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Womens Soccer: Very few scoring goals against Irish

Andy Troeger | Tuesday, October 28, 2003

For their first seven years in the Big East, the Irish won the conference tournament, usually knocking off Connecticut in the finals. They also made the Final Four six times in seven years covering roughly the same time period.

Then last year the Irish did not even qualify for the Big East Tournament, losing three games within their division to finish tied for fourth in the division. It appeared that maybe the rest of the conference was catching up with the Irish.

Maybe not.

The Irish returned to their old ways this year, steamrolling through their conference slate. They won all six of their games within the Mid-Atlantic Division and beat Miami and St. John’s of the Northeast Division. As if that were not enough, they also played Connecticut in a non-conference game and beat them too.

You say you’re not impressed yet? Well the Irish also accomplished another feat in those nine wins by not allowing a single goal in any of those nine games. The Big East is a solid conference, as the Irish wins included a 2-0 whitewashing of then No. 5 West Virginia and another 2-0 blanking of then No. 15 Connecticut. All told, the Irish scored 22 goals and gave up none in those nine games.

With one more game to go before the postseason tournaments begin, the Irish stand at 18-0-1, having now won 12 in a row since playing Stanford to a scoreless tie. The last ten of those wins have also been shutouts, as the Irish have not allowed an opposing goal since North Texas scored a late tally in an 8-1 rout.

Through 19 games, the Irish have allowed only five goals, three of which have come after the Irish had taken dominating leads. Only once has Notre Dame trailed all season, with that deficit coming early against Arizona State, who led the Irish for all of seven minutes before becoming succumbing 3-1.

Not surprisingly, the Irish are ranked No. 1 in the nation in goals-against average at 0.26 goals per game. Goalkeeper Erika Bohn’s personal average is even lower at 0.22. Her streak of not allowing a goal in 989 minutes ranks fifth all-time for the longest such streak in NCAA history. Since 1989, only the 1998 Santa Clara team has compiled a longer shutout streak (14) than Notre Dame’s current 10 game streak.

The Irish task is not nearly done, however. To accentuate their regular season title, they must win the Big East Tournament, to be held over the next two weeks. First up in that tournament will be Miami, who fell to the Irish 3-0 at Alumni Field a few weeks ago. The Irish will be looking for a similar result this weekend in the rematch as they hope to keep surging through the postseason.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Andy Troeger at atroeger@nd.edu.