Sept. 14, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) and sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) scored unassisted goals on either side of halftime to help Notre Dame open its BIG EAST Conference slate on a winning note, defeating Louisville, 2-1 on Friday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Thomas netted her team-high third goal of the year with 2:21 left in the first half, then Bohaboy doubled the Fighting Irish lead 3:29 into the second half, giving Notre Dame the cushion to withstand a Cardinal goal in the final two minutes and pick up the victory.
The Fighting Irish (4-3-1, 1-0-0 BIG EAST) held a slim 14-13 edge in total shots, which each team tallied five shots on goal. Notre Dame also maintained a 10-9 margin in corner kicks, while fouls were nearly even (7-6 against Louisville).
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) worked the first 45 minutes in the Fighting Irish cage, registering three saves. Sophomore Sarah Voigt (Middleburg, Fla./St. John’s Country Day School) came on to play the second half and made one save. Chloe Kiefer was credited with three saves in the Louisville goal.
“It’s hard to complain about starting off the conference season with a win,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “I’m a little disappointed we weren’t able to finish off the shutout, because I thought the final score wasn’t entirely representative of the way we played today. A lot of credit goes to our backline, who did a really nice job of bottling up (BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year/Louisville forward) Christine Exeter and forcing them into taking a lot of shots from distance. We also possessed the ball better, and took advantage of our opportunities, so that’s a good sign. Now the challenge for us is to build on a performance like this with another consistent solid effort in our next game on Sunday against Cincinnati.”
Notre Dame held the balance of the offensive play in the opening 15 minutes, registering six shots, but none was a major threat on goal. Louisville (5-2, 0-1) eventually got on the statistical report with Charlyn Corral’s shot from 25 yards out in the 16th minute, but the low drive was tipped around the right post by a diving Hight.
The Cardinals had a prime scoring chance in the 21st minute, as Corral’s corner kick from the left side curled off the crossbar and caromed to Angelika Uremovich at the edge of the six-yard box, but Hight and the Fighting Irish defense teamed up to block the shot. The rebound came back to Exeter on the doorstep, but she also misfired, pushing her one-timer wide right.
Both teams earned a handful of corner kicks in the first half (five apiece), but none of those tries from the flag produced positive results. It would take a piece of individual brilliance to turn the match in a whole new direction.
Thomas collected a Fighting Irish defensive clearance just over the midfield stripe and found room to roam, although she was faced with four retreating Louisville defenders. Despite the seemingly long odds, the diminutive rookie forward was undeterred and charged aggressively into the attacking third before unleashing a right-footed thunderbolt from 25 yards out that twisted high into the upper right corner of the net past a leaping Kiefer (42:39).
Notre Dame then found itself on the right side of a healthy dose of soccer karma in the opening five minutes of the second half. After giving up a backbreaking second goal on a poor goalkeeper clearance last Sunday at Washington, the Fighting Irish capitalized on an almost-identical set of circumstances.
Freshman forward Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) tracked Voigt’s punt well and flicked a header through for an onrushing Bohaboy down the left channel, but the pass drifted a bit long. However, as Kiefer came off her line to clear the ball from danger, her kick caromed off the head of one of her own defenders at the top left edge of the box and dribbled back towards the Louisville goal. Bohaboy did not give up on the play and raced by Kiefer to gather to loose ball and hammered a left-footed shot into the far right-side netting (48:29).
Notre Dame kept the pressure on and had several chances to add to its lead, most notably collecting a trio of corner kicks just past the hour mark, but the Cardinal defense held the line and maintained the margin. Louisville also had its own golden opportunity in the 67th minute, but Uremovich’s header from eight yards out on the left side of the box sailed off-target.
The Cardinals would spoil the Fighting Irish clean sheet in the 89th minute. Corral delivered an in-swinging corner kick from the left side, and the service carried through traffic to Uremovich, who nodded the ball inside the right post (88:16). Louisville then frantically tried to equalize, but the Notre Dame defense rose up and slammed the door on the rally to secure the victory.
Notre Dame continues its season-long four-match homestand at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday when it welcomes BIG EAST foe Cincinnati to Alumni Stadium. Tickets for all regular-season Fighting Irish soccer matches can be purchased on-line at UND.com/tickets, by calling (574) 631-7356, or by visiting the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on the day of the match.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, follow the Fighting Irish on Twitter (@NDSoccer and @NDsoccernews), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— ND —
POST-MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame is 17-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers, with an 82-6 aggregate scoring margin in those matches … the Fighting Irish are 9-1 all-time in BIG EAST home openers, having outscored its opponents by a 44-4 margin … Notre Dame snaps a two-match losing streak to Louisville, improving to 9-3 in the series with the Cardinals, including a 5-2 record at home … both Fighting Irish members — Roccaro and junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish — from the victorious United States Under-20 World Cup Team made their season debuts for Notre Dame on Friday … the Fighting Irish had a season-high 10 corner kicks, having logged six on three occasions (most recently on Sept. 7 at Portland) … Notre Dame is 4-0 this season when leading at halftime … the Fighting Irish continue their remarkable historical streak when taking a 2-0 lead, improving to 335-0-1 all-time when claiming that advantage, including wins in its last 312 such contests (since a 3-3 draw against Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati) … Waldrum reached a personal milestone on Friday, notching his 450th career coaching win (when combining his men’s record at Tulsa from 1989-94 and his women’s record at Tulsa (1989-94), Baylor (1996-98) and Notre Dame (1999-present)) — the Fighting Irish skipper has a 450-152-34 (.734) all-time record in 31 seasons of college soccer coaching, including a 374-97-27 (.778) mark in 23 years as a women’s coach.
Louisville 0 – 1 – 1
Notre Dame 1 – 1 – 2
Total Shots: Louisville 13 (6-7), Notre Dame 14 (10-4)
Shots on Goal: Louisville 5 (3-2), Notre Dame 5 (4-1)
Saves: Louisville 3 (Chloe Kiefer 3 in 90:00), Notre Dame 4 (Elyse Hight 3 in 45:00, Sarah Voigt 1 in 45:00)
Corner Kicks: Louisville 9 (5-4), Notre Dame 10 (5-5)
Fouls: Louisville 7 (4-3), Notre Dame 6 (2-4)
Offsides: Louisville 4, Notre Dame 2
Records: Louisville 5-2-0, 0-1-0 BIG EAST; Notre Dame 4-3-1, 1-0-0