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ND Women’s Soccer: Bouncing back

Douglas Farmer | Monday, September 21, 2009

Notre Dame ended its first two-game losing streak since 2007 with two convincing wins at Alumni Stadium over the weekend.

The No. 14/13 Irish (5-3, 1-0) topped DePaul (4-3-2, 0-1) 4-0 Friday and beat Northwestern (3-5-1) 2-0 Sunday.

The last time Notre Dame lost two games back-to-back was at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic in September, 2007, to Santa Clara and Stanford. History repeated itself Sept. 11 and 13 when the Irish lost both games at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic again.

Notre Dame responded to the defeats with a strong offensive attack against DePaul from the very beginning of the match. The Irish attempted three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of the game before junior midfielder Lauren Fowlkes scored off a rebound in the 16th minute.

“It was definitely an improvement from last weekend,” senior captain Michele Weissenhofer said. “We controlled the majority of the game, although we could have put in a few more goals. We missed a few chances.”

Even if the Irish missed some scoring opportunities, the offense poured in goals compared to the weekend in California. Junior midfielder Rose Augustin scored a goal just before halftime, and then put Notre Dame up 3-0 with another in the 75th minute. Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson concluded the game’s scoring with a goal shortly before the end of regulation.

“If we score first, it creates a more positive atmosphere,” Weissenhofer said. “We feel like we have better control of the game.”

The Irish scored first against Northwestern as well when sophomore forward Courtney Barg made a goal off the crossbar from 25 yards out. Junior midfielder Julie Scheidler put Notre Dame up two goals with a shot to the back of the net early in the second half.

Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander needed to make only five saves in the two games. The two shutouts bring the Irish total to five on the season.

“Our defense has been playing phenomenal,” Weissenhofer said. “Our defense and goalkeeping have been very strong. The goalkeepers have come up with some really big saves.”

DePaul only managed five shots the entire game. Northwestern attempted ten shots on the Irish goal.

“These were some key wins,” Weissenhofer said. “Now we will focus on a good week of practice and prepare for Cincinnati.”

The Irish travel to Cincinnati on Friday, Sept. 25, before hosting Louisville Sunday, Sept. 27.