Nov. 10, 2012
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. - No. RV/23 Notre Dame broke open the contest early in the second half Friday, as a pair of goals in the final frame powered the Fighting Irish to a 3-1 win over Milwaukee in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Alumni Stadium.
The Fighting Irish move on to the second round of the NCAA Championship, where they will face the winner of Saturday's opening round match between Wake Forest (13-5-3) and Georgia Southern (10-7-5).
Notre Dame held an 18-3 shot advantage over Milwaukee, including a 13-2 edge during the second half. The Fighting Irish put nine of those attempts on net, compared to only two for the Panthers.
The match was tight in the opening minutes, as Notre Dame (14-5-2) registered three shots, two that were stopped by Panther goalkeeper Jaime Forbes (8-9-1). Milwaukee (8-9-1) broke through for the first time in the 28th minute after Helen Steinhauser was fouled in the box by Fighting Irish freshman defender Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) to draw a penalty kick. Steinhauser buried the attempt in the upper left corner of the net over the reach of freshman keeper Elyse Hight (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuiness) to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
"We kind of changed the shape in the first half of our team, and were hoping to get more movement and mobility offensively out of it," Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. "It was great during the week, but when we got into the game, they just set in, and we didn't have that kind of mobility."
Notre Dame countered with the equalizer in the 44th minute. Naughton headed in a beautiful corner off the foot of fellow freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) from six yards out to square the match at 1-1.
"We had to go back the second half to the way we've always played, with more three-out-and-out up front," Waldrum said. "We got the goal late, which was very important to get the tying goal before we came in at halftime. It was a great goal from Brit's service, and Katie on the header, so that was really key for us to go in and not be down."
The Fighting Irish took their first lead of the match seven minutes into the second half. Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) drove home a deflected ball in the box past Forbes for the 2-1 advantage. Notre Dame added an insurance tally in the 90th minute, as freshman forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) finished a through ball from midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) to put the Fighting Irish ahead 3-1.
Milwaukee advanced the ball into Notre Dame territory with under 20 seconds remaining in the game, but Hight (8-4-1) turned away a shot from Krissy Dorre to provide the match's final score.
"At this point in the year, I am happy for the win," Waldrum said. "This late, sometimes that's the main thing, get the win any way that you can get it. For eight or nine kids we had on the field, it was their first NCAA (Championship) game tonight, so it's part of the learning process and how to manage come playoff time.
"It's a lot different when you have that pressure of it's a one-game and a knockout versus I can make some mistakes during the regular season and still have more games to play."
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POST MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame improved to 60-16-1 all-time in the NCAA Championship, including 45-11 in NCAA games under head coach Randy Waldrum ... Notre Dame is now 45-3 all-time in home NCAA postseason matches ... the Fighting Irish are 7-1 all-time against Milwaukee, having not lost a match since dropping a 2-1 decision to the Panthers in the inaugural game between the teams in 1989 ... Helen Steinhauser's successful penalty kick in the first half was the first goal scored by Milwaukee against Notre Dame since Sept. 8, 1989 ... the Fighting Irish have outscored the Panthers 23-3 in eight all-time meetings between the squads ... Waldrum moved to 4-0 against Milwaukee in his career, with all four wins coming at the helm of the Fighting Irish.
Milwaukee 1 - 0 - 1
Notre Dame 1 - 2 - 3
WM 1. Helen Steinhauser 4 (PK) 27:42
ND 1. Katie Naughton 3 (Brittany Von Rueden) (Header) 43:51
ND. 2 Lauren Bohaboy 6 (unassisted) 52:02
ND. 3 Crystal Thomas 9 (Mandy Laddish) 89:20
Total Shots: Milwaukee 3 (1-2), Notre Dame 18 (5-13)
Shots on Goal: Milwaukee 2 (1-1), Notre Dame 9 (4-5)
Saves: Milwaukee 6 (Jamie Forbes 6 in 90:00), Notre Dame 1 (Elyse Hight 1 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: Milwaukee 0, Notre Dame 4 (4-0)
Fouls: Milwaukee 7 (4-3), Notre Dame 14 (6-8)
Offsides: Milwaukee 0, Notre Dame 3
Yellow Card: Katie Naughton (ND) 27:42
Records: Milwaukee 8-9-1; Notre Dame 14-5-2