Aug. 25, 2011
#1/2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #3/3 North Carolina Tar Heels (1-0-0 / 0-0-0 ACC)
DATE: August 26, 2011
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Chapel Hill, N.C. - Fetzer Field (5,700)
SERIES: UNC leads 12-5-2
1ST MTG: UNC 3-0 (10/15/93)
LAST MTG: ND 4-1 (11/20/10)
STATS/BLOG: UND.com (live)
#1/2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) vs.
#21/10 Duke Blue Devils (2-0-0 / 0-0-0 ACC)
DATE: August 28, 2011
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Chapel Hill, N.C. - Fetzer Field (5,700)
SERIES: ND leads 8-3-1
1ST MTG: DU 2-0 (10/22/89)
LAST MTG: ND 3-1 (9/7/08)
STATS/BLOG: UND.com (live)
#1/2 Irish To Face Two Ranked Opponents This Weekend At Carolina Classic
With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the Eastern seaboard, the eye of the college soccer storm is sure to be on Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend, as No. 1/2 Notre Dame prepares to take on No. 3 North Carolina and No. 21/10 Duke at the Carolina Classic. The Notre Dame web site (UND.com) will have live blogs and stats from both Fighting Irish matches, while UNC's site (tarheelblue.com) will offer live video of Friday's match.
The Fighting Irish (1-0) opened their season with a victory last Friday, downing Wisconsin, 2-0 at Alumni Field. Senior All-America forward Melissa Henderson collected the 18th multi-point match of her career with a goal and an assist, while sophomore forward Adriana Leon's got her side on the board in the 43rd minute.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Ranked No. 1 in the current National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and No. 2 in the latest Soccer America poll, Notre Dame opened its season last Friday with a 2-0 victory over Wisconsin at Alumni Stadium, improving to 21-2-1 all-time in season openers and extending its active shutout streak on opening night to 632:54, dating back to 2005.
Senior All-America forward (and Hermann Trophy candidate) Melissa Henderson chalked up a goal and an assist for the Fighting Irish against Wisconsin, earning her 18th career multi-point match in the process. Sophomore forward Adriana Leon started this season like she finished the last, converting a pass from Henderson for the opening goal of the year in the 43rd minute.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox posted her first career win and solo shutout in the Notre Dame net, registering a career-high three saves.
Notre Dame has 18 monogram winners, including seven starters back this year to defend their third NCAA title, bringing with them more than 60 percent of the team's offense.
Scouting North Carolina
North Carolina is ranked third in both major national polls heading into this weekend's tournament. The Tar Heels opened their season last Friday with a 2-1 win at Nebraska, as midfielder Ranee Premji netted the match-winner in the 77th minute. Fellow midfielder Maria Lubrano had put UNC up just 94 seconds into the season, but the Huskers got the equalizer early in the second half, setting the stage for Premji's heroics.
The Tar Heels have 19 letterwinners, including 10 starters (including top goalscorer Kealia Ohai - 14 goals, and top playmaker Courtney Jones - 14 assists) returning from last year's squad that went 19-3-2 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Championship. Still, they are a young crew with 24 of the 28 players on the roster holding junior eligibility or less, including a combined 16 freshmen and sophomores (counting redshirts).
Head coach Anson Dorrance is in his 33rd season at North Carolina, having compiled a 716-39-24 (.935) all-time record. He is 12-5-2 all-time against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-North Carolina Series
Friday's match will be the 20th meeting in the Notre Dame-North Carolina series, with the Tar Heels holding a 12-5-2 edge over the Fighting Irish. With five series wins, Notre Dame has more victories over UNC than any other school in the nation. In fact, Santa Clara is the only other college program to have more than two wins all-time against North Carolina, with the Broncos owning four series wins over the Tar Heels.
Notre Dame also is 4-1 against UNC at Fetzer Field and has defeated the Tar Heels on their last three visits to Chapel Hill (including a 4-1 victory in the third round of last year's NCAA Championship). No other school in the country has earned more than two wins or four unbeaten results against North Carolina at Fetzer Field (Duke has two wins, Maryland has a win and a draw, Florida State has two draws).
The Last Time Notre Dame And North Carolina Met
Rose Augustin collected a goal and two assists, and Melissa Henderson added a goal and an assist, as No. 7/10 Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship for the seventh consecutive season with a clinical 4-1 victory over No. 3/4 (and top-seeded) North Carolina in an NCAA third-round match on Nov. 20, 2010, at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The win over UNC was notable for numerous reasons, particularly due to the offensive eruption the Fighting Irish produced on the Tar Heels' home turf. In fact, it was the first time UNC lost a match by multiple goals since Nov. 24, 1985, when the Tar Heels dropped a 2-0 decision at George Mason (a run of 607 matches), and the first time UNC had ever yielded four goals on its home pitch to a college opponent. It also represented the most goals allowed by North Carolina in a single match during the NCAA era (1982-present), with Harvard the only college program ever to score more goals against the Tar Heels, posting a 5-3 win over UNC on Nov. 16, 1980, at the AIAW Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jessica Schuveiller continued her uncanny ability to score critical goals, netting her fourth career score (all match-winners) and first of the season in the 33rd minute. Ellen Jantsch capped the Fighting Irish scoring with her second goal of the year in the 77th minute.
Crystal Dunn scored the lone UNC goal, potting her ninth of the season off a Ranee Premji assist in the 19th minute to temporarily knot the score at 1-1.
Nikki Weiss turned in a virtuoso performance in the Notre Dame net, registering five saves, including two huge second-half stops to help keep North Carolina at arm's length. Maddie Fox came on to spell Weiss in the final minute and complete the victory.
UNC (19-3-2) finished with a 15-9 shot advantage in the match, including a slim 6-5 edge in shots on goal. The Tar Heels also had the upper hand on corner kicks, 8-5, while fouls were even at 10-10.
Ranked 21st in the latest NSCAA poll and 10th by Soccer America, Duke opened its 2011 season last weekend with 2-0 home victories over Army and then-No. 21 South Carolina. Four different Blue Devils scored, while goalkeeper Tara Campbell made a combined seven saves to record the two shutouts, even adding an assist on defender Molly Lester's goal just 50 seconds into the opener vs. Army.
Duke has 18 letterwinners, including all 11 starters back from a team that went 11-8-4 in 2010 and reached the third round of the NCAA Championship. Sophomore forwards Laura Weinberg (10G-2A) and Mollie Pathman (8G-5A) will look to spark the Blue Devil offense once again after stellar rookie seasons.
Head coach Robbie Church is in his 11th season at Duke with 115-77-27 (.587) record entering this weekend's action. He also has an 18-year career record of 201-126-38 (.603), and he is 0-2 all-time against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Duke Series
Notre Dame and Duke will square off for the 13th time on Sunday, with the Fighting Irish leading the all-time series, 8-3-1, including a 4-1-1 edge at neutral sites. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in its last nine matches against the Blue Devils (8-0-1) after Duke won its first three contests with the Fighting Irish from 1989-92.
The Last Time Notre Dame And Duke Met
Lauren Fowlkes picked the perfect time for her first goal of the season, scoring midway through the second half, and Rebecca Mendoza added her first goal a little more than four minutes later as No. 5/4 Notre Dame locked up the Carolina Classic title with a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sept. 7, 2008, at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Erica Iantorno continued her impressive start to the 2008 season, assisting on the scores by Fowlkes and Mendoza and giving her seven points in her first five matches of the year (2G-3A). Eventual Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks got the Fighting Irish on the board with her fifth goal of the year only 69 seconds into the second half, and Kelsey Lysander picked up her fifth consecutive win between the pipes, making two saves.
Duke came into the matinee with Notre Dame having yielded just one goal in its first four matches of the year. However, the Fighting Irish outshot the Blue Devils, 17-10, including a 10-3 edge in shots on goal. Notre Dame also rang up a season-high 13 corner kicks, their highest total in more than four years.
Notre Dame vs. the ACC
Notre Dame has faced 10 of the 12 current Atlantic Coast Conference members through the years, fashioning a combined 39-19-3 (.664) record against those programs (including a 17-1 record against the three former BIG EAST schools now in the ACC -- Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech).
The Fighting Irish also are 11-4 (.733) against ACC teams on their campuses (4-1 against UNC in Chapel Hill).
Notre Dame at the Carolina Classic
Notre Dame is making its third appearance in the Carolina Classic, having won the title in 2008 and finishing second in 1998.
The last time the Fighting Irish played in UNC's tournament, they defeated the host Tar Heels, 1-0 on Brittany Bock's 51st-minute goal, then downed Duke, 3-1, behind second-half goals (four minutes apart) from Lauren Fowlkes and Rebecca Mendoza.
In 1998 (the season before current head coach Randy Waldrum arrived on the scene), Notre Dame opened the Carolina Classic with a 3-0 victory over Duke behind two goals and an assist from Jenny Heft. UNC then defeated the Fighting Irish, 5-1 in the tournament title match two days later.
As it turns out, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Duke have matched up often in regular season tournaments through the years. From 1993-98, the three schools faced off annually at several locations around the country -- Houston (1993, 1995), St. Louis (1994), Durham, N.C. (1996), Notre Dame (1997) and Chapel Hill, N.C. (1998), before going on hiatus until they reunited at the 2008 Carolina Classic.
Four of those seven tournaments featured a 1-vs-2 matchup between the Fighting Irish and Tar Heels, with the two heavyweights splitting those four matches down the middle (1-1-2), and three going to overtime. Notre Dame earned a 2-1 OT win in 1996, UNC took a 5-1 decision in 1998, while the teams played to a 0-0 draw in 1994 (snapping the Tar Heels' record-setting 92-match winning streak) and a 2-2 draw in 1997.
Notre Dame and North Carolina were ranked sixth or better in their three other previous regular-season tournament matches, with the Tar Heels winning twice.
Friday will mark the first time in 10 regular-season matches between the Fighting Irish and Tar Heels that Notre Dame is ranked higher than UNC (let alone No. 1) at kickoff.
At the same time, both Notre Dame and Duke have been ranked in the Top 25 for six of their seven previous regular-season tournament matchups, with the Fighting Irish going 5-0-1 against the Blue Devils (in addition to a 2-0 win over an unranked Duke squad in 1996).
Fetzer Feels Fine For Fighting Irish
Notre Dame has enjoyed remarkable success at Fetzer Field through the years, posting a 6-1 record at the facility, including a 4-1 mark against North Carolina on its home pitch (the most by any visiting team against the Tar Heels).
After the teams split their first two meetings in Chapel Hill (ND 1-0 in the 1995 NCAA national semifinal; UNC 5-1 in the 1998 Carolina Classic), the Fighting Irish have won their last three matches against the Tar Heels at Fetzer Field, earning a pair of NCAA Championship third-round victories over UNC (3-2 in 2007; 4-1 last season) as well as a 1-0 win in the 2008 Carolina Classic.
The other two Notre Dame triumphs at Fetzer Field came over Portland (a 1-0 triple-overtime victory in the 1995 NCAA title match) and Duke (3-1 in the 2008 Carolina Classic).
With Hurricane Irene lurking off the Atlantic coast and threatening to brush North Carolina's Outer Banks this weekend, it recalls Notre Dame's last visit to Chapel Hill for the Carolina Classic in 2008.
That year, the Fighting Irish defeated the Tar Heels, 1-0 on a damp Friday night that got progressively worse once the match ended, as Tropical Storm Hanna made its way through North Carolina's capital region. However, the rain and wind subsided by Saturday night, yielding a sunny and dry Sunday afternoon that saw Notre Dame complete its two-match sweep in Chapel Hill with a 3-1 win over Duke.
Henderson A Trend Setter
If you're looking to spot a trend in Notre Dame's success during the past four seasons, look no further than senior forward Melissa Henderson. Since the Garland, Texas, native arrived in South Bend, she has scored 53 goals (second-most among active Division I players, and 11th in school history) and added 19 assists, good for 125 career points (14th in school history).
After piling up eight goals and three assists in two exhibition matches earlier this month (including a 4G-2A blitz of then-No. 10 Virginia on Aug. 12 in Maple City, Mich.), Henderson opened her regular season account last Friday against Wisconsin with her 18th career multi-point match, netting an insurance goal in the 61st minute after setting up sophomore forward Adriana Leon's score with less than three minutes left in the first half.
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 36-0-2 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 11 of her last 16 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 45-0-2 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 27 of the past 36 contests, a stretch that carries back to 2009.
As Tough As An Old Schu
Senior defender Jessica Schuveiller has been a mainstay for the Notre Dame defense throughout her career. In fact, the rugged (and still remarkably underrated) center back from Plano, Texas, has started all 79 Fighting Irish matches and played more than 93 percent of her team's minutes (6,704 of a possible 7,204) since she set foot on campus more than three years ago.
In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 69 wins, 50 shutouts and a 0.54 goals-against average (GAA), with only one team scoring more than two goals in a single match against the Fighting Irish under her watch (UNC 6-0 on Sept. 4, 2009, at Alumni Stadium).
A two-time NSCAA all-region pick and the 2010 NCAA Women's College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Schuveiller was one of 25 players (along with classmate Melissa Henderson) named to this year's Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.
When healthy, senior midfielder Courtney Barg is among the best at her position in the country. A 2009 NSCAA first-team All-American, Hermann Trophy semifinalist and the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, Barg had her value on full display last season, coming back from a preseason injury to play the final six weeks (11 matches) of the season, including starts in all six NCAA Championship contests.
In fact, it was her calm demeanor and poise in the possession game that was a major factor in Notre Dame's run to its third national championship. Most notably in the title match against top-ranked Stanford, she helped the Fighting Irish control the flow of the contest before ultimately scoring the winning goal in the 63rd minute. Barg went on to be named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team, one of six Notre Dame players on that squad.
As a senior, Barg already has been tapped as one of 45 preseason candidates for the Hermann Trophy (along with classmate Melissa Henderson), and down the road, she could even be in a position to join the U.S. National Team player pool after electing to bypass the U-23 pool the past two summers while taking part in job-related internships (including one in England in the summer of 2010).
Three Best Friends Anyone Could Have
Chemistry is key to the success of any team, but Notre Dame has a unique formula that supports its framework this season. The Fighting Irish are led by three senior captains -- midfielder Courtney Barg, forward Melissa Henderson and defender Jessica Schuveiller -- who not only form the backbone of their starting lineup, but have been best friends since the fifth grade growing up back in suburban Dallas. In fact, the trio played together on age-group teams for the elite Dallas Texans soccer club starting with the U-11s and continuing through the rest of their pre-college days (although they did move to the newly-formed Sting Dallas club for their final season in 2007-08 before coming to Notre Dame).
Actually, Barg and Schuveiller have known each other even longer, going back nearly 15 years to the second grade before linking up with Henderson three years later.
ND Seniors Among Nation's Best
The 2011 Notre Dame senior class currently ranks as the second-most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 69-7-3 (.892) that includes a national championship (2010), an NCAA runner-up finish (2008) and a trip to the 2009 NCAA Women's College Cup semifinals.
The .892 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is third-best on the national scene.
Henderson was a double honoree, joining Barg on the 45-player watch list for the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy (presented annually by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to the nation's top Division I player), and also appearing with Schuveiller on the 25-person Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.
Notre Dame is one of eight schools to place two players on this year's Hermann Trophy watch list, with the others being Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Texas A&M.
Henderson was the first runner-up for the 2010 Hermann Trophy (and is the lone returnee from among last year's three finalists), while Barg was a semifinalist for the `09 Hermann Trophy. The BIG EAST Conference had a total of five players named to this year's Hermann Trophy watch list, tying the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences for the second-most selections from one league behind the Atlantic Coast Conference (9).
Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish also are one of just three teams in the nation with multiple selections to the Soccer America Preseason All-America Team, joining Boston College and Stanford in that select company. The BIG EAST had four honorees on the list, placing second among all conferences behind only the ACC (7).
Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 13th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks third on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list with a .793 (361-86-23) mark in his 22 years in the women's game. He also is second among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 361 career wins rank fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I charts -- Waldrum earned his 350th career victory on Oct. 3, 2010, vs. St. John's at Alumni Stadium.
A two-time National Coach of the Year (2009 by Soccer America, 2010 by NSCAA), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA College Cups, five NCAA finals and two national championships (2004 and 2010). He also is second in NCAA Division I history with eight College Cup appearances and five title-match berths in his storied career.
The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 328-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 305 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).
In fact, just two of the past 217 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a draw, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (ND won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at old Alumni Field (ND won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (ND won 3-2 in OT).
Three ... Is The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women's soccer history, with a 296-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 198-1-0 (.995) mark since Oct. 6, 1995.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are 20-4-11 (.729) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in nine of its last 10 overtime contests.
Last season, the Fighting Irish were 0-1-2 in extra time, falling 2-1 at UCLA and earning 1-1 draws at Connecticut and Georgetown.
Two current Notre Dame players have scored "golden goals" in their college careers -- senior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. Connecticut in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field) and senior defender Jessica Schuveiller (Nov. 6, 2009 vs. St. John's in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.).
A trio of seniors -- midfielder Courtney Barg, forward Melissa Henderson and defender Jessica Schuveiller -- were selected to serve as Notre Dame's captains this year, according to a preseason vote of their teammates.
Schuveiller is making history this season as the first three-year captain in the 24-year history of Fighting Irish women's soccer. When she first earned the armband in 2009, Schuveiller became Notre Dame's first non-senior captain since Amy Warner in 2002.
Barg and Henderson are in their first seasons as team captains.
Next Up: Notre Dame adidas Invitational
The Fighting Irish return to the familiar confines of Alumni Stadium next weekend for the 19th annual Notre Dame adidas Invitational. Notre Dame will play host to Tulsa (Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET) and in-state rival Indiana (Sept. 4, 1:30 p.m. ET) during the two-day event, with Western Michigan rounding out this year's field.
Tulsa (which was led by current Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum from 1989-94) kicked off its season last Friday with a 1-0 victory at crosstown rival Oral Roberts. The Golden Hurricane open their home slate this weekend with matches against Stephen F. Austin (Friday) and Sam Houston State (Sunday) before heading to South Bend next weekend.
Indiana also went unbeaten on its opening weekend, drawing 2-2 with Evansville before defeating Butler, 6-1, with both matches being played in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have a split itinerary on tap this weekend, heading to Notre Dame's fellow BIG EAST member, South Florida on Friday night, before returning home to entertain Oakland on Sunday afternoon.
The Fighting Irish are 1-0 all-time against Tulsa, downing the visiting Golden Hurricane, 2-0 back in 2000. Notre Dame is 11-1 all-time against Indiana (6-0 at home), but has not faced the Hoosiers since the 2001 season, when the Fighting Irish pulled out a 2-1 overtime win at old Alumni Field on Kelly Tulisiak's goal 7:19 into the first extra period.