Oct. 10, 2013
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) scored a pair of goals at top-ranked Virginia, as No. 9/5 Notre Dame twice clawed its way back from a one-goal deficit, only to see the Cavaliers' Morgan Brian score one minute into the second overtime, keeping UVa unbeaten with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action before 2,838 fans on a rainy Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Brian's goal, which came off a header from a Danielle Colaprico corner kick, was not without controversy, as it appeared the ball deflected off Tucker near the right post, spun towards the goal line and then was swept off the line by freshman forward Kaleigh Olmsted (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands). Virginia players began to celebrate as the ball was cleared and the assistant referee, positioned about six yards off the end line on the far side of the pitch paused slightly before raising his flag to indicate a goal. Television replays, both on the stadium video board and on the ACC Digital Network (which broadcast the match), didn't provide a clear verdict either way.
Freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) and junior midfielder Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior) registered assists on Tucker's two goals Thursday night. Gloria Douglas scored Virginia's first goal, also off a Colaprico assist, and the Cavaliers benefitted from a Fighting Irish own goal early in the second half.
Freshman goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley) was outstanding in the wet conditions, making a career-high nine saves, including several diving and reflex stops. Virginia netminder Morgan Stearns collected six saves for the hosts.
The Cavaliers (13-0, 7-0 ACC) ended up with a 21-13 edge in total shots, including a 12-8 margin in shots on goal. UVa also had an 8-3 advantage on corner kicks, while fouls were nearly even (14-12 against Virginia).
"I'm incredibly proud of the heart and effort our team showed tonight, especially in some really adverse weather conditions," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "Our work rate was terrific, we competed from start to finish against the No. 1 team in the country on their home field and didn't blink, even when we fell behind. Soccer can be a cruel sport sometimes, and we've been on both sides of the fence on finishes like this. That being said, you can't take a thing away from Virginia -- they were outstanding and certainly showed why they've had the success they've had this season."
"It's incredibly frustrating to put in all the work we did and then have it end like that," Tucker said. "Then again, it's on us to leave no doubt and we didn't finish the job tonight. I think we came back and gave a much better effort than we did Sunday at Miami (a 2-0 defeat), but it's still a loss. We can't linger on this, except to continue to grow and become even stronger as a team because of this."
Playing its sixth ranked opponent of the season, and fourth in the past seven matches (including its second No. 1 foe), Notre Dame (9-3-1, 5-2-1) didn't get off to the best of starts, falling behind less than four minutes into the contest. Colaprico found some room on the left flank and from wide of the top left corner of the box, she curled a cross toward the far (right) post. Douglas got space on her defender and snapped a close-range header from inside the six-yard box, giving Virginia the early 1-0 lead (3:14).
It took a few minutes, but the Fighting Irish found their footing, thanks to a shift to a 4-5-1 formation. Notre Dame began to create its share of possession in the attacking third, which ultimately yielded the equalizer.
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) gathered the ball in the left channel and whipped a service to the heart of the area, where Andrews rose up and flicked a header towards the right post. The shot caromed off the woodwork, but Stearns had slid over towards the post and was now out of position when the rebound came back into the goalmouth. Tucker never gave up on the play and beat two UVa defenders to the loose ball, driving it home with a left foot from two yards away (24:33).
"I could tell pretty quickly that Morgan's shot was going to come off the post," Tucker said. "Once it came back in front, I had an empty net to shoot at and just wanted to make sure I put a good strike on it to get it in."
The teams would go into halftime still tied at 1-1, thanks to some alert defending by the Fighting Irish in the final minute of the first period. Off a Virginia corner kick, the ball was cleared out to Brian outside the top center of the box. She let fly with a long shot that slipped off Little's wet gloves, but the Notre Dame back line calmly cleared the ball out of the six-yard area before any further danger arose.
The Fighting Irish didn't quite have the same luck early in the second half. Cavalier defender Molly Menchel served a ball from the left flank for Makenzy Doniak who was marked by a pair of Notre Dame backs. The cross missed Doniak, but deflected off senior defender Rebecca Twining (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist School). Little was caught going the wrong way as the ball slipped back across the grain and inside the left post (49:38).
Trailing for the second time, Notre Dame weathered some continued Virginia pressure for the next 20 minutes before answering for a second time.
Olmsted began matters with a deft run into the attacking third on the left side before unleashing a rising shot that beat Stearns but clanged hard off the crossbar. The ball eventually caromed out to the deep right corner, where junior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) did well to maintain possession, playing the ball back to Schneider 35 yards out in the right channel. Schneider calmly drove a service into the goalmouth, where Tucker was unmarked and re-directed the pass past Stearns with 17:11 left in regulation. It was Tucker's fifth career two-goal match, and her first in a little more than a year (Oct. 5, 2012, at home vs. Seton Hall).
"You have to credit Lauren for keeping that play alive," Waldrum said. "She battled and didn't give up on it and was able to find Taylor, who put a great ball into the box and Tucker came up with another good finish."
That second goal seemed to energize Notre Dame, which appeared to have the better chances in the final quarter-hour of regulation. Andrews had two free kick opportunities from the left channel, putting one on the roof of the net, and driving the second low along the wet turf, while Bohaboy had a similar skipping shot on frame, all forcing Stearns to be alert in the closing moments.
Notre Dame had a terrific triple-header combination play that nearly ended matters in the 93rd minute. Andrews sent a free kick to the top of the box, where the ball was flicked to sophomore Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) on the left side of the area. In turn, she headed the ball back across frame, where junior defender Sammy Scofield (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) drove a firm header on target, only to have Stearns make the grab.
Colaprico had Virginia's best chance of the first overtime in the 94th minute, easing down the left channel before uncorking a 25-yard shot that was ticketed for the right post. However, as she did all night long, Little had the shot tracked all the way, diving to her left and pushing the shot wide of the mark for a corner kick (which yielded a Brian header from a tight left angle that didn't have a chance to get on frame).
After the teams changed ends at the close of the first overtime, the second extra period lasted only a minute before Colaprico's right-side, inswinging corner kick found Brian for the match-winning goal.
Notre Dame will remain in the state of Virginia to wrap up its three-match ACC road trip at noon (ET) Sunday, when it travels to Blacksburg, Va., to take on No. 10/12 Virginia Tech at Thompson Field. The match will be broadcast live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks (coverage includes Fox Sports Indiana, check local listings for additional outlets), as well as ESPN3.
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.
#1/1 Virginia 3, #9/5 Notre Dame 2 (2OT)
Notre Dame 1 1 0 0 -- 2
UVA 1. Gloria Douglas 2 (Danielle Colaprico) 3:14. ND 1. Elizabeth Tucker 2 (Morgan Andrews) 24:33. UVA 2. Own Goal 49:38. ND 2. Tucker 3 (Taylor Schneider) 72:49. UVA 3. Morgan Brian 9 (Colaprico) 101:00.
Total Shots: ND 13 (5-7-1-0), UVA 21 (8-8-3-2)
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director