Junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker and the Fighting Irish will open their 25th anniversary season Friday with a 1 p.m. (ET) exhibition against No. 7 Virginia at the Notre Dame Practice Field (admission is free).

Irish Prepare For Exhibition Opener Friday Against #7 Virginia

Aug. 9, 2012

2012 ND Women’s Soccer — Exhibition 1
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-8-3 in 2011 / 6-3-2 BIG EAST) vs. #7 Virginia Cavaliers (17-5-2 in 2011 / 7-2-1 ACC)

DATE: August 10, 2012
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. (Notre Dame Practice Field – cap. 1,000)
SERIES: UVa leads 1-0-0 (regular season)/ND leads 4-2-1 (exhibition)
1ST MTG: UVa 2-0 (10/21/89 at UVa)
LAST MTG: ND 7-5 (8/12/11 at Maple City, Mich. – exhibition)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews
TEXT ALERT: Sign up at UND.com
TICKETS: Free for exhibitions


  • Notre Dame is 10-3-2 in exhibitions vs. college teams during the Randy Waldrum era (1999-present), including a 5-0-1 record at home.
  • The Fighting Irish are averaging 2.8 goals per match in 15 exhibitions vs. college programs since Waldrum came to town 14 seasons ago.

Notre Dame Prepares For Exhibition Opener Friday Against #7 Virginia
Notre Dame kicks off its 25th anniversary season at 1 p.m. (ET) Friday when it plays host to No. 7 Virginia in the first of two exhibition matches at the Notre Dame Practice Field. It will mark the eighth time the Fighting Irish and Cavaliers have met during the preseason, with Notre Dame holding a 4-2-1 record against Virginia in exhibition play (although this will be the first time the teams have ever played in South Bend, during either the preseason or regular season).

The Fighting Irish bring back 10 monogram winners, including six starters, from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 19th consecutive season, extending the second-longest active streak (and third-longest all-time) in the three-decade history of the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame also will debut its 12-player freshman class that was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer and makes up nearly half of the Fighting Irish roster for 2012.

Virginia returns 20 letterwinners, including seven starters from a year ago, when the Cavaliers reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. Like Notre Dame, Friday will mark the preseason debut for Virginia, which returns home on Sunday night and will play host to another BIG EAST Conference team when Georgetown comes calling for an exhibition contest.

While admission for both Notre Dame exhibitions is free, tickets for the 2012 Fighting Irish regular season schedule are on sale by calling (574) 631-7356 or going on-line to und.com/tickets.


  • Notre Dame is receiving votes in the preseason NSCAA poll.
  • Virginia is ranked No. 7 in the preseason NSCAA poll.

Irish Items

  • Notre Dame will kick off its 25th season of varsity competition in 2012. The Fighting Irish have a 463-82-25 (.834) all-time record, with 19 NCAA Championship appearances, including 12 trips to the Women’s College Cup, eight berths in the NCAA title match and three national championships (second-most in NCAA Division I history).
  • Notre Dame returns 10 monogram winners, including six starters, from last year’s team that went 10-8-3 and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 19th consecutive season, the second-longest active streak (and third-longest overall run) in tournament history.
  • The Fighting Irish were picked to win the BIG EAST National Division title according to a preseason vote of the conference head coaches released Tuesday. 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 will feature a very young roster in 2012, with nearly half (12) of the 25-member Fighting Irish squad made up of freshmen. The Notre Dame incoming class is ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, with seven of the 12 Fighting Irish freshmen appearing in the top 60 of the Top Drawer Soccer Class of 2012 rankings. Leading the rookie class for Notre Dame 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.
  • Laddish and Roccaro will miss the first three weeks of the regular season after both were named to the 2012 United States Under-20 Women’s National Team that will compete in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Aug. 19-Sept. 8 in Japan. The Fighting Irish duo will be the first Notre Dame players to participate in the U-20 World Cup since 2008, when Lauren Fowlkes started all six matches and helped the United States earn the gold medal.

Scouting Virginia
Virginia returns 20 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last year’s club that went 17-5-2 (7-2-1 in the ACC) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. The Cavaliers also bring back nearly 90 percent of their offensive production from a season ago, led by a pair of All-Americans in senior forward Caroline Miller (15G-4A) and sophomore midfielder Morgan Brian (11G-8A). Virginia is ranked No. 7 in Tuesday’s preseason NSCAA poll.

Like Notre Dame, the Cavaliers will be shorthanded for Friday’s exhibition, as Brian was selected for the United States Under-20 Women’s National Team, a squad that is piloted by Virginia head coach Steve Swanson.

The Notre Dame-Virginia Series
Officially, Notre Dame and Virginia have met only once on the soccer pitch, with the Cavaliers defeating the Fighting Irish, 2-0, on Oct. 21, 1989, in Charlottesville, Va. However, the teams will be squaring off in exhibition play for the eighth consecutive year, with Notre Dame going 4-2-1 against Virginia in the preseason with an aggregate 20-15 score against UVa in those seven preseason contests (which tend to be wide-open affairs and have usually been played in three 30-minute periods, rather than the conventional two 45-minute halves).

Friday’s match will mark the first time the teams have met in the state of Indiana since 2007, when Notre Dame earned a 3-1 exhibition victory down in Fort Wayne. The Fighting Irish also registered a 2-0 win over the Cavaliers in 2005 in Fort Wayne. This year’s matchup will be the first time Virginia has visited South Bend, either for an exhibition or regular-season contest.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Virginia Met
All-America forward Melissa Henderson piled up four goals and two assists as top-ranked Notre Dame outlasted No. 10 Virginia, 7-5 in an exhibition match on Aug. 12, 2011, at Myles Kimmerly Park in Maple City, Mich. It was the first Fighting Irish victory over the Cavaliers in preseason play since 2006, when Notre Dame earned a 3-0 win in nearby Traverse City.

Henderson registered her second four-goal performance in 72 hours, having a hand in six of the seven Fighting Irish scores in the match. Mandy Laddish collected a goal and two assists, while Molly Campbell and Courtney Barg netted the other goals for the Fighting Irish, and Elizabeth Tucker chipped in with two assists.

Goalkeeper Maddie Fox played the first and third periods (the match was divided into three 30-minute frames) and posted five saves. Jennifer Jasper came on to tend goal in the middle period, making two saves.

Making its preseason debut, Virginia got a pair of goals from Morgan Brian, as well as single tallies from goals by Amber Fry, Erica Hollenberg and Danielle Colaprico. Goalkeeper Chantel Jones played the first two periods and had two saves, while Danielle DeLisle made one stop in the final frame, in addition to UVa recording a team save.

For the match, the Cavaliers ended up with a narrow 18-17 edge in total shots, and a similarly thin 12-11 advantage in shots on goal. UVa also held a 6-3 lead in corner kicks, while each team was whistled for nine fouls and Notre Dame was flagged for all four offside calls on the afternoon.

Exhibition Success
Notre Dame is 10-3-2 (.733) in exhibition matches against college teams under 14th-year head coach Randy Waldrum. Of those 15 contests, six have come at home, with the Fighting Irish posting a 5-0-1 record in South Bend (the first five at their prior home, old Alumni Field, before last year’s match with Nebraska was played at the Notre Dame Practice Field).

It should be noted that Notre Dame did not play any preseason matches in 1999 (Waldrum’s first year), 2000, 2003 or 2004, with the ’00 and ’04 squads heading to Brazil for training trips. The ’04 team took full advantage of that trip, going 5-0-1 to set the stage for a 25-1-1 season and the program’s second national championship.

Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad will be 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.

Notre Dame Soccer To Host Meet The Teams BBQ Aug. 18
The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer teams will hold the 2012 “Meet The Teams” barbecue and fan appreciation event from 4-6 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (900 West Western Ave. in South Bend). This free annual event, which has become a favorite of fans and teams alike, allows fans from the South Bend/Michiana community to meet the players and coaches from both nationally-ranked Fighting Irish squads.

Members of both teams will be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures, and some of the Fighting Irish student-athletes also will be available to compete in pick-up games and skills challenges, and there will be other activities for younger fans, including face painting and balloon animals.

This year’s event will take place rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the Kroc Center (which also has outdoor turf fields) features an indoor facility to continue the celebration.

Next Game: Baylor (exhibition)
Notre Dame will have one final chance to tune up for the 2012 season when it welcomes Baylor to the Notre Dame Practice Field at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday for an exhibition match. It will mark the first time in head coach Randy Waldrum’s 14-year tenure that the Fighting Irish will play multiple preseason matches at home.

Baylor brings back 22 players, including seven starters returning from last year’s squad that went 15-4-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship, earning that program’s first-ever NCAA tournament win in its first appearance since 1999. Sunday will mark the lone exhibition match for Baylor prior to the start of the 2012 season.

— ND —