Nov. 10, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Consistency is the hallmark of great programs. In each of the past 22 NCAA Championship tournaments, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team has seen its name featured in the tournament bracket. The run continues for the Fighting Irish in 2014, as Notre Dame earned an at-large bid into the 64-team NCAA Championship field on Monday.
The Fighting Irish welcome regional foe and 2014 Horizon League champion Valparaiso (14-1-4) to Alumni Stadium for a 7 p.m. (ET) kickoff on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Championship. It will be the third all-time meeting in series history between the teams, and the first since Notre Dame claimed a 6-0 win over Valparaiso in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 11, 2005, at old Alumni Field.
Tickets for Friday’s NCAA Championship first round match against the Crusaders will be available by contacting the Notre Dame Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Fans also can order tickets online through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets, or by visiting the ticket windows at Alumni Stadium on Friday night.
The Fighting Irish own a 64-18-1 all-time record (.777) in NCAA Championship play, including 46-3-0 (.939) in NCAA matches at home. Notre Dame has earned three NCAA titles (1995, 2004 and 2010), joining North Carolina as the only three-time champions in the history of the tournament, and the Fighting Irish have finished as the NCAA runner-up five times (1994, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2008) as part of their 12 NCAA College Cup berths, all since 1994.
With this year’s selection, Notre Dame also extends the second-longest active streak in the country for consecutive NCAA Championship berths to 22, trailing only North Carolina (33) in that category and ranking as the third-longest run of its kind in the tournament’s 33-year history (Connecticut had a 26-year NCAA postseason bid streak from 1982-2007). Starting with Notre Dame’s first NCAA Championship appearance in 1993, the Fighting Irish and North Carolina remain 1-2 in virtually all tournament appearance records, including: round-of-16 trips since 1993 (UNC-21, ND-18), quarterfinals since 1994 (UNC-16, ND-15), College Cup berths since 1994 (UNC-14, ND-12) and title match appearances since 1994 (UNC-12, ND-8; no one else with more than four).
Notre Dame completed its second season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and its first under head coach Theresa Romagnolo, with a 12-5-2 record (7-2-1 ACC), culminating in an appearance in the semifinal round of the ACC Championship last weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Fighting Irish capped the ninth unbeaten regular season road record in program history this season with a 6-0-2 mark in matches contested away from home. Three Notre Dame road decisions came against top 25 competition at the time of the matchup: a 2-0 win at No. 16/21 Santa Clara (Sept. 5), a 0-0 draw at No. 4 Stanford (Sept. 7), and a 2-0 victory at No. 2/3 Virginia Tech (Sept. 25).
The ACC recognized a host of Fighting Irish players for outstanding on-field achievement, as six members of the Notre Dame roster earned 2014 all-ACC accolades prior to the start of the conference’s championship tournament.
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, New York/East Islip) led the Notre Dame representatives as a first team all-ACC selection, with sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford) and junior defender/tri-captain Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Illinois/Elk Grove) claiming spots on the conference’s second team. Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, California/Santa Margarita) and sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley) earned all-ACC honors for the first time, being named to the all-conference third team. Defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, New Jersey/Livingston) rounded out the Notre Dame honorees among the top conference newcomers on the ACC’s all-freshman team.
Season awards continued to roll in for both Roccaro and Andrews, as the Notre Dame pair was named to the College Sports Madness Women’s Soccer All-America third team on Saturday. Both players were previously tabbed to College Sports Madness’ all-ACC first team, with Bohaboy and Naughton earning second team recognition.
This is the fourth year that the NCAA Championship has featured its current scheduling format, with 32 campus sites hosting first round matches this coming weekend. The remaining teams will advance to second and third round contests on Nov. 21 and 23, also to be held on campus at the highest remaining seeds in that pod of the bracket. The quarterfinals then will be played during the weekend of Nov. 28-29, also at the highest remaining seeds.
The 33rd NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup is set for Dec. 5 and 7 at the Florida Atlantic University Soccer Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. It will be the first time the NCAA Championship will be decided in the Sunshine State since 1983, when North Carolina won its second straight national title with a 4-0 victory over George Mason at Central Florida.
The Fighting Irish also are one of six ACC teams selected for this year’s NCAA Championship, joining top seed and ACC tournament champion Florida State, No. 2 seeds North Carolina and Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson in the 64-team championship field.
Valparaiso will make its second-ever NCAA Championship appearance after winning its first Horizon League tournament crown with a 1-0 decision over Detroit on Saturday. The Crusaders last NCAA berth came in 2005, when a two-goal game from sophomore Amanda Cinalli powered Notre Dame to a 6-0 first round win over Valparaiso on Nov 11 of that year at old Alumni Field.
The Crusaders have earned results in 18 straight matches (14-0-4) since dropping a 2-1 decision to Belmont in the regular season opener on Aug. 22. Valparaiso has outscored opponents by a 29-8 aggregate goal margin through the first 19 matches of 2014, outshooting its counterparts 296-154. Valparaiso has also logged 12 shutouts during the campaign, including seven clean sheets against Horizon League foes.
This season Notre Dame and Valparaiso played just one common opponent, both earning wins over Oakland. The Fighting Irish shut out the Golden Grizzlies 3-0 on Aug. 24 in the regular season home opener at Alumni Stadium, while the Crusaders bested Oakland by a matching 3-0 score in Horizon League play on Sept. 24.
Notre Dame owns a 2-5-1 record this season against opponents in the 2014 NCAA field, highlighted by a 0-0 draw at No. 1 seed Stanford on Sept. 7. The Fighting Irish claimed wins at Virginia Tech (2-0, Sept. 25) and at home against Clemson (1-0, Oct. 23) against fellow NCAA Championship qualifiers. Notre Dame’s five losses to NCAA participants were by a combined six goals, with two defeats coming in the final seconds of regulation (2-1 loss to No. 2 seed Virginia on Oct. 5 with 20 seconds remaining) or in double overtime (3-2 loss to No. 2 seed North Carolina 27 seconds into the second extra period on Sept. 20).
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDSoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
Notre Dame’s Road To The 2014 NCAA Women’s College Cup
(4) Notre Dame vs. Valparaiso – Nov. 14, 7 p.m. (ET), Notre Dame, Ind.
Rice vs. Texas – Nov. 14, 6 p.m. (ET), Austin, Texas
Arizona vs. Oklahoma State – Nov. 14, 3 p.m. (ET), Stillwater, Okla.
Houston Baptist vs. (1) Texas A&M – Nov. 14, 8 p.m. (ET), College Station, Texas
2014 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Award Winners
All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
Cari Roccaro (first team) – Nov. 6
Morgan Andrews (second team) – Nov. 6
Katie Naughton (second team) – Nov. 6
Lauren Bohaboy (third team) – Nov. 6
Kaela Little (third team) – Nov. 6
Sabrina Flores (all-freshman) – Nov. 6
College Sports Madness Women’s Soccer All-Atlantic Coast Conference
Morgan Andrews (first team) – Nov. 3
Cari Roccaro (first team) – Nov. 3
Lauren Bohaboy (second team) – Nov. 3
Katie Naughton (second team) – Nov. 3
ESPNW Soccer Player of the Week
Katie Naughton – Oct. 1
TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week
Katie Naughton – Oct. 28
Karin Simonian – Sept. 30
Kaela Little (Honorable Mention) – Sept. 30
Morgan Andrews (Honorable Mention) – Sept. 23
Morgan Andrews – Sept. 16
Kaela Little – Sept. 9
Morgan Andrews (Honorable Mention) – Sept. 9
Morgan Andrews – Aug. 26
Katie Naughton – Aug. 26
College Sports Madness National Defensive Women’s Soccer Player of the Week
Kaela Little – Sept. 30