Sept. 25, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Sophomore defender/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) scored her first goal of the season, and the second of her career, with 8:08 remaining to propel No. 14/12 Notre Dame past Cincinnati, 2-1, in a BIG EAST Conference match on a damp Friday night at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati.
The victory not only extended the Fighting Irish conference unbeaten streak to 54 matches (52-0-2) — one shy of North Carolina’s NCAA Division I record — but it also was the 400th combined win for Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum (counting his stints with both men’s and women’s college teams during the past 28 seasons). What’s more, it was a welcome gift for the Fighting Irish mentor, who celebrated his 53rd birthday on Friday.
Junior forward Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) scored her fourth goal of the season just 78 seconds after Cincinnati had taken the lead in the 76th minute, converting a free kick from junior midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit). Augustin also had an (uncredited) hand in the gamewinning goal four minutes later, as her left-side blast was saved by Bearcat goalkeeper Andrea Kaminski, but the rebound squirted out to Schuveiller at the top of the box, and the second-year Notre Dame back made no mistake.
The Fighting Irish (6-3, 2-0 BIG EAST) held huge advantages in all offensive statistical categories, outshooting Cincinnati, 24-4 on the night, including a sizeable 15-2 spread in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned six of the seven corner kicks awarded in the match, while the Bearcats were whistled for 20 of the 28 fouls called, but the Fighting Irish were assessed two of the three yellow cards issued.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) made one save on the way to her fifth victory of the season. Kaminski almost singlehandedly kept UC in Friday’s contest, registering a Notre Dame opponent season-high 13 saves, including several point-blank stops.
“I can’t say enough about the resilience and determination we showed tonight,” Waldrum said. “We played one of our better offensive games of the season, which was even more impressive when you take into account the wet conditions and the packed (artificial) turf that we played on. With all the pressure we were putting on their goal, it would have been very easy for us to hang our heads after they scored against the run of play. But our players rose to the challenge, kept their focus and got the job done. It’s another sign of the progress we have continued to make since the start of the season, and I hope the players are as proud as I am of the way they battled tonight to come out on top.”
Notre Dame’s offensive muscle was evident early on, as the Fighting Irish won a pair of corner kicks in the first five minutes. The visitors’ best scoring chance in the opening quarter hour came at 31:15, when freshman defender Jazmin Hall (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) served a cross from the left side into the area, but sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) sent her header from 10 yards out over the crossbar.
Cincinnati (6-4, 1-1) made some probing efforts into the offensive third during the first half, but would only take two shots in the period, neither of which was on goal. Meanwhile, Notre Dame had another golden opportunity with 17 minutes left in the first half, as senior defender Amanda Clark (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) connected with Augustin on a ball into the right channel, but Augustin’s 15-yard rocket was knocked aside by Kaminski. Freshman forward Tereza Stastny (Calgary, Alberta/Bishop Carroll) kept the play alive by poking the ball free on the touchline back into the slot, but Clark got underneath her eight-yard follow try and pushed it over the bar.
Less than a minute later, Henderson wriggled free on the left flank, dribbling around her defender at the top left corner of the box and drilling a low left-footed shot that Kaminski did well to parry around the left post.
Stastny got her own chance with 11 minutes to go in the period, mimicking Henderson’s left-channel run and bending a right-footed shot that was ticketed for the far right post. However, Kaminski stretched as far as she could and was able to get her left hand on the shot and push it off target.
With Cincinnati riding its hot goalkeeper all night long, it was becoming apparent that an unorthodox play might be needed to break the ice. That strange outcome almost occurred in 52nd minute, as Augustin teed up a 45-yard free kick on the left side in front of the Fighting Irish bench. Her long service hopped into the box and caught a charging Kaminski too far off her line, but after beating the UC `keeper, the ball skimmed off the top of the crossbar and out of play.
Just before the midway point of the second half, Notre Dame challenged again with a buildup down the left flank. Clark had the key play in the sequence with a timely toe-poke at the top of the penalty area, finding junior forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) unmarked on the right side. Yet, Knaack’s 15-yard shot also missed the mark and kept the scoreboard unblemished.
Fowlkes had one of her best looks of the night with 20 minutes to go, getting loose in the six-yard box and volleying a cross from junior forward Erica Iantorno (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale) towards the low right corner of the net. But again, Kaminski denied the Fighting Irish with a diving left-handed reflex save.
Cincinnati did not make a substitution through the first 73 minutes and it nearly caught up to the Bearcats with 18:45 to play. Fowlkes ran on to a long ball down the right side and served an early cross for Henderson, whose angled run looked to give her an excellent look at goal. However, the Notre Dame striker was hauled down from behind, and the ball caromed off Henderson over the touchline for a goal kick.
UC’s first substitution came with 16:15 to play, and it turned out to be a timely insertion, as Emily Hebbeler came off the Bearcat bench. Just two minutes after entering, Hebbeler ran on to a left-side chip at the top of the box and quickly lofted a shot past a charging Lysander at the 75:56 mark. It was Cincinnati’s first shot of the second half and its first shot on goal all night.
With the crowd still buzzing over the Bearcat goal, Notre Dame went to work, pressing down the right flank before earning a free kick 40 yards out. Augustin played a perfectly-weighted ball that landed precisely at the feet of Fowlkes, who was unmarked in the six-yard box. The Fighting Irish attacker wasted no time in hammering a low shot past Kaminski into the left-side netting at 77:14.
The quick Notre Dame response seemed to finally chip at the hosts’ psyche and the Fighting Irish took full advantage less than five minutes later. Again, Augustin was in the middle of the fray, starting with a throw-in on the left side to Fowlkes, who played the ball back to Augustin at the top left corner of the area. Her low right-footed shot skipped along the wet turf and seemed to handcuff Kaminski, who was able to knock the ball down, but couldn’t control. Schuveiller was smartly crashing the goal mouth and, in stride, she cracked a wicked right-footed shot that Kaminski had no chance to stop (81:52).
After finally enjoying a lead they had worked all night to create, the Fighting Irish weren’t about to let it get away. Cincinnati threw everything they could at Notre Dame during the closing moments, with their best chance coming just before the death, when Brooke Eberly tried in vain to beat Lysander to a through-ball on the right side of the box, but the Fighting Irish netminder smothered that chance and with it, the Bearcats’ hopes for the evening.
It’s a quick turnaround for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish return home to face Louisville Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. The game will be televised live to a national cable audience by CBS College Sports.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame improves to 10-1-1 all-time against Cincinnati, including a 6-0 mark since the Bearcats joined the BIG EAST in 2005 … the Fighting Irish have outscored UC, 51-9 in the series, with Friday’s goal just the second scored by Cincinnati against Notre Dame in their six-game conference rivalry (ND took a 6-1 win on Sept. 30, 2007, at old Alumni Field in South Bend) … Notre Dame’s 54-match unbeaten streak against conference opponents is topped only by UNC’s 55-match run against Atlantic Coast Conference foes from Oct. 23, 1994-Sept. 1, 2000 … the Fighting Irish also stretch their road unbeaten string against BIG EAST teams to 22 in a row (20-0-2), with both streaks starting after Notre Dame’s 4-1 loss at 15th-ranked Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005 … Friday’s match was the third Fighting Irish contest this season that was scoreless at halftime (along with the Aug. 21 season opener vs. Wisconsin that Notre Dame won 3-0 at old Alumni Field, and the 2-0 loss to #3/2 Stanford on Sept. 13 at the Santa Clara adidas Classic) … this was the first non-shutout in nine Fighting Irish matches this season — the first eight contests had seen five Notre Dame clean sheets and three for the opposition … Fowlkes had three goals in her first two college seasons, but already has exceeded that total with four scores this year … Schuveiller’s only other college goal came in last year’s NCAA quarterfinal contest vs. sixth-ranked Florida State at old Alumni Field, when she headed home a Kerri Hanks corner kick at 18:10 to help spark the Fighting Irish past the Seminoles, 2-0 and book the program’s 10th trip to the NCAA College Cup … Notre Dame’s 24 total shots, 15 shots on goal, and four shots allowed all were season bests … Waldrum now has a 400-138-27 (.732) record in 28 seasons as a college coach, including stints with the women’s programs at Tulsa (1989-94), Baylor (1996-98) and Notre Dame (1999-present), as well as the men’s teams at Austin (Texas) College (1982), Texas Wesleyan (1988) and Tulsa (1989-94).