Aug. 31, 2003
The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team continued its recent strong play in road tournaments, wrapping up action Sunday afternoon at the season-opening Connecticut adidas Classic with a 3-0 victory over a Wake Forest team that played to a 1-1 tie on Friday night versus the hosts and No. 8-ranked Huskies.
Notre Dame (2-0) generated just as many scoring chances as in Friday’s 9-1 win over Hartford but the Irish converted only three times, with several near-miss breakaways in the first half. Freshman midfielder Jill Krivacek opened the scoring in the final minute of the first half and senior forward Amy Warner did the same in the 90th minute, with junior forward Mary Boland also scoring in the 65th minute for the 2-0 lead.
Boland – who had a hat trick and assist in the Hartford game – wrapped up a strong nine-point weekend that also included the pass that sprung Warner for Sunday’s final goal (she was not credited with an official assist).
Fifth-year defender and Trumbull, Conn., native Vanessa Pruzinsky saw her first fall action since Sept. 20 of last season, after missing 19 of 21 games in 2002 due to a nagging ankle injury. Pruzinsky, who saw some action in the 2003 spring season, played the first 18 minutes of the second half and had a solid return to action, including several runs into the offensive third.
The 12 goals scored this weekend are the most by a Notre Dame team in back-to-back games since the first year of the Randy Waldrum era, when his 1999 team totaled 16 goals in wins over Miami (7-1) and Wisconsin (9-2). By comparion, last year’s Irish team totaled just 10 goals in the first five games of the 2002 season, with that ’02 squad averaging just over two goals per game for the entire season (46 goals in 21 games).
The Irish – already playing minus All-America defender Candace Chapman and senior midfielder Randi Scheller, both lost for the season due to injuries – suffered an injury to another starter in the WFU game, as junior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir was lost to an arm injury midway through the second half (her status is TBA).
Notre Dame held a 10-4 shot edge in both the first and second half, plus a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper and nutmeg state native Erika Bohn (Brookfield) stopped all five shots she faced for her 13th win in her last 15 games with the Irish (including a 5-0 mark in the ’03 spring).
The Irish now are 11-0-1 in their last 12 games versus Atlantic Coast Conference teams other than perennial power North Carolina, with two wins and two ties vs. UNC during that 12-year stretch (dating back to 1992). That run vs. the ACC includes a 6-0-1 mark vs. Duke, plus 2-0-0 vs. both WFU and Maryland and a single win over N.C. State.
Notre Dame has gone 2-0 in each of its last three regular-season road tournaments, defeating top-level opponents in all six of those games (also 5-0 vs. Washington and 1-0 vs. Portland at the 2000 UP Classic and then 2-1 vs. Hartford and 5-2 vs. Maryland at the 2002 UM Classic, with the 2001 Santa Clara Classic canceled due to the 9/11 tragedy).
The Irish will hope for that success to continue in three weeks, with showdowns vs. Stanford (Sept. 19) and Santa Clara (Sept. 21) at the SCU Classic.
Sunday’s result also could signal a new trend for a Notre Dame program that recently has met with mixed results when playing the second day of a weekend, going just 4-4 in the 2002 regular season when playing two days after a previous game (the Irish were outscored 14-12 in those games).
Krivacek became the first member of the highly-touted freshman class to find the met, with Warner setting the sequence in motion on a pass to freshman midfielder Jen Buczkowski. The rookie playmaker then quickly moved the ball down the left endline and the 5-10 Krivacek roofed a close-range shot that ripped into the upper-left topnetting for the halftime lead (44:34).
The opportunistic Boland scored her fourth goal of the weekend after knocking home a deflected shot from senior forward Amanda Guertin (64:13). The Irish continued to pressure WFU until the closing horn, with Boland’s pass sending Warner into open space on the left side as the speedy senior buried a crossing shot for the 29th goal of her ND career (89:50).
Notre Dame made two changes to its starting 11, with Guertin starting at forward (alongside Boland and Warner) and freshman Lizzie Reed at left back. Reed also rotated into the midfield later in the game, with an impressive outing at both positions.
WAKE FOREST 0 0 – 0
#6 NOTRE DAME 1 2 – 3
ND 1. Jill Krivacek 1 (Jen Buczkowski, Amy Warner) 44:34; ND 2. Mary Boland 4 (Amanda Guertin) 64:13; ND 3. Amy Warner 2 (-) 89:50.
Shots: WFU 4-4 – 8, ND 10-10 – 20.
Corner Kicks: WFU 3, ND 6.
Saves: WFU 7 (Kenna Healy), ND 6 (Erika Bohn 5, team 1).
Fouls: WFU 11, ND 12.
Offsides: WFU 0, ND 4.