September 30, 2012
Notre Dame rolls over UConn 4-0
STORRS, Conn. – Freshman forwards Cari Roccaro and Crystal Thomas scored goals 4:28 apart early in the second half to break open a close match and Notre Dame went on to post a 4-0 Big East Conference win at Connecticut before a crowd of 1,485 fans on Sunday.
Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy put the Fighting Irish on top with a free-kick goal against the run of play in the 43rd minute, before Roccaro, Thomas and fellow rookie Anna Maria Gilbertson scored after the break.
With the win, Notre Dame (9-3-1, 5-0-0 Big East) stretched its winning streak to six matches.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt tied her career high with six saves en route to her third solo shutout of the season.
Connecticut (7-5-1, 3-3-0) finished with a 20-15 edge in total shots, although the shot count varied wildly between halves, with the Huskies holding an 11-3 margin in the first half and the Fighting Irish outshooting the hosts, 12-9 in the final 45 minutes.
“It was definitely a tale of two halves,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t come out strong at all today and Connecticut had us under a lot of pressure for most of the first half, but Sarah (Voigt) played really well for us and kept us going until we could get that first goal. Then, we made some adjustments at halftime and changed our shape a bit, and our offense began to click in the second half. It’s another good sign for this team, the way we came back from a poor start, kept our poise and then took advantage of our opportunities to get a key conference road win.”
Notre Dame stunned Connecticut with the opening score in the 43rd minute after freshman forward Mary Schwappach was fouled in the center, 30 yards from goal. Bohaboy then teed up the free kick, curling it over the Huskies’ wall and under the bar near the upper left corner as UConn goalkeeper Leigh-Ann Jaggon made a leaping attempt to corral the shot.
The Irish got their second in the 57th minute. Freshman defender Brittany Von Rueden took a free kick at the midfield stripe on the left side and sent a dangerous service into the area, where the Connecticut defense failed to clear the ball. Roccaro took advantage of the chaos in the box and alertly poked a shot past Jaggon from six yards out.
In the 60th minute, Elizabeth Tucker found space on the right flank and delivered a well-weighted cross towards the near post, where Thomas was making an angled run. The rookie looked to volley the pass and mis-hit the cross somewhat, but the looping shot still found the net, as Jaggon had come off her line and the ball dropped behind her and inside the right post for Thomas’ team-leading sixth goal of the year.
Notre Dame capped its second-half surge in the 84th minute, as Simonian got free on the left side and charged towards the edge of the box before pulling up near the by-line and cutting a pass through the top of the six. Gilbertson positioned herself perfectly on the doorstep and simply re-directed the cross into the net .
The Fighting Irish will be back at Alumni Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) against Seton Hall.