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Notre Dame Fall Athletics Set Records, Clinch Conference Crowns
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Notre Dame Fall Athletics Set Records, Clinch Conference Crowns

In its first fall in the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference, Notre Dame College has captured two conference crowns and broke a host of program records─and much of the success has been accomplished on new on-campus athletic fields.

The three programs that immediately benefited from the facilities, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and football, had a combined record of 16-3 at home on Mueller Field and Normandy Field.

Women’s soccer had one of their best seasons in the history of the College. They opened with 11 consecutive victories, a program record. At the end of the year, they went unbeaten (8-0) at home, and captured the College’s first ever Mountain East Conference regular season crown. They fell in the conference championship game, and came just short of making their first NCAA tournament.

Men’s soccer became the first sport in the history of Notre Dame to host an NCAA post season contest. The Falcons had a strong regular season, going 14-2, to capture the first ever Mountain East Conference regular season title. They eventually fell in the conference championship, before dropping a 1-0, double overtime decision to Mercyhurst in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Football matched a program record for most wins in a season. They started the year with three straight wins at their brand new on campus facility, Mueller Field, and they ended the year with back-to-back victories on the road. 11 players earned All Mountain East Conference honors. They finished 5-6 overall with a conference record of 4-5 that was good enough for a seventh place finish.

“Overall, I am pleased with the fall sports performances by our teams,” said Scott Swain, director of athletics at the College. “To have two regular season Mountain East Conference titles in our first season in an NCAA conference is very impressive. I look forward to more successes this upcoming winter and spring.”

The winter sports season is already in session and off to a good start. The men’s bowling team was ranked No. 1 in a recent collegebowling.com poll, while the women’s team was ranked sixth. The wrestling team was the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and is looked at by many as the favorite to win the NCAA-II National Championship.

Here is a sport-by-sport look at other fall finishes for the Falcons:

  • Volleyball finished the season strong, despite a slow start. The highlight of the year came at the end, when they entered the MEC tournament as the 11th seed, and upset the sixth seeded Hilltoppers of West Liberty to advance to the second round. They finished the year with a record of 6-27.
  • Women’s golf had perhaps their best season to date, as they won their first tournament, with a victory in the St. Vincent College Lady Bearcat Invitational, and came in second place in the MEC championships.
  • Men’s golf culminated their season with a fourth place finish at the MEC championships.
  • Men’s water polo ended their season near .500 (12-14), finishing on a high note at the Southern Division Championship. They won their final two games of the season, with victories over Penn State Behrend and Monmouth.
  • Men’s cross country finished fourth in a field of nine teams at the MEC championships. At  regionals, senior Sal Caroniti finished 55th overal and that, combined with his 3.5 GPA ,were good enough to make him an Academic All American. Caroniti also finished fourth at the MEC championships, earning First Team All Conference honors.
  • In women’s cross country, freshman Amber Land was named the MEC’s runner of the week and turned in the fourth best time in Notre Dame history during regionals. Sophomore Amber Ramirez finished right in front of her at the event for the third best time in College history.