Dec. 1, 2010
2010 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer — Match 24
NCAA Women’s College Cup — Semifinal
#7/10 [#4 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-2-2 / 9-0-2 BIG EAST) vs. #17/19 [#3 seed] Ohio State Buckeyes (17-4-2 / 8-2-0 Big Ten)
DATE: December 3, 2010
TIME: 4:00 p.m. ET
AT: Cary, N.C. – WakeMed Soccer Park (7,000)
SERIES: ND leads 5-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 6-0 (10/23/93)
LAST MTG: ND 3-1 (11/15/02)
TV: ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN3.com (live) (Beth Mowins, p-b-p / Julie Foudy, color / Cat Whitehill, sideline)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
LIVE BLOG: UND.com
- Notre Dame is competing in its school-record fifth consecutive NCAA College Cup, and sixth in the past seven years.
- The Fighting Irish will be taking on their fourth consecutive ranked opponent in the NCAA Championship and seventh Top 25 foe of the season (5-1 record to date).
No. 7/10 Irish Set To Face No. 17/19 Ohio State Friday In College Cup Semifinal
Bolstered by veteran leadership and plenty of experience, No. 7/10 Notre Dame finds itself in familiar territory, as the Fighting Irish open their fifth consecutive NCAA Women’s College Cup appearance against No. 17/19 Ohio State at 4 p.m. (ET) Friday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. — the match will be televised live to a national cable audience on both ESPN2 and ESPNU, as well as on-line at ESPN3.com.
Notre Dame (19-2-2) traveled a seldom-blazed trail to this year’s College Cup, going on the road to defeat a higher-ranked and higher-seeded opponent in its last two NCAA Championship matches, first picking off No. 3/4 (and top seed) North Carolina, 4-1 in the third round, and then ousting No. 6 (and third seed) Oklahoma State, 2-0 in last weekend’s quarterfinal.
Even with all of their grizzled veterans, it was a young pup who helped the Fighting Irish punch their ticket for this year’s College Cup, as freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker scored both goals in the win over Oklahoma State.
- Notre Dame is No. 7 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 10 in the final Soccer America poll.
- Ohio State is No. 17 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 19 in the final Soccer America poll.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame is no stranger to the NCAA College Cup with its 12th appearance on deck this weekend, but one would be hard-pressed to find a tougher road to the national semifinals than the route the Fighting Irish took this year.
Seeded fourth in their portion of the bracket, Notre Dame successfully turned back challenges from New Mexico (3-0) and three successive ranked opponents — No. 22 USC (4-0), No. 3/4 North Carolina (4-1) and No. 6 Oklahoma State (2-0), the latter two victories coming on the road. In fact, the Fighting Irish became the first team since Florida State in 2003 (and third all-time) to advance to the College Cup with back-to-back road wins in the preceding two rounds of the NCAA Championship.
Notre Dame has benefitted from a balanced offensive attack in the NCAA tournament, led by three goals and three assists each from junior forward Melissa Henderson (17G-10A for season) and senior forward/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (4G-5A). Senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (11G-10A) has two goals in the Championship, while freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (9G-3A) potted both scores in last Friday’s quarterfinal win at Oklahoma State.
Junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller (1G-3A) and senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (0.53 GAA, 8 ShO) anchor a Fighting Irish defense that has posted 13 shutouts and allowed just one goal in four NCAA Championship matches this season.
Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State (17-4-2) is set to make its first-ever NCAA College Cup appearance this weekend after earning a share of the Big Ten Conference title with an 8-2 record. The Buckeyes come into Friday’s match ranked 17th in the final regular season National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and 19th in the year-end Soccer America poll.
The third seed in its quadrant of the NCAA Championship bracket, OSU defeated Saint Francis (Pa.) (1-0 in 2ot) and Dayton (0-0, 4-2 pk) at home, before going on the road to knock off Virginia (3-2) in the third round and returning to Columbus to dispatch Notre Dame’s fellow BIG EAST member, Georgetown (2-0) in last weekend’s quarterfinal.
The Buckeyes are paced by junior forward Paige Maxwell (10G-2A), while sophomore forwards Tiffany Cameron (7G-5A) and Lauren Granberg (4G-5A) and senior defender/midfielder Lauren Steuer (1G-9A) add offensive punch for Ohio State. Junior goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner (0.64 GAA, 4 ShO) also has been a major contributor to OSU’s postseason success, posting three of her four shutouts and standing tall late in the win at UVa.
Head coach Lori Walker is in her 14th season at Ohio State with a 158-110-24 (.582) record in Columbus. Adding in two seasons at Kansas, she has a career coaching record of 171-133-25 (.558).
The Notre Dame-Ohio State Series
Friday will mark the sixth meeting between Notre Dame and Ohio State on the soccer pitch, with the Fighting Irish holding a 5-0 series lead on the Buckeyes.
The two sides will be meeting for the first time since Nov. 15, 2002, when Notre Dame posted a 3-1 victory over OSU in the first round of the NCAA Championship at old Alumni Field (see recap below).
The Last Time Notre Dame And Ohio State Met
No. 19 Notre Dame turned to a pair of veteran goalscorers and a surging freshman to account for all the goals and the primary assists as the Fighting Irish opened NCAA tournament play with a 3-1 win over Ohio State on Nov. 15, 2002, at old Alumni Field.
Notre Dame’s forward unit enjoyed its strongest game of the entire 2002 season, as juniors Amanda Guertin (two goals) and Amy Warner (two assists) continued to show improved interplay with freshman frontrunner Katie Thorlakson, who scored what proved to be the gamewinning goal.
Notre Dame steadily built its shot advantage in the first half (13-2; 25-6 overall) before finally putting a goal on the board shortly before the intermission. A turnover in the box gave Guertin a one-on-one chance with OSU goalkeeper Emily Haynam and she calmly slid her eighth goal of the season into the net for the 1-0 lead (40:07).
Warner set up the second goal early in the second half, using her speed to shake free for a shot that rebounded off Haynam. Thorlakson was there to knock in her fourth goal of the season, with all her scores coming in the last six games (52:05).
Ohio State jumped right back in the game, as a Fighting Irish clearing attempt deflected off the leg of OSU freshman Colleen Hoban and went into the net from point-blank range for her seventh goal of the season (61:28).
Guertin capped the scoring with her 35th career goal in the 78th minute, with sophomore defender Candace Chapman setting up the play on a left side throw-in. Warner raced onto the throw and sent a cross from the left endline, with Guertin again sliding her try past Haynam for the 3-1 cushion (77:58).
Notre Dame vs. the Big Ten
Notre Dame is 63-9-2 (.865) all-time against the Big Ten Conference, including a 24-4 (.857) record when playing away from home (road/neutral sites combined). Since a 2-1 loss to 14th-ranked Penn State on Sept. 23, 2007 at old Alumni Field, the Fighting Irish have won nine consecutive matches against the Big Ten, and are 2-0 against that conference this season, with a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Aug. 20 at Alumni Stadium, and a 2-1 victory at Northwestern on Sept. 19.
Notre Dame also is 13-1 all-time against the Big Ten in NCAA Championship play, including a 3-1 victory over Ohio State in the first round of the 2002 tournament at old Alumni Field.
NCAA Championship Quick Kicks
- Notre Dame is competing in the NCAA Championship for the 18th consecutive year, the second-longest active streak of consecutive berths, trailing only North Carolina (29) in that category.
- Notre Dame has a 57-15-1 (.788) all-time record in NCAA tournament play, including 44-3-0 (.936) in NCAA games played at home.
- The Fighting Irish are 9-9 all-time in College Cup matches (4-2 at WakeMed Soccer Park), including a 7-4 (.636) mark in national semifinals and a 3-0 mark at WakeMed Soccer Park (1-0 vs. Santa Clara in 2004; 2-1 vs. Florida State in 2006; 1-0 vs. Stanford in 2008). All four semifinal losses have come by one goal (2-1 vs. Connecticut in 1997; 2-1 vs. North Carolina in 2000; 3-2 vs. Florida State in 2007; 1-0 vs. North Carolina in 2009).
- Against non-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents, Notre Dame is 7-1 in College Cup matches (5-1 in semifinals; 2-0 in final), with the lone loss coming in 1997 to fellow BIG EAST member Connecticut (2-1).
- Including this season, Notre Dame and UNC remain the only teams to have reached the final-32 or further in every NCAA Championship since 1993, and remain 1-2 in virtually all tournament appearance records during that time — round-of-16 trips (UNC-18, ND-15, Portland-15), quarterfinals since 1994 (ND-14, UNC-14, Portland-13), College Cup berths since 1994 (UNC-13, ND-12) and title game appearances since 1994 (UNC-11, ND-7; no one else with more than three).
- The Fighting Irish claimed NCAA titles in 1995 and 2004, joining UNC and Portland as the only repeat winners in the history of the tournament. Notre Dame also has finished as the NCAA runner-up five times (1994, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2008) as part of its 12 NCAA College Cup berths (also semifinalist in 1997, 2000, 2007 and 2009), all since 1994.
Gimme Five (College Cups)
The 2010 season marks a milestone for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish make their fifth consecutive NCAA College Cup appearance. That stands as not only the longest active streak in the country (after UCLA’s seven-year run from 2003-09 ended earlier in this year’s tournament), but the longest in school history, topping the four-year Fighting Irish run from 1994-97.
What’s more, Notre Dame’s current five-year College Cup streak is tied for the third-longest in NCAA Championship history, trailing only North Carolina’s 21-year run (1982-2003), UCLA’s seven-year stretch and a five-season streak by Massachusetts (1983-87).
Going Back To Cary
For the fifth time, WakeMed Soccer Park is serving as the host site for the NCAA Women’s College Cup, and for the fourth consecutive time, Notre Dame has qualified to participate in college soccer’s final weekend on the Cary, N.C., pitch.
The Fighting Irish previously played in the College Cup at WakeMed Soccer Park in 2004 (won title, 4-3 on penalties vs. UCLA after 1-1 draw), 2006 (lost in final, 2-1 to North Carolina) and 2008 (lost in final, 2-1 to North Carolina).
Doing It The Hard Way
Notre Dame is just the third team in the 29-year history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship to advance to the national semifinals following consecutive road wins in the tournament. In 2000, Portland made the final four with 1-0 wins at No. 2 national seed Washington and No. 7 seed Penn State (the latter in overtime). Most recently in 2003, Florida State won its round-of-16 match at No. 6 seed West Virginia (3-2, 2ot) and its quarterfinal at No. 3 seed Florida (2-1) to book a spot in the College Cup.
Special thanks to CollegeSoccer360.com for providing the research on this note.
Match #23 Recap: Oklahoma State (NCAA Quarterfinal)
Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker scored a pair of second-half goals and No. 7/10 Notre Dame put together a stellar defensive performance to blank sixth-ranked Oklahoma State, 2-0 in an NCAA Championship quarterfinal match on a chilly Nov. 26 evening before a record crowd of 2,660 fans at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, Okla.
Senior forward/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes set up Tucker’s first goal in the 63rd minute, and junior forward Melissa Henderson created the opportunity for Tucker’s clinching score with 20 seconds remaining.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss teamed with her back line to expertly manage the Fighting Irish defensive third, with Weiss being called upon to make just one save on the night. It was Weiss’ career-high eighth solo shutout of the season and Notre Dame’s 13th clean sheet of the season.
The Fighting Irish (19-2-2) finished with an 18-7 edge in total shots over Oklahoma State, including a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal. Notre Dame also held a 7-2 margin in corner kicks, while each side was whistled for six fouls in the match.
No signs of Billy, Jane, Michael or Sydney, but this season, Notre Dame has taken on the look of Mel-Rose Place. Specifically, the offensive duo of junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin have combined for more than half (28) of the 53 Fighting Irish goals and 76 of 149 points through 23 matches.
Henderson and Augustin also are the lone tandem in the nation this season to post double-digit goals and assists. Henderson (17G-10A) joined the club with her career-high 10th assist of the season in last Friday’s NCAA quarterfinal at Oklahoma State, while Augustin (11G-10A) already has posted career highs in goals, assists and points this year.
Henderson A Trend Setter
If you’re looking to spot a trend in Notre Dame’s success during the past three seasons, look no further than junior forward Melissa Henderson. Since the Garland, Texas, native arrived in South Bend, she has scored 52 goals (third-most among active Division I players, and 11th in school history) and added 17 assists, good for 121 career points (tied-15th in school history).
This season, Henderson is once again among the national offensive leaders, ranking fourth nationally in points (44), sixth in goals (17) and points per match (1.91), and eighth in goals per match (0.739) coming into this weekend’s action. She also has distributed a career-high 10 assists in 2010, topping her combined total of seven helpers during her first two seasons at Notre Dame.
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson’s career, Notre Dame is 35-0-2 when she scores a goal, something she’s done in 14 matches this year, including 10 of the past 14 outings. The Fighting Irish also are 43-0-2 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 18 matches this year and 25 of the past 33 contests, dating back to last season.
A Rose By Any Other Name
In her final season at Notre Dame, senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin has been intent on going out with a bang, rolling up career highs in virtually every offensive category, including goals (11), assists (tied-10), points (32) and game-winning goals (tied-3). The Silver Lake, Ohio, resident also is one of just 10 players in the country to notch double-digit goals and assists this season, along with junior teammate Melissa Henderson (17G-10A).
In the past two years, Augustin has dished out 20 assists, many coming in her role as one of Notre Dame’s set-piece specialists. That was never more apparent than in Notre Dame’s 4-1 NCAA third-round win at North Carolina, when Augustin followed up her opening strike (13th minute) with assists on the next two Fighting Irish goals, one from the corner flag and the other off a free kick.
That four-point night led to Augustin’s multiple selections as the CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Performer of the Week, as a member of the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week and as an ESPNU/Capital One Impact Performer of the Week.
Throughout her career, junior co-captain/defender Jessica Schuveiller has been known more for her defense than her offense, but she’s developed a habit of making her goals count.
The Plano, Texas, native has scored four times in her three seasons at Notre Dame, with all four goals proving to be game-winning strikes. In addition, three of her game-winners have come in postseason play (two in the NCAA Championship), including the decisive strike in the 33rd minute of Notre Dame’s 4-1 third-round win at North Carolina on Nov. 20.
Schuveiller, who has started all 76 matches of her Fighting Irish career, netted her first collegiate goal as a freshman in 2008, igniting Notre Dame’s 2-0 NCAA quarterfinal win over Florida State at old Alumni Field. Then, last season, she scored a late game winner (8:08 remaining) in the regular season at Cincinnati (2-1 win on Sept. 25), before sending Notre Dame to the BIG EAST Championship title match with an overtime goal (98:42) in the conference semifinals against St. John’s (2-1).
Nip And Tuck(er)
One of the “feel good” stories of the 2010 Notre Dame women’s soccer season has been the emergence of freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker, who helped send the Fighting Irish to this weekend’s College Cup with her two-goal outburst in last week’s quarterfinal win at sixth-ranked Oklahoma State.
The Jacksonville, Fla., native earned third-team all-BIG EAST Conference and BIG EAST All-Rookie Team honors and currently ranks third on the team with nine goals (including five game-winners) and 21 points, while starting 20 of 23 contests this season.
Not bad for a player who didn’t even play soccer at Jacksonville’s Bishop Kenny High School (she did play club soccer with the Jacksonville Fury) and wasn’t ranked in the top 100 of any major recruiting service evaluations, let alone earn any sort of national prep All-America honor.
She was, in fact, an all-state selection in high school, but as a cross country runner in 2009 (which helps explain why she led all Fighting Irish players in preseason fitness testing), in addition to earning all-city honors as a basketball point guard. An exceptional student, Tucker also ranked first in her high school class and was president of Bishop Kenny’s chapter of the National Honor Society.
That scholastic aptitude carried over to her college career during a challenging week in mid-September, when she showed up for a calculus exam, only to learn she was in the wrong classroom. She quickly raced across campus to the right exam room, just in time to post a 98 on the calculus test, and then catch the team bus for a weekend trip to Chicago for matches at DePaul and Northwestern.
Not satisfied with her academic success, Tucker then scored three of Notre Dame’s four goals in two wins that weekend (including both scores at DePaul), being named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week and Chicagoland Soccer News Player of the Week, as well as earning a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week.
Quickstrike Offense, Part I
Junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin scored 47 seconds apart (at 23:51 and 24:38) midway through the first half of the Sept. 5 win over Texas Tech at Alumni Stadium. It was the fastest two-goal flurry for Notre Dame since Sept. 28, 2008, at Cincinnati, when Henderson scored 33 seconds after Courtney Rosen found the back of the net.
Quickstrike Offense, Part II
Junior forward Melissa Henderson’s goal just 1:11 in Notre Dame’s win at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 12 was the fastest opening tally by the Fighting Irish since Dec. 7, 2008, when Kerri Hanks scored only 16 seconds into the NCAA national championship match against North Carolina in Cary, N.C. (setting an NCAA College Cup record in the process).
Henderson’s goal against LMU also was the sixth-fastest opening score in the 12-year Randy Waldrum era (1999-present).
Getting The Jump On The Opposition
In 11 matches this season, Notre Dame has scored the opening goal inside the first 15 minutes of play.
In addition, the Fighting Irish have scored within the opening 30 minutes in 16 of their last 21 matches, after waiting until the second half to find the back of the net in their first two contests of the year.
Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents have chosen the third option. In fact, the Fighting Irish have led or been tied for 2,076:59 of 2,114:02 minutes this season (98.2% of the elapsed game time). The only times Notre Dame has trailed this season were for 25:06 (19:09-44:15) at No. 13 UCLA on Sept. 10, and for 31:56 (58:04-90:00) against Connecticut on Oct. 31.
Department of Defense
Notre Dame opened this season with four consecutive shutouts, marking the second time in three years (just the third time in school history) that the Fighting Irish have started with four clean sheets. The other instances occurred in 1995 (eight in a row) and 2008 (four in a row).
This season, Notre Dame has allowed just 13 goals (two of which were own-goals), entering the weekend, ranking 10th in the nation in goals-against average (0.553) and 11th in shutout percentage (0.565/match).
Looking at the larger picture, Notre Dame has allowed 0-1 goals in 35 of its last 38 matches, dating back to Oct. 4, 2009, at Pittsburgh. Prior to a 2-1 overtime loss at 13th-ranked UCLA on Sept. 10, the Fighting Irish had a 19-match streak of allowing one goal or fewer, the fifth-longest streak in school history and their longest since Oct. 25, 2002-Oct. 26, 2003, when the Fighting Irish yielded a goal or fewer in 24 consecutive matches.
During this current 38-match defensive run (which coincided with the installation of senior Nikki Weiss as Notre Dame’s full-time starting goalkeeper), the Fighting Irish are 32-3-3 with 23 shutouts (15 solo and eight shared by Weiss), a 91-20 scoring margin and a 0.52 goals-against average (GAA).
In the program’s 23-year history, Notre Dame is 408-10-17 (.957) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
ND Seniors Among Nation’s Best
The 2010 Notre Dame senior class currently is second only to its North Carolina counterpart as the most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 85-12-5 (.858) that includes four consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup and an appearance in the 2008 national title match.
The .858 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fourth-best on the national scene.
And Juniors Aren’t Half Bad Either
Like their senior teammates, the Fighting Irish juniors are among the national leaders in total wins by the Class of 2011, trailing only Stanford and North Carolina with a three-year record to date of 66-7-3 (.888), including three trips to the NCAA College Cup and a berth in the 2008 title match. The Notre Dame junior class also currently ranks third in the nation with an .888 winning percentage.
That record could be even more impressive when one considers that three of those seven losses occurred in a nine-day span (Sept. 4-13) last season. The only other losses were late-game one-goal setbacks to North Carolina in the past two College Cups (2-1 in the ’08 final, 1-0 in the ’09 semifinals) and earlier this season at 13th-ranked UCLA (2-1 in OT on Sept. 10) and against Connecticut (2-0 on Oct. 31 in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals), along with a 0-0 draw at Pittsburgh last year (a match in which Notre Dame outshot the Panthers, 25-7) and 1-1 draws this season at Connecticut and Georgetown.
Part of Notre Dame’s success this season can be traced to the poised and rapidly maturing play of its freshmen, four of whom have been among the starting XI for the Fighting Irish.
Midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker both collected BIG EAST Conference All-Rookie Team honors this season, having earned starting nods in virtually every match this season (Laddish all 23, Tucker 20). Laddish ranks fourth on the team in total minutes (1,978) by a field player, while Tucker (who also was a third-team all-conference pick and a two-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week selection) is third on the team — and tops among all conference freshmen — with nine goals, three assists and 21 points, while standing second on the team with five game-winning goals (all of those marks are among the top 10 in the BIG EAST) after scoring both markers in last Friday’s NCAA quarterfinal win at sixth-ranked Oklahoma State.
On Sept. 12 at Loyola Marymount, defender Kecia Morway became the third rookie in the starting lineup (she has gotten the call 17 times this season), while forward Adriana Leon got her first starting nod on Oct. 1 vs. Syracuse. Leon, who has started seven times to date, has three goals this season, most recently capping Notre Dame’s 4-0 NCAA second-round win over 22nd-ranked USC on Nov. 14 with a score in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Morway and Laddish played a significant role in Notre Dame’s NCAA Championship first-round win over New Mexico, each earning an assist on one of Lauren Fowlkes’ second-half goals. For Morway, it was her first career point.
One other Notre Dame freshman note: during the final 10 minutes of the first half at Northwestern on Sept. 19, the Fighting Irish had five freshmen on the pitch at the same time, as starters Laddish, Tucker and Morway were joined by Leon and midfielder Rebecca Twining, the latter of whom was making her college debut.
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 18 of its last 19 matches on Sunday (16-1-2), having its 17-match unbeaten streak snapped with the Oct. 31 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals. Still, the Fighting Irish own a 35-3-3 (.890) record in the past 41 contests when closing out the weekend, 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).
Irish Were Thinking Pink In October
Following the success of this past spring’s jersey auction at the Mexico exhibition match to benefit Camp Whatcha-Wanna-Do (which raised nearly $3,000 for the Fort Wayne camp for children with cancer), the Notre Dame women’s soccer team once again gave fans the shirts off their backs.
During its home matches against Seton Hall and Rutgers on the weekend of Oct. 8-10, the Fighting Irish wore special white/pink uniforms to support Kicks Against Breast Cancer, a national soccer initiative to raise funds for breast cancer research. From Sept. 24-Oct. 11, fans had the opportunity to bid on these autographed, game-worn jerseys by going to the official Notre Dame athletics auction web site at www.UND.com/auctions.
Proceeds from this auction (which topped $5,000) go directly to Kicks Against Breast Cancer. For more information on this worthwhile cause, visit www.kicksagainstbreastcancer.org.
We Love The New Digs
Alumni Stadium is quickly earning a reputation as not only one of the nation’s finest college facilities, but also a truly intimidating place for visiting teams. In fact, following Notre Dame’s loss to top-ranked North Carolina in its first match at the new stadium (Sept. 4, 2009), the Fighting Irish have won 25 of their last 26 at home, outscoring their opponents, 69-8 in that span while recording 20 shutouts. Notre Dame also had a 23-match home winning streak before it was snapped on Oct. 31 with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.
Notre Dame’s 4-1 win at North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 20 was noteworthy for two reasons.
First, it marked the first time in nearly 25 years (and 607 matches) that a team defeated the Tar Heels by more than one goal. The last time that happened was Nov. 24, 1985, when UNC dropped a 2-0 decision at George Mason in the NCAA national championship match.
The 4-1 result also represented the most goals allowed by North Carolina in a single match during the NCAA era (1982-present), with Harvard the only college program to score more goals against the Tar Heels, posting a 5-3 win over UNC on Nov. 16, 1980, at the AIAW Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.
…And Streaks Busted
All good things must come to an end, and with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut on Oct. 31 in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals at Alumni Stadium, Notre Dame saw its NCAA Division I-record 77-match unbeaten streak (72-0-5) against BIG EAST opposition stopped.
This incredible run dated back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the ties were scoreless draws at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 4, 2009), and 1-1 deadlocks at No. 12 West Virginia in the 2007 BIG EAST final (won by the Mountaineers on penalties, 5-3, but the result is recorded as a tie), as well as this season at Connecticut (Oct. 15) and Georgetown (Oct. 24).
Not only was Notre Dame’s conference unbeaten streak an NCAA Division I record, but it was the fourth-longest in NCAA history across all divisions.
Division III Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), is the current all-division record holder with a 114-match unbeaten streak against conference opponents, dating back to 2003 (the Cowgirls also have an active 131-match unbeaten run in regular season league play).
Since joining the BIG EAST 15 years ago, the Fighting Irish are 143-8-7 (.927) all-time in regular-season conference matches, 35-3-1 (.910) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 742-94 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in 1995.
The loss to Connecticut on Oct. 31 also ended another mammoth streak for Notre Dame, as its 15-year, 99-match home unbeaten run (98-0-1) against BIG EAST teams was stopped. UConn is still the lone conference team ever to defeat the Fighting Irish at home, having also earned a 5-4 overtime win on Oct. 6, 1995, at old Alumni Field.
During this BIG EAST home unbeaten streak (which stretched through three American presidencies and four Summer Olympics), the only result separating Notre Dame from a 99-match conference home winning streak was a 0-0 draw with Rutgers on Oct. 22, 2004, also at old Alumni Field.
Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 12th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I all-time winning percentage list with a .791 (358-86-23) mark in his 21 years in the women’s game. He also is third among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 358 career wins rank fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I charts — Waldrum earned his 350th career victory on Oct. 3 vs. St. John’s at Alumni Stadium.
A two-time National Coach of the Year (2008 by the NSCAA, 2009 by Soccer America), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA College Cups, four NCAA finals and the 2004 national championship. He is second in NCAA Division I history with eight College Cup appearances and four title-match berths in his storied career.
The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 327-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 304 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 216 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced 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 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 (Irish 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 296-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 198-1-0 (.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 20-4-11 (.729) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two, with the Sept. 10 loss at 13th-ranked UCLA snapping a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) in added time, dating back to the 2007 season.
Since the UCLA loss, Notre Dame has drawn twice in overtime (at Connecticut on Oct. 15 and at Georgetown on Oct. 24, both 1-1 finals), making the Fighting Irish unbeaten in nine of their last 10 extra-time contests.
Three current Notre Dame players have scored “golden goals” in their college careers — senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Oct. 12, 2008 at Villanova), junior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. Connecticut in BIG EAST final) and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller (Nov. 6, 2009 vs. St. John’s in BIG EAST semifinal).
Senior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller have been selected to serve as Notre Dame’s captains this year, according to a preseason vote of their teammates. Fowlkes is in her first season as a team captain, while Schuveiller is a second-year captain after becoming the first non-senior to wear the armband for the Fighting Irish since Amy Warner in 2002.
Next Up: NCAA College Cup Final
Should Notre Dame defeat Ohio State on Friday, the Fighting Irish would move on to the NCAA Women’s College Cup championship match (noon ET, Sunday, ESPN2/ESPN3.com) to play No. 1 Stanford or No. 18/16 Boston College.
Notre Dame is 6-5-1 all-time against Stanford (2-1 in the NCAA Championship), but the Cardinal earned a 2-0 victory in the teams’ most recent match on Sept. 13, 2008, at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic.
The Fighting Irish are 10-1 all-time against Boston College, with each of those matchups occurring when the Eagles were members of the BIG EAST Conference. The teams last met on Nov. 5, 2004, at the BIG EAST Championship semifinals in Storrs, Conn., with Notre Dame posting a 2-0 win.
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