Sept. 3, 2002


Notre Dame Classic – vs. Santa Clara (Sept. 6) and Portland (Sept. 8)

TOURNEY TIME!: The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (2-0-0) again will play host to one of the nation’s premier tournaments (at Alumni Field) – with this weekend’s Notre Dame Classic, presented by St. Andrew’s Products (full schedule below) … the tournament also will feature two of the world’s top young players in Santa Clara midfielder Aly Wagner and Portland forward Christy Sinclair … each of the four participating teams was ranked among the preseason top 14 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll (#1 Santa Clara, #4 Portland, #7 ND and #14 Clemson) … SCU (#13) and Portland (#19) have dropped in the poll after losses last week, due in part to the absence of top players who were competing at the Under-19 World Championship (see notes below) … the Irish return seven starters from the 2001 team (17-3-0) but ND’s preseason preparation also was slowed with the absence of several key players, due to injuries and the Under-19 Championship.

2002 Notre Dame Classic, presented by St. Andrew’s Products

Friday, Sept. 6

#19 Portland (0-2-0) vs. #13 Clemson (2-0-0) … 5:00 p.m.

#6 Notre Dame (2-0-0) vs. #14 Santa Clara (0-1-0) … 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 8

#14 Santa Clara vs. #13 Clemson … 11:00 a.m.

#6 Notre Dame vs. #19 Portland … 1:00 p.m.

WEBSITES: For in-depth information on the Notre Dame Classic participants, please consult their official websites: … … … .

STELLAR FIELD: The strong four-team field for the 2002 Notre Dame Classic continues a trend set in the 1999 Key Bank Classic (with ND, SCU, Stanford and UConn) and the 2000 KBC (ND, UConn, Penn State and Hartford) … the four 2002 ND Classic participants combined for a 75-13-2 record in 2001, with each advancing to the NCAAs (SCU beat Portland in the semifinals, en route to winning the NCAA title) … ND and SCU are two of just five teams ever to win the NCAA title (the others are North Carolina, George Mason and Florida), with the Irish owning three runner-up finishes (’94, ’96, ’99) and Portland one (’95) … the four teams in the ’02 ND Classic have combined to make 20 trips to the NCAA semifinals (SCU 8, ND 6, UP 6) while advancing to at least the quarterfinals a combined 26 times (SCU 10, ND 7, UP 6, Clemson 3).

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP REUNION: This weekend’s action features three teams – ND, Santa Clara and Portland – who have welcomed back players that competed in the recent Under-19 World Championship, held in three Canadian cities … the exciting tournament was capped by a 1-0 U.S. win over Canada in the title game, with 47,000 fans in attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium … Portland sophomore F Christy Sinclair earned the “golden boot” award as the tournament’s top scorer (10 goals, in six games) and formed a potent offensive tandem with Notre Dame freshman Katie Thorlakson (who plays mostly as an attacking midfielder with Canada) … ND sophomore Candace Chapman also was a starter with Canada, playing mostly right back while also shifting into the central midfield … three Santa Clara sophomores – forwards Leslie Osborne and Megan Kahadelas and D Jessica Ballweg – played for the U.S. squad that racked up a 26-2 scoring edge … ND freshman M Annie Schefter was on track to be a starter for the U.S. team but was sidelined with a season-ending ACL knee injury in late July.

IRISH LOOK FORWARD TO INTACT LINEUP: The return of Candace Chapman and Katie Thorlakson from the Under-19 Championship should help the Irish near a more-complete starting lineup, as should the improving status of senior D Vanessa Pruzinsky and junior F Melissa Tancredi (both have yet to play this fall due to injuries) … Tancredi combines with classmates Amanda Guertin and Amy Warner to form one of the nation’s top group of frontrunners … senior Ashley Dryer and junior Randi Scheller are the returning starters in the midfield, where they were joined last week by surging junior Kim Carpenter … Chapman and Pruzinsky are the only returning starters in the defensive third, with other top candidates in the back including sophomore Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, freshman Cat Sigler and junior Molly Tate – with junior Lauren Kent and freshman Erika Bohn splitting time in the nets last week … ND’s many options in the back also include sophomore Mary Boland (she started at forward in Tancredi’s spot last week and also can play in the midfield), Carpenter (she has shifted back from the midfield in the past) and two others who have started at outside back in the early parts of the 2002 season: sophomore Kate Tulisiak and freshman Miranda Ford.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK’S ACTION: Notre Dame opened with a 3-0 win at Providence before posting a 5-0 home win over Virginia Tech, in another BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional game … junior F Amy Warner and junior M Randi Scheller both had 2G-1A in the weekend action, with sophomore F Mary Boland adding a pair of goals … junior F Amanda Guertin had 1G-1A vs. the Hokies while freshman D Miranda Ford also scored in that game (junior M Kim Carpenter wrapped up the week’s scoring with an assist vs. PC) … junior G Lauren Kent made six saves in 100 minutes of work during the weekend, with freshman Erika Bohn registering one save in 80 minutes of action … the Irish held a 36-12 shot edge in the two games (13-2 in corner kicks) … ND improved to 13-2 in season openers (8-1 in the last nine).

ND-SCU SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame owns a 4-2-0 series record vs. Santa Clara (3-0 at home, 2-0 in the NCAAs) … the teams played regular-season games in 1999 (4-2 SCU win) and 2000 (6-1 ND win), with the Irish winning both rematches in the NCAAs (1-0 in ’99 semifinal and 2-1 in OT of 2000 quarterfinal, thanks to Meotis Erikson’s OT goal) … the other series meetings include ND’s 1-0 home win in ’95 and SCU’s 3-1 home win in ’96 … the Broncos were a participant in ND’s 2000 Key Bank Classic.

ND-PORTLAND SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame holds a 6-2-0 series edge vs. Portland, with the home team never winning an ND-UP meeting (ND is 0-2 at home vs. UP and 4-0 vs. the Pilots at Merlo Field) … all eight of the previous ND-UP games have been decided by one goal … the Irish wins over the Pilots include the 2000 win (1-0, on an early Meotis Erikson goal) that elevated the Irish to the No. 1 ranking, two 1-0 wins in the NCAAs (in the 1994 semifinal at UP and the 1995 title game at UNC) and a 3-2 win in the 1996 semifinals (at SCU) – plus two other wins at Merlo Field (2-1 in ’94, 1-0 in ’97) … Portland’s wins at Alumni Field came in 1992 (2-1) and in the 1998 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1, on a Jessica Talbot goal in the 88th minute) … ND’s 3-2 win over UP in the 1996 NCAA semifinals saw the Irish rally from a 2-0 halftime deficit, thanks to goals from Shannon Boxx, Amy VanLaecke and Monica Gerardo.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara – which dropped its opener to Stanford (3-0), minus three players at the Under-19 World Championship – must replace three starters from the 2001 NCAA championship team (23-2-0), most notably four-year All-America defender Danielle Slayton (who went on to be the top pick in the WUSA draft) … the Broncos are led by All-America midfielder Aly Wagner, a fifth-year player and emerging member of the U.S. National Team … Wagner totaled 17 goals and 20 assists in 2001 (she did not play vs. ND in the 2000 Key Bank Classic, due to injury) … SCU returns its top three scorers – also sophomore F Leslie Osborne (13G-17A) and junior F Veronica Zepeda (11G-7A) – while senior Devyn Hawkins combines with Wagner for a potent midfield duo … sophomore Alyssa Sobolik played most of the minutes in the nets for SCU in 2001, with an 0.56 GAA, 32 saves and nine goals allowed … Osborne and two of her classmates – defender Jessica Ballweg and forward Megan Kahadelas (a transfer from USC and the 2001 Pac-10 rookie of the year) – were teammates of ND freshman M Annie Schefter on the 2002 U.S. under-19 national team (Schefter missed the Under-19 World Championship due to her ACL injury; Kahadelas assisted on the winning goal in the 1-0 title game vs. Canada).

SCOUTING THE PILOTS: Portland -which lost on the road last week vs. BYU (2-1) and Utah (2-0), while playing without top player Christy Sinclair – graduated just two starters from its 2001 squad (20-4-0) that returned to the College Cup semifinals (losing to SCU, after losing to UCLA in 2000) … the Pilot returners accounted for 55 of the team’s 57 goals in 2001 – led by Sinclair, the All-American who ranked as the nation’s fifth-leading scorer (23G-8A) en route to national Freshman of the Year honors … Sinclair teamed with ND’s Katie Thorlakson and Candace Chapman on Canada’s under-19 team, with Sinclair earning the World Championship’s “golden boot” award as the tournament’s top scorer (10 goals in six games) … Sinclair also is one of the top players on Canada’s full national team … UP’s biggest losses were four-year starting defenders Brooke O’Hanley and Lindsay Smart … sophomore Cristin Shea is the likely starting ‘keeper after posting an 0.70 GAA in 2001 (with 40 saves and eight goals allowed) … two-year All-American Lauren Orlandos anchors Portland in the back from her central defender spot … in last week’s loss to BYU, Erin Misaki scored to tie the game but the Cougars notched the GWG in the 88th minute.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Clemson opened with wins over Wofford (2-0) and at #25 Georgia (3-2, OT), racking up a 50-11 shot advantage in the two games … the Tigers advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 1999 and 2000 (losing to eventual runner-up UCLA) before falling one game shy in 2001, under first-year coach Todd Bramble (15-5-1) … Clemson returns plenty of scoring punch, led by junior Lindsey Browne (9G-8A) and senior Deliah Arrington (11G-3A) … with seven returning starters and a top-10 recruiting class in the fold, the Tigers will be looking to overcome the loss of All-America goalkeeper Katie Carson … Clemson’s exciting attack also includes senior Heather Baem (4G-7A) and sophomore Paige Ledford (10G-5A), who split time between midfield and forward in 2001 … Baem (G-A) and Arrington scored in the win over Wofford while Baem, Rachel Gallegos and Sarah Turner (GWG) helped knock off Georgia.

GUNNARSDOTTIR NAMED BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame sophomore Gudrun Gunnarsdottir was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week, after playing a key role in shutout wins over Providence (3-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0) … Gunnarsdottir has emerged as the leader of a young Irish defense that played last week without injured senior Vanessa Pruzinsky (the preseason BIG EAST defensive player of the year) and sophomore Candace Chapman, who just completed play with Canada at the Under-19 World Championship … Gunnarsdottir started both games at central defense, as part of a four-player defensive group that included freshman Cat Sigler and a pair of walk-ons at the outside back positions … a member of Iceland’s national-team program, Gunnarsdottir helped the Irish hold PC to a pair of shots in the entire game while limiting the opposition to a total of just two corner kicks in the weekend games.

TOURNAMENT TOUGH: Notre Dame owns a 72-20-6 all-time record (.765) in tournament action, including 28-11-5 in regular-season tournaments (13-2-1 at home, with 47-14 scoring edge), 22-0-0 in conference tournaments and 22-9-1 in the NCAAs … beginning with the 1994 season (which ended with an NCAA runner-up finish), Notre Dame owns a 19-4-3 record in regular-season tournaments – with 16 of those wins coming vs. ranked teams … since ’94, the Irish have lost just four regular-season tournament games: vs. UNC twice (2-0 in ’95, in Houston; 3-2 at the ’99 KBC), vs. SCU in ’96 (3-1, at Duke) and vs. SMU in 1999 (1-0; in Klein, Texas, minus star player Anne Makinen) – with ties vs. UNC (0-0 in ’94, in St. Louis), Duke (2-2 in ’95, in Houston) and UNC again (2-2 at ’97 LFC) … from 1997-2001, the Irish went 11-2-1 in regular-season tournaments.

PLAYING THE BEST – Notre Dame consistently has played some of its best soccer in recent years when facing a ranked opponent, with an 18-5-2 record vs. ranked teams during the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) … that trend held true in 2001, when the Irish went 5-1 vs. ranked teams (2-1 vs. Penn State, 2-0 vs. Hartford, 2-1 vs. West Virginia, 3-0 vs. Miami, 0-3 at UConn and 2-1 vs. Michigan).

GERTY’S GOALS – Junior forward Amanda Guertin scored a goal in each of the final 10 games of the 2001 season – good for the third-longest goalscoring streak in Division I women’s soccer history (Brandi Chastain had a 15-game streak while playing for Santa Clara in 1990, with Hartford’s Maria Kun compiling an 11-game streak in 1997) … Guertin also scored in six of seven games during the 2002 spring season, in one of the two fall exhibitions and in last week’s win over Virginia Tech.

IRISH MOVE UP TO SIXTH IN NSCAA POLL – Notre Dame’s pair of opening wins, coupled with losses by Santa Clara and Portland, moved the Irish up from seventh to sixth in this week’s NSCAA poll (Stanford jumped ahead of ND, thanks to its win over SCU) … the top five currently include North Carolina, UCLA, Texas A&M/Stanford (tie) and Virginia … the Irish have been ranked in the top seven of the NSCAA poll every season since 1994.

CONFERENCE COMMAND – After last week’s pair of wins, Notre Dame’s all-time record in regular-season conference games now stands at 80-3-2 (.953), including 61-4-2 (.925) in BIG EAST games (since ’95) … the Irish also own a 43-1 record in all-time home games vs. BIG EAST opponents (with 39 straight home wins vs. BIG EAST teams, since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95).

HOME, SWEET HOME – Notre Dame’s all-time overall record at Alumni Field is 130-8-2 (.936), including 106-4-2 in the last 112 … the Irish own a 38-1-1 record in their previous 40 home games, with a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin and the 3-2 NCAA loss to Cincinnati (both in 2001).

SCORING STREAK REACHES 31 – Notre Dame carries a 31-game scoring streak into the Santa Clara game (third-best in ND history, behind a 55-game streak from 1997-99 and a 36-game streak from ’95-’96) … the last time that the Irish failed to score was the 0-0 tie at UConn on Oct. 22, 2000 … since 1994, ND has scored in 144 of 147 (.980) regular-season games (also an 0-0 tie vs. UNC in ’94 and a 2-0 loss to UNC in ’95) and 49 of 52 postseason games, with three shutout losses to UNC in NCAA title games.

4.0 FOCUS – Notre Dame co-captain Vanessa Pruzinsky heads into her senior season as one of the nation’s premier Academic All-Americans (in any sport) … the hard-nosed defender twice has been named a first team CoSIDA Academic All-American (one of two all-time ND student-athletes ever to be so honored) and recently was in the mix for a spot on the U.S. Under-21 National Team … she was a finalist for the 2000 Missouri Athletic Club player-of-the-year award and was named the BIG EAST Conference preseason defensive player of the year for 2002 … what truly sets Pruzinsky apart is her perfect 4.0 GPA as a chemical engineering major … just two previous Notre Dame chemical engineering majors ever have graduated with a 4.0 (the last doing so in the early 1970s) and Pruzinsky remains the only female student ever to earn an “A” grade in the Notre Dame’s challenging introduction to chemical engineering course.