Sophomore forward Erica Iantorno has turned into Notre Dame's version of 'The Microwave', heating up quickly once she comes into the game to the tune of a team-high four assists and two goals this season.

#1 Irish Visit #17/16 Penn State For Sunday Non-Conference Matinee

Sept. 21, 2008

Full Notes Package in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 8
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0-0 / 1-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #17/16 Penn State Nittany Lions (5-3-0 / 0-0-0 Big Ten)

DATE: Sept. 21, 2008
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: University Park, Pa. – Jeffrey Field (3,500)
SERIES: ND leads 2-1-0
1ST MTG: ND 2-1 (8/31/01)
LAST MTG: PSU 2-1 (9/23/07)
TV: Big Ten Network (live) (Dean Linke, p-b-p / Lisa Grubb, color)
TEXT ALERT: Sign up at
TICKETS: (814) 863-1000


  • Notre Dame makes its first-ever visit to Penn State’s Jeffrey Field, while closing out its 2008 non-conference schedule.
  • Sunday is the second “redemption game” for the Irish this season (after Santa Clara), as Notre Dame looks to bounce back from some tough losses early last year.

#1 Irish Visit #17/16 Penn State For Sunday Non-Conference Matinee
Challenges loom around every corner and Sunday afternoon will prove no different for top-ranked Notre Dame, as the Irish head to University Park, Pa., for a 1 p.m. (ET) non-conference match against No. 17/16 Penn State at Jeffrey Field.

Notre Dame (7-0) had to battle hard in its BIG EAST Conference opener on Friday at DePaul, but emerged with a 1-0 victory over the Blue Demons. Senior All-America forward Kerri Hanks potted her 70th career goal in the 78th minute, as the Irish muscled through DePaul’s bunker-like defense to earn the win. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander made one save to record her third solo shutout of the year.

With the victory, Notre Dame now has outscored its seven opponents, 23-1, and has more than twice as many shots on goal (80) as its foes have total shots (39). What’s more, the Irish have given up only 14 shots on goal all year.


  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
  • Penn State is ranked 17th in the current NSCAA and 16th in this week’s 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 (6G-2A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Notre Dame 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 (70G-60A entering Sunday’s game). She earned national honors on Sept. 1 from Top Drawer Soccer (Player of the Week) and Soccer America (Team of the Week) after garnering her second consecutive Offensive MVP award at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic with her school record-tying sixth career hat trick vs. Loyola Marymount.

Bock (1G-1A), 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, 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, after leading Notre Dame to four consecutive shutouts to open this year (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).

A Quick Look At Penn State
Penn State comes into Sunday’s game with a 5-3 record, including a 2-1 mark at home. The Nittany Lions kicked off the season with wins in four of their first five games, but since have dropped two of their last three contests (all away from Happy Valley).

PSU returns home to Jeffrey Field after a 1-0 loss at James Madison on Thursday night. Playing before the largest crowd in JMU history and a national television audience, the Nittany Lions were outshot, 12-7 (4-1 in shots on goal) as the host Dukes made a 22nd-minute goal stand up. Junior goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made three saves, but was charged with the loss for Penn State.

Sophomore forward Danielle Toney has a team-high 13 points (4G-5A), while junior forward Katie Schoepfer is close behind with 11 points (4G-3A) and classmate Nikki Watts has nine points (4G-1A). Naeher (5-3-0, 1.22 GAA, .792 SV%) has started seven of eight games between the pipes for the Nittany Lions, logging one solo shutout.

Head coach Erica Walsh is in her second season at Penn State with a 23-7-2 (.750) record at the school. She is in her sixth year as a college skipper (prior stops at Dartmouth and Harvard) with a 63-35-5 (.636) career record. Walsh is 1-0 all-time against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Penn State Series
Notre Dame has won two of the previous three games played against Penn State, although Sunday will mark the first time the Irish have ever visited Jeffrey Field. Notre Dame picked up a 2-1 win over the Nittany Lions at the KeyBank/adidas Classic to open the 2001 season, then ousted PSU, 4-0 in the 2006 NCAA quarterfinals, before Penn State earned its first win over the Irish last year (2-1) — all three games were played at Notre Dame’s Alumni Field.

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 Penn State Met
Kerri Hanks scored for the fourth consecutive game, but visiting Penn State went on to score a pair of second-half goals in a three-minute span as the 14th-ranked Nittany Lions emerged with a 2-1 win over fellow No. 14 Notre Dame at Alumni Field. The Irish held a 24-9 shot advantage (9-3 in shots on goal), but Notre Dame was hurt by defensive miscues and faulty finishing in the attacking third.

Hanks gave the Irish the lead at 20:27, taking a pass from Amanda Cinalli, spinning at the top of the box and driving a 12-yard shot into the far right side of the goal.

Penn State tied the game in the 55th minute, as Ashley Myers’ 20-yard shot eluded Irish ‘keeper Lauren Karas. A weak back pass by the Notre Dame defense set up the decisive penalty kick, as Karas raced out and was called for a hard foul on a charging Katie Schoepfer at the right edge of the box. Melissa Hayes then stepped up and converted the PK at 57:34, with the Nittany Lions holding on through the final half-hour for the win.

Other Notre Dame-Penn State Series Tidbits

  • Notre Dame sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and Penn State junior goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher are two of the players still in the running for a spot on the U.S. Under-20 National Team that will compete in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in November in Chile. In fact, Fowlkes and Naeher are scheduled to depart after Sunday’s game for a week-long U-20 combine in Sunrise, Fla., hosted by head coach (and former U.S. Senior National Team coach) Tony DiCicco. And, in an interesting twist, Fowlkes and Naeher are planning to ride together to the State College airport on Sunday afternoon, driven there by Naeher’s mother, Donna.
  • In the 2006 Irish victory (4-0) in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field, Notre Dame’s Michele Weissenhofer (now a junior) registered a natural hat trick, snapping a scoreless halftime tie with three goals in a 12:37 span. She became the third Irish freshman ever to record a hat trick in NCAA Tournament play and only the second Notre Dame player (any class) to score three goals in the NCAA quarterfinal round or later.

Poll Position
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls this week, 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 75-6-3 (.911) 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.

Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Following Friday’s win at DePaul, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 39-game unbeaten streak (37-0-2) 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 113-8-4 (.920) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 636-75 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.

What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 79-game home unbeaten streak (78-0-1) 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).

In the past two games, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has reached six career milestones in both the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in the history of women’s college soccer.

On Sept. 12 against SMU, Hanks assisted on a second-half goal by freshman forward Melissa Henderson to become the sixth NCAA Division I player ever to amass 60 goals and 60 assists in her career. The helper also moved Hanks into a tie for 10th place on the NCAA D-I career assists chart, passing former North Carolina standout and current U.S. National Team member Lindsay Tarpley (59 from 2002-05), and pulling even with former UC Santa Barbara great Carin Jennings (60 from 1983-86).

This past Friday at DePaul, Hanks reachedfour 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 (70G-60A), making her the 18th player in Division I history to reach that landmark.

What’s more, she collected the 19th gamewinning goal of her career, tying the Notre Dame record held by Jenny Heft (1996-99) and Michelle McCarthy (1992-95). The score also gave Hanks 57 career gamewinning points (19G-19A), breaking the Irish record set by Katie Thorlakson (2002-05).

The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in ’06; 21 in ’07), Hanks now 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).

Setting The Table
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 61 (20G-21A) of Kerri Hanks’ 200 career points (70G-60A), representing nearly one-third (30.5%) 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.

Staying 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 came via headers). Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.

Our Fearless Leader
Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum sits on the brink of a career milestone. In 19 seasons as a collegiate skipper (including six years at Tulsa and three at Baylor), Waldrum has a record of 299-79-20 (.776), putting him in position to become the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins. For a complete list of the active members of the Division I 300-victory club, see the accompanying chart in the PDF version of these notes.

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 409:53 of 630 minutes this season (65.1 percent 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.

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 their four home games, the Irish scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play each time, 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 two 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.

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.

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, 13 different Notre Dame players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal, with only two 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).

Game #7 Recap: DePaul
Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks scored with less than 13 minutes remaining, lifting No. 1 Notre Dame to a 1-0 victory over DePaul on Friday afternoon at Wish Field in Chicago. The Irish dominated the run of play for much of their BIG EAST Conference opener, and finally broke through the Blue Demons’ defensive posture and registered their sixth shutout in seven games this season.

Hanks ultimately cashed in the reward after Notre Dame had pillaged the DePaul defensive third, picking up the ball 35 yards from goal in the slot and feeding sophomore midfielder Erica Iantorno at the top of the penalty box. Iantorno then delivered a nifty return pass to Hanks, who made a smart angled run toward the left edge of the area, gathered the ball in stride and struck a hard left-footed shot low into the far right-side netting for her sixth goal of the season at 77:18.

Notre Dame (7-0-0) outshot DePaul, 24-2, in the contest, including an 11-1 margin in shots on goal. In fact, the Irish held the Blue Demons to a single shot in each half, both coming from well outside the penalty area and neither seriously threatening the Notre Dame cage. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander was credited with one save in posting her third solo shutout this year.

The Honor System
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson is the latest Irish player to garner national and/or conference recognition, earning a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week and the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll, it was announced Monday.

Henderson scored twice in a 6:05 span on Sept. 12 against SMU, and had a hand in Notre Dame’s opening score, as her cross was punched out by the Mustangs’ goalkeeper, but landed at the feet of Irish junior midfielder Courtney Rosen, who collected the loose ball and rifled a 10-yard shot into the net.

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 266-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 168-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 363-9-15 (.957) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

Most impressively, Notre Dame is 289-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 266 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 179 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 32 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 32-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 will visit Penn State Sunday with that game airing live on the Big Ten Network. Then, 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 (, 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 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).

Parking Changes
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 south end of Eck Stadium, then proceed north between the stadium’s right-field wall and the soccer practice field before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.

Next Game: Louisville
Notre Dame digs into the meat of the BIG EAST Conference schedule on Friday when it plays host to Louisville in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) game at Alumni Field. The Irish are 5-1 all-time against the Cardinals (3-0 in the BIG EAST).

Louisville (3-2-1, 1-0-0) is coming off a 3-0 win over visiting Cincinnati on Friday night. The Cardinals will step out of conference Sunday afternoon with a trip to Ohio State before turning their attention to Notre Dame.

— ND —