October 19, 2012
BOHABOY BREAKS IT
OT game winner leads Notre Dame over DePaul
CHICAGO – Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy scored in the 106th minute to lift Notre Dame to a thrilling 1-0 Big East Conference victory over DePaul on a rainy and cold Friday afternoon at Wish Field.
The Fighting Irish win, coupled with Georgetown’s loss by the same score at Villanova earlier in the day, gave Notre Dame a share of the Big East National Division title, marking the 14th time the Fighting Irish have earned a regular-season division or overall championship since joining the Big East in 1995. Notre Dame also is now unbeaten in 10 of its last 11 matches.
Freshman forward Crystal Thomas and sophomore defender Taylor Schneider both were credited with assists on Bohaboy’s match-winning goal.
Notre Dame, which improves to 12-4-2 ( 8-1-1 Big East) held a 2-05 edge in shots, with three of the Blue Demons’ shots coming in a two-minute flurry at the end of the first half. De Paul falls to 8-9-2 (3-6-1).
Notre Dame Freshman goalkeeper Elyse Hight wasn’t called upon for much action, making three saves, including a huge point-blank stop on DePaul’s Rachel Pitman in the 44th minute. Meanwhile, Megan Pyrz registered six saves in the Blue Demon goal, including a pair of leaping stops that helped keep the hosts in contention until the waning moments of added time.
“For the most part, I thought it was a pretty complete game for us,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. “We maintained possession well, which is really hard to do on a tight slick field like this, but we need to do better in the final third. A lot of the credit for that has to go to their defense, which was strong, but Lauren (Bohaboy) came up with a nice finish to give us what I thought was a just result.
“It’s a great reward for this young team to earn a piece of the BIG EAST division championship,” he added. “These players continue to work hard in training every day and they’re starting to see the positive results that come from that development. We’re not where we need to be yet, but this was one of our goals before the season and we were able to achieve it,which always makes a coach proud.”
Notre Dame had several opportunities to break through, beginning in the 19th minute, when Bohaboy won a free kick 20 yards out, just off the top left corner of the box. However, her curling drive over the wall towards the upper left corner was pushed over the bar by Pyrz.
The Fighting Irish had another enticing chance in the 39th minute, as freshman midfielder Glory Williams found classmate and defender Stephanie Campo with a well-weighted chip down the left. Campo ran on to the ball and one-timed a service towards the far right post, where junior midfielder Elizabeth Tucker drove a sharp header on frame, only to be denied by a retreating Pyrz.
DePaul’s best looks came in the closing minutes of the first half, starting from a corner kick by Natasa Radosavljevic, whose service from the right flag caromed off a defender and landed near the penalty spot. Pitman alertly tried to snap a quick shot off, but Hight was equal to the task, going down to make the reflex stop, and Kelly Blumberg’s 10-yard shot off the rebound sailed harmlessly over the bar in the 44th minute.
The second half and first overtime was more of a back-and-forth affair, with each side making runs into the attacking third, but neither able to create any meaningful scoring chances. Williams had perhaps the most dangerous look of the second half with nine minutes left, testing Pyrz with a 30-yard drive from the center but the ball drifted a couple of feet over the top.
Notre Dame found the winner midway through the second extra period. Schneider collected a ball on the right 30 yards out and calmly drove a service into the box, to the right of the penalty spot. Thomas settled the cross, battling past a pair of DePaul defenders and muscling the ball over to Bohaboy. The second-year striker then hammered a low shot from 12 yards out inside the left post past a diving Pyrz.
As the No. 2 seed in the Big East’s National Division (by virtue of its loss at Georgetown on Oct. 12), Notre Dame will kick off postseason play at 1 p.m. (ET) Oct. 28, when it plays host to Syracuse (No. 3 seed in American Division) in a Big East Championship quarterfinal match at Alumni Stadium.