NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) scored two goals and freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) dished out two assists as No. 24/25 Notre Dame ran its winning streak to seven matches with a dominant 5-1 victory over Seton Hall in BIG EAST Conference action on a cold and damp Friday night before a crowd of 1,709 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) and freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) both added their fourth goals of the season, while freshman defender Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) netted the eventual match-winning goal midway through the first half and freshman forward Mary Schwappach (Denver, Colo./Mullen) chipped in with her first career point on an assist in the closing minutes.
Notre Dame's offensive production was more than enough for a trio of goalkeepers that combined for the victory. Sophomores Sarah Voigt (Middleburg, Fla./St. John's Country Day School) was not tested in 70:51 of action before giving way to freshman Naomi Willett (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente), who recorded one save in 15:37. Sophomore Jennifer Jasper (Fort Worth, Texas/Trinity Valley School) came on with 3:32 remaining and was not called upon to make a stop.
The Fighting Irish (10-3-1, 6-0-0 BIG EAST) held the upper hand in virtually all statistical categories -- shots (17-3), shots on goal (7-2), and corner kicks (4-2) -- while the foul count was even at 5-5. Seton Hall goalkeeper Gina Maiorana went the distance in the Pirates' net and made two saves.
"This was probably one of our most complete performances of the season," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "We possessed the ball very well and created numerous strong scoring chances that we were able to put away. Everyone who came in tonight gave us a solid effort, the intensity and focus didn't drop when we put in some different players. I thought we played with a lot of confidence, and it showed on the scoreboard with another positive result."
Notre Dame was on the front foot almost from the opening kickoff, outshooting Seton Hall, 9-0 in the first half. The Fighting Irish spent much of the period in the offensive end, and it wasn't long before the pressure paid off with the opening goal of the night. Freshman midfielder Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) did well to keep the play alive, tracking the ball down to the right of the penalty area and dropping a pass back for Von Rueden. The rookie then settled the ball and lofted a well-weighted cross into the heart of the box, where Tucker was unmarked on the doorstep and headed the ball back across the grain and inside the right post (17:52).
Less than six minutes later, Notre Dame doubled its lead, and again, Von Rueden was in the mix. This time, she stepped to the left corner flag and sent a dangerous service towards the back post, where Naughton crashed hard and was able to muscle the ball over the line from short range for her second goal of the year (23:37).
Seton Hall (6-9-0, 1-6-0) came out with renewed energy after halftime, but the Fighting Irish were prepared for the challenge. After some early back-and-forth in the middle of the pitch, Notre Dame was able to once again establish its possession game and got the all-important third goal in the 54th minute. Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) caused havoc with a rising cross from the left channel that handcuffed Maiorana in the Pirates' goal. The SHU netminder went up for the ball, but in the wet conditions, she bobbled it and left the ball sitting in the goal mouth, where Tucker alertly charged in to poke home the rebound for her second goal of the night, and fifth of the campaign (53:45).
Another misplay in the Seton Hall area led to another Fighting Irish goal with less than 20 minutes to play. This time, junior forward Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist School) found Gilbertson loose on a run down the right channel, with the rookie hammering a low shot that skipped on the wet turf and was only partially knocked down by Maiorana. Bohaboy and a SHU defender arrived at the rebound at virtually the same moment and after briefly getting turned around, Bohaboy simply back-heeled the loose ball over the line from two yards out (70:51).
Seton Hall spoiled the shutout in the 77th minute, when Brittney Albrecht served a corner kick from the right flag, with the ball pinging off a teammate and then Willett tipped the shot off the cross bar. The ball dropped on the right side of the six-yard box, where Ritter was parked and beat two Notre Dame defenders to the loose ball to put the visitors on the board (76:34).
The Fighting Irish got that goal back in the final three minutes, and yet again, it was a combination of two Notre Dame rookies that yielded results. Schwappach collected the ball at midfield and made a sharp turn away from her mark before finding Gilbertson with a perfectly-timed through ball down the right channel. Gilbertson went shoulder-to-shoulder with her defender and maintained possession all the way to the penalty area before uncorking a low blast that tucked neatly inside the left post (87:55).
Notre Dame will wrap up its regular-season home slate at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday against Rutgers in the program's annual Kicks Against Cancer match at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish players will wear special uniforms that will be auctioned off at a later date to benefit local and national cancer charities, and several other related events will be held during the afternoon.
Tickets for all regular-season Notre Dame soccer matches can be purchased on-line at UND.com/tickets, by calling (574) 631-7356, or by visiting the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on the day of the match.
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.
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POST-MATCH NOTES: Prior to Friday's match, Notre Dame honored its departing senior players --defender/tri-captain Jazmin Hall and midfielder Nicole Borner -- with the latter earning her second career appearance, playing the final seven minutes of the first half ... with Friday's win, Notre Dame is 13-1 on Senior Night in the 14-year Waldrum era, with the Fighting Irish averaging 3.86 goals per match on Senior Night since Waldrum arrived on campus in 1999 ... Tucker has both multi-goal matches for Notre Dame this season, having also netted both scores in a 2-0 win at Tulsa on Aug. 24 (she has four two-goal outings in her career) ... Von Rueden had one assist in her rookie season prior to Friday night, with her two assists tying a Fighting Irish season high (Bohaboy vs. Cincinnati on Sept. 16), and also tying an Alumni Stadium record for a Notre Dame player (set numerous times) ... Schwappach became the 15th different Fighting Irish player to notch a point this season, and the seventh member of Notre Dame's 12-person freshman class ... Voigt extended her streak of scoreless minutes to 345:30, dating back five matches to Sept. 21 against Pittsburgh, also at Alumni Stadium ... Jasper made her season debut, becoming the fourth different Fighting Irish goalkeeper (and 24th different Notre Dame player) to see action in 2012 ... Notre Dame's seven-match winning streak is its longest since a nine-match run during the 2010 season ... the Fighting Irish improve to 18-1 all-time against Seton Hall (9-0 at home) and have won their last 15 matches against the Pirates ... Notre Dame continues its two remarkable historic streaks, moving to 340-0-1 when claiming a 2-0 lead (including wins in its last 317 such contests), and rising to 308-3-1 when scoring three goals in a match (including a 210-1 record since Oct. 6, 1995).