Sept. 23, 2010
#5/9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1-0 / 1-0-0 BIG EAST)
vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-2-1 / 0-1-0 BIG EAST)
DATE: September 24, 2010
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. - Alumni Stadium (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 10-1-1
1ST MTG: ND 4-0 (9/14/91)
LAST MTG: ND 2-1 (9/25/09)
vs. #24/18 Louisville Cardinals (7-1-0 / 1-0-0 BIG EAST)
DATE: September 26, 2010
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Louisville, Ky. - Cardinal Park (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 7-1-0
1ST MTG: LOU 1-0 (9/24/89)
LAST MTG: ND 1-0 (9/27/09)
No. 5/9 Irish Kick Off Second Phase Of Season This Weekend
Following a nearly-flawless run through a rugged non-conference schedule, No. 5/9 Notre Dame turns its focus to the second phase of the season -- the BIG EAST slate. The Fighting Irish will begin conference play in earnest this weekend, welcoming Cincinnati to Alumni Stadium Friday night (7:30 ET) before visiting No. 24/18 Louisville Sunday afternoon (1:00 ET).
Notre Dame (7-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) is coming off a sweep of two matches in the Chicagoland area last weekend, winning its BIG EAST opener at DePaul (2-0) and closing its non-conference schedule with a 2-1 victory at Northwestern.
Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker sparkled for the Fighting Irish last weekend with three of her team's four goals, while junior forward Melissa Henderson tallied four points (1G-2A) in those two matches.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
No one can say Notre Dame (7-1-0) hasn't been tested this season, with six of the eight Fighting Irish opponents to date having been ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA poll at some point during the season. Notre Dame currently is ranked fifth in the NSCAA and ninth by Soccer America, with six of its seven wins coming via shutout, and only a 2-1 overtime loss at No. 13 UCLA marring the resume.
The Fighting Irish also have played from a position of advantage throughout the year, either leading or being tied for 96.5% of the time thus far (698:96 of 724:02), with the only deficit coming in the first half at UCLA.
Notre Dame's defense has been a source of strength. Led by co-captains and center backs Lauren Fowlkes and Jessica Schuveiller, and goalkeeper Nikki Weiss, the Fighting Irish have posted a 0.37 GAA this season, and in their last three matches, they have allowed a combined total of just seven shots on goal.
Offensively, Notre Dame has balance across the classes, with senior Rose Augustin, junior Melissa Henderson and freshman Elizabeth Tucker sharing the team lead with four goals apiece, while Henderson also has dished out a team-high four assists.
At 6-2-1 (0-1 BIG EAST), Cincinnati is off to one of the best starts in program history, reaching as high as 15th in the Soccer America poll earlier this season (UC's first national ranking since 2002 -- it is currently unranked). The Bearcats return 13 letterwinners, including eight starters from last year's club.
In its last outing on Sept. 19, Cincinnati snapped a two-match losing streak with a 1-0 victory at crosstown rival Xavier, thanks to a 63rd-minute goal directly off a corner kick by redshirt junior forward Emily Hebbeler.
Hebbeler leads the Bearcats in scoring (four goals, nine points), while junior defender Kelli Pawelko is second on the team in points (4) and tops in assists (2), and junior forward Julie Morrissey has notched a team-high 23 shots.
Head coach Michelle Salmon is in her third season at UC with a 24-19-5 (.552) record, and she has an 11-year record of 96-81-19 (.538), including an 0-3 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Cincinnati Series
Friday will mark the 13th time Notre Dame and Cincinnati have met on the soccer pitch, with the Fighting Irish owning a 10-1-1 series lead on the Bearcats (6-1 at Notre Dame), including wins in all six matches played since UC joined the BIG EAST in 2005. Notre Dame also holds a 51-9 scoring edge in the 12 prior series meetings.
Last season, the Fighting Irish earned a 2-1 win at Cincinnati, rallying with a pair of goals 4:38 apart in the final 13 minutes to secure the victory. Lauren Fowlkes tied the match at 77:14, just 78 seconds after the Bearcats had taken the lead on Emily Hebbeler's 76th-minute score, and Jessica Schuveiller won it for Notre Dame on a goal with 8:08 to play.
The last time the teams played in South Bend, the Fighting Irish blanked Cincinnati, 5-0 in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship at old Alumni Field, scoring three times in the opening 15 minutes of the contest. Current senior forward Taylor Knaack scored a goal in that contest, while current senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss played the final 45 minutes and was not called upon to make a save.
Other Notre Dame-Cincinnati Series Tidbits
Louisville (7-1, 1-0 BIG EAST) enters the weekend ranked 24th in the latest NSCAA poll and 18th according to the current Soccer America rankings. Like Cincinnati, the Cardinals are off to one of the best starts in their program's history, opening the season with seven consecutive wins, including a 1-0 victory at No. 13 South Carolina on Aug. 27.
Louisville, which visits DePaul Friday before returning home to take on Notre Dame Sunday, will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season last Sunday, a 3-0 defeat at No. 21 Illinois in which the Cardinals were outshot 26-10, including a 8-2 spread in shots on goal.
Freshman forward Christine Exeter leads Louisville in scoring with six goals and 12 points (on only 13 shots, 10 on goal) this season. Redshirt freshman midfielder Angelika Uremovich is second on the team in scoring (four goals, 10 points), while senior midfielder Caitlin Rehder has a team-high three assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Vancil is a two-time BIG EAST weekly award recipient, having played every minute between the pipes for the Cardinals (0.75 GAA, 4 ShO).
Head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes is in her 10th season at Louisville with an 88-94-16 (.485) career record, including an 0-5 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Louisville Series
Notre Dame and Louisville are preparing to play for the ninth time, with the Fighting Irish holding a 7-1 series lead on the Cardinals (18-3 scoring margin), including a 4-1 record in Louisville. Notre Dame also has won all five matches between the teams since the Cardinals joined the BIG EAST in 2005.
Last season, the Fighting Irish earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Louisville at Alumni Stadium, courtesy of Lauren Fowlkes' goal just 4:37 into the second half. Notre Dame will be making its first visit to Cardinal Park since Sept. 28, 2007, when the Fighting Irish claimed a 1-0 victory behind Amanda Cinalli's goal in the 24th minute.
Other Notre Dame-Louisville Series Tidbits
Game #8 Recap: Northwestern
Junior forward Melissa Henderson set up Notre Dame's first goal and converted the eventual gamewinner on a penalty kick midway through the first half as the No. 7/11 Fighting Irish completed a weekend sweep of Chicago-area teams with a 2-1 victory over Northwestern on an overcast and breezy Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.
Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker completed the best weekend of her young career with the opening goal of the day in the fifth minute, giving her three scores in the past two matches. Senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin wasn't officially credited with an assist on Henderson's goal, but it was her pinpoint lead pass that sprang the speedy Notre Dame striker behind the Northwestern defense and led to the penalty kick.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made one save, but didn't face much in the way of offensive pressure between the Wildcats' goal, which came 36 seconds after Tucker's score, and the final 10 minutes of the match, when Northwestern pushed up a third attacker in an effort to tie the score.
Wildcats' netminder Carolyn Edwards was credited with three saves, in addition to a team save for Northwestern. Edwards also was issued a yellow card for bringing down Henderson on a breakaway in the box, resulting in the 21st-minute penalty kick that proved to be the difference.
Notre Dame (7-1-0) led in all of the statistical categories on Sunday, outshooting the Wildcats, 11-6, with three of NU's six shots coming during its frantic late-match push. The Fighting Irish also led in shots on goal (6-2), corner kicks (5-0) and fouls (11-9).
Game #7 Recap: DePaul
Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker netted a pair of goals, including the clincher with 1:48 to play as the No. 7/11 Fighting Irish kicked off their BIG EAST Conference season with a 2-0 victory over DePaul on Sept. 17 at Wish Field in Chicago.
Senior forward Rose Augustin set up Tucker's first goal, and both junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Taylor Knaack did likewise on the second, as Notre Dame extended its NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 67 matches (64-0-3).
Tucker not only potted her second gamewinning goal of the season, but also became the first Fighting Irish rookie to post a multi-goal match since Oct. 26, 2008, when Henderson found the back of the net twice in a 6-0 victory over Seton Hall at old Alumni Field.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss went the distance for her sixth shutout in seven matches this season. She was called upon to make just one save, that coming on a harmless long-range shot midway through the second half. Claire Hanold made two saves in the Blue Demons' net.
Notre Dame more than doubled up DePaul in the shot column, 13-6, including a 4-1 edge in shots on goal. The Blue Demons held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks, while the fouls were nearly even (5-4 against the Fighting Irish).
Tucker, Henderson Cop Weekly Honors
Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker was selected as the BIG EAST Conference Rookie of the Week, the league office announced Monday. In addition, Tucker was named to the 11-player Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, the third time this season a Fighting Irish player has been chosen for that honor, after junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller copped that distinction on Aug. 23 and Sept. 6.
Junior forward Melissa Henderson also earned recognition for her play last week, garnering a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, which recognizes notable performances by conference players outside those chosen for the BIG EAST's weekly individual awards. Henderson joins senior forward Rose Augustin and senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes as Fighting Irish players who have appeared on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll this season (Augustin and Fowlkes both made the list on Sept. 6).
Tucker is the first Notre Dame player to earn the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week award since Oct. 27, 2008, when Henderson collected the second of her two weekly honors that year. Henderson also was the last Fighting Irish rookie to make the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, doing so on Sept 29, 2008.
Last weekend, Tucker scored three of Notre Dame's four goals in road wins at BIG EAST foe DePaul (2-0) and non-conference opponent Northwestern (2-1). The rookie netted both scores against DePaul, including the second off an assist from Henderson with 1:48 remaining to clinch the victory. Two days later, Tucker scored 4:16 into the match at Northwestern (again courtesy of a Henderson assist) to help propel the Fighting Irish to the win.
In addition to her assists on two of Tucker's three goals last week, Henderson also scored the game-winning goal at Northwestern, converting a penalty kick in the 21st minute. It was Henderson's 18th career game-winning goal, tying her for fourth place on Notre Dame's all-time list, and it was her 39th career score, tying her for 15th place on the Fighting Irish career goals chart.
For the season, Tucker and Henderson are tied with Augustin for the team lead in goals with four apiece, Henderson also leads the squad with 12 points and 14 shots on goal.
No signs of Billy, Jane, Michael or Sydney, but so far this season, Notre Dame has taken on the look of Mel-Rose Place. Specifically, the offensive duo of junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin have combined for eight of the 13 Fighting Irish goals and 22 of 35 points through eight matches this season. What's more, two of Henderson's team-high four assists this year have set up Augustin scores (vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Aug. 22, and vs. Santa Clara on Sept. 3).
Quickstrike Offense, Part I
Junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin scored 47 seconds apart (at 23:51 and 24:38) midway through the first half of the Sept. 5 win over Texas Tech at Alumni Stadium. It was the fastest two-goal flurry for Notre Dame since Sept. 28, 2008, at Cincinnati, when Henderson scored 33 seconds after Courtney Rosen found the back of the net.
Quickstrike Offense, Part II
Junior forward Melissa Henderson's goal just 1:11 in Notre Dame's win at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 12 was the fastest opening tally by the Fighting Irish since Dec. 7, 2008, when Kerri Hanks scored only 16 seconds into the NCAA national championship match against North Carolina in Cary, N.C. (setting an NCAA College Cup record in the process).
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
If you're looking to spot a trend in Notre Dame's success during the past three seasons, look no further than junior forward Melissa Henderson. Since the Garland, Texas, native arrived in South Bend, she has scored 39 goals (fourth-most among active Division I players, and tied for 15th in school history) and added 11 assists, good for 89 career points.
Those markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 27-0 when she scores a goal and 34-0 when she tallies a point, the latter of which she has done in seven of eight matches this year and 14 of the past 18 contests, dating back to last season.
Department of Defense
Notre Dame opened this season with four consecutive shutouts, marking the second time in three years (but just the third time in school history) that the Fighting Irish have started with four clean sheets. The other instances occurred in 1995 (eight in a row) and 2008 (four in a row).
Looking at the larger picture, Notre Dame has allowed 0-1 goals in 22 of its last 23 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 23-match defensive run (which coincided with the installation of senior Nikki Weiss as Notre Dame's full-time starting goalkeeper), the Fighting Irish are 20-2-1 with 16 shutouts (13 solo and three shared by Weiss), a 51-10 scoring margin and a 0.43 goals-against average (GAA).
Notre Dame is unbeaten in its last 12 matches on Sunday (11-0-1) and owns a 30-2-2 (.912) record in the past 34 contests when closing out the weekend, dating back to September 2007 (when the Fighting Irish 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).
ND Seniors Among Nation's Best
The 2010 Notre Dame senior class is second only to North Carolina as the most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 73-11-3 (.856) that includes three consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup and an appearance in the 2008 national title match.
The .856 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fifth-best on the national scene.
And Juniors Aren't Half Bad Either
Like their senior teammates, the Fighting Irish juniors have the second-most wins among all junior classes, with a three-year record to date of 54-6-1 (.893), including two trips to the NCAA College Cup and a berth in the 2008 title match. The Notre Dame junior class also currently ranks fourth in the nation with a .893 winning percentage.
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).
Freshman midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker have wasted little time in getting their feet wet at the college level. The pair have earned starting nods in all eight matches so far this season, with Laddish ranking third on the team in total minutes (715) by a field player, and Tucker tying for the team lead with four goals, including the game-winner early in the second half of Notre Dame's 3-0 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Aug. 22. It was the first time a Fighting Irish rookie tallied a gamewinner within her first two college matches since two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks pulled off that feat on Aug. 28, 2005, as part of a four-goal outburst in a 6-0 win at Vermont.
Tucker is the reigning BIG EAST Rookie of the Week and a member of the current Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week after scoring three goals last week in wins at DePaul and Northwestern. Her two-goal afternoon at DePaul also was the first by a Notre Dame freshman since Oct. 26, 2008, when Melissa Henderson scored twice in a win over Seton Hall at old Alumni Field.
One other Notre Dame freshman note: during the final 10 minutes of the first half at Northwestern on Sept. 19, the Fighting Irish had five freshmen on the pitch at the same time, as Laddish, Tucker and Morway were joined by forward Adriana Leon and midfielder Rebecca Twining, the latter of whom was making her college debut.
Irish Thinking Pink In October
Following the success of this past spring's jersey auction at the Mexico exhibition match to benefit Camp Whatcha-Wanna-Do (which raised nearly $3,000 for the Fort Wayne camp for children with cancer), the Notre Dame women's soccer team once again is prepared to give fans the shirts off their backs.
During the final home weekend of the regular season (Oct. 8-10), the Fighting Irish will wear special white/pink uniforms to support Kicks Against Breast Cancer, a national soccer initiative to raise funds for breast cancer research. Beginning Friday (Sept. 24) and continuing through Oct. 11, fans will have the opportunity to bid on these autographed, game-worn jerseys by going to the official Notre Dame athletics auction web site at www.UND.com/auctions.
Proceeds from this auction will go directly to Kicks Against Breast Cancer. For more information on Kicks Against Breast Cancer, visit its web site at www.kicksagainstbreastcanc.com.
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 reeled off 18 consecutive victories, outscoring their opponents, 46-2 in that span while recording 16 shutouts.
The only opposing players to find the back of the Notre Dame net at Alumni Stadium since Opening Night have been Connecticut's Linda Ruutu (Oct. 16, 2009) and Central Michigan's Molly Gerst (Nov. 15, 2009 - NCAA second round), both being the lone scores in 6-1 Fighting Irish victories.
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
With a 2-0 win at DePaul on Sept. 17, Notre Dame now owns an NCAA Division I-record 67-game unbeaten streak (64-0-3) against BIG EAST opposition, dating back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were scoreless draws at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 4, 2009), and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in the 2007 BIG EAST final (won by the Mountaineers on penalties, 5-3, but the game is recorded as a tie).
Since joining the BIG EAST 15 years ago, the Fighting Irish are 135-8-5 (.929) all-time in regular-season conference games, 35-2-1 (.934) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 715-85 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
Now in his 12th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I all-time winning percentage list with a .789 (346-85-21) mark in his 21 years in the women's game. He also is third among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 346 career wins rank fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I charts.
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
Notre Dame is 319-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 296 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 208 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
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women's soccer history, with a 287-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 189-1-0 (.995) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Fighting Irish also are 392-10-15 (.958) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are 20-4-9 (.742) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two, with the Sept. 10 loss at 13th-ranked UCLA snapping a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) in added time, dating back to the 2007 season.
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).
Senior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller have been selected to serve as Notre Dame's captains this year, according to a preseason vote of their teammates. Fowlkes is in her first season as a team captain, while Schuveiller is a second-year captain after becoming the first non-senior to wear the armband for the Fighting Irish since Amy Warner in 2002.
New Ways To Follow The Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame women's soccer program has expanded its reach this season through a number of media outlets. Most notably, the Fighting Irish have created three Twitter accounts for fans to follow the team on a daily basis -- one is operated by head coach Randy Waldrum (@NDCoachWaldrum), a second by assistant coach Ken Nuber (@NDSoccer) and a third by associate media relations director Chris Masters (@NDsoccernews).
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
Fans are encouraged to be a part of the new Notre Dame soccer supporters' group, The Rakes of Mallow. This student-based organization is attending all Fighting Irish home games this year and aims to create a special home pitch atmosphere unlike any in college soccer. To learn more, visit The Rakes of Mallow web site (www.rakesofmallow.net).
Next Up: Syracuse/St. John's
Notre Dame will kick off a four-match homestand next Friday (Oct. 1) when it plays host to Syracuse in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) match at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish then will welcome St. John's to town on Sunday, Oct. 3 for a noon (ET) contest that will be televised live to a national cable audience on CBS College Sports.
Syracuse (4-3-3, 1-0 BIG EAST) is riding a four-match unbeaten streak heading into this weekend's contests at Providence (Thursday) and at home against Connecticut (Sunday). The Orange will be making their first visit to Notre Dame since 2002 (a 5-0 Fighting Irish win) when they come to town next weekend.
St. John's (3-4-1, 0-1 BIG EAST) has dropped two in a row as it prepares to entertain the same two opponents as Syracuse this weekend, albeit at reversed locations (at Connecticut Thursday, and home vs. Providence Sunday). The Red Storm, who advanced to last year's NCAA Championship following a BIG EAST semifinal loss in overtime to Notre Dame, will be playing a regular-season match in South Bend for the first time since 2001 (a 7-0 Fighting Irish victory).