Nov. 15, 2008
2008 ND Women's Soccer -- Game 23
NCAA Championship -- Second Round
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22-0-0 / 11-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Michigan State Spartans (14-6-3 / 5-4-1 Big Ten)
DATE: Nov. 16, 2008
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. Alumni Field (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 10-2-0 1ST MTG: MSU 3-0 (11/4/88)
LAST MTG: ND 3-0 (11/13/05)
WEBCAST: UND.com (live) Tom Staudt, p-b-p Drew Spada, color
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Notre Dame is making its 16th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, an active streak second only to North Carolina's 27-year run.
The Irish are 36-3-0 (.923) all-time at home in NCAA tournament games, with an active 15-game winning streak beginning in 2004 (and 52-8 scoring margin in those contests).
#1 Irish Host Michigan State In NCAA Championship Second Round Play
Notre Dame (22-0-0) continues this year's postseason drive at 1:00 p.m. (ET) Sunday when it plays host to Big Ten competitor Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Alumni Field. It will be the second meeting between the Irish and Spartans in NCAA second round play at Alumni Field, as the Irish beat MSU by a 3-0 score in 2005. On Friday, Notre Dame won its NCAA first round game versus Toledo, 5-2. Rose Augustin netted two goals versus the Rockets while Kerri Hanks' two assists placed her in the prestigious 70G-70A club.
Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
Michigan State is not ranked.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season's squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.
As if that weren't enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.
Leading the way for Notre Dame this season are two of the country's premier front-line players (and '07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.
A three-time All-American and the '06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (18G-12A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish record books, sitting just off the national lead in goals and points this year after setting the NCAA pace in assists the past two seasons. A two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year (including 2008), Hanks became the third Division I player to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (82G-70A entering Sunday's game). She has earned national honors from Soccer America (Team of the Week) and Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) a combined seven times, as well as garnering four BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors. She was the only unanimous selection on the 2008 All-BIG EAST First Team.
Bock (6G-9A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points (16G-4A). A two-time all-BIG EAST First Team selection (including 2008), Bock earned the league's Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5. More recently, she was tapped for the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week on Oct. 21 after registering a goal and four assists in shutout wins at Providence and Connecticut.
Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (1G-1A), the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player. She also is a two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and a three-time national team of the week honoree, including Monday's selection as the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week. One of three defenders to start every game for the Irish this season, Dew and the Notre Dame defense have recorded 14 shutouts and a 0.45 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since '95).
A Quick Look At Michigan State
Michigan State (14-6-3, 5-4-1 Big Ten) is playing in the NCAA Championship field for the third time in program history, having previously taken part in 2002 and 2005. The Spartans are now 2-2 all-time in NCAA tournament play, with their only other second round appearnace coming in 2005, when they were eliminated by the Irish.
On Friday, Michigan State gained passage into the second round with a 2-1 upset win over 16-ranked Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Freshman forward Laura Heyboer scored both Spartan goals in the victory, giving her 21 for the season. Heyboer's 21 goals and 51 points lead the team, while junior midfielder Lauren Sinacola ranks first on the team with 11 assists. Heyboer and junior forward Lauren Hill are tied for second in assists with nine each.
In net, freshman Jill Flietstra has started the last five games for Michigan State, posting a 1-1-3 record in those five games. She also played the last 29 minutes in MSU's 1-0 loss to Indiana on October 24 for her first (of six total) appearances on the season. She has a 0.67 goals-against-average and an .867 save percentage to go along with one shutout.
Head coach Tom Saxton is in his 18th season at Michigan State posting a 178-151-30 (.538) record with the Spartans. Saxton has taken MSU to three NCAA tournaments to go along with 10 trips to the Big Ten tournament. Dating back to 1991, Saxton, a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year honoree, has a 0-9 record against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Michigan State Series
Sunday's game will be the 13th all-time meeting between the two teams, with Notre Dame holding a 10-2-0 series edge entering the contest. Michigan State won the first two games of the series, including a 3-0 win at East Lansing in their first all-time meeting with the Irish in 1988. Notre Dame has rebounded to record 10 consecutive wins versus Michigan State. Over that 10-game stretch, the Irish have outscored MSU by a 39 to three margin. For a complete series history, see page 99 of the 2008 media guide.
The Last Time ND and MSU Met
The Irish last faced the Spartans in 2005. The game, which was played at Notre Dame's Alumni Field, was also a NCAA second round matchup. The Irish recorded a 3-0 win on that day (November 13) to advance to the third round. Current senior forward Kerri Hanks scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 32:34. Katie Thorlakson and Annie Schefter also scored for the Irish.
At the time, Notre Dame was the nation's second-ranked team, while Michigan State was not ranked. Current seniors Carrie Dew and Brittany Bock started alongside Hanks in that contest, while their classmate Kerry Inglis came off the bench in the victory. Dew and Bock each recorded a shot.
ND In NCAA Second Round Play
2008 marks Notre Dame's 16th NCAA Championship appearance, dating back to 1993. Due to format changes throughout the years, Notre Dame has appeared in 13 second-round games, posting a 11-2 record. In those 13 games, Notre Dame has outscored the opposition by a 39-7 margin with four straight shutouts in NCAA second round action, dating back to a 1-0 win over Wisconson in 2004.
Sunday's contest at Alumni Field will feature two of the highest scoring freshmen in the nation. Heading into the contest, Michigan State's Laura Heyboer is tied for second in goals with 21, and she has nine assists for 51 points. She will go head-to-head with Notre Dame's freshman phenom (and second-leading point scorer) Melissa Henderson. Henderson currently has 17 goals and one assist for 35 points despite playing less than 49 minutes per game. She scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the BIG EAST Championship final and added Notre Dame's fourth goal against Toledo. Henderson has notched at least one point in five of Notre Dame's last six contests (5G-1A-11P).
Irish In The NCAA Championship
Notre Dame is competing in the NCAA Championship for the 16th time, dating back to the 1993 season. The Irish are one of three schools to win multiple national titles (1995, 2004), joining North Carolina and Portland.
Notre Dame now holds the second-longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Championship berths with 16, trailing only North Carolina (27) in that category. The Irish and Tar Heels also remain the only teams to have reached the final-32 or further in every NCAA Championship since 1993.
The Irish are 36-3-0 (.923) all-time at home in NCAA tournament games, with a 131-22 scoring margin in those contests.
Notre Dame holds an all-time record of 45-13-1 (.771) in NCAA postseason play.
The Irish senior class is 17-0 all-time in postseason games (BIG EAST/NCAA) at Alumni Field, shutting out 13 of those 17 opponents.
The Irish senior class is 13-3 all-time in NCAA postseason games.
The Irish return nine players who were in the starting lineup for last season's NCAA College Cup semifinal against Florida State (3-2 loss on goal in 72nd minute).
The Irish enter the NCAAs with their first-ever unbeaten and untied record, but their fifth unbeaten record in the past 15 seasons (also 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2006).
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls on Sept. 16 (unanimous in this week's NSCAA balloting), with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina's Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).
Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season's first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).
Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 90-6-3 (.924) as the nation's top-ranked squad. As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year's media guide). This year's women's soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women's basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span.
One Tough Slate
Lest anyone think Notre Dame hasn't earned its place atop the polls, just take a look at the Irish schedule this season.
Notre Dame has seven wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke, at No. 17/16 Penn State, at No. 17/16 Georgetown, vs. No. 24/18 Rutgers, and vs. No. NR/25 Marquette), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the UNC, Duke, PSU and GU games all coming away from home.
And it's not like the Irish have experience playing SCU, UNC and Duke in a row, having last seen those three powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the same regular season, let alone in a row, since 1999). The 1-0 win at North Carolina on Sept. 5 was even more noteworthy, as it marked just the seventh time the Tar Heels had ever been shut out at home, and only the fifth time by a Division I team. One of those five was a 0-0 tie (Duke), while the other four were 1-0 losses, two at the hands of Notre Dame (the other came in the '95 NCAA semifinals at Fetzer Field, leading to the first of two Irish national championships).
Numbers Don't Lie
To get a clearer picture of just how dominating Notre Dame has been through 22 games this season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have put up.
Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 77-10 margin with 14 shutouts this year. As of Nov. 12, the Irish also were second in the nation in scoring offense (3.43 goals/game), as well as fourth in goals-against average (0.38) and fourth in shutout percentage (0.667).
The Irish also allowed just 56 opponent shots on goal all year (21 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame's goals). By comparison, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has 51 shots on goal all by herself.
Together, the Irish have registered 264 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 163 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame has a sizeable 154-43 edge in corner kicks to boot.
Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have trailed for a grand total of 1:59 this season (59:06-61:05 vs. Marquette on Oct. 5) and have led for 1,398:37 of 1,993:56 minutes this season (70.1% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half or OT seven times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul, 1-1 vs. Marquette, 2-2 at Villanova, 0-0 vs. Connecticut) for a combined total of 148:15.
The One And Only
At 22-0-0, Notre Dame remains the lone unbeaten and untied team left in Division I women's soccer and one of only two across all three NCAA divisions (entering Sunday). At Division II, Grand Valley State (21-0-0) is the only other NCAA school still perfect thus far.
Now That's How You Bounce Back
Since beginning last season with that tough 3-4-1 start, the Irish are 38-1-1 in their last 40 games overall, with the only loss coming to No. 14 Florida State (3-2) in last year's NCAA College Cup semifinals, and the lone tie occurring at No. 12 West Virginia (1-1) in the '07 BIG EAST tournament final (WVU won the title on penalty kicks, 5-3).
With a victory over Toledo on Friday night, Notre Dame matched the best 40-game stretch in school history (38-1-1), previously set from Oct. 2, 2005-Dec. 1, 2006.
We're Kind Of Used To This, Too
Notre Dame's current 22-game winning streak is the second-longest run in school history (longest in the 10-year Randy Waldrum era) and longest since the school-record 24-game streak from Oct. 19, 1995-Oct. 11, 1996. The current streak also marks the sixth consecutive season in which the Irish have reeled off at least 12 victories in a row. Prior to this year's success string, the longest run in that span (dating back to 2003) had been a 15-game winning streak to kick off the 2004 national championship season.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 17-3-8 (.750) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since '99) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame went to OT for the first time this season on Oct. 12, taking a 3-2 win at Villanova on a "golden goal" by sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin at 96:58.
Notre Dame's second OT win of the season came this past Sunday, when, once again at exactly 96:58, Melissa Henderson scored to secure the 2008 BIG EAST Championship for the Irish. It marked the first "golden goal" in BIG EAST title-game history.
Getting The Jump On The Competition
Notre Dame's quick start this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to either the first or second half.
In 14 of their 22 games, the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play (including six in the opening 10 minutes), with an own goal against Cincinnati exactly 1:00 into the Nov. 2 BIG EAST quarterfinal being the fastest strike of the season. That marked the second-fastest goal in Notre Dame's storied postseason history, not to mention the fourth-fastest of the Randy Waldrum era (since '99).
The last time the Irish got on the board quicker than the Cincinnati game was on Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).
Strong Out Of The Blocks
Notre Dame is off to the best start in program history (22-0-0), with this year marking the completion of the first unbeaten and untied regular season in school history (18-0-0). That debut also eclipses the 16-0-0 start by the 2000 Irish squad during the second season for head coach Randy Waldrum at Notre Dame.
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Following last Sunday's win over Connecticut, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 52-game unbeaten streak (50-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition (second-longest in NCAA Division I history) dating back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year's BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie). Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 123-8-4 (.926) all-time in regular-season conference games, 32-2-1 (.929) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 682-81 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in '95. What's more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 87-game home unbeaten streak (86-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).
Dude, We're Going Streaking
With its 3-0 win at home over South Florida on Oct. 3, Notre Dame set a new school record for consecutive regular-season victories, with an active winning streak at 28 games heading into next season. The last time the Irish dropped a regular-season contest was more than a year ago (Sept. 23, 2007) when they gave up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss to 14th-ranked Penn State at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame's 28-game regular-season unbeaten streak also is tied for the third-longest in school history. In fact, it should be noted that, except for a 16-day stretch last September when the Irish lost four times in six games (twice in OT), Notre Dame has not dropped a regular-season game dating back the middle of the 2005 season.
Spreading The Wealth
In an early example of the incredible depth of this year's Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since '99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).
For the season, a record-setting 18 different Irish players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal. Senior center back Carrie Dew is the most recent goal scorer, as she gave the Irish a 1-0 lead versus Toledo in Notre Dame's 5-2 win on Friday night. In addition, Notre Dame has set a school record with 21 different point scorers this season, with senior forward Kerry Inglis becoming the newest point scorer behind a two-goal afternoon against Seton Hall on Oct. 26.
The previous Irish single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996 (in a 26-game season).
No Soup For You
For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when No. 12/11 Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.
The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program's first national championship.
No Shots For You, Either
Notre Dame held South Florida without a single shot in a 3-0 win on Oct. 3. It marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (vs. Rutgers) that the Irish defense didn't yield a shot.
Hanks = History
With each passing game, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks reaches more career milestones in the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in women's college soccer history.
On Sept. 19 at DePaul, Hanks' second-half goal was the 70th of her career, making her the fourth D-I player to amass 70 goals and 60 assists (others are North Carolina's Mia Hamm, Notre Dame's Jenny Streiffer and UC Santa Barbara's Carin Jennings).
Hanks currently stands in eighth place on the Division I career points list with 234 points (82G-70A) following her two assists against Toledo on Friday. Her goal and assist against No. 24/18 Rutgers on Oct. 24 moved Hanks past former U.S. National Team player and coach (and North Carolina standout) April Heinrichs (1983-86), while also pulling even with former Penn State and U.S. National Team player Christie Welsh for 14th on the Division I career goals chart.
The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in '06; 21 in '07), Hanks joined the historic 70G-70A club with her two assist night versus Toledo, a landmark achievement that only two players (Hamm and Streiffer) in the history of Division I women's soccer have managed to attain (and neither got beyond 72G-72A).
One After The Other After The Other
Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks is in the midst of one of the most productive runs of her brilliant career and arguably one of best in NCAA Division I annals.
Against Seton Hall on October 26, the Allen, Texas, native had her school-record 11-game goalscoring streak snapped (she did have a goal waved off due to an offsides call), ending what is tied for the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I history, a spot she shares with former Hartford player Maria Kun (1997) and one goal longer than the 10-game streaks by notables such as current U.S. National Team standouts Abby Wambach (2001 at Florida) and Christie (Pearce) Rampone (1996 at Monmouth).
Although her goalscoring streak might have ended, Hanks still has an active career-long 16-game point-scoring streak, breaking the school record set by Hanks' former teammate and current Canadian National Team member Katie Thorlakson from Oct. 14-Nov. 25, 2005 (the final 14 games of Thorlakson's career).
Despite missing last weekend's BIG EAST semifinal and final wins over Marquette and Connecticut, Hanks' streak remains intact after recording two assists against Toledo in her return to the Irish lineup. The Irish had a semi-similar situation occur in 1999, when Anne Makinen scored twice on Sept. 5 vs. Duke, then missed four games due to duty with the Finland National Team. Upon her return, she registered points in her next 11 games from Sept. 24-Oct. 27.
Hanks Sets The Table, Too
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 74 (25G-24A) of Kerri Hanks' 234 career points (82G-70A), representing 31.6% of her points with the Irish. Her 25 goals have come on penalty kicks (14-for-15, including 7-for-8 this year), free kicks (10), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 24 assists have been via corner-kick (15) or free-kick (9) services.
Bock Stays A-Head Of The Game
Nearly half (22) of the 46 career goals -- 12th-most in school history -- scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers. That includes nine of her last 14 scores, most recently the opening goal in the Oct. 12 win at Villanova. Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.
Melissa Can't Miss
Freshman forward/BIG EAST Rookie of the Year/first-team all-BIG EAST selection Melissa Henderson is making the most of her time on the field, ranking second in the BIG EAST and tied for eighth the nation (as of Nov. 15) in goals (17) despite averaging only 48.7 minutes per game. In fact, were she to be averaging a full 90 minutes and scoring at her current pace, Henderson would have 31 goals this season, three more than the Notre Dame single-season record (28 by Kerri Hanks as a freshman in 2005), and nine more than national leader Casey Nogueira of North Carolina entering Sunday's action.
Iantorno Is One Super Sub
Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno is tied for third on the Irish with seven assists and fourth on the team with 17 points (5G-7A). All this for a player who came to Notre Dame last year as a walk-on (after reversing her original decision to attend Missouri) and had four points during her entire freshman season (on four assists).
This year, Iantorno has emerged as Notre Dame's "microwave" off the bench, heating up the minute she gets into the game. In fact, less than a minute after subbing into the Penn State game on Sept. 21, the Hinsdale, Ill., native already had chalked up an assist, taking a throw-in, driving to the left endline and whipping a cross into the box that junior forward Michele Weissenhofer buried in the back of the net.
Five days later against Louisville, Iantorno posted a three-point night (1G-1A) less than 10 minutes after coming into the game at the 31-minute mark. First, she delivered a sharp cross at the top of the box that Weissenhofer dummied for freshman midfielder Courtney Barg, who scored her first career goal (33:35). Then, senior defender Elise Weber sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by the Louisville goalkeeper and Iantorno was on the doorstep for the easy finish (40:32).
Most recently on Nov. 14, Iantorno scored Notre Dame's fifth goal versus Toledo, less than 19 minutes after returning as a second-half substitute.
Patience Pays Off For Inglis
Senior forward Kerry Inglis had to battle through four injury-plagued seasons at Notre Dame, enduring four major surgeries on her right ankle, which she initially injured on the first day of preseason practice as a freshman in 2005. She also missed the entire 2006 campaign because of the constant medical trouble, and has played in just 19 games in her college career because of the maladies.
However, Inglis' persistence, faith and determination were rewarded on Senior Day (Oct. 26) against Seton Hall, when she earned the first starting assignment of her career. Not content with just enjoying the specter of being in the lineup, Inglis promptly went out and scored the first goal of her career at 11:18 of the first half, knocking home a crossing pass from classmate Brittany Bock.
As if that weren't enough, Inglis tacked on a second goal in the game, scoring with 5:36 left after collecting a loose ball in the penalty box and poking it into the right side of the net.
The Irish senior class ranks among the most successful in the country, with a four-year record to date of 88-9-3 (.895) that includes three NCAA quarterfinal berths, two trips to the NCAA College Cup and a run to the 2006 national title game. Notre Dame's Class of 2009 also has a 53-1-2 (.964) record against BIG EAST opponents and has been ranked either first or second in the nation in each of their four years (including No. 1 rankings in 2005, 2006 and 2008).
Our Fearless Leader
Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone on Sept. 21 at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum became the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins -- he now has a record of 314-79-20 (.785) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).
Game #22 Recap
Toledo With two goals, Rose Augustin led the top-ranked Irish to a 5-2 win over Toledo in the first round of NCAA tournament play at Alumni Field on Friday. Carrie Dew, gave the Irish a 1-0 lead just 7:14 into the contest when she poked home a loose ball from just outside of the Toledo net, after Kerri Hanks' free-kick shot was saved but not retained by the Toledo goalkeeper. Dew become Notre Dame's record-setting 18th different player to score a goal this season.
Notre Dame achieved a two-goal cushion at 13:05 when Augustin forced a turnover in Toledo's defensive third. She gathered the loose ball and sent in a shot that beat the 'keeper low and to the left. Just over three minutes later, Hanks played the ball to Michele Weissenhofer, who then found Augustin. The sophomore midfielder promptly chipped in her second of the night, to give the Irish a commanding 3-0 lead. Hanks thus earned the 70th assist of her career to join the 70G-70A club.
The relentless Irish attack regained a three-goal cushion at 36:20 when Melissa Henderson snapped a header in off a Courtney Barg cross from six-yards, for her 17th of the season. The Irish were able to net their fifth goal of the contest when Taylor Knaack emerged from the midfield with possession and played in a cross from the right side that Erica Iantorno knocked home.
The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women's soccer history, with a 278-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 180-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 374-9-15 (.959) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
Most impressively, Notre Dame is 301-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 278 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 190 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force 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 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 Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).
You Can Put It On The Board
Notre Dame has scored a goal in 47 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 47-game goal streak is the third-longest in school history, and it's the longest since a 49-game run from Oct. 24, 2004-Oct. 8, 2006. The school record is 55 straight games with a goal from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999.
A Little Added Face Time
Notre Dame played on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Oct. 19, Notre Dame traveled to Storrs, Conn., and defeated BIG EAST rival Connecticut, 2-0, on CBS College Sports. Notre Dame's BIG EAST semifinal win over Marquette also aired live on CBS College Sports, as did last Sunday's OT victory over Connecticut. In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games were broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online's GameTracker service. Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women's soccer page at www.UND.com and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar. Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women's soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing "2".
The Golden Girls
Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf ('98) and Shannon Boxx ('99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal. The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis ('10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis' career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the '00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson ('32).
Fowlkes Tapped For U.S. U-20 Team
Sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes is one of 20 players who have been named to the final roster for the United States Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team, it was announced Oct. 27 by head coach Tony DiCicco. Fowlkes and her American teammates have arrived in Chile to compete in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, slated for Nov. 19-Dec. 7.
Fowlkes previously was part of the U.S. U-20 squad that qualified for the World Cup back in June after finishing second at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico. Because of her national team commitments, Fowlkes will miss the balance of the 2008 postseason at Notre Dame. She has appeared in 18 games for the Irish this year, starting six times, with her lone goal being the gamewinner in a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sept. 7 at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Fowlkes continues a strong tradition of Notre Dame players on the U.S. U-20 World Cup Team (and its predecessors at the U-19 level). Current Irish senior co-captains Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew 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. Another Notre Dame senior, All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks, played for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U19 Women's World Championships, helping the Americans to the title in 2002 (defeating host Canada, 1-0 in OT in the final) and a third-place finish in 2004 in Thailand. In the `04 third-place game, Hanks scored the opening goal for the U.S. on a free kick in the 21st minute.
Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad (including the new Irish soccer stadium tentatively set for completion in June 2009), parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans may ride the complimentary shuttle bus from the Eck Stadium lot, or walk around the north end of Eck Stadium (behind the left-field wall) before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.
Next Game: NCAA Third Round
Should the Irish win on Sunday, they would play host to the winner of the Minnesota-South Dakota State second-round game in NCAA third-round play at Alumni Field on either November 21, 22 or 23 at a time to be determined. Having earned the No. 1 overall seed for this year's tournament (the third time in program history it has been so recognized and first since 2000), Notre Dame will have the chance to play at home through the first four rounds of the tournament, as long as the Irish can maintain their winning ways. The 27th annual NCAA Division I Women's College Cup will be played December 5 and 7 at WakeMed Soccer Park (formerly SAS Soccer Park) in Cary, N.C., with the national semifinals and title contest to be televised live to a national audience by ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com.