Aug. 2, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman fencer Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky./Dunbar) was the only Fighting Irish athlete to compete on Thursday at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, taking part in the team foil competition.

In her final action at this year’s Olympics, Kiefer helped the United States finish sixth in the team foil event on Thursday afternoon at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London. The incoming Notre Dame freshman went a combined 3-5-1 in the Americans’ three matches during the competition — each team member fights three times per match, with the total number of touches (points) accumulated by each individual accounting for the team score.

The Americans lost their quarterfinal match to South Korea, 45-31, with Kiefer going 0-3 against Gil Ok Jung (4-1), Hee Sook Jeon (7-1) and Hyun Hee Nam (6-4). The United States then bounced back in its first classification match, defeating Japan, 44-22, behind a 2-1 performance by Kiefer — she shut out Chieko Sugawara (5-0) and Kanae Ikehata (6-0) and dropped a close 6-4 decision to Kyomi Hirata. In the fifth/sixth-place match, the Americans lost to Poland, 45-39, with Kiefer posting a 1-1-1 record in that match, defeating K. Chlewinska (7-2) and tying S. Gruchala (5-5), while falling to M. Synoradzka (5-3).

The 18-year-old Kiefer, who was the youngest U.S. fencer at this year’s Olympics, also reached the quarterfinals in the individual foil competition on July 28.

Three Notre Dame alums will lead their teams into the quarterfinal round of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament. At 9:30 a.m. (ET), two-time gold medalist Shannon Boxx (’99) and the United States will take on New Zealand at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England. Boxx, who injured her hamstring early in the first half of the Americans’ opening match (a 4-2 win over France on July 25), could return to action on Friday in the Olympic quarterfinal. The United States went 3-0-0 to win Group G, outscoring its three preliminary-round opponents, 8-2 in the process. Friday’s U.S. quarterfinal match can be seen live on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, as well as on-line at and through the NBC Live Extra mobile app.

At 2:30 p.m. (ET), Melissa Tancredi (’04), Candace Chapman (’05) and Team Canada will take on the host nation, Great Britain, in another quarterfinal from City of Coventry Stadium in Coventry, England. Tancredi, who scored in all three of her team’s Group F matches (1-1-1 record), leads all players in this year’s Olympic tournament with four goals, including both scores in Canada’s 2-2 draw with Sweden on Tuesday that clinched the Canadians’ second quarterfinal berth in as many Olympic appearances. Meanwhile, Chapman suffered a calf injury late in Canada’s opening contest against Japan (a 2-1 loss on July 25), and her status for Friday’s quarterfinal is not known. The Canada-Great Britain match also will be televised live on NBC Sports Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, as well as on-line at and through the NBC Live Extra mobile app.

With victories in Friday’s quarterfinals, the United States and Canada would be in line to meet in the Olympic women’s soccer semifinals on Monday night.

Also on Friday at the Olympic Basketball Arena in London, Notre Dame junior forward Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, Ontario/St. Mary’s Catholic) will look to help Canada (1-2) even its record and almost certainly lock up a berth in the Olympic quarterfinals when it faces Brazil (0-3) at 9:30 a.m. (ET) in a preliminary-round game. Achonwa is coming off her best game of this year’s Olympics, tallying 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds in Canada’s 64-60 to France on Wednesday morning. Friday’s game with Brazil will be televised live on the NBC Olympic Basketball Channel, as well as on-line at and, and through the NBC Live Extra mobile app.

For more information on Notre Dame participants at the 2012 London Olympics, visit the special Notre Dame Olympics microsite (, the official London Olympics web site ( or the official NBC Olympics web site (

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