Aug. 15, 2008
2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Exhibition 2
#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-5-2 in 2007 / 11-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #6 Virginia Cavaliers (13-4-6 in 2007 / 5-2-3 ACC)
- DATE: August 16, 2008
- TIME: 2:00 p.m. ET
- AT: Traverse City, Mich. (Keystone Soccer Complex)
- SERIES: UVa 1-0 (regular season) // ND 3-0 (exhibition)
- WEBCAST: None
- LIVE STATS: None
- TEXT ALERT: Sign up at UND.com
- TICKETS: Free for exhibitions
- Notre Dame is 8-1-1 in exhibitions vs. college teams during the Randy Waldrum era (1999-present).
- The Irish are averaging 2.7 goals per game in 10 exhibitions vs. college programs since Waldrum came to town 10 seasons ago.
#5 Irish And #6 Virginia To Tangle In Saturday Exhibition
Although it won’t count in the regular-season standings, Notre Dame and Virginia should offer one of the more entertaining matchups of the 2008 season, when the fifth-ranked Irish and No. 6 Cavaliers tangle Saturday at 2 p.m. (ET) in an exhibition game at the Keystone Soccer Complex in Traverse City, Mich.
Notre Dame kicked off its exhibition schedule on Tuesday night with a 3-1 victory over defending Conference USA champion Memphis at Alumni Field. Seven different Irish players tallied points in the win, as Notre Dame controlled the run of play for more than 70 minutes before the Tigers got a late goal to avoid the shutout.
Virginia will open its preseason docket Saturday against Notre Dame. The Cavaliers bring back 18 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last year’s squad that reached the NCAA round-of-16 before an overtime loss at UCLA.
The Irish will be facing UVa in exhibition play for the fourth consecutive year, having won each of their previous three preseason games against the Cavaliers.
- Notre Dame is ranked fifth in the preseason NSCAA poll.
- Virginia is tied (with Portland) for sixth in the preseason NSCAA poll.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame should roll 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 will be two of the country’s premier front-line players (and ’07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior midfielder/forward Brittany Bock.
Hanks (14G-21A in 2007) 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 (64G-58A entering this year). Among the nation’s most gifted players, she also can become the 23rd Division I player ever to collect four All-America citations, and she remains a prime candidate for the Hermann Trophy, an award she claimed as a sophomore in 2006.
Bock (16G-4A), 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. The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock could see time at either forward (where she has spent much of the past two seasons) or midfield (her natural position) depending on other personnel moves.
Junior Michele Weissenhofer (8G-3A) rounds out arguably the nation’s top forward line. After battling an ankle injury for much of the regular season, Weissenhofer continued to deliver her own special brand of postseason magic in 2007, tallying four goals in the NCAA Tournament, including a pair of strikes in Notre Dame’s round-of-16 win at No. 4 North Carolina. With a physical style, a powerful shot and her ever-dangerous flip throw, Weissenhofer looks to return to the form that made her the ’06 Soccer America National Freshman of the Year.
Another key player for the Irish this season will be senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (2G-3A), 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 also anchored a Notre Dame back line that allowed only 10 goals and less than three shots per game during a 17-game unbeaten string in the final two months of the season.
A Quick Look At Virginia
Ranked sixth in the preseason NSCAA poll, Virginia returns 18 letterwinners, including nine starters from last year’s 13-4-6 squad that reached the NCAA round-of-16 before falling at UCLA, 2-1 in overtime.
The Cavaliers are led by senior first-team All-America center back Nikki Krzysik, who help anchor a UVa defense that led the nation in goals-against average (0.40) and tally a school-record 15 shutouts. Virginia’s top returning scorer is senior midfielder Kelly Quinn (7G-2A), whose name may be familiar to Irish fans — her brother, Brady was an All-America quarterback at Notre Dame from 2003-06.
Virginia has been in Traverse City throughout the week as part of its preseason camp. The Cavaliers will be making their season debut against Notre Dame, with a second exhibition at home on Monday night against another BIG EAST Conference member, Georgetown.
Head coach Steve Swanson is set to begin his ninth season in Charlottesville with a 113-45-20 (.691) record at UVa. Opening his 19th season overall (including prior stops at Dartmouth and Stanford), Swanson holds a 217-108-31 (.653) career record, with his best postseason effort being a pair of NCAA quarterfinal berths with Virginia in 2001 and 2005. He is 0-2 in regular season games against Notre Dame (both losses coming while he was at Stanford), and he is 0-3 against the Irish in exhibitions (all since assuming his current post).
The Notre Dame-Virginia Series
Officially, Notre Dame and Virginia have met only once on the soccer pitch, with the Cavaliers defeating the Irish, 2-0, on Oct. 21, 1989, in Charlottesville.
However, the teams will be squaring off in exhibition play for the fourth consecutive year, with Notre Dame winning each of the previous three matchups by a combined 8-1 score.
Saturday’s game also will mark the second time the Irish and Cavaliers have played a preseason contest in Traverse City. In 2006, #5 Notre Dame blanked #8 Virginia, 3-0, on goals by Jill Krivacek, Susan Pinnick and current junior forward Michele Weissenhofer.
The Last Time Notre Dame And Virginia Met In Exhibition Play
Amanda Cinalli’s pair of goals — one of them a sharply-placed running header in the game’s third minute — paced another solid effort, as second-ranked Notre Dame posted a 3-1 exhibition win over 11th-ranked Virginia on Aug. 23, 2007, at the Fort Wayne Sport Center. The Irish have defeated Virginia in each of the past three preseasons, with earlier wins in 2005 (2-0; also in Fort Wayne, at Heffern Stadium) and 2006 (3-0; in Traverse City, Mich.).
Notre Dame unofficially finished with a 17-7 edge in total shots (7-5 in shots on goal), while the game featured a low number of corner kicks (two for ND and one for UVa). The first two Irish goals came on headers — by Cinalli (via a Kerri Hanks’ free kick) and freshman Lauren Fowlkes (who flicked in a flip-throw from Michele Weissenhofer) — that bracketed the first half. Cinalli’s score came at the 2:01 mark, while Fowlkes broke a 1-1 tie with her goal just 15 seconds before halftime. Cinalli capped the scoring by depositing a rebound of Weissenhofer’s initial shot with 3:05 remaining in the game.
Exhibition Game #1 Recap: Memphis
Seven different Notre Dame players chalked up points on opening night as the fifth-ranked Irish kicked off their exhibition season with a 3-1 victory over defending Conference USA champion Memphis on Tuesday night at Alumni Field.
Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks got the Irish going as she has done so many times in her brilliant career, scoring in the 31st minute. A pair of sophomores — midfielder/forward Erica Iantorno and forward Taylor Knaack — then padded the Notre Dame lead with second-half tallies as the Irish dominated the run of play for the first 70 minutes before Memphis avoided the shutout with a goal late in the second half.
For the game, Notre Dame outshot the Tigers, 25-10 (many of UM’s shots came in the closing moments), including a 10-4 edge in shots on goal. The Irish also rolled up a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander got the start and the victory, posting a clean sheet in the first half while making an outstanding save on a ball ticketed for the upper 90. Sophomore netminder Nikki Weiss worked the final 45 minutes and registered two saves while yielding the lone Memphis score.
Notre Dame is 8-1-1 in exhibition games against college teams under 10th-year head coach Randy Waldrum. Of those 10 games, half have come at neutral sites with the Irish going 4-1-0 in those contests (with three wins over Virginia).
Defense also has been a key for Notre Dame in the preseason, as the Irish have allowed just 12 goals in those 10 Waldrum-era exhibitions (with six scores coming at the hands of UNC, which defeated Notre Dame, 4-2 in 2002 in Fort Wayne, and tied the Irish, 2-2 last year at Alumni Field).
It should be noted the Irish did not play any preseason games in 1999 (Waldrum’s first year), 2000, 2003 or 2004, with the ’00 and ’04 squads heading to Brazil for training trips. The ’04 team took full advantage of that trip, going 5-0-1 to set the stage for a 25-1-1 season and the program’s second national championship.
ND Picked To Win BIG EAST National Division
Notre Dame was the unanimous favorite to win the 2008 BIG EAST Conference National Division title, according to a vote of the league’s 16 head coaches released Wednesday afternoon. The Irish picked up the maximum 120 points, including all 15 possible first-place tallies (coaches may not vote for their own teams), in the balloting, as they seek their 12th BIG EAST regular-season crown and sixth in a row — seven of the previous 11 (’99-’01, ’03, ’05-’07) have been divisional championships (including the past three), while the other four were overall regular-season titles (’95-’97, ’04).
Notre Dame went 11-0-0 in the BIG EAST a year ago, and will head into the 2008 season with a 38-game unbeaten streak against conference opponents (36-0-2 since October 2005), the longest run in school history and tied for the fourth-longest in NCAA Division I history.
Bock Voted BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player Of The Year
Along with their preseason poll, the conference coaches chose Irish senior All-America midfielder/forward Brittany Bock as the 2008 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Bock, who also was a unanimous selection to the ’08 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team, led the league in goals (16) last year and became Notre Dame’s fourth consecutive winner of the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year award, the first in a series of postseason honors that culminated with a NSCAA first-team All-America citation. A team co-captain for 2008, Bock is one of 17 players in school history with 100 career points (40G-20A) and she is looking to join Katie Thorlakson (2004, 2005) as the only Irish players to earn the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year honor more than once.
Fellow senior forward Kerri Hanks also was a unanimous choice on the preseason all-conference team following a 2007 campaign that saw her lead the nation in assists (21) for the second consecutive year and set the BIG EAST pace in points (49). Hanks had been the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year the past two seasons and earned the league’s postseason Offensive Player of the Year honor in 2006. A three-time All-American (and first-team pick the past two years), Hanks also took home the ’06 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, becoming the first sophomore to earn the award. She enters her final season with 186 career points (64G-58A), putting her in position to become the third player in NCAA Division I history to register 70 goals and 70 assists in her career, joining former Notre Dame All-American Jenny Streiffer (1996-99) and former North Carolina standout Mia Hamm in that illustrious club.
Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad, parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans are asked to 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: Michigan
The Irish will open the regular season next Friday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) against Michigan at Alumni Field. Note this is a location and time change from some earlier printed schedules due to ongoing construction at UM’s home field.
The Wolverines went 3-9-6 last season, including a 0-0 tie at Notre Dame in the season opener. Michigan is not slated to play an exhibition game before facing the Irish.
— ND —