Oct. 18, 2012
#RV/24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-4-2 / 7-1-1 BIG EAST) vs. DePaul Blue Demons (8-8-2 / 3-5-1 BIG EAST)
DATE: October 19, 2012
TIME: 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET
AT: Chicago, Ill. - Wish Field (1,000)
SERIES: ND leads 7-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 6-0 (9/16/05 @ND)
LAST MTG: ND 5-1 (10/21/11 @ND)
VIDEO: depaulbluedemons.com (live on pay-per-view basis)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
TEXT ALERT: UND.com
TICKETS: Available (at gate)
No. RV/24 Irish Visits DePaul Friday In Regular Season Finale
Although its BIG EAST Conference tournament positioning is already established, No. RV/24 Notre Dame still has much to play for when it travels to DePaul for its regular-season finale Friday afternoon for a 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. (ET) match at Wish Field in Chicago. The Fighting Irish not only can clinch a share of the BIG EAST National Division crown (with a win and a Georgetown loss), but they also can continue their remarkable turnaround from a slow start, a run that began with their BIG EAST opener against Louisville five weeks ago.
Notre Dame (11-4-2, 7-1-1) is unbeaten in nine of its last 10 matches, following a 1-0 victory at Villanova last Sunday afternoon. As has been custom many times this season, the Fighting Irish were paced by their freshman class, with forward Anna Maria Gilbertson scoring the lone goal 6:09 into the match (off assists from fellow rookie Mary Schwappach and junior Rebecca Twining), and goalkeeper Elyse Hight making three saves for the solo shutout.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
As the BIG EAST Conference regular season enters its final week, DePaul (8-8-2, 3-5-1) has much to play for, with the Blue Demons right in the thick of the race for one of the final spots in next week's BIG EAST Championship.
DePaul currently is in sixth place in the BIG EAST's National Division, but due to the new tournament qualifying rules (top four in each division, plus two wild cards with next best points-per-match averages), the Blue Demons hold the final playoff spot heading into this weekend. Thus, a win in Friday's regular-season finale against Notre Dame (and possibly even a draw) would be enough to send the Chicagoans into the conference tournament.
After a solid start, DePaul has stumbled of late, going winless in five of its last six matches (although three contests went to overtime), and scoring just once in the past five outings. Last weekend, the Blue Demons played to a scoreless draw at Villanova, then dropped a 1-0 overtime decision at No. 11/14 Georgetown.
Four DePaul players have scored a team-high three goals this season, with Ashleigh Goddard adding two assists for a team-best eight points. Rebekah Roller leads the Blue Demons with five assists, while Natasa Radosavljevic is second on the team with three helpers.
Megan Pyrz has been very steady in the DePaul goal this season, registering an 0.91 goals-against average with five solo shutouts.
Blue Demons' head coach Erin Chastain is winding up her sixth season in Chicago with a 41-68-8 (.385) record, including an 0-5 record against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-DePaul Series
Notre Dame and DePaul are set to square off for the eighth time in their abbreviated series, which began when the Blue Demons joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2005 season. In that time, the Fighting Irish are 7-0-0 all-time against DePaul and have outscored the Blue Demons by a 27-1 margin (although DePaul's goal did come in the final minute of last year's match at Alumni Stadium).
Notre Dame is 3-0-0 in its previous visits to Wish Field, though the past two matches in Chicago have been tightly-contested, low-scoring affairs, won by scores of 1-0 (in 2008) and 2-0 (in 2010).
The Last Time Notre Dame And DePaul Met
Melissa Henderson made her final regular-season home match at Alumni Stadium a memorable one, scoring a school record-tying four goals (one of seven Fighting Irish records she set or tied on the night), including two in a 58-second span in the second half, to help the Fighting Irish to a comfortable 5-1 BIG EAST Conference win over DePaul on Oct. 21, 2011, before 1,309 fans on Senior Night.
Henderson also matched the school record with her sixth career hat trick (record-tying third in 2011) and second career four-goal performance, in addition to becoming the just the fifth player to score four times in a BIG EAST regular-season match (and first since Seton Hall's Kelly Smith [now a legend on the England National Team] on Oct. 16, 1998, at Pittsburgh).
Collectively, Notre Dame posted its highest offensive output of the 2011 conference season (and second-best from all of last year, trailing only a 7-1 win over Tulsa on Sept. 2, 2011). Brynn Gerstle netted her second goal of the season, while classmates Molly Campbell and Jessica Schuveiller collected assists to highlight the Senior Night effort for the Fighting Irish.
DePaul's Rachel Pitman helped the Blue Demons avoid the shutout, scoring with 40 seconds left in the match off a corner kick by Beth Perry.
DePaul goalkeeper Megan Pyrz was under fire for much of the night, but did make eight saves in going the distance.
The Last Time Notre Dame And DePaul Met In Chicago
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, 2010, at Wish Field in Chicago.
Tucker not only potted the second matchwinning goal of the 2010 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.
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).
ND Women's Soccer Documentary "Irish United" Debuts Friday
The Notre Dame women's soccer program takes another groundbreaking step in its 25-year history at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when the 30-minute documentary entitled "Irish United: The Story of Notre Dame Women's Soccer" debuts live on the NBC Sports Network.
"Irish United" provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at a week in the life of the Notre Dame women's soccer team, from its preparation for early October home matches against Seton Hall and Rutgers (including several cutting-edge technological advances), to some of the challenges that face the Fighting Irish student-athletes, particularly the younger players, as they adjust to competing at the highest level of collegiate soccer.
Among the more compelling segments in the documentary are a closer look at two ends of the Fighting Irish women's soccer spectrum -- senior defender Jazmin Hall going through her final home weekend (and Senior Night) at Notre Dame, and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro, who got a late start to her college career after missing the first month of the season while with the United States at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan.
It's believed that this documentary, which was produced by 3 Penny Films in conjunction with Fighting Irish Digital Media, is the first devoted entirely to a women's college soccer program to air on a major national cable network. What's more, the documentary will re-air several times on NBCSN in the coming weeks (check your local listings), along with exclusive additional footage and "webisodes" to be released through the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com, at a future date.
Kicks Against Cancer
Notre Dame's regular-season home finale against Rutgers on Oct. 7 at Alumni Stadium was designated as the program's "Kicks Against Cancer" match. At the end of the season, the proceeds from various events during the day will go to Michiana Hematology/Oncology and Kicks Against Cancer, the national soccer initiative to support funding for breast cancer research.
The Notre Dame players wore special gold jerseys with a pink ribbon insignia for the match. These limited edition jerseys, which were designed for the Fighting Irish by Notre Dame's official athletics apparel provider, adidas, are currently up for public bidding through the official Fighting Irish athletics auctions web site (UND.com/auctions), with the on-line auction open continuing through Oct. 31. Due to NCAA regulations, the jerseys must be autographed by at least two persons -- either the player who wore the jersey and a teammate, or the entire team.
Match #16 Recap: Georgetown
Despite No. 24/23 Notre Dame holding an overall better run of possession and several solid scoring chances, including two shots that hit the crossbar or post, it was No. 11/14 Georgetown that made the most of its opportunities, scoring twice in the second half to take a 2-0 BIG EAST Conference victory over the Fighting Irish on a breezy Oct. 12 afternoon at North Kehoe Field in Washington, D.C.
The loss snapped Notre Dame's eight-match unbeaten streak and dropped the Fighting Irish out of a first-place tie with Georgetown in the BIG EAST's National Division. It also was Notre Dame's fifth match against a ranked opponent this year, with the Fighting Irish earning a win and a draw in those five contests thus far.
GU broke the ice in the 50th minute, as Colleen Dinn scored an unassisted goal. The Hoyas then got the critical second score with less than 17 minutes remaining, when Daphne Corboz re-directed a cross from short range for her nation-leading 16th goal of the season.
Notre Dame's best looks of the day were denied by the frame, first in the 26th minute when junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish collected a short clearance off a corner kick and fired a right-footed volley from the top of the box that skimmed off the top of the crossbar.
In the 79th minute, sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy capped a dynamic passing sequence by the Fighting Irish in tight quarters at the edge of the offensive third, ripping a laser that beat GU goalkeeper Emma Newins, but clanged hard off the left post and then was covered by Newins.
Georgetown finished with an 11-7 edge in total shots, including a slim 4-3 advantage in shots on goal (the latter count not including the two Fighting Irish shots that clipped the woodwork). Notre Dame also had the better of chances from the corner flag with a 7-4 margin on corner kicks.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt registered two saves in the Fighting Irish net, while Newins was credited with three saves to record the shutout in the Georgetown goal.
Beyond The Box Score: Georgetown
Match #17 Recap: Villanova
Freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson scored the quickest goal of the season for No. 24/23 Notre Dame, scoring just 6:09 into the match and the Fighting Irish defense did the rest as Notre Dame clinched a top-two finish in the BIG EAST Conference's National Division with a 1-0 win at Villanova on Sunday afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex in Villanova, Pa.
With the victory, the Fighting Irish (11-4-2, 7-1-1 BIG EAST) also locked up a home match in the quarterfinal round of the upcoming BIG EAST Championship.
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight was sharp in her first start since the Sept. 14 BIG EAST opener against Louisville, making three saves to record her second solo shutout of the year (along with one shared clean sheet). Netminder Jami Kranich did all she could to keep Villanova (6-8-3, 4-4-1) in the match, registering nine saves to tie a Notre Dame opponent season high.
The Fighting Irish finished with a 23-9 edge in total shots, including a 10-3 margin in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks, while Villanova was on the wrong end of an 11-6 spread in fouls, in addition to collecting the day's lone yellow card.
Notre Dame got all the offense it would need in the seventh minute, starting with a service up the left channel to Schwappach. The rookie alertly flicked a header to Twining racing through the center of the attacking third, and in turn, Twining one-timed a chip to Gilbertson in space on the right side of the box. Gilbertson wasted little time in hammering her shot to the short side, beating Kranich with a drive that twisted high into the upper right corner of the net (6:09).
Beyond The Box Score: Villanova
Meet The (Not So) #BabyIrish
Combine Notre Dame's youthful roster (which includes 12 freshmen and six sophomores) and head coach Randy Waldrum's growing fascination with Twitter and it's no surprise that this year's squad spent the first six weeks of the campaign with its own unique hashtag, courtesy of their coach ... #BabyIrish.
Not only did the hashtag pay tribute to the median age of his team, but Waldrum also used the term to refer to the (sometimes painful) growing process that the Notre Dame squad is going through this season.
Although he knew his team had to crawl before it can walk, Waldrum insisted that he doesn't plan to keep the hashtag for long. Thus, with Notre Dame's recent eight-match unbeaten streak and return to the Top 25 in both major national polls (NSCAA and Soccer America), the Fighting Irish coach is more than willing to lift the social media moniker, or at least trade it in for a more adolescent version (for which he is open to suggestions through his Twitter account, @NDCoachWaldrum).
The ongoing goal of the #BabyIrish hashtag is see his charges continue developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the point where they're just the #Irish by the end of the 2012 campaign.
World (Cup) Champions
Junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish and freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro now can add the label of "World Cup champion" to their respective resumes, after the Fighting Irish duo helped the United States win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup title with a 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten (and reigning U-20 champion) Germany in the championship match on Sept. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
Both Notre Dame players were on the pitch when the final whistle sounded, signifying the Americans' third title since this tournament began as the FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002. Four-time Fighting Irish All-America forward and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks ('08) was one of the youngest members (at age 17) of that victorious 2002 U.S. side (that defeated host Canada in the final), while Lauren Fowlkes ('11) helped the United States win the 2008 U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, downing North Korea in the title match.
Similar to Hanks in 2002, Roccaro was the second-youngest player on this year's American roster, but hardly showed her age, emerging as a mainstay for the United States at center back. She appeared in five of the Americans' six matches at this year's U-20 World Cup, starting four times and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Laddish proved to be a vital second-half substitute for the United States, coming off the bench to lend support in three matches, including the semifinal win over Nigeria and the title match victory against Germany. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player ever to earn both a U-20 Women's World Cup title and an NCAA national championship, having joined Fowlkes as a member of the title-winning 2010 Notre Dame squad.
In addition to Laddish, Roccaro, Hanks and Fowlkes, the Fighting Irish have been represented at two other U-20 Women's World Cups. In 2004, Hanks deferred her enrollment at Notre Dame to help the United States to a third-place finish in Thailand, scoring the opening goal in the third-place match. Two years later, a pair of future Notre Dame All-Americans, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock ('09) and defender Carrie Dew ('09), donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).
The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 340-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 317 contests when going ahead 2-0 (since a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati).
In fact, just two of the past 229 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 308-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 210-1-0 (.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 20-6-16 (.667) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 14 of its last 17 overtime contests, including a pair of double-overtime draws this season (1-1 at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7; 2-2 at home vs. Rutgers on Oct. 7).
Last year, the Fighting Irish tied a pair of school records by going to extra time on five occasions (also in 2001 and 2007) and registering three draws (also in 1991 and 2001).
No current Notre Dame player has scored a "golden goal" in her college career. Jessica Schuveiller netted the most recent overtime matchwinner for the Fighting Irish on Nov. 6, 2009, heading home a cross from Rose Augustin at 98:42 to beat St. John's in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.
Any Given Sunday
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 31 of its last 36 matches on Sunday (26-5-5), 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 45-7-6 (.828) record in their last 58 contests when closing out the weekend (usually on the back end of a two-match set), 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).
Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 14th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I career winning percentage list (second among active coaches) with a .779 (381-98-28) mark in his 23 years in the women's game. Waldrum ranks fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I wins list, having earned his 375th career victory on Sept. 16 vs. Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, and he recently coached the 500th match of his women's soccer career (a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 21 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.
Oh Captain, My Captain
The 2012 Notre Dame squad is being led by a trio of first-time captains, as senior defender Jazmin Hall, and junior midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker were selected via a preseason vote of their teammates.
Coming Soon: Irish in the ACC
The University of Notre Dame announced Sept. 12 that it has accepted an offer of admission into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for all sports except football (the league does not offer championships in ice hockey or fencing).
The change in conference affiliation (for which a timetable has not yet been established) will be the first for Notre Dame since 1995, when the Fighting Irish moved from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) to the BIG EAST Conference.
In its 18 seasons in the BIG EAST, the Notre Dame women's soccer program has been the conference's flagship, winning 13 regular-season titles and 11 postseason crowns, along with three NCAA national championships. The Fighting Irish also currently hold a 145-11-9 (.906) regular-season conference record since joining the BIG EAST in 1995.
Next Up: Syracuse (BIG EAST Championship Quarterfinal)
Notre Dame kicks off postseason play on Oct. 28, when it plays host to Syracuse in a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match at Alumni Stadium. The official start time will be announced following the conclusion of regular-season conference play on Saturday, with the Fighting Irish tournament quarterfinal to be streamed live (and free of charge) on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com.
Syracuse (8-6-2, 5-3-1) was unbeaten in six of its first seven conference matches, but has dropped its last two outings. Still, SU has locked up third place in the BIG EAST's American Division heading into the final weekend of the regular season, with the Orange welcoming St. John's to central New York at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Since the two schools don't play annually due to residing in opposite BIG EAST divisions, Notre Dame and Syracuse will be meeting for only the ninth time in series history, with the Fighting Irish holding an 8-0-0 edge on the Orange. Most recently, Notre Dame earned a 3-0 victory over SU on Oct. 1, 2010, at Alumni Stadium, with current Fighting Irish junior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker scoring the eventual match-winning goal in the 27th minute.
Next weekend's BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal also is just the second postseason match between Notre Dame and Syracuse, with the Fighting Irish defeating the Orange, 5-1, on Nov. 6, 1998, in a BIG EAST semifinal contest at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.