Aug. 10, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) put Notre Dame in front with a goal late in the first half, and freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) added an insurance goal in the final 10 minutes as the Fighting Irish opened their 25th anniversary season on a high note with a 2-0 exhibition win over No. 7 Virginia on a damp and windy Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Practice Field.
Freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) earned the assist on Thomas’ second-half strike, as the Fighting Irish improved to 11-3-2 in exhibition matches against college opponents during head coach Randy Waldrum’s 14-year tenure.
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) went the first 60 minutes between the pipes for Notre Dame, making three saves. Sophomore Sarah Voigt (Middleburg, Fla./St. John’s Country Day School) came on in relief and registered two saves in the final 30 minutes to complete the shutout.
The shot totals were nearly identical during the match, with both teams collecting 11 total shots, while the Fighting Irish had a slim 6-5 advantage in shots on goal. Virginia had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks (two of which came in the final 15 seconds of the match), while the foul count was slightly tipped towards Notre Dame, 5-4, and the Fighting Irish also were flagged for two of the three offside calls on the afternoon.
The Cavaliers, who return 20 letterwinners from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, also split their goalkeeping duties on Friday. Danielle DeLisle got the nod in the first half and made two saves before giving way to Churchill O’Connell, who also stopped two shots in the remaining 45 minutes.
“Winning doesn’t get old and we certainly will appreciate today’s result against a strong Virginia team,” Waldrum said. “I thought we saw a lot of positives, especially from our younger players who did a good job today of picking up some of the things we’ve been teaching them in training and executing well during the pressure of a game situation. On the other hand, there’s still a lot of room for improvement, and we need to keep in mind that it’s the exhibition season and the score won’t mean a thing this time next week when we’re starting the regular season. Right now, we’ll take a look at the film, see what things we can correct, and then look forward to another opportunity to get better on Sunday against Baylor.”
On a day when gusty winds out of the north and threatening skies looked like they would pose a significant challenge, Notre Dame managed the conditions well, particularly in the opening half with the wind at its back. Bohaboy created the hosts’ first good opportunity in the eighth minute, driving around her mark to the by-line, then snapping a service into the heart of the penalty area, but junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) stepped on the ball and couldn’t get a shot away before the Virginia defense recovered.
Two minutes later, the Cavaliers had a golden opportunity to strike the first blow and Kaili Torres found some room on the left side of the box and cracked a shot from 12 yards out, but Hight was equal to the task, diving to her left to make the save. The Notre Dame rookie netminder would be called upon for a similar stop just past the midpoint of the first half, denying Caroline Miller’s drive from 12 yards out. Virginia’s last good chance of the half (and one of its last of the day) came in the 30th minute, when Gloria Douglas got behind the Fighting Irish defense, but rushed her shot from 25 yards out and the ball twisted well wide of the left post.
Notre Dame then took control over the final 15 minutes of the opening half. Bohaboy won a ball at the edge of the attacking third and quickly found Thomas knifing down the left channel into the penalty area. Thomas then whistled a tantalizing cross through the six-yard box, and junior forward/midfielder Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist School) look to have a bead on it, but her timing was just off and she wasn’t able to redirect the pass home, as the ball sailed harmlessly out of danger.
The Fighting Irish then got a bit of a break from the elements to jump in front. Hight’s punt to midfield was misjudged slightly by the retreating Virginia defense, with a Cavalier defender shanking her clearing attempt. Bohaboy capitalized on the opportunity, darting in front of her mark to collect the ball and then racing straight through to the penalty area before firing a low shot from 12 yards out that beat DeLisle inside the left post (34:32).
Notre Dame nearly doubled its advantage two minutes later off a corner kick, as sophomore defender/midfielder Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior) rose high at the left post to drive a header that was ticketed for the underside of the crossbar but DeLisle made a reflex save to keep it a one-goal margin going to halftime.
Virginia had the first solid chance of the second half, earning a free kick just outside the top left corner of the box in the 53rd minute. However, Hight read Molly Menchel’s service well and was able to paddle the ball outside the right post before the Fighting Irish defense cleaned up the scraps.
Although conditions deteriorated during the second half, the offensive chances continued to be there for both teams. Notre Dame would have an excellent look in the 70th minute off another corner kick, but Von Rueden’s header drifted wide right. A minute later, Virginia came right back and Makenzy Doniak took a turn with a drive from the top of the box, but the ball took off in the wind and sailed high over the target.
On the ensuing possession, the Fighting Irish worked some possession magic on the right side, with Tucker and Twining piecing together a classic give-and-go before Tucker connected with freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) on a perfectly-timed run through the box, but Gilbertston’s final touch eluded her and O’Connell was able to make the save.
Virginia would have another go in the 74th minute, as Amber Fry tested Voigt with a shot from the top left side of the area, but the second-year Notre Dame goalkeeper stood her ground and confidently made the grab.
In the 78th minute, Gilbertson brought down a cross from sophomore midfielder/forward Karin Simonian (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke) 35 yards from goal, then weaved through the Cavaliers’ defense, but her shot into the wind knuckled and ended up in O’Connell’s waiting arms.
The Fighting Irish finally got the insurance goal they were seeking in the 81st minute and it started with a strong build-up out of the back, as Voigt hit Von Rueden with an outlet pass, and the Notre Dame rookie pushed up towards midfield. Just before crossing the stripe, Von Rueden lofted a 40-yard cross-field service that found Thomas streaking down the back side of the Virginia defense. Thomas took a purposeful touch into the box and cracked a 15-yard shot past a diving O’Connell to seal matters for the home side (80:12).
The Cavaliers made one last dangerous foray into the attacking zone in the 85th minute, with Erica Hollenberg locating a seam and lashing a hard shot from 20 yards out that dipped towards the left post. However, Voigt tracked the ball all the way and dove to her right to make the save and preserve the clean sheet for Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish will wrap up their exhibition season at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday when they take on Baylor at the Notre Dame Practice Field. Admission for the match is free, with fans asked to park in the Gold Lot adjacent to Eck Baseball Stadium and then follow the access road between Alumni Stadium (soccer)/Arlotta Stadium (lacrosse) and Eck Stadium to the Notre Dame Practice Field.
To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2012 Notre Dame women’s soccer season, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on match days.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccer or @NDsoccernews), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— ND —
POST-MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame is 11-3-2 in exhibition matches against college opponents during the 14-year Waldrum era, including a 6-0-1 record at home … although the Fighting Irish lost the only regular season match they played against Virginia (2-0 on Oct. 21, 1989, in Charlottesville, Va.), Notre Dame is 5-2-1 all-time against Virginia in exhibition matches, with an aggregate 22-15 score in favor of the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame is averaging 2.75 goals/match in the 16 exhibition matches against college opponents in the Waldrum era.
MATCH BOX SCORE (unofficial)
Aug. 10, 2011 — 1 p.m. ET
Notre Dame Practice Field (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Attendance: 450 (est.)
Weather: Overcast, light rain, winds N 20 mph
Virginia 0 – 0 — 0
Notre Dame 1 – 1 — 2
Total Shots: Virginia 11 (5-6), Notre Dame 11 (4-7)
Shots On Goal: Virginia 5 (2-3), Notre Dame 6 (3-3)
Saves: Virginia 4 (Danielle DeLisle 2 in 45:00; Churchill O’Connell 2 in 45:00), Notre Dame 5 (Elyse Hight 3 in 60:00, Sarah Voigt 2 in 30:00)
Corner Kicks: Virginia 6 (1-5), Notre Dame 4 (3-1)
Fouls: Virginia 4 (2-2), Notre Dame 5 (4-1)
Offsides: Virginia 1 (0-1), Notre Dame 2 (2-0)
Match Officials: Margaret Domka (R), Andrew Bigelow (AR1), Justin Bell (AR2), Carlos Leyva (4th)