Sept. 21, 2011
#20/24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-4-1 / 1-1-0 BIG EAST) vs. South Florida Bulls (4-3-2 / 0-1-1 BIG EAST)
DATE: September 22, 2011
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Tampa, Fla. - USF Soccer Stadium (4,000)
SERIES: ND leads 3-0-0
LAST MTG: ND 5-0 (11/1/09)
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (live) (Dean Linke, p-b-p / Sari Rose, color)
STATS/BLOG: UND.com (live)
#20/24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-4-1 / 1-1-0 BIG EAST) vs. #14/15 Marquette Golden Eagles (8-2-0 / 1-1-0 BIG EAST)
DATE: September 25, 2011
TIME: 1:00 p.m. CT
AT: Milwaukee, Wis. - Valley Fields (1,750)
SERIES: ND leads 6-3-1
LAST MTG: ND 2-1 (11/8/09)
STATS/BLOG: UND.com (live)
No. 20/24 Irish Back On The Road This Weekend
It's back on the highway for No. 20/24 Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish wrap up a stretch of five road matches in six outings with the longest trip in the BIG EAST Conference, heading down to South Florida on Thursday for a 7 p.m. (ET) nationally-televised match before venturing to Milwaukee on Sunday for a 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) contest at No. 14/15 Marquette.
Notre Dame (4-4-1, 1-1) got back in the win column last Sunday with an emphatic 4-1 victory at Cincinnati, fueled in part by senior All-America forward Melissa Henderson, who posted her second hat trick of the season.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Despite outshooting its opponents by a 2-to-1 margin through the first nine matches of the season, Notre Dame finds itself with a 4-4-1 record (1-1 in the BIG EAST's National Division), thanks to some untimely bounces and narrow misses that have seen the Fighting Irish lose three times by a single goal (twice on the road at top-five opponents, once in overtime).
Notre Dame returned to winning form last Sunday with a clinical 4-1 victory at Cincinnati, paced by senior All-America forward (and Hermann Trophy candidate) Melissa Henderson, who netted her second hat trick of the season. Sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Tucker dished out a pair of assists, while freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy opened her goal-scoring account in the closing minutes.
Henderson (10G-3A) continues to lead the way in most major BIG EAST offensive categories, while also ranking among the top 12 nationally in goals, points, goals per match and points per match. Sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish sets the pace in the BIG EAST with five assists, while junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox has a league-best 0.64 GAA and an .864 save percentage that is second in the BIG EAST.
Scouting South Florida
USF comes into Thursday's match with a 4-3-2 record, (0-1-1 in the American Division). The Bulls also have lost just once in their last five matches, although they've had to work longer of late, with four of USF's past five outings going to overtime (three to a second extra period).
The Bulls are coming off a 2-2 draw at Pittsburgh on Sunday, with sophomore forward Demi Stokes scoring the tying goal in the 61st minute after earlier handing out an assist.
Junior midfielder Taylor Patterson leads USF in scoring (4G-3A), while junior Summer Ikeda has three goals, and Stokes and standout senior foreward Chelsea Klotz are among a group of players with two goals apiece.
Senior Nicole McClure has the bulk of the time in the USF goal, posting a 1.32 GAA with two solo shutouts.
Head coach Denise Schilte-Brown is in her fifth season leading the Bulls with a 38-35-14 record at USF. She also has a 14-year career coaching record of 132-104-31, including an 0-2 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-South Florida Series
Notre Dame and South Florida will be squaring off for just the fourth time, with the Fighting Irish having won the first three matchups, two in the regular season and one in the conference tournament, by a combined 12-0 score (all since USF joined the BIG EAST in 2005).
Notre Dame also is making its second visit to Tampa, having defeated the Bulls, 4-0 in their only prior trip to the USF campus on Oct. 2, 2005.
The Last Time Notre Dame And South Florida Met
Melissa Henderson registered her second career hat trick, while Lauren Fowlkes added a goal and an assist, as No. 5/7 Notre Dame rolled over South Florida, 5-0 in a BIG EAST Conference Championship quarterfinal match on Nov. 1, 2009, at Alumni Stadium.
Henderson did all her damage in the first 28:03 of the contest, carving up a Bulls' defense that had only allowed three goals in a match once all season, and converting on all three of her shots on goal in the contest.
Midfielder Ellen Jantsch netted her first goal of the season, and second of her career, in the 39th minute, as the Fighting Irish blitzed USF for all five of their scores in the opening 38:59 of play. In addition to Fowlkes' assist, Julie Scheidler, Jazmin Hall and Rose Augustin also picked up assists.
All three Notre Dame goalkeepers saw action in the win, with neither Nikki Weiss, Kelsey Lysander or Maddie Fox asked to make a save as the Fighting Irish recorded their 13th shutout of the 2009 season, and seventh in eight matches. USF starting netminder Mallori Lofton-Malachi went the first 33:43 in goal, making one save and allowing four goals before giving way to Gaby Garton, who had four saves and one goal allowed during the remainder of the contest (the Bulls also were credited with a team save in the second half).
Notre Dame held a decisive 25-4 shot advantage, including an 11-0 edge in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also earned the upper hand in corner kicks by a 4-1 count.
Other Notre Dame-South Florida Series Tidbits
Marquette enters this weekend with an 8-2 record, including a 1-1 mark in the BIG EAST's American Division. The No. 12/14 Golden Eagles (who play host to DePaul Friday night) are one of three ranked teams in the league this week, joining No. 20/24 Notre Dame and No. 25/23 West Virginia.
Marquette had a four-match win streak snapped last Sunday with a 3-1 loss at WVU. The only other loss for the Golden Eagles this season was a similar 3-1 setback at No. 7 Florida State on Sept. 2. MU also has two wins over ranked opponents this year, downing No. rv/23 Long Beach State (2-1) and No. 14 Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1-0 in 2ot).
Sophomore midfielder/forward Maegan Kelly (9G-3A) ranks among the BIG EAST leaders in several offensive categories, while senior forward Lindsay Page and sophomore midfielder/forward Taylor Madigan are tied for second on the team with three goals, and three players have a team-high four assists.
Senior goalkeeper Natalie Kulla has an 0.85 GAA this season and has registered four solo shutouts in handling the majority of the duties in the Golden Eagles' net.
Head coach Markus Roeders is in his 16th season at Marquette, with a 226-87-34 record, including a 1-6 record against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Marquette Series
Notre Dame and Marquette will be meeting for the 11th time, with the Fighting Irish holding a 6-3-1 edge in the series, including an active five-match winning streak. The two sides have not played in the regular season since Oct. 5, 2008 (a 3-1 Fighting Irish win at old Alumni Field) and have tangled just twice in regular season action since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST in 2005 (MU took a 4-1 win in Milwaukee on Sept. 30, 2005).
The Last Time Notre Dame And Marquette Met
Notre Dame earned its 11th BIG EAST Championship title with a 2-1 victory over Marquette in a physical matchup of No. 1 seeds on Nov. 8, 2009, at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. Senior midfielder Amanda Clark scored what proved to be the match-winning goal at 70:13, also securing Notre Dame's fourth conference crown in five seasons.
Lauren Fowlkes fired a low drive into the far right corner of the net to beat Golden Eagle goalkeeper Natalie Kulla at 12:09 for the early 1-0 Fighting Irish lead.
The Golden Eagles answered with a goal of their own at 22:12 when Julia Victor sent a bounding ball into the box and Rachel Sloan nodded it into the net.
Notre Dame was able to capitalize for the match-winner with just under 20 minutes left. Melissa Henderson found Erica Iantorno's feet with a pass on the far side of the box. The junior quickly slid the ball towards the center of the goal and Clark got a touch on the ball to re-direct it past Kulla.
Kulla finished the day with five saves for Marquette, while Nikki Weiss made six saves for Notre Dame. The Golden Eagles held a 5-1 edge on corner kicks, and Marquette held a 21-14 advantage on shots (each team had seven shots on goal).
Other Notre Dame-Marquette Series Tidbits
No Worries ... We've Got This
A few observers around the country may have raised an eyebrow at Notre Dame's early 4-4-1 start this season. But consider the following:
Keep Chopping Wood
One of the reasons for Notre Dame's slow start this season has been its polish in the final third. The Fighting Irish have created numerous golden scoring opportunities throughout their first nine outings, but they're still seeking that cutting edge in front of the net.
A prime example of this has come in the past three weekends. Notre Dame has rolled up a staggering 165 total shots (27.5 per match), including 65 shots on goal (10.83 per match), and yet the Fighting Irish have just 17 goals in that span (one goal every 9.7 shots, or one every 3.8 shots on frame).
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 22 of its last 24 matches on Sunday (19-2-3), including a 17-match unbeaten streak that was snapped with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Oct. 31, 2010.
Still, the Fighting Irish own a 38-4-4 (.870) record in the past 46 contests when closing out the weekend, dating back to September 2007 (when Notre Dame lost three consecutive Sunday matches to nationally-ranked Stanford, Oklahoma State and Penn State, all by 2-1 scores and the first two in overtime).
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 62 goals (second-most among active Division I players, and sixth in school history) and added 21 assists for 145 career points (11th in school history), making her one of 26 Fighting Irish players with at least 20 goals and 20 assists in her career.
This season, Henderson leads Notre Dame in goals (10) and points (23) and is tied for second in assists (3). She also leads the BIG EAST in virtually every offensive statistical category, including total goals, total points, goals per match (1.1), points per match (2.56) and total shots (43), and she is second in the conference in shots per match (4.78), as well as tied for eighth in total assists and tied for 10th in assists per match (0.33).
On the national stage, Henderson ranks among the top 12 in four NCAA statistical categories -- total goals (8th), total points (8th), goals per match (12th) and points per match (12th).
What's more, Henderson has hat tricks this season against Indiana and Cincinnati (one of only three BIG EAST players with a three-goal night, and the only one to do it more than once), giving her five career hat tricks, which is tied for third in school history behind only two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks (6) and Jenny Heft (6).
Fueled in part by her 4G-2A performance at the Notre Dame adidas Invitational, Henderson was voted by the participating coaches as the tournament's Offensive Most Valuable Player. She went on to be chosen as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week, in addition to earning a spot on the Soccer America, Top Drawer Soccer and Our Game Magazine national teams of the week.
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 39-1-3 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 16 of her last 24 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 48-1-3 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 32 of the past 44 contests, a stretch that carries back to 2009.
The only time Notre Dame has lost when Henderson had a goal or point was earlier this season (Sept. 9, 2011), when Henderson gave the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead in the 67th minute at No. 2 Stanford before the Cardinal rallied with two goals in the final 10 minutes to snatch away the victory.
Sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish has emerged as one of the leading playmakers in the nation this season, currently ranked 22nd in the NCAA and tops in the BIG EAST Conference with five assists (while adding a league-leading 0.56 assists/match).
Not bad for someone who played much of her rookie season at the holding midfield spot (in place of the injured Courtney Barg) and thus ended up with five points (2G-1A) for the year.
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 87 Fighting Irish matches and played 93.5 percent of her team's minutes (7,429 of a possible 7,949) since she set foot on campus more than three years ago.
In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 72 wins, 50 shutouts and a 0.69 goals-against average (GAA), with only two teams 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; Duke 3-1 on Aug. 28, 2010, in Chapel Hill, N.C.).
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 (moving 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.
We Love The New Digs
Alumni Stadium is quickly earning a reputation as not only one of the nation's finest college facilities, but also a truly intimidating place for visiting teams. In fact, following Notre Dame's loss to top-ranked North Carolina in its first match at the new stadium (Sept. 4, 2009), the Fighting Irish have won 28 of their last 30 at home, outscoring their opponents, 82-10 in that span while recording 21 shutouts. Notre Dame also had a 23-match home winning streak before it was snapped on Oct. 31, 2010, with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.
Packing Them In
Not only has Notre Dame experienced great success at Alumni Stadium, but the Fighting Irish also are seeing the rewards at the turnstiles as well. Notre Dame currently ranks sixth in the nation with an average of 2,297 fans per home match this season, which would easily top the old school record for single-season average attendance (1,938 in 2007).
Notre Dame's rise in attendance this season includes a stadium-record 3,511 fans for its Sept. 2 contest against Tulsa on the opening night of the Notre Dame adidas Invitational. That crowd was not only the second sellout in stadium history (after 3,007 attended the opener vs. North Carolina on Sept. 4, 2009), but also the ninth-largest crowd in the nation this season.
Incidentally, Notre Dame's match at North Carolina on Aug. 26 attracted the largest crowd of the 2011 season thus far, with 5,236 fans on hand for the Tar Heels' 2-1 overtime win.
The Fighting Irish also have played in front of three sellout crowds in their last six matches (home vs. Tulsa on Sept. 2; at Stanford on Sept. 9; at Cincinnati on Sept. 18).
ND Seniors Among Nation's Best
The 2011 Notre Dame senior class currently is the third-most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 72-11-4 (.851) 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 .851 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fourth-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 was 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 were 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 .787 (364-90-24) mark in his 22 years in the women's game. He also is second among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 364 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.
New Kid On The Block
Notre Dame added another player to its roster on Sept. 13, as junior midfielder Nicole Borner joined the squad after successfully competing in preseason tryouts.
A native of Pendleton, N.Y., and a 2009 graduate of Starpoint High School, Borner spent the 2009-10 academic year at Binghamton University, where she played in 15 matches for the Bearcats, helping them to a 9-7-2 record and berth in the America East Conference championship semifinals. She then transferred to Notre Dame prior to the 2010-11 academic year, but did not play soccer after undergoing a pair of surgeries on her right foot.
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 299-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 201-1-0 (.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 20-5-12 (.703) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 10 of its last 12 overtime contests.
The Fighting Irish already have gone to extra time twice this season, falling at No. 3 North Carolina, 2-1, on Aug. 26 on a goal 5:25 into overtime, and then drawing at No. 17/18 Santa Clara, 1-1 on Sept. 11.
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 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 was 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: Connecticut/Providence
Notre Dame returns to Alumni Stadium next weekend, playing host to Connecticut on Sept. 30 in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) contest that will be televised live on ESPNU, before Providence comes calling on Oct. 2 for a 1 p.m. (ET) match.
The Fighting Irish will wear specially-designed jerseys during the weekend, with those shirts available to the public via an on-line auction and proceeds going to the Steve Emrich Fund (visit UND.com/emrich to learn more).
The UConn fixture is a rematch of last year's BIG EAST quarterfinal, won by the Huskies, 2-0 to end Notre Dame's record-setting 77-match league unbeaten streak. UConn is 4-4 this year (1-1 in the American Division) as it entertains Louisville and Cincinnati this weekend.
Providence is 3-3-4 (1-1 in the American Division) as it also faces Cincinnati and Louisville.