Cari Roccaro is the eighth Notre Dame freshman to earn NSCAA All-America honors (and the first since 2005), having been named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team, it was announced late Friday (Nov. 30) by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

#24/25 Irish Close Out Home Slate This Weekend Against Seton Hall, Rutgers

Oct. 4, 2012

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2012 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer — Matches 14-15

#24/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3-1 / 5-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Seton Hall Pirates (6-8-0 / 1-5-0 BIG EAST)
October 5, 2012
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Stadium (3,007)
SERIES: ND leads 17-1-0
LAST MTG: ND 2-0 (10/7/11 @SHU)
VIDEO: (live-free)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews

#24/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3-1 / 5-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-6-0 / 1-5-0 BIG EAST)
October 7, 2012
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Stadium (3,007)
SERIES: ND leads 18-1-3
LAST MTG: Tie 0-0 (10/9/11 @RU)
VIDEO: (live-free)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews


  • Notre Dame will hold its Senior Night ceremony prior to the Seton Hall match, with the Fighting Irish owning a 12-1 record on Senior Night (and averaging 3.76 goals/match) during the 14-year Randy Waldrum era.
  • Sunday’s contest against Rutgers has been chosen as Notre Dame’s Kicks Against Cancer match, with several events before and during the contest (as well as the special uniforms the Fighting Irish will wear) designed to help raise money for breast cancer research locally and nationally.

No. 24/25 Irish Close Out Home Slate This Weekend Against Seton Hall, Rutgers
Riding a season-high six-match winning streak, No. 24/25 Notre Dame returns to Alumni Stadium this weekend for its final two home matches of the regular season, welcoming Seton Hall to town at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, before playing host to Rutgers at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday — both matches will be streamed live and free of charge at

Notre Dame is coming off a pair of BIG EAST road shutouts last weekend, blanking Providence (1-0) and Connecticut (4-0) on its swing through New England. Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt made a combined eight saves in earning the two solo clean sheets, leading to her selection as the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week.


  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 24 in this week’s NSCAA poll and is ranked No. 25 in the latest Soccer America poll.
  • Seton Hall and Rutgers are not ranked.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish

  • The Fighting Irish were picked to win the BIG EAST National Division title according to a preseason vote of the conference head coaches released Aug. 7. Notre Dame has won 13 BIG EAST regular-season titles (division or overall) since joining the conference 17 years ago, including regular-season crowns in eight of the past nine years.
  • Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish represented the Fighting Irish on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, following up her second-team all-conference selection a year ago. Laddish had one goal and a career-high seven assists last season.
  • Notre Dame features a very young roster in 2012, with half (12) of the 24-member Fighting Irish squad made up of freshmen (plus another six sophomores). The Notre Dame incoming class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, with seven Fighting Irish freshmen appearing in the top 60 of the TDS Class of 2012 rankings. Leading the rookie class is forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro, a two-time consensus high school All-American and New York High School Player of the Year after piling up 39 goals and 19 assists during her prep career.

Scouting Seton Hall
Seton Hall comes into Friday’s match with a 6-8 record (1-5 in the BIG EAST National Division) and has lost eight of its last nine contests, including the past four in a row, after starting the season with five consecutive wins.

The Pirates are in the middle of a four-match road trip that began last weekend with losses at Syracuse (3-1) and St. John’s (4-0) — junior forward Katie Ritter scored her first goal of the season in the Syracuse match.

For the season, junior midfielder Ashley Clarke has a team-high 10 points (2G-6A), while redshirt senior forward Stephanie Soma (4G-1A) and junior midfielder/defender Marie Klemme (3G-3A) each have nine points. Meanwhile, the goalkeeping duties have been almost evenly split between freshman Gina Maiorana (1.91 GAA, 4 ShO, 5-2 record) and redshirt senior Alyssa Kelly (2.28 GAA, 1 ShO, 1-6 record).

Head coach Kazbek Tambi is in his sixth season at Seton Hall with a 40-57-9 (.420) record, including an 0-4 mark against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Seton Hall Series
Notre Dame is 17-1 all-time against Seton Hall, including an 8-0 record at home, in a series that began when the Fighting Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995. Notre Dame also is in the midst of a 14-match series winning streak against the Pirates that coincides exactly with head coach Randy Waldrum’s tenure in South Bend (13 regular-season victories plus a 5-0 win in the 1999 BIG EAST Championship semifinals).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Seton Hall Met
Jessica Schuveiller and Lauren Bohaboy each scored goals in the opening 22 minutes and the Notre Dame defense did the rest, as the Fighting Irish earned a 2-0 win at Seton Hall in BIG EAST action on Oct. 7, 2011, at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J.

Schuveiller scored for the fourth consecutive match, converting a cross from Mandy Laddish just 3:49 into the contest. The Fighting Irish then doubled their lead at 21:52, when Bohaboy scored her sixth goal of the year (and fourth in three matches), driving home a pass from Adriana Leon.

Goalkeeper Maddie Fox made four saves to help Notre Dame pitch its third consecutive shutout, with Fox registering her second solo shutout of the season. Seton Hall outshot the Fighting Irish, 17-14 (including a 12-6 advantage in the second half), but Notre Dame had more of the quality chances, ending up with a 6-4 edge in shots on goal.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Seton Hall Met At Alumni Stadium
Melissa Henderson and Rose Augustin each registered a goal and an assist as No. 5/7 Notre Dame showered Seton Hall with a season-high 32 shots on the way to a 2-1 BIG EAST victory on Oct. 8, 2010, before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,513 fans at Alumni Stadium.

Henderson had a career-high 11 shots, including seven on goal, logging the most shots by one Notre Dame individual in a match since 2005, when Kerri Hanks took 12 shots in three different contests. (the last on Oct. 21, 2005 in a 4-0 win over Villanova at old Alumni Field). As a team, the Fighting Irish rang up their highest shot total since Nov. 14, 2008, when they squeezed off 34 shots in a 5-2 win over Toledo in the opening round of the NCAA Championship, also at old Alumni Field.

Notre Dame not only outshot Seton Hall, 32-4, but also held a 15-2 edge in shots on goal. What’s more, the Fighting Irish posted a season-high 14-0 margin in corner kicks.

Goalkeeper Nikki Weiss got the victory in the Notre Dame net, making one save. Seton Hall goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew was the story of the night, doing everything she could to keep the match from turning into a blowout with 12 saves (an Alumni Stadium opponent record), while also benefiting from a team save and several kind caroms from the woodwork during the night.

Scouting Rutgers
It’s been a tale of two seasons for Rutgers (8-6, 1-5 BIG EAST National Division, entering the weekend), as the Scarlet Knights began the season with wins in seven of their first eight matches, including a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Ohio State on Aug. 19.

However, the tides have shifted for Rutgers in the past three weeks, with the Scarlet Knights losing five of their last six matches (coming into Friday’s match at DePaul) and scoring just two goals in that span. Both RU goals came on penalty kicks by redshirt junior forward (and Canadian Olympic bronze medalist) Jonelle Filigno, who has been the offensive force for Rutgers this year with nine goals and 20 points.

Head coach Glenn Crooks is in his 13th season at Rutgers with a 137-97-30 (.576) record at the school, and a 21-year career coaching mark of 182-152-39 (.540), including a 1-11-2 (.143) all-time record against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Rutgers Series
Notre Dame is 18-1-3 all-time against Rutgers, including a 9-0-1 record at home against the Scarlet Knights in a series that dates back to 1992. The Fighting Irish also are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against Rutgers (10-0-2), although the series itself has traditionally been filled with contests that were far from offensive masterpieces, including a pair of scoreless draws and three other 1-0 Notre Dame victories.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Rutgers Met
Despite an overwhelming edge in shots and quality scoring chances in the second half and both overtime periods in its BIG EAST match at Rutgers, Notre Dame wasn’t able to find the winning solution and wound up sharing the spoils with the Scarlet Knights, as their matinee ended in a 0-0 draw on Oct. 9, 2011, at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J.

The Fighting Irish finished with a 21-9 advantage in total shots for the afternoon, including a 17-3 edge during the final 45 minutes and the two 10-minute overtime sessions. Notre Dame also ended with a 5-4 lead in shots on goal (3-1 in overtime alone) and had an 8-3 margin in corner kicks, while Rutgers (7-6-2, 2-4-2) was called for 15 of the 24 fouls in the physical contest, and each side was given one yellow card.

Goalkeeper Maddie Fox registered her second consecutive solo shutout, and third of the 2011 season, making four saves. Rutgers netminder Jessica Janosz also was sharp with five stops, including three big saves in the first overtime period when Notre Dame outshot the Scarlet Knights, 5-0 (3-0 on goal).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Rutgers Met At Alumni Stadium
Rose Augustin chalked up a goal and two assists, and Erica Iantorno added her first career match-winning score in the 67th minute as No. 5/7 Notre Dame celebrated Senior Day with a hard-fought 3-2 BIG EAST victory over Rutgers on Oct. 10, 2010, on a sun-splashed afternoon before a crowd of 1,166 fans at Alumni Stadium and a national cable television audience on ESPNU.

Melissa Henderson sparked a two-goal flurry by the Fighting Irish midway through the second half, netting her team-high 12th goal of the 2010 season and eighth in five matches. Elizabeth Tucker also got into the scorebook with an assist on Augustin’s first-half goal.

The Fighting Irish collected the win behind a strong second half that saw the hosts outshoot Rutgers, 12-2, including a 5-1 spread in shots on goal. Notre Dame finished the day with a 15-6 shot edge (8-4 in shots on goal) and earned a 4-2 advantage on corner kicks, while the Scarlet Knights were called for 11 of the 18 fouls in the match.

Karla Schacher pulled the Scarlet Knights back within a goal with her score in the 77th minute, after setting up Rutgers’ first goal with a cross that deflected in off a Notre Dame defender for an own-goal.

Goalkeeper Nikki Weiss earned the victory in the Fighting Irish net, making two saves. Meanwhile, Emmy Simpkins was credited with five saves in the Scarlet Knights’ goal.

Senior Night Success
Prior to Friday’s match against Seton Hall, Notre Dame will honor its departing seniors — defender/tri-captain Jazmin Hall, midfielder Nicole Borner and student manager Keith Marrero — during a brief ceremony.

Notre Dame has been very successful on Senior Night during the tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum, going 12-1 (.923) on the day it honors its senior class, while averaging 3.76 goals per match during those outings, including a 5-1 victory over DePaul last season and 7-1 offensive eruption against Miami (Fla.) in Waldrum’s first Senior Night in 1999. The lone loss for the Fighting Irish on Senior Night during the Waldrum era came in 2003, when Notre Dame fell to Michigan, 3-2 at old Alumni Field.

Kicks Against Cancer
Notre Dame’s regular-season home finale against Rutgers on Sunday at Alumni Stadium has been designated as the program’s “Kicks Against Cancer” match. The proceeds from various events during the day will go to Michiana Hematology/Oncology and Kicks Against Cancer, the national soccer initiative to support funding for breast cancer research.

Cancer survivors and those currently battling the disease will receive free admission to the match, as well as a lime green “Kickin’ It” t-shirt (while supplies last). These courageous individuals also will be recognized on the pitch at halftime as part of a Survivors’ Walk.

Other fans attending this year’s match will receive a white “Fighting Irish Kicks Against Cancer” t-shirt, and Irish Soccer scarves will be on sale at $15 each (while supplies last).

In addition, the Notre Dame players will be wearing special gold jerseys with a pink ribbon insignia for the match. These jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned off through the official Fighting Irish athletics auctions web site ( beginning the week after the match and continuing through Oct. 31. Due to NCAA regulations, the jerseys must be autographed by at least two persons — either the player who wore the jersey and a teammate, or the entire team.

Match #12 Recap: Providence
Despite adverse weather and field conditions, Notre Dame found a solution in the closing minutes, pressuring Providence into an own-goal with 7:13 remaining for a 1-0 BIG EAST victory on a rainy Sept. 28 afternoon at Glay Field in Providence, R.I.

Junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker set up the decisive sequence with a teasing cross from the left flank, just outside the penalty box. The ball sailed near the top of the six-yard box before deflecting off a retreating Providence defender and rolling into the net, helping the Fighting Irish stretch their winning streak to five matches and pick up their second consecutive shutout (and third in four outings).

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt was tested through the day by the wet conditions, but was equal to the challenge, making two saves to record her second solo shutout of the season, to go along with two shared clean sheets.

Notre Dame held a 13-10 edge in total shots, as well as a 7-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also piled up a 5-2 margin on corner kicks, while the foul count ended up tilting slightly against Notre Dame (15-12), although Providence did pick up the lone yellow card of the match.

Beyond The Box Score: Providence

  • The Providence own-goal was the first by a Notre Dame opponent since Oct. 10, 2010, when Rutgers did so in a 3-2 Fighting Irish victory at Alumni Stadium.
  • This marked the first time an own-goal accounted for the only score in a Notre Dame match since the 2000 BIG EAST Championship title match at old Alumni Field (Nov. 5, 2000), when the Fighting Irish took a 1-0 lead on a Connecticut own-goal 12:13 into the match and made it stand up over the final 77-plus minutes to secure the program’s sixth BIG EAST tournament crown.
  • This was the first time a own-goal was the match-winner for the Fighting Irish since Nov. 2, 2008, when Notre Dame benefitted from the first of two Cincinnati own-goals at 1:00 in a 5-0 BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal win at old Alumni Field.
  • This was the latest deciding goal in a Fighting Irish victory since Oct. 16, 2011, when Melissa Henderson (84:26) and Tucker (88:40) scored to break a 1-1 draw and fuel a 3-1 win over Villanova at Alumni Stadium.
  • Notre Dame is 17-0-0 all-time against Providence (8-0-0 at Glay Field) with an 80-2 aggregate scoring margin in the series, which has featured 15 Fighting Irish shutouts.

Match #13 Recap: Connecticut
Freshman forwards Cari Roccaro and Crystal Thomas scored goals 4:28 apart early in the second half to break open a close match and Notre Dame went on to post a 4-0 BIG EAST Conference win at Connecticut before a crowd of 1,485 fans on Sept. 30 at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.

Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy put the Fighting Irish on top with a free-kick goal against the run of play in the 43rd minute, before Roccaro, Thomas and fellow rookie Anna Maria Gilbertson scored after the break, while junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker and sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian picked up assists to help Notre Dame stretch its season-best winning streak to six matches.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt was particularly sharp, tying her career high with six saves en route to her third solo shutout of the season (along with two shared whitewashes).

Connecticut finished with a 20-15 edge in total shots, although the shot count varied wildly between halves, with the Huskies holding an 11-3 margin in the first half and the Fighting Irish outshooting the hosts, 12-9 in the final 45 minutes. UConn also had a slim 6-5 advantage in shots on goal, and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks, while the foul totals were 17-9 against Notre Dame (which collected the lone yellow card of the day).

Beyond The Box Score: Connecticut

  • Notre Dame posts its largest margin of victory over Connecticut in Storrs, a place that has traditionally been a house of horrors for the Fighting Irish (now 5-2-4 all-time, 3-2-2 in their last seven visits).
  • Notre Dame is 22-5-4 all-time against Connecticut.
  • The four goals were the most Notre Dame has scored at Morrone Stadium since a 9-1 victory over Hartford on Aug. 29, 2003.
  • The margin of victory tied for the largest by the Fighting Irish against a BIG EAST opponent at Morrone Stadium, matching a 5-1 victory over Syracuse on Nov. 6, 1998, in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals.
  • The four goals are the most by Notre Dame against a BIG EAST foe in Storrs since Nov. 5, 2006, when the Fighting Irish defeated Rutgers, 4-2 in the BIG EAST Championship title match.
  • Prior to this season, Voigt did not have a solo shutout to her credit, but she has three clean sheets in her three most recent outings this year.
  • Voigt’s previous career high for saves had also been six against Duke on Aug. 28, 2011, in Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Roccaro has four goals in six matches this season, after getting a late start to her college career while competing with the victorious United States Under-20 National Team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan during the first month of the season.

Voigt Named BIG EAST Goalkeeper Of The Week
For the second time this season, a Notre Dame player has been selected as the BIG EAST Conference Goalkeeper of the Week, with sophomore Sarah Voigt taking home this week’s honor, it was announced Monday by the conference office. It’s the first time in Voigt’s career she has been chosen for the BIG EAST’s top weekly goalkeeper award, and she follows in the footsteps of freshman netminder Elyse Hight, who was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week on Aug. 27.

This marks the first time in Notre Dame’s 18-year BIG EAST membership that the Fighting Irish have had two different players earn BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week honors in the same season. It’s also the first time any conference school has pulled off that feat since at least 2007 (additional research is pending).

Voigt backstopped Notre Dame to a pair of shutout wins in BIG EAST play last weekend, making two saves in a rainswept 1-0 victory at Providence on Sept. 28, followed by a career high-tying six saves in a 4-0 win at Connecticut on Sept. 30. The latter performance included four key stops by Voigt during the first half, when the Fighting Irish mounted a stern defensive challenge against the Huskies, repelling all 11 shots (including four on goal) taken by the hosts in the opening 45 minutes.

For the season, Voigt has had a hand in five of Notre Dame’s six shutouts, earning three solo clean sheets (the first of her career), while also sharing two other shutouts. She has a 5-0-0 record and leads the BIG EAST with a 0.50 goals-against average (GAA), in addition to ranking fourth in the conference with an .824 save percentage.

Voigt is the sixth different Fighting Irish women’s soccer player to collect a BIG EAST weekly award this season. Along with Hight’s Aug. 27 honor, junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker appeared on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll that same day. On Sept. 17, freshman forward Crystal Thomas copped her first career mention on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, and most recently on Sept. 24, freshman forward Cari Roccaro was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, while rookie defender Katie Naughton appeared on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

Meet The #BabyIrish
Combine Notre Dame’s youthful roster (which includes 12 freshmen and six sophomores) and head coach Randy Waldrum’s growing fascination with Twitter and it’s no surprise that this year’s squad already has its own hashtag, courtesy of their coach … #BabyIrish.

Not only does the hashtag pay tribute to the median age of his team, but Waldrum also has used the term to refer to the (sometimes painful) growing process that the Notre Dame squad is going through this season.

Although he knows his team must crawl before it can walk, Waldrum insists that he doesn’t plan to keep the hashtag for long. The goal is see his charges continue developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the point where they’re just the #Irish by the end of the 2012 campaign.

World (Cup) Champions
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro now can add the label of “World Cup champion” to their respective resumes, after the Fighting Irish duo helped the United States win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten (and reigning U-20 champion) Germany in the championship match on Sept. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Both Notre Dame players were on the pitch when the final whistle sounded, signifying the Americans’ third title since this tournament began as the FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002. Four-time Fighting Irish All-America forward and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks (’08) was one of the youngest members (at age 17) of that victorious 2002 U.S. side (that defeated host Canada in the final), while Lauren Fowlkes (’11) helped the United States win the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, downing North Korea in the title match.

Similar to Hanks in 2002, Roccaro was the second-youngest player on this year’s American roster, but hardly showed her age, emerging as a mainstay for the United States at center back. She appeared in five of the Americans’ six matches at this year’s U-20 World Cup, starting four times and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile Laddish proved to be a vital second-half substitute for the United States, coming off the bench to lend support in three matches, including the semifinal win over Nigeria and the title match victory against Germany. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player ever to earn both a U-20 Women’s World Cup title and an NCAA national championship, having joined Fowlkes as a member of the title-winning 2010 Notre Dame squad.

In addition to Laddish, Roccaro, Hanks and Fowlkes, the Fighting Irish have been represented at two other U-20 Women’s World Cups. In 2004, Hanks deferred her enrollment at Notre Dame to help the United States to a third-place finish in Thailand, scoring the opening goal in the third-place match. Two years later, a pair of future Notre Dame All-Americans, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock (’09) and defender Carrie Dew (’09), donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).

The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 339-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 316 contests when going ahead 2-0 (since a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).

In fact, just two of the past 228 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a draw, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (ND won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at old 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 old Alumni Field (ND won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (ND won 3-2 in OT).

Three … Is The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 307-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 209-1-0 (.995) mark since Oct. 6, 1995.

Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are 20-6-15 (.671) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 13 of its last 16 overtime contests, including a 1-1 double-overtime draw at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7.

Last year, the Fighting Irish tied a pair of school records by going to extra time on five occasions (also in 2001 and 2007) and registering three draws (also in 1991 and 2001).

No current Notre Dame player has scored a “golden goal” in her college career. Jessica Schuveiller netted the most recent overtime matchwinner for the Fighting Irish on Nov. 6, 2009, heading home a cross from Rose Augustin at 98:42 to beat St. John’s in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.

Any Given Sunday
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 29 of its last 34 matches on Sunday (25-5-4), including a 17-match unbeaten streak that was snapped with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Oct. 31, 2010.

Still, the Fighting Irish own a 44-7-5 (.830) record in their last 56 contests when closing out the weekend (usually on the back end of a two-match set), dating back to September 2007 (when Notre Dame lost three consecutive Sunday matches to nationally-ranked Stanford, Oklahoma State and Penn State, all by 2-1 scores and the first two in overtime).

Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 14th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list (second among active coaches) with a .780 (379-97-27) mark in his 23 years in the women’s game. Waldrum ranks fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I wins list, having earned his 375th career victory on Sept. 16 vs. Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, and he recently coached the 500th match of his women’s soccer career (a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21 at Alumni Stadium).

A two-time National Coach of the Year (2009 by Soccer America, 2010 by NSCAA), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA College Cups, five NCAA finals and two national championships (2004 and 2010). He also is second in NCAA Division I history with eight College Cup appearances and five title-match berths in his storied career.

Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad is being led by a trio of first-time captains, as senior defender Jazmin Hall, and junior midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker were selected via a preseason vote of their teammates.

Coming Soon: Irish in the ACC
The University of Notre Dame announced Sept. 12 that it has accepted an offer of admission into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports except football (the league does not offer championships in ice hockey or fencing).

The change in conference affiliation (for which a timetable has not yet been established) will be the first for Notre Dame since 1995, when the Fighting Irish moved from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) to the BIG EAST Conference.

In its 18 seasons in the BIG EAST, the Notre Dame women’s soccer program has been the conference’s flagship, winning 13 regular-season titles and 11 postseason crowns, along with three NCAA national championships. The Fighting Irish also currently hold a 143-10-8 (.913) regular-season conference record since joining the BIG EAST in 1995.

Next Up: Georgetown/Villanova
Notre Dame will close the 2012 regular season with three consecutive road matches, beginning next weekend when it travels to No. 11 Georgetown (3 p.m. ET, Friday) and Villanova (noon ET Sunday). The Hoyas will be the fifth ranked opponent of the season for the Fighting Irish, who are 1-2-1 against Top 25 teams this year.

Georgetown (11-1-1, 5-0) currently is tied with Notre Dame for the top spot in the BIG EAST’s National Division and has won its last five matches, all by shutout, and twice scoring eight goals in a match. The Hoyas will travel to Cincinnati (Friday) and Louisville (Sunday) before returning home to face the Fighting Irish next weekend.

Villanova (5-6-2, 3-2) is in third place in the BIG EAST’s National Division and has come alive of late, winning four of its last six matches following a 1-4-2 start. The Wildcats also have a win at then-No. 16/20 Rutgers (2-1 in overtime) and a scoreless draw against No. 13/19 Maryland on their resume this season. VU also will play Louisville (Friday) and Cincinnati (Sunday) during this weekend’s conference action.

— ND —