Elizabeth Tucker, a four-year monogram recipient and two-time captain on the University of Notre Dame women's soccer team from 2010-13, has been selected as one of nine finalists for the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Tucker is the first Fighting Irish student-athlete ever to be named a finalist for the honor.

#RV/24 Irish Host Syracuse Sunday In BIG EAST Quarterfinals

Oct. 27, 2012

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2012 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer — Match 19

BIG EAST Conference Championship — Quarterfinal
#RV/24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-4-2 / 8-1-1 BIG EAST) vs. Syracuse Orange (9-6-2 / 6-3-1 BIG EAST)

DATE: October 28, 2012
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame. Ind. – Alumni Stadium (3,007)
SERIES: ND leads 8-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 8-0 (10/19/97 @SU)
LAST MTG: ND 3-0 (10/1/10 @ND)
VIDEO: UND.com (live-free)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews
TICKETS: (574) 631-7356 / UND.com/tickets


  • Notre Dame is 11-1 all-time in BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal matches with a 46-3 aggregate score in those contests.
  • The Fighting Irish and Syracuse have played only once in the past five seasons, and are meeting in the postseason for the first time since 1998.

No. RV/24 Irish Host Syracuse Sunday In BIG EAST Quarterfinal
Following a stirring final-day double-overtime win at DePaul that helped clinch a share of the program’s 14th BIG EAST Conference regular-season title, No. RV/24 Notre Dame now turns its attention to the postseason, beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday when it plays host to Syracuse in a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal at Alumni Stadium. The match will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com.

The Fighting Irish (12-4-2, 8-1-1) finished the regular season by going unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 matches, including a 1-0 double-overtime win at DePaul on Oct. 19. Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy was the hero for Notre Dame, netting the match-winning goal with 4:52 left in the second extra period, converting assists from freshman forward Crystal Thomas and sophomore defender Taylor Schneider to give the Fighting Irish their first overtime victory since 2009.


  • Notre Dame is receiving votes in this week’s NSCAA poll and is ranked No. 24 in the latest Soccer America poll.
  • Syracuse is not ranked.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish

  • They waited until the final day of the regular season to do it, but the Fighting Irish earned a share of their 14th BIG EAST regular-season title (division or overall) since joining the conference 18 years ago, including regular-season crowns in nine of the past 10 years. Notre Dame finished with an 8-1-1 record during the 2012 BIG EAST slate, splitting top honors in the National Division with Georgetown after the Fighting Irish won 1-0 in double overtime at DePaul and the Hoyas lost by the same score (in regulation time) at Villanova on Oct. 19 in the regular-season finale for both contenders.
  • Notre Dame has featured a remarkably balanced offensive attack in 2012, with 12 different players scoring at least one goal (eight with multiple goals) and 16 players notching at least one point. Taking out the four goalkeepers on this year’s Fighting Irish roster, that means just four players have yet to register either an assist or goal during the 2012 season.
  • In keeping with its balanced production, Notre Dame has seen 11 different players, including six freshmen, earn weekly honors (national, regional, BIG EAST or all-tournament) at some point this season.
  • Notre Dame features a very young roster in 2012, with half (12) of the 24-member Fighting Irish squad made up of freshmen (plus another six sophomores). The Notre Dame incoming class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, with seven Fighting Irish freshmen appearing in the top 60 of the TDS Class of 2012 rankings. Leading the rookie class 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.

Scouting Syracuse
Syracuse has enjoyed one of its better seasons in recent years, finishing with a 9-6-2 record (its most wins since 2003), including a third-place showing in the BIG EAST’s American Division with a 6-3-1 mark.

The Orange, who are making consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since 1999-2000, actually were in position to earn a home BIG EAST quarterfinal match going into the final two weeks of the regular season, but losses at South Florida (1-0) and No. 22/15 Marquette (2-0) sent Syracuse on the road for this weekend’s tournament action.

Syracuse last played on Oct. 20, earning a 3-0 home win over St. John’s, as freshman forward Erin Simon scored 1:19 into the match and then the Orange got goals in the final four minutes from senior midfielders Rosina Callisto (86:23) and Alyscha Mottershead (88:47) to seal the victory. Junior goalkeeper Brittany Anghel made two saves to register her fifth solo shutout of the season.

Mottershead has a team-high five goals this season, while Simon is second with four scores, and senior forward Jenna Rickan adds a team-best six assists. Anghel has played every second between the pipes for the Orange this season, compiling a 1.02 GAA and .778 save percentage.

Head coach Phil Wheddon is in his fifth season at Syracuse with a 32-45-15 (.429) record, including an 0-1 mark against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Syracuse Series
Notre Dame is 8-0 all-time against Syracuse in a series that dates back to 1997, but has not been played regularly due to the teams’ positioning in opposite BIG EAST divisions. The Fighting Irish also are 3-0 at home against the Orange, including a 3-0 decision on Oct. 1, 2010, in the most recent match between the teams (and their first at Alumni Stadium).

The Last Time Notre Dame And Syracuse Met
Melissa Henderson scored two goals and Elizabeth Tucker netted the third match-winning goal of her rookie season as No. 5/7 Notre Dame rolled to a 3-0 BIG EAST Conference victory over Syracuse on Oct. 1, 2010, at Alumni Stadium.

Notre Dame rang up a 27-1 shot advantage over Syracuse, including a 13-1 edge in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also took all 10 corner kicks in the match, while the Orange were whistled for 14 of the 22 combined fouls (and all three yellow cards).

In addition to the massive shot discrepancy, Notre Dame spread around the offensive wealth, with four players recorded assists in the match. Jessica Schuveiller set up Tucker’s decisive score, with Rose Augustin, Julie Scheidler and Erica Iantorno combining to create Henderson’s two goals.

Goalkeeper Nikki Weiss wasn’t tested often, but did turn aside the one Syracuse shot on goal during her 87-plus minutes between the pipes. Maddie Fox spelled Weiss late in the contest and was not tested in preserving the shutout.

Syracuse goalkeeper Brittany Anghel kept the scoreboard from being even more lopsided with eight saves, while she also benefited from a pair of clearances off the line by her defense and a generous carom off the right post on another first-half shot.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Syracuse Met In The BIG EAST Championship
Five different players scored to lead fifth-ranked Notre Dame to a 5-1 win over Syracuse on Nov. 6, 1998, in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.

Notre Dame outshot Syracuse, 18-5 in the contest, taking a 3-0 lead into halftime and scoring twice in two minutes to build a 5-0 lead by the 57th minute. Syracuse spoiled the Fighting Irish shutout on a goal with 3:46 remaining, but that was lone blemish on a largely successful day for Notre Dame.

Meotis Erikson put the Fighting Irish on the board first at 22:49 with the volley from point-blank range. Jenny Streiffer crossed a ball from the top left corner of the box to Jenny Heft at the far post. Heft headed the ball to an unmarked Erikson in front for the first score.

Monica Gerardo then scored the match-winning goal at 34:38. Gerardo won a loose ball just beyond midfield and dribbled to the top right of the box before firing a low shot inside the left post. Shannon Boxx made it 3-0 less than two minutes later when she volleyed in a corner kick from Jen Grubb at 36:28.

After halftime, Notre Dame again struck quickly, this time in a span of 1:37 to break the match open. Anne Makinen connected on a free kick from 20 yards out at 55:15, and Kelly Lindsey closed out the scoring for the Fighting Irish with a header at 56:52, after Makinen’s flick header off a Grubb corner kick.

Syracuse’s Jennifer Mena tallied the lone Orange goal at 86:14.

Other Notre Dame-Syracuse Series Tidbits

  • Notre Dame holds a 37-3 aggregate in the series against Syracuse, scoring four or more goals in five of the eight contests between the clubs.
  • The 8-0 Fighting Irish win in the first match of the series (Oct. 19, 1997) is tied for the sixth-most goals scored in a single match in Notre Dame history.
  • In the only prior postseason clash between the teams (ND 5-1 on Nov. 6, 1998, in BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.), U.S. Women’s National Team member/three-time Olympic gold medalist Shannon Boxx (2003-present), Mexico National Team member Monica Gerardo (1998-2003) and Finland National Team stalwart Anne Makinen (1992-2009) all tallied goals for Notre Dame in the win, while former U.S. Women’s National Team player LaKeysia Beene (1998-2005) earned the win in net.
  • SU and Notre Dame have played one common non-conference opponent this season (Washington), with both teams coming out on the short end against the Huskies — the Orange dropped a 2-1 decision at home to UW on Aug. 26, while the Fighting Irish fell to the Huskies in Seattle, 3-0 on Sept. 9 (the final match for Notre Dame before the return of its U.S. Under-20 World Cup champion players Mandy Laddish and Cari Roccaro).
  • Notre Dame has a handful of players from New York — senior midfielder Nicole Borner (Pendleton/Starpoint), freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro (East Islip/East Islip) and sophomore midfielder/forward Karin Simonian (Westbury/W.T. Clarke).
  • The powerful Albertson Fury club program will be well-represented on Sunday, led by Roccaro and Simonian. On the Syracuse side, junior goalkeeper Brittany Anghel, junior midfielder Rachel Blum and freshman forward Kari Quinn also played for the Albertson Fury during their club careers.
  • Another club program with several alumnae in Sunday’s BIG EAST quarterfinal is Empire United. Borner matriculated from that club, as did Syracuse freshman midfielder Jackie Firenze and freshman defender Taylor Haenlin.
  • Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum and Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon are no strangers, having both served in the U.S. Soccer coaching pool for many years. Waldrum has been part of the national team coaching mix at various age levels since 1992 (including his current role at U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach), while Wheddon has been a goalkeeper coach with the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams since 2002, helping the women to Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008, as well as third-place FIFA World Cup finishes in 2003 and 2007.

BIG EAST Championship Quick Kicks

  • Notre Dame is competing in the BIG EAST Championship for the 17th time in its 18-year league membership (all but 2002), having won the BIG EAST postseason crown 11 times (1995-2001, 2005-06 & 2008-09).
  • The Fighting Irish are 36-4-1 (.890) all-time in BIG EAST Championship play, including a 17-1 record at home, where Notre Dame has outscored those 18 conference foes by a combined 63-6 margin.
  • Since the BIG EAST added a quarterfinal round in 1998, the Fighting Irish have played host to a quarterfinal 11 times before going on the road in this round for the first time last year at Marquette (1-0 victory). Notre Dame is 11-1 all-time in BIG EAST quarterfinal contests while posting a 46-3 aggregate score.
  • Connecticut is the only team to beat Notre Dame in the BIG EAST quarterfinal round (2-0 in 2010 at Alumni Stadium), while former conference member Miami (Fla.) pushed an injury-riddled Fighting Irish squad to overtime in 2003 before Amanda Guertin secured a 2-1 victory on her golden goal 2:54 into the first extra period at old Alumni Field.

They’re Keepers
Part of Notre Dame’s success this season can be traced to its top two goalkeepers — freshman Elyse Hight and sophomore Sarah Voigt.

Hight (6-3-1, 0.60 GAA, 3.1 ShO, .864 save percentage) earned the starting nod for the first eight matches of the year, posting a 4-3-1 record while recording one shutout (sharing a second with Voigt), and tallying a win and a tie in four contests against ranked opponents (2-1 vs. No. 24/16 Santa Clara on Aug. 31; 1-1 at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7).

Voigt (6-1-1, 0.85 GAA, 3.2 ShO, .708 save percentage) took over at halftime of the team’s 2-1 win over Louisville on Sept. 14 in its BIG EAST opener and would hold on to the starting spot for the next eight matches, logging a 6-1-1 record with three solo shutouts (and a shared clean sheet with freshman Naomi Willett) and a scoreless streak of 355:40 that ended early in a 2-2 draw with Rutgers on Oct. 7.

Hight regained the starting goalkeeper role at Villanova on Oct. 14 and has posted consecutive solo shutouts since returning between the pipes, defeating Villanova and DePaul by identical 1-0 scores (the latter in double overtime on Oct. 19).

In fact, since allowing a goal to Washington’s Jaclyn Softli on Sept. 9, Hight has not given up a score in her last 312:18 of action, including all four matches against BIG EAST opponents (0.00 GAA, 2.0 ShO, 10 saves). However, the rookie goalkeeper did not qualify for the BIG EAST goals-agains average or save percentage titles as she did not play in at least half (five) of her team’s conference matches ths year, thus denying Hight the chance to challenge former Notre Dame netminder Nikki Weiss for the BIG EAST’s GAA record in conference play (0.15 in 2009).

Kicks Against Cancer
Notre Dame’s regular-season home finale against Rutgers on Oct. 7 at Alumni Stadium was designated as the program’s “Kicks Against Cancer” match. At the end of the season, the proceeds from various events during the day will go to Michiana Hematology/Oncology and Kicks Against Cancer, the national soccer initiative to support funding for breast cancer research.

The Notre Dame players wore special gold jerseys with a pink ribbon insignia for the match. These limited edition jerseys, which were designed for the Fighting Irish by Notre Dame’s official athletics apparel provider, adidas, are currently up for public bidding through the official Fighting Irish athletics auctions web site (UND.com/auctions), with the on-line auction open continuing through Wednesday (Oct. 31). Due to NCAA regulations, the jerseys must be autographed by at least two persons — either the player who wore the jersey and a teammate, or the entire team.

Match #18 Recap: DePaul
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy scored with 4:52 left in the second overtime to lift No. RV/24 Notre Dame to a thrilling 1-0 BIG EAST Conference victory at DePaul on a rainy and cold Oct. 19 afternoon at Wish Field in Chicago.

The Fighting Irish win, coupled with Georgetown’s loss by the same score at Villanova earlier in the day, gave Notre Dame a share of the BIG EAST National Division title, marking the 14th time the Fighting Irish have earned a regular-season division or overall championship since joining the BIG EAST in 1995. Notre Dame also is now unbeaten in 10 of its last 11 matches.

Freshman forward Crystal Thomas and sophomore defender Taylor Schneider both were credited with assists on Bohaboy’s match-winning goal, which was the first overtime winner for Notre Dame since Nov. 6, 2009 (Jessica Schuveiller vs. St. John’s in BIG EAST Championship semifinals at Storrs, Conn.), and the latest OT goal for the Fighting Irish since Sept. 21, 2001 (Amy Warner at 114:11 against Villanova at old Alumni Field, back when the two overtime periods were 15 minutes in length, instead of the current 10-minute frames).

Notre Dame (12-4-2, 8-1-1 BIG EAST) dominated the statistical breakdown at DePaul, holding a 20-5 edge in total shots, with three of the Blue Demons’ shots coming in a two-minute flurry at the end of the first half. The Fighting Irish also piled up a 7-3 margin in shots on goal and a 5-1 advantage on corner kicks, while fouls were 13-8 against Notre Dame (as well as the lone yellow card that went to Thomas late in the first overtime).

Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight wasn’t called upon for much action at DePaul, but she did end up with three saves, including a huge point-blank stop on DePaul’s Rachel Pitman in the 44th minute. Meanwhile, Megan Pyrz registered six saves in the Blue Demon goal, including a pair of leaping stops that helped keep the hosts in contention until the waning moments of added time.

Chances were at a premium throughout the match, due in part to DePaul’s defensive-minded approach. Still, Notre Dame had several opportunities to break through, beginning in the 19th minute, when Bohaboy won a free kick 20 yards out, just off the top left corner of the box. However, her curling drive over the wall towards the upper left corner was pushed over the bar by Pyrz.

The Fighting Irish had another enticing chance in the 39th minute, as freshman midfielder Glory Williams found classmate and defender Stephanie Campo with a well-weighted chip down the left flank. Campo ran on to the ball and one-timed a service towards the far right post, where junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker drove a sharp header on frame, only to be denied by a retreating Pyrz.

DePaul’s best looks of the afternoon came in the closing minutes of the first half, starting from a corner kick by Natasa Radosavljevic, whose service from the right flag caromed off a defender and landed near the penalty spot. Pitman alertly tried to snap a quick shot off, but Hight was equal to the task, going down to make the reflex stop, and Kelly Blumberg’s 10-yard shot off the rebound sailed harmlessly over the bar (43:45).

The second half and first overtime was more of a back-and-forth affair, with each side making runs into the attacking third, but neither able to create any meaningful scoring chances. Williams had perhaps the most dangerous look of the second half with nine minutes left, testing Pyrz with a 30-yard drive from the center channel but the ball drifted a couple of feet over the top.

After a largely unrewarding first overtime, Notre Dame found the solution midway through the second extra period. Schneider collected a ball on the right flank 30 yards out and calmly drove a service into the box, to the right of the penalty spot. Thomas settled the cross, battling past a pair of DePaul defenders and muscling the ball over to Bohaboy. The second-year striker then made no mistake, hammering a low shot from 12 yards out through traffic and inside the left post past a diving Pyrz, sending the Fighting Irish reserves racing on to the pitch in celebration.

Beyond The Box Score: DePaul

  • Notre Dame earns its first overtime win since Nov. 6, 2009, when it defeated St. John’s, 2-1 in a BIG EAST Championship semifinal at Storrs, Conn., on Jessica Schuveiller’s goal (and Rose Augustin’s assist) at 98:42 — coincidentally, Augustin was in the stands at Wish Field for this year’s match at DePaul, as part of a large contingent of enthusiastic Notre Dame alumni and supporters.
  • Bohaboy’s goal was the latest overtime score for the Fighting Irish since Sept. 21, 2001, when Amy Warner scored at 114:11 to defeat Villanova, 2-1 at old Alumni Field (in what was the program’s first match in 12 days following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States).
  • The Fighting Irish are 21-6-16 (.674) in overtime matches during the 14-year Randy Waldrum era (1999-present).
  • Notre Dame improves to 8-0 all-time against DePaul (4-0 at Wish Field) with a 28-1 all-time series scoring margin, although the past three visits to Chicago have seen the Fighting Irish win low-scoring affairs (1-0 in 2008 and 2012, 2-0 in 2010).
  • Schneider’s assist was her first point of her two-year college career, and made her the 16th different Notre Dame player to register a point this season.

Meet The (Not So) #BabyIrish
Combine Notre Dame’s youthful roster (which includes 12 freshmen and six sophomores) and head coach Randy Waldrum’s growing fascination with Twitter and it’s no surprise that this year’s squad spent the first six weeks of the campaign with its own unique hashtag, courtesy of their coach … #BabyIrish.

Not only did the hashtag pay tribute to the median age of his team, but Waldrum also used the term to refer to the (sometimes painful) growing process that the Notre Dame squad is going through this season.

Although he knew his team had to crawl before it can walk, Waldrum insisted that he didn’t plan to keep the hashtag for long. Thus, with Notre Dame’s late-season surge (unbeaten in 10 of its last 11 matches) and return to the Top 25 in the national polls (currently 24th in the Soccer America poll), the Fighting Irish coach has been more than willing to lift the social media moniker, or at least trade it in for a more adolescent version (for which he is open to suggestions through his Twitter account, @NDCoachWaldrum).

The ongoing goal of the #BabyIrish hashtag is see his charges continue developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the point where they’re just the #Irish by the end of the 2012 campaign.

World (Cup) Champions
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro now can add the label of “World Cup champion” to their respective resumes, after the Fighting Irish duo helped the United States win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten (and reigning U-20 champion) Germany in the championship match on Sept. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Both Notre Dame players were on the pitch when the final whistle sounded, signifying the Americans’ third title since this tournament began as the FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002. Four-time Fighting Irish All-America forward and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks (’08) was one of the youngest members (at age 17) of that victorious 2002 U.S. side (that defeated host Canada in the final), while Lauren Fowlkes (’11) helped the United States win the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, downing North Korea in the title match.

Similar to Hanks in 2002, Roccaro was the second-youngest player on this year’s American roster, but hardly showed her age, emerging as a mainstay for the United States at center back. She appeared in five of the Americans’ six matches at this year’s U-20 World Cup, starting four times and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Laddish proved to be a vital second-half substitute for the United States, coming off the bench to lend support in three matches, including the semifinal win over Nigeria and the title match victory against Germany. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player ever to earn both a U-20 Women’s World Cup title and an NCAA national championship, having joined Fowlkes as a member of the title-winning 2010 Notre Dame squad.

In addition to Laddish, Roccaro, Hanks and Fowlkes, the Fighting Irish have been represented at two other U-20 Women’s World Cups. In 2004, Hanks deferred her enrollment at Notre Dame to help the United States to a third-place finish in Thailand, scoring the opening goal in the third-place match. Two years later, a pair of future Notre Dame All-Americans, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock (’09) and defender Carrie Dew (’09), donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).

The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 340-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 317 contests when going ahead 2-0 (since a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).

In fact, just two of the past 229 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 308-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 210-1-0 (.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 21-6-16 (.674) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 15 of its last 18 overtime contests, going to double OT in its four extra-time matches, including all three this season — a 1-0 win at DePaul on Oct. 19, and a pair of draws (1-1 at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7; 2-2 at home vs. Rutgers on Oct. 7).

Last year, the Fighting Irish tied two school records by going to extra time on five occasions (also in 2001 and 2007) and registering three draws (also in 1991 and 2001).

Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy became the first current Notre Dame player to score an overtime goal, netting the match-winner with 4:52 left in the second extra session at DePaul. It was the first overtime victory for the Fighting Irish since Nov. 6, 2009, when Jessica Schuveiller headed home the “golden goal” off a cross from Rose Augustin at 98:42 to beat St. John’s in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.

Bohaboy’s goal at DePaul also was the latest Notre Dame match-winning score (105:08) since Sept. 21, 2001, when Amy Warner’s goal at 114:11 defeated Villanova, 2-1 at old Alumni Field (matches featured 15-minute overtime periods during that era).

Any Given Sunday
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 31 of its last 36 matches on Sunday (26-5-5), including a 17-match unbeaten streak that was snapped with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Oct. 31, 2010.

Still, the Fighting Irish own a 45-7-6 (.828) record in their last 58 contests when closing out the weekend (usually on the back end of a two-match set), dating back to September 2007 (when Notre Dame lost three consecutive Sunday matches to nationally-ranked Stanford, Oklahoma State and Penn State, all by 2-1 scores and the first two in overtime).

Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 14th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list (second among active coaches) with a .780 (382-98-28) mark in his 23 years in the women’s game. Waldrum ranks fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I wins list, having earned his 375th career victory on Sept. 16 vs. Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, and he recently coached the 500th match of his women’s soccer career (a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21 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.

Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad is being 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.

Coming Soon: Irish in the ACC
The University of Notre Dame announced Sept. 12 that it has accepted an offer of admission into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports except football (the league does not offer championships in ice hockey or fencing).

The change in conference affiliation (for which a timetable has not yet been established) will be the first for Notre Dame since 1995, when the Fighting Irish moved from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) to the BIG EAST Conference.

In its 18 seasons in the BIG EAST, the Notre Dame women’s soccer program has been the conference’s flagship, winning 13 regular-season titles and 11 postseason crowns, along with three NCAA national championships. The Fighting Irish also currently hold a 146-11-9 (.907) regular-season conference record since joining the BIG EAST in 1995.

Next Up: BIG EAST Semifinals
With a victory over Syracuse on Sunday, Notre Dame would advance to the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday afternoon against either No. 16/12 Marquette (the American Division champion and top seed) or Connecticut (the fourth-seeded team in the American Division) at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. That semifinal will kick off at either 4:00 or 6:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised live to a national cable audience via the CBS Sports Network.

The Fighting Irish have not faced Marquette this season, but are 7-4-1 all-time against the Golden Eagles (5-0 in the BIG EAST tournament), including a 1-0 victory at MU in last year’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals. The two sides also tangled in the 2009 BIG EAST final at Morrone Stadium, with Notre Dame earning a 2-1 win.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish played at Connecticut back on Sept. 30, registering a 4-0 victory at Morrone Stadium, with three of those scores coming in the second half. Notre Dame is 8-2 all-time against the Huskies in the BIG EAST Championship, although Connecticut won the most recent matchup in the 2010 quarterfinals (2-0 on Oct. 31 at Alumni Stadium).

— ND —