Oct. 24, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The “Canadian Connection” snapped back into form on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field, as senior Candace Chapman scored twice and junior Katie Thorlakson added her team-leading 12th goal of the season in leading the top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team to a 3-1 victory over Seton Hall.
Notre Dame (16-0-1, 9-0-1) faced an early deficit after an errant goal kick produced a quick return shot, but the Irish ultimately shook off their recent goalscoring slump to pull away from visiting SHU (7-9-2, 2-8-0 BIG EAST) in dominating fashion. After allowing the fluke goal, the Irish held the Pirates without a shot for 76 minutes en route to a final shot edge of 30-3, with SHU’s final shot coming in the closing moments of the game. Notre Dame also owned a 12-2 margin in shots on goal and attempted seven of the game’s eight corner kicks (SHU’s lone corner came in the 88th minute).
Sunday’s game will be aired on a delayed basis by Comcast SportsNet Detroit (Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m. EDT; Oct. 30 at 9:30 p.m. EDT) while Comcast Chicago (available on South Bend Comcast cable channel 37) will air the ND-SHU game on Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m. CDT/EST.
Notre Dame will return home next Sunday, for a BIG EAST quarterfinal matchup on Haloween afternoon versus the 8th-place finisher St. John’s (Oct. 31, 1:00 p.m.). The 2004 BIG EAST regular-season schedule included game versus 10 of the other 11 teams but ND and SJU did not face each other (the Irish posted a 2-0 win at SJU early in the ’03 season).
The Irish offense had managed just four goals over the course of the previous four games but Notre Dame nearly matched that total in Sunday’s action. The Irish easily could have doubled the three-goal output if not for the hustling play of `keeper Amanda Becker (9 saves) and several SHU field players. Sophomore midfielder Jen Buczkowski – who continued her recent surge with a pair of assists – also nearly scored on a shot that smacked off the post.
Notre Dame now has gone unbeaten at home in regular-season play for the ninth time in the 15-year history of Alumni Field (all but ’90, ’92, ’95, ’99, ’02 and ’03). The Irish have won nearly 92 percent of their all-time regular-season home games at Alumni Field (133-11-3, .915), including 9-0-1 this season and four seasons with just one regular-season home loss. In 10 of the last 11 seasons (all but ’03), the Irish have suffered 0-1 regular-season losses at home (97-7-3/.921 in that 11-year stretch).
The Irish also are just one game shy of registering the program’s fifth unbeaten regular season, as the 1994, 1997 and 2000 teams all ultimately started 23-0-1 (the ’03 team was 18-0-1 but lost its regular-season finale to Michigan, ND’s next opponent on Oct. 28).
Senior forward and SHU leading scorer Carley Piagentini cashed in a short goal kick in the sixth minute of play, knocking the ball forward and racing to the top of the box before chipping a shot over charging freshman goalkeeper Lauren Karas for her fifth goal of the season (5:22). Karas, who made her fifth start of the season, was one of four Irish players in the opening lineup who did not start in Friday’s scoreless tie vs. Rutgers.
Piagentini’s score marked just the fourth first-half goal allowed by the Irish in 2004 and also produced just the fourth deficit faced by Notre Dame all season.
Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) racked up six goals in the first nine games but was riding an eight-game goal brought before finding the net in the 33rd minute of Sunday’s game. Junior midfielder Annie Schefter set the sequence in motion after collecting her own deflected free kick outside the top left corner of the box. Schefter then slid a pass to Buczkowski, who sent the ball on to Chapman for a crossing shot into the right side of the net (32:26).
The Irish pulled away with two second-half goals in a five-minute span. Freshman midfielder Jannica Tjeder – whose father Peter was on hand, visiting from their native Finland – worked the ball into the box from the right side and Chapman sent it on to the left side. Thorlakson (Langley. B.C.) raced free on the left side and sent home her 26th career goal with the Irish, producing the 2-1 lead (54:29).
Thorlakson’s score ultimately held up as her seventh gamewinning goal of the season, one shy of the Irish team record set by Rosella Guerrero in 1994. It also marked the 13th career gamewinner for Thorlakson, tying Meotis Erikson (’01) for 8th on that Irish all-time list.
Chapman’s previous eight goals this season (including four on the Brazil trip) had come in just five games, with three two-goal games to her credit. So it was only fitting that she score again versus the Pirates, with passes from Thorlakson and Buczkowski leading to Chapman’s 10-yard shot that deflected off a SHU defender and carried into the net to cap the scoring (60:05).
Thorlakson’s three-point game gives her 37 points for the season (12G-13A), the most by a Notre Dame player since midfielder Anne Makinen had 43 during the 2000 season, en route to earning 2000 national player-of-the-year honors.
PLAYER NOTES – If Thorlakson scores vs. Michigan, it will give her the most regular-season goals (13) by an ND player since the program’s all-time goal leader Jenny Heft had 16 in the 1999 regular season … Thorlakson now stands 19th on the ND career points list (79, 26G-27A) and is nearing the 30G-30A distinction owned by just nine previous ND players … the next player on the ND scoring list is defender Jen Grubb (83 points, from ’96-’99) … four previous ND players had 7 GWGs in a season: Michelle McCarthy (’94), Jenny Streiffer (’96), Monica Gerardo (’98) and Heft (’98) … Thorlakson entered the week ranked 8th in the nation in scoring (4th in assists) and was one of three players in the nation with 11-plus goals and 11-plus assists … she now has scored or assisted on nearly 60 percent of the team’s goals (25 of 44/.568) and needs five more points to match her combined ’02 and ’03 point total (42) … Thorlakson is averaging 2.18 ppg and would total 61 points over a full season of 28 games (the ND record is 72 points by Cindy Daws in her 1996 national player-of-the-year season) … Buczkowski has 2G-2A in the last 4 games … Chapman scored a late GWG at SHU as a freshman (2-1, in ’01) while Thorlakson now has 1G-3A in her career vs. SHU … the Irish were able to rest several regulars for the final 20 minutes, including the third member of the Canadian Connection, fifth-year central back Melissa Tancredi … Tancredi is the only ND player to start all 17 games this season and had missed just 51 total minutes of action in the first 16 games (she leads the team with 1,459 minutes played, or 86 per game) … junior `keeper Erika Bohn entered the game shortly after SHU’s goal and improved to 44-10-2 in her Irish career … Thorlakson has appeared in 60 straight games with the Irish (since returning from the 2002 Under-19 World Championship) while Schefter and Buczkowski have appeared in every game (41) over the course of the past two seasons … the backline starters – Tancredi, Gunnarsdottir and sophomore outside backs Christie Shaner and Kim Lorenzen – now have combined for 209 career games played at ND (166 starts) … Buczkowski (6G-7A) is on the verge of a 20-point season … Thorlakson has totaled 48 points at Alumni Field the past two seasons (17G-14A, 8 GWG in 25 GP) while Buczkowski has registered 26 of her 33 career points with the Irish in the confines of Alumni Field … the five departing seniors – Tancredi, central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, forward Mary Boland, outside back Kate Tulisiak and midfielder Sarah Halpenny – were honored prior to the game (Chapman has the option of applying for a 5th year of eligibility in 2005).
TEAM NOTES – ND has won its last 36 games when scoring first but had been just 3-3-0 in that span when the opponent had scored first (now 4-3-0 over the past 45 games, when the opponent scores first) … since joining the conference in ’95, ND is 104-9-3 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams … the Irish are 110-19-5 (.838) in the six-year Randy Waldrum era … ND now has limited 31 of its last 38 overall opponents to 0-3 shots on goal … the Irish own a 161-14-3 all-time record (.913) at Alumni Field (113-4-2/.958 vs. unranked teams) … ND remains unbeaten after 17 games, for the 5th time in the program’s history (also ’94, ’97, ’00 and ’03) … the Irish now are 36-1-2 in their last 39 regular-season games … since a rare deficit vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, ND has outscored the opposition 20-3 … ND owns a 10-1-0 series record vs. SHU (47-8 scoring edge), winning the last seven … the Irish are 57-1-1 in home games vs. BIG EAST teams, with a 55-game unbeaten streak in home BIG EAST games (54-0-1) … ND has trailed for just 266 total minutes the past two-plus seasons (7% of the total minutes, spanning 46 games) … the Irish have not lost on the opponent’s field in the past two seasons (15-0-0) … ND has seen just five of the last 45 opponents come back to tie the game … Waldrum is seven wins shy of his 300th overall win as a college head coach (men’s and women’s), spanning 23 seasons … ND is 18-0-0 the past two seasons (10-0 in ’03, 8-0 in ’04) when playing a regular-season game two days after a previous game (49-7 scoring edge), after going just 4-5-0 in 2002 regular-season “bounceback” games … since 1994, the Irish have scored in 285 of 301 games (.947; 190 of 198/.960) regular-season … ND is 208-3-1 (.984) all-time when scoring 3-plus goals (112-1-0 since 10/6/95) … Sunday’s game marked just the second time this season ND has trailed for more than 12 minutes … in addition to a 44-10 season scoring edge, the Irish also hold a 375-106 edge in total shots (avg. 22-6), 189-52 in shots on goal (11-3) and 99-33 in corner kicks (6-2) … ND has allowed just 25 first-half goals in the past four seasons (81 games) … the Irish are four wins shy of the program’s 9th season in the last 11 with 20-plus wins.
FOUR TV GAMES ON TAP – Notre Dame is slated to be featured on television in two lateseason games and also could play on TV twice in the BIG EAST Tournament … the Oct. 24 Seton Hall game will be aired on a delayed basis by Comcast SportsNet Detroit (Oct. 28 at 2:00 p.m. EDT; Oct. 30 at 9:30 p.m. EDT) while Comcast Chicago (available on South Bend Comcast cable channel 37) will air the ND-SHU game on Oct. 26 at 7:00 p.m. CDT/EST … the Oct. 28 ND-Michigan game then will be aired by Comcast Detroit on Oct. 31 (2:30 p.m. EST) and Nov. 1 (1:30 p.m. EST) and by Comcast Chicago on Oct. 30 at 8:00 p.m. CDT/EST … if ND wins its BIG EAST quarterfinal game, the Irish will play in the late semifinal (7:00 EST) on Nov. 5 (at UConn), with that game to be telecast on a delayed basis by College Sports Television (Nov. 6, 7:30 EST) … the BIG EAST title game (Nov. 7, noon) then will be telecast live by CSTV, Comcast Net Chicago and various other affiliates (full list is TBA) … CSTV can be found on DirectTV channel 610 and via a growing number of cable outlets nationwide (see www.cstv.com).
Seton Hall (7-9-2, 2-8-0 BIG EAST) 1 0 – 1
#1 Notre Dame (16-0-1, 9-0-1 BIG EAST) 1 2 – 3
SHU 1. Carley Piagentini 5 (-) 5:22; ND 1. Candace Chapman 7 (Jen Buczkowski, Annie Schefter) 32:26; ND 2. Katie Thorlakson 12 (Chapman, Jannica Tjeder) 54:29; ND 3. Chapman 8 (Buczkowski, Thorlakson) 60:05.
Shots: SHU 1-2 – 3, ND 17-13 – 30.
Corner Kicks: SHU 0-1 – 1, ND 3-4 – 7.
Saves: SHU 10 (Amanda Becker 9, team 1), ND 1 (Lauren Karas 0 in 8:16; Erika Bohn 1 in 81:44).
Fouls: SHU 16, ND 10.
Offsides: SHU 2, ND 0.
Yellow Cards: Ashley Reinecke (SHU) 32:07; Jen Michewicz (SHU) 55:32.