April 28, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Amanda Cinalli scored twice and the Irish also benefited from an own-goal to claim a 3-0 halftime lead, en route to a shutout victory over the Mexican National Team, in Friday-night action at Alumni Field on April 28. It marked the sixth straight spring season that the Irish women have squared off with the Mexican squad, with Notre Dame now owning a 4-1-1 record in those marquee matchups, and a large crowd again was on hand – with a spirited crowd of 2,687 cheering on the teams.
Mexico completed a draining trip through the United States that included seven games in 21 days, highlighted by a 1-0 win over North Carolina (played in Alabama) and a 1-1 tie with 2005 NCAA champion Portland.
Junior midfielder Jill Krivacek assisted on the first goal, playing a pass back from the right endline. Cinalli was in position at the near post and the sophomore forward sent a quick shot inside the right post, with the ball glancing off the hand of `keeper Sophia Perez and carrying into the upper corner of the net (18:31).
The home team claimed a 2-0 lead 15 minutes later, with sophomore forward Susan Pinnick playing the key role in the own-goal. Pinnick was boxed in near the right endline but spun away from her defender and drove a low cross into the heart of the penalty area. A miscommunication between Perez and defender Marlene Sandoval resulted in the ball being redirected into the net from close range, giving Notre Dame the 2-0 cushion (31:53).
The lead grew to 3-0 moments later, on a goal set up by All-America forward Kerri Hanks (who just completed her third semester with the Irish soccer program). Hanks carried the ball down the left side and turned by a couple defenders before playing a ball behind the defense into the top of the 18-yard box. Cinalli raced free and dribbled around Perez before shooting into the open net (34:13).
Notre Dame dominated the run of play in the first half – most notably in the air – and ultimately finished with a 17-11 edge in total shots, 10-2 in shots on goal and 4-2 in corner kicks. The Irish opened the game with a rare two-for-ward formation (of Hanks and Cinalli) while Krivacek and her classmate played centrally in the midfield. Freshmen Brittany Bock and Becca Mendoza (a member of the Mexican National Team) rounded out the starting midfield while junior Kim Lorenzen and freshman Carrie Dew were in their familiar central defender roles. Junior Christie Shaner (left back) and sophomore Ashley Jones (right back) completed the starting position players, with sophomore Lauren Karas turning in a strong game in the goal.
Bock and Dew had returned to campus just days earlier, after competing in Brazil with the U.S. Under-20 National Team – one of several training trips this spring for the sophomore duo with the U-20s, a team that will compete in the U-20 World Championship late in the summer of ’06 (in Russia).
Mexico’s squad was stocked primarily with players from its Under-20 team that will play in Russia. One of the veterans of the team is midfielder Fatima Leyva, who played during the summer of 2005 with the Goshen-based F.C. Indiana team that won the Women’s Professional Soccer League title and the U.S. Open Cup. Bock, Shaner and two other member so the current Irish squad (junior `keeper Nikki Westfall and freshman M/D Kerri Inglis) also were top players on that championship F.C. Indiana team.
Notre Dame went 6-0 during its 2006 spring season, with just two of those games coming at home. The Irish beat Dayton in Fort Wayne (1-0, on a goal by Cinalli) and then won 2-0 at Creighton, with Hanks converting a penalty kick and Bock knocking home a rebounded PK by Hanks later in that game. Notre Dame then made a trip to southern California to play in the huge Toyota Classic, besting San Diego State (2-0) and the University of San Diego (2-1, on goals by Hanks and Molly Iarocci). The only other home game was a 2-0 win over Western Michigan, with Pinnick and Buczkowski both scoring goals during the spring season.
Lauren Karas had just two official saves in the win over Mexico but the sophomore also was strong off her line to thwart several other prime scoring chances.
ND HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – “I was really pleased offensively with how we played against Mexico. They had a couple chances but not as many in the past. … Lauren Karas played very well in goal. She made some good decisions about when to come out and when to stay on her line and she handled the defense well. The back line as a group played well. We made some turnovers and they transition very well but we made the recoveries when we needed them. … This always is a game when we learn a lot about our team and the crowd again was great. It’s always a great atmosphere when we play the Mexican National Team and it brings out the community for a great time. “We learn something each time we play an international match like this. … The spring was one of the best we’ve ever had, especially when you consider that Bock and Dew were not with us for certain stretches and of course we did not have our great senior class. Several players, such as Susan Pinnick, have really settled in and made a lot of progress this spring. Ashley Jones also got some consistent playing time and it was a strong spring for Lauren Karas in the goal. It was good for her to get so much experience under her belt while developing a stronger coordination with the defense. …One of the goals this spring was to see what are the best places to play Pinnick and Jones and we had great efforts from both of them. … Every time Brittany and Carrie have come back from training with the Under-20s, they are more confident and have a higher experience level. They have shown more competitiveness and toughness from playing with the national-team program and are developing into great leaders for us. … The game in Omaha was played in a great stadium and the team had the chance to work with 200 kids for the Kids for Cancer charity. Creighton also is a good team so that was a valuable trip for us. And then going to Southern California was great as well, from a recruiting standout and it gave kids like Ashley and Carrie a chance to play in their home area.
FALL SCHEDULE – Notre Dame’s 2006 fall schedule will be posted soon on und.com … the eight regular-season home games include four during home football weekends: Sept. 29 vs. West Virginia (7:30) and Oct. 1 vs. Pittsburgh (1:00) and Oct. 6 vs. Seton Hall (7:30) and Oct. 8 vs. Rutgers (1:00), corresponding with the Purdue and Stanford home football games … the Irish also could host an NCAA third-round game (Nov.17-19) the weekend of the home football game vs. Army … ND’s other regular-season home games in 2006 will include: Aug. 26 vs. Iowa State (1:00), the Adidas Classic on Sept. 1 and 3 vs. USC (7:30) and Santa Clara (1:00), and Sept. 24 vs. Louisville (1:00) … the Irish are slated to play 10 regular-season road games, at: Mississippi (Aug. 27, 1:00), TCU (Sept. 8), SMU (Sept. 10), DePaul (Sept. 15), Michigan (Sept. 17), Cincinnati (Sept. 22), UConn (Oct. 13), Providence (Oct. 15), Villanova (Oct. 20) and Georgetown (Oct. 22) … the date of the UConn game could be shifted due to a potential TV broadcast … the Irish also will play a preseason home exhibition vs. Xavier (Aug. 17, 1:00) and could add a second preseason exhibition.
Mexico 0 0 – 0
Notre Dame 3 0 – 0
Shots: ND 6-11 – 17, Mexico 6-5 – 11
Corner Kicks: ND 4, Mexico 2.
Saves: ND 2 (Lauren Karas), Mexico 7 (Sophia Perez)
Fouls: ND 10, Mexico 15
Offsides: ND 2, Mexico 0