Sep 8, 2013
"Four score ..."
Freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) had two goals and an assist as the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish scored four goals for the fourth time in five matches this year, rolling to a clinical 4-0 victory over Horizon League preseason favorite Detroit on Sunday night at Alumni Stadium.
Junior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) added her team-high fifth goal of the year, freshman midfielder Emily Geyer (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) opened her college scoring account with a last-minute goal, and sophomore forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) dished out two assists for the third time in the past four matches (giving her a team-best six assists this year) as Notre Dame bounced back well from its first loss of the season a week ago, 1-0 to No. 4/2 UCLA.
The Fighting Irish (4-1-0) ran roughshod through the Detroit defense on Sunday, piling up a 34-4 edge in total shots, including a 16-0 margin in shots on goal (the first time since Sept. 23, 2012, vs. Oakland that Notre Dame didn't give up a shot on goal), as well as a 3-2 spread on corner kicks.
Freshman goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley) wasn't asked to make a save in recording her second shutout of the season. Detroit goalkeepers Martha Dunbar (59 minutes) and Laura Taylor (31 minutes) each made six saves in the Titans' net.
"I was really pleased with the way we handled some changes in our lineup and having some people in some different positions," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "It was a good opportunity to get a lot of people some significant time and rest some others, and there was no drop off anywhere from the starters to the reserves, and that's very encouraging. Everyone was into the game, they were focused and they all contributed to the win.
"Morgan (Andrews) just continues to get better and better," he added. "Her second goal was absolutely world-class, and you can see her confidence rising with every game. In fact, I thought our entire midfield, no matter who was in there, was very good tonight. Mandy (senior tri-captain Mandy Laddish) and G (sophomore Glory Williams) were really ready to go and gave us a strong game, as did Rilka, Cindy and Emily (freshmen Rilka Noel, Cindy Pineda and Geyer) off the bench. I could go on and on, there were just so many good performances tonight."
Having had to stew for a week after the loss to UCLA, Notre Dame came out flying from the opening whistle and needed less than four minutes to break in front. Thomas took a pass from Bohaboy on the right flank and set out for the end line before snapping a pass back through the heart of the penalty area. Andrews was crashing hard and simply had to re-direct the pass into the net from five yards out for a 1-0 Fighting Irish lead with 3:42 gone in the first half. It marked the fourth time in five matches Notre Dame has scored inside the opening five minutes of play.
"It was important for us to get out to that quick start," Andrews said. "Getting that early goal helped us settle into our rhythm and Crystal really did the hard work with her run. All I had to do was put a boot on it and get it on frame, but I was happy I could help us start to get back in the flow after that last game."
Despite remaining entirely on the front foot in the first half (and for the balance of the night), the Fighting Irish would only have that one goal to show for their efforts. Their best chance to double the lead came in the 17th minute, when Thomas settled a cross from sophomore defender Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) 10 yards out on the left side. Thomas then ripped a rising left-footed shot that Dunbar snared with a reflex grab coming off her line to cut down the angle.
Detroit (2-3-1) came into Sunday's contest on a two-match winning streak and had played nationally-ranked California to a one-goal margin on the road last weekend, so it was clear the Titans would not go quietly. The visitors had their best look of the opening half in the final five minutes of the period, when Haley Burtraw's header from 10 yards out sailed over the bar.
Notre Dame wiped out any hint of a Detroit comeback with two goals in the opening quarter-hour of the second half, and Andrews was front and center for both scores.
Just as she did in the first half, the dynamic rookie struck in the opening five minutes of the second stanza, connecting just 2:01 after the intermission. Thomas latched on to a ball at the top left of the box and squared off a pass to Andrews 25 yards out in the center of the pitch. Andrews then cracked a golazo from distance with a laser that buried in the upper right corner past a paralyzed Dunbar (47:01).
"One of the great things about the turf here at Alumni (Stadium) is the ball rolls so true, and Crystal's pass settled just right," Andrews said. "I caught it square and it went in, and it was nice for us to get that cushion so early after halftime."
Andrews then turned from goal scorer to distributor, chipping a pass for Bohaboy near the top of the box. Bohaboy then wheeled over her left shoulder and hammered a low shot that zipped past Dunbar for her fifth goal of the year (58:47).
Geyer then capped the night's scoring with 55 seconds remaining. Sophomore forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) started the sequence with a perfect cross-field pass for senior defender Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist School) on a run down the right flank. Twining took a touch with purpose towards the edge of the area, then lofted a cross back into the area. Geyer was parked at the back (left) post and snapped a sharp header across the grain into the right-side netting.
After its season-opening five-match homestand, Notre Dame heads out on the road for the first time this year at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it heads to Raleigh, N.C., to take on North Carolina State in its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) match at the Dail Soccer Complex. That contest will be broadcast live on ESPN3, and fans also will be able to see the match through the official Notre Dame athletics multimedia platform, WatchND (watchnd.tv).
"Our non-conference season was largely successful and we were able to bank some wins for our resume," Waldrum said. "Now, it's time to focus on ACC play and all the challenges that come with playing in the nation's best soccer conference."
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDsoccer), 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.
#8 Notre Dame 4, Detroit 0
Detroit 0 0 -- 0
Total Shots: UDM 4 (2-2), ND 34 (15-19)
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director