Sept. 10, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Senior midfielder Erica Iantorno (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale) scored in the final minute of the first half, and No. 3/4 Notre Dame had 13th-ranked UCLA on the ropes for a good portion of the second half, but the host Bruins managed to find the back of the net in overtime and pull out a 2-1 victory in the UCLA Women's Cup opener for both teams on Friday night at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.
Senior forward Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) picked up the assist on Iantorno's goal, extending her point scoring streak to four matches. Jenna Richmond netted both goals for UCLA (4-1), including the gamewinner 4:01 into the first extra session. Ariana Martinez assisted on both of Richmond's tallies, with Lauren Barnes earning a secondary assist on the overtime score.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) made six saves in the Fighting Irish nets, while Chante' Sandiford was credited with one stop in the UCLA goal (in addition to a team save by the Bruins with less than a minute to go in regulation).
UCLA wound up with a 16-9 edge in total shots, including an 8-3 margin in shots on goal. Each team attempted four corner kicks in the match, while Notre Dame (4-1) was whistled for 12 of the 16 fouls on the night.
"Losses are never easy to take, and really, I thought we probably deserved a better fate based on the way we had turned things in our favor in the second half," Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. "We had a couple of breakdowns that ultimately led to their goals, but it's nothing we can't fix. It's a good opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes and get better the next time out."
Notre Dame had the evening's first good scoring chance in the fifth minute, as junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) played a ball over the top to Augustin on the left flank. In turn, she slid a through-ball to junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) angling into the box, but her shot was blocked away by Sandiford.
From there, UCLA mounted steady offensive pressure, which culminated in the match's first goal. On the scoring sequence, Zakiya Bywaters sent a cross from the left side that skittered all the way through the top of the box to the right side, where Martinez hit a low ball back into the goal mouth. Richmond made an angled run just outside the six-year box, collected the pass and zipped a low shot into the right corner of the net (19:09).
Notre Dame had a handful of chances during the latter part of the first half, but none resulted in clean looks on goal until the closing moments, when lightning struck and changed the complexion of the match. Augustin started the play by winning a ball at midfield and driving down the middle before laying off a pass to Iantorno at the top right corner of the box. Iantorno then cut inside her mark and drove a rising left-footed shot that eluded Sandiford and clipped the inside of the left post before settling into the net just 45 seconds before halftime.
That goal seemed to fire up Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish would dominate large stretches of play in the second half, outshooting UCLA, 7-2 during the final 45 minutes of regulation. In the 53rd minute, Henderson showed off some fancy footwork near the right end line before serving a dangerous low cross through the area that Sandiford just got a hand to as freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) was crashing hard to the net.
Senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) had a pair of solid looks on frame during the next 10 minutes, first ripping a 40-yard shot that just carried long and landed on the roof of the goal. Moments later, she rose to meet an Augustin corner kick with a looping header that also ended up on top of the net.
The constant second-half pressure almost yielded a dramatic gamewinner for Notre Dame in the final minute of regulation. With 45 seconds left, Henderson got loose in the left channel and pushed a pass through to Tucker inside the area as Sandiford charged off her line to try and gobble up the ball. However, Tucker won the battle and poked the ball back to Augustin at the top left corner of the box, but the striker's low blast towards a seemingly empty net was cleared off the line by Barnes near the left post.
UCLA had the better of play in the overtime period, with Sydney Leroux getting her best look of the night in the 92nd minute on a low drive that Weiss did well to save diving toward the right post. Two minutes later, the Bruins ended it, and in much the same fashion as their first goal. Barnes crossed a ball from the left flank, with the pass squirting all the way through to Martinez at the top right of the box. The UCLA back mis-hit her attempted shot on goal, but caught a break when the ball sailed directly toward Richmond in the goal mouth, and she re-directed the "pass" into the right side of the net (94:01).
Notre Dame will return to the pitch at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET Sunday when it travels to Loyola Marymount for the second day of the UCLA Women's Cup at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles. The Lions should be well-rested for that contest, as they were scheduled to play UC Santa Barbara in Friday's tournament opener at UCLA, but that match was cancelled when the host school failed to schedule officials for the contest.
Live stats will be available for the Fighting Irish match at LMU through the official Notre Dame athletics web site, www.UND.com, while Loyola Marymount will provide a live audio broadcast of the match through its web site, www.lmulions.com.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (www.twitter.com/NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women's soccer page at UND.com.
POST GAME NOTES: Friday's loss snapped Notre Dame's seven-match unbeaten streak (5-0-2) in overtime matches, dating back to the 2007 season; the last time the Fighting Irish lost in extra time was Sept. 16, 2007, when 16th-ranked Oklahoma State edged Notre Dame, 2-1 at old Alumni Field ... the Fighting Irish now are 20-4-9 (.742) in overtime matches during the 12-year Waldrum era (1999-present) ... Notre Dame also allowed its first goals of the season following four shutouts to open the year, and saw its 19-match streak of allowing 0-1 goals (fifth-longest in program history and longest since 2003) come to an end, with Friday's two goals by UCLA being the most given up by the Fighting Irish since Oct. 2, 2009 (a 3-2 OT win at West Virginia) ... Notre Dame was playing its first-ever match in southern California ... the Fighting Irish played their first contest on a Pac-10 campus in exactly six years, dating back to a 2-1 win at Arizona State on Sept. 10, 2004 ... Notre Dame falls to 2-1 all-time against UCLA, with the past two matchups needing extra time (the Fighting Irish won the 2004 NCAA national championship match on penalties, 4-3, after the teams played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw in Cary, N.C.) ... Iantorno's goal was her first since Oct. 23, 2009, when she potted an insurance tally in the final 20 minutes of a 2-0 win over Villanova at Alumni Stadium ... several Notre Dame alums were in the crowd for Friday's match, including former Fighting Irish women's soccer standouts Christie Shaner ('07) and Kelsey Lysander ('10).