March 21, 2009
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Rising senior midfielder Amanda Clark (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored in the second half, but it was not enough as Notre Dame lost its spring opener, 3-1 to St. Louis Athletica on Saturday afternoon in a closed scrimmage at Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Ill.
Clark potted a shot from 25 yards out with 6:25 remaining to get the Irish on the board against Athletica, a member of the new eight-team Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league that is set to debut at the end of the month.
After seeing two-time Hermann Trophy recipient and four-time All-American Kerri Hanks score goals at a dizzying, record-setting pace throughout her storied career at Notre Dame, the Irish learned how their opponents felt for the past four years, as Hanks (a first-round draft pick by St. Louis back in January) got the pro side rolling with a seventh-minute goal, nodding home a cross from U.S. National Team member Lori Chalupny.
Chalupny then took over the scoring reins herself, running on to a through-ball and slotting it home at the 25:30 mark. She capped Athletica’s scoring with a penalty kick 13 minutes into the second half to give St. Louis a three-goal margin before Clark earned one back for the Irish.
Rising senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo), who set a school record with 26 wins between the pipes last season, played 75 minutes for Notre Dame, while junior-to-be Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) backstopped the Irish for the other 15 minutes.
Among the others in the St. Louis lineup on Saturday were former Irish All-America forward Amanda Cinalli (2004-07) and recently-departed all-region left back Elise Weber (2007-08).
Notre Dame will continue its six-game spring training schedule on March 28 at 7 p.m. (CT), when it takes another WPS squad, the Chicago Red Stars, at Wedgbury Stadium/Sportscore Two, located at 8800 E. Riverside Blvd in Loves Park, Ill., just outside of Rockford, Ill. Admission is free, although fans are encouraged to call the Red Stars’ ticket office at (866) WPS-2009 to reserve their spots in advance. A $5 donation is suggested, with the proceeds to benefit the Chicago Red Stars Charitable Foundation, which works to provide opportunities that will benefit girls and women, provides grants to organizations who work with underprivileged youth and works to improve the health and education of girls and women in the Chicagoland area.
— ND —