Notre Dame Athletics Among The Best In The Nation This Fall
Irish are one of five schools to place three teams in the top five in the country. In all, five of Notre Dame’s fall sports rank in the top 20.

Nov. 4, 2003

The University of Notre Dame boasts five fall sport teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation as of Nov. 4. In addition, three of those teams (#3 women’s soccer, #4 women’s cross country and #5 men’s soccer) are in the top five, placing the Notre Dame athletic program among the elite in the nation this fall.

Across the board, it has been a great fall for Notre Dame’s Olympic Sports and the teams are on pace to post possibly the most successful campaign in school history.

The women’s soccer team, ranked third in the nation, has an overall record of 19-1-1 and will play in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday, Nov. 7. The team posted a 10-match shutout streak earlier this season and has been ranked in the top three for most of the year.

The women’s cross country team, ranked fourth in the nation, won its second-consecutive BIG EAST Championship last weekend at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. The team welcomed back the core of its third-place finishing squad from the 2002 NCAA Championship and is preparing for the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet on Nov. 15, in Terre Haute, Ind.

The men’s soccer team, ranked fifth, has enjoyed a break out season in 2003. The Irish have been among the top 10 teams in the nation for most of the season and have faced seven ranked teams, going 4-2-1 in those contests (12-3-3 overall record). The team plays host to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m.

The women’s volleyball team is currently 19-2, 8-0 in BIG EAST Conference play and riding a 12-match winning streak. Ranked 12th in the nation as of Nov. 3, the squad leads the nation in team blocks per game, has achieved its highest ranking since 1996 and, at 19-2, is off to its second-best start to a season in program history.

The men’s cross country team, currently ranked 18th in the nation, finished second at the highly-competitive BIG EAST Championship last weekend. The group has captured three meet titles this season and is looking to qualify for the NCAA Championship for the fifth-consecutive year as a team.

Notre Dame’s winter sports, just beginning competition have either fared well, or are expected to be among the best in the nation. The men’s hockey team has won six of its first eight games, including a win at #1 Boston College, and is on the verge of cracking into the top 15 in the nation. The men’s basketball team is ranked 19th in the preseason coaches poll as well.

The five schools which have three teams ranked in the top five for fall sports are: USC (#1 men’s water polo, #1 women’s volleyball, #2 football), North Carolina (#3 women’s cross country, #1 women’s soccer, #4 field hockey), UCLA (#2 women’s soccer, #1 men’s soccer, #4 men’s water polo), Stanford (#3 men’s water polo, #1 women’s cross county, #1 men’s cross country) and Notre Dame.

Notre Dame joins Michigan and UCLA as the only three programs in the nation to have five fall sports ranked in the top 25.