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A Season of Growth

Nov 26, 2012, 2:11 PM EDT

photo by Tim Casey photo by Tim Casey

Losses can be difficult to deal with, especially if they are season-ending ones like the Irish’s 1-0 postseason loss to FSU. However, it helps to put things in perspective by looking back to the beginning of the season. The Irish have made tremendous strides since then. If you would have asked anyone how far the Irish would go into postseason, almost no one would have predicted them as a contender in the Elite Eight.

After having a season of ups and downs in 2011, the team struggled to make it into the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round. In the start of the 2012 season, the Irish came out to redeem themselves, but this proved more difficult than they thought. With 12 freshmen on the roster and in the regular line-up, the Irish faced the difficulties of having a rookie team, and they lost three of their first seven matches.

After this, many predicted that the Irish were in for another disappointing season and a lot of people forgot about how good they actually are. These doubters were in for a big surprise come conference play because the Irish pulled together as a team, ended up going 8-1-1 in the BIG EAST and winning a share of the regular season conference title. With each game, the Irish showed improvement and fought to the finish.

This wasn’t enough to get a good spot in the NCAA tournament though. Due to the shaky start to their season, the Irish were not seeded and were placed in a difficult bracket where they would have to face multiple ranked opponents. In spite of this, the team came out week after week to upset seeded teams and prove its true potential by making it all the way to the Elite Eight.

This may have been a surprise to many, but not to the Irish coaches and players. All along they knew their true potential, but it took a season of hard work and improvement for everyone else to see it. This season was not a disappointment, but a success.

The hard work isn’t over though. The team will be working year round so that next fall it will be ready to play and show everyone why you should never forget about the Irish.

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Welcome to Irish United, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to the Notre Dame men's and women's soccer teams. With features, videos, photos, commentaries from coaches and news from inside the program, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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