Sophomore forward Adriana Leon scored her sixth goal of the season in the 72nd minute to draw Notre Dame within 2-1, but the Fighting Irish couldn't complete their comeback, falling to Louisville, 2-1 in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday in Morgantown, W.Va.

More Ranked Opponents On Tap As #8/7 Irish Head To West Coast

Sept. 8, 2011

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2011 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer — Matches 6-7

Stanford Invitational
#8/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-2-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #2/2 Stanford Cardinal (4-0-1 / 0-0-0 Pac-12)
September 9, 2011
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET
AT: Stanford, Calif. – Cagan Stadium (1,952)
SERIES: ND leads 7-5-1
1ST MTG: STAN 3-0 (10/4/92)
LAST MTG: ND 1-0 (12/5/10)
STATS/BLOG: (live)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews

#8/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-2-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #17/18 Santa Clara Broncos (3-0-2 / 0-0-0 WCC)
September 11, 2011
TIME: 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET
AT: Santa Clara, Calif. – Buck Shaw Stadium (6,800)
SERIES: ND leads 10-6-0
1ST MTG: ND 1-0 (10/8/95)
LAST MTG: ND 1-0 (9/3/10)
STATS/BLOG: (live)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews


  • Notre Dame heads to the West Coast for the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years.
  • Counting this weekend’s foes, the Fighting Irish play four Top 25 teams in their first seven matches (not counting Wisconsin, which moved into this week’s Soccer America poll).

More Ranked Opponents On Tap As #8/7 Irish Head To West Coast
For the second time in two weeks, No. 8/7 Notre Dame will go on the road to face an opponent it vanquished on last year’s run to the national championship, as the Fighting Irish venture to No. 2 Stanford on Friday (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET) for a rematch of last year’s NCAA Women’s College Cup final, before heading down to No. 17/18 Santa Clara for a Sunday matinee (11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET).

Notre Dame returned to winning form in a big way last weekend, rolling over Tulsa (7-1) and Indiana (4-1) to win the Notre Dame adidas Invitational at Alumni Stadium. Senior forward Melissa Henderson had 10 points (4G-2A) to earn the tournament’s Offensive MVP award.


  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 8 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 7 in the current Soccer America poll.
  • Stanford is ranked No. 2 in both the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
  • Santa Clara is ranked No. 17 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 18 in the current Soccer America poll.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
After a rare two-match losing streak, No. 8/7 Notre Dame rebounded in a big way last weekend, outscoring Tulsa and Indiana by a combined 11-2 margin as the Fighting Irish won the Notre Dame adidas Invitational for the 14th time in the tournament’s 19-year history.

Ironically, the Fighting Irish spotted their visitors a goal in both wins, but then charged back with stunning first-half goal surges, scoring five times in the opening half-hour against Tulsa and three times in a span of 8:20 midway through the first half against Indiana.

Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Melissa Henderson was voted by the participating coaches as the tournament’s Offensive Most Valuable Player after tying the tourney record with four goals (including a hat trick against Indiana) and adding two assists. Senior defender Jessica Schuveiller was the Defensive MVP, while sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish (tournament-record four assists) and sophomore forward Adriana Leon (three goals) joined their veteran teammates on the all-tournament team.

Scouting Stanford
Stanford brings back 19 letterwinners, including nine starters from last year’s squad that went 23-1-2 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation almost all of last season. The Cardinal also reached the NCAA Women’s College Cup for the third consecutive season (and advanced to their second title match in as many years) before a 1-0 loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA final.

Currently ranked No. 2 in both major national polls, Stanford is off to a 4-0-1 start this season, with only a scoreless draw at then-No. 4 Maryland on Aug. 26 in a match the Cardinal dominated statistically.

Most recently, Stanford defeated visiting Northwestern, 6-0 on Sept. 4 at Cagan Stadium behind two goals from senior midfielder Teresa Noyola and a team-high fifth goal of the season from senior forward Lindsay Taylor.

The Cardinal have used a balanced offense to outscore their first five opponents, 19-3, with nine different players finding the back of the net. In addition to Taylor, Noyola and freshman forward Chioma Ubogagu each have three goals, with Ubogagu adding a team-high four assists.

Three different goalkeepers have seen time for Stanford this season, but after following a preseason injury, sophomore Emily Oliver has been the talisman in the Cardinal net with a 2-0-1 record, 0.34 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one solo shutout.

Head coach Paul Ratcliffe is in his ninth season at Stanford with a 137-35-19 (.767) record. He also has a 14-year career record of 192-69-26 (.714), including a 2-3-1 ledger against Notre Dame (all since he came to Stanford in 2003).

The Notre Dame-Stanford Series
Notre Dame holds a 7-5-1 edge in the all-time series with Stanford, although the Cardinal won both prior matches on its home pitch (3-1 in overtime in 1993 during the pre-golden goal era; 1-0 in the third round of the 2002 NCAA Championship).

Friday’s match is the fifth in as many seasons between Notre Dame and Stanford, with the two schools splitting the past four contests, and three of those decided by one goal (including a 2-1 overtime win by the Cardinal in 2007 down in Santa Clara).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Stanford Met
Adriana Leon scored off a pass from Melissa Henderson with 27:53 left to play and No. 7/10 Notre Dame made that lone score stand up for a 1-0 victory over top-ranked (and previously unbeaten) Stanford in the NCAA Women’s College Cup final on Dec. 5, 2010, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The victory gave the Fighting Irish their third national championship, making Notre Dame just the second program ever to win three NCAA titles.

After a back-and-forth scoreless first half, Notre Dame held the run of play for the balance of the second half culminating with Leon’s decisive score. The Fighting Irish defense also proved to be particularly stout, holding Hermann Trophy recipient Christen Press without a shot for more than 60 minutes during the crucial middle stages of the contest.

Stanford ended up with a narrow 15-14 edge in total shots, although Notre Dame had a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. Nikki Weiss made five saves in the Fighting Irish net, while Emily Oliver turned in a stellar effort in the Cardinal goal with six saves, including three world-class stops in the final 10 minutes to keep her team in contention.

Notre Dame vs. the Pac-12
Notre Dame is 19-6-1 (.750) all-time against the current Pac-12 Conference alignment, although Friday’s match at Stanford will mark just the sixth time the Fighting Irish have played a Pac-12 school on its home pitch (Notre Dame is 2-3 all-time in such matches).

Last season, the Fighting Irish went 2-1 against Pac-12 schools last season, falling 2-1 in overtime at 13th-ranked UCLA before bouncing back with a 4-0 win over No. 22 USC in the second round of the NCAA Championship and a 1-0 win over No. 1 Stanford in the NCAA College Cup final.

Notre Dame last defeated a Pac-12 school on its campus on Sept. 10, 2004, edging Arizona State, 2-1 in Tempe, Ariz.

Scouting Santa Clara
Santa Clara brings back 15 letterwinners, including five starters from its 2010 club that posted a 13-7-2 record and reached the second round of the NCAA Championship before falling at eventual NCAA national runner-up Stanford, 2-1.

The Broncos (3-0-2) are currently ranked 17th in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and 18th by Soccer America after a pair of draws last weekend at the University of Oregon tournament (1-1 vs. No. 21/18 Oregon State, 0-0 at Oregon). Junior midfielder/forward Lauren Matheson put SCU in front less than 10 minutes into the OSU match, but the Beavers scored in the 71st minute to earn the draw. Two days later, senior goalkeeper Bianca Henninger made three saves and the Broncos outshot Oregon, 15-9 (8-3 on goal), but nothing would be decided after 110 minutes.

Matheson has a team-high three goals for Santa Clara this season, while sophomore midfielders Julie Johnston and Ellie Rice each have a pair of goals to their credit thus far. Henninger has spent all but 12 minutes into the Bronco cage this year, posting a 3-0-2 record with a 0.56 goals-against average and one solo shutout.

Head coach Jerry Smith has spent his entire 25-year career at Santa Clara, where he has compiled a 372-116-40 (.742), highlighted by the 2001 NCAA title. Smith is 6-10 all-time against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Santa Clara Series
Notre Dame and Santa Clara have played 16 times, with the Fighting Irish holding a 10-6-0 edge in those matches. Seven of those 10 victories have come in South Bend (including the past four series matchups), with two others coming at neutral sites (1-0 NCAA College Cup semifinal wins in 1999 at San Jose, Calif., and 2004 in Cary, N.C.).

Throughout head coach Randy Waldrum’s 13-year tenure at Notre Dame (1999-present), Notre Dame and Santa Clara have met almost annually, playing every season except for 2001 (that contest — scheduled to be played at SCU — was cancelled following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks).

Santa Clara has won the past three times the teams have met at Buck Shaw Stadium, including a 2-0 win on Sept. 11, 2009. Notre Dame last won at SCU on Sept. 21, 2003, defeating the Broncos, 2-1.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Santa Clara Met
Rose Augustin scored just 3:05 into the match and the No. 3/4 Fighting Irish made it stand up, blanking No. 8/9 Santa Clara, 1-0 on the opening night of the 18th annual Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic before a raucous crowd of 2,229 fans, including a large student contingent, on Sept. 3, 2010, at Alumni Stadium.

Melissa Henderson set up Augustin’s goal with a brilliant drop pass at the top of the box, with Augustin running on to the ball at full speed and rocketing a low shot past Santa Clara goalkeeper Bianca Henninger.

Nikki Weiss registered her third shutout of the season behind a career-high seven saves, including four in the second half. Henninger was credited with six stops in the Santa Clara net.

Notre Dame finished with a 16-13 edge in total shots, with each team recording seven shots on goal. The Broncos earned a 5-4 margin in corner kicks, while SCU was whistled for 17 of the 27 fouls on the night.

Notre Dame vs. the WCC
Notre Dame is 21-11 (.656) all-time against current West Coast Conference members, including a 6-6 record when playing a WCC team on its home pitch.

Last season, the Fighting Irish went 2-0 against WCC opponents, defeating No. 8 Santa Clara, 1-0, at Alumni Stadium, and downing Loyola Marymount, 1-0 in Los Angeles.

Legends Of The Game
Sunday’s matinee between Notre Dame and Santa Clara will feature two of the most successful women’s soccer coaches in NCAA Division I history, as Fighting Irish mentor Randy Waldrum (363-88-23, .790) and Bronco skipper Jerry Smith (372-116-40, .742) lead their teams into their annual showdown.

Waldrum is third on the Division I all-time winning percentage list (.790), and second among active coaches, while Smith (.742) is eighth on that list, and sixth among active coaches.

In terms of victories, Smith is third all-time (and third among active coaches) with 372 wins, while Waldrum (363 wins) is fifth on both lists.

This season, Waldrum is scheduled to face three of the other top four coaches on the all-time wins list, having already led his team in a hard-fought 2-1 overtime loss on Aug. 26 at North Carolina (Anson Dorrance – 719 wins), and a Sept. 30 home matchup looming against Connecticut (Len Tsantiris – 486 wins).

Henderson A Trend Setter
If you’re looking to spot a trend in Notre Dame’s success during the past four seasons, look no further than senior forward Melissa Henderson. Since the Garland, Texas, native arrived in South Bend, she has scored 57 goals (second-most among active Division I players, and ninth in school history) and added 21 assists, good for 135 career points (tied-12th in school history) and making her one of 26 Fighting Irish players with at least 20 goals and 20 assists in her career.

This season, Henderson leads Notre Dame in goals (5) and points (13) and ranks second in assists (3), fueled in part by her 4G-2A performance in last weekend’s Notre Dame adidas Invitational. She was subsequently voted the tournament’s Offensive Most Valuable Player and went on to be chosen as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, in addition to earning a spot on the Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer and Our Game Magazine national teams of the week.

These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson’s career, Notre Dame is 38-0-2 when she scores a goal, something she’s done in 13 of her last 20 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 47-0-2 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 29 of the past 40 contests, a stretch that carries back to 2009.

As Tough As An Old Schu
Senior defender Jessica Schuveiller has been a mainstay for the Notre Dame defense throughout her career. In fact, the rugged (and still remarkably underrated) center back from Plano, Texas, has started all 83 Fighting Irish matches and played 93.1 percent of her team’s minutes (7,049 of a possible 7,569) since she set foot on campus more than three years ago.

In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 71 wins, 50 shutouts and a 0.59 goals-against average (GAA), with only two teams scoring more than two goals in a single match against the Fighting Irish under her watch (UNC 6-0 on Sept. 4, 2009, at Alumni Stadium; Duke 3-1 on Aug. 28, 2010, in Chapel Hill, N.C.).

A two-time NSCAA all-region pick and the 2010 NCAA Women’s College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Schuveiller was one of 25 players (along with classmate Melissa Henderson) named to this year’s Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.

Barg-ain Shopping
When healthy, senior midfielder Courtney Barg is among the best at her position in the country. A 2009 NSCAA first-team All-American, Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, Barg had her value on full display last season, coming back from a preseason injury to play the final six weeks (11 matches) of the season, including starts in all six NCAA Championship contests.

In fact, it was her calm demeanor and poise in the possession game that was a major factor in Notre Dame’s run to its third national championship. Most notably in the title match against top-ranked Stanford, she helped the Fighting Irish control the flow of the contest before ultimately scoring the winning goal in the 63rd minute. Barg went on to be named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team, one of six Notre Dame players on that squad.

As a senior, Barg already has been tapped as one of 45 preseason candidates for the Hermann Trophy (along with classmate Melissa Henderson), and down the road, she could even be in a position to join the U.S. National Team player pool after electing to bypass the U-23 pool the past two summers while taking part in job-related internships (including one in England in the summer of 2010).

Three Best Friends Anyone Could Have
Chemistry is key to the success of any team, but Notre Dame has a unique formula that supports its framework this season. The Fighting Irish are led by three senior captains — midfielder Courtney Barg, forward Melissa Henderson and defender Jessica Schuveiller — who not only form the backbone of their starting lineup, but have been best friends since the fifth grade growing up back in suburban Dallas. In fact, the trio played together on age-group teams for the elite Dallas Texans soccer club starting with the U-11s and continuing through the rest of their pre-college days (although they did move to the newly-formed Sting Dallas club for their final season in 2007-08 before coming to Notre Dame).

Actually, Barg and Schuveiller have known each other even longer, going back nearly 15 years to the second grade before linking up with Henderson three years later.

ND Seniors Among Nation’s Best
The 2011 Notre Dame senior class currently is tied with North Carolina as the second-most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 71-9-3 (.873) that includes a national championship (2010), an NCAA runner-up finish (2008) and a trip to the 2009 NCAA Women’s College Cup semifinals.

The .873 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fourth-best on the national scene.

Preseason Honors Pour In For Irish
Senior tri-captains Melissa Henderson, Courtney Barg and Jessica Schuveiller each earned preseason national award recognition, it was announced in early August.

Henderson was a double honoree, joining Barg on the 45-player watch list for the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy (presented annually by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to the nation’s top Division I player), and also appearing with Schuveiller on the 25-person Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.

Notre Dame was one of eight schools to place two players on this year’s Hermann Trophy watch list, with the others being Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Texas A&M.

Henderson was the first runner-up for the 2010 Hermann Trophy (and is the lone returnee from among last year’s three finalists), while Barg was a semifinalist for the `09 Hermann Trophy. The BIG EAST Conference had a total of five players named to this year’s Hermann Trophy watch list, tying the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences for the second-most selections from one league behind the Atlantic Coast Conference (9).

Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish also were one of just three teams in the nation with multiple selections to the Soccer America Preseason All-America Team, joining Boston College and Stanford in that select company. The BIG EAST had four honorees on the list, placing second among all conferences behind only the ACC (7).

Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 13th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks third on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list with a .790 (363-88-23) mark in his 22 years in the women’s game. He also is second among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 363 career wins rank fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I charts — Waldrum earned his 350th career victory on Oct. 3, 2010, vs. St. John’s 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.

The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 328-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 305 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).

In fact, just two of the past 217 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 298-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 200-1-0 (.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 20-5-11 (.708) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in nine of its last 11 overtime contests.

The Fighting Irish already have gone to extra time once this season, falling at No. 3 North Carolina, 2-1, on a goal 5:25 into overtime.

Two current Notre Dame players have scored “golden goals” in their college careers — senior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. Connecticut in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field) and senior defender Jessica Schuveiller (Nov. 6, 2009 vs. St. John’s in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.).

Captains’ Choice
A trio of seniors — midfielder Courtney Barg, forward Melissa Henderson and defender Jessica Schuveiller — were selected to serve as Notre Dame’s captains this year, according to a preseason vote of their teammates.

Schuveiller is making history this season as the first three-year captain in the 24-year history of Fighting Irish women’s soccer. When she first earned the armband in 2009, Schuveiller became Notre Dame’s first non-senior captain since Amy Warner in 2002.

Barg and Henderson are in their first seasons as team captains.

Next Up: Louisville/Cincinnati
The Fighting Irish will kick off the BIG EAST Conference portion of their 2011 schedule next weekend, playing host to Louisville at 5 p.m. (ET) on Sept. 16 before heading to Cincinnati for a 3:30 p.m. (ET) match on Sept. 18. The Louisville contest will be the opener of a soccer doubleheader on the Notre Dame campus, with the Fighting Irish men welcoming Michigan to Alumni Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Louisville is 1-3-1 this season, but the Cardinals have dropped their last three in a row as they head into a pair of weekend matches in Lexington, Ky. (vs. homestanding Kentucky and Butler).

Cincinnati is 2-2-2 this year, coming off a 2-1 loss to Wisconsin last Sunday (the same UW squad Notre Dame defeated 2-0 in its season opener on Aug. 19 at Alumni Stadium). The Bearcats will play in the College of Charleston Tournament this weekend, meeting the host school as well as Coastal Carolina before beginning conference play on Sept. 16 at DePaul.

— ND —