April 26, 2013
Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) and freshman midfielder Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) each scored goals in the first half to lift the Notre Dame women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over the Haiti National Team in an exhibition match on Friday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Thomas scored from 12 yards out in the 19th minute after sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) rifled a shot off the crossbar and the ball caromed directly to Thomas. Roccaro then doubled the lead for the home side just before halftime, finding space in the penalty area off a goalmouth scramble to drill an eight-yard shot into the vacated net in the 44th minute.
Haiti avoided the shutout with a goal in the 69th minute from Samantha Brand, who scored from close range by re-directing a left-side cross from Dina Jean-Pierre.
"To be perfectly honest, I was a bit disappointed with our play tonight," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "We didn't have the kind of consistency on the offensive end that I would have liked, especially a couple of point-blank chances that we've got to finish off, because the game really wasn't as close as the score might indicate. But when you don't convert your chances, and then you give up a goal like we did with some time left, even though it was on a bit of a counterattack against the run of play, you give them life and the thought that they could come back. That's something we'll need to continue to improve upon, learning how to close out games. All in all, I thought we learned some important things about our team this spring, lessons that will be valuable when we get back together in the fall to begin preseason training."
Notre Dame finished with a 22-6 edge in total shots, including a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also had a 6-1 margin on corner kicks, while fouls were nearly even (12-10 to Haiti, plus the lone yellow card of the match).
Freshman goalkeeper Naomi Willett (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) went the full 90 minutes in the Notre Dame net and did not record a save. Geralda Saintilus almost singlehandedly kept Haiti in contention, making eight saves in the Caribbean side's goal, including a pair of point-blank stops (one in each half) on Thomas and Bohaboy.
Notre Dame finishes the spring 2013 season with a 3-1-2 record, and now will turn its attention to offseason training as it prepares for the start of the 2013 fall campaign. The full Fighting Irish schedule, highlighted by the team's inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for all Fighting Irish soccer matches can be purchased by contacting the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356 or going on-line to UND.com/tickets.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccer or @NDsoccernews), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
Haiti National Team 0 - 1 -- 1
Notre Dame 2 - 0 -- 2
Total Shots: Haiti National Team 6 (2-4), Notre Dame 22 (13-9)
Shots on Goal: Haiti National Team 1 (0-1), Notre Dame 10 (6-4)
Saves: Haiti National Team 8 (Geralda Saintilus 8 in 90:00), Notre Dame 0 (Naomi Willett 0 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: Haiti National Team 1 (0-1), Notre Dame 6 (4-2)
Offsides: Haiti National Team 1, Notre Dame 3
Yellow Card: Gina Coutard (Haiti) 85:11.