Nov. 12, 2011
NCAA Championship -- First Round
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-7-3 / 6-3-2 BIG EAST) vs. #16/13 Illinois Fighting Illini (16-4-2 / 8-2-1 Big Ten)
DATE: November 13, 2011
Irish Open NCAA Tournament Play Sunday At #16/13 Illinois
Notre Dame (10-7-3) has been off for the past nine days since it last took the pitch on Nov. 4 and came away with a frustrating 2-1 loss to Louisville in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals at Morgantown, W.Va. Despite allowing two goals in the first 11 minutes, the Fighting Irish dominated the run of play throughout, and had several chances to tie the match in the final 10 minutes, but had one goal disallowed (offside) and hit the woodwork twice in that time.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
This year has been one of near-misses and close calls, with six of Notre Dame's seven losses by one goal (four vs. ranked opponents). Still, the Fighting Irish have lived up to their nickname, battling back from a 3-4-1 start by going unbeaten in nine of their final 12 matches and tallying five shutouts after having just one clean sheet in their first eight outings.
Senior forward Melissa Henderson (18G-8A) has consistently maintained her place as one of the nation's elite attackers and comes into Sunday's match riding a five-match point-scoring streak. Classmate and fellow tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller (6G-2A) has added offensive punch during this recent Fighting Irish resurgence, tallying 12 points (all but one of her goals) during the past 10 matches.
The Fighting Illini are coming off a stirring three-match run to the Big Ten Tournament title, edging Ohio State on penalties, 4-2 (after a 1-1 draw), before earning overtime decisions against Michigan State (1-0) and Penn State (2-1) to hoist the hardware in Evanston, Ill.
Sophomore midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo (17G-5A) is one of the nation's leading scorers this year, and thus is was no surprise she netted the match-winner (her eighth of the year) 2:04 into extra time of the title contest against Penn State. However, she's not the only weapon in Illinois' arsenal, as senior midfielder Marissa Mykines (8G-3A) had the decisive tally in the semifinal vs. Michigan State, while sophomore forward Megan Pawloski (6G-2A) and junior midfielder Niki Read (4G-7A) have provided critical support.
Junior Steph Panozzo has played all but 5:53 in the Fighting Illini goal this season, posting a 1.01 GAA with seven solo shutouts.
Head coach Janet Rayfield is in her 10th year at Illinois with a 129-70-18 (.636) record. Adding in her six years at Arkansas in the mid-1990s, Rayfield has a career mark of 174-134-25 (.560), with an 0-1 record vs. Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Illinois Series
The Last Time Notre Dame And Illinois Met
With leading scorer (and All-American) Brittany Bock held out of action due to a minor injury, two other veteran frontrunners -- Amanda Cinalli and Michele Weissenhofer -- stepped up to the occasion for Notre Dame by combining on the first goal midway through the opening half. All-American Kerri Hanks then forced an own-goal with her cross from the right side, giving the Fighting Irish a 2-0 lead with 1:28 left in the first half.
Notre Dame finished with a 13-10 edge in total shots and 6-3 in shots on goal, with Illinois attempting many of its shots in the late stages after committing more players into the attack. Lauren Karas made three saves to secure the clean sheet in the Fighting Irish goal.
NCAA Championship Quick Kicks
Match #20 Recap: Louisville
Senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson had the assist on Leon's goal, extending her point-scoring streak to five matches, as the Fighting Irish (10-7-3) battled almost all the way back to reach the conference final after trailing by two goals less than 11 minutes into the contest.
Notre Dame outshot the Cardinals, 19-11, including an 8-6 edge in shots on goal. The margins were even greater in the second half, when the Fighting Irish held a 12-5 total shot advantage, and a 5-2 spread in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned a season-high 11 corner kicks on the day, finishing with an 11-3 edge from the flag (including five of six in the second half).
Junior goalkeeper Maddie Fox registered four saves in the match, while her Louisville counterpart Chloe Kiefer made seven stops. The Cardinals got a goal and assist from Kaitie McDonald, with her 11th-minute score standing up as the match-winner.
Four Irish Nab All-BIG EAST Honors
In addition, Notre Dame was named the recipient of the third annual BIG EAST Fair Play Award, which is given to the school which accumulates the fewest fouls, yellow cards and red cards (based on a weighted point system -- one point per foul, five points per yellow card, 10 points per red card) during the course of the conference season. It's the first time the Fighting Irish have received that honor after they logged just 77 points during BIG EAST play (67 fouls, two yellow cards, zero red cards).
Trio Of Irish Earn Academic All-District Honors
Barg and Tucker were chosen as first-team academic all-district honorees (the first citations of both players' careers), and each advanced to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Meanwhile, Campbell was a third-team academic all-district selection, marking the third consecutive year she has collected academic all-district recognition (first team in 2009, second team in 2010).
The trio was chosen for district honors through voting by CoSIDA members in their district, which encompasses Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution. In addition, nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's matches at their respective positions.
Barg currently is enrolled in Notre Dame's top-ranked Mendoza College of Business, where she is an accounting major and has a 3.612 cumulative GPA, in addition to twice earning dean's list honors and copping three citations on the BIG EAST All-Academic Team (2009-11).
Tucker presently is enrolled in Notre Dame's top-ranked Mendoza College of Business, where she is an accounting major and has a perfect 4.000 cumulative GPA, having earned dean's list honors in both semesters of her freshman year. She also made the 2010-11 BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
Campbell is presently studying in the College of Arts and Letters, where she has recorded a 3.589 cumulative GPA as a political science major. Along with her three academic all-district certificates, Campbell also is a three-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team selection (2009-11).
The Notre Dame women's soccer program has produced 24 Academic All-Americans in its history (a national-best 16 since women's soccer was separated from the at-large Academic All-America program in 2002), including Lauren Fowlkes' first-team citation last year.
More Than Meets The Eye
Still, the Fighting Irish own a 41-5-5 (.853) 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
This season, Henderson leads the BIG EAST in goals (18), goals per match (0.90), points (44) and points per match (2.20). She also is among the top five in the conference in total shots (2nd - 75), shots per match (3rd - 3.75), assists (tied-4th - 8) and assists per match (4th - 0.40).
On the national stage, Henderson ranks among the top 10 in total goals (fifth), goals per match (fifth), points per match (sixth) and total points (ninth). She is one of seven players in the country currently in the top nine in all four categories (as of Nov. 7).
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 42-3-3 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 21 of her last 35 outings, dating back to last season. The Fighting Irish also are 53-4-3 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 40 of the past 55 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), and delivered an assist vs. Louisville in the BIG EAST semifinal (lost 2-1 on Nov. 4).
Henderson Called Into U-23 Camp
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.
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
In that time, Schuveiller has helped Notre Dame post 78 wins, 55 shutouts and a 0.73 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 6-2-1 record with five 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 10 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 joined classmate Melissa Henderson as a first-team all-BIG EAST Conference selection (the third all-league citation of her career).
Getting The Hang Of Things
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 play, 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). Those numbers were good enough for Bohaboy to earn a place on this year's BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
Three Best Friends Anyone Could Have
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 .827 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is third-best on the national scene.
Packing Them In
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
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
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
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
Golden Domers Golden In OT
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.).
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: NCAA Second Round
Notre Dame met OSU in last year's NCAA quarterfinals, defeating the Cowgirls, 2-0 in Stillwater behind two second-half goals by then-freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker.