Sept. 18, 2002


vs. Rutgers (Sept. 20) and Seton Hall (Sept. 22)

MID-ATLANTIC MATCHUPS: The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (4-2-0) – ranked seventh in this week’s NSCAA coaches’ poll – heads into BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division play, looking to build on last week’s pair of impressive wins over Hartford (2-1) and #25 Maryland (5-2) at the Maryland Fila Classic … Rutgers comes to town on Friday night (7:30) while the ND-Seton Hall women will play on Sunday at 2:00 (following the ND-Providence men’s game) … Notre Dame – which has won every BIG EAST regular-season title (7) since joining the conference, has won seven BIG EAST tournament titles and has lost just four games vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95 – was picked to repeat as Mid-Atlantic Division champs (UConn was picked to repeat in the Northeast Division) … the Irish staged comebacks in both wins at the Fila Classic, including a five-goal fluty in the final 25 minutes vs. Maryland (after staring at a 2-0 deficit) … those wins put ND back on the winning track, after suffering a pair or shutout losses versus perennial national powers Santa Clara (4-0) and Portland (1-0) in the Notre Dame Classic.

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SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS: Rutgers enters the week 4-1-1 and riding a three-game shutout streak (2-0 vs. Delaware, 3-0 vs. Boston University and 3-0 vs. Old Dominion) … RU opened the season with a scoreless tie vs. James Madison and a 4-1 win over American (both in Richmond, Va.) before dropping a 5-2 game vs. Maryland … sophomore M Carli Lloyd – the BIG EAST rookie of the year and an All-American in 2001 (16G-7A) – leads RU this season with 5G-3A (2 GWG) … junior F Adrienne Dugandzic is RU’s second-leading goalscorer in 2002 … senior Christine Caldwell owns a 0.91 GAA and 19 saves (5 GA) … RU returned nine starters and 20 of 28 letterwinners from its 2001 team that went 14-8-1 overall, finished second in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division (4-1-1) and advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 16 (losing 2-1 to UNC).

SCOUTING THE PIRATES: Seton Hall is 3-4-0 after dropping a 1-0 game at LaSalle on Sunday (the Pirates play at Georgetown on Friday before heading for ND) … SHU owns wins over Lehigh (2-0), Fairleigh Dickinson (3-0) and Monmouth (2-0), with other losses to VCU (0-2), Princeton (1-2) and Penn (2-3) … freshman Katie Herr (3G ) and junior Anne Sauer (2G) are the only SHU players with multiple goals this season … senior Leah Miller has started all seven games, with a 1.14 GAA and 28 saves (8 GA) … SHU returned eight starters and 15 of 20 letterwinners from its 2001 team that went 5-10-2 overall and finished seventh in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division (0-5-1).

ND-RU SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame holds an 8-1-1 series edge vs. Rutgers and had won eight straight in the series before a 2-1 loss at RU on Oct. 5, 2001 … the Irish hold a 36-4 scoring edge in the series (just 3-2 in the last two meetings) … since ND and RU both joined the BIGEAST (in ’95), the Knights have made three previous visits to Alumni Field (0-6 in ’96, 0-3 in ’98 and 0-2 in 2000) … RU also dropped a 6-0 game at ND in 1994 … in last year’s game, Carli Lloyd scored twice in the first 10 minutes (ND’s first two-goal deficit in 61 games) and Christine Caldwell made 11 saves (ND held a 20-10 shot edge) … Vanessa Pruzinsky’s first career goal forged a 2-1 game in the 16th minute … RU became the third BIG EAST team ever to beat the Irish (also UConn and SHU) and ended ND’s 24-game unbeaten streak vs. BIG EAST teams (23-0-1) … the loss also ended ND’s 31-game regular-season unbeaten streak (29-0-2) … the late start to that game (9:00 p.m.) was pushed back to 10:30, due to overtime games in a men’s tournament at RU.

ND-SHU SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame owns a 7-1-0 series edge vs. Seton Hall, with SHU’s lone win in the series coming in 1998 (3-2 in OT, at SHU) … the Irish own a 41-7 scoring edge in the series, with a 2-1 win at SHU in 2001 … SHU has been outscored 23-1 in three previous trips to Alumni Field (0-10 in ’96, 1-7 in ’97, 0-6 in 2000) … in the 2001 meeting, Mia Sarkesian scored early but Emily Fischer converted on SHU’s only shot of the first half (in the 43rd minute) … Candace Chapman then scored the gamewinner in the 82nd minute (as a forward), with the Irish totaling a 28-3 shot edge (13-1 in corner kicks) … Leah Miller had 13 saves in the loss.

PRIME-TIME FLURRY: Notre Dame’s offensive outburst in the 5-2 win at #25 Maryland represents the most goals ever scored by the Irish versus an NSCAA top-25 opponent that was playing on its home field … it also matched the sixth-highest goalscoring day ever for the Irish in any game vs. a top-25 opponent (second-most since the high-powered 1997 offense) and tied ND’s second-highest goal output ever in a regular-season game vs. a top-25 opponent … ND’s top all-time scoring games vs. top-25 teams include 1997 postseason wins over UConn (6-1, BIG EAST title game), Nebraska (6-0, NCAA second round) and UCLA (8-0, NCAA quarterfinal) – plus the 8-1 win over Indiana in the 1996 NCAA first round and the 6-1 win over Santa Clara in 2000 … the Irish have scored five goals vs. top-25 teams in six other games (all 5-0): vs. Duke in ’94, vs. Wisconsin in the ’95 and ’96 NCAA second rounds, vs. Duke and Michigan in ’97, and vs. Washington in 2000.

CHAPMAN REPEATS AS DEFENSIVE MVP: Irish sophomore D Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) was named the defensive MVP of the Notre Dame Classic (Sept. 6-8) before repeating the honor at the Maryland Fila Classic … Chapman – who made plays all over the field in the ND Classic battles with Santa Clara and Portland – opened the UP game at central defense, with strong marking of her Canadian national teammate Christine Sinclair (before shifting to her customary right back position) … she then played both defensive positions vs. Hartford and started centrally vs. #25 Maryland, before shifting into the midfield and sparking the 5-2 comeback by scoring the first Irish goal (her top defensive moments vs. the Terps included clearing a shot off the goalline late in the first half).

TANCREDI NAMED OFFENSIVE MVP: Another Canadian native also was honored at the Fila Classic, as ND junior F Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario) was named the tournament’s offensive MVP … Tancredi actually was an emergency starter at central defense in the Hartford game and was hampered by a nagging Achilles injury throughout the weekend (she came off the bench in the first and second half vs. Maryland) … Tancredi’s undying hustle and physical presence changed the tenor of the Maryland game, with her pair of header goals providing the tying and 4-2 goals.

THREE OTHERS NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT: Notre Dame’s all-tournament selections at the Fila Classic also included junior F Amy Warner (gamewinning goal vs. Hartford, rebound shot to set up GWG vs. Maryland, followed by an official assist on last ND goal), senior M Ashley Dryer – who turned in a gutsy effort while battling through illness – and freshman G Erika Bohn, who registered a variety of big plays including a breakaway stop with the Hartford game tied up and a lunging tip over the crossbar with the Irish still trailing the Terps, 2-1 in the 75th minute.

JUNIOR JAMBOREE: Five players from ND’s seven-member junior class played key roles in last week’s wins over Hartford and Maryland, with the juniors scoring six of the team’s seven goals and registering three of the four official assists (for 15 of 18 total points) … Melissa Tancredi scored a pair of classic header goals to spark the comeback vs. Maryland (both via corner-kick serves from fellow junior F Amanda Guertin) … Tancredi also set up the GWG vs. Maryland with her thru-ball to classmate Amy Warner, with Guertin sending home the rebound for her 28th career goal and 12th GWG … M Randi Scheller started the comeback vs. Hartford with her free-kick goal and capped the scoring in the win over the Terps … Kim Carpenter played key roles in both wins, as both a midfielder and right back (where she played for the entire Maryland game).

FACING THE ELEMENTS: Notre Dame’s potent trio of junior forwards could be due for a breakout stretch, after using their combination of diverse skills to play leading roles in the wins over Hartford and Maryland … Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin – a.k.a. “Fire and Ice” due to their unique playing styles – have been joined by bruising classmate Melissa Tancredi (who could be dubbed “Earthquake” due to her combination of power and speed) to form one of the nation’s top groups of forwards … Warner appears to have regained the speed that made her a constant threat as a freshman (prior to a knee injury) while Guertin’s calm presence and deadly accuracy continue to be on display in her pinpoint corner kicks and well-placed shots from any angle … Tancredi’s physical play and ability in the air (she headed in two Guertin CKs vs. Maryland) played a key part in the win over the Terps.

INJURY WOES CONTINUE FOR IRISH DEFENSE: While the Notre Dame offense last week rebounded from a pair of rare scoreless games, the ND defense continued to cope with injury problems to several key regulars … senior All-America candidate Vanessa Pruzinsky – whose versatile skills allow her to play outside or centrally with equal effectiveness – remains day-to-day as she battles back from an ankle injury … Pruzinsky played the first 47 minutes of the Santa Clara game, helping shut out SCU in that span, but has not appeared in ND’s other five games this season … sophomore Gudrun Gunnarsdottir – named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week after the opening wins over Providence and Virginia Tech – will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks due to a broken foot (she missed her first week of action at the Maryland Fila Classic) … Gunnarsdottir had been the anchor of the Irish defense in the absence of Pruzinsky, playing centrally alongside freshman Cat Sigler … ND’s many options in the back also include sophomore Mary Boland (she has started at forward and midfield), junior Kim Carpenter (she has shifted back from the midfield in the past), junior Molly Tate and two others who have started at outside back in the early parts of the 2002 season: sophomore Kate Tulisiak and freshman Miranda Ford … the defensive third already was ND’s area of least experience, following the graduation of central back Monica Gonzalez (a two-year starter), left back Lindsey Jones (a three-year starter) and two-year starting ‘keeper Liz Wagner – plus the loss of freshman Annie Schefter to a preseason ACL injury (she was being considered for a shift from midfield to outside back).

EXPERIENCED FRONTRUNNERS: Notre Dame’s experience clearly lies in the offensive third, with junior forwards Amanda Guertin (28G-13A), Amy Warner (21G-7A) and Melissa Tancredi (6G-4A) combining for 118 games played (100 starts), 55 goals and 24 assists (Tancredi did not play in ’99 due to an ACL injury) … add in junior midfielder Randi Scheller (14G-15A) and senior M Ashley Dryer (3G-12A) and the Irish have five veteran forwards/midfielders that have combined for 241 games played (189 starts), 72 goals and 51 assists.


Amanda Guertin (Jr., F) … 52 GP/48 GS, 28G-13A, 69 pts (12 GWG)

Amy Warner (Jr., F) … 45 GP/38 GS, 21G-7A, 49 pts (8 GWG)

Randi Scheller (Jr., M) … 51 GP/31 GS, 14G-15A, 43 pts (1 GWG)

Ashley Dryer (Sr., M) … 72 GP/58 GS, 3G-12A, 18 pts

Melissa Tancredi (Jr., F) … 21 GP/13 GS, 6G-4A, 16 pts (1 GWG; injured in ’00)

Vanessa Pruzinsky (Sr., D) … 72 GP/72 GS, 2G-6A, 10 pts

Mary Boland (So., F/D) … 16 GP/10 GS, 4G-2A, 10 pts

Candace Chapman (So., D) … 25 GP/24 GS, 4G-2A, 10 pts (2 GWG)

Kim Carpenter (Jr., M) … 30 GP/3 GS, 2G-1A, 5 pts

Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (So., D) … 21 GP/7 GS, 0G-0A

Kate Tulisiak (So., D) … 11 GP/3 GS, 0G-0A

Molly Tate (Jr., D/M) … 11 GP/1 GS, 0G-0A

Lauren Kent (Jr., G) … 11 GP/2 GS, 334:00, 4 GA, 12 SV, 1.08 GAA, 1-1-0

A BORN WINNER: Junior F Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas) continues to add clutch goals and assists to her career totals (28G-13A, in 52 games) – with her 12 career gamewinning goals already ranking seventh on the ND all-time list (one behind former teammate Meotis Erikson) … nearly half of Guertin’s career goals (12 of 28, or 42.9 percent) have been gamewinners – well ahead of the seven players above her on the GWG list (next is Michelle McCarthy, at 30.5%) … here is the exclusive company that Guertin finds herself amidst on the Irish career GWG charts:

Name (pos., years) … GWG/Gls (Pct. GWGs)

1. Jenny Heft (F, 1996-99) … 19/80 (23.8%)

2. Michelle McCarthy (F, 1992-95) … 18/59 (30.5%)

3. Rosella Guerrero (F, 1992-95) … 16/55 (29.1%)

Monica Gerardo (F, 1995-98) … 16/73 (21.9%)

Anne Makinen (M, 1997-2000) … 16/65 (24.6%)

6. Jenny Streiffer (F, 1996-99) … 15/70 (21.4%)

7. Meotis Erikson (F, 1997-2000) … 13/59 (22.0%)

8. Amanda Guertin (F, 2000- ) … 12/28 (42.9%)

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Amanda Guertin’s gamewinning goals have come with both frequency and in countless clutch situations … here’s a look at some of the top moments in her career:

* Unassisted goal in overtime to hold off upstart West Virginia and maintain #1 ranking (2-1, 2000)

* GWG vs. Boston College (2-1) to end ND’s only deficit of 2000 (prior to NCAA semifinals)

* GWG in 2000 NCAA second-round win over Michigan (3-1)

* Pass that initiated Meotis Erikson’s OT goal vs. Santa Clara (2-1), sending ND to 2000 NCAA College Cup semifinals

* GWG vs. Penn State in 2001 Key Bank Classic (2-1)

* Direct score via corner kick for GWG vs. Georgetown (2-1, 2001)

* Flick pass as part of set play for only scoring in 1-0 win over Nebraska (2001)

* Free-kick cross that led to double-header goal, beating WVU in another OT game (2-1, 2001)

* Both goals in 2001 win at Yale (2-0)

* Cashed in a shanked clearance to beat Michigan in OT (2-1, 2001)

* Scored again directly on corner kick to open scoring vs. St. John’s in 2001 BIG EAST quarterfinal (2-0)

* Set up Amy Warner rebound goal, then scored for 2-0 lead in 3-0 win over BC (2001 BIG EAST semi’s)

* Scored and provided corner kick that led to GWG vs. WVU in 2001 BIG EAST title game (2-1)

* Netted both goals in 2001 NCAA first-round win over Eastern Illinois (2-0)

* Provided pair of corner-kick assists and scored GWG in 5-2 comeback at #25 Maryland (2002)

HARTFORD RECAP: Junior F Amy Warner’s goal in the 62nd minute helped ND overcame a subpar first half, en route to the 2-1 win … ND faced a deficit early in the second half before quickly tying the score on a free-kick score from junior M Randi Scheller … Warner then ran onto a thru-ball from senior M Ashley Dryer and sent a crossing shot inside the right post for the decisive goal.

MARYLAND RECAP: Sophomore D Candace Chapman sparked the offense after shifting up to the midfield and the potent junior class took over from there as ND scored five times in the final 25 minutes to erase a 2-0 deficit and shock 25th-ranked Maryland, 5-2 … Chapman was named the Fila Classic’s defensive MVP while junior F Melissa Tancredi was named the offensive MVP (she headed in a pair of corners from classmate Amanda Guertin, for the second and fourth goals) … Guertin scored ND’s third goal, knocking home a deflected shot from fellow junior Amy Warner after a thru-ball from Tancredi … Warner then set up the final goal with an endline pass that found her classmate Randi Scheller open in the box for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.

DRYER DOES IT AGAIN: Lost amidst the disappointment of ND’s 4-0 loss to Santa Clara was another stellar defensive effort from Notre Dame senior midfielder Ashley Dryer, who essentially neutralized SCU’s star midfielder Aly Wagner (she did not factor into any of the SCU goals before scoring twice in the Broncos’ 4-2 win over Clemson) … she also was named to the Maryland Fila Classic all-tournament team, after playing a lead role in the key midfield battle (while fighting off illness) … Dryer’s status as one of the nation’s premier defensive midfielders was reinforced at the 2001 BIG EAST Tournament, when she shut down BIG EAST midfielder of the year Sarah Rahko in the semifinal win over Boston College before holding another top midfielder (Lisa Stoia) in check to help beat West Virginia in the BIG EAST title game.

RESULT NOTES: With the opening 5-0 win at Providence, ND now is 13-2-0 in all-time season openers (9-1-0 in the last 10, with a 3-2 OT loss to UNC in 1999) … the 4-0 loss to Santa Clara represented ND’s largest margin of defeat ever at home (the Irish had not been shut out at home since 1992) … ND suffered consecutive shutout losses (0-1 vs. Portland) for the first time since 1989 … following the 5-2 win at Maryland, the Irish have not lost to an ACC team other than UNC since a 2-1 loss to Duke on Sept. 25, 1992 (8-0-1 vs. ACC teams, other than UNC, since that game).

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RETURN: Notre Dame recently welcomed back two players who competed in the recent Under-19 World Championship, held in three Canadian cities … the exciting tournament was capped by a 1-0 U.S. win over Canada in the title game, with 47,000 fans in attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium … Portland sophomore F Christine Sinclair earned the “golden boot” award as the tournament’s top scorer (10 goals, in six games with Canada) and formed a potent offensive tandem with Notre Dame freshman Katie Thorlakson (who plays mostly as an attacking midfielder with Canada) … ND sophomore Candace Chapman also was a starter with Canada, playing mostly right back while also shifting into the central midfield … Irish freshman M Annie Schefter was on track to be a starter for the U.S. team but was sidelined with a season-ending ACL knee injury in late July.

TOURNAMENT-TESTED: With last week’s wins at the Maryland Fila Classic, Notre Dame now owns a 74-22-6 all-time record (.755) in tournament action, including 30-13-5 in regular-season tournaments (13-4-1 at home, with 47-19 scoring edge), 22-0-0 in conference tournaments and 22-9-1 in the NCAAs … beginning with the 1994 season (which ended with an NCAA runner-up finish), Notre Dame owns a 21-6-3 record in regular-season tournaments – with 17 of those wins coming vs. ranked teams … since ’94, the Irish have lost just six regular-season tournament games: vs. UNC twice (2-0 in ’95, in Houston; 3-2 at the ’99 KBC), vs. Santa Clara in ’96 (3-1, at Duke), vs. SMU in 1999 (1-0; in Klein, Texas, minus star player Anne Makinen) and the recent games vs. SCU and Portland.

PLAYING THE BEST: Notre Dame consistently has played some of its best soccer in recent years when facing a ranked opponent, with a 19-7-2 record vs. ranked teams during the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) … that trend held true in 2001, when the Irish went 5-1 vs. ranked teams (2-1 vs. Penn State, 2-0 vs. Hartford, 2-1 vs. West Virginia, 3-0 vs. Miami, 0-3 at UConn and 2-1 vs. Michigan) … the Irish lost to a pair of ranked teams (Santa Clara and Portland) in the recent Notre Dame Classic before winning last week at #25 Maryland.

GERTY’S GOALS: Junior forward Amanda Guertin scored a goal in each of the final 10 games of the 2001 season – good for the third-longest goalscoring streak in Division I women’s soccer history (Brandi Chastain had a 15-game streak while playing for Santa Clara in 1990, with Hartford’s Maria Kun compiling an 11-game streak in 1997) … Guertin also scored in six of seven games during the 2002 spring season, in one of the two fall exhibitions and in 2002 games vs. Virginia Tech and Maryland.

CONFERENCE COMMAND: Notre Dame’s all-time record in regular-season conference games now stands at 80-4-2 (.953), including 61-4-2 (.925) in BIG EAST games (since ’95) … the Irish also own a 43-1 record in all-time home games vs. BIG EAST opponents, with 39 straight home wins vs. BIG EAST teams (since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95).

HOME, SWEET HOME: Notre Dame’s all-time overall record at Alumni Field is 130-10-2 (.923), including 106-6-2 in the last 114 … the Irish own a 38-3-1 record in their previous 42 home games, with a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin and the 3-2 NCAA loss to Cincinnati (both in 2001) prior to last week’s pair of losses.

SCORING STREAK ENDS AT 31: Notre Dame carried a 31-game scoring streak into the Sept. 6 Santa Clara game (third-best in ND history, behind a 55-game streak from 1997-99 and a 36-game streak from ’95-’96), with the streak ending in a 4-0 loss to SCU (followed by a 1-0 loss to Portland) … the previous time that the Irish had failed to score was the 0-0 tie at UConn on Oct. 22, 2000 … since 1994, ND has scored in 146 of 151 (.967) regular-season games (also an 0-0 tie vs. UNC in ’94 and a 2-0 loss to UNC in ’95) and 49 of 52 postseason games, with three shutout losses to UNC in NCAA title games.

4.0 FOCUS: Notre Dame co-captain Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.)headed into her senior season as one of the nation’s premier Academic All-Americans (in any sport) … the hard-nosed defender twice has been named a first team CoSIDA Academic All-American (one of two all-time ND student-athletes ever to be so honored) and recently was in the mix for a spot on the U.S. Under-21 National Team … she was a finalist for the 2000 Missouri Athletic Club player-of-the-year award and was named the BIG EAST Conference preseason defensive player of the year for 2002 … what truly sets Pruzinsky apart is her perfect 4.0 GPA as a chemical engineering major … just two previous Notre Dame chemical engineering majors ever have graduated with a 4.0 (the last doing so in the early 1970s) and Pruzinsky remains the only female student ever to earn an “A” grade in the Notre Dame’s challenging introduction to chemical engineering course.