Three Notre Dame Student-Athletes Selected As Verizon Academic All-Americans
Mike Adams, Steve Ratay and Leah Ashe selected to spring at-large teams.

June 14, 2001

Notre Dame, Ind. – Three Notre Dame student-athletes – lacrosse standout Mike Adams (Sr., Wilton, Conn.), golfer Steve Ratay (Jr., Arlington Heights, Ill.) and rower Leah Ashe (Sr., Orchard Park, N.Y.) – have been selected to the Verizon Academic All-America At-Large Teams for spring sports.

Adams, who helped lead the Notre Dame lacrosse team to its first-ever NCAA semifinal appearance, was selected as a first team Academic All-American on the At-Large team. He is the first Notre Dame lacrosse player to be named first team and the third Irish lacrosse player chosen a Verizon Academic All-American.

Ratay was named to the third team marking the second consecutive year that a Notre Dame golfer has been named to the team as he joins former teammate and 2000 grad Jeff Connell who was also a third team choice a year ago.

Ashe was the lone Notre Dame selection to the Women’s At-Large team as she took second team honors to become the first rower in school history named as an Academic All-American.

The selection of Adams, Ratay and Ashe to the Verizon Academic All-American team gives the Irish a total of 11 student-athletes selected during the 2000-01 school year, surpassed only by the 12 athletes selected during 1995-96. Notre Dame now has 135 Academic All-Americans (second most all-time) since the program began in 1952.

Adams helped lead the Irish to their first-ever NCAA national semifinal appearance and a school record 14-2 finish. He anchored a Notre Dame defense that ranked third in the nation giving up just 6.93 goals per game and held six opponents to five goals or less. A three-year starter, Adams was named to the USILA Scholar All-America Team and was an USILA honorable mention All-America at defense. He finished his Notre Dame career with three goals and one assist while collecting 118 ground balls. He graduated cum laude (with honors) with a 3.439 grade point average in accounting.

Ratay is coming off an outstanding season which saw him lead Notre Dame with a 73.68 stroke average over 28 rounds. He was the top Irish finisher in five of the team’s ten tournaments which included two firsts, one second and one fourth place finish. Ratay finished in a three-way tie for the BIG EAST Championship with a 54-hole mark of 215 (+5) in late April. During the fall, he tied for first at the Wisconsin Invitational with a 54-hole mark of 212 (-4). The Irish team captain owns a 3.781 grade-point average in Computer Science and has been a Dean’s List selection in all six of his semesters at Notre Dame. He was chosen as the golf team’s winner of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award.

Ashe was a key member of the Notre Dame women’s rowing team that achieved its best season in the three-year history of the program. Rowing in the bow seat of the second varsity eight that finished second at the BIG EAST Rowing Challenge, Ashe was her team’s winner of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley’s Rockne Student-Athlete Award. For the year, the Notre Dame crew team was ranked 16th in the nation and won four races including the Indiana Cup, the Chicago Chase, the Head of the Rock and the Head of the Elk while placing second at the San Diego Crew Classic. Ashe graduated summa cum laude (with high honors) as she finished with a 3.873 grade-point average in mechanical engineering.

Over the past two years, Notre Dame has had 20 student-athletes, representing 10 different teams selected Academic All-American. Baseball, with four, leads the way, followed by softball (3), women’s basketball (2), women’s soccer (2), men’s lacrosse (2), men’s golf (2), hockey (2), men’s soccer (1), women’s track (1) and rowing (1).

The Academic All-America Spring At-Large teams are chosen from student-athletes participating in seven spring sports – rowing (women), lacrosse, indoor/outdoor track, water polo (women), golf, tennis and volleyball (men). The teams are then selected in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America.