CS360 On-Site – from Notre Dame (1st-round recap notes)

CS360 correspondent Brian Goff has been providing onsite commentary and insights (including some in-game postings) from the action at Notre Dame's Alumni Stadium (Friday recap notes follow below):

FIRST-ROUND RECAP – Central Michigan 2, Purdue 0

• The Central Michigan Chippewas, champions of the Mid-American Conference, pulled off a first-round surprise by taking out Purdue n Friday night at Alumni Field (2-0)

• Purdue controlled the run of play for much of the first half, as the Chippewas appeared to be a bit nervous in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game ... the Boilers best chance came in the 27th minute when freshman Remi Gibba got behind the defense, only to be denied by ‘keeper Shay Mannin (who showed why she was tabbed the MAC’s defensive player of the year).

• In the final minute of the first half. CMU earned a corner kick after freshman Autumn Hawkins unleashed a blistering shot from just outside the box that was saved brilliantly by Boilers 'keeper Jenny Brandfisch ... the ensuing corner was inadvertently put in the net when Brandfisch attempted to punch the ball out, only to see it deflect off her hand for an own-goal.

• CMU came out strong in the second half and controlled much of the possession, which led to a correctly-called penalty kick when freshman Laura Twidle was taken down in the box (55') ... defender Liesel Toth delivered a perfect PK into the lower left corner for the 2-0 lead.

• Purdue did not appear to play with much desperation down the stretch and were rarely threatening in the final minutes ... credit should be given to CMU’s defense, which recorded its NCAA-leading 19th shutout of the season and has conceded only one goal in its past 18 games.


• Notre Dame opened up the NCAAs with a convincing 5-0 victory over the Summit League champion IUPUI, also making its first-ever NCAA appearance ... the game remained scoreless early, due to the strong play of IUPUI senior 'keeper, Jamie Farrell, who made a brilliant diving save on a free kick from midfielder Courtney Barg.

• Sophomore sensation Melissa Henderson broke the scoreless tie in the 8th minute on a fantastic individual play .. Henderson gathered the ball near the midfield stripe and maneuvered around the defense down the center of the field before delivering a shot from inside the box that beat the 'keeper to the lower left.

• Notre Dame again turned it on in the final 10 minutes of the first half, to essentially put the game away ... the second goal was delivered by an unlilkely source in senior central defender Haley Ford (40') ... Ford, dangerous in the air due to her height, notched her second goal of the season off a corner kick that was knocked around in the box by several players (Ford knocked home the goal after seeing her initial header saved by the ‘keeper).

• Seldom-used senior Rachel VanderGenugten recorded her first career goal in the 44th minute of play ... Molly Campbell delivered a free kick into the box that was headed towards the goal by Ford ... the ball landed at the feet of VanderGenugten, who volleyed it in from close range.

• ND coach Randy Waldrum subbed frequently in the second half ... despite the unfamiliar lineup, Notre Dame added to its lead in the 54th minute when Melissa Henderson scored off an assist from freshman Lindsay Brown, her first career point ... sophomore Brynn Gerstle later recored her first career point, when she set up a scre from Ellen Jantsch (86').