Sept. 18, 2011
CINCINNATI – Freshman midfielder Megan Cravenor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Lakota West) scored the first goal of her collegiate career, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati women’s soccer team fell to University of Notre Dame 4-1 on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,400 at Gettler Stadium.
Cravenor put Cincinnati on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when she headed a Kelli Pawelko (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) corner kick past UND goalkeeper Maddie Fox to give the Bearcats an early 1-0 lead.
Cincinnati came out of the gate strong on the offensive attack, taking three consecutive corner kicks in the sixth minute. Freshman midfielder Christi Howard (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) nearly scored on the second corner kick when her header was quickly saved by Fox.
After an initial outburst off offensive aggression from the Bearcats in the first 30 minutes of the match, Notre Dame held possession for most of the remaining 60.
“That’s the youth of us, after jumping out in front of a really good team we didn’t keep the petal to the metal,” said UC head coach Michelle Salmon. “But we’ll learn from it and get better.”
Notre Dame senior forward Melissa Henderson, the 2010 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American, quickly put the Fighting Irish back on top with two goals in the 18th and 26th minutes, and a third in the 65th minute for a hat-trick.
Henderson’s first goal came when UC freshman goalkeeper Kristina Utley (Castro Valley, Calif./Castro Valley) ran forward to grab the ball near the penalty line, but Henderson was able to sneak it past Utley toward an unmanned goal. For her second goal, Henderson redirected a pass from Jazmin Hall into the right side of the net to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead it carried into halftime.
The Irish tacked on a fourth goal from UND freshman forward Laura Bohaboy in the 88th minute to make the score 4-1.
For the second consecutive match, UC was outshot by its opponent. The Irish took 29 shots compared to Cincinnati’s 12. The Bearcats did, however, take seven corner kicks compared to UND’s six.
Cincinnati will travel to Rhode Island to play Providence College at 4 p.m. Friday.
SELLOUT NOTE: The maximum capacity crowd of 1,400 during Sunday’s Cincinnati-Notre Dame women’s soccer match is the first in Gettler Stadium history.
“I’m so proud to be the head coach at Cincinnati and what we’ve built here,” Salmon said of the sellout. “It’s been a long process for us as a staff to really get the community behind us and really have the support of the soccer community.
“The Cincinnati soccer community has been great, with open arms and very welcoming to our team. Our players deserve it because they work hard, they do all of the community service, they do all the right things in the classroom and work their tails off. The community sees that. This team is Cincinnati. This team represents everything that’s about Cincinnati.”