Oct. 11, 2009
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The No. 8/9 Notre Dame women’s soccer team used goals from Melissa Henderson and Taylor Knaack en route to defeating Seton Hall, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Carroll Field. The Irish dominated possession and also got a third consecutive shutout from junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) on the way to recording their 10th win of the season.
With the victory, Notre Dame improves to 10-3-1 (6-0-1 BIG EAST) and moves their NCAA-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 59 games (56-0-3). Notre Dame also extended its conference road unbeaten streak to 26 games (23-0-3). Both of those BIG EAST streaks started with a 4-0 win at South Florida on Oct. 2, 2005. Seton Hall falls to 4-9-1 (0-6-1 BIG EAST) on the year.
The Irish finished the game with a 19-2 advantage in shots, including a 10-0 advantage in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned seven corner kicks to Seton Hall’s two. Seton Hall goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew finished with eight saves, while Weiss pushed her scoreless streak to an impressive 311:08, dating back to Notre Dame’s game at Santa Clara on September 11.
The Irish got off to a fast start and generated the game’s first scoring chance when, in the fifth minute, Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Acad.) directed a Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) corner kick towards the Seton Hall net, but the Pirate defense blocked the shot.
In the 18th minute, Molly Campbell (Mission Hills, Kan./St. Teresa’s Acad.) found an unmarked Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas/Plano West) 22-yards out from net, but the sophomore midfielder’s drive sailed just over the cross bar. The Irish kept the pressure on and in the 22nd minute Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) flicked a long throw-in from Augustin to senior Amanda Clark (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) in the center of the box, but Clark’s shot was saved by Pettigrew.
The Irish were then rewarded at 22:51 when Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) blasted a shot from 20 yards out that Pettigrew saved, but a lurking Henderson deposited the rebound into the net for her team-best seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Schuveiller earned her second assist of the season on the play.
After a give-and-go with Fowlkes, Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) came within inches of putting the Irish up 2-0, but her drive from the center of the box sailed over the net in the 27th minute. Knaack continued shooting, curling one in on the Pirate net in the 33rd minute from distance that forced Pettigrew to make another diving save.
The Irish attack kept up the pressure to begin the second half. In the 46th minute, Henderson streaked past the Pirate defense and drilled a shot from the left side of the box that Pettigrew turned aside. Two minutes later, Fowlkes’ shot from just outside the top of the box was also knocked aside by Pettigrew.
Seton Hall then threatened with one of its best chances of the game through Stephanie Soma, but Ellen Bartindale (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) cleared the threat from inside the box to prevent Soma from getting a shot off.
In the 60th minute, the Irish earned a free kick from 30 yards out and Augustin’s subsequent quick drive on net was turned aside for a corner kick by Pettigrew. The Irish continued to dominate the possession battle but could not solve Pettigrew for a second goal.
After a counter attack, Seton Hall threatened again in the 68th minute, but Campbell blocked Danielle Schulmann’s shot out for the first Pirate corner kick of the match. The defense held as Seton Hall could not take advantage.
Tereza Stastny (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) almost scored the insurance goal the Irish were searching for in the 74th minute when she sent a drive in from the right side that curled just to the outside of the far post.
In the 80th minute, Weiss came off her line to beat Schulmann to a ball in the box, negating a half-chance for the Pirates. Following a free kick, Weiss again beat the Pirates to a bounding ball in the box in the 85th minute.
Then, at 85:13, the Irish found the two-goal lead they were searching for. Fowlkes received a pass in the box and one-touched it to Henderson, who nudged it to a streaking Knaack on the far side of the box. Knaack received the pass in stride and slid her shot past Pettigrew, just inside the near post for her second goal of the season. The Irish defense held as Seton Hall could not muster any more chances.
Notre Dame returns home after a four-game road swing to play host to No. 24/13 Connecticut on Friday, October 16. The game will be played at Alumni Stadium, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) — the contest also will be broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, www.UND.com.
— ND —