Feb. 25, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Six matches, including a contest with professional side Chicago Red Stars and international friendlies with the Mexican and Haitian National Teams, spotlight a demanding 2014 spring schedule for the Notre Dame women's soccer team, it was announced Tuesday.
The Fighting Irish, who return seven starters and 23 veterans from last year's squad that reached the third round of the NCAA Championship and was ranked in the top 20 in both major national polls, will open their spring schedule on March 22, traveling to Milwaukee, Wis., for a 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT) match against former BIG EAST Conference rival and defending BIG EAST champion Marquette at Valley Fields.
Notre Dame then heads to Ann Arbor, Mich., on March 30 to take on Michigan in a 3 p.m. (ET) match at the UM Soccer Stadium. The Fighting Irish and Wolverines met in the third round of last year's NCAA Championship, with Michigan edging Notre Dame, 1-0 on a second-half penalty kick.
The Fighting Irish then return home for their last four spring matches, beginning April 2 when they battle professional club Chicago Red Stars (a member of the National Women's Soccer League) at 7 p.m. (ET) inside Alumni Stadium. This will mark the second consecutive year that Notre Dame has faced the Red Stars, who earned a 4-1 victory over the Fighting Irish last spring at Alumni Stadium behind two goals from former Notre Dame All-American Lauren Fowlkes ('11), who retired from professional soccer last May to join the Physician Assistant School at Northwestern University.
The Fighting Irish continue their spring home slate at 1 p.m (ET) on April 13, welcoming Valparaiso to town for a match at the ND Practice Field (located on Twyckenham Road at the eastern edge of the Notre Dame campus). Admission will be free for this match, with fans asked to park in the Gold Lot adjacent to the Eck Baseball Stadium and follow the service road behind the outfield wall to the ND soccer practice ground.
Notre Dame will close out its spring schedule by participating in two international friendlies as part of soccer doubleheaders at Alumni Stadium. The first twinbill takes place April 23, with Marquette taking on Mexico at 6 p.m. (ET), followed by the Fighting Irish and the Haitian National Team at 8 p.m. (ET).
Haiti is led by head coach Shek Borkowski, who achieved tremendous success through his leadership at FC Indiana, a professional club that had its roots in nearby Goshen, Ind., through 2006 and now is based in Indianapolis. Notre Dame and Haiti have met the past two springs at Alumni Stadium, with the Fighting Irish earning 2-1 victories both times, most recently last year thanks to a goal by sophomore midfielder and U.S. Under-20 National Team captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) with 1:44 left in the first half.
Two nights later on April 25, Notre Dame will get its chance to take on Mexico at Alumni Stadium, scheduled for a 5 p.m. (ET) kickoff as part of a doubleheader with the reigning national champion Fighting Irish men's soccer team, which will play Mexico on that same pitch at 7 p.m. (ET).
The Notre Dame women have faced various squads from the Mexican national team program for many years, having posted a 6-2-1 record against Las Tri since 2001. The Fighting Irish won last year's encounter with the Mexico U-20s in thrilling fashion, scoring twice in the final five minutes and posting a 4-3 victory on Roccaro's goal in second-half stoppage time.
Admission ($5 adults, $3 youths/seniors) will be charged for all spring matches played at Alumni Stadium, while Notre Dame faculty, staff and students, as well as Saint Mary's and Holy Cross College students are admitted free. The Alumni Stadium gates will open one hour prior to kickoff for all scheduled events, and for the scheduled doubleheader events (April 23 and April 25), one ticket is good for both matches.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Notre Dame's Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; UND.com/buytickets) during normal business hours.
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.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director