Oct. 18, 2008
2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 16
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15-0-0 / 8-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Connecticut Huskies (5-7-4 / 3-2-3 BIG EAST)
DATE: Oct. 19, 2008
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Storrs, Conn. – Morrone Stadium (5,600)
SERIES: ND leads 17-4-3
1ST MTG: UCONN 5-4 (10/6/95)
LAST MTG: ND 2-1 (10/21/07)
TV: CBS College Sports (live) (Ann Schatz, p-b-p / Tammy Blackburn, color)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
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TICKETS: (877) 288-2666
- Notre Dame will play its final road game of the 2008 regular season, having gone 8-0-0 away from Alumni Field this year (7-0-0 on its opponent’s campus).
- With a victory on Sunday, the Irish can clinch the BIG EAST National Division title. A tie will give Notre Dame a share of the divisional crown.
No. 1 Irish Wind Up Four-Game Road Trip Sunday At Connecticut
Understanding that records don’t mean much when it comes to rivalries, No. 1 Notre Dame and Connecticut will renew arguably the BIG EAST’s top rivalry at 1 p.m. (ET) inside Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. The game will be broadcast live to a national cable audience by CBS College Sports, the second time this season that an Irish game has been televised.
Notre Dame (15-0, 8-0) rolled out a balanced offensive attack in a 5-0 win at Providence on Friday afternoon. Freshman forward Melissa Henderson scored twice, while senior All-America forwards/Hermann Trophy candidates Brittany Bock (G-2A) and Kerri Hanks (G-A) combined for seven points as the Irish scored twice in the first 20 minutes and never looked back, outshooting the Friars, 26-5.
- Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
- Connecticut is not ranked.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season’s squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.
As if that weren’t enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.
Leading the way for Notre Dame this season are two of the country’s premier front-line players (and ’07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.
A three-time All-American and the ’06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (15G-5A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish record books, having led the nation in assists the past two seasons, and aiming to become the third Division I player ever to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (79G-63A entering Sunday’s game). She has earned national honors from Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) three times and twice from Soccer America (Team of the Week), as well as twice taking home BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors and her second consecutive Offensive MVP award at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic with a school record-tying sixth career hat trick vs. Loyola Marymount.
Bock (5G-5A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points (16G-4A). The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5.
Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (0G-1A), the 2006 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year who made a successful recovery from an ACL injury late in the ’06 regular season with a solid ’07 campaign. She is the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week honoree, and a BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection after leading Notre Dame to nine shutouts and a 0.46 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).
A Quick Look At Connecticut
After a shaky start to the season, Connecticut (5-7-4, 3-2-3) appears to be regaining the form that got the Huskies all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight last season. UConn is unbeaten in its last three games, while its only two losses in the past month both came by a single goal.
The Huskies kept their recent resurgence going on Friday night with a 3-0 win over visiting DePaul. A pair of sophomore forwards did the damage for Connecticut, as Elise Fugowski scored the opening goal in the fourth minute and later added an assist, while Cory Bildstein chipped in a pair of assists for UConn, which outshot the Blue Demons, 23-11 (12-4 in shots on goal).
Junior midfielder Annie Yi leads the Huskies with eight points (on a team-high four goals), while senior forward/midfielder Brittany Tegeler has six points (3G) along with Fugowski (2G-2A), and sophomore forward Elizabeth Eng has a team-high 39 shots and 18 on goal.
Veteran head coach Len Tsantiris ranks second in victories among active Division I head coaches with a 461-135-39 (.757) record in 28 seasons at Connecticut. He is 4-17-3 all-time against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Connecticut Series
While Notre Dame owns the overall series lead on Connecticut (17-4-3), the rivalry has been much closer in Storrs, where the Irish are 3-2-3 all-time against the Huskies.
An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 98 of the 2008 Irish women’s soccer media guide.
The Last Time ND And Connecticut Met
Notre Dame tied the game on a goal in the final five minutes of regulation, then got a “golden goal” from Brittany Bock 3:09 into overtime, easing past 13th-ranked Connecticut, 2-1, on Oct. 21, 2007, at Alumni Field.
The Huskies had taken the lead on Annie Yi’s goal in the 26th minute, and behind the tough goalkeeping of Stephanie Labbe, that looked to be enough for UConn. However, All-American Kerri Hanks finally broke through for the Irish, curling in a corner kick at 85:46 to send the home crowd into a frenzy and assure bonus soccer.
In the extra session, Elise Weber took a free kick from midfield and Bock was there to meet it in the penalty area, heading home the gamewinner on the last of Notre Dame’s 23 shots in the game (16 after halftime).
Other ND-Connecticut Series Tidbits
- Connecticut’s Morrone Stadium has been a dangerous locale for Notre Dame in recent years, with the Irish recording just one win over the Huskies in their last five visits (1-2-2). On its last visit in 2006, Notre Dame was unbeaten (13-0-0) and the top-ranked team in the nation, but left with a 0-0 tie. During the 2004 campaign, the Irish were ranked second in the nation and had only a tie on their record when facing UConn in the BIG EAST final, but the Huskies took a 2-1 win, handing Notre Dame its only loss en route to the national championship.
- Aside from their struggles against UConn in Storrs, the Irish have played well against other teams at Morrone Stadium, going 4-0 since joining the BIG EAST in 1995. Most recently, Notre Dame downed Marquette (2-0) and Rutgers (4-2) to win the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament title, their latest postseason conference championship.
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls on Sept. 16 (unanimous in this week’s NSCAA and Soccer Times balloting), with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).
Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season’s first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).
Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 83-6-3 (.918) as the nation’s top-ranked squad.
As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year’s media guide).
This year’s women’s soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women’s basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span.
One Tough Slate
Lest anyone think Notre Dame hasn’t earned its place atop the polls, just take a look at the Irish schedule this season.
Notre Dame has five wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke, at No. 17/16 Penn State and at No. 17/16 Georgetown), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the last four all coming away from home.
And it’s not like the Irish have experience playing SCU, UNC and Duke in a row, having last seen those three powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the same regular season, let alone in a row, since 1999).
The 1-0 win at North Carolina on Sept. 5 was even more noteworthy, as it marked just the seventh time the Tar Heels had ever been shut out at home, and only the fifth time by a Division I team. One of those five was a 0-0 tie (Duke), while the other four were 1-0 losses, two at the hands of Notre Dame (the other came in the ’95 NCAA semifinals at Fetzer Field, leading to the first of two Irish national championships).
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Following Friday’s win at Providence, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 46-game unbeaten streak (44-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition since a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year’s BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie).
Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 120-8-4 (.924) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 663-80 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.
What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 82-game home unbeaten streak (81-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).
Numbers Don’t Lie
To get a clearer picture of just how dominating Notre Dame has been through 15 games this season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have put up.
Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 53-7 margin with nine shutouts this year. The Irish also rank fourth in the nation in scoring offense (currently 3.53 goals/game), as well as ninth in goals-against average (0.46) and 18th in shutout percentage (0.6).
The Irish also allowed just 39 opponent shots on goal all year (11 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame’s goals). By comparison, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has 38 shots on goal all by herself.
Together, the Irish have registered 168 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 100 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame has a sizeable 106-32 edge in corner kicks to boot.
Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have trailed for a grand total of 1:59 this season (59:06-61:05 vs. Marquette on Oct. 5) and have led for 937:27 of 1,356:58 minutes this season (69.1% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half or OT six times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul, 1-1 vs. Marquette, 2-2 at Villanova) for a combined total of 51:41, taking no more than 22:17 (at DePaul) to break any of the ties and move in front.
The One And Only
At 15-0-0, Notre Dame remains the lone unbeaten and untied team left in Division I women’s soccer and one of only four across all three NCAA divisions.
At Division II, there are two schools that are still perfect through Oct. 15: Grand Valley State (14-0-0) and West Virginia Wesleyan (12-0-0).
At Division III, Williams (9-0-0) is the only team still with an unblemished record.
Dude, We’re Going Streaking
With its 3-0 win at home over South Florida on Oct. 3, Notre Dame set a new school record for consecutive regular-season victories, with the active winning streak now at 25 games. The last time the Irish dropped a regular-season contest was more than a year ago (Sept. 23, 2007) when they gave up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss to 14th-ranked Penn State at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame’s current 25-game regular-season unbeaten streak also is the fifth-longest in school history. In fact, it should be noted that, except for a 16-day stretch last September when the Irish lost four times in six games (twice in OT), Notre Dame has not dropped a regular-season game dating back the middle of the 2005 season.
What’s more, since beginning last season with that tough 3-4-1 start, the Irish are 31-1-1 in their last 33 games overall, with the only loss coming to No. 14 Florida State (3-2) in last year’s NCAA College Cup semifinals, and the lone tie occurring at No. 12 West Virginia (1-1) in the ’07 BIG EAST tournament final (WVU won the title on penalty kicks, 5-3).
We’re Kind Of Used To This, Too
Notre Dame’s current 15-game winning streak marks the sixth consecutive season in which the Irish have reeled off at least 12 victories in a row. The longest run in that span (dating back to 2003) was a 15-game winning streak to kick off the 2004 national championship season.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 16-3-8 (.741) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame went to OT for the first time this season on Oct. 12, taking a 3-2 win at Villanova on a “golden goal” by sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin at 96:58.
Getting The Jump On The Competition
Notre Dame’s quick start this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to the first half.
In 10 of their 15 games, the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play, with senior forward Kerri Hanks owning the fastest strike of the season (penalty kick at 2:39 vs. Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29). That marked the 11th-fastest goal of the Randy Waldrum era, and the quickest since Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).
Strong Out Of The Blocks
Notre Dame is off to a 15-0-0 start for the third time in program history, all in the past nine seasons and all under current head coach Randy Waldrum.
Spreading The Wealth
In an early example of the incredible depth of this year’s Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since ’99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).
For the season, 15 different Irish players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal, with only five individual multi-goal games thus far (Kerri Hanks’ hat trick against Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29; Melissa Henderson’s two-goal game against SMU on Sept. 12; Henderson’s hat trick on Sept. 28 at Cincinnati; Brittany Bock’s two-goal day on Oct. 5 against Marquette, and Henderson’s two-goal afternoon at Providence on Oct. 17).
In addition, Notre Dame already has tied the school record with 20 different point scorers this season. Junior defender Haley Ford was the latest to join both clubs with her first collegiate goal and an assist at Cincinnati.
The Notre Dame single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996 (in a 26-game season).
No Soup For You
For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when No. 12/11 Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.
The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program’s first national championship.
No Shots For You, Either
Notre Dame held South Florida without a single shot in a 3-0 win on Oct. 3. It marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (vs. Rutgers) that the Irish defense didn’t yield a shot.
Hanks = History
With each passing game, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks reaches more career milestones in the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in women’s college soccer history.
On Sept. 19 at DePaul, Hanks’ second-half goal was the 70th of her career, making her the fourth D-I player to amass 70 goals and 60 assists (others are North Carolina’s Mia Hamm, Notre Dame’s Jenny Streiffer and UC Santa Barbara’s Carin Jennings).
On Friday at Providence, Hanks converted a penalty kick for the fifth consecutive game and added an assist to move past former U.S. National Team forward (and Portland standout) Shannon MacMillan (1992-95) for ninth place on the Division I career points list (now with 221 points (79G-63A)). Hanks also has tied U.S. National Team defender/captain and former Monmouth great Christie (Pearce) Rampone (1993-96) and Texas A&M’s Bryn Blalack (1994-97) for 18th place on the NCAA career goals list (79), while moving within one goal of Jenny Heft (1996-99) for the Notre Dame career mark.
The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in ’06; 21 in ’07), Hanks also looks ahead to the historic 70G-70A club, a landmark achievement that only two players (Hamm and Streiffer) in the history of Division I women’s soccer have managed to attain (and neither got beyond 72G-72A).
Hanks Sets The Table, Too
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 71 (25G-21A) of Kerri Hanks’ 221 career points (79G-63A), representing 32.1% of her points with the Irish. Her 25 goals have come on penalty kicks (14-for-15, including 7-for-8 this year and 5-for-5 in the past four games), free kicks (10), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 21 assists have been via corner-kick (13) or free-kick (8) services.
Bock Stays A-Head Of The Game
Nearly half (22) of the 45 career goals scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers. That includes nine of her last 13 scores, most recently the opening goal in the Oct. 12 win at Villanova. Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.
Melissa Can’t Miss
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson is making the most of her time on the field, ranking second in the BIG EAST and 29th in the nation in goals (12) despite averaging less than 43 minutes per game. In fact, were she to be averaging a full 90 minutes and scoring at her current pace, Henderson would have 25 goals this season, seven more than the national leader (Michigan State’s Laura Heyboer) entering Sunday’s action.
Iantorno Is One Super Sub
Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno leads the Irish with six assists and is fourth on the team with 14 points (4G-6A). All this for a player who came to Notre Dame last year as a walk-on (after reversing her original decision to attend Missouri) and had four points during her entire freshman season (on four assists).
This year, Iantorno has emerged as Notre Dame “microwave” off the bench, heating up the minute she gets into the game. In fact, less than a minute after subbing into the Penn State game on Sept. 21, the Hinsdale, Ill., native already had chalked up an assist, taking a throw-in, driving to the left endline and whipping a cross into the box that junior forward Michele Weissenhofer buried in the back of the net.
Five days later against Louisville, Iantorno posted a three-point night (1G-1A) less than 10 minutes after coming into the game at the 31-minute mark. First, she delivered a sharp cross at the top of the box that Weissenhofer dummied for freshman midfielder Courtney Barg, who scored her first career goal (33:35). Then, senior defender Elise Weber sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by the Louisville goalkeeper and Iantorno was on the doorstep for the easy finish (40:32).
Our Fearless Leader
Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone on Sept. 21 at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum became the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins — he now has a record of 307-79-20 (.781) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).
Two Milestones For the Price Of One
Notre Dame reached a pair of milestones with Friday’s 5-0 win at Providence. Not only was it the 400th victory in the program’s 21-year history (now 400-67-19), but it also was the 200th win for head coach Randy Waldrum (200-29-8) since he arrived in South Bend in 1999.
Game #15 Recap: Providence
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson scored twice and senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Brittany Bock delivered a goal and two assists to help No. 1 Notre Dame to a 5-0 BIG EAST Conference win over Providence on Friday afternoon at Glay Field in Providence, R.I. Bock’s fellow senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks added a goal and an assist as the Irish (15-0-0, 8-0-0 BIG EAST) matched the second-best start to a season in the program’s 21-year history. In addition, Notre Dame earned the 400th win in school history, as well as the 200th victory for head coach Randy Waldrum since he arrived in South Bend in 1999.
Sophomore forward Erica Iantorno tallied a late goal, while a pair of Notre Dame juniors — midfielder Courtney Rosen and forward Michele Weissenhofer dished out one assist apiece. Rosen and Weissenhofer’s classmate, goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander was credited with one save in the first 77 minutes of action. Sophomore netminder Nikki Weiss wrapped up the team’s ninth shutout of the season, stopping one shot during the final 13 minutes.
As a team, Notre Dame outshot Providence, 26-5, with a 12-2 advantage in shots on goal — both of the Friars’ SOG came from well outside the penalty area and were not serious threats to score. The Irish also earned all five corner kicks in the game, while PC was whistled for 17 fouls, compared to 12 infractions for Notre Dame. In addition, Providence (5-6-3, 0-5-3) received three yellow cards, as well as the lone red card, in Friday’s contest.
The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 274-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 176-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 369-9-15 (.958) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
Most impressively, Notre Dame is 295-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 272 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just two of the past 185 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force a tie, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2007 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).
You Can Put It On The Board
Notre Dame has scored a goal in 40 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 40-game goal streak is the third-longest in school history, and it’s the longest since a 49-game run from Oct. 24, 2004-Oct. 8, 2006.
The school record is 55 straight games with a goal from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999.
A Little Added Face Time
Notre Dame is slated to play on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Sunday, Notre Dame travels to Storrs, Conn., for a BIG EAST matchup with Connecticut which will be shown live on CBS College Sports.
In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games are slated to be broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online’s GameTracker service.
Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women’s soccer page at www.UND.com and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.
Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing “2”.
The Golden Girls
Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) and Shannon Boxx (’99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal.
The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis (’10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis’ career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the ’00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson (’32).
Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad (including the new Irish soccer stadium tentatively set for completion in June 2009), parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans may ride the complimentary shuttle bus from the Eck Stadium lot, or walk around the north end of Eck Stadium (behind the left-field wall) before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.
Next Game: Rutgers
The Irish return home for their final two games of the regular season, beginning Friday with a 7:30 p.m. (ET) contest against BIG EAST Conference rival Rutgers at Alumni Field. The Scarlet Knights currently are in second place in the BIG EAST National Division, eight points behind Notre Dame.
Ranked 21st in the current NSCAA poll and 15th in the latest Soccer America poll, Rutgers (10-4-1, 5-2-1) is coming off a 1-0 loss at St. John’s on Friday night. The Scarlet Knights are slated to visit Syracuse Sunday afternoon before heading to South Bend next week.
— ND —