Nov. 7, 2003
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Heather Ferron scored after a failed clearing attempt in the eighth minute and Beth Totman added an 18-yard strike early in the second half as 22nd-ranked Boston College capitalized on the absence of Notre Dame leading scorer Amy Warner, posting a 2-1 win over the third-ranked Irish in BIG EAST Tournament semifinal action at Rutgers Yurcak Field.
Notre Dame (19-2-1) suffered its first-ever loss in conference tournament play (now 25-1-0), including an unbeaten mark in 19 previous BIG EAST Tournament games. The Irish now await Monday’s announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, to be broadcast live on ESPN News at approximately 3:30 p.m. EST.
Friday night’s game featured a fierce battle for possession in primarily the middle third, with each team managing just six shots and one corner kick. Boston College (15-2-2) placed just three of its six shots on goal but cashed in the first two before holding off the Irish the rest of the way.
Notre Dame made a change in strategy after facing the 2-0 deficit, shifting BIG EAST defensive player of the year Melissa Tancredi back into her former forward position. The tactic played quick dividends, with Tancredi scoring her fourth goal of the season in the 64th minute. Fifth-year defender Vanessa Pruzinsky set up the goal with a long service from the left side. Tancredi than showed her dominance in the air by elevating above a pair of BC players and snapping a header from the right side of the box into the left side of the goal (63:37).
Warner – who ranks fifth in the nation with 12 assists this season, plus 10 goals in ’03 and 37 in her career – was sidelined due to an ankle injury suffered late in last week’s BIG EAST quarterfinal win over Miami. It marked the first time in nearly three years that the speedy senior did not start for the Irish, ending a streak of 64 consecutive starts and 70 straight games played.
Nine different Notre Dame players now have combined to miss 101 games due to injury or illness this season.
Ferron opened the scoring with her fifth goal of the season, after the Irish failed on two chances to clear the ball out of the box. Ferron was in position at the right side of the box and sent home an eight-yard crossing shot for the early lead (7:32), just the third time that the Irish have trailed in 22 games this season.
In the early moments of the second half, Totman took a pass from Sarah Rahko and made a turn at the top of the box before drilling a low shot inside the right post, for her 13th goal of the season (49:02).
NOTES: ND entered the game with an average of 19.6 shots per game but ended up with a season-low of six shots, with the previous low coming on the same field (nine vs. Rutgers, on Oct. 24) … the Irish owned a 63-5 scoring edge in the first 19 games of the season but have been outscored 6-5 in the last three …ND still has allowed just 53 shots on goal all season, including 0-3 shots on goal allowed in 18 of the last 19 games … Pruzinsky logged her 94th career game (three shy of that ND top-10 list) and made her 92nd start, moving past 1997 grad. Cindy Daws for 9th in ND history (two back of ’99 grads Shannon Boxx and Monica Gerardo) … the Irish owned a 33-1 scoring edge in seven previous BIG EAST semifinals … ND now is 28-8-2 during the past four seasons when facing an NSCAA top-25 opponent and/or playing in the postseason.
#22 Boston College 1 1 – 2
#2 Notre Dame 0 1 – 1
BC 1. Heather Ferron 5 (-) 7:32; BC 2. Beth Totman 13 (Sarah Rahko) 49:02; ND 1. Melissa Tancredi 4 (Vanessa Pruzinsky).
Shots: BC 3-3 – 6, ND 5-1 – 6.
Corner Kicks: BC 0-1 – 1, ND 0-1 – 1.
Saves: BC 4 (Kate Taylor), ND 1 (Erika Bohn).
Fouls: BC 16, ND 17.
Offsides: BC 2, ND 3.
Yellow Cards: Katie Thorlakson 4 (ND, 61:30), Melissa Tancredi 2 (ND, 63:37).