Aug. 17, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – Despite owning the upper hand in all statistical categories, No. RV/12 Notre Dame couldn’t solve the Wisconsin defense, and the Badgers capitalized on their lone shot on goal of the second half, scoring with 6:19 remaining to edge the Fighting Irish, 1-0 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams at the McClimon Soccer Complex.
Monica Lam-Feist had the match-winning goal for Wisconsin (1-0), as Notre Dame lost its opening contest for the first time since 1999, and allowed a goal in a season opener for the first time since 2005 (ending a streak of 716:35 scoreless minutes by the Fighting Irish defense in lidlifters).
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness), one of seven rookies in the Notre Dame lineup on Friday, went the distance in the Fighting Irish cage and made one save. Meanwhile, UW’s Lauren Gunderson kept her team in the match with seven saves, including five in the first half alone.
Notre Dame (0-1) finished with a 12-8 advantage in total shots, as well as a 7-2 edge in shots on goal and 5-2 lead in corner kicks. The fouls were virtually even (9-8 against Wisconsin), while the Badgers were flagged for three of the four offside calls during the match.
“This season, we will have our share of learning experiences, especially with such a young team, and tonight was one of the lessons,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We didn’t put our chances away early, the game got into the final 15 minutes and we didn’t manage things as well as we needed to. Then we made a mistake and they punished us for it. Sure, it’s disappointing, but I saw plenty of positives tonight and we’ll go back and build on those and get ready for Tulsa next Friday.”
Notre Dame nearly took the lead 30 seconds into the match, as freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) fired a dipping shot from the top left corner of the penalty box that Gunderson did well to stop, diving to her left to push the ball wide of the right post for a corner kick. It was the first of three tries from the flag that the Fighting Irish had in the opening 10 minutes (and five in the first half), as Notre Dame kept up the offensive pressure early.
In the 14th minute, junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) connected with freshman left back Stephanie Campo (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) on an overlapping run down the flank, and Campo served a threatening ball into the area, but freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) missed the cross by inches.
Wisconsin earned its only corner kick of the first half in the 17th minute, and it resulted in one of the Badgers’ best looks of the period, as Brianna Stelzer’s looping header landed on the roof of the net.
Around the midpoint of the first half, UW found its stride and tested the young Fighting Irish back line, but the Notre Dame sentries responded by blocking three consecutive Badger shots near the top of the box. Sophomore defender Sammy Scofield (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) also tracked back well on a run-out attempt by Wisconsin’s Cara Walls, cutting off the Badger striker on the left side of the area and preventing a clear shot on frame.
Notre Dame had two more threatening chances in the first half, first when sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) saw her 20-yard shot from straight on go wide right in the 33rd minute. The other came when sophomore defender/midfielder Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior) launched a free-kick service from the right flank that was ticketed for the upper right corner of the goal, but was spotted well and grabbed by Gunderson.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin got its first official shot on goal of the match in the final minute of the half. Lindsey Johnson sent a flip throw-in from the right touch line, with the ball caroming out to Lexi Peterson at the top of the box, but she didn’t get much on a shot that rolled harmlessly to Hight.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were played primarily in the middle third of the pitch, before UW’s Paige Adams made a run down the right channel into the box. For the second time in the match, Scofield read the oncoming run well, took the proper angle and blocked Adams’ shot out for a corner kick that amounted to nothing.
In the 65th minute, Schneider created some space for herself on the right flank before cutting back towards the middle and squaring off a pass to sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke), who was joining the rush. However, Simonian got under her shot, sending it high and wide of the target.
Notre Dame nearly capitalized on a couple of Wisconsin defensive errors to get on the board, beginning in the 77th minute when Bohaboy challenged Gunderson while she was possessing a back-pass and almost picked the Badger goalkeeper’s pocket. Gunderson managed to stave off disaster, though, with a nifty bit of footwork to maintain possession and clear the ball from danger.
In the 82nd minute, a UW defender missed on a clearing attempt, leaving Tucker free to run on to the ball down the right channel. The Fighting Irish veteran got to the edge of the penalty area, but her strike ended up skipping right into Gunderson’s waiting arms.
Wisconsin finally broke through in the 84th minute after winning the ball just inside the midfield circle. Adams slipped a through-ball to Lam-Feist, running just right of center, and the Badger midfielder split two Notre Dame defenders before firing a low shot that clipped the inside of the left post before caroming into the net for the deciding score (83:41).
The Fighting Irish will be back on the road at 8:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. CT) Aug. 24, when they face Tulsa at the Hurricane Soccer Stadium in Tulsa, Okla. Notre Dame then returns home Aug. 26 for its first match of the season at Alumni Stadium, playing host to East Carolina at 1 p.m. (ET).
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— ND —
POST MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame falls to 21-3-1 in season openers (11-2-1 in the Waldrum era), losing on opening night for the first time since Sept. 3, 1999 (a 3-2 overtime loss to top-ranked North Carolina at old Alumni Field) … the Fighting Irish also had their streak of six consecutive season-opening shutouts (and 716:35 scoreless minutes on opening night) come to an end, allowing a goal in the first match of the season for the first time since Aug. 26, 2005, when New Hampshire’s Ashlee Ceislak scored 17:06 into an 11-1 Notre Dame win at the Vermont Banknorth Classic in Burlington, Vt. … this was the first time the Fighting Irish were shut out in their season opener since Aug. 31, 2007, when Michigan held Notre Dame to a 0-0 draw at old Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish lost for the first time in eight matches when playing a Big Ten Conference opponent in their season opener (now 6-1-1) … Notre Dame is 69-11-3 (.849) all-time against Big Ten teams, including a 23-5-1 (.810) record on the road — the past two Fighting Irish losses have come at Big Ten schools by identical 1-0 scores (2011 NCAA Championship first-round match at Illinois; Friday night at Wisconsin) … Notre Dame drops to 13-2-1 all-time against Wisconsin (4-2 in Madison), with the Badgers earning their first series win since the first time the two teams met (6-0 on Sept. 9, 1989, also in Madison) … the Fighting Irish are 9-8-2 (.526) all-time when playing in the state of Wisconsin … Simonian’s five shots were one off her career high (six at South Florida on Sept. 22, 2011), while Tucker’s three shots on goal tied her career high for fourth time (most recently set at Oklahoma State on Nov. 26, 2010).
Notre Dame 0 – 0 – 0
Wisconsin 0 – 1 – 1
WIS 1. Monica Lam-Feist 1 (Paige Adams) 83:41.
Total Shots: Notre Dame 12 (8-4), Wisconsin 8 (6-2)
Shots On Goal: Notre Dame 7 (5-2), Wisconsin 2 (1-1)
Saves: Notre Dame 1 (Elyse Hight 1 in 90:00), Wisconsin 7 (Lauren Gunderson 7 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: Notre Dame 5 (5-0), Wisconsin 2 (1-1)
Fouls: Notre Dame 8 (5-3), Wisconsin 9 (6-3)
Offsides: Notre Dame 1 (0-1), Wisconsin 3 (0-3)
Records: Notre Dame 0-1, Wisconsin 1-0