Aug. 3, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With a tweet of his whistle on Wednesday morning, 13th-year Notre Dame head women’s soccer coach Randy Waldrum called his team together and officially kicked off its first preseason practice of the 2011 season. Following their annual fitness test (affectionately known as “The Cooper”), the Fighting Irish took the pitch inside the Loftus Sports Center (necessitated by overnight thunderstorms in the area) for a spirited two-hour training session that will become a twice-daily staple for the 18 veterans and seven newcomers (six freshmen and a sophomore transfer) during the next two weeks.
“I was pleased with what I saw out there this morning, both during the fitness test and in training,” Waldrum said. “The fitness results were extremely positive for a lot of different players, which is a great sign, and I thought the newcomers were able to get a pretty solid understanding of some of the drills and concepts we threw at them on the first day. Our training schedule is pretty compacted because, even with two-a-days and the exhibition games, we don’t have all that much time to get the newcomers up to speed as far as our system goes and see how they integrate with the returning players. It will be an ongoing development in the next couple of weeks, but there was a lot to be excited about for our first training session of the year.”
The defending national champions will play a pair of exhibition matches in early August during the run-up to the start of the regular season. Next Tuesday (Aug. 9), the Fighting Irish will welcome the Big Ten Conference’s newest member, Nebraska, to Alumni Stadium for a noon (ET) preseason clash, with the contest set to be webcast live and free of charge at www.UND.com (as will all home matches this season that are not scheduled for commercial television coverage). Three days later, Notre Dame travels to Myles Kimmerly Park in Maple City, Mich., for its annual exhibition match against Virginia at the Cavaliers’ preseason training site — that contest is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. (ET), with admission being free for both preseason matches.
The Fighting Irish officially get their 2011 season underway on Friday, Aug. 19, when they play host to Wisconsin in a 5:30 p.m. (ET) match at Alumni Stadium. Other highlights of Notre Dame’s home schedule this season include the 20th annual Notre Dame adidas Invitational on Sept. 2 & 4, with the Fighting Irish facing Tulsa on Sept. 2 (7:30 p.m. ET) and Indiana on Sept. 4 (1:30 p.m. ET) — Western Michigan rounds out the tournament field, meeting IU on Sept. 2 (5 p.m. ET) and Tulsa on Sept. 4 (11 a.m. ET).
In addition, Notre Dame entertain Connecticut in an ESPNU nationally-televised match on Sept. 30 (7:30 p.m. ET) that will be a rematch from last year’s BIG EAST Conference Championship quarterfinal when the Huskies upset the Fighting Irish, 2-0, to snap their NCAA-record 77-match unbeaten streak against league opponents (and 99-match unbeaten run at home, dating back to 1995). What’s more, Georgetown (an NCAA Championship quarterfinalist in 2010) comes to Alumni Stadium on Oct. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) contest, and DePaul will serve as the opposition on Senior Night (Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET).
Tickets for the 2011 Notre Dame women’s soccer season now are on sale, with season tickets costing $40 per adult and $30 for youths (21 & under) and seniors (55 & older). A Fan Pack (four season tickets) also is available for purchase at $100 per pack. In addition, single-match tickets may be bought at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for youths and seniors — admission for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students is free for all regular-season home matches.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the upcoming Fighting Irish women’s soccer season, contact the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office, located inside the Rosenthal Atrium at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The ticket office is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, and also can be reached by phone at (574) 631-7356. In addition, tickets may be purchased on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (UND.com/tickets) — all major credit cards are accepted and service charges may apply. Fans also may purchase individual tickets on match day by visiting the ticket windows outside Alumni Stadium beginning one hour prior to kickoff.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women’s soccer news Twitter page (@NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women’s soccer page at UND.com.
— ND —