Oct. 24, 2003

Box Score

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Notre Dame’s Canadian connection of sophomore forward Katie Thorlakson and senior defender Melissa Tancredi combined for all three goals and an assist while the Irish defense set a team record with its ninth straight shutout as the second-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team improved to 17-0-1 with Friday night’s 3-0 win at Rutgers.

Notre Dame struck quickly with a pair of goals in the first four minutes en route to clinching a first-place finish in the BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division standings (5-0-0), with one conference game remaining at Seton Hall on Sunday plus a non-conference matchup with Michigan on Oct. 29. The Irish – who now have won eight BIG EAST regular-season titles – will play host to a BIG EAST quarterfinal game next weekend, on Nov. 1 or 2 versus the fourth-place finisher from the Northeast Division.

The Irish pushed their season scoring edge to 61-5 after holding a 9-4 edge in overall shots and limiting Rutgers to just one shot on goal, marking the 15th straight game that the Notre Dame has held its opponent to 0-3 shots on goal.

Rutgers (9-5-4, 2-2-1) remains in a battle for one of the Mid-Atlantic division’s four BIG EAST Tournament spots, with a final game on Sunday versus Georgetown.

Notre Dame’s shutout streak ranks eighth in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history and is the third-longest in the last 14 years, behind Santa Clara’s 18-game shutout streak in 1998 and a 10-game shutout streak by Holy Cross in ’99.

Sophomore Erika Bohn owns a personal 10-game shutout streak spanning 879 minutes, longest by a Division I women’s player since 1999 and sixth overall on that NCAA list (just five minutes behind Monmouth’s Lori Holihan’s streak in ’96). Bohn (0.24) and the Irish (0.27) both lowered their NCAA-leading goals-against averages, with Notre Dame now owning 12 shutouts in the last 14 games while Bohn has yielded just one goal in the last 14-plus games.

Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) scored Notre Dame’s second-quickest goal of the season at the 2:44 mark, after senior forward Amy Warner made a run down the left side and cut a pass into the box. Thorlakson took the feed from Warner (her team-leading 10th assist of the season, good for fifth in the nation) and scored from five yards out, sending her seventh goal and fourth game-winner of the season into the right corner of the net.

Just 69 seconds later, Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.) showed her skill in the air by heading in Thorlakson’s leftside corner kick for her third goal of the season (3:53), knocking the ball down into the net from close range. All seven of Tancredi’s goals during the past two seasons have come on set play headers (6) or volleys, with her 11 career goals including eight on set plays (six corner-kick headers, one free-kick header and a free-kick volley).

The pair of early strikes produced Notre Dame’s quickest two-goal lead of the season, besting the 2-0 lead at the 6:12 mark of the North Texas game.

Thorlakson added another first-half goal in the 32nd minute, when her 25-yard leftside cross skipped into the far sidenetting (31:27). Warner was running interference in the box and partially screened ‘keeper Robyn Jones and an RU defender as the intended pass ended up in the net.

Thorlakson’s early goal marked the seventh time this season that the Irish have scored in the first seven minutes while her second goal represented the 10th multiple-goal performance by a Notre Dame player in 2003 (including Thorlakson’s earlier pair of goals vs. Western Kentucky, with Mary Boland and Amanda Guertin also owning a pair of multiple-goal games in 2003).

NOTE UPDATES – Notre Dame’s BIG EAST quarterfinal opponent among ND’s quickest in ’03 … could be one of five teams from the jumbled Northeast Division (Boston College, Miami, St. John’s, Syracuse or Virginia Tech), with the Irish owning an 18-0-0 all-time record in BIG EAST Tournament play (seven titles) … three teams have posted 10 straight shutouts (Brown in ’84, UNC in ’86 and Holy Cross in ’99) while the ’84 N.C. State team and ’87 UNC squad had 12-game shutouts streaks, with UNC adding a 13-game streak in ’89 … the Irish now are 94-8-2 (.914) in all-time games vs. BIG EAST teams … Friday’s first goal trails only Mary Boland’s score vs. West Virginia (1:24) among ND’s quickest in ’03 … ND now owns a 33-3 first-half scoring edge (compared to 12-10 in ’02), with the Irish allowing just 20 first-half goals in the last three seasons (60 games) … Warner now is seven points shy of becoming the 14th ND player ever to reach the 100-point milestone … fifth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum is nearing his 200th career victory as a Division I women’s soccer coach (198-66-16, including 91-16-4 at ND, plus six seasons at Tulsa and three at Baylor; he is 274-121-23 in 23 overall seasons as a men’s and women’s coach) … Warner appeared in her 67th consecutive game while making her 61st straight start … fifth-year D Vanessa Pruzinsky logged her 90th career game and 88th start (cracking that ND top-10 list) … Bohn is 26-1-1 in her last 28 starts with the Irish (10 GA in those games) … ND extended its team record for consecutive shutout minutes to 854 … the top four individual shutouts streak in the NCAA record book include: UNC’s Anne Sherow (1,670 in ’87 and’88) and Jenni Branam (1,114 in ’99), SCU’s Crystal Gordon (1,269 in ’98) and Tiffany DeCoff of Holy Cross (1,004 in ’99) … Thorlakson has opened the scoring in three of the last seven games, with her other GWGs coming in key wins over SCU, Villanova (OT) and UConn … since allowing a game-tying goal by SCU on Sept. 21 (1-1; ND won 2-1), the Irish have outscored the opposition 34-1 … ND’s goal total (61) is nearly double the opponents’ total of shots on goal (38) … ND leads the RU series 10-1-1 (39-2 scoring edge) … ND is 102-1-0 in its last 103 games when scoring 3-plus goals (since ’95; 198-3-1 all-time) … the Irish have held the opposition to 0-1 goals in the last 23 fall games (plus all five in the spring of ’03), one shy of the team-record streak for not allowing multiple goals (24, in 2000) … the efficient ND offense is scoring once every 5.6 total shots and once every 3.1 shots on goal … versatile freshman Lizzie Reed (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) made her first start with the Irish, also starting this season at midfield and outside back (she had 126 career goals as a prep All-America at Ramapo Regional HS) … ND still has trailed just once all season (no deficits in last 15 games), for 7:18 vs. ASU (ND has led 74% of the minutes and trailed for just 0.4%) … since the 26th-minute goal by Oklahoma, ND has allowed just 2 goals, 60 shots (21 on goal) and 33 corners in the last 14-plus games.

#2 Notre Dame (17-0-1, 4-0-0) 3 0 – 3

Rutgers (9-5-4, 2-2-1) 0 0 – 0 –

ND 1. Katie Thorlakson 7 (Amy Warner) 2:44; ND 2. Melissa Tancredi 3 (Thorlakson) 3:53; ND 3. Thorlakson 8 (-) 31:27.

Shots: ND 5-4 – 9, RU 2-2 – 4.

Corner Kicks: ND 1-1 – 2, RU 1-4 – 5.

Saves: ND 1 (Erika Bohn), RU 3 (Robyn Jones).

Fouls: ND 13, RU 13.

Offsides: ND 1, RU 0.