Oct. 23, 2008
2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 17
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16-0-0 / 9-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #24/18 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-4-1 / 6-2-1 BIG EAST)
DATE: Oct. 24, 2008
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Field (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 15-1-2
1ST MTG: Tied 1-1 (9/13/92)
LAST MTG: ND 2-0 (11/4/07)
WEBCAST: UND.com (live) (Michael Scholl, p-b-p / Amara Parseghian, color)
LIVE STATS: UND.com
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TICKETS: (574) 631-7356
- Notre Dame has matched the best start to a season in school history, tying the 16-0-0 debut by the 2000 club.
- Rutgers will be the sixth ranked opponent of the season for the Irish, who have won their previous five contests against Top 25 foes by a combined margin of 12-3 (including the past three by identical 3-1 scores).
No. 1 Notre Dame Opens Final Weekend Of Regular Season Friday Against #24/18 Rutgers
Life doesn’t get any easier for the newly-minted BIG EAST National Division champions, as No. 1 Notre Dame kicks off the final weekend of the regular season Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) against No. 24/18 Rutgers at Alumni Field. Friday’s game not only is a clash between the top two teams in the National Division, but also a rematch of last year’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal, won by the Irish, 2-0 in South Bend.
Notre Dame (16-0, 9-0) locked up this year’s division crown with a 2-0 victory at Connecticut last Sunday. Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks scored twice (her 17th career multi-goal game) and became the school’s career goals leader, while also stretching her goalscoring streak to a school-record tying 10 games.
The Irish defense was particularly strong as well, holding the Huskies to one shot on goal and only two corner kicks in the contest.
- Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
- Rutgers is 24th in the current NSCAA poll and 18th in the new Soccer America poll.
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 (17G-5A) 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 to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (81G-63A entering Friday’s game). She has earned national honors from Soccer America (Team of the Week) and Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) three times each, as well as garnering three BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors (all in the past four weeks) 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 (5G-7A), 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. Most recently, she was tapped for the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week on Oct. 21 after registering a goal and four assists in shutout wins at Providence and Connecticut.
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 10 shutouts and a 0.44 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).
A Quick Look At Rutgers
One of the top teams in both the BIG EAST and the nation, No. 24/18 Rutgers comes into Friday’s game with a record of 11-4-1, including a 6-2-1 mark (19 points) in the National Division, good for second behind Notre Dame. The Scarlet Knights also play a stout brand of defense, turning in eight shutouts, including five in the past six games. What’s more, of RU’s four losses, each has come by the same 1-0 score, three against ranked teams.
Rutgers’ most recent shutout came last Sunday at Syracuse by that familiar 1-0 score. Senior midfielder Alicia Hall rewarded the Scarlet Knights’ patient defensive effort, scoring the lone goal in the 80th minute.
A trio of juniors have led the RU surge this season. Forward Caycie Gusman ranks ninth in the BIG EAST with 16 points, while her team-high eight goals are tied for fourth in the conference. Midfielder Gina DeMaio is second in the BIG EAST with 12 assists, while goalkeeper Erin Guthrie is fourth in the league with a 0.49 goals-against average (tops in conference play at 0.33).
Head coach Glenn Crooks is in the midst of his ninth season at Rutgers with a 98-67-21 (.583) record. Including prior stops at St. Peter’s and Long Island, Crooks has a 16-year coaching record of 143-122-30 (.536). He is 1-7-1 all-time against Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame-Rutgers Series
The Irish have a 15-1-2 series lead on Rutgers, including a 7-0-1 mark at Alumni Field. Following non-conference matchups in 1992 and 1994, the teams have met annually ever since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995, with second contests in the conference tournament in 1995 (semifinals), 2006 (final) and 2007 (quarterfinals).
An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 100 of the 2008 Irish women’s soccer media guide.
The Last Time Notre Dame And Rutgers Met
Kerri Hanks resumed her assault on Notre Dame’s postseason record books, with a corner-kick assist on the first goal, and then drawing and converting a penalty kick to help close out a 2-0 win over Rutgers in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 4, 2007, at Alumni Field.
The Irish held the Scarlet Knights to five shots (one on goal) and three corners, while Notre Dame had six attempts from the flag in the first half alone. One of those led to the first Irish goal at 32:50, as Hanks’ inswinger nearly went in on its own, before Ashley Jones elevated over RU ‘keeper Erin Guthrie to score on a point-blank header off the bottom of the crossbar.
Hanks then sealed matters at 80:45 after being fouled in the box by Rutgers’ Alexandra Hambleton. Hanks buried the ensuing penalty kick to send Notre Dame back to the BIG EAST semifinals for the 12th time in the program’s 13-year conference membership.
Other Notre Dame-Rutgers Series Tidbits
- The run-up to this year’s game provides an eerie similarity to the team’s 2004 matchup at Alumni Field (almost four years to the day on Oct. 23, in what also was the second-to-last home game of the regular season). The Irish also came into that game unbeaten and untied at 15-0-0, but left with a 0-0 double-overtime tie. Notre Dame couldn’t solve the RU defense on that Friday night, despite a 20-5 shot advantage that included two shots that smacked off the post and two others that sailed over the bar from close range.
- Three of the past seven series games have gone to overtime, with the Irish winning twice (1-0 at home in 2002, 1-0 on the road in 2005) in addition to the aforementioned tie in 2004.
- Since that scoreless tie, Notre Dame has outscored Rutgers, 10-3 in the ensuing four series games, with only the most recent contest coming at Alumni Field.
- RU assistant coach Karina LeBlanc was a backup goalkeeper for the 2008 Canadian Olympic Team, playing alongside former Notre Dame greats Melissa Tancredi (’04) and Candace Chapman (’05), and helping the Maple Leafs reach the quarterfinals in their initial Olympic appearance.
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 84-6-3 (.919) 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 five wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke, at No. 17/16 Penn State and at No. 17/16 Georgetown), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the last four 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 powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the same 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 Connecticut, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 47-game unbeaten streak (45-0-2) 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 121-8-4 (.925) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 665-80 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.
What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 82-game home unbeaten streak (81-0-1) 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 16 games this season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have put up.
Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 55-7 margin with nine shutouts this year. The Irish also rank fourth in the nation in scoring offense (currently 3.44 goals/game), as well as eighth in goals-against average (0.44) and ninth in shutout percentage (0.625).
The Irish also allowed just 40 opponent shots on goal all year (15 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame’s goals). By comparison, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has 43 shots on goal all by herself.
Together, the Irish have registered 183 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 111 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame has a sizeable 106-34 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 trailed for a grand total of 1:59 this season (59:06-61:05 vs. Marquette on Oct. 5) and have led for 1,018:49 of 1,446:58 minutes this season (70.4% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half or OT six times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul, 1-1 vs. Marquette, 2-2 at Villanova) for a combined total of 51:41, taking no more than 22:17 (at DePaul) to break any of the ties and move in front.
The One And Only
At 16-0-0, Notre Dame remains the lone unbeaten and untied team left in Division I women’s soccer and one of only three across all three NCAA divisions (through Oct. 23).
At Division II, Grand Valley State (16-0-0) is the only school still perfect thus far.
At Division III, Williams (12-0-0) is the only team still with an unblemished record.
Dude, We’re Going Streaking
With its 3-0 win at home over South Florida on Oct. 3, Notre Dame set a new school record for consecutive regular-season victories, with the active winning streak now at 26 games. The last time the Irish dropped a regular-season contest was more than a year ago (Sept. 23, 2007) when they gave up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss to 14th-ranked Penn State at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame’s current 26-game regular-season unbeaten streak also is the fifth-longest in school history. In fact, it should be noted that, except for a 16-day stretch last September when the Irish lost four times in six games (twice in OT), Notre Dame has not dropped a regular-season game dating back the middle of the 2005 season.
What’s more, since beginning last season with that tough 3-4-1 start, the Irish are 32-1-1 in their last 34 games overall, with the only loss coming to No. 14 Florida State (3-2) in last year’s NCAA College Cup semifinals, and the lone tie occurring at No. 12 West Virginia (1-1) in the ’07 BIG EAST tournament final (WVU won the title on penalty kicks, 5-3).
We’re Kind Of Used To This, Too
Notre Dame’s current 16-game winning streak matches the third-longest run in school history (longest in the Randy Waldrum era) and longest since a 16-game streak from Aug. 27-Oct. 18, 2000 (the only other time the Irish opened with 16 wins in a row).
The current streak also marks the sixth consecutive season in which the Irish have reeled off at least 12 victories in a row. Prior to this season, the longest run in that span (dating back to 2003) had been a 15-game winning streak to kick off the 2004 national championship season.
Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 16-3-8 (.741) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame went to OT for the first time this season on Oct. 12, taking a 3-2 win at Villanova on a “golden goal” by sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin at 96:58.
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 11 of their 16 games, the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play (including four games where they scored in the opening 10 minutes), 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).
Strong Out Of The Blocks
Notre Dame is off to a 16-0-0 start for the second time in program history, both in the past nine seasons and under current head coach Randy Waldrum.
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 Irish players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal. 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 on Sept. 28.
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 No. 12/11 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.
No Shots For You, Either
Notre Dame held South Florida without a single shot in a 3-0 win on Oct. 3. It marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (vs. Rutgers) that the Irish defense didn’t yield a shot.
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’ second-half goal was the 70th of her career, 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 UC Santa Barbara’s Carin Jennings).
On Sunday at Connecticut, Hanks scored twice to give her 81 career goals, breaking the Notre Dame record previously held by Jenny Heft (1996-99) and tying for 15th in NCAA history. Hanks also pulled even with former U.S. National Team player and coach (and North Carolina standout) April Heinrichs (1983-86) for eighth place on the Division I career points list (now with 225 points (81G-63A)).
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).
One After The Other After The Other
Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks is in the midst of one of the most productive runs of her brilliant career and arguably one of best in NCAA Division I annals.
The Allen, Texas, native has scored goals in 10 consecutive games (12 total in that span), tying Amanda Guertin’s school record originally set from Oct. 12-Nov. 18, 2001 (the final 10 games of Guertin’s sophomore season). Hanks’ current 10-game goalscoring streak also ties for the sixth-longest in NCAA Division I history, a spot she shares with other notables such as current U.S. National Team standouts Abby Wambach (2001 at Florida) and Christie (Pearce) Rampone (1996 at Monmouth), and one more than a host of others, including another current U.S. National Team forward, Natasha Kai (2003 at Hawaii).
Not to be overlooked, Hanks is on a 12-game point-scoring streak, one off her career long that she set in each of the past two seasons. It’s also two shy of the school record set by Hanks’ former teammate and current Canadian National Team member Katie Thorlakson from Oct. 14-Nov. 25, 2005 (the final 14 games of Thorlakson’s career).
Hanks Sets The Table, Too
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 71 (25G-21A) of Kerri Hanks’ 225 career points (81G-63A), representing 31.6% of her points with the Irish. Her 25 goals have come on penalty kicks (14-for-15, including 7-for-8 this year and 5-for-5 in the past five games), free kicks (10), 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 (22) of the 45 career goals scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers. That includes nine of her last 13 scores, most recently the opening goal in the Oct. 12 win at Villanova. Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.
Melissa Can’t Miss
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson is making the most of her time on the field, ranking second in the BIG EAST and 22nd in the nation in goals (12) despite averaging less than 44 minutes per game. In fact, were she to be averaging a full 90 minutes and scoring at her current pace, Henderson would have 25 goals this season, seven more than the national leader (Michigan State’s Laura Heyboer) entering Friday’s action.
Iantorno Is One Super Sub
Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno is second on the Irish with six assists and fourth on the team with 14 points (4G-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 308-79-20 (.781) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).
Two Milestones For the Price Of One
Notre Dame reached a pair of milestones with its 5-0 win at Providence on Oct. 17. Not only was it the 400th victory in the program’s 21-year history (now 401-67-19), but it also was the 200th win for head coach Randy Waldrum (201-29-8) since he arrived in South Bend in 1999.
Game #16 Recap: Connecticut
Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks scored twice and the Notre Dame defense turned in a stellar performance as the top-ranked Irish clinched the 2008 BIG EAST Conference National Division title with a 2-0 victory over Connecticut on Sunday afternoon at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. Hanks’ two-goal flurry was the highlight in a handful of record-setting moments for Notre Dame (16-0-0, 9-0-0 BIG EAST), which also has matched the best single-season start in school history, originally set back in 2000 by head coach Randy Waldrum’s second Irish club.
Sunday’s victory carried added significance for Notre Dame, which historically has had trouble at Morrone Stadium, going 1-2-2 at Connecticut in its five previous trips to Storrs. In 2006, the Irish had come to town in a similar place as this season (with an unblemished record) and left with only a 0-0 tie to show for their efforts. Two years earlier, Notre Dame faced UConn on its home field in the BIG EAST Tournament final and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Huskies in what would be the only loss for the Irish on the road to their second national championship.
This time around, Notre Dame was sharp at both ends of the field, outshooting Connecticut, 27-11, including a sizeable 15-1 margin in shots on goal. In fact, the Huskies’ lone official shot on frame came 13 minutes into the game from well outside the penalty area, and their best chance of the day with a little more than 12 minutes to play skipped wide of the cage. UConn (5-8-4, 3-3-3) did register the only two corner kicks in the contest, the first time in two seasons (Oct. 22, 2006, at Georgetown) that the Irish didn’t earn at least one try from the flag. However, it mattered little for Notre Dame, which controlled the run of play for large portions of the afternoon, keeping the Huskies on the defensive and preventing any meaningful forays into the offensive third by the host school.
In what has become a recurring theme this season, Notre Dame jumped out to an early lead, scoring in the first 20 minutes for the 11th time in 16 games. Freshman midfielder Courtney Barg started the sequence by corralling a loose ball in the center of the Connecticut half of the field and quickly threading a diagonal pass to senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Brittany Bock, who was racing down the right channel. Bock pushed the dribble to the right endline and delivered a perfectly-placed cross into the heart of the six-yard box, where Hanks rose up and snapped a header into the right-center portion of the net at 8:38.
The second-half media timeout proved to be just the tonic the Irish needed to get refreshed and put the game on ice. Freshman forward Melissa Henderson got things moving in the right direction, working the ball across the center line to senior midfielder Rebecca Mendoza, who smartly shoveled a one-touch pass to Bock cutting diagonally across the offensive third. The veteran took one dribble, which looked to be too far in front of her, but she recovered and managed to toe-poke a pass to Hanks near the top right corner of the penalty area. Hanks cut back against the grain and uncorked a world-class left-footed blast from 20 yards out that tucked high into the left sidenetting at 70:14.
The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 274-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 176-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 370-9-15 (.958) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.
Most impressively, Notre Dame is 296-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 273 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just two of the past 186 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force a tie, something achieved by four 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), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2007 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).
You Can Put It On The Board
Notre Dame has scored a goal in 41 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 41-game goal streak is the third-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.
A Little Added Face Time
Notre Dame played 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 traveled to Storrs, Conn., and defeated BIG EAST rival Connecticut, 2-0, 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).
Fowlkes Tapped For U.S. U-20 Camp
Sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes is one of 21 players who have been called into training camp by United States U-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco. The camp is one of the final steps prior to the announcement of the team that will compete in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Nov. 19-Dec. 7 in Chile. Fowlkes was part of the U.S. U-20 squad this past June when it qualified for the World Cup by finishing second at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico.
Should she be selected for the final roster, Fowlkes would miss the remainder of the 2008 season. She has appeared in 15 games for the Irish this year, starting four times, with her lone goal being the gamewinner in a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sept. 7 at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. Two nights earlier, Fowlkes got the starting nod against the homestanding Tar Heels and played a pivotal role for the Irish defense, which handed UNC a 1-0 shutout loss at Fetzer Field.
Fowlkes is bidding to continue a strong tradition of Notre Dame players on the U.S. U-20 World Cup Team (and its predecessors at the U-19 level). Current Irish senior co-captains Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal vs. China and the third-place game vs. Brazil (both went against the U.S. on PKs by identical 6-5 scores).
Another Notre Dame senior, Kerri Hanks, played for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships, helping the Americans to the title in 2002 (defeating host Canada 1-0 in overtime in the final) and a third-place finish in 2004 in Thailand. In the ’04 third-place game (a 3-0 win over Brazil), Hanks scored the opening goal for the U.S. on a free kick in the 21st minute.
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: Seton Hall
Notre Dame wraps up the 2008 regular season Sunday with a 1 p.m. (ET) BIG EAST Conference game against Seton Hall at Alumni Field. Prior to the game, the Irish will honor their six senior players and senior manager Troy Sustich, all of whom will be participating in their final regular-season home game at Notre Dame.
Seton Hall (5-9-2, 1-7-1 BIG EAST) is closing out its 2008 season, having officially been eliminated from contention for a berth in next week’s BIG EAST Championship. After starting out with a 4-2 record, the Pirates have won only once in their last 10 contests (two ties, seven losses), entering Friday’s visit to DePaul.
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