Nov. 15, 2012
NCAA Championship -- Second Round
#RV/23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-5-2 / 8-1-1 BIG EAST) vs. #10/12 Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-5-3 / 6-3-1 ACC)
DATE: November 16, 2012
No. RV/23 Irish Meet No. 10/12 Wake Forest Friday In NCAA Second Round
The Fighting Irish (14-5-2) moved on to round two with a 3-1 victory over Horizon League champion Milwaukee on Nov. 9 at Alumni Stadium. Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy scored the eventual match-winning goal seven minutes into the second half as Notre Dame rallied from an early one-goal deficit to advance.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Scouting Wake Forest
Seeded third in this quadrant of the NCAA Championship bracket, Wake Forest opened tournament play with a 4-0 pasting of Georgia Southern on Nov. 10 in Winston-Salem, N.C. After playing nearly an hour of scoreless soccer, the Demon Deacons broke through against the Eagles, with Stengel scoring twice, senior midfielder Marisa Park adding a goal and an assist and senior midfielder Kristen Meier dishing out two assists. Junior goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe didn't have a whole lot of work to do, but did stop the only shot on goal she saw to record the shutout.
Stengel leads Wake Forest in scoring this year (9G-3A), while Meier (4G-7A) is second in points and tops in assists. Junior forward Rachel Nuzzolese (5G-3A) also is an attacking presence, along with Park (3G-4A) and redshirt junior midfielder Ally Berry (3G-5A).
Bledsoe has seen the lion's share of action in the Demon Deacons' goal this year (all but 4:48), posting a 0.80 goals-against average and .763 save percentage with nine shutouts (eight solo, one shared).
Head coach Tony da Luz is in his 16th season at Wake Forest, with a 205-113-31 (.632) record in Winston-Salem. Prior to arriving at WFU, da Luz spent five seasons at San Diego and has a career coaching record of 250-154-34 (.610), including an 0-2 mark against Notre Dame (both matches coming while with at Wake Forest).
The Notre Dame-Wake Forest Series
The Last Time Notre Dame And Wake Forest Met
Notre Dame generated just as many scoring chances as it did two days earlier in a 9-1 rout of Hartford, but the Fighting Irish converted only three times, with several near-miss breakaways in the first half. Jill Krivacek opened the scoring in the final minute of the first half and Amy Warner did the same in the 90th minute, with Mary Boland also scoring in the 65th minute for the 2-0 lead.
Notre Dame held a 10-4 shot edge in both the first and second half, plus a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Erika Bohn stopped all five shots she faced to register the shutout.
Krivacek became the first member of the highly-touted 2003 freshman class to find the met, with Warner setting the sequence in motion on a pass to freshman midfielder Jen Buczkowski. The rookie playmaker then quickly moved the ball down the left endline and the 5-10 Krivacek roofed a close-range shot that ripped into the upper left netting for the halftime lead (44:34).
The opportunistic Boland scored her fourth goal of the weekend after knocking home a deflected shot from Amanda Guertin (64:13). The Fighting Irish then continued to pressure WFU until the closing horn and added a third goal in the final minute, with Boland's pass sending Warner into open space on the left side as the speedy veteran buried a crossing shot (89:50).
Other Notre Dame-Wake Forest Series Tidbits
NCAA Championship Quick Kicks
Notre Dame vs. The ACC
The Fighting Irish also are 7-8 all-time against the ACC in the NCAA Championship, with a 4-1 record against squads other than North Carolina. The last time Notre Dame faced an ACC opponent other than UNC in the NCAA Championship was Nov. 27, 2009, when the Fighting Irish posted a 2-0 win at sixth-ranked Florida State in the quarterfinals.
Four Irish Players Honored At BIG EAST Awards Banquet
Freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro took home three awards, most notably the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year trophy, becoming the first Fighting Irish recipient of the award since Melissa Henderson in 2008. Roccaro also was a first-team all-BIG EAST and BIG EAST All-Rookie Team selection, according to a vote of the conference's 15 head coaches.
Freshman defender Katie Naughton and freshman forward Crystal Thomas were double honorees, with both making the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team in addition to earning all-conference accolades (Thomas was a second-team choice, while Naughton was a third-team selection). Together with Roccaro, they gave Notre Dame three BIG EAST All-Rookie Team picks in the same year for the first time since 2000, when Amanda Guertin, Randi Scheller and Amy Warner represented the Fighting Irish on the BIG EAST's rookie squad.
Rounding out this year's Notre Dame honorees was junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish, who garnered second-team all-conference status for the second consecutive season. As a group, the Fighting Irish had four all-conference selections, their best showing since 2010, when five Notre Dame players took home all-BIG EAST plaques.
Hight (8-4-1, 0.62 GAA, 4.1 ShO, .855 save percentage) earned the starting nod for the first eight matches of the year, posting a 4-3-1 record while recording one shutout (sharing a second with Voigt), and tallying a win and a tie in four contests against ranked opponents (2-1 vs. No. 24/16 Santa Clara on Aug. 31; 1-1 at No. 19/18 Portland on Sept. 7).
Voigt (6-1-1, 0.85 GAA, 3.2 ShO, .708 save percentage) took over at halftime of the team's 2-1 win over Louisville on Sept. 14 in its BIG EAST opener and would hold on to the starting spot for the next eight matches, logging a 6-1-1 record with three solo shutouts (and a shared clean sheet with freshman Naomi Willett) and a scoreless streak of 355:40 that ended early in a 2-2 draw with Rutgers on Oct. 7.
Hight regained the starting goalkeeper role at Villanova on Oct. 14 and posted three consecutive solo shutouts since returning between the pipes, defeating Villanova, DePaul and Syracuse by identical 1-0 scores (the DePaul victory coming in double overtime on Oct. 19), before dropping a 1-0 decision to No. 15/10 Marquette in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Nov. 2 in East Hartford, Conn. She then rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Milwaukee in her NCAA Championship debut on Nov. 9 at Alumni Stadium, allowing just a first-half penalty kick goal by the Panthers.
What's more, the goal Hight allowed to Marquette's Ally Miller was the first yielded by the rookie netminder in 473:38, dating back to a goal to Washington's Jaclyn Softli on Sept. 9. Hight was unblemished in all four regular-season matches against BIG EAST opponents (0.00 GAA, 2.0 ShO, 10 saves), but she did not qualify for the BIG EAST goals-against average or save percentage titles as she did not play in at least half (five) of her team's conference matches ths year, thus denying Hight the chance to challenge former Notre Dame netminder Nikki Weiss for the BIG EAST's single-season GAA record in league play (0.15 in 2009).
Nevertheless, Hight currently ranks second in the BIG EAST and 24th nationally in save percentage (.855), while also ranking second in the conference and 20th in the nation in GAA (0.62).
Match #21 Recap: Milwaukee (NCAA Championship First Round)
Notre Dame held an 18-3 shot advantage over the Panthers, including a 13-2 edge during the second half. The Fighting Irish put nine of those attempts on net, compared to only two for Milwaukee.
The match was tight in the opening minutes, as Notre Dame (14-5-2) registered three shots, two that were stopped by Panther goalkeeper Jaime Forbes (8-9-1). Milwaukee broke through for the first time in the 28th minute after Helen Steinhauser was fouled in the box by Fighting Irish freshman defender Katie Naughton to draw a penalty kick. Steinhauser then buried her attempt from the spot to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Notre Dame countered with the equalizer in the 44th minute. Naughton headed in a beautiful corner kick off the foot of fellow freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden from six yards out to square the match at 1-1.
The Fighting Irish took their first lead of the match seven minutes into the second half. Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy drove home a deflected ball in the box past Forbes for the 2-1 advantage. Notre Dame added an insurance tally in the 90th minute, as freshman forward Crystal Thomas finished a through-ball from junior midfielder/tri-captain Mandy Laddish for the final margin.
In her NCAA Championship debut, freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight was called upon to make just one save, while Forbes kept her team in contention with six stops.
Beyond The Box Score: Milwaukee
Giving Cancer A Swift Kick
The Notre Dame players wore special gold jerseys with a pink ribbon insignia for the match. These limited edition jerseys, which were designed for the Fighting Irish by Notre Dame's official athletics apparel provider, adidas, recently were up for public bidding through the official Fighting Irish athletics auctions web site (UND.com/auctions), with the on-line bidding ending Oct. 31.
While the final donation totals are still to be calculated, it is estimated that the Fighting Irish will have raised more than $5,000 for local and national breast cancer charities.
Meet The (Not So) #BabyIrish
Not only did the hashtag pay tribute to the median age of his team, but Waldrum also used the term to refer to the (sometimes painful) growing process that the Notre Dame squad is going through this season.
Although he knew his team had to crawl before it can walk, Waldrum insisted that he didn't plan to keep the hashtag for long. Thus, with Notre Dame's late-season surge (unbeaten in 10 of its last 11 matches) and return to the Top 25 in the national polls (currently 24th in the Soccer America poll), the Fighting Irish coach has been more than willing to lift the social media moniker, or at least trade it in for a more adolescent version (he continues to remain open to suggestions through his Twitter account, @NDCoachWaldrum).
The ongoing goal of the #BabyIrish hashtag is see his charges continue developing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the point where they're just the #Irish by the end of the 2012 campaign.
World (Cup) Champions
Both Notre Dame players were on the pitch when the final whistle sounded, signifying the Americans' third title since this tournament began as the FIFA Under-19 World Championship in 2002. Four-time Fighting Irish All-America forward and two-time Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks ('08) was one of the youngest members (at age 17) of that victorious 2002 U.S. side (that defeated host Canada in the final), while Lauren Fowlkes ('11) helped the United States win the 2008 U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile, downing North Korea in the title match.
Similar to Hanks in 2002, Roccaro was the second-youngest player on this year's American roster, but hardly showed her age, emerging as a mainstay for the United States at center back. She appeared in five of the Americans' six matches at this year's U-20 World Cup, starting four times and helping the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record that included three shutouts, most notably over Nigeria (2-0) and Germany (1-0) in the semifinals and championship match. The Stars & Stripes also had to battle through a 2-1 extra-time victory over North Korea in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Laddish proved to be a vital second-half substitute for the United States, coming off the bench to lend support in three matches, including the semifinal win over Nigeria and the title match victory against Germany. She becomes the second Fighting Irish player ever to earn both a U-20 Women's World Cup title and an NCAA national championship, having joined Fowlkes as a member of the title-winning 2010 Notre Dame squad.
In addition to Laddish, Roccaro, Hanks and Fowlkes, the Fighting Irish have been represented at two other U-20 Women's World Cups. In 2004, Hanks deferred her enrollment at Notre Dame to help the United States to a third-place finish in Thailand, scoring the opening goal in the third-place match. Two years later, a pair of future Notre Dame All-Americans, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock ('09) and defender Carrie Dew ('09), donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).
The 2-0 Guarantee
In fact, just two of the past 229 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a draw, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (ND won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at old Alumni Field (ND won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (ND won 3-2 in OT).
Three ... Is The Magic Number
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Last year, the Fighting Irish tied two school records by going to extra time on five occasions (also in 2001 and 2007) and registering three draws (also in 1991 and 2001).
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy became the first current Notre Dame player to score an overtime goal, netting the match-winner with 4:52 left in the second extra session at DePaul. It was the first overtime victory for the Fighting Irish since Nov. 6, 2009, when Jessica Schuveiller headed home the "golden goal" off a cross from Rose Augustin at 98:42 to beat St. John's in the BIG EAST semifinals at Storrs, Conn.
Bohaboy's goal at DePaul also was the latest Notre Dame match-winning score (105:08) since Sept. 21, 2001, when Amy Warner's goal at 114:11 defeated Villanova, 2-1 at old Alumni Field (matches featured 15-minute overtime periods during that era).
Any Given Sunday
Still, the Fighting Irish own a 46-7-6 (.831) record in their last 59 contests when closing out the weekend (usually on the back end of a two-match set), dating back to September 2007 (when Notre Dame lost three consecutive Sunday matches to nationally-ranked Stanford, Oklahoma State and Penn State, all by 2-1 scores and the first two in overtime).
Our Fearless Leader
A two-time National Coach of the Year (2009 by Soccer America, 2010 by NSCAA), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to eight NCAA College Cups, five NCAA finals and two national championships (2004 and 2010). He also is second in NCAA Division I history with eight College Cup appearances and five title-match berths in his storied career.
Oh Captain, My Captain
In an interesting twist illustrating the youth on the current Fighting Irish roster, this year's captains also represent three of just four active Notre Dame players who earned a 2010 NCAA national championship ring (the other is junior forward/midfielder Rebecca Twining).
Coming Soon: Irish in the ACC
The change in conference affiliation (for which a timetable has not yet been established) will be the first for Notre Dame since 1995, when the Fighting Irish moved from the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) to the BIG EAST Conference.
In its 18 seasons in the BIG EAST, the Notre Dame women's soccer program has been the conference's flagship, winning 13 regular-season titles and 11 postseason crowns, along with three NCAA national championships. The Fighting Irish also currently hold a 146-11-9 (.907) regular-season conference record since joining the BIG EAST in 1995.
Next Up: NCAA Third Round