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Irish In Rio: Heading Toward Knockout Soccer

Aug. 9, 2016 by Tony Jones

NOTRE DAME, Ind. ââ’¬” A pair of former University of Notre Dame standouts are set to take to the field and sand during the fourth official day of the 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday.

Two-time Notre Dame All-American Melissa Tancredi and Team Canada are set to play the team’s final game of women’s soccer Group F play with a 3 p.m. (ET) showdown against Germany (NBC Sports Live Extra). Canada can clinch the top spot in Group F with a win or draw against the German side, following a 2-0 shutout of Australia on Aug. 3 and a 3-1 triumph over Zimbabwe on Aug. 6.

Tancredi, a mainstay with more than 100 career caps with Team Canada that included a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, has started the first two Canadian matches in Group F at the 2016 Olympics. She saw 60 plus minutes on the pitch in the victory against Zimbabwe after previously exiting in the 23rd minute against Australia.

To cap the day at 8 p.m. (online streaming), former Irish volleyball All-American Angie Akers leads the Netherlands beach volleyball duo of Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist against Karla Borger and Britta Buthe of Germany in Group E. van Gestel and van der Vlist look to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Canada on Aug. 7.

Akers, a three-time all-BIG EAST first team selection and a freshman All-American at Notre Dame, is in her first stint as an Olympic coach after joining the Netherlands coaching staff in 2015. The other Netherlands duo entered into the 2016 Olympics draw, Marlene van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink, posted a 2-0 Group F victory over Costa Rica on Aug. 8.

Yesterday | August 8

–Mariel Zagunis fell short in her bid for a third career individual gold medal in women’s sabre, dropping a 15-12 decision to Russia’s Yekaterina Dyachenko in the Round of 16. Zagunis returns with the U.S. entry in the women’s sabre team event on Aug. 13 (online streaming for Round of 16, medal rounds on MSNBC).

–Amanda Polk made her Olympic debut with the Team USA women’s eight boat in heat one of preliminary rowing, taking first place in the heat with a dominant time of 6:06.34 to finish in open water ahead of the runner-up crew from the Netherlands (6:14.36). Polk and Team USA advanced to the ‘A’ Final of the women’s eight on Aug. 13 (10:04 a.m., online streaming).

–Natalie Achonwa and Team Canada erased a large deficit to down Serbia 71-67 in the second game of Group B play in the women’s basketball draw. Canada outscored the Serbian team 26-10 in the fourth quarter to complete the rally. Canada remained in a tie at the top of Group B with Team USA (four points), and next faces Senegal on Aug. 10 at 4:45 p.m. (online streaming).

–Angie Akers and the Netherlands beach volleyball team of Marlene van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink shut out Costa Rica opponents Karen Cope Charles and Nathlalia Alfaro 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in the preliminary pool of Group F. The Netherlands entry takes on Australia on Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. (online streaming).

–Monty Williams and Team USA blew out Venezuela 113-69 in the men’s basketball preliminary round of Group A to improve to 2-0 in the group stage. The U.S. continue Group A play on Aug. 10 against Australia at 6 p.m. (NBCSN).

Today | August 9

–Melissa Tancredi and the Canadian women’s soccer team look to move to 3-0 in Group F play with a first round meeting with Germany at 3 p.m. (NBC Sports Live Extra).

–Angie Akers will lead the Netherlands beach volleyball duo of Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist as they take on the German team of Karla Borger and Britta Buthe in a preliminary match in Group E at 8 p.m. (online streaming).

Tomorrow | August 10

–Lee Kiefer begins her 2016 Olympic Games in the women’s individual foil Round of 32 at 9:25 a.m. (online streaming). The medal rounds are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (CNBC). Kiefer enters her second career Olympics after placing fifth in the individual foil in 2012.

–Natalie Achonwa and Team Canada look to improve to 3-0 in Group B play in the women’s basketball draw against Senegal at 4:45 p.m. (online streaming).

–Angie Akers and the Netherlands beach volleyball team of Marlene van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink face Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Louise Bawden at 9 a.m. (online streaming).

–Monty Williams and Team USA go for their third win of the men’s basketball preliminary round of Group A against Australia at 6 p.m. (NBCSN).

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Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.