Sophomore defender Katie Naughton was one of the many bright spots Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum identified in the wake of his team's 2-0 exhibition win over #13 Baylor on Saturday at the Notre Dame Practice Field.

Irish Head To New England For BIG EAST Weekend Matches

Sept. 27, 2012

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2012 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer — Matches 12-13

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3-1 / 3-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Providence Friars (7-4-1 / 2-2-0 BIG EAST)
September 28, 2012
TIME: 3:00 p.m. ET
AT: Providence, R.I. – Glay Field (1,500)
SERIES: ND leads 16-0-0
LAST MTG: ND 3-0 (10/2/11 @ND)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3-1 / 3-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Connecticut Huskies (6-4-1 / 2-2-0 BIG EAST)
September 30, 2012
AT: Storrs, Conn. – Morrone Stadium (4,407)
SERIES: ND leads 21-5-4
LAST MTG: ND 3-0 (9/30/11 @ND)
VIDEO: (live-PPV)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews


  • Notre Dame continues to feature a balanced scoring attack, with 12 different players scoring goals and 14 tallying points this year.
  • During their current four-match winning streak, the Fighting Irish have allowed opponents a combined eight shots on goal (2.0 per match), with an overall 93-30 edge in total shots.

Irish Head To New England For BIG EAST Weekend Matches
Following a clean sweep of four consecutive home matches, it’s back on the road for Notre Dame this weekend, as the Fighting Irish head to New England for BIG EAST Conference clashes with Providence (3 p.m. ET, Friday) and Connecticut (noon ET, Sunday). The Connecticut match will be streamed live on a pay-per-view basis through the Huskies’ web site (

Notre Dame ran its current winning streak to a season-high four matches with a 3-0 non-conference win over Oakland on Sept. 23 at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish dominated the offensive statistical categories, outshooting the Golden Grizzlies, 23-2, including a 12-0 edge in shots on goal.

Freshman forward Cari Roccaro tallied a goal and an assist, while fellow rookie forwards Crystal Thomas and Anna Maria Gilbertson also scored goals for Notre Dame in the win.


  • Notre Dame is receiving votes in this week’s NSCAA poll.
  • Providence is not ranked.
  • Connecticut is not ranked.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish

  • The Fighting Irish were picked to win the BIG EAST National Division title according to a preseason vote of the conference head coaches released Aug. 7. Notre Dame has won 13 BIG EAST regular-season titles (division or overall) since joining the conference 17 years ago, including regular-season crowns in eight of the past nine years.
  • Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish represented the Fighting Irish on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, following up her second-team all-conference selection a year ago. Laddish had one goal and a career-high seven assists last season.
  • Notre Dame features a very young roster in 2012, with half (12) of the 24-member Fighting Irish squad made up of freshmen (plus another six sophomores). The Notre Dame incoming class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, with seven Fighting Irish freshmen appearing in the top 60 of the TDS Class of 2012 rankings. Leading the rookie class is forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro, a two-time consensus high school All-American and New York High School Player of the Year after piling up 39 goals and 19 assists during her prep career.

Scouting Providence
It’s been an up and down season for Providence (7-4-1, 2-2 BIG EAST) thus far, with the Friars opening winless in three of four, then winning six in a row, before dropping their last two.

PC is coming off a narrow 1-0 loss at No. 19/20 Georgetown last Sunday in Washington, D.C. The Friars allowed a goal in the 28th minute, but played tough defense the rest of the way, paced by four saves from sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Goudreault.

Providence’s early success was fueled in large measure by its two-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week selection, freshman forward Catherine Zimmerman (7G-1A), while a trio of players each have three goals this year — redshirt senior forward Laura DiClemente, senior midfielder Mary Vercollone and freshman forward/midfielder Lauren Elia. Goudreault, a BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week pick earlier this season, has a 1.05 goals-against average and .730 save percentage, with two shutouts (one solo/one shared).

Head coach Jim McGirr is in his ninth season at PC with a 50-69-21 (.432) record, including an 0-8 mark against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Providence Series
Notre Dame and Providence have played almost annually since the Fighting Irish joined the BIG EAST in 1995, with Notre Dame holding a 16-0 edge in the series (7-0 at Glay Field).

The Fighting Irish also have a 79-2 aggregate scoring margin in the series, with the Friars scoring their most recent goal against Notre Dame the last time the teams squared off in Providence in 2010.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Providence Met
Adriana Leon had a goal and an assist, while Lauren Bohaboy and Jessica Schuveiller also scored goals, leading Notre Dame to a 3-0 win over Providence on Oct. 2, 2011, at Alumni Stadium.

Melissa Henderson chipped in her sixth assist of the season, while Molly Campbell and Sammy Scofield also added assists for the Fighting Irish — for Scofield, it was the first point of her collegiate career.

Notre Dame owned an 18-2 edge in total shots, including an 11-2 margin in shots on goal (the two total shots and two shots on goal by PC both were opponent season lows). The Fighting Irish also had a season-high 10-1 advantage in corner kicks, while Providence was called for 13 of the 20 fouls in the physical match, as well as all three yellow cards.

Maddie Fox worked the first 86:03 in the Notre Dame net, making two saves, both on Friar shots that came from well outside the penalty area. Sarah Voigt came on to spell Fox during the final four minutes and did not need to make a stop in completing the shutout.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Providence Met In Providence
Lauren Fowlkes and Rose Augustin scored 8:09 apart early in the second half as No. 4/5 Notre Dame knocked off Providence, 3-1 on Oct. 17, 2010, at Glay Field in Providence, R.I.

The win, coupled with Georgetown’s simultaneous loss at West Virginia, clinched Notre Dame’s sixth consecutive BIG EAST National Division title and its 13th conference regular-season crown (division or overall) since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96.

Elizabeth Tucker added a goal, while Adriana Leon and Courtney Barg chipped in with assists for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame outshot Providence, 15-12 for the match, along with a 7-6 edge in shots on goal — in the second half, the Fighting Irish outshot PC, 9-5, including a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. The Friars took the advantage on corner kicks, 8-6, although Notre Dame attempted four of the five tries from the flag in the final 45 minutes.

Nikki Weiss collected five saves in the Fighting Irish cage, including three high-quality stops in the first half. Providence goalkeeper Jill Schott turned aside four shots for the hosts.

Scouting Connecticut
Connecticut (6-4-1, 2-2) has seen its share of success and near-misses in 2012, never finding more than two consecutive wins or losses/draws on its resume thus far. The Huskies also came close to earning a key win over UCLA on opening night, leading 3-2 in the 58th minute before lightning caused the match to be abandoned before it reached the 70-minute minimum.

UConn most recently picked up a 2-1 double-overtime win at Villanova last Sunday, evening its conference record through the first two weekends of league play. Redshirt freshman forward Andrea Plucenik was the hero, scoring the golden goal with 4:08 left in the second extra period.

Senior forward Danielle Schulmann (9G-7A) has been the BIG EAST’s talisman this year, while Plucenik (5G-1A) has proven to be a sparkplug off the bench. Junior goalkeeper Leigh-Ann Jaggon has stepped into the starter’s role between the pipes in recent weeks, currently sporting a 2.07 GAA and a .700 save percentage.

Now in his 32nd season at his alma mater, Connecticut head coach Len Tsantiris is one of the legends in women’s college soccer, entering this weekend’s action with a 497-177-52 (.720) record, including a 5-21-4 mark against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Connecticut Series
As the two traditional powerhouses in BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer, Notre Dame and Connecticut will meet for the 31st time on Sunday afternoon, with the Fighting Irish leading the all-time series, 21-5-4, including a 4-2-4 edge in Storrs.

In recent season, the matchup has been tight, with Notre Dame breaking a two-match winless streak against the Huskies (its first since 1997-98 and second all-time) last year. The Fighting Irish also are 2-2-2 in their last six matches against Connecticut at Morrone Stadium, although Notre Dame has found the facility more inviting in the postseason, winning three of its 11 BIG EAST Championship titles in Storrs, including the last two times the tournament’s final weekend was played there (2006 and 2009).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Connecticut Met
Lauren Bohaboy scored twice and Jessica Schuveiller added a goal and an assist as Notre Dame blanked Connecticut, 3-0, in an ESPNU nationally-televised match on Sept. 30, 2011, at Alumni Stadium.

Schuveiller and Bohaboy scored 40 seconds apart midway through the first half to stake Notre Dame to a lead it would never relinquish. Bohaboy then added a key insurance tally less than five minutes into the second half, converting a cross from Schuveiller, with Melissa Henderson setting up both of Bohaboy’s goals on the night.

Maddie Fox registered four saves in 76:34 of playing time in the Fighting Irish goal, highlighted by three sparkling stops in the first half. Sarah Voigt came on for the final 13-plus minutes and was not asked to make a save in completing the shutout.

Notre Dame outshot Connecticut, 18-10 in the match, holding the Huskies to just one shot in the second half (an ambitious try from outside the penalty area that was well off the mark). The Fighting Irish also finished with a 7-4 edge in shots on goal, and a 5-4 advantage on corner kicks, while the fouls were nearly even (6-5 against Connecticut).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Connecticut Met In Storrs
Melissa Henderson scored in the 78th minute to put No. 4/5 Notre Dame in front, but Connecticut got a late equalizer in regulation and the teams wound up finishing with a 1-1 draw on Oct. 15, 2010, at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.

Reserve forward Erica Iantorno set up Henderson’s go-ahead score, which looked as though it would stand up as the winner before the Huskies netted the tying goal on Linda Ruutu’s free kick with 2:35 left.

The Fighting Irish outshot Connecticut, 21-12 in the match, with each side recording seven shots on goal. Notre Dame also held a distinct advantage from the corner flag with an 8-1 corner kick edge.

Playing in her home state for the final time as a collegian, Nikki Weiss registered six saves in the Fighting Irish net. Her UConn counterpart, Jessica Dulski, also came up with six stops, including three point-blank saves against Henderson in the second half.

Match #10 Recap: Pittsburgh
Notre Dame used goals from freshmen Cari Roccaro and Glory Williams, along with a dominant 60/40 edge in possession time, to remain unbeaten in BIG EAST Conference play with a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21 at Alumni Stadium.

Roccaro netted her second goal in as many matches, converting a short-range volley in the 16th minute off a cross from senior defender/tri-captain Jazmin Hall. Williams then doubled the Fighting Irish lead with her first college goal, heading in a corner kick by junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish in the 58th minute.

Pittsburgh spoiled the shutout when Ashley Cuba scored an unassisted goal with 4:39 left. However, it was the lone blemish for Notre Dame on a night when the Fighting Irish outshot the Panthers, 21-6, including a 9-2 edge in shots on goal (not counting two other Notre Dame shots that hit the post and a goal wiped out by an offensive foul in the penalty area). Notre Dame also chalked up a season-high 12 corner kicks en route to the victory.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt went the distance in the Fighting Irish cage, making one save. Nicole D’Agostino also played the full 90 minutes in the Pittsburgh goal and registered seven saves.

Beyond The Box Score: Pittsburgh

  • Williams becomes the 12th different Notre Dame player to score a goal this season, while Hall is the 14th separate Fighting Irish player to tally a point.
  • Williams also is the eighth different Notre Dame player to score her first career goal this year, and the fifth Fighting Irish freshman to find the back of the net.
  • Hall’s assist was her first point since Oct. 30, 2011, when she set up Melissa Henderson for the lone goal 8:04 into a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal win at No. 5/9 Marquette.
  • Notre Dame registered a season-high 12 corner kicks, two more than its previous best on Sept. 14 against Louisville.
  • The Fighting Irish improve to 10-0-1 all-time against Pittsburgh, including a 6-0 record in South Bend (where the Panthers were visiting for the first time since the 2006 season).
  • Notre Dame has a 40-4 aggregate scoring margin in the series with Pittsburgh, although the Panthers’ goal was the first scored by Pittsburgh in the series since Sept. 24, 2004 (a 3-1 Fighting Irish win at old Alumni Field).
  • Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum coached his 500th women’s college soccer match, combined his 14 seasons at Notre Dame (1999-present) with prior stops at Tulsa (1989-94) and Baylor (1996-98).

Match #11 Recap: Oakland
Freshman forward Cari Roccaro collected a goal and an assist, helping Notre Dame to its fourth consecutive victory, a 3-0 non-conference win over defending Summit League Tournament champion Oakland on Sept. 23 at Alumni Stadium.

Freshman forward Crystal Thomas scored her team-high fifth goal of the season in the 69th minute, off assists from Roccaro and sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy before Roccaro herself added an insurance goal, her third score in as many matches, by converting a pass from junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish with just under 10 minutes remaining. Freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson capped the scoring for Notre Dame, potting her second goal of the year off an assist by sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian in the 83rd minute.

The Fighting Irish held an overwhelming statistical advantage on offense, posting a 23-2 margin in total shots — in fact, Oakland didn’t register its first shot of the day until less than 17 minutes remained in the match, and both of the Golden Grizzlies’ shots were taken from outside the penalty area and well off the mark. Notre Dame also had a 12-0 edge in shots on goal and a 6-2 spread on corner kicks.

Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt did not have to make a save on the way to earning her first career solo shutout and helping the Fighting Irish to their fourth clean sheet of the year. Oakland netminder Shannon Coley did all she could to keep the visitors in the match, recording nine stops.

Beyond The Box Score: Oakland

  • Notre Dame’s four-match winning streak is its longest since the six-match run to the 2010 NCAA national championship (the program’s third title), and the longest regular-season winning streak for the Fighting Irish since a nine-match spree from Sept. 12-Oct. 10, 2010.
  • Notre Dame held its opponent without a shot on goal for the first time since Nov. 1, 2009, when it outshot South Florida, 11-0 in a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match at Alumni Stadium (a contest won by the Fighting Irish, 5-0).
  • Less than a month earlier on Oct. 11, 2009, Notre Dame had its most recent regular-season match without allowing a shot on goal, a 10-0 margin in that column during a 2-0 victory over Seton Hall, also at Alumni Stadium.
  • Oakland’s two total shots are the fewest by a Fighting Irish opponent since Oct. 2, 2011, when Notre Dame also held Providence to two shots in a 3-0 victory at Alumni Stadium.
  • Coley’s nine saves were an opponent individual season high, one more than Cincinnati’s Kristina Utley had on Sept. 16 in a 7-0 Notre Dame win at Alumni Stadium.
  • Roccaro collected her first career multi-point match, and has three goals and an assist in her last three outings (she has played in four matches since returning with Laddish from duty with the victorious U.S. Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Japan).
  • Roccaro is the first Notre Dame player to score goals in three consecutive matches since Melissa Henderson had a four-match goal scoring streak from Oct. 14-30, 2011.
  • Roccaro is the second Fighting Irish freshman in as many seasons to register goals in three consecutive matches, following Bohaboy’s three-match run from Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2011.
  • Freshmen have accounted for six of the past seven Notre Dame goals, including all five in the two wins last weekend.
  • Bohaboy has a career-high four assists after notching three helpers all of last season.
  • Gilbertson becomes the seventh different Notre Dame player with at least two goals this year (Notre Dame had five multi-goal scorers in 2011).
  • Thomas’ strike was her first career match-winning goal, making her the sixth different Fighting Irish player with at least one decisive score this year (junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker has two match-winning goals thus far).
  • Notre Dame picks up its first win of the season when tied at halftime (it had been 0-2-1 entering the Oakland contest).

Roccaro, Naughton Earn BIG EAST Weekly Honors
After piling up five points in home wins over Pittsburgh and Oakland last weekend, freshman forward Cari Roccaro was named the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Roccaro’s classmate, defender Katie Naughton also received BIG EAST accolades on Monday, earning a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

Roccaro is the first Notre Dame rookie to earn BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors since Sept. 25, 2006, when Michele Weissenhofer (’10) garnered that distinction.

Roccaro is coming off a productive weekend that saw her collect a goal and an assist in a 3-0 non-conference win over Oakland on Sept. 23, as well as the opening goal in a 2-1 victory over BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh on Sept. 21. The Oakland match was the first multi-point outing of Roccaro’s career, and also extended her current goal scoring streak to three matches.

Meanwhile, Naughton anchored a Fighting Irish defense that was nearly perfect last weekend, allowing a combined eight total shots (and only two on goal) during the two wins. What’s more, Notre Dame posted its fourth shutout of the season and did not allow a shot on goal against Oakland, the first time the Fighting Irish have blanked an opponent in that column since Nov. 1, 2009, when they held an 11-0 edge in shots on goal during a 5-0 win over South Florida in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals at Alumni Stadium.

This marks the second time in Naughton’s freshman season she was selected for weekly honors. Back on Aug. 27, the Illinois native was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week after helping Notre Dame to shutout wins at Tulsa (2-0 on Aug. 24) and at home against East Carolina (5-0 on Aug. 26).

Roccaro and Naughton are two of five different Fighting Irish players (four of whom are freshmen) who have earned BIG EAST weekly honors this season. Back on Aug. 27, freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight was chosen as the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week, the same day junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker appeared on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. Most recently on Sept. 17, freshman forward Crystal Thomas copped her first career mention on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

Meet The #BabyIrish
Combine Notre Dame’s youthful roster (which includes 12 freshmen and six sophomores) and head coach Randy Waldrum’s growing fascination with Twitter and it’s no surprise that this year’s squad already has its own hashtag, courtesy of their coach … #BabyIrish.

Not only does the hashtag pay tribute to the median age of his team, but Waldrum also has used the term to refer to the (sometimes painful) growing process that the Notre Dame squad is going through this season.

Although he knows his team must crawl before it can walk, Waldrum insists that he doesn’t plan to keep the hashtag for long. The goal is see his charges continue developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the point where they’re just the #Irish by the end of the 2012 campaign.

World (Cup) Champions
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro now can add the label of “World Cup champion” to their respective resumes, after the Fighting Irish duo helped the United States win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten (and reigning U-20 champion) Germany in the championship match on Sept. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Both Notre Dame players were on the pitch when the final whistle sounded, signifying the Americans’ third title since this tournament began as the FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002. Four-time Fighting Irish All-America forward and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks (’08) was one of the youngest members (at age 17) of that victorious 2002 U.S. side (that defeated host Canada in the final), while Lauren Fowlkes (’11) helped the United States win the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, downing North Korea in the title match.

Similar to Hanks in 2002, Roccaro was the second-youngest player on this year’s American roster, but hardly showed her age, emerging as a mainstay for the United States at center back. She appeared in five of the Americans’ six matches at this year’s U-20 World Cup, starting four times and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Laddish proved to be a vital second-half substitute for the United States, coming off the bench to lend support in three matches, including the semifinal win over Nigeria and the title match victory against Germany. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player ever to earn both a U-20 Women’s World Cup title and an NCAA national championship, having joined Fowlkes as a member of the title-winning 2010 Notre Dame squad.

In addition to Laddish, Roccaro, Hanks and Fowlkes, the Fighting Irish have been represented at two other U-20 Women’s World Cups. In 2004, Hanks deferred her enrollment at Notre Dame to help the United States to a third-place finish in Thailand, scoring the opening goal in the third-place match. Two years later, a pair of future Notre Dame All-Americans, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock (’09) and defender Carrie Dew (’09), donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).

Kicks Against Cancer
Notre Dame’s regular-season home finale against Rutgers on Oct. 7 at Alumni Stadium has been designated as the program’s “Kicks Against Cancer” match. The proceeds from various events during the day will go to Michiana Hematology/Oncology and Kicks Against Cancer, the national soccer initiative to support funding for breast cancer research.

Cancer survivors and those currently battling the disease will receive free admission to the match, as well as a lime green “Kickin’ It” t-shirt (while supplies last). These courageous individuals also will be recognized on the pitch at halftime as part of a Survivors’ Walk.

Other fans attending this year’s match will receive a white “Fighting Irish Kicks Against Cancer” t-shirt, and Irish Soccer scarves will be on sale at $15 each (while supplies last).

In addition, the Notre Dame players will be wearing special gold jerseys with a pink ribbon insignia for the match. These jerseys will then be autographed and auctioned off through the official Fighting Irish athletics auctions web site ( beginning the day of the match and continuing through Oct. 31. Due to NCAA regulations, the jerseys must be autographed by at least two persons — either the player who wore the jersey and a teammate, or the entire team.

The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 338-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 315 contests when going ahead 2-0 (since a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).

In fact, just two of the past 227 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a draw, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (ND won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at old Alumni Field (ND won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (ND won 3-2 in OT).

Three … Is The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 306-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 208-1-0 (.995) mark since Oct. 6, 1995.

Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are 20-6-15 (.671) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 13 of its last 16 overtime contests, including a 1-1 double-overtime draw at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7.

Last year, the Fighting Irish tied a pair of school records by going to extra time on five occasions (also in 2001 and 2007) and registering three draws (also in 1991 and 2001).

No current Notre Dame player has scored a “golden goal” in her college career. Jessica Schuveiller netted the most recent overtime matchwinner for the Fighting Irish on Nov. 6, 2009, heading home a cross from Rose Augustin at 98:42 to beat St. John’s in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.

Any Given Sunday
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 28 of its last 33 matches on Sunday (24-5-4), including a 17-match unbeaten streak that was snapped with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Oct. 31, 2010.

Still, the Fighting Irish own a 43-7-5 (.827) record in their last 55 contests when closing out the weekend (usually on the back end of a two-match set), dating back to September 2007 (when Notre Dame lost three consecutive Sunday matches to nationally-ranked Stanford, Oklahoma State and Penn State, all by 2-1 scores and the first two in overtime).

Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 14th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list (second among active coaches) with a .779 (377-97-27) mark in his 23 years in the women’s game. Waldrum ranks fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I wins list, having earned his 375th career victory on Sept. 16 vs. Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, and he recently coached the 500th match of his women’s soccer career (a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21 at Alumni Stadium).

A two-time National Coach of the Year (2009 by Soccer America, 2010 by NSCAA), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA College Cups, five NCAA finals and two national championships (2004 and 2010). He also is second in NCAA Division I history with eight College Cup appearances and five title-match berths in his storied career.

Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad is being led by a trio of first-time captains, as senior defender Jazmin Hall, and junior midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker were selected via a preseason vote of their teammates.

Coming Soon: Irish in the ACC
The University of Notre Dame announced Sept. 12 that it has accepted an offer of admission into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports except football (the league does not offer championships in ice hockey or fencing).

The change in conference affiliation (for which a timetable has not yet been established) will be the first for Notre Dame since 1995, when the Fighting Irish moved from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) to the BIG EAST Conference.

In its 18 seasons in the BIG EAST, the Notre Dame women’s soccer program has been the conference’s flagship, winning 13 regular-season titles and 11 postseason crowns, along with three NCAA national championships. The Fighting Irish also hold a 141-10-8 (.912) regular-season conference record since joining the BIG EAST in 1995.

Next Up: Seton Hall/Rutgers
Notre Dame returns to Alumni Stadium next weekend for its final two home matches of the regular season, playing host to Seton Hall (7:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 5) and Rutgers (1 p.m. ET, Oct. 7).

Prior to the Seton Hall match, the Fighting Irish will honor their three departing seniors — defender/tri-captain Jazmin Hall, midfielder Nicole Borner and student manager Keith Marrero. Meanwhile, the Rutgers contest has been designated as the program’s annual Kicks Against Cancer match, and will feature numerous activities and events designed to raise funds for cancer research.

Seton Hall (6-6, 1-3 BIG EAST) started off the 2012 season extremely well, reeling off five consecutive victories, the first four by shutout. However, the Pirates’ ship has hit rough waters in the past three weeks, with SHU having lost six of its last seven contests. The Pirates will be on the road this weekend, visiting Syracuse on Friday night before heading to St. John’s on Sunday afternoon.

Rutgers (8-4, 1-3) also got off to a hot start this season, with seven wins in its first eight matches, including a double-overtime win over Ohio State. Yet, the Scarlet Knights have not found the same success so far in BIG EAST play, dropping three of their first four on the conference slate. RU will also be away from home this weekend, playing at St. John’s on Friday and then venturing to Syracuse on Sunday.

— ND —