Nov. 24, 2009
2009 ND Women's Soccer -- Game 25
DATE:November 27, 2009
In what is quickly developing into one of college soccer's fiercest rivalries, the Fighting Irish are set to clash with the Florida State Seminoles with a place in the 2009 College Cup at stake. It marks the fourth consecutive season in which the two teams have met in the NCAA quarterfinals or later. Notre Dame leads the all-time series with FSU, 2-1-0, winning in the 2006 national semifinals in Cary, N.C. (2-1) and the 2008 quarterfinals at Alumni Field (2-0). The Seminoles won the 2007 national semifinal encounter in College Station, Texas (3-2) and will be playing host to Notre Dame for the first time.
Seeded second in this quadrant of the bracket and ranked fifth nationally, the Irish will play in their sixth consecutive NCAA "Elite Eight" contest when they travel to Tallassee, Fla. Meanwhile, Florida State is the top seed in the quadrant and will be making its sixth trip to the NCAA's final-8 (fifth in a row).
During their current 18-game unbeaten streak, the Irish have led or been tied for nearly 99 percent of the total minutes played (all but 16:38 of 1,648:56).
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Injuries have been the primary albatross for Notre Dame this season, with senior midfielder/tri-captain Courtney Rosen (broken foot), senior midfielder Micaela Alvarez (torn ACL) and freshman forward Tereza Stastny (torn ACL) all likely sidelined for the year -- Rosen's injury occurred in the preseason. Add to that extended downtime for senior forward Michele Weissenhofer (hamstring), senior center back Haley Ford (hamstring) and freshman left back Jazmin Hall (quad), and you can understand why Irish trainer Dave Ludwig has more than earned his paycheck in 2009.
Notre Dame also battled through a brutal non-conference schedule that included top-three opponents North Carolina and Stanford, perennial power Santa Clara and up-and-coming programs Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. However, following a 3-3-0 start, the Irish have been among the nation's hottest teams, going unbeaten in their last 18 outings (17-0-1), outscoring the opposition 48-7 in that span, while locking up their 12th BIG EAST regular season title and 11th BIG EAST postseason crown.
Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (17G-5A) leads Notre Dame in scoring, while junior forward Lauren Fowlkes (10G-4A) is enjoying a breakout season, fueled in part by her move to the front line at the start of the current unbeaten streak. Junior forward Taylor Knaack (6G-5A) and junior midfielder Rose Augustin (7G-9A) also have played a significant role in the recent Irish resurgence, as has junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (13-1-1, 0.51 GAA, 6 ShO).
Scouting The Seminoles
In the double overtime defeat of Texas A&M, the Seminoles fell behind, 1-0, in the 55th minute before senior midfielder Lauren Switzer tied the game in the 65th minute, when she sent a header into the back of the net from five yards out for her second goal of the season. Then, with just over two minutes left in the second overtime stanza, sophomore forward Jessica Price scored the golden goal to complete the comeback and send the Seminoles to the quarterfinals. In the FSU net, sophomore goalkeeper Erin McNulty went the distance and made one save.
For the season, Price has led the Seminole offense with 16 goals and 10 assists for 42 points. Sophomore forward Tiffany McCarty is close behind Price, as she has totaled a team-high 17 goals as well as seven assists for 41 points. Other offensive weapons include Switzer, who has chipped in with nine assists, and senior defender/midfielder Becky Edwards, who has five goals and eight assists for 18 points. McNulty has started all 24 games for Florida State and she has posted an 18-4-1 record as well as five solo shutouts. McNulty carries a 0.83 goals against average and has made 57 saves on the year.
Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian is in his fifth season as head coach at Florida State. He has a 92-21-12 (.784) record with the Seminoles, and has led his squad to three College Cup appearances (including the program's first national title game appearance in 2007). Krikorian is 1-2 versus Notre Dame all-time, with all three games coming while at the helm of FSU. All-time, he carries a record of 260-70-18 (.773) as a head coach at the collegiate level, also including stints at Hartford and Division II Franklin Pierce.
The Notre Dame-Florida State Series
The Irish hold a 2-1 record in the teams' previous three meetings. Last season, FSU and ND clashed in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals, with the Irish earning a 2-0 home win to advance to the College Cup for the third consecutive season. Kerri Hanks assisted on both Notre Dame goals and the sturdy Irish defense was rock solid against one of the nation's most explosive offensives to secure the win. Hanks' first assist came at 18:10, as she drilled a corner kick from the left flag into the box, where defender Jessica Schuveiller rose above the pack and was able to drive home a header from short range for her first career goal. Notre Dame went ahead 2-0 at 76:06 when Hanks drove hard to the left endline and served a ball back into the six-yard box that snuck through traffic. Taylor Knaack crashed the net and was able to pounce on the loose ball to score the insurance goal. In the Irish net, goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander made two saves to help the Irish preserve their 17th shutout of the season.
In 2007, the Seminoles avenged their previous College Cup semifinal loss by beating Notre Dame, 3-2, in College Station, Texas with a trip to the finals on the line. After spotting FSU a goal just 15 seconds into the game, Carrie Dew tied things up at 14:16 when she volleyed in a Hanks corner. At 55:32, Elise Weber knotted the game at 2-2 as she sent a right-footed drive into the top corner. But at 71:30, Sanna Talonen tapped a thru-ball to the top of the box that Amanda DaCosta converted for the deciding goal.
In 2006, the teams clashed in Cary, N.C. in the College Cup semifinals. Second-ranked Notre Dame earned a 2-1 victory on that day. Courtney Rosen gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 35:32, capitalizing on a Seminole turnover. Jill Krivacek netted what proved to be the game winner less than three minutes later, when she redirected a Brittany Bock header (off a Hanks corner kick) into the net.
NCAA Championship Quick Kicks
- Notre Dame has a 52-14-1 all-time record (.784) in NCAA tournament play, including 43-3-0 (.935) in NCAA games played at home.
- Notre Dame and UNC remain the only teams to have reached the final-32 or further in every NCAA Championship since 1993, and remain 1-2 in virtually all tournament appearance records in that time -- round-of-16 trips (UNC-16, ND-14, Portland-14), quarterfinals since 1994 (UNC-14, ND-13, Portland-13), College Cup berths since 1994 (UNC-12, ND-10) and title game appearances since 1994 (UNC-10, ND-7; no one else with more than three).
- The Fighting Irish claimed NCAA titles in 1995 and 2004, joining UNC and Portland as the only repeat winners in the history of the tournament. Notre Dame also has finished as the NCAA runner-up five times (1994, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2008) as part of its 10 NCAA College Cup berths (also semifinalist in 1997, 2000 and 2007), all since 1994.
18 And Counting...
The streak is the second-longest in Division I (through Nov. 26) and Notre Dame's lone tie in that stretch came at Pittsburgh when the Panthers and Irish played to a 0-0 stalemate on Oct. 4. During the 18-game unbeaten streak (which includes an active 12-game winning streak), the Irish have logged a 48-7 scoring margin and have shut out their opponents on 12 occasions.
During the 18-game unbeaten streak, Nikki Weiss has posted a 12-0-1 record including six solo shutouts. Melissa Henderson has led the offense with 13 goals and four assists for 30 points. As a whole, the offense has averaged 2.67 goals per game while limiting the opposition to 0.39 goals per game.
The .885 winning percentage compiled by the Notre Dame seniors also is second best on the national scene behind North Carolina.
The current Irish senior class is 3-0 all-time in NCAA quarterfinal matches, including a 2-0 win over Florida State (Nov. 28, 2008), a 3-2 win at Duke (Nov. 30, 2007) and a 4-0 win versus Penn State (Nov. 24, 2006).
Three players from the 2009 lineup have notched points in previous NCAA quarterfinal action for the Irish, including Jessica Schuveiller (1G), Taylor Knaack (1G), and Michele Weissenhofer (4G-0A-8P). Three of Weissenhofer's four quarterfinal goals came courtesy of a hat trick against Penn State in 2006, joining Jenny Heft (vs. UCLA in 1997) as one of only two Irish players to score three goals in an NCAA quarterfinal game.
Irish Against The 2009 NCAA Field
The Fighting Irish also collected neutral-site wins over St. John's (2-1 OT) and Marquette (2-1) in the BIG EAST Championship at Storrs, Conn., while all three losses came in the opening month of the season -- home vs. North Carolina (6-0), at Santa Clara (2-0) and at a neutral site vs. Stanford (2-0) -- with two of those clubs (UNC and Stanford) earning No. 1 seeds in this year's NCAA Championship.
Game #24 Recap: Oregon State
Augustin's goal was her third career game-winner in NCAA tournament play, and it was made possible by a brilliant individual effort from forward Melissa Henderson, who picked up a point for the fourth consecutive game and now has 21 points (9G-3A) in the postseason this year.
Goalkeeper Nikki Weiss made four saves in the Notre Dame net to earn her first career postseason solo shutout. Oregon State outshot Notre Dame, 14-12, in the contest, although the Fighting Irish held a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. The Beavers earned three of the four corner kicks.
Notre Dame's 11 goals through the first two NCAA Championship games was also the program's highest two-game total under Waldrum and the most since the 1997 season as well, when the Irish scored seven goals in a first round win over Cincinnati (7-1) to run their two-game total to 13.
Overall, the 12 goals in three NCAA Championship games is Notre Dame's highest output since 2005 when the Irish combined for 13 goals in the first three rounds of play (W, 6-0 vs. Valparaiso; W, 3-0 vs. Michigan State; W, 5-2 Yale).
Noting Henderson's Recent Heroics
- Henderson's four goals versus CMU set a program record for most goals scored in a NCAA Championship game and tie for the most goals scored in a single game, as it was just the sixth time in program history that an Irish player has scored four goals in a game. Henderson is also the first Irish player to net a first half hat trick in NCAA play, as three of the four goals came in the first half of play.
- With a hat trick versus USF and four goals against CMU, Henderson notched Notre Dame's 10th and 11th postseason hat tricks in program history. They were the first postseason hat tricks since Nov. 24, 2006, when current Fighting Irish senior forward/tri-captain Michele Weissenhofer had three goals in a 4-0 NCAA quarterfinal win over eighth-ranked Penn State at old Alumni Field.
- Henderson is the first player in program history to record more than one hat trick in a single postseason.
- The four goals versus Central Michigan marked Henderson's third consecutive home game with at least two goals, having also notched a hat trick against USF and scoring two goals versus IUPUI in Notre Dame's 5-0 NCAA first round win.
- The hat trick versus USF marked the first Notre Dame hat trick in the BIG EAST Championship in almost five years (Oct. 31, 2004 - Katie Thorlakson four goals in a 7-0 quarterfinal victory over St. John's at Alumni Field), and just the third in the program's 15-year conference affiliation (Anne Makinen also pulled off the feat in the 1997 BIG EAST final vs. fourth-ranked Connecticut in Piscataway, N.J.).
- Henderson notched the game-winning goal in the Central Michigan game, giving her eight game-winning goals on the season, tying Michelle McCarthy (1994) and Katie Thorlakson (2004) for the single season program record.
Schuveiller, who has started all 48 games of her Irish career, netted her first collegiate goal last season in Notre Dame's 2-0 NCAA quarterfinal win over Florida State. Then, in 2009 regular season action, she scored a late game winner with 8:08 remaining to propel Notre Dame past Cincinnati, 2-1, on Sept. 25.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Notre Dame went to overtime in back-to-back contests in early October. On Oct. 2 at West Virginia, Taylor Knaack scored 41 seconds into the first extra period to give the Fighting Irish a 3-2 victory over the Mountaineers. It was the fastest OT goal in Waldrum's 11-year tenure, and it's also believed to be the quickest overtime score in the program's 22-year history.
Two days later, Notre Dame went to double overtime at Pittsburgh and wound up finishing in a 0-0 tie. It was only the eighth scoreless draw in school history and the first since Aug. 31, 2007 vs. Michigan at old Alumni Field. It also was the first time the Fighting Irish played a 0-0 contest in BIG EAST play since Oct. 13, 2006 at Connecticut.
Most recently, Jessica Schuveiller scored the golden goal against St. John's in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Nov. 6 to send the Irish to the conference title match for the sixth consecutive season.
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 134-8-5 (.928) all-time in regular-season conference games, 35-2-1 (.934) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 713-85 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in '95.
What's more, Notre Dame maintains a 14-year, 94-game home unbeaten streak (93-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at home (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995 at old Alumni Field).
Notre Dame leads the nation with 15 women's soccer Academic All-Americans since that sport branched off from the at-large Academic All-America program in 2002. At least one Notre Dame women's soccer player has been chosen as an Academic All-American in 13 of the past 15 seasons (all but `99 and `02).
As a University, Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 211 Academic All-Americans since the program's inception in 1952. What's more, 85 Fighting Irish student-athletes have earned the Academic All-America distinction during the past decade, tops among any school in the country.
Taylor Made For Goal Scoring
Nikki In The Irish Net
The impressive stretch began when Weiss earned her first career solo clean sheet on Oct. 4 at Pittsburgh (a 0-0 double-overtime tie), and followed with shutouts versus No. 10/12 Rutgers and Seton Hall. In the Rutgers match, she turned in a career high six saves. She then played the first 82:00 in Notre Dame's 6-1 win over Connecticut, with her personal best 377:25 scoreless streak coming to an end in the second half (the scoreless streak had started at Santa Clara on Sept. 11). Weiss blanked Providence and Villanova, 2-0, on Oct. 18 and 23 for her fourth and fifth solo shutouts of the year. She has made 39 saves on the year and after helping the Irish to wins over USF, St. John's and Marquette, she was named to the 2009 BIG EAST all-Tournament Team.
Most recently, Weiss blanked Oregon State for her first career NCAA Championship solo shutout in Notre Dame's 1-0 third round win.
Junior Nikki Weiss has posted six solo shutouts in Notre Dame's last 11 games, while she shared shutout wins over Georgetown and IUPUI with senior Kelsey Lysander and then shared the shutout over South Florida with Lysander and Maddie Fox. Lysander also has three solo shutouts on the year.
The 2-0 Guarantee
In fact, just two of the past 198 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 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).
Three ... Is The Magic Number
Our Fearless Leader
Waldrum is also one of eight active women's Division I head coaches to record 300 career wins. He now has a record of 338-83-21 (.788) in 20 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor). His winning percentage ranks fourth among active coaches, while his 338 wins are fifth on the NCAA Division I career list.
BIG EAST Awards Recap
Fowlkes and Barg were also named to the All-BIG EAST First Team and were joined on that squad by sophomore defender Jessica Schuveiller. Junior midfielder Rose Augustin and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson were All-BIG EAST Second Team selections.
Fowlkes follows in a long and distinguished tradition of Notre Dame players who have captured BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year laurels. Combined with Kerri Hanks (who earned the award in 2006 and 2008 en route to collecting the MAC Hermann Trophy both seasons), Brittany Bock (2007) and Katie Thorlakson (2004 and 2005), Fowlkes is the sixth consecutive Fighting Irish player to take home the hardware.
Barg became Notre Dame's first recipient of the conference's midfielder of the year honor since Jen Buczkowski earned the award as a junior in 2005 and just the third all-time (also Anne Makinen in 2000). Furthermore, Barg is the first sophomore to earn the honor since 2001, when Boston College's Sarah Rahko won it.
It's Academic For This Irish Duo
Fowlkes has blossomed as a primary offensive threat for Notre Dame, appearing in all 23 games and starting 21 times after moving back to the forward line three weeks into the season (a position she initially started at in her college career, before moving to holding midfielder and central defender last season and earlier this year).
Fowlkes currently is enrolled in the College of Science, where she has compiled a 3.657 cumulative GPA as a science-business major and was named to the dean's list in the fall of 2007 (3.804 semester GPA).
Campbell is one of the more improved players on the Notre Dame roster this season, having seen time primarily at left back, a position she had almost never played prior to the spring of 2009. Mixed with her stints as an attacking midfielder, she has started all 23 games for the Fighting Irish this year.
Campbell is presently studying in the College of Arts and Letters, where she has recorded a 3.667 cumulative GPA as a double major in psychology and American studies.
Pick Three For The Hermann Watch
The Hermann Trophy is presented annually to the nation's top Division I women's soccer player, with Notre Dame's Kerri Hanks earning the prestigious crystal ball trophy last year. In the process, Hanks became the fourth Fighting Irish player to collect the award, not to mention just the fourth two-time Hermann Trophy honoree since the award debuted in 1988, as well as the first two-time national player of the year (in any sport) in the 122-year history of Notre Dame athletics.
Your 2009 Captains
Schuveiller's selection is noteworthy, in that she is the first non-senior to serve as a team captain since Amy Warner was one of Notre Dame's three captains in 2002 (her junior season). This year's triumvirate also marks the first time since 2004 (Mary Boland, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Melissa Tancredi) that the Irish have named three captains.
The M*A*S*H Unit
Freshman forward Tereza Stastny and senior midfielder Micaela Alvarez are out for the season with torn ACLs. Stastny's injury (right knee) on Oct. 13, and Alvarez's (left knee) one week later were suffered during training.
Taking It To The Next Level
That quartet was joined by: Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Jen Buczkowski and Christie Shaner (Sky Blue FC), Candace Chapman (Boston Breakers), and Amanda Cinalli and Melissa Tancredi (Saint Louis Athletica).
In addition, Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf was assigned to the Chicago Red Stars as part of the U.S. National Team draft, but sat out the '09 season while on maternity leave (she gave birth to twins in June). Kelly Lindsey began the season as an assistant coach at Sky Blue FC, then took over as interim head coach at midseason before resigning late in the year.
Midseason trades saw Hanks sent to Sky Blue FC, while Shaner went out to Los Angeles. Shaner subsequently was sidelined for the season with a broken leg.
Of the 10 active Notre Dame alums in WPS, eight saw their teams advance to the league playoffs (all but Chapman and Dew). Led by arguably the world's top defensive midfielder in Boxx and one of WPS' top rookies in Bock (who played center back after never playing that position at Notre Dame), Los Angeles won the regular season title and the right to host the first-ever WPS Championship Game.
In the end, five Fighting Irish alums (tying North Carolina for the most representatives from one college) worked their way into the WPS final -- Bock, Boxx and Shaner for L.A., along with Hanks and Buczkowski for Sky Blue FC. The New Jersey-based club then capped an amazing string of three playoff road wins in eight days with a 1-0 upset of Los Angeles to win the inaugural WPS Championship.
Boxx was subsequently named a starter for the first WPS All-Star Game, which took place at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in suburban St. Louis on Aug. 30.
On Sept. 16, Buczkowski was chosen by the Philadelphia Independence with the third overall pick in the 2009 WPS Expansion Draft, with Cinalli going one selection later to the Atlanta Beat.
Offseason personnel moves at the end of September have seen Chapman released by Boston (then signed by FC Gold Pride) and Shaner released by Los Angeles, while Tancredi was declared a free agent by Saint Louis.
Bock Tapped For U.S. National Team