Susan Pinnick - shown in Wednesday's action - had a goal and assist in the 3-0 win over Virginia (photo by Pete LaFleur).

Fifth-Ranked Irish Open Preseason With 3-0 Win Over 8th-Ranked Virginia

Aug. 16, 2006

Final Stats

Jill Krivacek and Susan Pinnick each had a goal and an assist in leading the 5th-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer tam to a 3-0 exhibition victory over 8th-ranked Virginia, in Wednesday-afternoon action at the Keystone Road Complex. Both teams were playing minus several key veterans but the Irish rode the veteran leadership of Krivacek, fellow midfielder Jen Buczkowski and defender Christie Shaner to post the comfortable margin. All five of Notre Dame’s freshman signees had impressive debuts, with each logging significant minutes (four as starters). The Irish midfield and the team’s overall passing game helped Notre Dame control the run of play, as the Cavaliers managed their only shot on goal midway through the second half.


Jill Krivacek helped dominate the midfield while registering a goal and assist vs. the Cavaliers (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Unofficial stats for the game included Virginia actually holding a 12-7 shot in overall shots but most of those efforts came from well outside the 18-yard box and resulted in shots that were well off-target. Freshman goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander, who combined with junior starter Lauren Karas on the shutout, easily saved Virginia’s only shot on goal, after a routine try from outside the top of the box. Notre Dame attempted five of the game’s six corner kicks, with UVa’s only corner coming with 20 minutes left to play.

Notre Dame wraps up the exhibition portion of its 2006 schedule on Wednesday, Aug. 17, with a home game at Alumni Field versus Xavier. The Musketeers are coached by former Notre Dame assistant coach Alvin Alexander, a member of the Irish staff in 2003 and during the 2004 national-title season. Alexander is one of several former ND assistant coaches who have moved on to D-I head coaching positions in the past few years. That group includes Xavier women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff, who joins Alexander in working under Xavier athletic director and former Notre Dame baseball player Mike Bobinski.

Freshman Michele Weissenhofer – who played primarily her customary forward spot but also saw some time in the midfield and at left back – capped the scoring in the closing moments. Her longtime teammate and fellow Naperville, Ill., native Amanda Clark had an impressive day playing alongside Shaner as the central defenders, with junior Ashley Jones (who had the corner-kick assist on Krivacek’s opening goal) and freshman Haley Ford comprising the respective right and left backs in the starting lineup. Buczkowski and Krivacek – part of a senior class that helped Notre Dame compile a 47-7-2 record during their first three seasons – were joined in the midfield by freshman Courtney Rosen while the starting frontrunners included Weissenhofer, junior Amanda Cinalli and South Bend native Pinnick (who is entering her junior year academically and second healthy season with the Irish).


Freshman Amanda Clark had an impressive debut at central defense while helping limit Virginia to one shot on goal (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Notre Dame boasted a battle-tested starting group during the 2005 season, with 12 players (four midfielders) who regularly appeared in the starting lineup – but only four of those players (Buczkowski, Cinalli, Krivacek and Shaner) opened Wednesday’s game as the Irish starters. Four players have moved on to graduation, including a pair of All-Americans (forward Katie Thorlakson and right back Candace Chapman) and the first team Academic All-America duo of goalkeeper Erika Bohn and midfielder Annie Schefter. Two others currently are readying to compete in Russia at the Under-20 World Championship, with sophomores Brittany Bock (midfielder) and Carrie Dew (central defender) among the top members of the U.S. U-20 National Team. Sophomore All-America forward Kerri Hanks and senior center back Kim Lorenzen (who will serve as 2006 team captain) also did not starter versus the Cavaliers due to nagging preseason injuries, with Hanks seeing a handful of minutes off the bench.


Michele Weissenhofer’s goal, assisted by Susan Pinnick and Claire Gallerano, capped the scoring (photo by Pete LaFleur).



The Irish ended up using only 18 players in the rare preseason matchup of elite national programs. Three seniors – forwards Lizzie Reed and Molly Iarocci and defensive midfielder Claire Gallerano – logged key stretches off the bench, with Gallerano’s well-placed cross setting up the double-header sequence on the final goal. Sophomore midfielder Becca Mendoza and freshman defender Ashley Galovic joined Hanks (whose 28 goals in 2005 are fourth-most ever by a D-I freshman) and Lysander in rounding out the team’s 16 participants in the exhibition scrimmage.

Notre Dame put three of its seven shots on goal (compared to 1-of-12 for UVa), with each of those attempts resulting in an Irish goal. The first score came in the game’s 14th minute, with Jones stepping forward as the team’s new corner-kick specialist (in place of the graduated Thorlakson and Schefter). Jones struck an inswinger from the left flag and the 5-foot-10 Krivacek – who has reported for her final season in top physical shape – was well positioned at the near post to easily beat a defender and `keeper Christiana de Vries for the nudge into the center of the net.

Hanks entered the game midway through the first half and nearly had a breakaway scoring chance, after a booming punt from her former Dallas Texans club teammate Karas.


Ashley Jones provided the corner-kick assist on the game’s first goal (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Jones and Krivacek nearly combined on another goal late in the first half, with Krivacek snapping her header wide of the far post after the leftside corner kick. Krivacek – who had a dominating all-around effort from her defensive midfielder spot – then produced a strong chance moments later, flaring a pass down the left flank that sprang Weissenhofer for a cross back into the box.

A foul late in the first half gave Shaner a free kick from the left flank and her resulting 40-yard cross nearly connecting with Krivacek as she sailed through the air at the far post. Moments later, UVa had a counterattack chance and Karas raced out of the 18-yard box to deflect a try from the onrushing Caitlin Miskel. The ball bounced back off Miskel and then rolled wide of the right post, with Miskel and Shaner giving chase.


Lauren Karas played the first half in the shutout of Virginia (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Weissenhofer had another left-side cross into the box in the final moments of the first half, with Jones crashing hard on the far side to attempt the half-volley shot. Seconds later, Virginia played a rightside free-kick into the box and Karas was unable to hold onto the high grab, with the follow-up chance from Sarah Curtis sailing over the crossbar.

The Irish had the final chance of the first half after Mendoza and Weissenhofer worked a give-and-go down the center of the field. Mendoza ended up sending a cross from the left side and Reed had a chance on her near-pot run, sending a 14-yard header wide of the left post.

Pinnick earlier had scored to cap the 2-0 win over Virginia during a 2005 exhibition (played in Fort Wayne) and her goal early in the second half yielded the same score in Traverse City. Rosen and Krivacek set up the goal by winning 50-50 battles near the top of the box. Krivacek ultimately slid a pass into the box and the UVa defense was caught flat, with Pinnick and Jones racing free for the 2-on-1 (Pinnick finished to the right side, beating Celeste Miles for the 2-0 lead).


All-American Jen Buczkowski led Notre Dame’s strong midfield play (photo by Pete LaFleur).



The game then opened up more as Virginia tried to generate a goalscoring chance. One of the best chances for the Cavaliers came on their only corner kick of the game, served from the right flag by Jen Redmond. Julia Falk put her head on the service from the center of the box but the 14-yard try was well wide of the left post.

The final goal came in the 86th minute, as the Irish moved in transition down the right side. Gallerano sent a high cross into the heart of the penalty area and the ball bounced to the far side for Pinnick, who squared herself and placed a header back into the center of the box. Weissenhofer was perfectly positioned on the doorstep and redirected her header into the net for the 3-0 final.

Weissenhofer punctuated the game by giving the fans a glimpse of her dangerous flip throw-in, sending a throw from the right sideline that carried into the penalty area.


Freshman Haley Ford had a successful debut at left back (photo by Pete LaFleur).




“Any time you can come in and beat a team like Virginia, that’s good, even though it’s an exhibition. I thought our freshmen all did well. They all accounted for themselves well. Kelsey did not get challenged with anything drastic that she had to deal with – but the chances she had, she handled fine. I thought Amanda Clark was really good in the back. She is very solid defensively. Haley Ford did a good job back there as well. And you saw later in the game what Michele Weissenhofer brings to the table with her offensive presence and that great leftfooted service. She had a nice goal there at the end. Courtney Rosen helped create the second goal to play Susan Pinnick in. And Ashley Galovic came in near the end and played all right at the right back spot. Overall, my first impression was that I was pretty pleased with the freshmen to begin with.

“Jill [Krivacek] has worked hard on her physical conditioning during the past two years and is playing at a very high fitness level right now, which makes her even more of a matchup problem that she was before. When you add her to someone like [Jen] Buczkowski who is so good on the ball, it’s a hard midfield tandem to deal with.


Christie Shaner shifted to a central back role while serving as the team’s veteran defender in the UVa game (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“Christie Shaner was real good in the back and played very solid. She showed some leadership there that we needed with Lorenzen out. We didn’t see [Kerri] Hanks much but still were able to score some goals. All in all, for the first game, I was pretty pleased with it.

“This is not a typical exhibition game where you might have a walk in the park. Amanda Clark handled this game like Carrie Dew did last year, she handled it very well. Virginia showed us some things that we will have to work on, but that’s why you play these games to see your team against a quality opponent. They exposed some things there a couple times.

“As the game went on and we had the 2-0 lead early in the second half, they had to open up a little bit more and take some chances and any time a team does that you have to find those little spaces to play into. The kids did a pretty good job of finding those and we had a couple good chances at the end.


Newcomer Kelsey Lysander logged the second half of the shutout (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“It’s helpful to have so many weapons. We were able to go to players like Lizzie Reed, Clair Gallerano and Molly Iarocci – who all are seniors – and they do some good things for us off the bench. It’s important to give those players some minutes against a top team like Virginia and they accounted themselves well. Becca Mendoza also played some nice things in there.

“We were trying to simulate what we are going to have that first weekend of the regular season, paying a game mid-day [at home, versus Iowa State] and then traveling to play a game the very next afternoon [at Mississippi]. There were some things we wanted to focus on but then we had a couple injuries leading into the game, it was more just throw it out there and see what happens. Right now we just are trying to stay healthy,

“It will be exciting to play Xavier and I know Alvin is real pumped about it. I know he is proud of his team and the accomplishments they made in his first year, so he wants to show he is doing some good things with the team at Xavier. I saw them last spring and he has brought them a long way from where they were last fall. It should be fun and it means a lot.


Midfielder Courtney Rosen was one of four Notre Dame freshmen who started the UVa game (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“Alvin is one of my closest friends and it’s always nice to get to play someone that you know and have worked with for so long. I’m just really proud of him. He has come a long way in his life in general to get to this position and I’m proud for him and what they are doing over there. They’ve got themselves a good coach.”

#5 Notre Dame 1 2 – 3
#8 Virginia 0 0 – 0


Jill Krivacek had several cracks at the goal on set pieces (photo by Pete LaFleur).



ND 1. Jill Krivacek (Ashley Jones) 13:35; ND 2. Susan Pinnick (Krivacek, Courtney Rosen) 46:22; ND 3. Michele Weissenhofer (Pinnuck, Claire Gallerano) 85:42.

Shots: ND 4-3 – 7, UVa 5-7 – 12
Corner Kicks: ND 3-2 – 5, UVa 0-1 – 1
Saves: ND 0-1 – 1 (Lauren Karas 0, Kelsey Lysander 1), UVa 0-0 – 0 (Christina DeVries, Celeste Miles)
Fouls: ND 8-3 – 11, UVa 4-4 – 8
Offside: ND 0-3 – 3, UVa 0-1 – 1


(from left) Jill Krivacek, Jen Buczkowski, Lizzie Reed, Claire Gallerano and Ashley Jones (photo by Pete LaFleur).