Sept. 24, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Four different Notre Dame players scored goals, and senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) dished out a pair of assists as the No. 5/9 Fighting Irish put together a dominating 4-0 win over Cincinnati in BIG EAST Conference action on Friday night before a crowd of 1,200 fans at Alumni Stadium. The victory also stretched Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 68 matches (65-0-3), extending the program’s NCAA Division I record run.
Senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 12th minute, before three other Notre Dame players tallied their first scores of the season. Freshman midfielder Mandy Laddish (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit) started the goal parade with her first career tally in the 37th minute, before rookie forward Adriana Leon (Maple, Ontario/The Country Day School) did likewise in the 42nd minute. Senior defender Julie Scheidler (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard) capped the Fighting Irish offensive outburst with the second goal of her career in the 62nd minute.
That firepower would prove to be more than enough for senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate), who worked the first 60 minutes in the Notre Dame nets before giving way to sophomore Maddie Fox (San Jose, Calif./Leigh), who made her season debut over the final half-hour. Both Fighting Irish goalkeepers made one save in combining for Notre Dame’s seventh shutout in nine matches this season, including all five home contests.
The Fighting Irish (8-1, 2-0 BIG EAST) recorded a season-high 20 shots, including six on goal, while Cincinnati (6-3-1, 0-2) was limited to six total shots for the match, including just two on frame. During its last four contests, Notre Dame now has allowed a total of nine shots on goal, the vast majority of those coming when the opposition was pressing the attack late in the match in an effort to draw even — on Friday, three of UC’s six total shots (including its final shot on goal) came in the final 12 minutes. The Fighting Irish also held a sizeable 7-1 advantage in corner kicks, while the foul totals were virtually identical (10-9 to Notre Dame).
Rachel Barnette went the first 63-plus minutes in goal for the Bearcats, making one save and giving up all four goals (a season-high by a Cincinnati opponent). Like Fox, Ashley Daniels made her season debut between the pipes, coming on for the final 26:40 and also stopping one shot.
“It’s hard not to be pleased with the effort we put out there tonight,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We did some really good things at both ends of the field, and we kept up the intensity no matter what personnel was on the field or where they happened to be playing. I was happy that we were able to get some meaningful minutes for so many players, while giving others a chance to get some rest. That’s going to be important with another big conference test coming up for us on Sunday at Louisville.”
It didn’t take long for Notre Dame to get on the scoreboard, and it was Fowlkes leading from the backline on the opening goal. The Fighting Irish co-captain successfully challenged for the ball at midfield and pushed up into the attacking third before sliding a perfectly-weighted through-ball to Augustin streaking down the left channel. Augustin took a touch into the box and then whipped a low left-footed shot past an onrushing Barnette into the far right side netting just 11:15 into the match. It marked the fourth time this season, and the third time in the past four matches, that Notre Dame has scored in the opening 12 minutes of play.
The Fighting Irish continued to pepper the Cincinnati goal and finally made it pay off with a pair of scores in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Augustin started matters with a free kick service from the right flank that pinballed around the penalty area. The ball eventually caromed out to Laddish near the top of the box, and she cracked a rising left-footed blast that disappeared high into the upper left corner of the net (36:07). A little more than five minutes later, Fowlkes won another ball in the midfield and played a ball down the middle that snaked through the Bearcats’ defense, with Leon alertly racing past the UC backline, gathering the ball in the area and quickly firing a low left-footed shot past Barnette and off the inside of the far right post (41:35).
The second half turned out to be more of the same, as junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) spent the opening 15 minutes of the half bedeviling the Cincinnati defense with a wide variety of dribbling and passing moves. In the 51st minute, she went on an overlapping run into the left side of the penalty area, pulled Barnette out of position and then slid a cross through the six-yard box, but the UC backline was able to chop it free from Scheidler before she could dump it into the vacated net. Five minutes passed before Henderson was at it again, using another left-channel run to create space before serving another tantalizing cross through the goalmouth, but Scheidler was just a wee bit tardy on her run and narrowly missed toe-poking the pass into an empty net.
The third time proved to be the charm for Scheidler, who capitalized on a bit of fortune from the woodwork to find paydirt. Junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) cracked a 20-yard free kick from the right channel towards the upper left 90, and Barnette could only manage to parry the shot off the crossbar. The ball richocheted directly to Scheidler on the left edge of the six-yard box and she rammed home the rebound before any Bearcat defender could react (61:44).
At that point, the midfield flag in front of the team benches took on the feel of a New York subway turnstile, with nearly constant substitutions by both squads during the final half-hour. Cincinnati did have two promising scoring chances in the closing 12 minutes, first when Kate Schmidt’s 25-yard shot from straight away sailed high, and then with a little more than two minutes to go, when Alexis Scott teed up a similar long-range shot that Fox was able to get a fingertip on and push off the crossbar to preserve the shutout.
Notre Dame heads back out on the road at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday for a key BIG EAST match at No. 24/18 Louisville. Live stats for that match will be available through the official Fighting Irish athletics web site, www.UND.com.
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— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame improves to 16-0 all-time in BIG EAST Conference home openers, with an 80-4 scoring margin in those matches … the Fighting Irish are 11-1-1 all-time against Cincinnati, with a 7-1 record at home … since UC joined the BIG EAST in 2005, Notre Dame is 7-0 against the Bearcats with a 30-2 scoring margin … Cincinnati was the seventh Fighting Irish opponent this season to have either been ranked or receiving votes in either the National Soccer Coaches Association of America or Soccer America polls at some point this season (the Bearcats peaked at No. 15 in the Soccer America poll earlier this month) … Notre Dame set season highs for goals (4 – previous was three vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Aug. 22) and total shots (20 – previous was 19 vs. Texas Tech on Sept. 5), and tied its season best with three goals in one half (also done in the second stanza against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Aug. 22) … in addition to scoring in the opening 12 minutes in four matches this season (three of the past four), the Fighting Irish also have potted goals in the first 30 minutes in six of their nine contests this year … Lauren Fowlkes is the first Notre Dame player with a multi-assist match since Nov. 8, 2009, when Melissa Henderson had helpers on both Fighting Irish goals in the BIG EAST Championship final against #rv/10 Marquette in Storrs, Conn. (a 2-1 Notre Dame win, securing the program’s 11th BIG EAST tourney title) … Friday’s match marked the first time multiple Fighting Irish players scored their first career goals in the same contest since Aug. 22, 2008, when three Notre Dame players (Henderson, Taylor Knaack and Ellen Jantsch) pulled off that feat in a 7-0 whitewash of Michigan at old Alumni Field … Adriana Leon becomes the first foreign-born Fighting Irish player to score a goal since Nov. 13, 2005, when fellow Canadian (and 2005 Hermann Trophy finalist/2004 Soccer America National Player of the Year) Katie Thorlakson scored in the 38th minute of a 3-0 NCAA Championship second-round win over Michigan State at old Alumni Field … several Fighting Irish players made their season debuts on Friday — Fox, Jantsch, junior Haley Chamberlain, sophomore Liz McNeil and freshman Elizabeth Wilson, with McNeil and Wilson also making their college debuts (McNeil missed last season while rehabbing from a torn ACL) … Notre Dame now has allowed 0-1 goals in 23 of its past 24 matches, dating back to last season … in this current 24-match defensive stretch, Notre Dame has posted a 21-2-1 record with 17 shutouts (13 solo and four shared by Weiss), a 55-10 scoring margin and a 0.41 goals-against average (GAA) … the Fighting Irish rise to 398-10-15 (.959) all-time when holding their opponents to 0-1 goals in a game … the Fighting Irish jump to 170-4-2 (.972) all-time at home against unranked opponents (according to the NSCAA poll) … Notre Dame also moves to 320-0-1 all-time when taking a 2-0 lead, including a 297-game unbeaten streak in such games, dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati … the Fighting Irish continue their uncanny success when scoring three goals in a match, improving to 288-3-1 (.988) all-time in those matches, including a 190-1-0 (.995) record since Oct. 6, 1995 … since falling in its Alumni Stadium opener to North Carolina on Sept. 4, 2009, Notre Dame has won its last 19 matches at its sparkling new state-of-the-art facility, posting a 50-2 scoring margin with 17 shutouts in that time (the lone opponent goals were scored by Connecticut’s Linda Ruutu on Oct. 16, 2009 and Central Michigan’s Molly Gerst on Nov. 15, 2009, both during 6-1 Notre Dame victories).