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ND Women’s Soccer: Squad to try for 30th straight

Douglas Farmer | Sunday, August 30, 2009

Notre Dame looks to win its 30th consecutive regular-season game tonight against Loyola-Chicago.

The last time the Irish lost outside of the postseason was Sept. 23, 2007, to No. 14 Penn State in a 2-1 game.

The No. 2 Irish (1-0) topped Wisconsin 3-0 in their season opener on Aug. 21, scoring twice within the first five minutes of the second half. The victory raised Notre Dame over No. 4 Stanford in the rankings. Only No. 1 North Carolina remains above the Irish.

Irish coach Randy Waldrum said he feels the team can and should continue its winning ways, but will need to improve upon its game against Wisconsin.

“Our intensity level was not high enough in the first half versus the Badgers,” Waldrum said. “I’d like to see us start the game this Friday the way we played the second half against Wisconsin.”

A higher intensity will limit Loyola’s attacks on Irish goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander.

Waldrum has warned the Irish of Loyola (0-2) junior midfielder Laura Trevillian, whom he describes as a “very good attacking player.”

Loyola began the year with back-to-back losses to DePaul, 4-0, and Dayton, 1-0.

“[The Ramblers] are a hard working team that can disrupt your playing rhythm,” Waldrum said. “We have to be patient in our possession. We don’t want to get caught up in a ‘kick and run’ game with them.”

When the Irish maximize their possessions, they will frequently rely on sophomore forward Melissa Henderson. While not yet at 100 percent following summer surgery, the Irish offense seems to run through her.

“[Henderson] has that natural ability to get herself into scoring positions,” Waldrum said. “A lot of our attacking will go through her.”

Against Wisconsin, Waldrum said he felt the Irish did not pressure enough on offense to create goal-scoring opportunities.

“Most of our chances [for goals] were developed by our midfielders,” Waldrum said. “Defensively we dropped off too deep and overcompensated.”

Notre Dame faces Loyola-Chicago tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Field.