August 17, 2012
Badgers net winner on only shot of half
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin scored on their only shot of the second half to defeat Notre Dame 1-0 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams at the McClimon Soccer Complex.
Monica Lam-Feist had the match-winning goal for Wisconsin (1-0), as Notre Dame lost its opening contest for the first time since 1999, and allowed a goal in a season opener for the first time since 2005 (ending a streak of 716:35 scoreless minutes by the Fighting Irish defense in lid lifters).
Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight one of seven rookies in the Notre Dame lineup on Friday, went the distance in the Fighting Irish netand made one save. Meanwhile, UW’s Lauren Gunderson kept her team in the match with seven saves, including five in the first half alone.
“This season, we will have our share of learning experiences, especially with such a young team, and tonight was one of the lessons,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We didn’t put our chances away early, the game got into the final 15 minutes and we didn’t manage things as well as we needed to. Then we made a mistake and they punished us for it. Sure, it’s disappointing, but I saw plenty of positives tonight and we’ll go back and build on those and get ready for Tulsa next Friday.”
Notre Dame nearly took the lead 30 seconds into the match, as freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson fired a dipping shot from the top left corner of the penalty box that Gunderson did well to stop, diving to her left to push the ball wide of the right post for a corner kick.
Wisconsin earned its only corner kick of the first half in the 17th minute, and it resulted in one of the Badgers’ best looks of the half, as Brianna Stelzer’s looping header landed on the roof of the net.
Notre Dame had two more threatening chances in the first half, first when sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy saw her 20-yard shot from straight on go wide right in the 33rd minute. The other came when sophomore defender/midfielder Taylor Schneider launched a free-kick service from the right flank that was ticketed for the upper right corner of the goal, but was grabbed by Gunderson.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin got its first official shot on goal of the match in the final minute of the half. Lindsey Johnson sent a flip throw-in from the right touch line, with the ball caroming out to Lexi Peterson at the top of the box, but she didn’t get much on a shot that rolled harmlessly to Hight.
Notre Dame nearly capitalized on a couple of Wisconsin defensive errors to get on the board, beginning in the 77th minute when Bohaboy challenged Gunderson while she was possessing a back-pass and almost picked the Badger goalkeeper’s pocket. Gunderson managed to stave off disaster, though, with a nifty bit of footwork to maintain possession and clear the ball from danger.
In the 82nd minute, a UW defender missed on a clearing attempt, leaving Tucker free to run on to the ball down the right channel. The Fighting Irish veteran got to the edge of the penalty area, but her strike ended up skipping right into Gunderson’s waiting arms.
Wisconsin finally broke through in the 84th minute after winning the ball just inside the midfield circle. Walls slipped a through-ball to Lam-Feist, running just right of center and the Badger midfielder split two Notre Dame defenders before firing a low shot that clipped the inside of the left post before caroming into the net for the deciding score.