Senior All-America forward Melissa Henderson has collected seven points (2G-3A) in five exhibition matches during her Fighting Irish career.

Women's Soccer Kicks Off 2011 Slate Tuesday

Aug. 8, 2011

2011 ND Women’s Soccer — Exhibition 1
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-2-2 in 2010 / 9-0-2 BIG EAST) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-7-1 in 2010 / 5-4-1 Big 12)

DATE: August 9, 2011
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium – cap. 2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 3-0-1 (all regular season)
1ST MTG: ND 6-0 (11/23/97 at ND)
LAST MTG: ND 1-0 (9/25/01 at ND)
WEBCAST: (live) — Michael Scholl (p-b-p), Chris Masters (color)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews
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TICKETS: Free for exhibitions


  • Notre Dame is 8-3-2 in exhibitions vs. college teams during the Randy Waldrum era (1999-present), including a 4-0-1 record at home.
  • The Fighting Irish are averaging 2.3 goals per match in 13 exhibitions vs. college programs since Waldrum came to town 13 seasons ago.

Defending National Champion Irish Kick Off 2011 Slate Tuesday
Almost exactly nine months after winning its third NCAA national championship, Notre Dame will opens the defense of its title Tuesday when it plays host to Big Ten Conference newcomer Nebraska at noon (ET) inside Alumni Stadium. It will be the first of two exhibition matches for the Fighting Irish this season, with Notre Dame set to travel to Maple City, Mich., on Friday for its annual preseason clash with Virginia (1 p.m. ET, Myles Kimmerly Park).

The Fighting Irish return 18 veterans, including seven starters from last year’s squad that posted a 21-2-2 record (9-0-2 in the BIG EAST Conference), culminating with a six-match run through the NCAA Championship when Notre Dame outscored its opponents by a 15-1 margin.

During exhibition play, the Fighting Irish have registered an 8-3-2 record in the Randy Waldrum era (1999-present), with a 4-0-1 mark at home. Notre Dame will be playing a preseason match at Alumni Stadium for the first time, with its last home exhibition coming on Aug. 12, 2008, when the Fighting Irish downed Memphis, 3-1 at old Alumni Field.

Nebraska also has seven starters returning from its 2010 club that went 13-7-1 (5-4-1 in its final Big 12 Conference season). The Huskers also are playing their exhibition opener Tuesday, with another preseason match slated at South Dakota State on Friday night.


  • Notre Dame was ranked No. 1 in last year’s final NSCAA poll and No. 10 in the year-end Soccer America poll (latter was taken before NCAA Championship).
  • Nebraska was not ranked in either poll at the end of last season.

Irish Items

  • Notre Dame returns 18 monogram winners, including seven starters, from last year’s national championship team that went 21-2-2 and outscored its six NCAA Championship opponents (five that were ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, and four that were seeded) by a combined 15-1 margin, posting five shutouts along the way.
  • The NSCAA and Soccer America preseason national polls are expected to be released later this week.
  • In addition, the BIG EAST Conference will put out its preseason coaches’ poll, as well as the preseason all-conference team — Notre Dame has won 13 BIG EAST regular-season titles (division or overall) since joining the conference 16 years ago, including each of the past six National Division crowns.
  • The Fighting Irish also should be well-represented on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, led by the league’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Melissa Henderson (17G-11A in 2010) and the 2009 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, senior Courtney Barg (0G-1A).
  • Other returning all-conference picks for Notre Dame include senior second-team defender Jessica Schuveiller (1G-3A) and sophomore third-team midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (9G-3A), while Tucker and sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish (2G-1A) were members of the 2010 BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
  • The Fighting Irish welcome seven newcomers to their program this season, including six freshmen (five of whom were rated among the top 100 in the Top Drawer Soccer Class of 2011 rankings). Leading the rookie class for Notre Dame is forward Lauren Bohaboy, a two-time NSCAA high school All-American and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in the state of California after registering a combined 79 goals in her final two prep seasons (including a school-record 51 goals and 10 assists as a senior last year).
  • Others to keep an eye on include defender/midfielder Taylor Schneider, who has been busy in the past year, participating in training camps with the United States Under-18 and Under-20 National Teams, and defender/midfielder Sammy Scofield, who was a starting center back this summer for the Chicago Red Stars in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (alongside current sophomore outside back Kecia Morway), helping Chicago reach the league championship match (Scofield was named to the WPSL all-tournament team).
  • Scofield and Morway were two of 12 players with Notre Dame ties who competed in the WPSL this past summer. Six of those players currently are on the Fighting Irish roster — besides Scofield and Morway, Tucker and freshman goalkeeper Sarah Voigt played for Florida Sol FC (Ticker was named to the All-Sunshine Conference Team), senior defender Haley Chamberlain suited up for the New York Athletic Club (helping it reach the Eastern Conference playoffs) and freshman midfielder/forward Karin Simonian spent time with the Long Island Fury.

Scouting Nebraska
Tuesday marks a historic day for the University of Nebraska athletics department, and specifically the Husker women’s soccer program, which will be the first NU team to suit up as an official member of the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska announced its intention to join the Big Ten in the summer of 2010 after competing in the Big 12 Conference since that league was founded in 1996-97 through a merger of the Big Eight and Southwest conferences (NU had been a longstanding member of the Big Eight).

The Huskers have 13 letterwinners and seven starters returning from its final Big 12 squad that went 13-7-1 overall, and 5-4-1 in conference play. Nebraska is led by high-scoring junior forward Morgan Marlborough (18G-12A), who joined Notre Dame’s Melissa Henderson as two of just 10 players in the nation to record double-digit goals and assists last season.

Head coach John Walker is embarking on his 18th season at Nebraska, sporting a 249-98-22 (.705) record at the Huskers’ helm.

The Notre Dame-Nebraska Series
Although Tuesday’s result won’t officially count in the series records, Notre Dame is 3-0-1 all-time against Nebraska, including a 3-0-0 record at South Bend (all three contests were played at old Alumni Field).

Perhaps the best-known match between the two schools came late in head coach Randy Waldrum’s first season at Notre Dame on Nov. 28, 1999, in Lincoln, Neb., when Notre Dame and Nebraska played to a 1-1 four-overtime draw in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals; the Fighting Irish then advanced to the NCAA Women’s College Cup on penalty kicks, 4-3, after Omaha native Kelly Lindsey netted the winning attempt in the sixth round of the shootout.

The Last Time Notre Dame And Nebraska Met
Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian capped a clinical three-pass sequence with a goal in the 18th minute and No. 4 Notre Dame made it stand up with some stout defense, toppling third-ranked Nebraska, 1-0 on Sept. 25, 2001, at old Alumni Field to give head coach Randy Waldrum his 50th victory at Notre Dame.

Sarkesian’s match-winner came off a set play that started from an indirect free kick by sophomore midfielder Randi Scheller 10 yards outside the box. Scheller slipped a pass to classmate Amanda Guertin inside the penalty area, and in turn, she flicked the ball into an open space on the right side. Sophomore forward Melissa Tancredi beat her mark to the pass, drove to the right byline and whipped a cross into the goal mouth, where Sarkesian was waiting for the one-timer at 17:30 of the first half.

Both teams were denied several times by the woodwork during the match, including Sarkesian’s penalty kick which clipped the left post in the 64th minute. Notre Dame wound up with a 13-7 edge in total shots (10-2 in shots on goal), while Nebraska had an 8-4 lead in corner kicks. The physical match also yielded 39 fouls (20 for the Fighting Irish) and three yellow cards (two for Notre Dame), while the Huskers were caught offside 10 times (to Notre Dame’s five).

Senior goalkeeper Liz Wagner made two saves in the Fighting Irish goal, while Nebraska netminder Erin Miller kept her team in the match with nine saves.

Exhibition Success
Notre Dame is 8-3-2 in exhibition matches against college teams under 13th-year head coach Randy Waldrum. Of those 13 contests, five have come at home, with the Fighting Irish posting a 4-0-1 record in South Bend (all at their prior home, Alumni Field).

Notre Dame’s last home exhibition match came on Aug. 12, 2008, when the Fighting Irish downed Memphis, 3-1, at old Alumni Field, behind goals from two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks, as well as Erica Iantorno and Taylor Knaack. Current seniors Melissa Henderson and Ellen Jantsch recorded assists in their unofficial college debuts for the Fighting Irish.

It should be noted that Notre Dame did not play any preseason matches in 1999 (Waldrum’s first year), 2000, 2003 or 2004, with the ’00 and ’04 squads heading to Brazil for training trips. The ’04 team took full advantage of that trip, going 5-0-1 to set the stage for a 25-1-1 season and the program’s second national championship.

Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2011 Notre Dame squad will be led by a trio of senior Texans, as center back Jessica Schuveiller, midfielder Courtney Barg and forward Melissa Henderson were selected as tri-captains via a preseason vote of their teammates.

Schuveiller is in her third season with the armband, becoming the first three-year captain in the 24-year history of the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program. When she first earned the captaincy in 2009, Schuveiller also became the first Notre Dame non-senior to do so since 2002, when Amy Warner was a tri-captain as a junior.

Both Barg and Henderson are first-year captains, but continue a long-running tradition of leadership alongside Schuveiller. In fact, Barg and Schuveiller have been teammates and friends going back to the second grade in Plano, Texas, and three years later, the pair would meet and become fast friends with Henderson. Together, the Texas trio would play in the same club program from the age of 11, starting with the legendary Dallas Texans club, and then later with Sting Dallas for their final club season in 2007-08.

Notre Dame Soccer To Host Meet The Teams BBQ Saturday
The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer teams will hold the 2011 “Meet The Teams” barbecue and fan appreciation event from 4-6 p.m. (ET) Saturday (Aug. 13) at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown South Bend. This free annual event, which has become a favorite of fans and teams alike, will feature free food for the first 500 persons in attendance.

In addition, members of both teams will be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures, and fans will even have the chance to get their picture taken with the 2010 women’s soccer NCAA national championship trophy. Some of the Fighting Irish student-athletes also will be available to compete in pick-up games and skills challenges, and there will be other activities for younger fans, including face painting and balloon animals.

Next Game: Virginia (exhibition)
Notre Dame will play its second and final exhibition match of the 2011 season on Friday when it travels to Maple City, Mich., for a 1 p.m. (ET) contest against Virginia at Myles Kimmerly Park. This contest has become an annual date on the Fighting Irish schedule, with Notre Dame traveling north for an afternoon match near Virginia’s preseason training ground in the Traverse City area. The Fighting Irish are 3-2-1 in six prior exhibitions against the Cavaliers, although Virginia is unbeaten in the past three contests.

UVa has 20 players, including six starters returning from last year’s squad that went 15-5-2 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championship before falling to eventual College Cup semifinalist Ohio State (whom Notre Dame ousted 1-0 en route to winning the national championship).

— ND —