Nov. 16, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore forward Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas) tied a Notre Dame record by scoring a goal for the ninth consecutive game while her classmate Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa.) set up both Guertin goals as part of the surging Irish midfield in a 2-0 victory over visiting Eastern Illinois during Friday night’s first-round action of the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame-which again produced an early goal, scoring in the 13th minute-will return to Alumni Field on Sunday for a 1:00 p.m. matchup versus Cincinnati, a 3-2 comeback winner over Oakland in Friday’s earlier Midwest matchup (see story below).
Guertin’s scoring spree matches the Notre Dame record set by Amy Van Laecke in 1995 and equaled by Meotis Erikson as a member of the high-scoring 1997 Irish squad. The nine-game goalscoring streak also ranks sixth in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history, just two shy of second place on that list.
Eastern Illinois (14-6-0) failed to register a shot on goal (with just one total shot) while the Irish launched 16 shots in each half (for a season-high total of 32), to go along with a 7-0 corner-kick edge.
The win extends Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak at Alumni Field to 39 games (38-0-1) while the Irish improved to 26-1-0 in all-time postseason games played at home (18-1-0 in home NCAA games).
Scheller’s pass up the middle of the field helped set up the first goal. Guertin then calmly shifted to her left and sent a low 14-yard shot that deflected off the leg of a Panthers defender before skipping past ‘keeper Lindsay Dechert (12:24).
The roommates combined again on the second Irish goal, with a classic hesitation dribble from Scheller before leading Guertin with a flare pass to the right side of the box. Guertin then slanted to her left and finished a five-yard shot into the bottom left corner of the net (50:37).
“We’ve come a long way and are peaking at the right time,” said Scheller, who seemingly has been involve in every Irish goal this postseason. “A big motivation for me now is the playoffs. If you lose, you’re done. And I don’t want to lose, I want to win. I’ll do whatever it takes for the team.”
Guertin’s first goal marked the 10th time in 20 games this season that the Irish have scored in the first 20 minutes, doing so in all four postseason games and in six of the nine games during Guertin’s streak.
“Those early goals have allowed us to get on top of teams early and you kind of send that message that they’re in for a long day,” said head coach Randy Waldrum, whose first three Irish teams have combined for a 61-7-3 record.
“What you hope is that you can get that second and third goal so the opponent knows it’s a long day. So I think it’s really important that we’ve been able to score so quickly in the past few weeks.”
Guertin’s record-tying streak has included scoring nine of ND’s last 14 goals while she also has points in 14 of the last 16. She owns 13 points (6G-1A) in 11 career postseason games, highlighted by four gamewinning goals.
MORE WALDRUM – “Overall, I was pleased with our play other than the final third. We created some really good chances but didn’t finish. But outside that 18-yard box, the play was pretty good and I didn’t think we ever were in trouble and we moved the ball pretty well. (Beth Liesen) has scored 18 goals for them but Vanessa (Prunzinsky) and Monica (Gonzalez) did a good job stepping out on her. … I feel pretty comfortable in our defensive lineup. Once we put Monica in the middle starting with the Nebraska game, things started to come together. I feel pretty good that we have one of the best defenses in the country and our midfield seems to be coming around. If we can just get our forwards on track and composed.”
EIU HEAD COACH STEVE BALLARD – “We played hard but we were overmatched and Notre Dame is a great team. I hope they take it all. We learned a lot today but our girls played well and I’m extremely proud of them. … (Notre Dame is) very unselfish and they move the ball forward. One of the things I didn’t think they did as much was combining up top. I thought they did a great job of combination play with their three forwards and getting people forward. They put some great pressure on us.”
NOTES – Freshman M/F Mary Boland came off the bench in the second half, her first action in five weeks (since an Oct. 7 ankle injury at Seton Hall) … the Irish improved to 24-7-1 in the NCAAs … ND is 16-2-1 I its last 19 postseason games (46-11 scoring edge) … senior G Liz Wagner owns a 19-2-1 career record when facing a ranked opponent or playing in the postseason (69 saves, 12 GA in those games) … ND is 111-3-2 in its last 116 home games (since ’92) … the Irish have won their last 17 series openers (27-3 since 1993) … since ’93, teams making their first visit to Alumni Field are just 1-32-1 when facing the Irish.
EASTERN ILLINOIS (14-6-0) 0 0 – 0
NOTRE DAME (17-2-1) 1 1 – 2
ND 1. Amanda Guertin 13 (Randi Scheller) 12:24, ND 2. Guertin 14 (Scheller) 50:37.
SHOTS: EIU 0-1-1, ND 16-16-32.
CORNER KICKS: EIU 0, ND 7.
SAVES: EIU (Lindset Dechert 10, Lynne Goehler 0) 10, ND (Liz Wagner) 0.
FOULS: EIU 7, ND 12.
OFFSIDES: EIU 2, ND 5.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (11/16/01) – Cincinnati senior forward Amy Simonson picked a perfect time to score her second and third goals of the season, tying the game early in the second half and adding the late gamewinner as the Bearcats battled back from an early two-goal deficit to defeat Oakland (Mich.) University, 3-2, in first-round NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship action Friday night at Notre Dame’s Alumni Field.
Simonson’s second goal of the night came with just 3:02 left in regulation, via junior midfielder Heather Herweh’s long service on a free kick. Herweh struck the ball from 45 yards, inside the midfield circle, with Simonson elevating in traffic with her back to the goal before nudging a slip-header from 14 yards. Oakland goalkeeper Sarah Buckland was caught off her line and the ball sailed over her for the Bearcats’ first lead of the game.
Cincinnati (19-3-0) managed just four shots on goal (seven total) but put three balls into the net to complete the comeback. Senior midfielder Nicole Luse’s 17th-minute shot from the top of the box cut into Oakland’s early lead before Simonson tied the game just 18 seconds into the second half, on a looping shot from 35 yards.
Oakland (16-4-1) staked its two-goal cushion just 12 minutes into the game, with Norwegian national team member Anita Rapp drilling home a shot from 14 yards before Erica Demers converted a penalty kick for the 2-0 game.
Rapp went on to have two strong chances late in the second half but hit the crossbar and then clanged a shot off the right post to maintain the 2-2 score.
Oakland finished with an 11-7 shot edge while taking two of the game’s three corner kicks.
Cincinnati-which had lost its previous four NCAA Tournament games-advances to face the winner of the Notre Dame-Eastern Illinois game, with that second-round matchup slated for Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
CINCINNATI HEAD COACH MERIDY GLENN: “Our team just took the situation to heart and responded well to the challenge. We weathered a huge storm and they pinged the crossbar twice. Sometimes the crossbar is your friend and you’re able to come back. … Set pieces are dangerous and you’ve got to be able to score on them in a big game. … At halftime, we told them that it was just 2-1 and good teams know how to come back. I think it would have been a different story if it was 2-0 at halftime. But at 2-1 we had our head up and had confidence.”
OAKLAND (MI) 2 0 – 2
CINCINNATI 1 2 – 3
OAK 1. Anita Rapp 11 (Gail Wilson) 8:25, OAK 2. Erica Demers 2 (PK) 12:04, CIN 1. Nicole Luse 4 (Tasha Wagner) 17:00, CIN 2. Amy Simonson 2 (-) 45:18, CIN 3. Simonson 3 (Heather Herwen) 86:58.
SHOTS: OAK 6-5-11, CIN 3-4-7.
CORNER KICKS: OAK 2-0-2, CIN 1-0-1.
SAVES: OAK (Sarah Buckland) 0-1-1, CIN (Christy Hoffman) 2-0-2.
FOULS: OAK 8-8-16, CIN 9-6-15.
OFFSIDES: OAK 2, CIN 5.