September 23, 2012
Roccaro leads another Notre Dame win
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Freshman forward Cari Roccaro collected a goal and an assist, helping Notre Dame to its fourth consecutive victory, a 3-0 non-conference win over defending Summit League Tournament champion Oakland on a cool and windy Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
|Cari Roccaro (left) had a goal and an assist in Notre Dame's 3-0 win over Oakland. Lauren Bohaboy (r) had an assist.
Photo by Matt Cashore/Courtesy of Notre Dame Sports Information
Freshman forward Crystal Thomas scored her team-high fifth goal of the season in the 69th minute, off assists from Roccaro and sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy before Roccaro herself added an insurance goal, her third score in as many matches, by converting a pass from junior midfielder Mandy Laddish with just under 10 minutes remaining. Freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson capped the scoring for Notre Dame, potting her second goal of the year off an assist by sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian in the 83rd minute.
The Fighting Irish (7-3-1) posted a 22-2 margin in total shots. Oakland (3-3-3) didn't register its first shot until less than 17 minutes left. Notre Dame also had an 11-0 edge in shots on goal and a 6-2 spread on corner kicks.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt did not have to make a save on the way to earning her first career solo shutout and helping the Fighting Irish to their fourth clean sheet of the year. Oakland netminder Shannon Coley did all she could to keep the visitors in the match, recording eight stops.
"This was a good weekend for us again," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "Last weekend, I thought we put together a good Sunday game together (against Cincinnati). Today was a little bit of a slow start, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with the performance for a Sunday game. It's so difficult to play Friday and then turn around and play Sunday, but I thought the kids did well with it and were pretty well-organized.
"It was nice to see us hold them to nothing late," Waldrum continued. "We've had difficulty finishing out the game in terms of not giving up late goals, and we did that (today), so I was pleased about that, as well."
The Fighting Irish had a strong chance to move on top in the 17th minute, as senior defender Jazmin Hall made an angled run from her left back position into the attacking third before poking a through-ball to Thomas sprinting down the left side of the area. With Coley coming off her line, Thomas drove a rising left-footed shot that Coley did well to deflect skyward. The ball spun towards the now-vacated six-yard box, but before Roccaro could head in the rebound, it was cleared over the bar by Oakland defender Kristen Steffes.
Four minutes later, Hall nearly caught Coley and the Golden Grizzlies' defense napping, finding space on the left flank with an overlapping run before angling towards the left side of the area. She then curled a shot that clipped the crossbar and caromed back into the goal mouth, but the Fighting Irish weren't able to slot home the rebound.
In the 22nd minute, Roccaro was back on the offensive, charging down the right side before serving a cross into the heart of the box. Oakland tried to clear it from danger, but the ball deflected to the right of the penalty spot, where Bohaboy teed up a shot that sailed over the bar.
Thomas finally put Notre Dame in front in the 69th minute. Roccaro started the sequence by racing down the right edge of the box to corral a lead pass from Simonian. Roccaro then turned to face goal, knifed through a pair of late-arriving Oakland defenders and slid a teasing pass towards the penalty spot. Bohaboy quickly fired a one-touch shot that Coley knocked down, but the ball spilled to the left of the six-yard box and Thomas alertly poked the rebound into the empty net.
During the next 10 minutes, the Golden Grizzlies registered both of their shots, as Abigail Haelewyn twice tried to test Voigt from the top of the box, but each time, her shot twisted well off-target.
The Fighting Irish wound up doubling their lead in the 81st minute, thanks to a combination play from their two FIFA U-20 World Cup champions. Laddish collected the ball near the top of the attacking third and served a pass down the right channel for Roccaro, and in a near-replay of the first goal, Roccaro split a pair of defenders. This time, she held on to the ball, driving towards the top right of the six-yard box before hammering a low shot just inside the far left post.
Gilbertson then put the cherry on the sundae, less than 30 seconds after coming back into the match in the 83rd minute. Following a Notre Dame corner kick, the ball was temporarily cleared but Simonian regained possession for the Fighting Irish and quickly chipped the Oakland backline. Gilbertson timed her run perfectly, gathering the ball almost in stride and lashing a low shot inside the right post.
Notre Dame heads back on the road and returns to Big East Conference play next weekend, beginning at 3 p.m. (ET) Friday, Sept. 28, when it takes on Providence at Glay Field in Providence, R.I.