September 8, 2012
Goalkeeper helps Irish to 1-1 draw in Portland
PORTLAND, Ore.– Sophomore defender Sammy Scofield scored her second goal of the year and freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight rang up a season-high nine saves as Notre Dame and No. 19/18 Portland played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Friday night before a sellout crowd of 4,932 fans at Merlo Field.
Scofield headed home a corner kick from freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson in the 39th minute, less than nine minutes after the Pilots had taken the lead. The two sides then played more than 70 minutes of scoreless soccer that was not without its share of drama, including two shots by Notre Dame that hit either the post or crossbar and a missed penalty kick by Portland’s Amanda Frisbie in the 56th minute.
Hight also was a major factor in Friday’s draw, registering the most saves by a Notre Dame goalkeeper in a single match in more than 13 years, dating back to All-America netminder LaKeysia Beene’s 15 stops against North Carolina in a 3-2 double-overtime loss on Sept. 3, 1999, at old Alumni Field in head coach Randy Waldrum’s first match at the Fighting Irish helm.
Portland (4-1-1) finished with a narrow 17-16 edge in total shots, with a wider 10-3 advantage in shots on goal.
“All things considered, I’m pretty pleased with the result,” Waldrum said. “Both teams had their chances and both also made the plays they had to when it mattered. We showed a lot of fight and competed well on the road in a hostile environment, and we didn’t hang our heads after the first goal or when they came at us early in the second half. That kind of growth is encouraging to see and it’s more that we can build on as the season continues.”
In a recurring theme during the night, Notre Dame (3-2-1) put Portland fans’ hearts in their throats. In the 23rd minute, sophomore midfielder Taylor Schneider spotted Pilots goalkeeper Erin Dees creeping off her line and tested her with a 35-yard blast that beat the Pilot netminder, but clanged hard off the outside of the right post near the connector with the crossbar.
Portland then went in front just past the half-hour mark after winning a free kick 20 yards away, just outside the left edge of the area. Notre Dame tracked the initial service well, but couldn’t clear its lines, and after a seemingly endless scramble of players at the top of the six-yard box, Kurle found herself in the right place at the right time and hammered a rising shot into the roof of the net in the 31st minute.
Just when it seemed the momentum was all in Portland’s favor, the Fighting Irish counterpunched. Freshman forward Mary Schwappach gave Notre Dame life by rising to head a cross from Tucker towards the left post, with Dees having to dive to push the ball wide of the mark. On the ensuing corner kick, Gilbertson drove a precision service to the heart of the six-yard box, where Scofield timed her run perfectly and went high to bury a driven header that drew the Fighting Irish level in the 39th minute.
Notre Dame went on the offensive following a goal, and it nearly paid off in the 41stminute. Tucker got room to roam in the left channel, cut inside her defender at the top left corner of the box and lashed a right-footed shot that was ticketed for the far right-side netting. However, after beating Dees, the ball caromed wickedly off the inside of the right post and back into play, leaving the teams on equal footing at halftime.
The match then took another turn in the 56th minute, when Frisbie crossed over her defender at the top left of the box and drove towards the six, only to be bowled over by Campo, leading to a penalty kick. However, with the sellout crowd on its feet and expecting Portland to regain the lead, Frisbie yanked her try wide of the left post and the scoreboard remained unchanged.
Lauren Bohaboy cracked a hard shot over the Portland wall in the 76th minute that again seemed to have beaten a leaping Dees, but the ball rang equally hard off the underside of the crossbar.
Neither team was able to create any meaningful looks on goal in overtime.
Notre Dame will be back on the pitch at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT) Sunday when it travels to Seattle, Wash., to take on No. RV/22 Washington at the Husky Soccer Stadium. It will be the first visit for the Fighting Irish to the UW campus since the 1997 season, and just the second in program history.