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ND Women’s Soccer: Irish tie USF, hit the road for trip

Megan Golden | Friday, September 23, 2011

After a one-hour weather delay, No. 20 Notre Dame struggled to find a rhythm in a 1-1 tie against unranked South Florida. Even Mother Nature could only do so much to delay the next disappointing finish for an Irish team that has struggled to close out tight games.

On a day in which Notre Dame (4-4-2, 1-1-1 Big East) dominated the stat sheet, the Bulls played for 90 minutes and rallied late. The Irish outshot the Bulls 26-13 (9-7 on goal) and recorded eight corner kicks to South Florida’s seven.

“I thought it was a great first half, and we let it slip away in the second [half],” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said. “Unfortunately, it’s continued to be a habit, and we’re not good enough at the end of the day. We’ve talked about having these 10-minute pockets of time that we seem to fall asleep, and we did it again. It’s very disappointing and frustrating.”

Irish freshman forward Lauren Bohaboy put Notre Dame on the board at the lead at halftime.

Waldrum said Bohaboy has been one of the few bright spots in the first half of the season.

“Bohaboy’s play was a positive; her getting another goal gives her two in the last two games. Hopefully we’ve got her on the right track,” he said. “Outside of that, I think we are just not consistent. [When] it’s early in the year, you think it’s going to come, it’s going to come — but we’re 10 games into it. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll start Saturday when we get home.”

The Bulls (4-3-3, 0-1-2 Big East) tied the game 1-1 with 3:36 remaining in the second half, sending the game into double overtime. The tie marks Notre Dame’s second overtime finish, the other ending in a 2-1 loss to No. 5 North Carolina.

The Irish will continue Big East competition on the road, as they take on No. 14 Marquette over the weekend. The matchup will mark Notre Dame’s fifth game on the road against a ranked opponent. The Irish are 1-2-2 on the road so far this season.

“[Marquette is a] very good team — as good as anybody we’ve played this year. They are very athletic and intense, and they’re off to a great year,” Waldrum said. “We’ll be in a lot of trouble Sunday if we play the way we did today. It’s a very difficult place to play.”

Marquette (9-2, 2-1 Big East) is coming off a 2-1 victory over DePaul, giving the Golden Eagles an impressive 3-0 record in games forced into overtime this season. Marquette’s two losses came at the hands of No. 10 Florida State and No. 25 West Virginia.

When asked if the Irish look at Marquette as an opportunity to bounce back and move forward in the right direction, Waldrum said that is the team’s only option.

“It has to be because if we don’t [look at it as an opportunity], we’re not going to be playing in the postseason at all,” he said. “Right now, we’re fighting for our lives just to stay in the Big East. We have to have a big win. We can’t afford to go in there and not play well. We’ve got our backs against the wall right now.”

The Irish will return to action Sunday at Marquette at 2 p.m.