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ND Women’s Soccer: Squad achieves new school record with win

Mike Gotimer | Monday, September 28, 2009

Notre Dame entered the NCAA record books on Sunday with a strong defensive effort in its 1-0 win over Louisville.

The No. 14/12 Irish extended their school-record Big East unbeaten streak to 55 games with the win, tying them with North Carolina for the longest conference win streak in NCAA history.

Notre Dame scored the game’s lone tally when junior forward Lauren Fowlkes scored during the 49th minute on an assist from sophomore midfielder Molly Campbell. The goal was Fowlkes’ fifth on the year and her third in the past four matches.

The scoring breakthrough came on a day where the Irish created numerous chances but couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the back of the net. Notre Dame outshot Louisville 18-6 on the day, but the Cardinals’ defense, anchored by freshman goalie Taylor Vancil, found ways to turn the Irish away. Vancil recorded five saves on the day and made her presence known early, as the Irish could not convert on four scoring chances within the first six minutes of the game.

The teams went into the half tied after Vancil turned away three of Notre Dame’s scoring chances in the first half. However, her shutout ended early in the second half as the Irish came out of the locker room strong. Irish junior forward Taylor Knaack started the Irish scoring sequence with a run into the left corner and lofted the ball to the opposite end of the penalty area to sophomore forward Melissa Henderson. Henderson then passed the ball to Campbell, who curled a cross into the slot where Fowlkes was waiting to finish and drove a header into the right side of the net.

After Fowlkes’ tally, the Cardinals lone opportunity came in the 75th minute of play after the Irish were caught too far up the field after a corner kick. Cardinals’ sophomore Giselle Mangal took the ball and found herself in a foot race with Irish freshman defender Jazmin Hall to the goal. Mangal evaded Hall’s tackle, but senior goaltender Kelsey Lysander rushed Mangal, who made a key save after charging Mangal and forcing her to try to chip her shot.

In the final 15 minutes, the Irish shut down any further Cardinal scoring chances, but managed to create three strong scoring chances of their own in the last four minutes of play. However, the Irish weren’t able to add an additional goal before time expired.

The win came in Notre Dame’s last home game before heading out on a four-match road trip that begins with a two-match set against West Virginia and Pittsburgh next weekend.