Oct. 20, 2011
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-6-3 / 5-3-2 BIG EAST) vs. DePaul Blue Demons (3-13-1 / 1-8-1 BIG EAST)
DATE: October 21, 2011
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. - Alumni Stadium (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 6-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 6-0 (9/16/05)
LAST MTG: ND 2-0 (9/17/10)
WEBCAST: UND.com (free-live) (Adam Llorens, p-b-p / Michael Bertsch, color)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
LIVE CHAT: UND.com
Notre Dame Plays Host To DePaul Friday On Senior Night
Notre Dame will have one final chance to sharpen its game before the start of postseason play when it welcomes DePaul to Alumni Stadium on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) match. The Fighting Irish also will celebrate the remarkable careers of their eight departing senior players (and senior manager Brendan Andrew) in a short pre-match Senior Night ceremony.
The Fighting Irish are unbeaten in seven of their last nine matches, most recently posting a 3-1 victory over Villanova last Sunday at Alumni Stadium. Senior forward Melissa Henderson scored the go-ahead goal for Notre Dame with 5:34 to play, and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Tucker picked the perfect time for her first goal of the year, netting a critical insurance score with 1:20 left, as the Fighting Irish clinched a first-round bye for the upcoming BIG EAST Conference Championship.
For the final time this regular season, Notre Dame players will wear their throwback jerseys which raised more than $5,800 in donations via an on-line auction that ended earlier this week.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Although Notre Dame (8-6-3, 5-3-2) is locked into the third spot in the final BIG EAST Conference National Division standings, there's still much to play for in the eyes of the Fighting Irish when it closes out the regular season this weekend.
In fact, Notre Dame has come alive down the stretch after a slow start, going unbeaten in five of its last six (and the lone loss the result of a pair of own-goals last Friday against Georgetown). The Fighting Irish also have cranked up the defense with four shutouts and a near clean sheet against Villanova last Sunday, only marred by the Wildcats' scoring on their lone shot on goal of the day in an otherwise strong all-around effort.
Senior forward Melissa Henderson (13G-7A) continues to be one of the nation's top offensive weapons, ranking among the BIG EAST leaders and top 25 players in the land in goals, points, goals per match and points per match. She's joined up top by apprentice Lauren Bohaboy (6G-3A), with the rookie being the poster child for Notre Dame's recent resurgence by potting all six of her goals in the past nine matches.
Other key contributors of late have included senior midfielder Jessica Schuveiller, who has become an offensive force with five goals in the last seven matches (she had five in her first 88 career contests, due to playing center back), and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Tucker, who had a goal and two assists last weekend.
If there's one team in the BIG EAST that's found as much bad luck as Notre Dame this season, it's probably DePaul. The Blue Demons are 3-13-1 this season (1-8-1, four points in the BIG EAST's National Division), and officially have been eliminated from contention for the 10-team BIG EAST Championship, meaning Friday's match is DePaul's season finale.
Despite their record, the Blue Demons have come so close to a much stronger mark, with nine of their losses by one goal (and four of those coming in overtime). DePaul comes into Friday's contest have lost five consecutive matches, and winning only once in their last 10 outings (a 1-0 victory at home over Providence on Sept. 30).
Last weekend, the Blue Demons played their final two home contests of the year, falling to Villanova, 3-2 (on a VU goal with 4:37 to play), and Georgetown, 2-0 (with both GU goals coming in a five-minute window early in the second half). Sophomore forward Natasa Radosavljevic put DePaul on the board vs. Villanova on a goal with 53 seconds left in the first half, and senior forward Morgan Celaya tied it up at 2-2 less than five minutes into the second half.
Celaya leads the Blue Demons in goals (4) and points (9) this season, while freshman midfielder Amber Paul is second in both categories (three goals, seven points). Sophomore Rebekah Roller has chipped in with a team-high three assists as well.
Freshman Megan Pyrz took over as DePaul's starting goalkeeper early in conference play. She has compiled a 1-7 record between the pipes for the Blue Demons, along with a 1.68 goals-against average (GAA), a .788 save percentage and the aforementioned shutout of Providence last month.
Head coach Erin Chastain (the sister-in-law of former U.S. National Team player Brandi Chastain) is in her fifth season at DePaul with a 32-58-6 record, including an 0-4 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-DePaul Series
Notre Dame and DePaul will play for the seventh time on Friday night, with the Fighting Irish having won each of the first six series matches (all since the Blue Demons joined the BIG EAST in 2005). Notre Dame also has outscored DePaul, 22-0 in the series, including a 14-0 margin in South Bend.
Last year, the Fighting Irish got a pair of goals from midfielder Elizabeth Tucker, including the clinching score with 1:48 remaining, to post a 2-0 win at Wish Field in Chicago.
The last time the two teams met at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 18, 2009, Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play with a 4-0 win over DePaul behind a pair of goals from Rose Augustin, and complementing scores from Melissa Henderson and Lauren Fowlkes. Current Fighting Irish senior defenders Jessica Schuveiller and Molly Campbell chalked up assists, while junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox was not asked to make a save in 13 minutes of relief work to complete the shutout.
The Last Time Notre Dame And DePaul Met
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.
Rose Augustin set up Tucker's first goal, and both Melissa Henderson and 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 match-winning goal of her rookie season, but also became the first Fighting Irish freshman 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).
Other Notre Dame-DePaul Series Tidbits
Match #17 Recap: Villanova
Senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson scored the go-ahead goal with 5:34 to play, and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Tucker added her first score of the year in the final 80 seconds as Notre Dame locked up a first-round bye for the upcoming BIG EAST Conference Championship with a 3-1 victory over Villanova on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy picked the right time for her first career two-assist match, setting up both late Fighting Irish scores. Senior midfielder/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller put Notre Dame on the board late in the first half with her sixth goal of the season, while Tucker earned the secondary assist on Henderson's team-high 13th goal of the year, and sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish had the primary helper on Tucker's brace.
Notre Dame (8-6-3, 5-3-2 BIG EAST) had an overwhelming 28-3 edge in total shots, including an 11-1 advantage in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also earned all six corner kicks in the contest, while fouls were virtually even (5-3 against Villanova).
Katie Ryan scored her 12th goal of the season for the Wildcats (8-8-2, 4-6-0), while linemates Heidi Sabatura and Erin Ryan were credited with assists on the score, which came via an efficient counterattack midway through the second half on what would turn out to be VU's lone shot on goal during the match (and its only shot of any kind in the second half). Villanova goalkeeper Jami Kranich made six saves, and benefitted from two other stops by her teammates on Fighting Irish shots in the penalty area.
Match #16 Recap: Georgetown
Notre Dame rallied from a two-goal first-half deficit and controlled the run of play for a large portion of the second half, but the Fighting Irish allowed their second own-goal of the match with less than 14 minutes remaining as Georgetown hung on for a 3-2 BIG EAST Conference win over Notre Dame on a blustery and damp Oct. 14 night at Alumni Stadium.
Senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson sparkled in defeat for the Fighting Irish, posting a goal and an assist, while senior midfielder/tri-captain Courtney Barg netted her first goal in more than two years for Notre Dame. Sophomores Adriana Leon and Elizabeth Tucker helped set up Henderson's early score, which ignited Notre Dame's first-half rally.
Georgetown was led by Samantha Baker, who had a hand in all three of the Hoyas' goals, scoring the first herself and then forcing the Fighting Irish into their two own-goals with a long throw-in early in the first half, and a cross from the left wing that led to the decisive tally in the second period.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox made two saves in the Notre Dame net, while Elizabeth Hanna did likewise in the Georgetown goal. The Fighting Irish finished with a 13-7 shot advantage on the Hoyas, while GU had a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Georgetown also had a 7-4 margin in corner kicks (six of those coming in the first half), while the Hoyas were whistled for eight of 13 fouls in the match.
No Worries ... We've Got This
A few observers around the country may have raised an eyebrow at Notre Dame's 8-6-3 record this season. But consider the following:
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 25 of its last 28 matches on Sunday (21-3-4), 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 40-5-5 (.850) record in the past 50 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 65 goals (second-most among active Division I players, and tied for fifth in school history) and added 25 assists for 155 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 (13), assists (7) and points (33). She also is among the top three in the BIG EAST in every offensive statistical category, including goals, assists, points, goals per match (0.76), assists per match (0.41), points per match (1.94), shots (63) and shots per match (3.71).
On the national stage, Henderson ranks among the top 25 in total goals (ninth), total points (14th), goals per match (22nd) and points per match (25th).
What's more, Henderson has hat tricks this season against Indiana and Cincinnati (one of only four 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).
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 40-3-3 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 19 of her last 32 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 51-3-3 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 37 of the past 52 contests, a stretch that carries back to 2009.
The only times Notre Dame has lost when Henderson had a goal or point came earlier this season, when she scored goals at No. 2 Stanford (lost 2-1 on Sept. 9) and No. 14/15 Marquette (lost 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 25), as well as at home vs. Georgetown (lost 3-2 on Oct. 14).
Henderson Called Into U-23 Camp
Senior forward Melissa Henderson recently completed a week-long training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp, which took place Oct. 3-7 and featured 25 of the nation's top college players and young professionals, was jointly overseen by U.S. Soccer Women's Development Director Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer Women's Technical Director April Heinrichs and U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage.
Sundhage was at the camp to evaluate players for possible call-ups to U.S. National Team camps heading into next January's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, and potentially for the run to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Henderson is no stranger to U.S. Soccer, having played with age-group national teams since 2006, including the past three years with the U-23 National Team. In that program's most recent cycle, which concluded this summer, Henderson scored five goals and added an assist, including three goals at the Four Nations Tournament in Leicester, England, in February/March 2011, leading the United States to the tournament title.
Sophomore midfielder Mandy Laddish has emerged as one of the leading playmakers in the BIG EAST this season, currently tying for third in the conference and tops on the Fighting Irish roster with seven assists.
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/midfielder Jessica Schuveiller has been a mainstay for the Notre Dame defense throughout her career. In fact, the rugged (and still remarkably underrated) native of Plano, Texas, has started all 95 Fighting Irish matches and played 95 percent of her team's minutes (8,185 of a possible 8,619) since she set foot on campus more than three years ago.
In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 76 wins, 54 shutouts and a 0.72 goals-against average (GAA), with only four 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, 2011, in Chapel Hill, N.C.; Marquette 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 25, 2011, in Milwaukee; Georgetown 3-2 on Oct. 14, 2011, at Alumni Stadium).
Lately, Schuveiller has assumed a more attack-minded role for the Fighting Irish at the holding midfielder, leading Notre Dame to a 4-1-1 record with four shutouts since she stepped into that position full-time on Sept. 30 vs. Connecticut. Schuveiller also has chalked up five goals and one assist in the past seven contests after having scored five goals in the first 88 matches of her career.
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.
Getting The Hang Of Things
It may have taken her a little while to get going, but freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy appears to have found her stride. The Mission Viejo, Calif., native (who scored a combined 79 goals in her final two prep seasons) didn't find the back of the net for the first time until Sept. 18 at Cincinnati (Notre Dame's ninth match of the year).
However, that score turned out to be the first sign of Bohaboy's uncanny attacking presence, with the Fighting Irish rookie having scored six goals and added three assists this season, all (except one assist) within the past nine matches in BIG EAST Conference play. Included in that flurry was a two-goal effort in a nationally-televised 3-0 win over Connecticut on Sept. 30 at Alumni Stadium.
As a result, Bohaboy currently leads all conference freshmen in goals (6) and points (15), and during BIG EAST matches, she is tied for third in the league in goals and goals per match (0.60), and shares sixth in the loop in points (14) and points per match (1.40).
Out-Foxing The Competition
Another reason for Notre Dame's recent four-match unbeaten streak has been the growth of junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox. Coming into the season, Fox had appeared in just 12 collegiate matches for a combined total of 157:11. Yet, the San Jose resident has emerged in recent weeks as a very reliable last line of defense for the Fighting Irish, backstopping Notre Dame to a 4-1-1 in its last six matches, including four consecutive shutouts (two solo, two shared) and turning aside 16 shots in that span. The four consecutive shutouts were the most for the Fighting Irish in a single season since the beginning of the 2010 campaign, and the most clean sheets in a row during BIG EAST Conference action in four years (Oct. 7-19, 2007).
For the season, Fox ranks second in the BIG EAST in goals-against average (0.85) and save percentage (.810).
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/midfielder Jessica Schuveiller -- who not only form the backbone of their starting lineup, but have been best friends since the fifth grade 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.
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 76-13-6 (.832) 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 .832 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fourth-best on the national scene.
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 31 of their last 34 at home, outscoring their opponents, 87-14 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 seventh in the nation with an average of 1,603 fans per home match this season, which would challenge the current 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 11th-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 this year (home vs. Tulsa on Sept. 2; at Stanford on Sept. 9; at Cincinnati on Sept. 18).
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 .784 (368-92-26) mark in his 22 years in the women's game. He also is second among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 368 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 331-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 308 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 220 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 302-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 204-1-0 (.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 20-6-14 (.675) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame also is unbeaten in 12 of its last 15 overtime contests.
The Fighting Irish have gone to extra time on five occasions this year, tying the school record first set in 2001 and duplicated in 2007. Notre Dame also has tied a school record with three draws, a mark the Fighting Irish first set in 1991.
Two current Notre Dame players have scored "golden goals" in their college careers -- senior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. UConn in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field) and senior defender/midfielder 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/midfielder Jessica Schuveiller -- were selected to serve as Notre Dame's captains this year through 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: BIG EAST Quarterfinal
Regardless of Friday's outcome, Notre Dame is locked into third place in the BIG EAST's National Division, meaning the Fighting Irish have earned a first-round bye for the BIG EAST Championship that begins next week.
Notre Dame's first match in the tournament will be a quarterfinal contest on the road next Sunday, Oct. 30 against the No. 2 seed in the American Division (time TBA). Currently, Marquette and West Virginia are tied for first place in the division with 27 points (WVU visits Pittsburgh Friday, MU hosts USF Saturday), with the Mountaineers holding the tiebreaker by virtue of their 3-1 win over the Golden Eagles back on Sept. 18 in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Fighting Irish faced Marquette earlier this year, dropping a 3-2 overtime decision on Sept. 25 in Milwaukee. Notre Dame is 4-0 against the Golden Eagles in the BIG EAST Championship, winning three semifinal encounters and the 2009 tournament title match.
The Fighting Irish have not played West Virginia in more than two years, following a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 2, 2009, in Morgantown. Notre Dame is 2-0-1 against the Mountaineers in the BIG EAST Championship, with the draw coming in the 2007 final, also in Morgantown (WVU won the title on penalties, 5-3, after a 1-1 double-overtime draw).