Crunch Time

Author: Michael Lee

Crunch Time

After a challenging year due to COVID-19, the return of a normal fall semester has brought with it the resurgence of fall sports. So far, the women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball and cross country teams have seen plenty of action. They have practiced hard and performed their best at home and on the road. These teams have been grateful for all the support from the fans and are eager to maintain the Fighting Irish spirit. They have continued to honor and represent the five pillars of the athletic department: Excellence, Community, Education, Faith, and Tradition.

The fall season began with the women's soccer team getting off to a hot start. They hold a record of 12-1-1, and their only loss was against Missouri in overtime. Nevertheless, they have won all of their conference games and are well on their way to a strong showing in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. Sammi Fisher leads the team with 10 goals.

The men’s soccer team also began competing early this semester. After playing several exhibition games, they lost their first game against Indiana in dramatic fashion, dropping a hard-fought game in overtime. Still, they hold a record of 7-4-1 and are looking to improve their record before postseason play begins. Jack Lynn leads the team with six goals scored, followed by Eno Nto with five and Matthew Roou with four.

The volleyball team began their season at Purcell Pavilion against Western Kentucky. Although they lost in three sets, the team maintained their focus and powered through the next day, defeating both Oakland and Loyola Chicago. They currently hold a 7-9 record, but they still have matches to come that could decide their postseason fate. In the meantime, they will continue to practice diligently and find ways to improve as a team.

The cross country team has competed in only three meets thus far. In their first meet at Valparaiso, the men’s team placed first and the women’s team placed second. Zach Kreft led the men’s team and won the men’s race, while Maddie King led the women’s team and placed second. Two weeks later, the teams competed well at home and both placed first in the annual National Catholic Championship. Kate Wiser and Tom Seitzer both led their respective teams, placing first in their races. Finally, their most recent meet was also at home for the Joe Piane Invitational, where the men’s team placed eleventh and the women’s team placed fourteenth.

The men’s golf team began their season early in September at Marquette, where they placed second after the final round. A week later, they improved at the Minnesota Gopher Invitational, where they tied for first after the final round. Two weeks later at the Windon Invitational at Northwestern, the team placed third after the final round. Recently, they hosted the Fighting Irish Classic, where they ended up placing second behind the University of Washington. They will not have another tournament until after fall break, so the team has the opportunity to improve with plenty of season left to play. 

The women’s golf team began their season at the University of Michigan Wolverine Invitational, where they placed thirteenth. A week later, they improved at the University of Wisconsin Invitational, where they placed second after the final round. Their next tournament is coming soon at the University of Illinois Invitational, and they hope to keep improving as the season progresses.

Around the middle of September, the men’s tennis team began their season by competing at the ITF (International Tennis Federation) Futures held at the University of Illinois. Afterwards, two individuals from the team, Connor Fu and Aditya Vashistha, competed at the Milwaukee Classic. A week later, the team competed at home in the Bobby Bayliss Invitational, where they racked up 20 wins. Sophomore Jean-Marc Malkowski was named to the All-Tournament Team.  

Finally, the women’s tennis team began their season at the ITA Midwest Regionals at the University of Illinois. Julia Andreach and Carrie Beckman qualified in both singles and doubles to compete in the Super Regionals along with their teammates Page Freeman and Julia Lilien, who already earned their spots based on ranking. A week later, the team competed at the Michigan Invite where they struggled against a competitive field.