Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 52 of 63 AUGUST 2017 53 class that was ranked No. 13 nation- ally by Rivals. That's hardly the standard for the operation, but somewhat a pleasant surprise considering the circum- stances. NFL DRAFT GIVES AND TAKES AWAY After he threw for five touchdowns and rushed for another in Notre Dame's 50-47 loss at Texas in the sea- son opener, junior quarterback De- Shone Kizer was projected by some as a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, after leading Notre Dame to three come-from-behind victories in 2015, the Toledo, Ohio, native struggled mightily when the game was on the line. Despite having two years of eligibility remaining, Kizer decided to leave Notre Dame and enter the NFL Draft. Top Five Female Athletes 1. LEE KIEFER (Fencing) While helping lead the fencers to the team national title, Kiefer in the foil made history by becom- ing only the third fencer ever — man or woman — to be a four-time NCAA national champion in the same event. 2. Francesca Russo (Fencing) Joining Kiefer as an individual national champion was the junior Russo, who took the No. 1 spot in the sabre event. She accomplished the same as a freshman two years earlier. 3. Anna Rohrer (Cross Country/Track) Following in the tradition of former Irish long-distance running luminaries Molly Huddle and Molly Seidel, the sophomore was named ACC Performer of the Year in women's cross country and finished third in the 6,000-meter race at the NCAA Championships (19:44.6). In indoor competition, the first- team All-American took bronze in the 5,000 meters (15:29.83). 4. Karley Wester (Softball) This is another career award distinction more than just for one single season. The senior outfielder was a four-time All-ACC selection, three of them on the first team, including this season. 5. Brianna Turner & Lindsay Allen (Basketball) The junior Turner merited second team Associated Press All-America notice, while Allen — the all- time ACC leader in assists — was named to the third unit. Honorable mention: Sophomore Ali Wester, the younger sister of senior standout Karley Wester, batted .398 and was a first-team All-ACC pick for the women's softball team. Senior lacrosse standouts Cortney Fortunato and Casey Pearsall earned All-America notice for the 11-8 Irish. Lee Kiefer made history as a rare four-time national champion while also helping the Irish capture their ninth team championship in fencing. PHOTO COURTESY USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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