PISCATAWAY, NJ – Two goals in the match’s first five minutes paced the No. 2 Notre Dame women’s soccer team (17-0-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) to a 3-0 win at Rutgers (9-5-4, 2-2-1 BIG EAST) in a BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division match Oct. 24.
Kate Thorlakson knocked in Amy Warner’s cross from the end line less than three minutes into the match, and Melissa Tancredi headed in Thorlakson’s corner kick a minute later to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Thorlakson then scored her second goal of the match in the 32nd minute, when an apparent cross rolled into the back of the goal.
Following the first five minutes, the two teams played more evenly as each had good scoring chances, including a Courtney Hudson (Churchville, PA) try late in the first half that was just wide. Rutgers out-cornered the Irish 4-1 in the second half (5-2 overall), and held the prolific Notre Dame attack to just nine shots. The Scarlet Knights were playing without All-American Carli Lloyd (Delran, NJ), who was serving a suspension for accumulated yellow cards. Freshman Robyn Jones (Titusville, NJ) made three saves in the loss (7-5-4). Rutgers remains tied for third place in the Mid-Atlantic Division, and a win in the season finale Oct. 26 will assure the Scarlet Knights a BIG EAST Tournament berth.
“I’m actually very encouraged by the performance,” fourth-year head coach Glenn Crooks explained. “The first five minutes I was extremely disappointed with. I think we let the atmosphere and the opponent get to us. We did have a lot of people on the field who hadn’t played in a match like this on the college level. From the second goal on, we looked very good. If we didn’t know it before, we know now that we are capable of competing and winning a match like this against one of the nation’s best teams. I feel bad about the loss, but not about the performance.”
Rutgers was ranked fifth by both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccerbuzz in the Mid-Atlantic Region this week (Oct. 20). The Scarlet Knights also received votes in the NSCAA, Soccerbuzz and SoccerTimes.com national polls. Notre Dame was rated second in the national polls, and first in the Great Lakes Region by the NSCAA and Soccerbuzz.
Rutgers will celebrate Senior Day Sunday, Oct. 26, when the Scarlet Knights host Georgetown in the regular-season finale at 1:00 p.m.
No. 2 Notre Dame 3, Rutgers 0; Yurcak Field; Piscataway, NJ
Score By Periods
Notre Dame 3 0 3
Rutgers 0 0 0
Shots: ND 9, RU 4. Corner Kicks: ND 2, RU 5. Saves: ND 1, RU 3. Fouls: ND 13, RU 13. Offsides: ND 1, RU 0. Yellow Cards: ND 0, RU 0.
Score By Periods
Time Goal Assist
ND 2:44 Katie Thorlakson Amy Warner
ND 3:53 Melissa Tancredi Thorlakson
ND 31:27 Thorlakson