Christie Shaner - shown here scoring in the preseason trip to Brazil - scored a similar header goal to open the scoring in the 3-1 win at WVU.

Irish Open With 1-1 Tie, 1-0 Win In Brazilian Soccer Action

Aug. 12, 2004

JAGUARINA, Brazil – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team opened play on its Brazilian training trip with a pair of games on Thursday, Aug. 12, at Jaguarina Stadium. A team of veterans played to a 1-1 tie with the talented Santana Una semiprofessional club team that has produced several players on the full Brazilian National Team and its Under-19 squad. The second game of the 2:00/4:00 doubleheader then saw an Irish team that included four freshmen register a 1-0 win over Motorala, an up-and-coming team that is sponsored by the technology giant (Motorola has a huge plant in nearby Campinas and the players have jobs with the company, in addition to playing for the soccer team). (Be sure to check back regularly throughout the next few days for a variety of offerings from the Brazil trip, including an upcoming photo gallery Aug. 11-12 events). The game attracted plenty of curious residents, many of whom lingered just behind the Notre Dame bench and the six-foot chainlink fence that circled the field. The length of the field appeared to be a bit short, as quarters are tight and space at a premium in the area (the entire field is bordered by a minimal out-of-bounds area of 4-5 feet). Notre Dame played to a 1-1 tie in the first game, with the Irish scoring just seconds before halftime on corner-kick header from sophomore defender Christie Shaner. Santana Una later converted a penalty kick to salvage the 1-1 tie, with the Irish owning a significant edge in quality scoring chances. The “nightcap” (which concluded under light dusk) saw sophomore forward Becky Tweneboah make a tough run down the middle of the field and fight for position before burying a hard shot from 20 yards out – providing the game’s only scoring (in the second half) in a 1-0 win over Motorola. Notes from each game follow below, as do comments from head coach Randy Waldrum: Game 1 (Notre Dame Blue 1, Santa Una 1) – In the 21st minute, sophomore M Jen Buczkowski arched a rightside pass to sophomore F Lizzie Reed, who shot high from 20 yards out near the left side of the box … two minutes later, sophomore D Kim Lorenzen ripped a 30-yard shot from the right, with the `keeper making a diving save to keep the ball out of the upper left corner of the net … in the 29th minute, junior F Katie Thorlakson made a run down the left flank and sent a cross to the far post, with senior F Mary Boland not quite able to connect with the pass … three minutes later, Thorlakson took an entry pass from junior M Annie Schefter, turned and shot but the `keeper was in position for the save … in the 36th minute, Boland battled for possession on the right endline and played a pass back to Thorlakson, who then lifted a pass to the far left post – where Schefter went up with the `keeper and nearly converted the tough header goal … the goal came just seconds before halftime, set up by Thorlakson’s leftside corner … Shaner was stationed in the middle of the goal area and struck a header over her defender and over the leap of the `keeper … Santana Una nearly tied the game in the 63rd minute but their 35-yard free kick banged off the crossbar … the equalizer came in the 74th minute, on a PK to the lower right … the Irish dodged another bullet in the 78th when the defense played the ball back to `keeper Nikki Westfall, who quickly cleared only to see a low return shot smack off the left post … Candace Chapman had a chance late in the game but punched a six-yard shot over the bar with the `keeper charging her on the left side. Game 2 (Notre Dame White 1, Motorola 0) – Freshman M Jannica Tjeder made her presence felt early with a 5th-minute driven ball that sprung sophomore F Molly Iarocci for a 1-on-1 with the `keeper … freshman F Amanda Cinalli created several quality scoring chances throughout the game but failed to find the net (including a 21st-minute PK that was wide left) … Motorola had a chance in the 26th minute on a rightside free kick played overt to the left side but freshman `keeper Lauren Karas charged out to block the ball away while colliding with the onrushing player (junior D Jenny Walz then hustled back to sweep the ball away as it bounced near the goal line) … in the 38th minute, sophomore F Becky Tweneboah sent a strong cross from the right corner and Cinalli was in position at the far lost but shot wide left … early in the 2nd half (49th minute), freshman M Ashley Jones played a pass into Tweneboah, whose shot in traffic was saved at the left post … moments later, Cinalli ripped a shot from the top of the box but the `keeper made the low save … Karas and the Irish escaped minutes later, with the freshman diving to her left to save a 20-yard shot before a 20-yard blast from the left side sailed over the bar … Chapman played a long ball into the box in the 57th minute but Cinalli’s header was saved to preserve the scoreless game … Motorola rushed on a counterattack in the 60th minute but Westfall dove to her left to save the near-post shot … Tweneboah showed some nice moves in the 63rd minute, with Iarocci then tracking down the ball and one-timing a 6-yard shot that was saved … the game’s only goal came in the 64th minute, after Tweneboah authored a long run down the middle of the field, battled to keep possession and then quickly drove a 20-yard shot into the lower right corner of the net … in the closing minutes, Tweneboah’s right-endline cross was headed by Iarocci and Cinalli nearly scored on a volley that went over the bar. Randy Waldrum Comments (pre-trip and Aug. 12 post-game): “Culturally, this trip is a great experience for kids in today’s climate. Most of our kids in their youth soccer careers have played internationally in the European countries and so much in South America, so it’s a different venue and one of the things that we found the last time we were here in 2000 is that the competition is just tremendous. Anybody who keeps up with the women’s game knows that Brazil is fast becoming one of the top four countries in the world playing women’s soccer. The level of competition is one of the main reasons for coming here. “The benefit of doing the foreign tour once every four years is that you get to have the players together a bit longer in the preseason and plus you get three of four games and it always helps to get games under your belt before you go into the season. “I’m a big believer that – in today’s age, with so many good players and so many good teams out there – team chemistry is a huge part of success and taking a foreign tour forces your kids to be together for a few weeks away from campus and away from their comfort level and their environment. They have to spend all the hours together. So it a is a great for bonding, team chemistry and is a true team-building function. “Like the last time we toured, we have enough players to have two teams. We are playing doubleheaders, with a reserve team playing in one game and we also may mix up the lineups a bit. There will be a total of six games, with each team getting three. “This trip is a little shorter than the last one but there are some tours that we will take. We will see the old historical stadiums. In 2000, we went to Santos where Pele was brought up and played in his youth soccer. “Some of the other things the players get out of the trip is appreciating that Brazil is such a poor country. For our kids to see what we have here, it’s really an eye-opener to see how those people live day-to-day. That’s the biggest thing that our kids talked about last time that they gained out of it, aside from the soccer. It was not so much the places they visited and the sights we saw but more just economically how poor the country was and how much it made them appreciate what we have. … “In today’s first game, the first 20 minutes we weren’t very composed and they really took it to us but I was really pleased after that and thought we played well. In the second half, we had the game handled until we made some substitutions and changed five or six players. It was a great learning experience because even the penalty kick that they got was just a quick little foul where the player milked it and took a little dive on the cutback and that’s something that our players hopefully will learn about that there are players who professionally know how to take and give fouls. “I thought everything that was touched was a foul. Not sure if that’s because it’s the women’s game, would guess a men’s game is not usually called that tight. “When we put Candace (Chapman) into the first game, we put her up front and she struggled a little bit up there because she has not played there in a while but I thought she played very well in the second game in the back. The good thing was that she got a lot of minutes today, close to 130 minutes over the two games. “I thought Katie Thorlakson played great, with so much confidence. Early on, when we needed someone to be good up front, she did a very good job for us. Jen Buczkowski in the midfield, once we got the game in our control, she played very well. It was good to see Kate Tulisiak do a really good job for us at left back. Overall, the team played pretty well throughout after that first 20 minutes. “We got another great goal off a corner. Christie is so good in the air and when you add Mary Boland and Melissa Tancredi, I think we are going to have a lot of weapons in those air battles around the goal. “In addition to that, since we did have four freshmen that we thing are going to impact our program a lot, I think it’s important to see where they are going to fit in. If you didn’t take this type of a foreign tour and just went into your season, it might take you four or five games before you sorted your team out. So we hope that will give us an advantage when we get back to have a much closer idea of who is going to be playing and from what I saw today I think those four are certainly going to push to play a lot if not start. “We’ve had players in the past who came in as freshmen and always looked like a veteran and that’s what you saw from those freshmen today. They all have tremendous experience, Jannica (Tjeder) with her international experience and Ashley Jones winning a couple of national championships already and Amanda Cinalli being involved with our national program. I don’t think these things intimidate those players. There maybe were a bit of nerves for playing their first game for Notre Dame but that’s it. “In that second game, overall we were pleased. We didn’t have the rhythm that we really wanted but outside of a few minutes there I don’t think it really cost us. It was a game that we should have won by three or four. It gave us a great chance to see a lot of players in game action. “You saw things like Becky Tweneboah getting a goal off a great run and Sarah Halpenny and some others had the chance to get some games under their belt. I was disappointed that we didn’t have enough of the flow of the game. “It’s going to be scary when we get Kerri Hanks and Susan Pinnick in the springtime. Certainly, Amanda Cinalli gives us a different dimension. A different type of player than what we have. We used Jannica in more of a midfield role today but certainly she is someone we might look at up front. You can see her experience, she’s such a good passer and really sees the game well. All of the depth we have with our frontrunners is exciting.”