April 27, 2012
Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) scored two goals, including the match-winner in the 84th minute, as the Notre Dame women's soccer team posted a 2-1 exhibition victory over the Haiti National Team on Friday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Junior defender Jazmin Hall (Highland Village, Texas/Marcus) collected the assist on Bohaboy's decisive goal, as the Fighting Irish improved to 6-2-1 in spring international friendlies since 2001.
Notre Dame outshot Haiti, 25-6, including a 12-4 edge in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish were especially strong in the second half, logging a 9-1 advantage in total shots (4-1 in shots on goal). Notre Dame also led in corner kicks, 6-2, while the Haitians were whistled for 12 of 18 fouls in the match, and each team had a player receive a yellow card.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox (San Jose, Calif./Leigh) played the full 90 minutes in the Fighting Irish net, registering three saves to earn the victory. Jordan Clark made 10 saves and Lovely Placide scored in the 40th minute for Haiti, which brought its full national team in for the match, featuring most of the same players the island nation suited up for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament Jan. 19-29 in Vancouver, B.C. (Haiti went 1-2 in group play and did not advance to the semifinals).
"This was a very positive result for us and showed that we're making progress and improving as the spring season goes along," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "Haiti's style is unique in that it's more of the international way, sitting back and then counterattacking, which is not something we see a lot of in the college game. I thought it was good for us to see that kind of play and then learn how to adjust to it, and we did a better job of that in the second half."
Notre Dame was on the front foot for much of the evening, led by freshman midfielder Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior), who fired a match-high nine shots, including four on goal. Three of Schneider's shots came in the first 18 minutes, each of which kept Clark on her toes, but none of which found pay dirt.
The Fighting Irish nearly broke through in the 23rd minute when senior defender Brynn Gerstle (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) drove a 35-yard free kick that almost caught Clark off her line. However, the Haiti netminder managed to backpedal and tipped Gerstle's shot off the crossbar before collecting the ball before any Notre Dame attackers could latch on to the rebound.
After sustained pressure for the first half-hour, the Fighting Irish finally got full measure for their offensive efforts with the opening score. Sophomore forward Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) got loose behind the Haitian defense on the left side of the box, and was hauled down by a retreating defender to earn a penalty kick. Bohaboy then stepped to the spot and calmly drilled her try past Clark in the 31st minute.
Bohaboy nearly doubled her goal output in the 38th minute, knocking down a poor clearing attempt by Haiti near the top right corner of the area and going 1-v-1 with Clark. However, the Fighting Irish rookie came up empty with her scoring bid towards the far left post, the ball just rolling wide of the woodwork.
That near-miss would loom large, as Haiti equalized two minutes later on one of its counterattacks. Manoucheka Pierre-Louis latched on the ball just inside the center circle and quickly found Placide on an angled run. The Caribbean attacker timing her sprint perfectly, just beating the Notre Dame offside trap and firing a 15-yard shot past a diving Fox.
The second half was played primarily in the Fighting Irish offensive third, as Notre Dame held Haiti without a shot for the first 38 minutes of the period. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish continue to probe the Haitian defense, with their best chance coming in the 81st minute when three Notre Dame players found themselves behind the backline in the penalty area, but a late offside flag negated the Fighting Irish scoring threat.
That would only delay the inevitable, as Notre Dame broke the deadlock in the 84th minute. Hall served a quick pass up to Bohaboy on the left side of the box, and the freshman frontliner zipped a low shot towards the near left post, which Clark looked to have covered well. Yet, the shot squeezed past the Haiti goalkeeper and trickled over the goal line as Clark scrambled back and dove in vain to keep the ball out of the net.
Notre Dame will play one final match in its spring season at noon (ET) Sunday when it welcomes Iowa to town for an exhibition at the Notre Dame Practice Field (located on Twyckenham Drive, south of old Alumni Field and behind the outfield wall at Frank Eck Baseball Stadium). Admission is free, with fans encouraged to park in the Eck Stadium or Joyce Center lots, and walk down the access road between the soccer, lacrosse and baseball stadia.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (@NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
POST MATCH NOTES: Notre Dame earns its first win over an international side in the spring season since 2008, when it claimed a 2-1 victory over Mexico at old Alumni Field (the Fighting Irish did defeat the Ireland National Team, 1-0 in a preseason exhibition in August 2009 at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis) ... Notre Dame had played Mexico in each of its eight prior spring international matches (5-2-1 record), but the Mexican side was unable to travel to South Bend this year as it is preparing to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, this summer ... the Fighting Irish move to 3-1-1 during their spring 2012 season, with home wins over Western Michigan, Purdue and the Haiti National Team, as well as a draw with reigning NCAA Division II national runner-up Grand Valley State, and a last-minute loss to defending Atlantic-10 Conference champion Dayton in Fort Wayne, Ind. ... Bohaboy is the first Notre Dame player to score twice in a spring international friendly since April 28, 2006, when Amanda Cinalli netted a pair of goals in a 3-0 win over Mexico at old Alumni Field.