Sept. 30, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) scored twice, and senior defender/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) added a goal and an assist as Notre Dame blanked Connecticut, 3-0 in BIG EAST Conference action on a cold and blustery Friday night before a crowd of 1,651 at Alumni Stadium and a national television audience on ESPNU. It was the second shutout of the season for the Fighting Irish, and their first since a season-opening 2-0 win over Wisconsin on Aug. 19, also 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 senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) setting up both of the freshman’s goals on the night.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) continued her recent strong play between the pipes for the Fighting Irish, registering four saves in 76:34 of playing time, highlighted by three sparkling stops in the first half. Freshman netminder Sarah Voigt (Middleburg, Fla./St. John’s Country Day School) came on for the final 13-plus minutes and was not asked to make a save in completing the shutout.
Notre Dame (5-5-2, 2-2-1 BIG EAST) 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).
“This was a very satisfying performance all the way around,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We have been looking to put together a full 90-minute effort for a while, and I thought we did that very effectively tonight. Several of our players continue to get better each time out, particularly Lauren (Bohaboy), Maddie (Fox) and (freshman midfielder) Sammy (Scofield), and this is a nice boost of confidence for our entire team to see that the hard work and patience we’ve put into our system paying off with some positive results. Now it’s up to us to build on this with another complete effort Sunday against a good Providence team.”
Notre Dame wasted little time in putting Connecticut goalkeeper Jessica Dulski under the gun, as Schuveiller tested the Huskies’ netminder with a 25-yard shot less than four minutes into the match. Sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit) did likewise with a pair of shots in the ninth and 17th minutes and things looked promising for the Fighting Irish.
However, Connecticut (4-5-2, 1-2-2) almost flipped the match on its head moments later with an offensive push against the run of play. Danielle Schulmann tracked down a ball on the left side of the box and curled a tempting shot toward the far post, but Fox backpedaled quickly and paddled the ball wide of the mark and over the by-line for a corner kick that wouldn’t amount to anything. UConn got another look on frame in the 24th minute when Jessica Shufelt fired from well outside the area, but Fox never had to move in making the stop.
After a couple of heart-thumping moments, Notre Dame got back on the front foot with its decisive two-goal flurry. The first score started when sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) lofted a service from the right channel that was briefly cleared at the top of the box by the Connecticut defense. However, the ball came directly to Schuveiller, who was charging down the middle and connected in stride with a right-footed volley from 25 yards out that tucked perfectly inside the left post by a diving Dulski (24:51).
Following a brief pause for the mandatory television timeout, Notre Dame doubled its lead and Henderson was right in the thick of things. The All-America striker latched on to a pass in the right channel, cut off her defender and ripped a low left-footed shot that Dulski came out to stop, but the rebound went right back to Henderson, whose second try produced nearly the same result. The third time proved to be the charm, as the second rebound caromed out to Bohaboy lurking in the goal mouth and the rookie buried her left-footed shot into the nearly-vacant net before Dulski could recover (25:31). (NOTE: After post-match film review, Henderson was credited with an assist on the play; she initially did not receive an assist).
Trailing by a pair of goals, Connecticut turned up the pressure on the Fighting Irish in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but Notre Dame’s defense was equal to the task. In a brief stretch during the 36th minute, the Huskies got off three quality looks on goal, but none of those panned out. Schulmann had the first try, nodding Linda Ruutu’s free kick wide of the right post (35:30). Less than a half-minute later, Ruutu had a prime chance from 10 yards out straight on, but Fox came up with a brilliant reflex save to parry the shot over the bar. Off the ensuing corner kick (taken by Ruutu), Jennifer Skogerboe collected the service at the top of the box and drilled another riser that Fox once again tipped high over the woodwork.
Notre Dame took much of the drama out of the match early in the second half on Bohaboy’s brace. Schuveiller and Henderson worked a precision give-and-go sequence in the right channel, with Schuveiller toe-poking a cross that sailed all the way to the far left post, where Bohaboy continued her run and slotted home the point-blank shot on the back door (49:47).
The Fighting Irish defense took it from there, holding Connecticut to just that single shot in the second half, that coming on Danielle Dakin’s 25-yard try from the right channel in the 62nd minute that was well wide of the left post.
Notre Dame will be back at home on Sunday when it plays host to Providence at 1 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. The match will be webcast live and free of charge through the official Fighting Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com), while live statistics and a live interactive chat will be offered through the Irish UNDerground blog (www.UND.com/blog).
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women’s soccer news Twitter page (@NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women’s soccer page at UND.com.
— ND —
POST MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame earns a bit of redemption over Connecticut, after the Huskies defeated the Fighting Irish, 2-0, in last year’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal at Alumni Stadium, ending Notre Dame’s NCAA Division I-record 77-match unbeaten streak against conference opponents and 99-match unbeaten run against the BIG EAST at home (the latter streak dating all the way back to 1995) … speaking of Alumni Stadium, the Fighting Irish improve to 29-3 at their new home since it opened in 2009 … Notre Dame rises to 21-5-4 all-time against Connecticut, including a 13-2 record at home … the Fighting Irish also are unbeaten in their last 10 regular-season matches against the Huskies, a run that dates back to the 2001 season … Bohaboy is the third Notre Dame player with a multi-goal match this season — Henderson has two hat tricks (Sept. 4 vs. Indiana; Sept. 18 at Cincinnati), while sophomore forward Adriana Leon (Maple, Ontario/The Country Day School) scored twice against Tulsa on Sept. 2 … Bohaboy is the first Fighting Irish rookie with a two-goal night since Tucker netted both scores in last year’s NCAA Championship quarterfinal win at No. 6 Oklahoma State … Schuveiller scored her career-best third goal this season (she had two goals in 2009), and second in as many matches — in her career, Schuveiller has seven goals, with five of those winding up as match-winners (and the other two, earlier this year vs. Tulsa and at Marquette, tying the match) … Schuveiller also posted the first multi-point match of her career … Notre Dame improves to 49-2-3 all-time when Henderson tallies a point (something she’s done in 34 of her last 47 matches, dating back to 2009) … the Fighting Irish move to 329-0-1 all-time when taking a 2-0 lead, remaining unbeaten in their last 306 matches when going ahead by that score … Notre Dame also is now 300-3-1 all-time when scoring three goals in a match, including a 202-1-0 record since Oct. 6, 1995 … fashion was the order of the day for the Fighting Irish in two areas — most importantly, Notre Dame players wore specially-designed uniforms (modeled after the 2008-09 Fighting Irish men’s soccer kits), which they also will wear on Sunday vs. Providence, with these jerseys available to the public via an on-line auction (UND.com/auctions) that continues through Oct. 17; the proceeds from this auction will go to the Steve Emrich Fund, which helps defray medical expenses for longtime Notre Dame supporter Steve Emrich, who has been hospitalized since late May with severe action myoclonus following a stroke, subsequent cardiac arrest and even an initial three-week coma (see UND.com/emrich for more information, or to learn how you can contribute to this cause) … on a lighter note, Waldrum and Notre Dame assistant coach Ken Nuber broke out new looks for Friday’s match, with both men nattily attired in dress clothes (and Waldrum even donning an overcoat) on the sidelines in place of their usual sweatsuits.