Oct. 29, 2011
BIG EAST Championship -- Quarterfinal
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-6-3 / 6-3-2 BIG EAST) vs. #5/9 Marquette Golden Eagles (17-2-0 / 10-1-0 BIG EAST)
DATE: October 30, 2011
TIME: 1:00 p.m. CT
AT: Milwaukee, Wis. - Valley Fields (1,750)
SERIES: ND leads 6-4-1
1ST MTG: MU 2-1 (10/2/88)
LAST MTG: MU 3-2, ot (9/25/11)
AUDIO: gomarquette.com (live)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
Notre Dame Visits No. 5/9 Marquette Sunday In BIG EAST Quarterfinals
With the ups and downs of the regular season now firmly in the rear-view mirror, Notre Dame kicks off postseason play at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET Sunday when it takes on No. 5/9 Marquette in a BIG EAST Conference Championship quarterfinal match at Valley Fields in Milwaukee. It will mark the first time the Fighting Irish will play a conference tournament quarterfinal on the road in their 17-year membership in the BIG EAST.
Notre Dame (9-6-3) capped the regular season and celebrated Senior Night in style last Friday night with a 5-1 victory over DePaul at Alumni Stadium. Senior forward Melissa Henderson tied seven school records with her four-goal effort, including two goal 58 seconds apart in the second half to settle matters. Classmate Brynn Gerstle added her second career goal (and first at home), as the Fighting Irish continued a late-season push that has seen them go unbeaten in six of their last seven matches.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
It may have taken a bit longer than anyone anticipated, but Notre Dame appears to have rebounded from its slow start by beginning to peak at the perfect time -- the stretch drive. The Fighting Irish are unbeaten in six of their last seven matches, posting four shutouts in that span and nearly adding a fifth before DePaul spoiled Notre Dame's bid for a clean sheet in the final minute last Friday.
Not surprisingly, senior forward Melissa Henderson (17G-7A) has been one of the driving forces for the Fighting Irish of late, piling up 16 points (6G-4A) in this current seven-match late-season run. The centerpiece of her efforts came in that win over DePaul, when she netted four goals (including a natural hat trick) to tie one of seven school records (either match, season or career) on the night. She also became the first BIG EAST player in more than 13 years to score four goals in a regular-season league fixture.
Henderson's fellow senior and tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller also has made waves of late, thanks in part to a move into the midfield from her traditional center-back position. Since the switch became permanent in late September, Schuveiller has 12 points (5G-2A), including three opening goals and two that would stand up as match-winners.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox has settled in as well, collecting two solo shutouts and sharing two others in this recent stretch. She also has allowed just two opponent goals in the run of play (two others were own-goals) while amassing a 0.58 goals-against average (GAA) and .818 save percentage through those seven matches.
Winners of nine in a row, Marquette earned a share of the BIG EAST American Division title for the third consecutive season last weekend with a 2-0 victory over USF at Valley Fields, capping an 11-0 regular-season home slate. Sophomore midfielder Taylor Madigan put the hosts ahead after 25 minutes and classmate Kate Reigle provided an insurance goal in the 68th minute that would be more than enough against a Bulls' squad that was outshot, 25-4 (including a 14-1 margin in shots on goal).
Sophomore forward Maegan Kelly has been Marquette's talisman all year long, posting a team-high 14 goals (including six match-winners) and 10 assists. Madigan is second on the squad with seven goals, while Reigle has piled up a team-best seven assists.
The Golden Eagles also are bolstered by a veteran defense, led by senior goalkeeper Natalie Kulla, who set the pace in the BIG EAST this year with a 0.65 GAA and 10 shutouts while playing all but 75 minutes this year.
Head coach Markus Roeders is in his 16th season at Marquette with a 235-87-34 record, including a 2-6 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Marquette Series
Notre Dame and Marquette will meet for the second time this year, and 12th time overall, with the Fighting Irish holding a 6-4-1 edge in the series (although MU is 4-1-1 against Notre Dame at Valley Fields).
On the other hand, this will be the fifth time Notre Dame has faced the Golden Eagles in the BIG EAST Championship, with the Fighting Irish having won each of the previous four matches (2005, 2006 and 2008 semifinals; 2009 final).
The Last Time Notre Dame And Marquette Met
No. 20/24 Notre Dame put together a pair of stirring second-half comebacks to force overtime, but No. 14/15 Marquette scored the match-winner 18 seconds into the extra session, defeating the Fighting Irish, 3-2 in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional action on a rainy Sept. 25 afternoon at Valley Fields in Milwaukee.
Senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson netted her 11th goal of the season and senior defender/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller sent the match to overtime with her goal in the 72nd minute. Sophomore midfielder Rebecca Twining picked up the assist on Henderson's score, while senior defender Ellen Bartindale collected the first point of her collegiate career with the assist on Schuveiller's equalizer.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox did all she could in the Fighting Irish net, tying her career high with six saves, including two brilliant stops inside the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Marquette got a goal and assist from Maegan Kelly, while Ashley Stemmeler scored her first goal of the year, and Taylor Madigan potted the match-winner at 90:18. The Golden Eagles held a 19-9 edge in total shots (9-6 in shots on goal), as well as an 8-5 advantage on corner kicks, while Notre Dame was charged with nine of 15 fouls during the afternoon.
The Last Time Notre Dame And Marquette Met In The BIG EAST Championship
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
Match #18 Recap: DePaul
Senior forward/tri-captain 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 before 1,309 fans on Senior Night.
Henderson also matched the school record with her sixth career hat trick (record-tying third this year) 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 on Oct. 16, 1998, at Pittsbugh).
Collectively, Notre Dame (9-6-3, 6-3-2 BIG EAST) posted its highest offensive output of the conference season (and second-best overall, trailing only a 7-1 win over Tulsa back on Sept. 2). Senior midfielder 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. Sophomores Kecia Morway and Adriana Leon also picked up assists during the evening.
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox went a spotless opening 79:33 between the pipes for Notre Dame, making two saves. Freshman netminder Jennifer Jasper then made her college debut during the final 10-plus minutes, also recording two saves.
DePaul's Rachel Pitman helped the Blue Demons (3-14-1, 1-9-1) 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.
More Than Meets The Eye
A few observers around the country may have raised an eyebrow at Notre Dame's 9-6-3 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 69 goals (second-most among active Division I players, and good for fifth in school history) and added 25 assists for 163 career points (10th 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 the BIG EAST in goals (17), goals per match (0.94), points (41), points per match (2.28) and total shots (70). She also is among the top five in the conference in shots per match (2nd - 3.89), assists (tied-4th - 7) and assists per match (tied-4th - 0.39).
On the national stage, Henderson ranks among the top 10 in total goals (fifth), total points (fifth), goals per match (seventh) and points per match (ninth). She is one of seven players in the country currently in the top 10 in all four categories (as of Oct. 24).
What's more, Henderson has a school record-tying three hat tricks this season (vs. Indiana, Cincinnati and DePaul), making her one of only four BIG EAST players with a three-goal night, and the only one to do it more than once. She also now has six career hat tricks, tying the school record held by two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks (2005-08) and Jenny Heft (1996-99).
The "Texas" hat trick she bagged vs. DePaul on Oct. 21 was notable in that she became just the fifth player to score four goals in a BIG EAST regular-season match, and the first in more than 13 years -- former Seton Hall All-American and England National Team striker Kelly Smith was the last to do so on Oct. 16, 1998, at Pittsburgh.
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 41-3-3 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 20 of her last 33 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 52-3-3 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 38 of the past 53 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 fourth 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 96 Fighting Irish matches and played more than 95 percent of her team's minutes (8,275 of a possible 8,709) since she set foot on campus more than three years ago.
In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 77 wins, 54 shutouts and a 0.72 goals-against average (GAA), with only one team scoring more than three goals in a single match against the Fighting Irish under her watch (UNC 6-0 on Sept. 4, 2009, 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 5-1-1 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 two assists in the past eight 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) coming 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 tied for fifth in the league in goals and goals per match (0.55), and shared ninth in the loop in points (14) and points per match (1.27).
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 5-1-1 in its last seven matches, including four consecutive shutouts (two solo, two shared) and turning aside 18 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 (0.79) and tops in save percentage (.817).
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 77-13-6 (.833) 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 .833 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors also is third-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 32 of their last 35 at home, outscoring their opponents, 92-15 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 ninth in the nation with an average of 1,570 fans per home match this season, its best single-season average attendance since 2007 (school-record 1,938 fans per match).
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 (369-92-26) mark in his 22 years in the women's game. He also is second among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 369 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 332-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and has won its last 309 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 221 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 303-3-1 (.989) record in those games, including a 205-1-0 (.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 Semifinal
The winner of Sunday's quarterfinal will advance to the BIG EAST Championship semifinals next Friday (Nov. 4) to meet the winner of the quarterfinal between Providence and Louisville (being played Sunday afternoon in Louisville). The tournament semifinals will take place at 3:00 and 5:30 p.m. (ET), and both will be televised by the CBS Sports Network from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.
Notre Dame has faced both of its potential semifinal opponents this season. The Fighting Irish dropped a 1-0 decision to Louisville in their conference opener on Sept. 16 at Alumni Stadium, and defeated Providence, 3-0 on Oct. 2, also at Alumni Stadium.
In an interesting twist, Notre Dame has never played either Louisville or Providence in the BIG EAST Championship.