced Notre Dame's Steve Kubik and Teddy and Grant Hodges. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Kvaratskhelia graduated from the Georgian State Physical Training Institute in Tbilisi and was pursuing a graduate degree in journalism from Tbilisi State University in 1993 before immigrating to the United States. He became a U.S. citizen in 2004 and is fluent in Georgian, Russian and English. He and his wife, Dani Edson, have one daughter, Maya.

    13. Former Fighting Irish All-American Matt Besler was on this season's Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star ballot. Fans could vote online for their own MLS All-Star starting lineup to face Manchester United on July 27 at Red Bull Arena. Besler, a defender, has started 13 matches this season for Sporting Kansas City. There are 108 players on the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Ballot and fan voting will determine the first 11 players to be named all-stars. Besler played at Notre Dame from 2005-08 and earned first teamAll-America honors during his senior campaign. He 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.

    14. Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes recently announced the addition of 10 student-athletes set to join the women's swimming and diving team while continuing their academic careers at the University starting in the fall of 2011:

    Suzanne Bessire (Orlando, Fla. / Lake Highland Prep)

    Top Times: 200 free (1:48.48), 100 free (50.90), 50 free (23.99).

    Accolades: High school All-American (100 free, 200 free), first teamall-Central Florida, state runner-up in 100 and 200 free.

    --

    Hannah Bowen (Lake Elmo, Minn. / Stillwater High School)

    Top Times: 50 free (22.73), 100 free (49.78), 200 free (1:48.79).

    Accolades: U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, All-American, Minnesota high school record holder in 50 and 100 free, three-time Minnesota state champion in 50 and 100 free.

    --

    Allison Casareto (La Habra Heights, Calif. / Troy High School)

    Accolades: 2011 World Championship Trials qualifier (1-meter), fourth-place finish in 1-meter at 2010 USA Diving Junior Nationals.

    --

    Bridget Casey (Lower Gywnedd, Pa. / Germantown Academy)

    Top Times: 200 fly (2:00.17 / 2:15.76 LCM), 100 fly (55.81), 500 free (4:53.65).

    Accolades: U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier.

    --

    Erin Foley (Foxboro, Mass. / Bishop Feehan High School)

    Top Times: 500 free (4:52.38), 1,000 free (10:00.77), 1,650 free (16:43.55).

    Accolades: Academic All-American, 2010 Massachusetts DII state champion in 200 free and 500 free.

    --

    Molly Geraghty (Dunlap, Ill. / Peoria Notre Dame High School)

    Accolades: Illinois Mid-State 6 Conference Champion, sectional running-up, state qualifier, team captain.

    --

    Emma Reaney (Lawrence, Kansas / Lawrence High School)

    Top Times: 100 breast (1:02.57 / 1:12.11 LCM), 200 breast (2:15.84), 200 IM (2:00.86), 400 IM (4:18.85).

    Accolades: U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier.

    --

    Jordan Russell (Columbus, Ohio/ Upper Arlington High School)

    Accolades: Top-10 age group finish at USA Nationals, third-place showing at Ohio state championships, team captain.

    --

    Melissa Scott (Rochester Hills, Mich. / Rochester Adams High School)

    Events: 200 fly (2:00.06), 400 IM (4:23.91), 100 fly (56.19 / 1:03.36 LCM).

    Accolades: Academic All-American.

    --

    Courtney Whyte (Lafayette, Calif. / Campolindo High School)

    Top Times: 100 fly (55.98), 200 fly (2:02.35).

    15. ESPN.com recently listed its "Simply Saturday" choices for the top 50 players who excelled at the collegiate level but "barely made a ripple in pro football." Former Notre Dame players on the list were Derek Brown (46th), Angelo Bertelli (26th), John Huarte (24th), Tony Rice (17th), Raghib Ismail (13th) and John Lattner (11th). The top three on the list were Archie Griffin (Ohio State), Glenn Davis (Army) and Ernie Davis (Syracuse).

    16. In the "did you know" category, Notre Dame had a 23-year football winning streak on old Cartier Field - losing to Wabash 5-0 on Oct. 21, 1905, and then not losing another home game until falling 27-7 to Carnegie Tech on Nov. 17, 1927.

    17. And a belated happy birthday to former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps - he turned 70 on Monday.

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