Sept. 16, 2010
#7/11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST)
vs. DePaul Blue Demons (4-2-2 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST)
Northwestern Wildcats (3-2-2 / 0-0-0 Big Ten)
Windy City Weekend Awaits No. 7/11 Notre Dame
Notre Dame (5-1-0) came away with a split of its southern California swing last weekend, falling 2-1 in overtime at 13th-ranked UCLA before rebounding with a 1-0 win at Loyola Marymount, both in the UCLA Women's Cup.
Junior forward Melissa Henderson scored the only goal in the LMU win, finding the back of the net for the third time this year just 71 seconds into the contest. Senior midfielder/forward Erica Iantorno had the other Notre Dame goal last weekend, scoring 45 seconds before halftime at UCLA.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
The Fighting Irish defense has been rock solid thus far in 2010, allowing only the two scores to UCLA in more than 544 minutes of action. Notre Dame has been led by its co-captains and center backs, senior Lauren Fowlkes and junior Jessica Schuveiller, along with senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (0.33 GAA) -- the latter two have played every minute, while Fowlkes has played all but eight minutes to date.
Offensively, the Fighting Irish are paced by their "Mel-Rose Place" duo of junior forward Melissa Henderson (3G-2A) and senior forward Rose Augustin (4G-1A), who have accounted for 17 of the team's 23 points and nearly half (21) of its 43 shots on goal thus far. All three of Henderson's tallies also have been gamewinners, including last Sunday's lone score in the second minute at Loyola Marymount.
DePaul last took the pitch on Sept. 12, earning a 2-0 win over Drake at Wish Field. Seniors Lauren Pagone and Callie Hemming scored for the Blue Demons, who posted their second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season.
Pagone and Hemming share the team lead with three goals, with Hemming adding a team-best two assists for a team-high eight points. Sophomore Claire Hanold has played the vast majority of the minutes in the DePaul goal, earning every decision with a 0.70 goals-against average (GAA) and three solo shutouts.
Erin Chastain is in her fourth season as the Blue Demons' head coach with a 23-39-5 (.381) career record, including an 0-3 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-DePaul Series
Last season, Notre Dame kicked off conference play with a 4-0 victory over DePaul on Sept. 18 at Alumni Stadium. Rose Augustin scored twice (once in each half), while Lauren Fowlkes and Melissa Henderson added single goals and Taylor Knaack picked up a pair of assists, as the Fighting Irish outshot DePaul, 23-5 (8-3 in shots on goal) en route to the win.
Other Notre Dame-DePaul Series Tidbits
NU is coming off a 3-1 home win over Eastern Michigan on Sept. 12, snapping a three-game winless streak. Freshman forward Kate Allen potted her team-high fourth goal of the year early in the second half, and sophomore defender Briana Westlund converted a penalty kick in the 87th minute to seal the win.
In addition to Allen's four goals, five other Wildcats have single tallies this year, while junior midfielder Jill Dunn owns a team-high two assists. Senior goalkeeper Carolyn Edwards has played every minute for Northwestern, notching a 0.92 GAA and two shutouts.
Head coach Stephanie Erickson is in the midst of her fifth season at NU, sporting a 37-38-11 (.494) record at the school and a seven-year career mark of 66-45-14 (.635), including a 1-1 record against Notre Dame (the 1-0 win coming in the third round of the 2002 NCAA Championship when she was serving as the Cardinal's interim co-head coach that year).
The Notre Dame-Northwestern Series
Last season, Notre Dame posted a 2-0 win over the Wildcats on Sept. 20 at Alumni Stadium. Courtney Barg got the Fighting Irish on the board just 6:24 into the match, and Julie Scheidler netted her first career goal in the 50th minute off an assist by Lauren Fowlkes to secure the victory for Notre Dame, which outshot Northwestern, 15-10 (7-3 in shots on goal).
Other Notre Dame-Northwestern Series Tidbits
Windy City Irish
This season, Notre Dame has three players from the state of Illinois on its roster, with two from Chicagoland. Senior forward/midfielder Erica Iantorno is from Hinsdale (2007 graduate of Hinsdale High School), and freshman defender Kecia Morway is from Lake Villa (2010 graduate of Lakes Community High School), while junior defender Ellen Bartindale is from downstate in St. Charles (2008 graduate of St. Charles East High School).
Iantorno and Morway also are part of the continuing pipeline of Notre Dame talent to come out of Chicago's powerhouse Eclipse Select club program, which has produced such other Fighting Irish notables as two-time All-America midfielder/forward Brittany Bock ('09, now with the Washington Freedom of WPS), and 2010 graduates Amanda Clark and Michele Weissenhofer.
Game #6 Recap: Loyola Marymount
Henderson netted her third goal of the season (all gamewinning tallies) at the 1:11 mark of the first half, cutting into the penalty area and volleying a right-side cross from senior defender Julie Scheidler into the upper right side of the net from 12 yards out.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made four saves, two in each half, to post her fifth solo shutout in six matches this season. Lions netminder Brittany Jagger largely kept her team in the running after the early score, finishing with nine saves and also benefitting from a timely team save by LMU defender Etajha Gilmer with less than seven minutes to go in the first half.
Notre Dame (5-1) outshot Loyola Marymount, 17-7, in the contest, including an 11-4 edge in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also earned four of the five corner kicks on the day, while LMU (4-2) held a slight 9-8 lead in fouls called.
Game #5 Recap: UCLA
Senior forward Rose Augustin picked up the assist on Iantorno's goal, extending her point scoring streak to four matches. Jenna Richmond netted both goals for UCLA, including the gamewinner 4:02 into the first extra session. Ariana Martinez assisted on both of Richmond's tallies, with Lauren Barnes earning a secondary assist on the overtime score.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made six saves in the Fighting Irish nets, while Chante' Sandiford was credited with one stop in the UCLA goal (in addition to a team save by the Bruins with less than a minute to go in regulation).
UCLA wound up with a 16-9 edge in total shots, including an 8-3 margin in shots on goal. Each team attempted four corner kicks in the match, while Notre Dame was whistled for 12 of the 16 fouls on the night.
UCLA mounted steady early offensive pressure, which culminated in the match's first goal. On the scoring sequence, Zakiya Bywaters sent a cross from the left side that skittered all the way through the top of the box to the right side, where Martinez hit a low ball back into the goal mouth. Richmond made an angled run just outside the six-year box, collected the pass and zipped a low shot into the right corner of the net (19:09).
Notre Dame had a handful of chances during the latter part of the first half, but none resulted in clean looks on goal until the closing moments, when lightning struck and changed the complexion of the match. Augustin started the play by winning a ball at midfield and driving down the middle before laying off a pass to Iantorno at the top right corner of the box. Iantorno then cut inside her mark and drove a rising left-footed shot that eluded Sandiford and clipped the inside of the left post before settling into the net just 45 seconds before halftime.
That goal seemed to fire up Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish would dominate large stretches of play in the second half, outshooting UCLA, 7-2 during the final 45 minutes of regulation.
The constant second-half pressure almost yielded a dramatic gamewinner for Notre Dame in the final minute of regulation. With 45 seconds left, junior forward Melissa Henderson got loose in the left channel and pushed a pass through to freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker inside the area as Sandiford charged off her line to try and gobble up the ball. However, Tucker won the battle and poked the ball back to Augustin at the top left corner of the box, but the striker's low blast towards a seemingly empty net was cleared off the line by Barnes near the left post.
UCLA had the better of play in the overtime period, with Sydney Leroux getting her best look of the night in the 92nd minute on a low drive that Weiss did well to save diving toward the right post. Two minutes later, the Bruins ended it, and in much the same fashion as their first goal. Barnes crossed a ball from the left flank, with the pass squirting all the way through to Martinez at the top right of the box. The UCLA back mis-hit her attempted shot on goal, but caught a break when the ball sailed directly toward Richmond in the goal mouth, and she re-directed the "pass" into the right side of the net (94:02).
Quickstrike Offense, Part I
Quickstrike Offense, Part II
Henderson's goal against LMU also was the sixth-fastest opening score in the 12-year Randy Waldrum era (1999-present).
Henderson A Trend Setter
Those markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 26-0 when she scores a goal and 32-0 when she tallies a point, the latter of which she has done in five of six matches this year and 12 of the past 16 contests, dating back to last season.
Department of Defense
Looking at the larger picture, Notre Dame has allowed 0-1 goals in 20 of its last 21 matches, dating back to Oct. 4, 2009, at Pittsburgh. Prior to a 2-1 overtime loss at 13th-ranked UCLA on Sept. 10, the Fighting Irish had a 19-game streak of allowing one goal or fewer, the fifth-longest streak in the program's 23-year history and its longest since Oct. 25, 2002-Oct. 26, 2003, when the Fighting Irish yielded a goal or fewer in 24 consecutive matches.
During this current 21-match defensive run (which coincided with the installation of senior Nikki Weiss as Notre Dame's full-time starting goalkeeper), the Fighting Irish are 18-2-1 with 15 shutouts (12 solo and three shared by Weiss), a 47-7 scoring margin and a 0.33 goals-against average (GAA).
ND Seniors Among Nation's Best
The .853 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fifth-best on the national scene.
And Juniors Aren't Half Bad Either
That record could be even more impressive when one considers that three of those six losses occurred in a nine-day span (Sept. 4-13) last season. The only other losses were late-game one-goal setbacks to North Carolina in the past two College Cups (2-1 in the '08 final, 1-0 in the '09 semifinals) and earlier this season at 13th-ranked UCLA (2-1 in OT on Sept. 10), along with a 0-0 draw at Pittsburgh last year (a match in which Notre Dame outshot the Panthers, 25-7).
Pick Three For The Hermann Watch
Notre Dame was one of only five schools (along with Boston College, Portland, Stanford and UCLA) to place three players on this year's Hermann Trophy watch list. Both Fowlkes and Henderson also appeared on last year's Hermann Trophy preseason chart, while Barg was a midseason addition to the candidate list and wound up being selected as one of 15 semifinalists for the '09 award.
The BIG EAST Conference had a total of five players named to the 2010 Hermann Trophy watch list, tying the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences for the third-most selections from one league behind the Atlantic Coast Conference (9) and Pac-10 Conference (7).
Notre Dame is one of only two programs to field four or more different recipients of the prestigious Hermann Trophy since its inception in 1988, with Cindy Daws (1996), Anne Makinen (2000) and Kerri Hanks (2006 & 2008) taking home the crystal ball award. The 2010 Hermann Trophy winner will be selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the NSCAA. The list of 15 semifinalists will be chosen by a coaches committee, with the three finalists revealed in early December. All three will be invited to a news conference on Jan. 7, 2011, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, where the winner will be announced, with a presentation banquet to follow.
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Since joining the BIG EAST 15 years ago, the Fighting Irish are 134-8-5 (.928) all-time in regular-season conference games, 35-2-1 (.934) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 713-85 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in 1995.
What's more, Notre Dame maintains a 15-year, 94-game home unbeaten streak (93-0-1) against BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Fighting Irish at home (5-4 in overtime on Oct. 6, 1995, at old Alumni Field). The only result separating Notre Dame from a 94-game conference home winning streak has been a 0-0 draw with Rutgers on Oct. 22, 2004, also at old Alumni Field.
Our Fearless Leader
A two-time National Coach of the Year (2008 by the NSCAA, 2009 by Soccer America), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to seven NCAA College Cups, four NCAA finals and the 2004 national championship. He is second in NCAA Division I history with seven College Cup appearances and four title-game berths in his storied career.
The 2-0 Guarantee
In fact, just two of the past 207 Fighting 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 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 (Irish 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
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Last year, Notre Dame went to overtime on three occasions, defeating West Virginia (3-2 on Oct. 2) and St. John's (2-1 on Nov. 6 in the BIG EAST semifinal in Storrs, Conn.) and ending in a scoreless draw at Pittsburgh (Oct. 4).
Four current Fighting Irish players have scored "golden goals" in their college careers -- senior midfielder Rose Augustin (Oct. 12, 2008 at Villanova), junior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. Connecticut in BIG EAST final), senior forward Taylor Knaack (Oct. 2, 2009 at West Virginia) and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller (Nov. 6, 2009 vs. St. John's in BIG EAST semifinal).
New Ways To Follow The Fighting Irish
In addition, the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) is featuring live in-game blogs for all Fighting Irish home matches this season, allowing fans to ask questions, make comments and share in the excitement of Notre Dame women's soccer right from their own computers.
These blogs, along with live in-game stats (courtesy of the CBSSports.com College Gametracker) and other special features, are available through the UND.com Women's Soccer Gameday Central page, which is posted on-line within 24 hours of each home contest.
ND Supporters Group Debuts In 2010
Next Up: Cincinnati/Louisville
Cincinnati (5-1-1) is off to one of the best starts in its history, going unbeaten in its first six matches before a loss to visiting Illinois last weekend. The Bearcats rose as high as 15th in the Soccer America poll earlier this year, the highest ranking in UC history.
Louisville (6-0-0) is appearing in both major national polls this week (23rd by the NSCAA, 16th by Soccer America), and likewise is off to one of its best-ever starts to a season.
The Cardinals played host to Cincinnati Thursday night in the conference opener for both squads, before each side hits the road on Sunday (UC at Xavier, Louisville at Illinois).