Henderson puts Notre Dame back in title hunt

[NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN] As Melissa Henderson goes, so goes Notre Dame, and of late, Henderson has been unstoppable. That makes the Irish the darkhorses in this year's NCAA Division I Women's Tournament.

Henderson has scored nine goals in her five postseason games -- including four against Central Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament -- to give her 17 goals for the season.

Notre Dame is 22-0-0 all-time when Henderson scores a goal (10-0-0 this year).

The Chippewas had allowed only one goal in their previous 19 games, but they had no answer for Henderson's speed.

"There was nobody on either of the teams we played this weekend that could deal with her and her speed, her strength and her finishing moves," Coach Randy Waldrum told the Notre Dame Observer after wins over IUPUI (5-0) and Central Michigan.

The former Gatorade High School Player of the Year from Garland, Texas, has carried the Irish attack along with converted defender Lauren Fowlkes (10 goals) and Taylor Knaack (6). Notre Dame has 20 goals in postseason games to extend its unbeaten streak to 17 games.

That's a far cry from the beginning of the season when the Irish began 3-3-0 with shutout losses to North Carolina (6-0), Stanford (2-0) and Santa Clara (2-0).

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