Irish's Big East domination is over

[NOTRE DAME-CONNECTICUT WOMEN] Notre Dame's NCAA Division I-record 77-match unbeaten streak (72-0-5) against conference opponents was snapped Sunday when the Irish fell to Connecticut, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

The loss was also the first by the Irish against a Big East opponent at home in 100 consecutive matches, dating back to the Huskies' 5-4 overtime win over Notre Dame on Oct. 6, 1995.

Elise Fugowski scored both goals for Connecticut on Sunday, breaking through in the 59th minute and then adding an insurance goal off a Fighting Irish defensive miscue with exactly 17 minutes to play.

Goalkeeper Jessica Dulski was sensational, recording three point-blank saves in the final 11 minutes to preserve the victory.

"This was clearly a case of one team coming into a playoff game wanting it right from the opening whistle, and one team just going through the motions," Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum said. "UConn had that sense of urgency and for whatever reason, we didn't have the mental strength and focus to compete today, and that's on me as much as anyone -- I didn't do a very good job of preparing us to play."

TRIVIA: Notre Dame's 77-match unbeaten streak against conference opponents was the fourth-longest run across all divisions in NCAA history -- the three longer ones are by Division III programs: an active 112-match run by Hardin-Simmons, a 101-match streak by Oneonta State from 1999-2007 and a 93-match string by Wheaton (Mass.) from 2000-08.

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