Senior Day at the beginning of the season? One program is taking that unusual route while a nearly six-year winning streak came to an end. " />
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Defending champs end nearly six-year streak

Published: September 20, 2011
Is Notre Dame’s Big East dynasty nearing its end? There were warning signs this past weekend that the rest of the conference may finally be ready to overthrow their rule. 

Streak snapped: Defending National champion Notre Dame used to have Jedi Mind control over the Big East Conference. Maybe not anymore. Louisville ended Notre Dame’s 62-game regular season unbeaten streak in the conference with a huge 1-0 victory over the No. 13 Fighting Irish on Friday. It was the first Big East regular season loss for Notre Dame since Sept. 30, 2005, a crazy run of dominance. Louisville’s Erin Yenney scored in the 55th minute and goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer kept a clean sheet. With Notre Dame now at 4-4-1 on the season, the time may be now for the rest of the conference to rise up.  

mississippi state women's soccer player morganne grimesMississippi State's Morganne Grimes. (Courtesy mstateathletics.com)
Working overtime:
If Mississippi State wasn’t already one of the better conditioned teams in the country, they are now. The Bulldogs have played a school record four straight overtime games in a span of just eight days. Their last two have gone the distance with Mississippi State earning ties against Southern Miss last Tuesday and Troy on Friday. What will the Bulldogs do for an encore? How about open their SEC schedule this weekend – as if they haven’t been working hard enough.

Round em’ up Cowgirls: What an opening run it’s been for Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls are off to their best start in school history after they beat Utah State 3-0 on Sunday to improve to 11-0-0. The program had previously started a season 10-0-0 in 2002 and 2003. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, whom we’ve gushed about in the past, combined on yet another shutout. Is it possible, at No. 5 in the country, that we’ve actually underrated the Cowgirls thus far? 

Road trip: South Carolina State had quite the adventurous weekend, and some of it even included soccer. Heading to play a road match against Liberty on Friday, the Bulldogs had their bus break down near Charlotte, North Carolina, and were unable to make the trip to Liberty’s campus in Lynchburg, Virginia. The game was postponed with no makeup date as of yet, and South Carolina State went on to lose at UNC-Asheville 5-1 on Sunday – though they should be excused for not having their best effort. 

Senior moment: Northern Illinois has put a new spin on an old tradition. Remember Senior Day? Final home game; tears, nostalgia and the whole deal? Not for the Huskies. Beginning last season, coach Carrie Barker has had her squad observing the day on the final non-conference home game of the season – meaning, quite early in the year. That certainly gives the moment a different context, but Barker has her reasons. In previous years, tournament qualification had come down to the last game of the season making for a weighty day of emotions and high stakes. This way, the program can give the celebration its due while ramping up for the conference schedule. Anyway, Northern Illinois went about their unique festivity on Sunday when they honored seniors Kelsey Passaglia, Meaghan Bennett, Becca Ford and Megan Harry.  

Beat down of the week: Texas A&M 13, Fordham 1 (awkward silence). 

Women’s Top 20 Action
  1. Stanford def. Portland 2-0; def. Santa Clara 2-0
  2. North Carolina def. NC State 5-1
  3. UCLA def. Loyola Marymount 3-1
  4. Boston College def. Dartmouth 2-0; def. Virginia 2-0
  5. Oklahoma State def. BYU 2-1; def. Utah State 3-0
  6. Duke def. College of Charleston 3-0; def. Florida State 2-1
  7. Florida def. Missouri 2-0; def. Kansas 7-2
  8. Wake Forest def. Florida State 2-0; def. South Carolina 2-0
  9. Maryland lost to Virginia 4-1; def. Virginia Tech 2-1
  10. Florida State lost to Wake Forest 2-0; lost to Duke 2-1
  11. California def. San Francisco 6-1
  12. Virginia def. Maryland 4-1; lost to Boston College 2-0
  13. Notre Dame lost to Louisville 1-0; def. Cincinnati 4-1
  14. Marquette def. Pittsburgh 3-0; lost to West Virginia 3-1
  15. Virginia Tech def. Appalachian State 4-0; lost to Maryland 2-1
  16. Georgetown lost to Seton Hall 3-2; def. Rutgers 4-1
  17. Texas A&M def. Baylor 2-1; def. Fordham 13-1
  18. Santa Clara lost to Stanford 2-0
  19. Dayton def. Ohio State 1-0; def. Kentucky 2-1
  20. Pepperdine def. UC Santa Barbara 3-0; tied Cal Poly 1-1
 
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