Aug. 16, 2008
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Despite holding the upper hand in nearly every statistical category in Saturday's exhibition game against No. 6 Virginia, the fifth-ranked Notre Dame women's soccer team didn't have the edge in the column that mattered, as the Irish dropped a 2-1 preseason decision to the Cavaliers at the Keystone Soccer Complex in Traverse City, Mich.
Junior midfielder Courtney Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) scored the only goal for Notre Dame, finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute. The Irish ended up with a 14-10 edge in total shots (4-3 in shots on goal), as well as a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Saturday's matinee was played in three 30-minute periods, with the teams alternating ends of the field each period. Notre Dame also elected to rest several key players for the exhibition (its second of 2008), including senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), the '08 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo), who started for the Irish in their 3-1 exhibition win over Memphis on Tuesday night at Alumni Field. Sophomore Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) was the only goalkeeper to suit up for Notre Dame on Saturday, registering one save, as the Irish lost an exhibition to a college opponent for only the second time in 11 games (8-2-1) under 10th-year head coach Randy Waldrum.
Virginia opened the scoring in the third minute, as Caitlin Miskel set up for a free kick from 20 yards out, just off the top right corner of the penalty area. Miskel fired directly on goal, with her dipping shot tucking just under the crossbar and over Weiss' outstretched hands. The Cavaliers controlled the tempo for the first 10 minutes before Notre Dame settled down for the remainder of the opening period.
The Irish got their first good chance in the 10th minute, when freshman midfielder Molly Campbell (Mission Hills, Kan./St. Teresa's Academy) blasted a rocket straight on from 25 yards out that UVa starting goalkeeper Sam Hale was able to save. Campbell got off another similar long drive in the 18th minute, while fellow rookie Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) made three nice overlapping runs from her right back spot and forced the Virginia defense back on its heels.
Although she didn't officially get credit for an assist, the last of Schuveiller's three runs led to Rosen's tying goal. Schuveiller sent a cross from the right end line to the near post, with senior forward Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) nearly getting a head on it. Hale punched out the cross, but it landed at Rosen's feet, and the Irish junior took one dribble and blasted a low laser from 30 yards out into the far right-side netting.
After the first of two intermissions, Virginia regained the lead one minute into the second period. Lauren Alwine started the play with a run down the right side before serving a ball back across the face of the goal. Maggie Kistner found a seam in the Notre Dame defense and managed to get a head on the ball, nodding it under a diving Weiss into the lower left corner of the net for a 2-1 Cavalier lead in the 31st minute.
The Irish looked to have potted the equalizer five minutes later, as Hanks trotted to the flag for a corner kick and drilled an in-swinger that caught the underside of the crossbar and appeared to be across the goal line. However, the officials allowed play to continue and after a scramble in the box, sophomore forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) got a foot on the ball but couldn't get past UVa netminder Celeste Miles.
Notre Dame had two more solid chances to get level in the second period, earning free kicks outside the area, but just missing wide on direct shots. Sophomore defender Julie Scheidler (Indianapolis, Ind.) also delivered a sublime cross from the left side that found Schuveiller crashing at the far post, but the rookie's header back across the goal mouth sailed wide left.
The third period was the most defensive segment of the game, with the teams combining for only three shots (two of which were on goal). In the 61st minute, sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) got her head on a cross by junior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), but Miles was there for the stop.
The Virginia goalkeeper also figured into another questionable play in the 83rd minute. Irish sophomore forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) served a through ball to Hanks, who collided with Miles as the latter came charging out for the 50-50 ball in the area and deflected it to the short corner. The pair became entangled and rather than play the ball, Miles grabbed Hanks' ankle and pulled her down, yet no penalty kick was awarded.
Notre Dame had one final chance to knot the score in the 87th minute, as Hanks set up for a free kick from 35 yards out and chipped a beautiful ball that Fowlkes headed on goal, but Miles made the save.
The Irish will open their 2008 regular season at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when they play host to Michigan at Alumni Field. Tickets for all Notre Dame regular-season home games are available through the Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), as well as on-line at the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) and at the door on game night.
#5 Notre Dame 1 0 0 - 1 #6 Virginia 1 1 0 - 2