Oct. 8, 2004
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Freshman forward Amanda Cinalli’s goal in the 20th minute provided the game’s only scoring as the top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team remained unbeaten after 13 games for just the third time in the program’s storied history, with a 1-0 victory in BIG EAST Conference action Friday at Villanova.
Notre Dame (13-0-0, 6-0-0 BIG EAST) – now 33-1-1 in its last 35 regular-season games – finished with a 21-14 edge in total shots and 12-4 in shots on goal while Villanova held the corner-kick margin, 6-4 (matching the most corners allowed by the Irish in a game this season). Notre Dame junior Erika Bohn and Villanova sophomore Jillian Loyden both made a couple of big saves to maintain the tight 1-0 score. The Wildcats also delivered a timely first-half team save when a field player cleared a near-goal off the foot of Melissa Tancredi.
Since facing a rare deficit versus Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, the Irish have outscored the opposition 14-1 over the last three-plus games (and 419 minutes of play).
Villanova (9-4-0, 3-3-0), which just fell out of the national rankings, suffered its third straight shutout loss after opening BIG EAST play with three wins.
Cinalli notched her sixth goal of the season (tying Candace Chapman for second on the team) at the 19:40 mark, after winning the ball near the left sideline and then shifting to her right. The Villanova defense was sagging off Cinalli and she made them pay by quickly launching a 35-yard crossing shot that carried into the upper-right corner of the net.
Both of Cinalli’s gamewinning goals this season have come in 1-0 road tests versus top BIG EAST opponents, with the other being a late goal at Connecticut on Sept. 17.
The game marked the third 1-0 finish in the series during the past five meetings, with the other two games in that stretch producing 2-1 wins for each team (the last five ND-VU games have featured just combined nine goals, including six by the Irish).
The current Irish squad has matched the 1996 team’s unbeaten start while the 2000 unit remains the only ND team to go deeper into a season without a loss (16-0-0). The offensive leader of that team, 2000 national player of the year Anne Makinen, was one of several former Irish players in attendance, as was 2004 graduate and former midfielder Kimberly Carpenter.
Friday’s game did not feature a shot until the 13th minute of play while Cinalli’s goal came on just the second shot of the game.
The Irish nearly took a 2-0 lead in the 40th minute after a flurry in front of the goal ultimately produced Tancredi’s one-timer from 10 yards out – but a VU field player was in position to knock away the shot as it neared the goal line.
The Wildcats then came close to tying the game on a shot that came just as the first half was ending. Defender Laura Koch played the ball from the right flank and Kayce Blandford connected on a header before Jamie Weist volleyed a try from the far left side of the box. Bohn saw the play developing and quickly poked the try over the crossbar just as the last second ticked off the clock.
Senior Candace Chapman showed her versatility by shifting from forward to left back in the second half. Sophomore Lizzie Reed, from neighboring state New Jersey, created several chances including a second-half breakaway that ended with her being pushed in the back (no foul was called).
(Note: full game stats, with play-by-play, have been linked to this recap.)
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – “We created some good chances tonight but Villanova always plays us tough. They also have developed into a good counterattacking team and we did not do a good enough job of controlling those chances. We were too sloppy with some of our passing and took some silly fouls. It’s been a battle with them the last few times we’ve met and we lost to them the last time we came to this field – so it’s good to get the win. Lizzie Reed played one of her better games of the season and gave us a spark out there. And Jill Krivacek and Annie Schefter both did a great job in the air and won a lot of possession battles, particularly in the first half. We hope to have a better all-around effort on Sunday at Georgetown and I think that’s what you will see.”
NOTES – The Irish conclude a stretch of playing 7-of-10 games on the road Sunday at Georgetown (1:00 EDT) … in 10 seasons of BIG EAST play, the Irish now are 101-9-2 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams (82-7-2 regular season) … ND now leads the VU series, 10-1-0 (45-5 scoring edge) … the Irish have won their last 35 games when scoring first (dating back to 10/19/02) … ND has seen just five of the last 42 opponents come back to tie the game … VU’s six corner kicks are nearly one-third of the total (19) allowed by ND in the previous 12 games this season … this marks the sixth season that ND has been unbeaten after 13 games (three with no ties, three with ties) … ND now owns a 20-2 first-half scoring edge this season and has allowed just 78 first-half goals the past four seasons … the Irish have scored in 187 of 194 regular-season games over the past 11 seasons … Bohn is 39-4-1 in her last 45 overall starts with the Irish (one no-decision).
#1 Notre Dame (13-0-0, 6-0-0 BIG EAST) 1 0 – 1
Villanova (9-4-0, 3-3-0 BIG EAST) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Amanda Cinalli 6 (-) 19:40.
Shots: ND 13-8 – 21, VILL 7-7 – 14.
Corner Kicks: ND 1-2 – 3, VILL 2-4 – 6.
Saves: ND 4 (Erika Bohn), VILL 11 (Jillian Loyden 10, team 1).
Fouls: ND 8, VILL 8.
Offsides: ND 1, VILL 1.
Yellow Card: Melissa Tancredi 1 (ND) 47:49.