September 28, 2012
ON THEIR OWN
Notre Dame gets help from Friars for 1-0 win
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Despite adverse weather and field conditions, Notre Dame found a solution in the closing minutes, pressuring Providence into an own-goal in the 83rd minute for a 1-0 Big East Conference victory on a rainy Friday afternoon at Glay Field
Junior midfielder Elizabeth Tucker set up the decisive sequence with a teasing cross from the left, just outside the penalty area. The ball sailed near the top of the six-yard box before deflecting off a retreating Providence defender and rolling into the net, helping the Fighting Irish (8-3-1, 4-0-0 Big East) stretch their winning streak to five matches and pick up their second consecutive shutout.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt was tested through the day by the wet conditions, but was equal to the challenge, making two saves to record her second solo shutout of the season, to go along with two shared clean sheets.
Notre Dame held a 13-10 edge in total shots, as well as a 7-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also piled up a 5-2 margin on corner kicks.
“It was good to get the win, to do it late and to do it in those kinds of conditions,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “I think that says a lot about how the team is growing. Those were the kinds of games that we weren’t winning last year, and good teams find ways to win games like that. This young group is starting to take on that kind of persona that we’re used to seeing with our teams, and for them to get the win like they did today, in a place that was unfamiliar to almost all of them, that’s a prime example of the kind of growth we’re talking about.”
The steady rain showers, which increased in intensity as the match continued, turned the pitch into a slick and muddy track, with particular danger spots in the goal mouths. Neither side managed to create much in the way of scoring opportunities during the day, as the game flow was broken up by passes that skipped away from their intended targets, and a large number of fouls on both sides that resulted in numerous free kick chances.
Notre Dame had perhaps the best look from either side during the run of play in the 29th minute, as senior defende Jazmin Hall made a crafty run down the left side before angling in towards the top of the box. She then slipped a soft through-pass to freshman forward Cari Roccaro, who was working her way from right to left near the penalty spot. Roccaro got a 1-v-1 look on Providence goalkeeper Jessica Goudreault, but the Friars’ netminder stormed off her line and was able to re-direct Roccaro’s shot wide and over the by-line for a corner kick. Goudreault finished with six saves.
PC (7-5-1, 2-3-0) seemed content to challenge Notre Dame’s defense from distance, the best coming in the 66th minute, when Allison Walton drove a low shot from just outside the top of the box that Voigt tracked well and got down to stop on the wet turf.
After Tucker’s cross led to the own-goal that put the Fighting Irish on top, Providence pushed up in a valiant effort to net the equalizer. The Friars had a prime chance with less than two minutes, earning a free kick in the left channel, 30 yards from goal. The service caromed off a PC player and landed at the feet of Lauren Elia, who cracked a sharp rising shot from 16 yards out that sailed just high and wide of the mark, taking the Friars’ last scoring threat with it.
Notre Dame winds up its two-match New England road trip at noon (ET) Sunday when it travels to Storrs, Conn., to face Connecticut at Morrone Stadium.