Sept. 7, 2008
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sophomore midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) picked the perfect time for her first goal of the season, scoring midway through the second half, and senior midfielder Rebecca Mendoza (Garland, Texas/North Garland) added her first goal a little more than four minutes later as No. 5/4 Notre Dame locked up the Carolina Classic title with a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sunday afternoon at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Sophomore forward Erica Iantorno (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale) continued her impressive start to the 2008 season, assisting on the scores by Fowlkes and Mendoza and giving her seven points this year (2G-3A). Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) got the Irish on the board with her fifth goal of the year only 69 seconds into the second half, and junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) picked up her fifth consecutive win between the pipes, making two saves while allowing the lone Blue Devil goal (the first score by an Irish opponent this season).
Duke (4-1-0) came into the Sunday matinee having yielded just one goal in its first four games of the year. However, Notre Dame outshot the Blue Devils, 17-10, including a 10-3 edge in shots on goal. The Irish also rang up a season-high 13 corner kicks in the game, their highest total in more than four seasons.
“I think you have to pleased with the way things turned out for us this weekend,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “To come into a place like this and get wins over two extremely talented teams like Carolina and Duke says a lot about the character of our team. I thought we showed some of that toughness (Sunday), especially when we didn’t have our best game. We were challenged from the beginning and we answered that call a couple of times, both coming out of halftime in a scoreless tie, and then again after Duke tied it. There’s still more work to be done, but I like the direction this team is headed so far.”
The teams combined for just three shots on goal in the first half (two by Notre Dame), with the Irish have the lone true scoring chance in the opening 45 minutes. Sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) sent a corner kick from the right flag into the box, and the ball skipped through to Iantorno at the back post, but her one-timer from six yards out was cleared off the line by Duke’s Kelly Hathorn.
After the first-half stalemate, it didn’t take long for the Irish to break through in the second half, as Notre Dame’s two senior All-America forwards and Hermann Trophy candidates hooked up. Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) ran on to a ball down the right flank and just before reaching the endline, she chipped a pass into the six-yard box, where a brief scramble ensued before Hanks pounced on the ball and flushed it home for her fifth goal of the season at 46:09.
Duke rallied back and pressed for the equalizer, with Jane Alukonis getting off a pair of shots, one of which had to be saved by Lysander. Alukonis then played a role in the Blue Devils’ tying goal, sending a corner kick into the box that deflected off Duke’s Lorraine Quinn and Irish senior defender Carrie Dew (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) before sailing into the top left corner of the Irish goal at 59:15. Quinn was credited with the goal, her first of the year.
Faced with its latest second-half tie to this point in the young ’08 season, Notre Dame began to find its rhythm on offense, pushing into the attacking third and getting a shot on goal and two corners from Hanks. The Irish then got the go-ahead score in a flash, shortly after Hanks left the field for a quick breather and junior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) jogged to the right corner flag. Her corner kick pinballed through the Duke defense before landing at Iantorno’s feet near the top right edge of the box. She quickly shoveled a pass to Fowlkes, who muscled a shot through the Blue Devil restraining line and into the top left corner of the net (66:19).
Order finally was restored (at least for Notre Dame fans) in the 71st minute, and again, Iantorno had a pivotal role in the goal. After Weissenhofer had taken two shots on goal of her own, she played a supporting role, taking a pass 40 yards out with her back to goal and dropping off a pass to a slashing Mendoza in the left channel. The diminutive midfielder then worked a pretty give-and-go with Iantorno, who was parked a few yards outside the left corner of the area, and Mendoza did the rest with a superb left-footed shot that looped over Duke’s charging goalkeeper, Cassidy Powers, and started off frame before curling nicely back into the top left corner of the net (70:32).
Notre Dame returns home next Friday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. (ET) when it will take on SMU in a non-conference game at Alumni Field. Tickets for this, and all Irish home games, are available by contacting the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; second floor of Joyce Center at Gate 1), by going on-line to the official Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets), or by visiting the Alumni Field ticket windows on game night.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame posts three consecutive regular-season wins over ranked opponents (NSCAA poll) for the first time since Sept. 8-16, 2000, when they knocked off #2 Santa Clara (6-1), #10 Stanford (2-1 OT) and #15 Washington (5-0) en route to a 23-1-1 record and a berth in the NCAA College Cup semifinals … Sunday’s game was a rematch of last year’s NCAA quarterfinal contest, which was won by the Irish, 3-2 at Alumni Field … Notre Dame now is 8-3-1 all-time against Duke, and is unbeaten in its last nine games against the Blue Devils (including a current six-game winning streak) … the Irish also continue to enjoy tremendous success at North Carolina’s Fetzer Field, improving to 6-1 all-time at that facility (3-1 vs. UNC, 2-0 vs. Duke, 1-0 vs. Portland) … Duke’s goal on Sunday snapped Notre Dame’s run of 419:14 scoreless minutes to open this season (a streak that included four shutouts, the second-longest season-opening shutout string in school history); technically, the scoreless streak was 437:44, counting the final 18:30 of last year’s NCAA College Cup semifinal loss to Florida State (3-2) … the Irish now have scored in 30 consecutive games, putting them one away from tying for the fourth-longest scoring streak in program history (31 from Oct. 24, 2000-Sept. 1, 2002); the last time Notre Dame was shut out was the 2007 season opener (Aug. 31), a scoreless draw with Michigan at Alumni Field … the Irish had 13 corner kicks, tying for the fourth-highest total in the Waldrum era (since ’99) and the highest mark since Aug. 29, 2004 (14 vs. Eastern Illinois at Alumni Field) … Fowlkes and Mendoza become the ninth and 10th different goalscorers for Notre Dame this season … Hanks tallied her 69th career goal on Sunday, leaving her one score away from becoming the third Irish player to post 70 career goals (and also tie her with Jenny Streiffer for third on the school’s all-time goals list) … what’s more, Hanks now has 197 career points (69G-59A) and is poised to be the 18th NCAA Division I player to amass 200 points in her career.