SEATTLE, Wash. – Notre Dame gave up two unassisted goals in a nine-minute span midway through the first half and was not able to recover, as No. RV/22 Washington posted a 3-0 victory over the Fighting Irish on Sunday afternoon at the Husky Soccer Field in Seattle.
Lindsay Elston and Jaclyn Softli scored in the first half to put Washington (7-0-0) in front, with Falon Miller adding the final tally against the run of play in the 89th minute off an assist from Isabel Farrell.
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) played the 45 minutes for Notre Dame and was not credited with a save, before sophomore Sarah Voigt (Middleburg, Fla./St. John’s Country Day School) came on at halftime and recorded two saves the rest of the way. UW goalkeeper Kari Davidson logged four saves for the home side.
Playing their fourth consecutive ranked opponent in a nine-day span, the Fighting Irish (3-3-1) finished with a narrow 17-16 edge in total shots, while Washington held a similar margin in shots on goal (5-4). Notre Dame also had the upper hand in corner kicks (5-3), while fouls were almost even (8-7 against UW), although the Fighting Irish were assessed both yellow cards during the match.
“We’re still not finding the kind of consistency we need, especially against the quality opponents we’re playing,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We can’t afford to have an incomplete, subpar effort like today on top of all the positive work we showed on Friday at Portland. We had some flashes of bite in the attacking third for most of the second half, but it’s tough to dig out when we put ourselves in an early bind like that.
“At this point, the non-conference season is basically over, and regardless of how we feel about our record and results so far, there’s nothing we can do to change it,” Waldrum added. “All our focus is now on conference play and getting ready for our BIG EAST opener at home on Friday against Louisville.”
The opening 25 minutes were played largely in the middle third of the pitch, with both sides probing for openings in the other’s defensive wall. Notre Dame’s best early look came in the 16th minute, when junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) sent a dangerous cross from the left side through the heart of the penalty area, but freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) couldn’t quite get her right-footed volley on target, pushing it wide right from 12 yards out.
Washington eventually got the first shot on goal for either side and it put the hosts in front in the 29th minute. Elston latched on to a loose ball on the right side near the box, cut inside two defenders and drilled a rising 18-yard shot that found the far upper left corner (28:47).
The Fighting Irish looked to have rebounded quickly from the deficit, making a trio of forays into the final third. Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) had two of her team-high eight shots in the flurry, redirecting a service from freshman defender Stephanie Campo (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) on goal in the 32nd minute, then turning and firing from the top of the arc moments later, but that try was stopped by Davidson.
Just when it seemed Notre Dame was in position to equalize, Washington took advantage of a Fighting Irish miscue to double its lead. Hight attempted to play the ball out of the back up the left side of the defense, but the clearance was knocked down by Softli just outside the top of the box. She then outraced Hight and two retreating defenders to drive a low 12-yard shot inside the far left post (37:50).
Notre Dame came out with increased intensity in the second half, a period that was played for the most part in the Fighting Irish attacking third. In the 48th minute, Bohaboy earned a corner kick, then delivered a cheeky flick off the corner service towards the left post, but the pass just missed connecting with a pair of Notre Dame attackers before being cleared out of play.
A minute later, junior midfielder Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist School) had her own chance, collecting a pass at the edge of the left channel and uncorking a 20-yard shot that narrowly twisted wide of the left post.
The Fighting Irish had a golden opportunity to get back in the match in the 62nd minute, as Bohaboy took a through-ball and one-touched a pass to sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke) on an express run down the left third of the box. However, Simonian’s 12-yard curling bid for the upper right corner past an exposed Davidson sailed over the bar.
After being pinned down in their end of the pitch for the majority of the second half, the Huskies finally caught Notre Dame on one of its offensive rushes and counterattacked for the final goal of the day. Farrell took a through-ball down the left channel and tried to slip a pass on to Miller, but it looked as though the Fighting Irish defense was there to clear. Yet, the defender mis-hit the clearing attempt, with the ball settling perfectly for Miller 10 yards out in the box and she alertly fired a low shot past Voigt inside the far right post (88:16).
Notre Dame returns to Alumni Stadium to open the BIG EAST Conference portion of its schedule at 4 p.m. (ET) Friday against No. 25/12 Louisville. The match, which will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU, is the opener of a soccer doubleheader at Alumni Stadium, with the Fighting Irish men slated to welcome Michigan State to town at 7 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for these, and all regular-season Fighting Irish soccer matches, can be purchased on-line at UND.com/tickets, by calling (574) 631-7356, or by visiting the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on the day of the match.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, follow the Fighting Irish on Twitter (@NDSoccer and @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 was making its first appearance to Seattle in 15 years, and just the second in program history (following a 3-1 victory over Washington on Sept. 5, 1997 … the Fighting Irish fall to 4-1 all-time against UW (ND had a 13-1 aggregate scoring total against the Huskies before Sunday’s result), as well as 19-8-2 all-time against the current Pac-12 Conference alignment (2-5 on the road) … Notre Dame drops consecutive matches on Sunday for the first time since the 2007 season, when it lost three in a row on Sundays from Sept. 9-23, all by 2-1 scores against No. 5 Stanford, No. 16 Oklahoma State and No. 14 Penn State, the first two in overtime … the three-goal margin is the largest against the Fighting Irish since a 6-0 loss to North Carolina on Sept. 4, 2009, at Alumni Stadium … Bohaboy’s eight shots were her second-highest total of the season, eclipsed only by her 10-shot day against East Carolina on Aug. 26 at Alumni Stadium … the second-half “team” yellow card for Notre Dame was given to assistant coach Ken Nuber.
Notre Dame 0 – 0 – 0
#RV/22 Washington 2 – 1 – 3
WSH 1. Lindsay Elston 5 (-) 28:47. WSH 2. Jaclyn Softli 2 (-) 37:50. WSH 3. Falon Miller 1 (Isabel Farrell) 88:16.
Total Shots: Notre Dame 17 (7-10), Washington 16 (8-8)
Shots on Goal: Notre Dame 4 (3-1), Washington 5 (2-3)
Saves: Notre Dame 2 (Elyse Hight 0 in 45:00, Sarah Voigt 2 in 45:00), Washington 4 (Kari Davidson 4 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: Notre Dame 5 (1-4), Washington 3 (0-3)
Fouls: Notre Dame 7 (5-2), Washington 8 (4-4)
Offsides: Notre Dame 1, Washington 0
Yellow Cards: Brittany Von Rueden (ND) 45:16; Team (ND) 67:02
Records: Notre Dame 3-3-1, Washington 7-0-0