Oct. 2, 2008
2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 11
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0-0 / 3-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. South Florida Bulls (5-2-3 / 1-1-1 BIG EAST)
DATE: Oct. 3, 2008
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Field (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 1-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 4-0 (10/2/05)
LAST MTG: ND 4-0 (10/2/05)
WEBCAST: UND.com (live) (Tom Staudt, p-b-p / Drew Spada, color)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
TEXT ALERT: Sign up at UND.com
TICKETS: (574) 631-7356
- Notre Dame is set to face South Florida for the first time ever at Alumni Field.
- The Irish have outscored their five home opponents this season by a combined margin of 22-1.
No. 1 Irish Back Home Friday To Face South Florida
Bringing the past and the present of its program together, top-ranked Notre Dame will kick off its 20th anniversary weekend celebration at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when it plays host to BIG EAST foe South Florida at Alumni Field. A large contingent of Irish women’s soccer alumnae are expected back on campus for Friday’s game, as well as a gala dinner the next evening.
Notre Dame (10-0) last took the pitch on Sunday afternoon, rolling to a 6-0 conference win at Cincinnati. The Irish scored twice in the first half, then used an emphatic four-goal outburst in the second half (over a span of 8:11) to blow by the Bearcats, who did not have a single shot on goal in the contest.
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson notched her first career hat trick, with all three goals coming in just 46 minutes of action off the bench. Henderson is the 17th Irish rookie to post a hat trick (total of 21 times in 21 seasons), but just the third in the past eight years. Junior defender Haley Ford added a goal an an assist for her first points of the year.
- Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
- South Florida is not ranked.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season’s squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.
As if that weren’t enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.
Leading the way for Notre Dame this season are two of the country’s premier front-line players (and ’07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.
A three-time All-American and the ’06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (10G-2A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish record books, having led the nation in assists the past two seasons, and aiming to become the third Division I player ever to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (74G-60A entering Friday’s game). She has earned national honors from Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) three times and twice from Soccer America (Team of the Week), as well as taking home BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors and her second consecutive Offensive MVP award at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic with a school record-tying sixth career hat trick vs. Loyola Marymount.
Bock (1G-2A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points (16G-4A). The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5.
Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (0G-1A), the 2006 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year who made a successful recovery from an ACL injury late in the ’06 regular season with a solid ’07 campaign. She is the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week honoree, and a BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection after leading Notre Dame to seven shutouts and a 0.30 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).
A Quick Look At South Florida
One would be hard-pressed to find a team with better fitness this season than South Florida. The Bulls (5-2-3, 1-1-1 BIG EAST American Division) have had to go to overtime in seven of their 10 games (six of those going to a second OT), posting a 2-2-3 record in those extra-session affairs.
USF is unbeaten in its last three games (all by shutout), most recently dispatching Providence, 2-0 last Sunday in Tampa. The Bulls got goals from sophomore midfielders Brittany Pilon and Alejandra Santos to post their first multi-goal win of the season.
USF’s main weapon is in goal, where athletic junior netminder Mallori Lofton-Malachi is the reigning BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week. She has played every minute between the pipes for the Bulls this season, logging five shutouts with a 0.53 GAA and an impressive .912 save percentage (6.2 saves/game).
Offensively, freshman forward Chelsea Klotz (3G-0A) has accounted for nearly one-third of her team’s 10 goals this season, while fellow rookie Rehana Murani has dished out a team-high three assists.
Head coach Denise Schilte-Brown is in her second season at USF with a 9-12-6 (.444) record. She also has an 11-year coaching mark of 103-81-23 (.553), with Friday being her first-ever game against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-South Florida Series
It would be hard to term the Notre Dame-South Florida matchup a “series,” with this being just the second time the schools have faced one another on the soccer pitch. The Irish won the only prior series contest, 4-0, on Oct. 2, 2005, in Tampa, with the teams not meeting in 2006 or 2007 due to the BIG EAST’s rotating cross-divisional schedule.
An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 101 of the 2008 Irish women’s soccer media guide.
The Last Time ND And South Florida Met
Katie Thorlakson had two goals and an assist – creeping closer to the 50-goal/50-assist milestone for her career – while Maggie Manning and Susan Pinnick added their fourth goals of the season, as fifth-ranked Notre Dame rebounded from its second loss of the year with a 4-0 win at South Florida on Oct. 2, 2005.
Notre Dame dominated the run of the play, racking up a 31-6 edge in total shots, 15-3 in shots on goal and 7-4 in corner kicks. The Irish rested many of their regulars while utilizing 19 of the 20 players on the road trip.
The game marked Notre Dame’s 100th all-time BIG EAST Conference regular-season game, with the Irish owning a .905 winning percentage (89-8-3) in those first 100 games.
The Irish continued to play minus two injured defensive starters, as preseason BIG EAST goalkeeper of the year Erika Bohn remains sidelined with an ankle injury while all-BIG EAST defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek is out with a knee bruise.
Junior goalkeeper Nikki Westfall drew the first start of her career en route to her first career decision with the Irish, stopping all three shots she faced for Notre Dame’s fifth shutout in six games.
Other ND-South Florida Series Tidbits
- Only five current Irish players (all seniors) have ever faced South Florida before. Co-captains Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew started in the 2005 win at USF, while forward Kerri Hanks, midfielder Rebecca Mendoza and defender Kerry Inglis all came off the bench to play significant minutes into the victory. Hanks also was credited with an assist on Katie Thorlakson’s second goal of the day in the 39th minute.
- Since 1993, 52 different teams have made their first visit to Alumni Field, with the Irish winning 47 times (47-4-1, .913). Notre Dame added to that ledger back on Aug. 29 with a 4-0 win over Loyola Marymount.
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls on Sept. 16 (unanimous in this week’s NSCAA and Soccer Times balloting), with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).
Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season’s first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).
Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 78-6-3 (.914) as the nation’s top-ranked squad.
As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year’s media guide).
This year’s women’s soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women’s basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span.
One Tough Slate
Lest anyone think Notre Dame hasn’t earned its place atop the polls, just take a look at the Irish schedule this season.
Notre Dame has four wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke and at No. 17/16 Penn State), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the last three all coming away from home.
And it’s not like the Irish have experience playing SCU, UNC and Duke in a row, having last seen those three soccer powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the regular season, let alone in a row, since 1999).
The 1-0 win at North Carolina on Sept. 5 was even more noteworthy, as it marked just the seventh time the Tar Heels had ever been shut out at home, and only the fifth time by a Division I team. One of those five was a 0-0 tie (Duke), while the other four were 1-0 losses, two at the hands of Notre Dame (the other came in the ’95 NCAA semifinals at Fetzer Field, leading to the first of two Irish national championships).
Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Following last Sunday’s win at Cincinnati, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 41-game unbeaten streak (39-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition since a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year’s BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie).
Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 115-8-4 (.921) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 646-76 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.
What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 80-game home unbeaten streak (79-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).
Numbers Don’t Lie
To get a clearer picture of just how dominating Notre Dame has been through the first 10 games of the season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have been putting up.
Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 36-3 margin with seven shutouts this season, while three Irish players (Kerri Hanks, Melissa Henderson and Erica Iantorno) have three goals themselves. Notre Dame ranks third in the nation in scoring offense (3.6 goals/game), as well as fifth in goals-against average (0.30) and sixth in shutout percentage (0.7).
In fact, of the three goals Notre Dame has allowed this season, one was an apparent own-goal according to video review (Duke), while another was the result of a goalkeeper muff (Penn State) and the third (Louisville) came about due to a miscommunication on the Irish back line that let a corner kick sit unattended in the six-yard area.
The Irish also allowed just 23 opponent shots on goal all year (13 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame’s goals). By comparison, Hanks has 23 shots on goal all by herself.
Together, the Irish have registered 110 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 71 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame has a sizeable 67-27 edge in corner kicks to boot.
Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have not trailed at any point this season and have led for 618:34 of 900 minutes this season (68.7% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half just four times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul) for a combined total of 35:06, taking no more than 22:17 (at DePaul) to break any of the four ties and move in front.
The One And Only
At 10-0-0, Notre Dame remains the lone unbeaten and untied team left in Division I women’s soccer and one of only nine across all three NCAA divisions.
At Division II, there are three schools that are still perfect entering Friday’s action: Grand Valley State (10-0-0), West Virginia Wesleyan (9-0-0) and Wisconsin-Parkside (8-0-0).
At Division III, five teams still have unblemished records: Principia (11-0-0), Penn State-Altoona (10-0-0), Carthage (9-0-0), Williams (6-0-0) and Tufts (5-0-0).
Getting The Jump On The Competition
Notre Dame’s quick start this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to either the first or second half.
In six games (including all five home games), the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play, with senior forward Kerri Hanks owning the fastest strike of the season (penalty kick at 2:39 vs. Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29). That marked the 11th-fastest goal of the Randy Waldrum era, and the quickest since Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).
In two of its road games, Notre Dame has been scoreless at halftime, but taken the lead less than five minutes into the second half. Against No. 3/2 UNC, senior forward Brittany Bock scored at 50:21, then against No. 12/11 Duke, Bock fed Hanks for a score only 69 seconds after emerging from the locker room.
Strong Out Of The Blocks
Notre Dame is off to a 10-0-0 start for the fifth time in program history, all in the past 13 seasons. It’s also the fourth time a Randy Waldrum-coached Irish team has started the year with at least 10 consecutive wins.
Spreading The Wealth
In an early example of the incredible depth of this year’s Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since ’99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).
For the season, 15 different Notre Dame players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal, with only three individual multi-goal games thus far (Kerri Hanks’ hat trick against Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29; Melissa Henderson’s two-goal game against SMU on Sept. 12; and Henderson’s hat trick last Sunday at Cincinnati).
In addition, Notre Dame already has tied the school record with 20 different point scorers this season. Junior defender Haley Ford was the latest to join both clubs with her first collegiate goal and an assist at Cincinnati.
The Notre Dame single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996 (in a 26-game season).
No Soup For You
For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.
The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program’s first national championship.
Hanks = History
With each passing game, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks reaches more career milestones in the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in women’s college soccer history.
On Sept. 19 at DePaul, Hanks reached four more milestones in one fell swoop, thanks to her second-half goal. It was her 70th career goal, making her the fourth D-I player to amass 70 goals and 60 assists (others are North Carolina’s Mia Hamm, Notre Dame’s Jenny Streiffer and Jennings), and it gave the talented striker 200 career points, making her the 18th player in Division I history to reach that landmark.
On Sept. 26 against Louisville, Hanks scored twice to move into 17th place on the D-I career points list (now with 208 points (74G-60A)), passing Missy Wycinsky of William & Mary (202 from 1996-99). Up next is North Carolina’s Robin Confer (209 from 1994-97), with Hanks standing just three points shy of the Notre Dame all-time record held by Streiffer (211 from 1996-99).
The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in ’06; 21 in ’07), Hanks also looks ahead to the historic 70G-70A club, a landmark achievement that only two players (Hamm and Streiffer) in the history of Division I women’s soccer have managed to attain (and neither got beyond 72G-72A).
Hanks Sets The Table, Too
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 61 (20G-21A) of Kerri Hanks’ 208 career points (74G-60A), representing nearly 30 percent of her points with the Irish. Her 20 goals have come on free kicks (10), penalty kicks (9-for-9, including 2-for-2 this year), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 21 assists have been via corner-kick (13) or free-kick (8) services.
Bock Stays A-Head Of The Game
Nearly half (20) of the 41 career goals scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers, including eight last season (seven of her final eight scores in ’07 came via headers). Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.
Iantorno Is One Super Sub
Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno leads the Irish with six assists and is third on the team with 12 points (3G-6A). All this for a player who came to Notre Dame last year as a walk-on (after reversing her original decision to attend Missouri) and had four points during her entire freshman season (on four assists).
This year, Iantorno has emerged as Notre Dame “microwave” off the bench, heating up the minute she gets into the game. In fact, less than a minute after subbing into the Penn State game on Sept. 21, the Hinsdale, Ill., native already had chalked up an assist, taking a throw-in, driving to the left endline and whipping a cross into the box that junior forward Michele Weissenhofer buried in the back of the net.
Five days later against Louisville, Iantorno posted a three-point night (1G-1A) less than 10 minutes after coming into the game at the 31-minute mark. First, she delivered a sharp cross at the top of the box that Weissenhofer dummied for freshman midfielder Courtney Barg, who scored her first career goal (33:35). Then, senior defender Elise Weber sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by the Louisville goalkeeper and Iantorno was on the doorstep for the easy finish (40:32).
Our Fearless Leader
Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone on Sept. 21 at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum became the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins — he now has a record of 302-79-20 (.778) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).
Game #10 Recap: Cincinnati
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson collected her first career hat trick, and No. 1 Notre Dame held Cincinnati without a single shot on goal, blowing past the host Bearcats, 6-0, on Sunday afternoon in BIG EAST Conference National Division action at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati. Junior defender Haley Ford added a goal and an assist, her first points of the year, and senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks knocked home her team-high 10th goal of the season as the Irish (10-0-0, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) remain the nation’s lone unbeaten and untied team in 2008.
With as much offensive firepower as Notre Dame displayed on Sunday, its defense was equally impressive, preventing UC from getting any shots on goal and mounting any serious threats until the closing minutes of the game. The Irish wound up outshooting the Bearcats, 19-7 (10-0 in shots on goal) although Cincinnati did hold a 5-3 edge on corner kicks. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander went the first 75:13 in the Notre Dame net before sophomore Nikki Weiss wrapped up the seventh Irish shutout in 10 games this season.
Awards A-Plenty For Irish
Three Notre Dame players were honored for their play last week. Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks was tapped as the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week, in addition to copping a place on the Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer national teams of the week. Hanks scored three times in two conference games last week, including a two-goal effort on Sept. 26 vs. Louisville.
It was Hanks’ third selection to the TDS squad and second SA citation, and she also has been a three-time BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll choice this season.
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Week honors on Monday, as well as a place on the TDS and Soccer Buzz national teams of the week. Henderson potted a hat trick in Sunday’s win at Cincinnati, coming off the bench to score her three goals in just 46 minutes of action.
Henderson is a two-time selection for the TDS squad, while it was her first Soccer Buzz honor and her first BIG EAST award (she did make the league’s weekly honor roll back on Sept. 15).
Senior defender/co-captain Carrie Dew was recognized on the current BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll, following two prior selections as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week. Dew anchored an Irish defense that allowed only one goal and five shots on goal (none at Cincinnati) last week.
You Stay CLASS-y, Notre Dame
Senior All-America forwards (and Hermann Trophy candidates) Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock are two of the 30 nominees for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Notre Dame is one of five schools with multiple nominees for this year’s award, joining BYU, Clemson, Duke and USC.
Both Hanks and Bock have exemplified the term “student-athlete” in their career. After enrolling at Notre Dame in the spring of 2005 (due to playing in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships the previous fall, Hanks worked hard to graduate one semester early (with her Class of ’08 teammates), earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology this past May.
Bock earned ESPN The Magazine Third-Team Academic All-America status last year while compiling a 3.365 cumulative GPA as a marketing major. She also garnered dean’s list honors in the spring 2008 term with a 3.70 GPA, and had a sharp 3.834 GPA this past summer.
A national media committee will select the 10 finalists in October, with the official ballot opened for nationwide fan voting on Oct. 9. That fan balloting, coupled with votes from coaches and media, will determine this year’s recipient, who will be announced at the NCAA Women’s College Cup Dec. 5-7 in Cary, N.C.
The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 269-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 171-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 366-9-15 (.958) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
Most impressively, Notre Dame is 292-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 269 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just one of the past 182 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force a tie, something achieved by three opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), and Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2).
You Can Put It On The Board
Notre Dame has scored a goal in 35 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 35-game goal streak is the fourth-longest in school history, and it’s the longest since a 49-game run from Oct. 24, 2004-Oct. 8, 2006.
The school record is 55 straight games with a goal from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999, while the next streak ahead of the current Irish run is a 36-game string from Oct. 19, 1995-Dec. 6, 1996.
A Little Added Face Time
Notre Dame is slated to play on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Oct. 19, Notre Dame travels to Storrs, Conn., for a BIG EAST matchup with Connecticut which will be shown live on CBS College Sports.
In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games are slated to be broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online’s GameTracker service.
Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women’s soccer page at www.UND.com and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.
Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing “2”.
The Golden Girls
Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) and Shannon Boxx (’99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal.
The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis (’10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis’ career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the ’00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson (’32).
Markgraf and her fellow Olympians are slated to be honored this weekend by the University at several events, including Friday night’s soccer game vs. South Florida, as well as Saturday afternoon’s football game against Stanford and Saturday night’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Irish women’s soccer program. Boxx will be unable to attend this weekend’s festivities due to a prior obligation.
Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad (including the new Irish soccer stadium tentatively set for completion in June 2009), parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans may ride the complimentary shuttle bus from the Eck Stadium lot, or walk around the north end of Eck Stadium (behind the left-field wall) before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.
Next Game: Marquette
The Irish wrap up their BIG EAST weekend homestand Sunday with a 3:30 p.m. (ET) game against Marquette at Alumni Field. It will be the back half of a Notre Dame soccer doubleheader, with the Irish men slated to take on Georgetown at 1 p.m.
Marquette (6-3-2, 2-0-1 BIG EAST) shares the top spot in the BIG EAST’s American Division with No. 13/10 West Virginia. The Golden Eagles were unbeaten in their last four games (2-0-2) with three shutouts in that span, heading into Friday’s contest at DePaul.
— ND —