Amanda Cinalli - an All-America performer at Laurel HS in the Cleveland area and a member of the U.S. Under-17 team - kicks off the 2004 Freshman Focus series.

Freshman Focus: Amanda Cinalli

Aug. 12, 2004

The Notre Dame women’s soccer team is in the midst of an enjoyable nine-day stay in Brazil during its 2004 preseason training trip and will be providing various forums that will allow Irish fans to share in the Brazil experience while also getting to know the team members on a more personal level.

One offering from the Brazil trip will be “Freshman Focus,” in the classic quick Q&A format. Today’s freshman in the spotlight is forward Amanda Cinalli (Maple Heights, Ohio), to be followed by Ashley Jones (Aug. 14), Jannica Tjeder (Aug. 16) and Lauren Karas (Aug. 18).

Cinalli is a dynamic addition to the Notre Dame attack who was a two-year prep All-American while starring for Laurel High School and Cleveland F.C. She also has been a leading player with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and is on the verge of cracking the U.S. Under-19 squad. (Note that Cinalli’s 2004 ND preseason bio. has been added to the roster and can be accessed by clicking on her name above or via the roster link).


Notre Dame’s freshman class was soaking in the atmosphere at Ponta Preta Stadium (from left: Jannica Tjeder, Amanda Cinalli, Lauren Karas and Ashley Jones).



Here’s the debut of Freshman Focus, complete with some of the basic questions and some more unique ones crafted by some of her teammates:

Notre Dame Women’s Soccer 2004 Freshman Focus – Entry #1 (Amanda Cinalli; Aug. 12)

Full Name – Amanda Marie Cinalli

Hometown – Maple Heights, Ohio

Is your hometown known for anything noteworthy? – It’s just a suburb of Cleveland, a smaller neighborhood. Other towns near it are Bedford, Garfield, Valley View and Shaker Heights.

High School and Club Teams – Laurel HS, Cleveland F.C, U.S. Under-17 National Team

Family Members – Parents Donald and Rose, older brothers Michael and Ryan

Number with the Irish – 5 [formerly worn at ND by Jill Matesic, Shannon Boxx and Vanessa Pruzinsky]

Anticipated Major – Pre-professional (science)

Nicknames – “Chiny” and “A-lotta-snorts”

What’s the real pronunciation of your last name? – the way you pronounce it in Italian is Chin-nelly

Favorite team name from your past – One of my friends played for the Smurfs.

What was your high school’s nickname, colors and school chant? – Gators, green and white, “Go Gators”

Shoe Size – 8 1/2 women’s

Who has influenced you the most as a soccer player? – I’ve had several great coaches. Kiko Lopez tought me foot skills and Joe Radyka got me started in club soccer and gave me the opportunity to play against boys. My club coaches at Cleveland F.C., Ulf Ryberg and Benny Dargle, have been very supportive and helped me refine the technical side of my game.

What made you stick with soccer over the years? – I like the whole aspect of the sport and with the team you develop such great relationships and companionship. It’s also just a lot of fun to play, a great sport.

How would you describe the changes in going to the college game? – It’s definitely a lot more physical and a little faster as well

Who is your favorite soccer player? – Michelle Akers

What is your favorite soccer moment? – This experience with the great Notre Dame team in Brazil. The team members are really nice and fun and they are great role models.


Amanda Cinalli created several strong scoring chances in Thursday’s win over the Motorola semi-professional women’s soccer club, in Campinas, Brazil.



What are your rituals the night before a game? – do mental imaging, pray and eat a lot of carbs.

How about superstitions before the game? – I always put my left shoe and shinguard on the same way (left, then right)

What is your favorite “pump-up” song before a game? – “Here Come the Irish”

What is your most-often used soccer move? – “The Fighting Turtle” … don’t ask. But when I mess up, it’s called the “Snapping Turtle.”

How would you describe yourself on the field and off it? – I always try to work as hard as a I can, play with heart and be positive. Off the field, I always would hope to be open and welcoming to anybody.

What do you do when you’re not on the soccer field? – Eat and look at old reels of Randy Waldrum from his playing days.

What was your favorite Fort Wayne hotspot? – I guess it was the movie theater, The Rave

What has surprised you most about Brazil? – Seeing the passion for the soccer up close and in person has been amazing. It’s also just such a different culture and makes us realize all that we have.

Favorite Food – Italian

Favorite TV Show – Real TV

Favorite Movie – Emperor’s New Groove

Best book you’ve read recently – A Prayer for Owen Meany

Favorite Actor – Noah Wyle

What is your most-used word? – “Tight”

Do you like cats? – I like ’em when they have sharp nails. I like to smell them.

Do you like ‘Schigs’ [nickname for spunky ND midfielder Randi Scheller]? – What are schigs? [We all miss you Randi and wish you were here!]