Aug. 11, 2012
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-8-3 in 2011 / 6-3-2 BIG EAST) vs. Baylor Lady Bears (15-4-3 in 2011 / 5-2-1 Big 12)
DATE: August 12, 2012
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. (Notre Dame Practice Field - cap. 1,000)
SERIES: ND leads 1-0-0 (regular season)/First meeting (exhibition)
LAST MTG: ND 7-2 (8/27/04 at ND)
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TICKETS: Free for exhibitions
Irish To Face Baylor Sunday In Second Exhibition Match
Notre Dame gets its final chance to tune up for the 2012 season when it welcomes Baylor to the Notre Dame Practice Field at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday for an exhibition match. It will be the second preseason outing in three days for the Fighting Irish, who earned a 2-0 win over seventh-ranked Virginia on Friday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy scored in the 35th minute against Virginia, and freshman forward Crystal Thomas added a key insurance goal with 9:48 remaining, supporting a combined clean sheet in goal for freshman Elyse Hight (three saves) and sophomore Sarah Voigt (two saves). It was Notre Dame's first shutout against a ranked opponent in the preseason since 2006.
Baylor is playing its lone exhibition match of the season with Sunday's visit to South Bend. The Lady Bears return 22 players, including seven starters, from last year's 15-4-3 squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship, collecting the program's first-ever NCAA tournament win in its first appearance since 1999.
While admission for both Notre Dame exhibitions is free, tickets for the 2012 Fighting Irish regular season schedule are on sale by calling (574) 631-7356 or going on-line to und.com/tickets.
Baylor returns 22 players, including seven starters, from last year's club that went 15-4-3 (5-2-1 in the Big 12) and returned to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1999 while earning the school's first-ever NCAA tournament win (3-0 vs. Texas State) before being eliminated in the second round by North Carolina (5-0 in Gainesville, Fla.). The Lady Bears are led by a pair of high-scoring seniors in forward Dana Larsen (11G-2A in 2011) and midfielder Lisa Sliwinski (9G-3A).
Baylor will play its lone exhibition match of 2012 (aside from an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 5) on Sunday at Notre Dame. The Lady Bears are receiving votes in this week's preseason NSCAA poll, and were picked third in the preseason Big 12 poll behind Oklahoma State and former BIG EAST member West Virginia.
Head coach Marci Jobson is beginning her fifth season at Baylor and owns a 39-27-13 (.576) record at the school. Jobson previously spent three years (2005-07) as the head coach at Northern Illinois and has a 62-54-22 (.529) record in seven seasons on a college sideline. Sunday will mark the first time she has coached against Notre Dame, either in an exhibition or regular season match.
The Notre Dame-Baylor Series
Whether it be in the regular season or exhibition play, Notre Dame and Baylor have met just once before on the soccer pitch, with the Fighting Irish posting a 7-2 win over the Lady Bears on Aug. 27, 2004, at old Alumni Field in the season opener for both teams.
Junior All-America forward (and eventual 2004 Soccer America National Player of the Year) Katie Thorlakson set a (then) Notre Dame record for points in a half and to start a match, having a hand in the first five Fighting Irish goals (2G-3A) as the hosts raced out to a 7-0 lead before Baylor pulled back two scores in the final six minutes. The biggest Notre Dame flurry came late in the first half when Thorlakson scored twice and assisted on Jen Buczkowski's goal, all within a span of 2:50 that put the match out of reach.
The victory over Baylor was the first for Notre Dame on the road to a 25-1-1 season that culminated with the second of the program's three NCAA national championships.
Other Notre Dame-Baylor Series Tidbits
Exhibition #1 Recap: Virginia
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy put Notre Dame in front with a goal late in the first half, and freshman forward Crystal Thomas added an insurance goal in the final 10 minutes as the Fighting Irish opened their 25th anniversary season on a high note with a 2-0 exhibition win over No. 7 Virginia on a damp and windy Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Practice Field.
Freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden earned the assist on Thomas' second-half strike, as the Fighting Irish posted their first exhibition shutout over a ranked opponent since 2006 (3-0 vs. No. 8 Virginia in Traverse City, Mich.).
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight went the first 60 minutes between the pipes for Notre Dame, making three saves. Sophomore Sarah Voigt came on in relief and registered two saves in the final 30 minutes to complete the shutout.
The shot totals were nearly identical during the match, with both teams collecting 11 total shots, while the Fighting Irish had a slim 6-5 advantage in shots on goal. Virginia had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks (two of which came in the final 15 seconds of the match), while the foul count was slightly tipped towards Notre Dame, 5-4, and the Fighting Irish also were flagged for two of the three offside calls on the afternoon.
The Cavaliers, who return 20 letterwinners from last year's team that reached the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, also split their goalkeeping duties on Friday. Danielle DeLisle got the nod in the first half and made two saves before giving way to Churchill O'Connell, who also stopped two shots in the remaining 45 minutes.
The Fighting Irish got a bit of a break from the elements to jump in front. Hight's punt to midfield was misjudged slightly by the retreating Virginia defense, with a Cavalier defender shanking her clearing attempt. Bohaboy capitalized on the opportunity, darting in front of her mark to collect the ball and then racing straight through to the penalty area before firing a low shot from 12 yards out that beat DeLisle inside the left post (34:32).
Notre Dame then got its insurance goal in the 81st minute and it started with a strong build-up out of the back, as Voigt hit Von Rueden with an outlet pass, and the Notre Dame rookie pushed up towards midfield. Just before crossing the stripe, Von Rueden lofted a 40-yard cross-field service that found Thomas streaking down the back side of the Virginia defense. Thomas took a purposeful touch into the box and cracked a 15-yard shot past a diving O'Connell to seal matters for the home side (80:12).
Notre Dame is 11-3-2 (.750) in exhibition matches against college teams under 14th-year head coach Randy Waldrum. Of those 16 contests, seven have come at home, with the Fighting Irish posting a 6-0-1 record in South Bend (the first five at their prior home, old Alumni Field, with the past two (last year vs. Nebraska, this year vs. Virginia) being played at the Notre Dame Practice Field). The Fighting Irish also are averaging 2.75 goals per match in exhibitions against college opponents during the Waldrum era.
It should be noted that Notre Dame did not play any preseason matches in 1999 (Waldrum's first year), 2000, 2003 or 2004, with the '00 and '04 squads heading to Brazil for training trips. The '04 team took full advantage of that trip, going 5-0-1 to set the stage for a 25-1-1 season and the program's second national championship.
Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad will be led by a trio of first-time captains, as senior defender Jazmin Hall, and junior midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker were selected via a preseason vote of their teammates.
Notre Dame Soccer To Host Meet The Teams BBQ Aug. 18
The Notre Dame men's and women's soccer teams will hold the 2012 "Meet The Teams" barbecue and fan appreciation event from 4-6 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (900 West Western Ave. in South Bend). This free annual event, which has become a favorite of fans and teams alike, allows fans from the South Bend/Michiana community to meet the players and coaches from both nationally-ranked Fighting Irish squads.
Members of both teams will be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures, and some of the Fighting Irish student-athletes also will be available to compete in pick-up games and skills challenges, and there will be other activities for younger fans, including face painting and balloon animals.
This year's event will take place rain or shine. In case of inclement weather, the Kroc Center (which also has outdoor turf fields) features an indoor facility to continue the celebration.
Next Game: Wisconsin
Notre Dame will officially open its 25th season at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) Friday when it heads to Madison, Wis., for a matchup with Wisconsin at the McClimon Soccer Complex. It will be the third time in four seasons the Fighting Irish begin their season against UW, having defeated the Badgers, 3-0 in 2009 and 2-0 last year.
Wisconsin brings back 15 letterwinners, including six who started at least once last season, when the Badgers went 10-7-3 and finished fourth in the Big Ten Conference (5-3-3 record). UW is led by sophomore forward Cara Walls (9G-1A in 2011), a returning Big Ten All-Freshman Team pick, and senior defender Lindsey Johnson, who copped second-team all-conference honors last season as the anchor on a Badger defense that registered six shutouts and a 0.96 goals-against average.
Wisconsin played just one exhibition match this season, dropping a 1-0 decision at No. 16 Marquette on Aug. 9.