Nov. 13, 2014
DATE: Nov. 14, 2014
TIME: 7 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium – cap. 3,007)
LAST MEETING: ND 6-0 (11/11/05 at ND)
BROADCAST: WatchND (WatchND.tv)
TEXT ALERTS: Sign up at UND.com
– Notre Dame is making its 22nd straight appearance in the NCAA Championship, the third-best streak all-time in Division I women’s college soccer history.
– The Fighting Irish are a perfect 7-0 in NCAA Championship matches at Alumni Stadium, outscoring opponents by an aggregate 26-3 margin since 2009.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will ring in the first November match of the season at Alumni Stadium on Friday night, welcoming Valparaiso for an NCAA Championship first round showdown. The 7 p.m. (ET) match will stream live on WatchND (WatchND.tv).
Tickets for Friday’s NCAA Championship first round match are 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). 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.
No. 4 seed Notre Dame (12-5-2) is making its 22nd consecutive NCAA Championship appearance this season, the second-longest active streak in the nation (North Carolina, 33 appearances, 1982-present). 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. 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).
Valparaiso (14-1-4) will make its second-ever NCAA Championship appearance after winning its first Horizon League tournament crown with a 1-0 decision over Detroit last 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.
“Valpo is a good team, and they have had a great year,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “They have only lost one game, so they definitely have a tremendous amount of belief, and they haven’t allowed many goals, so they are organized in the back. They also have great attacking players who are good in 1V1 situations, and players who are good targets in the box as well.”
Under the current NCAA Championship tournament format featuring a first round weekend, Notre Dame has posted a 13-2 (.867) record in inaugural round contests, outscoring opponents by an aggregate 63-8 margin. The Fighting Irish are a perfect 13-0 in home first round NCAA matches.
“The whole team has responded well (to last weekend’s loss to Florida State), and I think you have seen after all of our losses this season,” Romagnolo said. “That next week of practice has been chippy, and they are excited and ready for that next opponent. They are ready to step on the field and erase that memory of the last game.”
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.
Valparaiso will make its second-ever NCAA Championship appearance after winning its first Horizon League tournament crown with a 1-0 decision over Detroit last Saturday. 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. The Crusaders have 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.
Sophomore forward April Cronin has remained the offensive leader throughout the season for Valparaiso, scoring a team-high nine goals on 65 shots (29 shots on goal), with four goals counting as match-winners. Redshirt freshman forward/midfielder Vanesa Abad (six goals, one assist) and junior midfielder Rita Craven (five goals, three assists) are tied for second place on the Crusader scoring list with 13 points each.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Galvez-Daley, the only true keeper listed on the Valparaiso roster, has shined in 2014. Galvez-Daley has logged every minute this season in the Crusader goal, posting a 0.40 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage.
Head coach John Marovich is 65-43-24 (.583) in his seventh season at Valparaiso, leading the program to its first Horizon League Championship title this season. The Crusaders have already established program-highs for wins in a season and total shutouts under Marovich’s tutelage in 2014. Marovich was a volunteer assistant coach at Notre Dame during the 2001 season.
THE NOTRE DAME-VALPARAISO SERIES
Notre Dame is a perfect 2-0 all-time against Valparaiso, with Friday’s contest being the first meeting between the teams since the first round of the NCAA Championship in 2005 (a 6-0 Fighting Irish victory).
Notre Dame has outscored the Crusaders a combined 18-1 in the two previous contests in series history, with a 12-1 decision on Sept. 14, 1990 still tied for the third-highest scoring match in program history.
THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND VALPARAISO MET
Katie Thorlakson extended her points streak to 11 games while becoming Notre Dame’s all-time leading postseason scorer (46 points) – notching her 17th goal of the season and adding a pair of assists – as Notre Dame opened defense of its NCAA title with a 6-0 victory over Valparaiso in front of a spirited crowd of 1,530 on Nov. 11, 2005 at old Alumni Field.
Notre Dame reached 20 wins for the 10th time in 12 seasons while extending its winning streak to 11 games, with an eye-popping 52-1 scoring edge during that six-week span.
Notre Dame added to its margin of goals scored minus the opponent’s total shots, now standing +6 after holding Valparaiso to four shots. The stout all-around team defensive effort had yielded just 96 total shots in 22 games, with the opponents combining for only 44 shots on goal (including two by the Crusaders).
LAST TIME OUT: #2 FLORIDA STATE
Florida State rode two goals over a five-minute span in the first half on its way to a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame last Friday at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Notre Dame fell in its first neutral site contest of 2014, snapping a six-match unbeaten streak that dated back to a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 9. The Seminoles secured their third straight win over Notre Dame to take a slim 4-3 series lead.
Florida State outshot the Fighting Irish 18-5 during the match, including 10-1 in shots on goal. The Seminoles also added a 7-4 edge in corner kicks, with fouls narrowly 7-5 to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish received the match’s only yellow card.
SIX IRISH PLAYERS EARN ALL-ACC RECOGNITION
A total of six Notre Dame players were named to all-ACC teams in conference award voting that was announced on Nov. 6. The five Fighting Irish selections were tied for the second-most in the ACC with Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Junior midfielder tri-captain Cari Roccaro was named to the all-ACC first team for the second straight year, becoming Notre Dame’s ninth three-time all-conference first team performer (BIG EAST first team as a freshman in 2012).
Defender Sabrina Flores was recognized for her stellar rookie campaign by being named to the ACC all-freshman team.
NCAA FIRST ROUND WINS APLENTY
Notre Dame enters Friday’s match against Valparaiso with a 13-2 (.867) all-time record in matches contested during the first round of the NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish are a perfect 13-0 in home matches during the tournament’s opening round, posting an aggregate goal advantage of 63-8.
The only two first round NCAA matches Notre Dame has ever lost in its history were in its first-ever NCAA Championship match in 1993 (1-2 against George Mason on Nov. 13 in Madison, Wis.) and in 2011 (0-1 against Illinois on Nov. 13 in Champaign, Ill.).
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS AGAINST THE STATE OF INDIANA
This weekend’s match with Valparaiso will mark the fifth time that Notre Dame has faced a fellow side from Indiana in NCAA tournament play, dating back to the 1996 season. The Fighting Irish are a perfect 4-0 in NCAA Championship contests against the rest of the Hoosier State, holding a 22-2 aggregate goal edge in those four matches.
Notre Dame began the streak with an 8-1 NCAA first round win over Indiana on Nov. 17, 1996 at old Alumni Field.
Two second half goals in a 2002 second round matchup with Purdue powered Notre Dame to a 3-1 win. That match remains the latest round in which the Fighting Irish have faced an Indiana opponent in the postseason.
Along with the aforementioned 2005 win over Valparaiso, Notre Dame added a 5-0 first round triumph against IUPUI in 2009.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH: NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SECOND ROUND
A victory over Valparaiso would vault Notre Dame into the NCAA second round against the winner of Rice/Texas next Friday, with the site to be determined. The highest remaining seed in Notre Dame’s pod (currently No. 1 Texas A&M) will serve as the weekend host.