Oct. 23, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rutgers goalkeeper Robyn Jones stopped all nine shots she faced while seeing two shots smack off the posts and two others from close range sail over the frame, as top-ranked Notre Dame played to a scoreless tie with the visiting Scarlet Knights in Friday-night action at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (15-0-1, 8-0-1) – which came one win why of matching the best start in the program’s history (16-0-0, in 2000) – controlled the run of play with a 20-5 edge in total shots, plus 9-2 in shots on goal and 8-3 in corner kicks. Friday’s result ended Notre Dame’s home winning streak versus BIG EAST teams at 53 games, dating back to the 1995 season. The Irish now own a 56-1-1 record in all-time home BIG EAST games.
Rutgers (9-9-1, 4-5-1 BIG EAST) did not manage a shot on goal until the 50th minute but it nearly resulted in a goal, with Irish midfielder Lizzie Reed sweeping the ball off the goal line after Carli Lloyd had nudged a cross from the right side. RU’s second and final shot on goal came 20 minutes later, with Irish goalkeeper Erika Bohn charging out to her left to make a huge save on a counterattack shot by Domenique Esposito.
The Irish are unbeaten in their last 17 overtime games (12-0-5, dating back to the 1999 opener) and now are 35-1-2 in their last 38 regular-season games.
Notre Dame had several strong scoring chances but struggled to puncture an RU defense that often included 10 opposing players in Notre Dame’s attacking third. Junior forward Katie Thorlakson smacked shots off both posts in the second half, sending a shot from close range off the left post in the 68th minute (just before RU’s counterattack chance) and later battling to her right for am 83rd-minute shot off the right post.
Irish sophomore midfielder Jen Buczkowski nearly notched her third straight gamewinning goal for the Irish, on a 75th-minute chance set up by Thorlakson’s tough run into the right side of the box. Thorlakson cut the ball back to freshman Jannica Tjeder, who then dropped a pass for Buczkowski from 12 yards out. Buczkowski had an open look at the box but sent her try high of the bar. Just three minutes later, Thorlakson sent a sharp cross from the right side and Buczkowski had another quality scoring chance but the ball skimmed off her head and carried to the far left side of the field.
Notre Dame junior midfielder Annie Schefter uncorked a shot with 25 seconds left in overtime but her blast from the top of the box carried over the crossbar.
(Notes included below linescore)
Rutgers (9-9-1, 4-5-1 BIG EAST) 0 0 0 0 – 0
#1 Notre Dame (15-0-1, 8-0-1 BIG EAST) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Shots: RU 2-2-1-0 – 5, ND 9-9-1-1 – 20.
Corner Kicks: RU 1-1-1-0 – 3, ND 1-3-1-3 – 8.
Saves: RU 9 (Robyn Jones), ND 2 (Erika Bohn 1, team 1).
Fouls: RU 16, ND 21.
Offsides: RU 3, ND 3.
Yellow Cards: None.
NOTES – The Irish have allowed just one goal in the last five-plus games … since joining the conference in ’95, ND is 103-9-3 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams … ND now is 109-19-5 (.838) in the six-year Randy Waldrum era … in addition to a 41-9 season scoring edge, the Irish also hold a 345-103 edge in total shots (avg. 22-7), 177-50 in shots on goal (11-3) and 92-32 in corner kicks (6-2) … the Irish have allowed just 25 first-half goals in the past four seasons (81 games) … ND now has limited 30 of its last 37 overall opponents to 0-3 shots on goal … the Irish own a 158-14-3 all-time record (.911) at Alumni Field (112-4-2 vs. unranked teams) … ND remains unbeaten after 16 games, for the 5th time in the program’s history (the ’94, ’97 and ’00 teams went 23-0-1 before losing while the ’03 team started 18-0-1) … Friday’s game was just the 5th scoreless tie in the ND program’s 17-year history – also vs. Dayton in ’91, UNC in ’94 (in St. Louis), at UConn in ’00 and vs. Stanford in ’03 (at SCU) … prior to the 0-0 tie, ND had played 18 straight non-overtime games, the longest streak without OT since the ’97 and ’98 teams combined for 31 straight non-OT games.
BIG EAST STANDINGS UPDATE – Notre Dame (8-0-1), UConn (8-2-0), West Virginia (7-2-0) and Boston College (6-3-0) are locked into host spots for the BIG EAST quarterfinals, followed by Villanova (4-4-1), RU (4-5-1), Georgetown (3-4-1) and St. John’s (3-6-0) … four other teams – Syracuse (2-6-1), Pittsburgh (2-5-1), Seton Hall (2-7-0) and Providence (2-7-0) have outside shots at the BIG EAST quarterfinals … Sunday’s games include SHU at ND, VU at Pitt, GU at WVU, SJU at PC and SU at BC (GU and Pitt also have a makeup game that may be played) … ND’s quarterfinal opponent likely will be Georgetown or St. John’s.
FOUR TV GAMES ON TAP – Notre Dame is slated to be featured on television in two upcoming games and also could play on TV twice in the BIG EAST Tournament … the Oct. 24 Seton Hall game will be aired on a delayed basis by Comcast SportsNet Detroit (Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m. EDT; Oct. 30 at 9:30 p.m. EDT) while Comcast Chicago (available on South Bend Comcast cable channel 37) will air the ND-SHU game on Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m. CDT/EST … the Oct. 28 ND-Michigan game then will be aired by Comcast Detroit on Oct. 31 (2:30 p.m. EST) and Nov. 1 (1:30 p.m. EST) and by Comcast Chicago on Oct. 30 at 8:00 p.m. CDT/EST … if ND wins its BIG EAST quarterfinal game, the Irish will play in the late semifinal (7:00 EST) on Nov. 5 (at UConn), with that game to be telecast on a delayed basis by College Sports Television (Nov. 6, 7:30 EST) … the BIG EAST title game (Nov. 7, noon) then will be telecast live by CSTV, Comcast Net Chicago and various other affiliates (full list is TBA) … CSTV can be found on DirectTV channel 610 and via a growing number of cable outlets nationwide (see www.cstv.com).