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Notre Dame College Powering Through MARC

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Notre Dame College Powering Through MARC

Take a look at the MARC Men's DII conference and you'll see plenty of teams with nice records, such as IUP and Rowan in Tier I, and East Stroudsburg and York in Tier II, but if you look closer you'll see that the team to watch is another - Notre Dame College.

The varsity program is third in Tier I, but only because they have played one less game than IUP and Rowan (who are bother 4-1), and at 4-0 are poised to bypass the other two. Not convinced? Have a look at this one stat: 17 points allowed in four games. No team in MARC Tier I is even close to that number.

"I am very happy with our defense," said Notre Dame's Head Coach, Brian McCue. "The guys have really defended well. What helped us a lot was scheduling DI teams early in the season. We know that if we want to compete at the national level in DII we have to know what it's like to play under pressure. Those games really helped us."

Looking ahead to the possibility of the national DII playoffs, Notre Dame also is thinking they might move up to DI next year. It would make sense if they keep dominating games in the MARC. (It doesn't hurt that the Notre Dame women's team has been even more dominant in their conference.)

That's all in the future. Right now Notre Dame could well be a team spoken in the same hushed tones as Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Salisbury, James Madison, and Towson.

Led by junior flanker Everett Smith and No. 8 Tom Walsh, with center Marcus Tupuola a threat out wide, the Falcons have a chance to really make a big statement this weekend as they face 4-1 IUP. With Rowan idle this weekend, Notre Dame could leapfrog up from 3rd to 1st in MARC Tier I. A week later they are favored against Drexel, while Roan finishes up their schedule, and IUP is idle. It looks as though, after playing catchup in the standings all season, the Falcons will be flying high by the end of the regular season.

And it might all be due to the tough games they scheduled as warmups back in September.

After the regular season is done, the MARC will hold a playoff Nov. 8-9 in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The top three teams from Tier I - which looks to be Notre Dame, Rowa, and IUP in that order, will be joined by the top team from Tier II, which will be either York or East Stroudsburg. ESU and York face off this weekend.