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ND Women’s Soccer: Irish drop two over weekend

Alex Barker | Monday, September 14, 2009

Over the previous 15 road games, Notre Dame has had its way with its opponents, outscoring them 40-7 during that stretch. But when the Irish took the field Friday at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic in Santa Clara, Calif., nothing seemed to go their way.

No. 5 Notre Dame (3-3) dropped both matches over the weekend, the first to Santa Clara and the second to No. 3 Stanford, by scores of 2-0.

Just 90 seconds into the first contest, junior midfielder Rose Augustin found her way behind the defense and fired a shot from 10 yards out, but was denied by Bronco goalkeeper Bianca Henninger. The rebound made its way to sophomore forward Melissa Henderson who was unable to capitalize inside the 6-yard box after a bad first touch.

A few minutes later, sophomore Molly Campbell attempted a shot from about 20 yards out that looked to be headed for the back of the net until Henninger made a dive at the last second to redirect it wide of the goal.

After the Broncos netted the first goal of the match off a blast from well outside the 18-yard box, the Irish stepped up the offensive pressure towards the end of the half but could not break though to tie the game.

In the 62nd minute of the contest, the Broncos scored what would be the final goal of the game.

Just a few seconds later the Irish had their best scoring chance of the game when Henderson played freshman Tereza Stastny in for a one-on-one with the keeper, but Henninger once again came up big, getting just enough of the shot to keep Notre Dame scoreless.

Junior Nikki Weiss and senior Kelsey Lysander each played a half in the net for the Irish, with Weiss making one save and Lysander recording two.

Notre Dame ran into more of the same bad luck in its matchup with Stanford, a rematch of last season’s national semifinal contest. The two teams were neck and neck in the first half, trading offensive scoring chances with neither team able to pull ahead.

In the second half, the Cardinal put the Irish away in a matter of minutes. In the 56th minute, a Stanford header off a free kick found its way past Lysander to begin the scoring.

Just three minutes later, bad luck struck Notre Dame once again. After the Irish seemed to have smothered the Cardinal attack, a shot ricocheted off one of the defenders and came to rest at the feet of the only other Stanford player near the play whose quick shot snuck in behind Lysander.

The Cardinal defense kept a talented Irish offensive attack off the board for the rest of the match to get the victory.

Notre Dame returns home next weekend when they open Big East conference play against DePaul Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Stadium. The team will then wrap-up its non-conference schedule Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest against Northwestern.