Nov. 19, 2010
NCAA Championship -- Third Round
#7/10 [#4 seed] Notre Dame Fighting Irish (17-2-2 / 9-0-2 BIG EAST) vs. #3/4 North Carolina Tar Heels (19-2-2 / 8-2-0 ACC)
DATE: November 20, 2010
TIME: 5:00 p.m. ET
AT: Chapel Hill, N.C. - Fetzer Field (5,700)
SERIES: UNC leads 12-4-2
1ST MTG: UNC 3-0 (10/15/93)
LAST MTG: UNC 1-0 (12/4/09)
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No. 7/10 Irish Head To No. 3/4 North Carolina For NCAA Third-Round Match
The two winningest women's college soccer programs of the past two decades will add another chapter to their ongoing rivalry this weekend when No. 7/10 Notre Dame travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on third-ranked North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA Championship at 5 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Fetzer Field.
The Fighting Irish (17-2-2) booked their seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA round-of-16, and 10th in the 12-year Randy Waldrum era, with a dominating 4-0 win over 22nd-ranked USC in the second round of the NCAA Championship last Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
Senior co-captain Lauren Fowlkes chalked up a goal and two assists to lead a balanced Notre Dame attack in the victory. Senior Rose Augustin, junior Melissa Henderson and freshman Adriana Leon also scored for the Fighting Irish, supporting a strong defensive effort (including three saves from senior Nikki Weiss) that led to their 12th shutout of the year.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
On the opening weekend of the NCAA Championship, during a time when all other No. 4 tournament seeds were dismissed for the winter, Notre Dame (17-2-2) looked like anything but a fourth seed, rolling to a pair of convincing wins over New Mexico (3-0) and No. 22 USC (4-0) at Alumni Stadium. As a result, the Fighting Irish are back in the NCAA round-of-16 for the seventh consecutive season and the 10th time in the 12-year Randy Waldrum era.
Senior co-captain Lauren Fowlkes moved up to the front line last weekend and responded with an eight-point effort (3G-2A). Joining her along the revamped Notre Dame attack brigade are junior Melissa Henderson (16G-8A) and senior Rose Augustin (10G-8A), both of whom earned first-team all-BIG EAST honors and are prime All-America candidates this season.
On defense, the Fighting Irish are led by junior co-captain (and two-time all-BIG EAST defender) Jessica Schuveiller, who has started all 74 matches in her career, and senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss, who has a career-best 17-2-2 record and a 0.53 goals-against average along with seven solo shutouts.
Scouting North Carolina
North Carolina (19-2-2) comes into Saturday's match following home wins over Jackson State (5-0) and James Madison (3-1) in the first two rounds of this year's NCAA Championship.
Freshman forward Kealia Ohai has a team-high 14 goals this season, while junior forward Courtney Jones has 11 goals and a team-best 14 assists to lead the Tar Heels' prolific offense, which has potted 72 goals (3.13/match) this season.
The UNC defense is led by sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Daly, who has appeared in 21 matches and owns a 10-1-1 record with a 0.73 goals-against average and one solo shutout (the Tar Heels have rotated four netminders this season).
Head coach Anson Dorrance is in his 32nd season at North Carolina with a 715-38-24 (.936) record, including a 12-4-2 mark against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-North Carolina Series
Saturday's match will be the 19th meeting in the Notre Dame-North Carolina series, with the Tar Heels holding a 12-4-2 edge over the Fighting Irish. However, Notre Dame is 3-1 against UNC at Fetzer Field and has defeated the Tar Heels on their last two visits to Chapel Hill (3-2 in the 2007 NCAA round-of-16; 1-0 in the 2008 regular season).
The teams also are meeting for the 10th time in NCAA Championship play, and the fifth consecutive season. UNC is 7-2 against Notre Dame in NCAA tourney matches, having knocked the Fighting Irish out of the Championship in three of the previous four seasons, each by a single goal (2-1 in 2006 College Cup final; 2-1 in 2008 College Cup final; 1-0 in 2009 College Cup semifinal).
Last year's national semifinal in College Station, Texas, was the teams' most recent matchup, with Notre Dame going toe-to-toe with the Tar Heels before Casey Nogueira netted the lone score with 7:58 to play. Goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made a (then) career-high six saves for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame vs. The ACC
Notre Dame has faced 10 of the 12 current Atlantic Coast Conference members through the years, fashioning a combined 38-19-3 (.658) record against those programs (including a 17-1 record against the three former BIG EAST schools now in the ACC -- Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech).
The Fighting Irish also are 10-4 (.714) against ACC teams on their campuses (3-1 against UNC in Chapel Hill), and also have a 7-8 (.467) record against the ACC in NCAA Championship play (2-7 vs. North Carolina, 5-1 against the rest of the league).
NCAA Championship Quick Kicks
Match #21 Recap: USC (NCAA Second Round)
Senior forward/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes tallied a goal and two assists to lead a balanced Notre Dame attack, and the No. 7/10 Fighting Irish rocked 22nd-ranked USC with a pair of goals inside the opening 10 minutes, charging to a 4-0 victory in the second round of the NCAA Championship on a bright and brisk Nov. 14 afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Fowlkes capped off a sensational weekend with her four-point day, giving her a combined eight points (3G-2A) in the first two rounds of this year's NCAA tournament. Junior forward Melissa Henderson also enjoyed a multi-point afternoon with her team-leading 16th goal and career-high eighth assist of the season, while senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin and freshman forward Adriana Leon bracketed the day's scoring, and senior defender Julie Scheidler punctuated a strong all-around effort with a first-half assist.
For the second consecutive match, Notre Dame's goalkeepers split the shutout, as senior Nikki Weiss went the first 83:15 before giving way to sophomore Maddie Fox. Weiss made three saves, and Fox was not called upon to make a stop as the Fighting Irish chalked up their 12th clean sheet of the season. Shelby Church went the distance for USC and was credited with four saves.
Notre Dame (17-2-2) held a 16-13 shot edge on the Trojans, a margin that was somewhat deceiving due to USC pushing up additional attackers later in the match and having numerous shots blocked by the Fighting Irish defense before they could become true threats. Notre Dame also had an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal, and a 3-2 margin in corner kicks, while the Trojans were called for nine of the 16 fouls (and both yellow cards) in the match.
Six Irish Nab All-BIG EAST Honors
For the seventh consecutive season, Notre Dame fielded the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Year, with junior forward Melissa Henderson earning this year's award as part of the BIG EAST's annual awards banquet that was held Nov. 4 in Somerset, N.J.
Henderson also was one of six Fighting Irish players who received individual conference accolades this season, joining senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin as Notre Dame's first-team all-BIG EAST selections in 2010. The two Fighting Irish center backs and co-captains, senior Lauren Fowlkes and junior Jessica Schuveiller, garnered second-team all-conference citations, while freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker was a third-team all-BIG EAST honoree. In addition, Tucker and midfielder Mandy Laddish were chosen for this year's BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
Trio Of Irish Earn Academic All-District Honors
Three Notre Dame women's soccer players -- senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes, senior forward/midfielder Erica Iantorno and junior midfielder Molly Campbell -- were named ESPN Academic All-District V selections, it was announced Nov. 2 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Fowlkes was chosen as a first-team academic all-district honoree for the second consecutive year, and she advanced to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Both Iantorno and Campbell were second-team academic all-district selections, with Campbell earning her second citation in as many years (she was a first-team choice in 2009) and Iantorno making the squad for the first time.
Fowlkes currently is enrolled in Notre Dame's College of Science, where she has compiled a 3.657 cumulative GPA as a science-business major, was named to the dean's list in the fall of 2007 (3.804 semester GPA) and is a three-time BIG EAST All-Academic Team selection.
Iantorno presently is enrolled in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters, where she has registered a 3.677 cumulative GPA as an English major. What's more, she was named to the dean's list in the spring of 2009 after amassing a 3.867 semester GPA.
Campbell also is studying in the College of Arts and Letters, where she has recorded a 3.642 cumulative GPA as a political science major.
No signs of Billy, Jane, Michael or Sydney, but this season, Notre Dame has taken on the look of Mel-Rose Place. Specifically, the offensive duo of junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin have combined for more than half (26) of the 47 Fighting Irish goals and 68 of 132 points through 21 matches.
Henderson A Trend Setter
If you're looking to spot a trend in Notre Dame's success during the past three seasons, look no further than junior forward Melissa Henderson. Since the Garland, Texas, native arrived in South Bend, she has scored 51 goals (third-most among active Division I players, and 11th in school history) and added 15 assists, good for 117 career points (16th in school history).
This season, Henderson is once again among the national offensive leaders, ranking sixth nationally in points (40), points per match (1.9) and goals (16), as well as seventh in goals per match (0.76) coming into this weekend's action. She also has distributed a career-high eight assists in 2010, topping her combined total of seven helpers during her first two seasons at Notre Dame.
These markers have been particularly valuable to Fighting Irish fortunes. In fact, during Henderson's career, Notre Dame is 34-0-2 when she scores a goal, something she's done in 13 matches this year, including nine of the past 12 outings. The Fighting Irish also are 41-0-2 all-time when Henderson tallies a point, which she has done in 16 matches this year and 23 of the past 31 contests, dating back to last season.
Quickstrike Offense, Part I
Junior forward Melissa Henderson and senior forward Rose Augustin scored 47 seconds apart (at 23:51 and 24:38) midway through the first half of the Sept. 5 win over Texas Tech at Alumni Stadium. It was the fastest two-goal flurry for Notre Dame since Sept. 28, 2008, at Cincinnati, when Henderson scored 33 seconds after Courtney Rosen found the back of the net.
Quickstrike Offense, Part II
Junior forward Melissa Henderson's goal just 1:11 in Notre Dame's win at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 12 was the fastest opening tally by the Fighting Irish since Dec. 7, 2008, when Kerri Hanks scored only 16 seconds into the NCAA national championship match against North Carolina in Cary, N.C. (setting an NCAA College Cup record in the process).
Henderson's goal against LMU also was the sixth-fastest opening score in the 12-year Randy Waldrum era (1999-present).
Getting The Jump On The Opposition
In 10 matches this season, Notre Dame has scored the opening goal inside the first 15 minutes of play.
In addition, the Fighting Irish have scored within the opening 30 minutes in 15 of their last 19 matches, after waiting until the second half to find the back of the net in their first two contests of the year.
Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents have chosen the third option. In fact, the Fighting Irish have led or been tied for 1,876:59 of 1,934:02 minutes this season (97.1% of the elapsed game time). The only times Notre Dame has trailed this season were for 25:06 (19:09-44:15) at No. 13 UCLA on Sept. 10, and for 31:56 (58:04-90:00) against Connecticut on Oct. 31.
Department of Defense
Notre Dame opened this season with four consecutive shutouts, marking the second time in three years (just the third time in school history) that the Fighting Irish have started with four clean sheets. The other instances occurred in 1995 (eight in a row) and 2008 (four in a row).
This season, Notre Dame has allowed just 12 goals (two of which were own-goals), entering the weekend, it ranked 12th in the nation in goals-against average (0.53) and 10th in shutout percentage (0.57/match).
Looking at the larger picture, Notre Dame has allowed 0-1 goals in 33 of its last 36 matches, dating back to Oct. 4, 2009, at Pittsburgh. Prior to a 2-1 overtime loss at 13th-ranked UCLA on Sept. 10, the Fighting Irish had a 19-match streak of allowing one goal or fewer, the fifth-longest streak in school history and their longest since Oct. 25, 2002-Oct. 26, 2003, when the Fighting Irish yielded a goal or fewer in 24 consecutive matches.
During this current 36-match defensive run (which coincided with the installation of senior Nikki Weiss as Notre Dame's full-time starting goalkeeper), the Fighting Irish are 30-3-3 with 22 shutouts (14 solo and eight shared by Weiss), an 85-19 scoring margin and a 0.52 goals-against average (GAA).
In the program's 23-year history, Notre Dame is 406-10-17 (.957) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
ND Seniors Among Nation's Best
The 2010 Notre Dame senior class currently is second only to its North Carolina counterpart as the most successful group in the country on the basis of total victories, with a four-year record to date of 83-12-5 (.855) that includes three consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup and an appearance in the 2008 national title match.
The .855 winning percentage compiled by the Fighting Irish seniors is fourth-best on the national scene.
And Juniors Aren't Half Bad Either
Like their senior teammates, the Fighting Irish juniors are among the national leaders in total wins by the Class of 2011, trailing only Stanford and North Carolina with a three-year record to date of 64-7-3 (.885), including two trips to the NCAA College Cup and a berth in the 2008 title match. The Notre Dame junior class also currently ranks fourth in the nation with an .885 winning percentage.
That record could be even more impressive when one considers that three of those seven losses occurred in a nine-day span (Sept. 4-13) last season. The only other losses were late-game one-goal setbacks to North Carolina in the past two College Cups (2-1 in the '08 final, 1-0 in the '09 semifinals) and earlier this season at 13th-ranked UCLA (2-1 in OT on Sept. 10) and against Connecticut (2-0 on Oct. 31 in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals), along with a 0-0 draw at Pittsburgh last year (a match in which Notre Dame outshot the Panthers, 25-7) and 1-1 draws this season at Connecticut and Georgetown.
Part of Notre Dame's success this season can be traced to the poised and rapidly maturing play of its freshmen, four of whom are now among the starting XI for the Fighting Irish.
Midfielders Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker both collected BIG EAST Conference All-Rookie Team honors this season, having earned starting nods in virtually every match this season (Laddish all 21, Tucker 19). Laddish ranks fourth on the team in total minutes (1,799) by a field player, while Tucker (who also was a third-team all-conference pick and a two-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week selection) is third on the team -- and tops among all conference freshmen -- with seven goals, three assists and 17 points, while standing second on the team with four game-winning goals (all of those marks are among the top 10 in the BIG EAST).
On Sept. 12 at Loyola Marymount, defender Kecia Morway became the third rookie in the starting lineup (she has gotten the call 15 times this season), while forward Adriana Leon got her first starting nod on Oct. 1 vs. Syracuse. Leon, who has started six times to date, has three goals this season, most recently capping last Sunday's 4-0 win over 22nd-ranked USC with a score in the 71st minute.
Meanwhile, Morway and Laddish played a significant role in Notre Dame's NCAA Championship first-round win over New Mexico, each earning an assist on one of Lauren Fowlkes' second-half goals. For Morway, it was her first career point.
One other Notre Dame freshman note: during the final 10 minutes of the first half at Northwestern on Sept. 19, the Fighting Irish had five freshmen on the pitch at the same time, as starters Laddish, Tucker and Morway were joined by Leon and midfielder Rebecca Twining, the latter of whom was making her college debut.
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 18 of its last 19 matches on Sunday (16-1-2), having its 17-match unbeaten streak snapped with the Oct. 31 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals. Still, the Fighting Irish own a 35-3-3 (.890) record in the past 41 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).
Irish Were Thinking Pink In October
Following the success of this past spring's jersey auction at the Mexico exhibition match to benefit Camp Whatcha-Wanna-Do (which raised nearly $3,000 for the Fort Wayne camp for children with cancer), the Notre Dame women's soccer team once again gave fans the shirts off their backs.
During its home matches against Seton Hall and Rutgers on the weekend of Oct. 8-10, the Fighting Irish wore special white/pink uniforms to support Kicks Against Breast Cancer, a national soccer initiative to raise funds for breast cancer research. From Sept. 24-Oct. 11, fans had the opportunity to bid on these autographed, game-worn jerseys by going to the official Notre Dame athletics auction web site at www.UND.com/auctions.
Proceeds from this auction (which topped $5,000) will go directly to Kicks Against Breast Cancer. For more information on this worthwhile cause, visit www.kicksagainstbreastcancer.org.
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 25 of their last 26 at home, outscoring their opponents, 69-8 in that span while recording 20 shutouts. Notre Dame also had a 23-match home winning streak before it was snapped on Oct. 31 with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals.
Streaks For The Ages
All good things must come to an end, and with a 2-0 loss to Connecticut on Oct. 31 in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals, Notre Dame saw its NCAA Division I-record 77-match unbeaten streak (72-0-5) against BIG EAST opposition stopped.
This incredible run dated back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the ties were scoreless draws at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 4, 2009), and 1-1 deadlocks at No. 12 West Virginia in the 2007 BIG EAST final (won by the Mountaineers on penalties, 5-3, but the result is recorded as a tie), as well as this season at Connecticut (Oct. 15) and Georgetown (Oct. 24).
Not only was Notre Dame's conference unbeaten streak an NCAA Division I record, but it was the fourth-longest in NCAA history across all divisions.
Division III Hardin-Simmons University (Texas), is the current all-division record holder with a 114-match unbeaten streak against conference opponents, dating back to 2003 (the Cowgirls also have an active 131-match unbeaten run in regular season league play).
Since joining the BIG EAST 15 years ago, the Fighting Irish are 143-8-7 (.927) all-time in regular-season conference matches, 35-3-1 (.910) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 742-94 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in 1995.
The loss to Connecticut on Oct. 31 also ended another mammoth streak for Notre Dame, as its 15-year, 99-match home unbeaten run (98-0-1) against BIG EAST teams was stopped. UConn is still the lone conference team ever to defeat the Fighting Irish at home, having also earned a 5-4 overtime win on Oct. 6, 1995, at old Alumni Field.
During this BIG EAST home unbeaten streak (which stretched through three American presidencies and four Summer Olympics), the only result separating Notre Dame from a 99-match conference home winning streak was a 0-0 draw with Rutgers on Oct. 22, 2004, also at old Alumni Field.
Our Fearless Leader
Now in his 12th season at Notre Dame, head coach Randy Waldrum ranks fourth on the NCAA Division I all-time winning percentage list with a .790 (356-86-23) mark in his 21 years in the women's game. He also is third among active coaches for career winning percentage, while his 356 career wins rank fifth on the all-time NCAA Division I charts -- Waldrum earned his 350th career victory on Oct. 3 vs. St. John's at Alumni Stadium.
A two-time National Coach of the Year (2008 by the NSCAA, 2009 by Soccer America), Waldrum has led Notre Dame to seven NCAA College Cups, four NCAA finals and the 2004 national championship. He is second in NCAA Division I history with seven College Cup appearances and four title-game berths in his storied career.
The 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is 326-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 303 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 215 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced 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 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 (Irish 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 295-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 197-1-0 (.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 20-4-11 (.729) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since 1999) when going to an extra period or two, with the Sept. 10 loss at 13th-ranked UCLA snapping a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) in added time, dating back to the 2007 season.
Since the UCLA loss, Notre Dame has drawn twice in overtime (at Connecticut on Oct. 15 and at Georgetown on Oct. 24, both 1-1 finals), making the Fighting Irish unbeaten in nine of their last 10 extra-time contests.
Three current Notre Dame players have scored "golden goals" in their college careers -- senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Oct. 12, 2008 at Villanova), junior forward Melissa Henderson (Nov. 9, 2008 vs. Connecticut in BIG EAST final) and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller (Nov. 6, 2009 vs. St. John's in BIG EAST semifinal).
Senior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and junior defender Jessica Schuveiller have been selected to serve as Notre Dame's captains this year, according to a preseason vote of their teammates. Fowlkes is in her first season as a team captain, while Schuveiller is a second-year captain after becoming the first non-senior to wear the armband for the Fighting Irish since Amy Warner in 2002.
New Ways To Follow The Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame women's soccer program has expanded its reach this season through a number of media outlets. Most notably, the Fighting Irish have created three Twitter accounts for fans to follow the team on a daily basis -- one is operated by head coach Randy Waldrum (@NDCoachWaldrum), a second by assistant coach Ken Nuber (@NDSoccer) and a third by associate media relations director Chris Masters (@NDsoccernews).
In addition, the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) is featuring live in-game blogs for all Fighting Irish home matches this season, allowing fans to ask questions, make comments and share in the excitement of Notre Dame women's soccer right from their own computers.
These blogs, along with live in-game stats (courtesy of the CBSSports.com College Gametracker) and other special features, are available through the UND.com Women's Soccer Gameday Central page, which is posted on-line within 24 hours of each home contest.
Next Up: NCAA Quarterfinal
Should Notre Dame defeat North Carolina on Saturday, the Fighting Irish would move on to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship next weekend to play either Oklahoma State (the third seed in this quadrant of the bracket) or Duke, with those teams squaring off at 8 p.m. (ET) Friday in Stillwater, Okla. The date, time and site of that quarterfinal contest will be determined following Saturday's results.
Notre Dame and Oklahoma State have played just once in their history, with the Cowgirls earning a 2-1 overtime victory on Sept. 16, 2007, at old Alumni Field.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have squared off with Duke 12 times through the years, with Notre Dame owning an 8-3-1 series edge, including a 3-1 win in their most recent meeting on Sept. 7, 2008, at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Fighting Irish and Blue Devils also have met once before in the NCAA Championship, with Notre Dame edging Duke, 3-2 in a quarterfinal match on Nov. 30, 2007, at old Alumni Field.