Sept. 18, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio) scored a pair of goals, while junior forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) dished out two assists, as the No. 14/13 Notre Dame women’s soccer team rolled to a 4-0 victory over DePaul in the BIG EAST Conference opener for both teams on Friday night before a crowd of 1,605 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Junior forward Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) got the Fighting Irish on the board in the 17th minute, while sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) capped the scoring with her team-leading fifth goal of the season with two minutes to play. With the win, Notre Dame extends its unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 53 consecutive games (51-0-2), dating back to September 2005.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) got the start and went the first 77 minutes in the Fighting Irish net, making three saves. Freshman Maddie Fox (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) came off the bench in the final quarter-hour and was not called upon to make a save, as Notre Dame collected its fourth shutout of the season. DePaul rookie netminder Claire Hanold, who was tied for the BIG EAST lead with five shutouts entering Friday’s game, went the distance in goal, making four saves.
The Fighting Irish (4-3-0, 1-0-0) owned a 23-5 shot advantage over the Blue Demons, including an 8-3 spread in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned seven of the eight corner kicks in the contest, including five tries from the flag in the first half alone.
“I was very pleased with our effort out there tonight, particularly in the second half,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “Everyone that got onto the field made something happen, which is exactly what we’re asking of them each time out. We were aggressive at both ends, it paid off with some good offensive opportunities and we made the most of them. DePaul is a much-improved team and they’re going to be a handful for a lot of teams in the BIG EAST this year.”
After a rare two-game scoreless streak, Notre Dame wasted little time in cranking up the offensive muscle on Friday, as junior defender Julie Scheidler (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard) got loose on an overlapping run down the right side just two minutes into the game. Her cross into the box skipped all the way to the back post, where Henderson was lurking, but was unable to finish from the acute angle.
The Fighting Irish kept up the pressure and won three corners in the opening 15 minutes. Although all three tries were cleared away by DePaul, the Blue Demons’ backline was clearly taking heavy fire and eventually it led to the first goal of the night. Sophomore midfielder Molly Campbell (Mission Hills, Kan./St. Teresa’s Academy) started the sequence by knocking down an attempted DePaul clearance and cracking a shot from the top of the penalty area that rang hard off the crossbar. The ball caromed right to Knaack about 10 yards out on the right side of the box, and her flick header back into the goal mouth landed right at Fowlkes’ feet, and the versatile frontliner made no mistake, flushing home her third goal of the season from point blank range at 16:40.
Nearing the midpoint of the first half, Notre Dame was on the offensive again, and once more, the threat came from the corner flag. Augustin served a bending ball into the box, and senior defender Haley Ford (Midland, Texas/Midland) climbed the ladder for a driven header that squirted high and wide to the left (22:40).
Fowlkes had a chance for her second goal of the first half at the 27:25 mark, as freshman defender Jazmin Hall (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) lofted a pretty left-footed cross from the left channel that found Fowlkes unmarked at the penalty spot. However, she didn’t get full power behind her header towards the far post and Hanold was there to make the save.
Scheidler had a good look on frame with less than six minutes left in the period, as senior midfielder Amanda Clark (Naperville, Ill/Neuqua Valley) sprang the Notre Dame right back with a pinpoint diagonal ball into the right channel. Scheidler cut back near the top right corner of the penalty area, but her left-footed drive skittered just wide of the left post.
The turning point in the contest came inside the final 90 seconds of the first half. Sophomore defender/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) latched on to a ball near the midfield stripe and quickly went over the top, finding a gap between the DePaul backline and a late-charging Hanold. Augustin won the footrace with the Blue Demons’ goalkeeper, and with a sharp right-footed poke, chipped the helpless netminder for a 2-0 Notre Dame lead with 1:20 remaining in the half.
Augustin continued to make life difficult for the visitors early in the second stanza, working a give-and-go with Hall on the left side, then angling towards the box and teeing up a 20-yard blast that whistled just wide of the right post (52:45).
DePaul (4-3-2, 0-1-0) had its best offensive sequence of the evening during a five-minute stretch right around the hour mark. Lauren Pagone ran on to a chip over the Fighting Irish backline, but Lysander smartly read the play and temporarily punched the ball out of danger. The Blue Demons quickly reloaded, with Tara Strickland sending a cross from the left side back across the face of goal, but no one was home on the back post and trouble was averted. Four minutes later, Morgan Celaya ran on to a ball at the top of the 18′ and tested Lysander with a low drive, but the Fighting Irish goalkeeper dove to her right to glove the shot.
Notre Dame put the game on ice in the final quarter hour, starting with a brilliant individual effort from Knaack. The scrappy forward won a ball right in front of the DePaul bench in her own end on the left sideline, then raced 40 yards down the far touch before squaring off a pass to the trailing Augustin 30 yards out. The Fighting Irish midfielder took one angled touch towards the center of the field and then let loose with a dipping shot back into the far left corner for her second goal of the night and third score of the season.
The final goal of the evening featured superb teamwork, as Henderson pried loose a ball in the left channel and served a strong through-ball to senior forward Rachel VanderGenugten (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central), who charged to the edge of the penalty area, then cut back on her defender to open up space. VanderGenugten then unleashed a wicked rising ball that was destined for the far upper right corner of the net, only to be denied by the woodwork. However, the ball caromed directly to Henderson, who had smartly crashed the goal mouth and converted the empty-net rebound goal with exactly two minutes left.
Notre Dame will step outside of conference play for the final time this season when it plays host to Northwestern on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) inside Alumni Stadium. Tickets for all Fighting Irish home contests this season are available through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), on-line through the tickets page of the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets), and at the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on game day.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame improves to 15-0 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers, outscoring the opposition 72-2 in those lidlifters … all five series matches against DePaul have come in BIG EAST openers, with the Fighting Irish winning all five contests by a combined 20-0 margin … for the third time in four victories this season, Notre Dame scored in the opening 20 minutes of play, having also done so against Loyola-Chicago on Aug. 28 (Henderson 14′) and against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sept. 6 (Henderson 5′) … Augustin registered the third two-goal outing of her career, having also done so in last year’s NCAA Championship opener vs. Toledo (5-2 on Nov. 14 at old Alumni Field) and as a freshman vs. Villanova (5-0 on Oct. 14, 2007, also at Alumni Field) … Fowlkes came into the 2009 season with three career goals (two as a rookie in 2007, one last season) and has matched that output in her first seven matches this year … Fowlkes also earned her second career gamewinning goal, having also potted the decisive tally in last year’s 3-1 win over No. 12 Duke at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. … Knaack logged the first two-assist night of her career — she came into this season with two assists total in her first two years with the Fighting Irish, but she has three helpers in seven matches thus far in 2009 … Campbell was credited with her first career assist on Fowlkes’ 17th-minute goal, while Schuveiller collected her second career assist, after dishing out one in her college debut (a 7-0 win over Michigan on Aug. 22, 2008, at Alumni Field) … ironically, that Michigan match also featured one of the two other assists for VanderGenugten prior to this season (she set up Ellen Jantsch’s first career goal against the Wolverines); VanderGenugten also got the secondary assist on Susan Pinnick’s 86th-minute goal against Providence on Oct. 19, 2007, at Alumni Field … Notre Dame moves to 16-0 all-time when Henderson scores a goal and 18-0 when she tallies a point … Lysander earned a piece of her third shutout this season (one solo, two shared), giving her 30 clean sheets in her Notre Dame career (making her the fifth Fighting Irish goalkeeper to pile up that many shutouts) … Fox shared her second shutout of the season, combining with junior Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) for a clean sheet in the Sept. 6 whitewashing of Milwaukee … in addition to the 53-match unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opposition (which is the second-longest in NCAA Division I history, two behind North Carolina’s record of 55 in a row from Oct. 23, 1994-Sept. 1, 2000), the Fighting Irish also extend their nearly 14-year, 88-match home unbeaten streak (87-0-1) against BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone BIG EAST squad ever to defeat Notre Dame at home (5-4 in overtime on Oct. 6, 1995) … other miscellaneous Notre Dame all-time record watches: 281-3-1 (.988) when scoring three goals (183-1 since Oct. 6, 1995); 306-0-1 when taking a 2-0 lead in a match (unbeaten and untied in the past 283 such contests); and 378-9-15 (.959) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.