Sept. 10, 2009
#5/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) at Santa Clara adidas Classic
vs. #RV/- Santa Clara Broncos (3-2-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
#3/2 Stanford Cardinal (5-0-0 / 0-0-0 Pac-10)
No. 5/7 Irish Go West For This Weekend's Santa Clara adidas Classic
Notre Dame (3-1) is coming off a 3-0 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee last Sunday at Alumni Stadium. Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson scored twice in the first 14 minutes, both off assists from freshman linemate Tereza Stastny, and junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes added her second goal of the year in the 24th minute to secure the win.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Not only does Notre Dame bring back 19 monogram winners and seven starters, but of those 19 returnees, 15 of them have starting experience under their belt. What's more, the Fighting Irish have more than 60 percent of their goalscoring (52 of 83) back in the fold, along with many of the defenders that were responsible for registering 18 shutouts and a 0.44 goals-against average (both among the top five marks in school history).
Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (17G-2A in 2008) was tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and is one of 45 preseason candidates for the Hermann Trophy after a stellar rookie campaign that included five gamewinning goals, the last coming in overtime of the BIG EAST Championship game against Connecticut.
Junior midfielders Rose Augustin (6G-2A) and Erica Iantorno (5G-7A) also likely will factor in Notre Dame's offensive attack this season. Meanwhile, junior holding midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (1G), another preseason Hermann Trophy choice, and sophomore defender Jessica Schuveiller (1G-1A) will anchor the Fighting Irish backline.
They will be supported by senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander, who set a single-season school record with 26 victories last season (and shared another record with 18 total shutouts). Lysander also ranked sixth in the nation last season with a 0.44 GAA and was named to the '08 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team.
Scouting The Broncos
In the win over the Hoyas, SCU senior Jordan Angeli scored in the waning moments of the first overtime period to propel the Broncos past GU. Santa Clara had taken a 1-0 lead in the first half when junior Anessa Patton took a pass from classmate Maxine Goynes and beat the Georgetown goalkeeper 1-v-1. The Hoyas equalized in the 73rd, but Bronco goalkeeper Bianca Henninger came up with two key saves in extra time, allowing for Angeli's game-winning goal at 99:47, courtesy of senior Kiki Bosio's flip throw-in.
On the season, Angeli leads the Broncos with two goals and an assist for five points. Goynes has chipped in with a goal and two assists for four points while Bosio and Olivia Klei have added a game-winning goal apiece. Henninger has played all 459:47 in the Bronco net, yielding three goals for a 0.59 GAA while also making eight saves.
Santa Clara is coached by Jerry Smith, who is in 23rd season with the Broncos. He carries a 345-104-34 (.749) record into the adidas classic. All told, his Bronco squads have made 19 NCAA tournament appearances, including 10 trips to the College Cup where they captured the NCAA title in 2001.
The Notre Dame-Santa Clara Series
Last season, Santa Clara travelled to Notre Dame to take part in the Inn at Saint Mary's Classic, with the Irish earning a 2-0 victory. After Michele Weissenhofer's flip throw-in led to a 1-0 lead (off of a Bronco own goal), current junior Erica Iantorno scored at 36:00 to seal the win. Kelsey Lysander played all 90 minutes in the Irish net, making two saves to earn the shutout.
In addition to the semifinal clash in 2004, Notre Dame has played two other NCAA Championship matches against SCU. In 1999, the Irish beat Santa Clara, 1-0, in the College Cup semifinals in San Jose, Calif. Then in the 2000 quarterfinals, Notre Dame edged the Broncos, 2-1 in overtime at Alumni Field on Meotis' Erikson's goal 4:59 into the extra session.
All time, the Irish hold a scant 28-26 scoring edge on the Broncos.
Scouting The Cardinal
The Cardinal opened this season with wins over Hawaii (6-2), Cal Poly (2-1) and San Diego State (5-2). Most recently, Stanford participated in the UNC Greensboro tournament on Sept. 4 and 6, when the Cardinal picked up wins over UNCG (1-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0). In the win over UNCG, Stanford's Lindsay Taylor scored in the 52nd minute, tapping in a rebound in front, to secure the victory. The Cardinal then used goals from Kelley O'Hara, Christen Press and a late-game Kristin Stannard hat trick to blank the Hokies, 5-0.
O'Hara leads Stanford with six goals and two assists for 14 points on the season, with three of her six goals proving to be gamewinners. O'Hara is followed closely by Press, who has 13 points on five goals and three assists. Stanford's starting goalkeeper, Kira Maker, has allowed five goals in 440 minutes. Along with her 5-0-0 record, she has posted a 1.02 GAA and made four saves.
Head coach Paul Ratcliffe is in his seventh season at Stanford, owning a 90-33-16 record with the Cardinal. He also has a career mark of 145-67-22 in 11-plus seasons, factoring in his five-year stint at Saint Mary's (Calif.).
The Notre Dame-Stanford Series
Notre Dame and Stanford met last season in an epic NCAA College Cup semifinal match that saw the Irish earn a 1-0 win to advance to the NCAA Championship match. Current sophomore Courtney Barg scored in the 15th minute and the Irish defense did the rest, holding fast against a stern Stanford offense before a crowd of 8,926 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Barg's classmate, Melissa Henderson assisted on the goal. Kelsey Lysander went the distance in the Irish net to record the shutout. She was tested often by the Cardinal, but ended up with a career-high seven saves, the most by a Notre Dame netminder in NCAA Championship play since 2000.
Quite A Stretch
With a victory over Toledo in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Championship on Nov. 14, Notre Dame matched the best 40-game stretch in school history (38-1-1), previously set from Oct. 2, 2005-Dec. 1, 2006.
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 123-8-4 (.926) all-time in regular-season conference games, 32-2-1 (.929) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 682-81 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in '95.
What's more, Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 87-game home unbeaten streak (86-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).
The 73 victories compiled by the Notre Dame seniors also are second on the national scene.
Pick Three For The Hermann Watch
The Hermann Trophy is presented annually to the nation's top Division I women's soccer player, with Notre Dame's Kerri Hanks earning the prestigious crystal ball trophy last year. In the process, Hanks became the fourth Fighting Irish player to collect the award, not to mention just the fourth two-time Hermann Trophy honoree since the award debuted in 1988, as well as the first two-time national player of the year (in any sport) in the 122-year history of Notre Dame athletics.
Game #4 Recap: UW-Milwaukee
Freshman forward Tereza Stastny set up both of Henderson's early goals, earning the rookie the first points of her college career. Junior midfielder Rose Augustin was credited with the helper on Fowlkes' goal, thanks to a pinpoint corner kick.
Junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made the most of her fourth career start -- and first since the 2007 season -- working the first 75-plus minutes and registering one save. Freshman netminder Maddie Fox made her college debut in the final quarter-hour and was tested in her brief appearance, but she answered the call with a pair of big saves to preserve Notre Dame's third shutout in four matches this year.
The Henderson Effect
In fact, through her first 31 games, Notre Dame is 15-0 when Henderson scores a goal and 17-0 when she picks up a point.
Then in Notre Dame's 3-0 win over UW-Milwaukee on Sept. 6, goalkeeper Maddie Fox made her Irish debut, playing the final 14:44 in net and making two impressive saves to preserve the shutout with Nikki Weiss. The UW-Milwaukee match was notable for another Irish rookie, as Stastny registered the first two points of her career by setting up both of Melissa Henderson's first-half goals.
Your 2009 Captains
Schuveiller's selection is noteworthy, in that she is the first non-senior to serve as a team captain since Amy Warner was one of Notre Dame's three captains in 2002 (her junior season). This year's triumvirate also marks the first time since 2004 (Mary Boland, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Melissa Tancredi) that the Irish have named three captains.
Schuveiller Goes To Camp
Schuveiller made her first appearance at a U.S. National Team training camp, joining an extensive list of Notre Dame players who have competed for Team USA at the U-23 level. Most recently, three current Irish players -- senior forward Michele Weissenhofer, junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson -- were part of the U-23 player pool, along with two recent Notre Dame graduates and current WPS players Brittany Bock (now with the Los Angeles Sol) and defender Elise Weber (competing for Saint Louis Athletica). Fowlkes also struck gold with the U.S. U-20 National Team at last December's FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Chile.
Our Fearless Leader
Three ... Is The Magic Number
Most impressively, Notre Dame is 305-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 282 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just two of the past 192 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a tie, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at 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 Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Notre Dame went to OT in three games last season and emerged victorious all three times. On Oct. 12, Rose Augustin potted the gamewinner at 6:58 of the first overtime for a 3-2 win at Villanova.
On Nov. 9, Melissa Henderson followed Augustin's model and scored at 6:58 of the first OT to give the Fighting Irish a 1-0 victory in the BIG EAST Championship final at Alumni Field. It was the first "golden goal" in BIG EAST postseason history.
On Nov. 21, Alumni Field was once again the site, as Kerri Hanks slotted home a penalty kick at 6:54 of the first overtime for a 1-0 win over No. 22/24 Minnesota in the third round of the NCAA Championship. It was the first "golden goal" for the Fighting Irish in the NCAA tourney since 2000, when Meotis Erikson's goal at 4:59 of the first OT gave Notre Dame a 2-1 win over Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field.
Last season marked the first time Notre Dame had ever played multiple overtime games in the postseason (BIG EAST/NCAA Championship).
Our New Digs
A state-of-the-art facility built at a cost of $5.7 million, Alumni Stadium has a permanent seating capacity of approximately 2,500 fans, along with grass berm seating on the east end of the grounds. The stadium also offers upgraded and expanded restroom and concession areas, elevator access to the main concourse level, as well as numerous amenities for both Fighting Irish soccer programs (expansive locker rooms with custom-made wood lockers, spacious team lounges with flat-screen plasma TVs and high-speed Internet access, and a fully-equipped athletic training center).
What's more, Alumni Stadium features an LED scoreboard (installed by industry leader Daktronics), enhanced lighting structures and top-of-the-line sod for the pitch (cultivated in Fort Morgan, Colo., at Graff's Turf Farms, which also provided the turf for the new Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake).
In addition, media members will enjoy the spacious new air-conditioned press box, which includes power and high-speed Internet portals at every seat (along with wireless Internet capability), three individually-wired broadcast booths and an expansive, unblocked midfield vantage point, all of which make Alumni Stadium unlike any other on-campus facility in college soccer.
The construction of Alumni Stadium was made possible because of numerous generous donations, including those by lead benefactors Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder, both former Fighting Irish men's soccer players.
Crotty was a three-year monogram winner from 1977-79, earning team MVP honors in 1979 before graduating the following spring with a degree in finance. He currently is general partner at Battery Ventures LP in Wellesley, Mass., while he and his wife, Shari, live in Southborough, Mass.
Snyder earned two monograms from 1980-83, piling up 23 goals and 22 assists (the latter figure ranking seventh in school history). He also potted a team-high 12 goals in 1981. A 1984 graduate of Notre Dame, Snyder went on to become founder and CEO of Stream Energy in Dallas, Texas.
Taking It To The Next Level
That quartet was joined by: Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Jen Buczkowski and Christie Shaner (Sky Blue FC), Candace Chapman (Boston Breakers), and Amanda Cinalli and Melissa Tancredi (Saint Louis Athletica).
In addition, Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf was assigned to the Chicago Red Stars as part of the U.S. National Team draft, but sat out the '09 season while on maternity leave (she gave birth to twins in June). Kelly Lindsey began the season as an assistant coach at Sky Blue FC, then took over as interim head coach at midseason before resigning late in the year.
Midseason trades saw Hanks sent to Sky Blue FC, while Shaner went out to Los Angeles. Shaner subsequently was sidelined for the season with a broken leg.
Of the 10 active Notre Dame alums in WPS, eight saw their teams advance to the league playoffs (all but Chapman and Dew). Led by arguably the world's top defensive midfielder in Boxx and one of WPS' top rookies in Bock (who played center back after never playing that position at Notre Dame), Los Angeles won the regular season title and the right to host the first-ever WPS Championship Game.
In the end, five Fighting Irish alums (tying North Carolina for the most representatives from one college) worked their way into the WPS final -- Bock, Boxx and Shaner for L.A., along with Hanks and Buczkowski for Sky Blue FC. The New Jersey-based club then capped an amazing string of three playoff road wins in eight days with a 1-0 upset of Los Angeles to win the inaugural WPS Championship.
Boxx was subsequently named a starter for the first WPS All-Star Game, which took place at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in suburban St. Louis on Aug. 30.
Next Up: DePaul/Northwestern
Two days later, the Irish will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 1 p.m. (ET) game against Northwestern, in the teams' first matchup in nearly two decades.