Oct. 4, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Candace Chapman’s first collegiate start at forward paid quick dividends, as the Notre Dame women’s soccer team got back on the winning track with a 5-0 victory over visiting Pittsburgh, in BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division action Friday night at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (7-4-0, 3-2-0 BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic) – which has won its last 42 home games vs. BIG EAST opponents – forged a tie with Georgetown for third place in the division, just one point behind co-leaders Villanova (3-1-1) and ninth-ranked West Virginia (3-0-1, after Friday’s 1-1 tie at Seton Hall).
Fifth-place Rutgers (2-2-1) still could claim one of the division’s four spots in the eight-team BIG EAST Tournament but RU now must beat Georgetown tomorrow to maintain any chance at qualifying for the tournament. If the Hoyas beat the Knights (or if that game ends in a tie), the Irish would clinch a playoff berth prior to playing their final divisional game (Sunday at WVU).
Chapman – who started in the defense as a freshman in 2001 and for most of this season – joined junior forwards Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin with one goal and one assist in Friday’s win, while freshmen Maggie Manning and Cat Sigler rounded out the scoring with the first goals of their Irish careers. Freshman midfielder Jenny Walz – making her first start of the season – assisted on Chapman’s goal in the seventh minute for her first point of the season.
The Irish owned a dominating 32-3 shot edge (8-2 in corner kicks), including a 60-minute stretch in which Pittsburgh (3-9-0, 0-5-0) did not register a shot. Freshman Erika Bohn and junior Lauren Kent combined on the shutout, despite not having to make a single save.
Notre Dame again played without its only seniors – defender Vanessa Pruzinsky and midfielder Ashley Dryer (both out with ankle injuries) – while sophomore central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir was eased back into the lineup by playing the first 35 minutes, after missing six games with a foot injury. Junior Melissa Tancredi also returned to action, making her first career start at right back and also playing centrally.
Notre Dame’s top 13 players now have combined to miss 33 games this season due to injury (not counting parts of other games missed due to injury), with four of those top players missing four-plus games.
Walz set up the first goal with a sharp pass from the right flank that skimmed off the head of a Pittsburgh player and sprung Chapman down the middle. Chapman – who now has started this season at outside back, central back, midfield and forward – gained separation and dribbled around ‘keeper Jamie Pelusi for her second goal of the season (6:42).
Shortly before halftime, Warner fed the ball to Manning (who was shifted back to the midfield) and the freshman delivered with a crossing shot into the lower right corner of the net (42:50).
Guertin once again set up a score via her well-placed corner kick, serving the ball from the leftside flag in the early moments of the second half. The 5-10 Sigler had pushed up from her central defender spot and sent in a header from close range for the 3-0 lead (47:04).
Chapman’s cross from the right side set up the next Irish score, with Warner trapping the ball near the far post and beating the ‘keeper with a shot into the left side of the net (59:45) for her team-leading ninth goal of the season and the 26th of her career.
Guertin’s 30th career goal (and fourth of 2002) capped the scoring, on a 16-yard strike into the upper left corner (73:43).
PITTSBURGH 0 0 – 0
NOTRE DAME 2 3 – 5
ND 1. Candace Chapman 2 (Jenny Walz) 6:42; ND 2. Maggie Manning 1 (Amy Warner) 42:50; ND 3. Cat Sigler 1 (Amanda Guertin) 47:04; ND 4. Warner (Chapman) 59:45; ND 5. Guertin 4 (-) 73:43.
Shots: Pitt 2-1-3, ND 11-21-32.
Corner Kicks: Pitt 1-1-2, ND 3-5-8.
Fouls: Pitt 14, ND 19.
Offsides: Pitt 0, ND 5.
Yellow Cards: Kate Tulisiak (ND) 76:42; Jacqueline Fix (Pitt) 80:06; Miranda Ford (ND) 86:42.