MADISON, Wis. - They say revenge is a dish best served cold and that's exactly what the Wisconsin Women's Soccer team did as they opened up their 2012 campaign by beating visiting Notre Dame 1-0 on Friday night at the McClimon Soccer Complex in front of 1,136 fans celebrating the start to all Badgers sports for the 2012-13 year.
Those 1,136 fans on hand tonight had to wait out an anxious 83 plus minutes as the eventual game winner came at the 83:41 mark off the boot of Senior Monica Lam-Feist.
After stepping in front of a pass in the mid-field the goal came from a blast just outside the box that banked off the left post and in. The goal came completely unassisted.
With the victory tonight Wisconsin got revenge for a 2-0 season opening defeat at the hands of the then top ranked Irish in South Bend, IN last season.
The Irish came into 2012 ranked 28th after receiving votes in the 1st NSCAA poll of this season and are perennial Big East powers.
For Wisconsin the win marks just the 2nd victory over Notre Dame in program history as the all-time record now stands at 13-2-1 in favor of the Irish. The first victory over the Irish came back in 1989. It also marked the Badgers first win in a season opener in over five years, the last coming via a 3-2 win over Creighton in 2006.
Despite the win there is plenty to work on for Head Coach Paula Watkins' squad. It was far from a dominate match for the Badgers as they were actually on their heels for most of it, being outshot 12-8 on the night by the Irish and allowing 5 Notre Dame corners to just 2 of their own.
However, the Badgers have to take some huge confidence from holding off such a well known and historically great program to start the season.
In fact it's safe to say the Badgers lacked nearly anything offensively for most of the match.
Lam-Feist's goal was only 1 of 2 shots in the 2nd half for Wisconsin. Despite the 8 shots faced Notre Dame's Elyse Hight had a pretty easy go of it, only making one stop on just 2 shots on goal the entire game. The other Badgers shot on frame came from M/F Lexi Peterson.
Wisconsin teammates and fans can thank fellow Senior Lauren Gunderson almost as much as Lam-Feist as the goaltender racked up a clean sheet and made 7 saves on the night.
After leading the Badgers in goals scored last season as a freshman and earning Big Ten All-Freshman team honors Cara Walls started off 2012 in less than ideal fashion. She was held in check by the Notre Dame defense, going without a single shot from her forward spot all game long.
The Irish offense was led by M/F Elizabeth Tucker along with M/F Karin Simonian who had 3 shots (3 SOG) and 5 shots (1 SOG) respectively.
Wisconsin now will look to start 2012 on a winning streak as they take on South Dakota State this Sunday at the McClimon Soccer Complex. First kick is scheduled for 1pmCT. It's the middle game of a three game home stand to start the season.