Nov. 3, 2004

Complete Release in PDF Format
spacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER – BIG EAST Semifinal vs. Boston College (Nov. 5, 2004)

The No. 2-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (18-0-1, 9-0-1 BIG EAST) returns to the BIG EAST semifinals for the 10th time in 11 seasons in the league, with the Irish taking aim at the program’s 7th BIG EAST tournament tile (’95-’01) … ND will face 4th-place finisher Boston College in the first semifinal at UConn’s Morrone Stadium on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5:00 p.m. EST … the championship game is set for Sunday at noon, with UConn and Villanova meeting in the 7:00 semifinal (all three games will be telecast, see note below) … ND also faced BC in the 2000, ’01 and ’03 semifinals … since 1995 (when ND joined the conference), only two teams have won more BIG EAST titles (ND women’s swimming and Pittsburgh men’s swimming, with 7 each) … since handing Seton Hall an early lead on an errant goal kick, ND has scored 14 straight goals – including a 7-0 BIG EAST quarterfinal win over St. John’s (most goals since 7-2 opener vs. Baylor) … ND – which spent six weeks at No. 1 in the polls – completed the 4th unbeaten regular season in the program’s history (the ’94, ’97 and ’00 teams all went 23-0-1 before losing) … ND owns a 51-11-1 all-time record in postseason play (.818), including 20-1-0 in the BIG EAST Tournament and 31-3-0 in all home postseason games (.912) … the Irish have gone 13-0-0 on the opponent’s field the past two seasons (8-0-0 in ’04) and have held their last 15 opponents to 0-1 goals (0.39 GAA in that stretch) … the 0-0 game vs. Rutgers on Oct. 22 prevented ND from matching the program’s best start (16-0-0, in ’00) … ND had just 4G in a 4-game stretch before totaling 19G vs. SHU, Michigan and SJU … the Irish technically have played 25 games this fall (5-1-0 in preseason Brazil trip) and took several days off from training during the final weeks of the regular season … the Irish have won the BIG EAST regular-season title 8 of 10 times (all but ’98 and ’02) … ND was the nation’s final unbeaten/untied team and is 37-1-2 in its last 40 regular-season games … 19 players have started for ND this season (17 with 5-plus starts) … since a rare deficit vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, ND has outscored the opposition 31-3 (2 GA in last 8-plus gms) … since joining the conference in ’95, ND is 105-9-3 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams, with a 56-game home unbeaten streak vs. BIG EAST squads (55-0-1) … the Irish have more goals (55) than opp. shots on goal (52; 2.8/gm) and have allowed just 33 corner kicks all season (1.7/gm; 6 of last 11 opp. held to 0 CKs) … ND has been 1st or 2nd in the NSCAA coaches poll 8 of 11 seasons since ’94 (all but ’99, ’01, ’02; #1 in ’94, ’95, ’96, ’00) … the Irish posted a pair of impressive wins at the ND Adidas Classic (1-0 vs. #13 Stanford, 5-2 vs. #4 Santa Clara) … 6th-year Irish head coach Randy Waldrum registered his 100th win with the Irish (now 112-19-5/.843) on Sept. 12 at Texas Tech and is 5 wins shy of his 300th overall win as a college coach (295-124-24) … senior F and All-America candidate Mary Boland suffered a season-ending broken leg in the SCU game (Sept. 7) … the Irish recently received a big piece of good news as junior F and national player-of-the-year frontrunner Katie Thorlakson announced she will remain at ND for the entire ’04 season, rather than leaving to play with Canada at the Under-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27, in Thailand) … Thorlakson has combined with 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi and senior Candace Chapman (formerly right back with Irish who has played mostly forward in ’04) as ND’s potent “Canadian Connection” while three Chicago-area sophomores – central M Jen Buczkowski (who opted not to play with U.S. squad in U-19 Worlds), defensive M Jill Krivacek and D/M Kim Lorenzen – also are key starters for the ’04 Irish squad … the Irish are two wins shy of posting the program’s ninth 20-win season in the last 11.

INFORMATION HIGHWAY – Gametracker livestats for all ND postseason games can be accessed via the main page … internet audio broadcasts are planned for all remaining games, home and away, available to College Sports Pass subscribers (see audio/video link on main page) … College Sports Pass subscribers can view video/audio of the ND soccer coaches television show while listening to game audio of several sports (men’s soccer, football, basketball, hockey, baseball and more) from ND and other schools … game broadcasts are archived via the women’s soccer schedule page at (see audio/video button for links to coaches shows) … game recaps are available via the ND Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 (press “4” for soccer, then ‘2″ for women’s soccer).

TV ON TAP – Both BIG EAST semifinals will be telecast by College Sports Television on a delayed basis (both on Sat., Nov. 6), with the ND-BC game airing at 5:30 EST followed by the UConn-Villanova game at 7:30 … the BIG EAST title game (Nov. 7, noon) then will be telecast live by CSTV, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, MSG Network and Comcast Local (Michigan), plus the following delayed broadcasts: Fox SportsNet Pittsburgh (11/7; 1:00 p.m. EST); Fox SportsNet New England (11/7; 1:00 p.m. EST); Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (11/7; 1:00 p.m. EST); Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (11/8; 1:00 p.m. EST); and locally in South Bend on WHME 46 (11/8 – 7:00 p.m. EST) … CSTV also will air the semifinals and final several other times next week … CSTV can be found on DirectTV channel 610 and via a growing number of cable outlets nationwide (see


THAT WAS THEN … THIS IS NOW – Despite the loss of several top forwards (to graduation, injuries and national-team duty), the Irish have produced a similar goal average and have generated more shots per game but have not been as accurate as in ’03 … the Irish also have seen a big boost in corner-kick margin from ’03 to ’04 while the team’s overall save pct. and 1st-half defense also are improved (see PDF):

CRUNCH TIME – Here’s a look at Notre Dame’s all-time postseason records:
• MCC Tournament – 5-0-0 (all neutral)
• BIG EAST Tournament – 20-1-0/.952 (10-0-0 home, 2-0-0 away, 8-1-0 neutral)
• NCAA Tournament – 26-10-1/.716 (21-3 at home/.875, 2-1-1 away, 3-6 neut.)
• Postseason Totals – 51-11-1/.818 (31-3 home/.912, 4-1-1 away, 16-7 neutral)

SEMI TRUCK – Prior to last season’s 2-1 loss to Boston College, ND dominated seven previous BIG EAST semifinals by racking up a 33-1 scoring edge in those games (now 34-3) … the Irish never have won a BIG EAST semifinal by anything lower than a three-goal margin … the Irish have posted six shutouts in BIG EAST semifinal games and own a 34-3 overall scoring edge in BIG EAST games … ND will be facing BC for the fourth straight time in the semifinals, with 3-0 wins in ’00 and ’01 … the Irish also have posted semifinal wins over Rutgers (3-0, in ’95), Villanova (7-0 in ’96 and ’97), Syracuse (5-1 in ’98) and Seton Hall (5-0 in ’99).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME – Notre Dame owns an 8-1-2 all-time record (27-7 scoring edge) at UConn’s Morrone Stadium, including 2-1-2 in regular-season games vs. the Huskies, two wins that secure the 1998 BIG EAST Tournament title (5-1 vs. Syracuse, 1-0 vs. UConn) and a pair of wins in the 2003 UConn Classic (9-1 vs. Hartford, 3-0 vs. Wake Forest) … ND did not qualify for the 2002 BIG EAST Tournament that was held at Morrone Stadium.

CONFERENCE CALL – ND’s all-time record in regular-season conference games is 104-7-3 (.925; 85-7-3/.911 in BIG EAST) … the Irish are 58-1-1 in home games vs. BIG EAST teams, with the 0-0 tie v. Rutgers on Oct. 22 ending a string of 53 straight home wins over BIG EAST teams since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95 (now 55-0-1 in last 56 BIG EAST home games, with a 252-18 scoring edge, 38 shutouts, 15 with 1 GA) … since ’95, ND’s overall record in all games vs. BIG EAST teams now is 105-9-3 (.910; 1-1-0 vs. UConn in NCAAs).

TALE OF THE TAPE (see PDF for statistical comparisons of ND and BC)


Notre Dame – 1st in goals-against average (0.52, 11th nationally), goals per game (2.89, 12th nationally) and shots per game (21.2); 2nd in shutouts (11, 8th nationally) and corner kicks per game (5.7)

Boston College – 2nd in corner kicks per game (5.7); 3rd in goals per game (2.00); 4th in goals-against avg. (0.78) and shutouts (9); 5th in shots per game (14.8)

Notre Dame Players
Katie Thorlakson – 1st in points (53, 2nd nationally), goals (18, 4th nat.), assists (17, 1st nat.), GWGs (8), shots (93)
Candace Chapman – 4th in goals (9) and points (25), 5th in assists (7)
Amanda Cinalli – 9th in shots (53), 12th in goals (7)
Jen Buczkowski – 2nd in assists (10), 5th in points (24), 12th in goals (7)
Annie Schefter – 14th in assists (5)
Erika Bohn – 1st in goals-against avg. (0.36; 4th in nation), 3rd in save pct. (.839), 5th in solo shutouts (5)

Boston College Players
Kia McNeill -3rd in GWGs (4), 4th in goals (9), 6th in shots (67)
Jenny Maurer – 6th in assists (6)
Kate Taylor – 3rd in solo shutouts (8), 4th in goals-against avg. (0.80)
Tara Luciani – 3rd in GWGs (4)

EAGLES NOTES – Boston College (14-5-0, 7-3-0) is ranked 19th in the NSCAA coaches poll and finished 4th in the BIG EAST standings before beating Georgetown in the quarterfinal round (1-0) … the Eagles returned 7 starters and 11 of 16 letterwinners from their ’03 team went 15-3-3, placed 2nd in the BIG EAST Northeast Division (4-2-0), finished as BIG EAST tournament runner-up and lost to Central Connecticut in the 1st round of the NCAAs (0-1) … BC posted regular-season BIG EAST wins over Pittsburgh (4-1), UConn (2-1/OT), Seton Hall (1-0), Rutgers (3-0), Providence (4-0), St. John’s (3-1) and Syracuse (2-0), with looses to Villanova (0-1), West Virginia (0-2) and ND (0-1) … the Eagles are notched non-conference wins over Holy Cross (3-0), Hartford (3-0), Wisconsin-Milwaukee (4-1), Northeastern (1-0), Brown (1-0) and Central Connecticut (3-1) while losing to Boston University (0-1) and Wisconsin (3-5) … BC owns a 38-15 season scoring edge, plus 281-126 (avg. 15-7) in shots and 109-55 in corner kicks (6-3) … top scorers include freshman F Kia McNeill (9G-2A; GWG last week vs. GU), senior F/M Laina Ceddia (6G-4A), sophomore M Jenny Maurer (4G-7A) and freshman F Tara Luciani (5G-2A) … junior G Kate Taylor (0.80 GAA, 38 SV, 15 GA) has logged most of the time in the nets … for more on the Eagles, see the Tale of the Tape, the BIG EAST stat leaders and

THE ND-BC SERIES – Prior to last season’s 2-1 loss in the BIG EAST semifinals (vs. BC, at Rutgers), Notre Dame had won all eight previous games vs. the Eagles … the Irish now lead the series 9-1-0 (25-5 series scoring edge), after the 1-0 win at Alumni Field on Oct. 16 (see recap below) … other recent games in the series include a 1-0 overtime game at BC in ’02 and a 3-0 game in the ’01 BIG EAST semifinals (at RU) … in the ’03 semifinal, BC’s Heather Ferron scored after an early failed clearing attempt and Beth Totman added an 18-yard strike early in the 2nd half while Vanessa Pruzinsky’s long service sets up a Melissa Tancredi header in the 64th minute … the Irish were forced to play without leading scorer and All-American Amy Warner (ankle injury) and lost in conference tournament play for the only time in the program’s history (now 26-1-0; 20-1-0 in BET) … each team managed just 6 shots and a single corner kick (BC cashed in 2 of 3 shots on goal) … BC’s Kate Taylor saved 4 of 5 shots she faced … in the ’02 meeting, Amanda Guertin set an ND record with her third career OT goal (assisted by Warner) while Erika Bohn had five saves and foiled several other solid BC chances (ND had a 16-13 shot edge, 4-3 in CKs) … Warner, Guertin and Tancredi scored in the ’01 win (22-5 shot edge) and Ashley Dryer played a key defensive role, marking BIG EAST midfielder of the year Sarah Rahko … ND and BC also met in the 2000 BIG EAST semi’s (3-0 ND win) and in a 2000 regular-season game at ND (the Irish rallied for a 2-1 win, after facing their only deficit of the season until the NCAA semifinals) … Guertin picked off a clear attempt and scored the GWG in that 2000 showdown at Alumni Field … the series includes two other ND wins at Alumni Field (3-1 in ’95, 2-0 in ’97), plus a 6-0 Irish win at BC in ’96 and a 3-1 ND win in ’98 (in Natick, Mass.).

RECAPPING THE PREVIOUS MEETING (ND 1, BC 0) – Sophomore M Jen Buczkowski registered another clutch goal, scoring in the 80th minute as then top-ranked ND clinched the BIG EAST regular-season title at Alumni Field … it marked ND’s 53rd straight home win over a BIG EAST opponent … ND finished with a 14-2 edge in total shots while limiting BC to one shot on goal … the Irish had all 12 shots that were attempted in the first half, including three that required saves from Kate Taylor and another that clanged off the left post … Buczkowski was the last-minute hero in ND’s previous game at Georgetown (2-1) and again delivered in the lategoing … freshman M Ashley Jones served the ball near the left corner, showing her ability with both feet on a sharp strike with her left foot … sophomore Kim Lorenzen was sprinting into the box from the far right side and volleyed the ball near the top of the box, with Buczkowski then quickly scoring on a low shot from 10 yards out … Taylor was unable to make a play on the shot as it carried into the center of the net (79:06) … ND continued to play stellar team defense, limiting the Eagles to a handful of counterattack chances … the veteran back line of Melissa Tancredi, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, Christie Shaner and Lorenzen helped hold the visitors without a shot until the 61st minute … BC’s only shot on goal came with 2:27 left to play, after a long service from the left flank … the ball skipped to the far side of the box and five-foot forward Laine Ceddia managed to head the bouncing ball over Irish ‘keeper Erika Bohn, but Jones was in position to clear the ball out of trouble.

#20 Boston College (10-5-0, 5-3-0 BIG EAST) 0 0 – 0
#1 Notre Dame (15-0-0, 8-0-0 BIG EAST) 0 1 – 1
ND 1. Jen Buczkowski 6 (Kim Lorenzen, Ashley Jones) 79:06.
Shots: BC 0-2 – 2, ND 12-2 – 14.
Corner Kicks: BC 1-3 – 4, ND 0-2 – 2.
Saves: BC 4 (Kate Taylor), ND 0 (Erika Bohn).
Fouls: BC 17, ND 11.
Offsides: BC 0, ND 1.

ND Career Stats vs. Boston College (see PDF)

FRIEND OR FOE? – ND junior G and Brookfield, Conn., native Erika Bohn played on the Yankee United Rage club team alongside three BC players: freshman F Kia O’Neill, junior F Katie McGregor and junior D Meighann Recile … BC senior D Caity Stevens and ND freshman M Ashley Jones both are products of Westlake (Calif.) HS while ND sophomore M Jen Buczkowski and BC freshman F Kia McNeill have been active with the U.S. Under-19 National Team program.

CT CONNECTIONS – Notre Dame junior G Erika Bohn was a star player at Brookfield (Conn.) HS, where she set team records for career GAA (0.68) and shutouts (41), also totaling 16 goals as a free-kick/PK specialist (her family now resides in Rutland, Vt.) … Bohn led Brookfield to state runner-up titles in ’99 and ’01 (she was all-state three times) … Bohn also led the Yankee United Rage club team to five state titles (her coach on the Rage was current Yale coach Rudy Meredith, who coached former ND defender Vanessa Pruzinsky on the Weston Wild Things) … Pruzinsky, who graduated in May 2003 before returning for a fifth year of eligibility in the fall of ’03, was named the 2003 Academic All-American of the Year for women’s soccer (she graduated with a 4.0 cumulative GPA as a chemical engineering major) … Pruzinsky was an All-American at Trumbull HS, the NSCAA national player of the year as a senior and twice earned New England player of the year … she led Trumbull to three state titles and a 65-8-3 record in her four-year career, finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 79G-59A, and was part of a 20-0-0 team during her senior year that did not allow a goal … Pruzinsky helped her Weston Wild Things club team win the ’98 national title.

PRIMETIME PLAYERS – Notre Dame has won more than 75 percent of its “big games” during the Randy Waldrum era (’99-’04), posting a 42-12-3 record (.763) when facing an NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponent.

1995 – 3-0 vs. Rutgers, 1-0 vs. #3 Connecticut (at Seton Hall)
1996 – 7-0 vs. Villanova, 4-3 vs. #4 Connecticut (at Notre Dame)
1997 – 7-0 vs. Villanova, 6-1 vs. #4 Connecticut (at Rutgers)
1998 – 5-0 vs. West Virginia (at ND); 5-1 vs. Syracuse, 1-0 at #3 Connecticut (at UConn)
1999 – 5-0 vs. Miami (at ND); 5-0 vs. Seton Hall, 5-0 vs. #13 Connecticut (at Rutgers)
2000 – 3-0 vs. Miami (at ND); 3-0 vs. Boston College, 1-0 vs. UConn (at ND)
2001 – 2-0 vs. St. John’s (at ND); 3-0 vs. BC, 2-1 vs. West Virginia (at Rutgers)
2002 – none
2003 – 1-0 vs. Miami in OT (at ND), 1-2 vs. #22 Boston College (at Rutgers)
2004 – 7-0 vs. St. John’s (at ND)
Totals: 20-1-0 record (77-8 scoring edge; 23-0 in quarterfinals/since ’98, 34-3 in semifinals, 20-5 in final)

TITLE TOWN – Notre Dame is two wins away from claiming its eighth BIG EAST Tournament women’s soccer title since 1995 … stretching back to the 1995 fall semester (when ND, West Virginia and Rutgers joined the BIG EAST), there have been a handful of teams with steady success at the BIG EAST tournament level – and Notre Dame teams are at the top of that list … 4 of the 12 teams that have won 5-plus BIG EAST titles in the last decade are from ND (3 of the 5 with 7-plus titles in that stretch are Irish squad):

Most BIG EAST Titles Since the Fall of 1995 (based on tournament results, if applicable)

8 – Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving (every year but 1996) … Pittsburgh men’s swimming and diving (every year but 1996)

7 – Notre Dame women’s soccer (every year but ’02, ’03) … Notre Dame volleyball (every year but ’99, ’03) … Connecticut women’s basketball (every year but ’03, ’04)

6 – Miami women’s outdoor track and field

5 – Notre Dame women’s tennis … Connecticut field hockey … Georgetown men’s indoor track and field … Miami men’s tennis … Georgetown men’s outdoor track and field … Connecticut men’s basketball

BALANCE OF POWER – Despite the absence of several top offensive players, Notre Dame ranks 11th in the nation with 2.89 goals per game and also entered the week ranked 11th in the nation with a 0.52 team goals-against avg., dominating opposing offenses by allowing just 110 total shots (5.9/gm), 52 shots on goal (2.8/gm) and 33 corner kicks (1.7/gm) … the Irish also rank 8th in the nation with 11 shutouts … ND and Central Florida are the only teams ranked 12th or better in scoring and GAA, with UCF actually owning the same stats as the Irish (2.89 gpg, 0.52 GAA) … in 2003, ND joined North Carolina in finishing ranked among the top-5 for scoring scoring (3rd; 3.04 goals/gm) and GAA (5th; 0.49) … Duke (3.06) and UNC (2.94) currently are the only teams in the NSCAA top-25 poll that are scoring at a higher clip than the Irish while six ranked teams have a better GAA than ND: Penn State (0.27), Kansas (0.31), Stanford (0.43), Princeton (0.43), Virginia (0.46) and Arizona (0.50).

Katie Thorlakson IN THE ND RECORD BOOK (see PDF)

THORLAKSON BUILDS PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR RESUME – Here’s a look at junior forward Katie Thorlakson’s ever-growing player-of-the-year credentials:

NATIONAL LEADER – entered week ranked 1st in nation in assists (17), 2nd in points (53) and 4th in goals (18)

MULTIPLE THREAT – equally dangerous as a finisher and set-up player … one of 10 ND players ever to reach 30 goals and 30 assists in her career (32G-31A), reaching that milestone 4th-quickest in ND history (62 games) … on verge of becoming 3rd ND player ever to reach 20G-20A in a season (17G-18A), with no previous ND player reaching 23G-23A … currently one of just 4 players in nation with double-digit goals and assists (no others have 14G-14A)

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE – has helped overcome loss of several top offensive players due to graduation, injuries and national-team duty (ND’s other starting F are freshman Amanda Cinalli and senior Candace Chapman, a converted D coming back from ACL injury)

RUNAWAY – her 53 pts are more than double team’s 2nd-leading scorer (Chapman, with 25)

PERFECT TEN – set ND record with 10 points in a game (4G-2A vs. St. John’s, in BIG EAST quarterfinal) … also tied ND record for goals in a game (most since ’97)

BIG WINNER – has tied ND record for gamewinning goals in a season (8, by Rosella Guerrero in ’94), with no other player on ’04 team having more than 3 GWGs … also ranks 8th in ND record book with 14 career GWGs, 5 shy of Jenny Heft’s record

ON A ROLL – has totaled 19 points (12G-5A) in last 3 games (1G-1A vs. Seton Hall, 2G-2A vs. Michigan, 4G-2A vs. St. John’s), after rare 4-game “slump” without a point

PULLING HER WEIGHT – has played role in nearly 70% of team’s goals in ’04 (37 of 55, two “unofficial assists”), with many other goals coming with her on the bench cheering the reserves

SIX-PACK – first ND player ever to score or assist on team’s first five goals in a game (in ’04 opener vs. Baylor and again vs. #4 Santa Clara) … went one better by having a hand in each of first six scores vs. St. John’s, yielding even more impressive streak of 12 straight Irish goals in which she scored or assisted (dating back to second goal in 3-1 win over SHU)

SHARPSHOOTER – owns .194 shot pct. and is averaging 5.2 shots per goal (rest of team is just .112/8.9) … also converting 1G every 3 shots on goal (18 of 53; 2.9)

RECORD PACE – averaging 2.80 pts/gm in ’04 and would total 78 points over full season of 28 games (ND record is 72 points by ’96 national player-of-the-year Cindy Daws)

PRIMETIME PERFORMER – has totaled 12 pts (4G-4A) in five ’04 games vs. top-25 teams, including 3G-2A vs. #4 Santa Clara (only player in nation with 8-plus pts vs. top-25 team)

PILE-O-POINTS – her 53 points rank 9th in ND history (most since ’99) and bested her combined total from ’02 and ’03 (42) … could join Cindy Daws (72; ’96), Jenny Streiffer (62; ’96) and Jenny Heft (61; ’98) as only ND players with 60-plus points in season

CENTURY MARK – her 95 career pts would rank near top of many school’s record books but she is 15th in ND career scoring (32G-31A), still 13G and 10A away from those top-10 lists

BIG GAMES – only player from top-25 team with 8-plus pts in game … one of two players in nation to post 8-plus pts in multiple ’04 gms (only player with 4G in a game and 3A in another)

BIG EAST’S BEST – three-time BIG EAST player of the week: 2G-4A vs. Baylor and EIU (Aug. 30); 3G-2A vs. #13 Stanford and #4 SCU (Sept. 6); and 1G-1A vs. #20 West Virginia and Providence (Oct. 4), with no award after final week (6G-4A vs. Michigan and SJU) … named to Soccer Buzz and Soccer America national team of the week (Aug. 30 and Sept. 6)

WARMUP – totaled most regular-season goals (13) by ND player since ’99 (Jenny Heft, 16) … 3rd ND player to reach 14G-14A in reg. season (10th ND history with 43 reg.-season pts)

FINDING THE NET – posted 5-game goal streak from Sept. 19-Oct. 3 (4 GWGs in that stretch)

CONFERENCE CALL – leads BIG EAST in points, goals, assists, GWGs and total shots (93)

RACKING ‘EM UP – has posted games with 10 pts (4G-2A , SJU), 8 pts (3G-2A, SCU), 7 pts (2G-3A, Baylor) and 6 pts (2G-2A, Michigan), with 5 multi-goal games

REPEAT OFFENDER – joined Jenny Streiffer (’96) as only ND players with 8-plus pts in multiple games of same season (Monica Gerardo only other player to do in career) … first ND player with 3-plus goals in multiple games of season since Jenny Heft’s three hat tricks in ’98

OL’ RELIABLE – has appeared in 62 straight games with ND (since ’02 U-19 World Champ.)

HOME SWEET HOME – has totaled 58 points in 26 games at Alumni Field during past two seasons (21G-16A, 9 GWG)

NOTRE DAME PLAYER QUICK-FACT SHEET (see PDF for stats and quick notes on the ND regulars)

WALDRUM NEARING 300TH OVERALL WIN – Sixth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum posted his 200th career win as a Division I women’s head coach in the 2-1 game vs. Miami on Nov. 2, 2003, and recently registered his 100th win at Notre Dame in the 3-0 game at Texas Tech on Sept. 12 … Waldrum also coached eight seasons as college men’s soccer head coach and is five wins shy of his next milestone: 300 combined wins as a men’s and women’s college head coach (295-124-24/.693, in 23 seasons) … Waldrum now owns a 219-69-17 mark (.746) in 15 combined seasons as the women’s head coach at Tulsa, Baylor and Notre Dame … the Irish are 112-19-5 (.842) in the Waldrum era, including 101-16-5 (.848) in the past 122 games (since losing 4-2 at SCU on Oct. 17, 1999) …Waldrum repeated as BIG EAST coach of the year in 2000 and became the first three-time BIG EAST women’s soccer coach of the year (in ’03) … in ’99, he became the only coach in the history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth 1st-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semifinals, beating top-ranked and unbeaten Santa Clara in San Jose … his women’s soccer record includes 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa, 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum ranks 8th among active women’s coaches for career win pct. (min. 10 Div. I seasons).



SCOUTING THE IRISH – The 2004 Notre Dame squad features 23 former letterwinners and 10 with significant starting experience, among them senior F/D Candace Chapman (missed ’03 season due to injury) … the Irish spent most of ’03 ranked No. 2 in the nation and raced out to an 18-0-1 record before losing to Michigan in the regular-season finale (3-2), Boston College in the BIG EAST semifinals (2-1) and Michigan again in the 2nd round of the NCAAs (1-0, with UM converting its only shot on goal) … returning starters include senior Mary Boland (Academic All-American, 12G-4A in ’03; out for ’04 after broken leg vs. SCU on Sept. 5) and junior Katie Thorlakson (Canadian U-19 National Team; 10G-11A in ’03) at the forward positions, plus a pair of proven midfielders who are former U.S. U-19 National Team standouts – junior Annie Schefter (4G-5A in ’03) and sophomore Jen Buczkowski (4G-6A in ’03) – to go along with junior G Erika Bohn (Academic All-American; 0.49 GAA, 967-minute shutout streak in ’03) and three defenders: 5th-year Melissa Tancredi (All-American; 4G-5A in ’03) and the sophomore duo of Christie Shaner (’03 BIG EAST rookie of the year, 1G-3A) and Kim Lorenzen (20 GS in ’03; also has played M in ’04) … other top returners include senior D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Icelandic National Team), sophomore M/F Lizzie Reed (2G-1A in ’03) and sophomore defensive M Jill Krivacek (2G-3A in ’03) … the four-member ’03 senior class included F Amy Warner (All-American; 37G-25A career, 10G-12A in ’03) and Amanda Guertin (48G-27A in career, 11G-6A in ’03), attacking M Kimberly Carpenter (6G-5A in ’03) and left back Vanessa Pruzinsky (94 career GS) … ND’s ’03 domination included 20 more goals (73) than opponent shots on goal (53) … ND’s freshman class is rated No. 2 by Soccer Buzz, 4th by Soccer America … four freshmen had impressive debuts on the preseason Brazil trip: F Amanda Cinalli (prep All-American, U.S. U-17 National Team), F/M Jannica Tjeder (Finland U-21 National Team), M Ashley Jones and G Lauren Karas … top scorers in Brazil (5-0-1; 16-3 scoring edge) included Chapman (4G), Thorlakson (6A), Tjeder (3G-2A) and Jones (2G-3A) … leading scorers after 19 games: Thorlakson (18G-17A), Chapman (9G-7A), Buczkowski (7G-10A), Cinalli (7G-5A) and Schefter (4G-5A).

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS – Prior to its 0-0 game vs. Rutgers (Oct. 22), Notre Dame was the only unbeaten/untied team left among 306 in Division I … North Carolina (16-0-1) entered this week as the only other unbeaten team and Dayton is the only team with one loss and no ties (18-1-0) while Penn State is the only team with a single loss and tie (16-1-1) and Campbell is 11-1-6 – meaning that all but five teams in the nation have at least two losses.

NET ZERO – Junior G Erika Bohn has not allowed a goal since the 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 10 and takes a 476-minute shutout streak into the BIG EAST semifinal vs. Boston College … Bohn also has surged to 4th in the nation with a 0.36 goals-against average (see list below), which would tie the ND record set by LaKeysia Beene in 1997 … her 0.72 career GAA is just shy of Jen Renola’s 0.69 for 3rd in ND history (also behind Liz Wagner’s 0.57 and Beene’s 0.62) … Bohn is 45-4-2 in her last 51 overall decisions with the Irish (since 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02), allowing just 24 goals in that 51-game stretch (31 with 0 GA, 16 with 1 GA) … that span includes a 4-1 mark to close the ’02 season, 5-0 in the ’03 spring season (dnp ’04 spring), the 20-3-1 record in the fall of ’03 and 16-0-1 this fall (two wins in Brazil) … her only losses in that stretch: final ’02 loss at #1 Stanford (0-1, goal in 81st minute), 3-2 loss to Michigan in final game of ’03 regular season (UM’s final two goals came on CK breakdowns by ND defense), 2-1 loss to Boston College in ’03 BIG EAST semi’s and 1-0 loss to Michigan in ’03 NCAAs (with a 0-0 tie vs. Rutgers this season) … prior to the first ’03 loss to Michigan, Bohn logged 29 consecutive games with the Irish (24 fall, 5 spring) without allowing multiple goals (previously by BYU in ’02) … her 57 official starts at ND (in fall games) include 33 in which she has not allowed a goal, 15 with one goal allowed, 4 with two goals allowed and just 5 with three-plus goals (3-4 at Georgetown, 0-3 vs. West Virginia, 1-3 vs. Purdue and 2-3 vs. BYU in ’02, plus 2-3 vs. Michigan in ’03) … since the BYU game, Bohn has limited the opponent to 0-1 goals in 43 of her last 46 fall games (32 with 0 GA, 11 with 1 GA, 2-1 loss to BC, 3-2 loss to UM, 5-2 win over Santa Clara) … see PDF for ’04 GAA leaders.

FURIOUS FLURRIES – Notre Dame turned in a three-goal flurry in a five-minute stretch midway through the first half of the BIG EAST quarterfinal vs. St. John’s but the Irish then outdid themselves early in the second half, tacking on three more goals in a span of just 78 seconds to suddenly lead by a 6-0 margin.

BIG EAST QUARTERFINAL RECAP (ND 7, SJU 0) – Katie Thorlakson and her ND teammates left little doubt that the Irish are charged up for the postseason run, as Thorlakson’s record-setting 10-point day led the way vs. St. John’s … Thorlakson – who tied another ND record with four goals (each leftfooted) – became the first ND player ever to factor in the team’s first six goals of a game and at one point had scored or assists on 12 straight ND goals (spanning 3 games, with 7G-5A in that span) … ND rolled up a 28-2 edge in total shots and did no allow a shot on goal while holding the opposition without a corner kick for the 6th time in the last 11 games … the hosts turned in a three-goal flurry in a five-minute stretch midway through the first half but outdid themselves early in the second half, tacking on three more goals in a span of just 78 seconds to suddenly lead 6-0 … seven other Irish players cracked the scoring charts, with sophomore midfielder Jen Buczkowski assisting on Thorlakson’s first two goals while Lizzie Reed and Kim Lorenzen each had 1G-1A …Christie Shaner tacked on another impressive header goal while Jill Krivacek, Candace Chapman and Sarah Halpenny chipped in assists …ND posted its most goals since the 7-2 opener vs. Baylor … the Irish allowed a harmless shot in the 10th minute and then went 79 minutes before SJU’s second shot, in the closing moments.

#2 Notre Dame (18-0-1) 3 4 – 7
St. John’s (10-8-1) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Katie Thorlakson 15 (Jen Buczkowski) 22:43; ND 2. Christie Shaner 2 (Thorlakson) 26:21; ND 3. Thorlakson 16 (Buczkowski) 27:28; ND 4. Lizzie Reed 1 (Jill Krivacek, Thorlakson) 56:27; ND 5. Thorlakson 17 (unassisted) 57:02; ND 6. Thorlakson 18 (Kim Lorenzen, Reed) 57:45; ND 7. Lorenzen 2 (Sarah Halpenny; Candace Chapman) 69:40
Shots: SJU 1-1 – 2, ND 13-15 – 28.
Corner Kicks: SJU 0-0 – 0, ND 3-2 – 5.
Saves: SJU 8 (Jaime Beran 8 in 69:40, Ellen Hartman 0 in 20:20), ND 0 (Erika Bohn 69:40, Nikki Westfall 20:20)
Fouls: SJU 8, ND 8.
Offsides: SJU 2, ND 2.
Yellow Card: Claire Gallerano 1 (ND) 79:42.

DEPTH CHARGES – The 2004 season has been a unique one in many ways for Randy Waldrum’s squad, as the veteran Irish coach and his players have embraced a system of deeper substitution and rotating lineups … 19 different players have started for the Irish this season, including 17 who have logged at least five starts … ND often has elected to not start several top players on the second game of a weekend, instead bringing them off the bench for a “shock troops” effect that was made popular by legendary ND football coach Knute Rockne (he often would start his entire 2nd team, then bring in the top group later in the game) … the team’s top reserves in general situations have included a pair of freshmen – F/M Jannica Tjeder and M Ashley Jones – along with senior F/D Candace Chapman or sophomore F/M Lizzie Reed (Chapman and Reed have split time as a starting F in ’04) … Chapman starred as a right back with ND in ’01 and ’02 (when she was an All-American) and has shifted back to the defense at times this season (she also has been a standout flank M with the Canadian National Team) … others who have turned in strong efforts off the bench and as spot starters include senior outside back Kate Tulisiak, junior D/M Jenny Walz and sophomore defensive M Claire Gallerano.

CANADIAN CONNECTION – Notre Dame’s three Canadian natives – 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.), senior F/D Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ont.) and junior F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C) – have been key leaders of the ’04 squad, combining for 53% of the team’s goals (29 of 55) and 49% of the points (84 of 173) this season … Thorlakson entered the week 2nd in the nation (among players from 306 Division I teams) with 53 points and 1st with 17 assists, plus 4th in goals (18) … she set an ND record with 10 points vs. St. John’s (the 4G tied an ND record) while her 8 points vs. #4 Santa Clara (3G-2A; most ever by ND player vs. top-25 teem) are 7th-most in the nation this year and made her the 3rd ND player ever to post a hat trick vs. a top-10 opponent … she became the only ND player ever to score/assist on ND’s first 5 goals in a game, vs. Baylor (2G-3A) and SCU, before having a hand in the first six goals vs. SJU (and 12 straight over 3 games, with 7G-5A) … Chapman ranks 4th in the BIG EAST in goals (9) and points (25) and 5th in assists (7) despite playing a reduced number of minutes as she returns from ’03 ACL surgery (she can apply for a 5th year in ’05) … Tancredi, coming off an All-America season in ’03, is the leader of ND’s back line from her central D spot and has helped the Irish limit the opposition to 110 total shots (5.8/gm), 52 shots on goal (2.7/gm) and 33 corners (1.8/gm) … Chapman, who started at right back for ND in ’01 and ’02, has started with the Canadian National Team (mostly at flank midfielder) while Tancredi emerged as a starting central D with Canada after the ’03 college season … Thorlakson recently made her first appearance with Canada’s full national team and is a standout with the U-19 National Team.

QUICK TEAM NOTES ON THE IRISH • Streak #1- Notre Dame’s 15-0-0 start came one shy of matching the best record to open a season in the program’s history (16-0-0, in 2000)
• Streak #2 – Notre Dame’s current 19-game unbeaten streak is tied for 5th in ND history (the ’94, ’97 and ’00 teams all started 23-0-1, the ’95 and ’96 teams combined for a 24-0-0 streak and the ’03 team started 18-0-1)
• Streak #3 – ND’s 15-game winning streak ranked 4th in the program’s history, with the top win streaks as follows: 24 games from ’95-’96, 17 in ’97 and 16 in ’00
• Streak #4 – The Irish have not allowed a shot on goal in the last 124 minutes of game action, since Michigan’s Melissa Dobbyn launched a harmless shot that was snared by Erika Bohn in the 57th minute … Dobbyn’s shot on goal is the only one allowed by the Irish in the past two games while Seton Hall’s Oriana Nierojewski is the only other player to squeeze off shot vs. the Irish during the last 265 minutes of game time (her SOG came with just 27 seconds left in that game and SHU’s only other SOG game was in the 6th minute, when a short ND kick set up Carley Piagentini’s goal)
• Balanced Dominance – Notre Dame was the final unbeaten teams remaining among 306 Division I women’s soccer (15-0-0) and currently joins Central Florida as the nation’s only teams in the national top-12 for scoring and goals-against avg. (ND and UCF have the same stats and are 11th in both categories, with 2.89 goals per game and a 0.52 GAA)
• BIG EAST Home Unbeaten Streak – UConn was the last BIG EAST team to beat Notre Dame at Alumni Field (5-4 in ’95), with the Irish winning 53 straight home games vs. BIG EAST teams before the 0-0 tie at Rutgers (now 54-0-1 in last 55 and 104-8-3 overall vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95).
• Unbeaten Start – The 2004 campaign marks the 5th time that ND has gone 19-plus games into a season without suffering a loss (the ’94, ’97 and ’00 teams all started 23-0-1, plus 18-0-1 in ’03).
• Turnaround Success – ND now is 18-1-0 the past two seasons (8-0-0 in ’04) when playing two days after a previous game (49-8 scoring edge), after going just 5-5-0 (21-17 scoring edge) in 2002 “bounceback” games.
• Magic Number – A 4-3 loss at Georgetown in ’02 (minus 4 ND starters) remains the only time since a ’95 loss vs. UConn (5-4) that ND has scored 3-plus goals and not won (now 114-1-0 in the last 103).
• Half & Half – The Irish have been equally dominant in the first (65-11) and second half (57-11) the past two seasons, after managing just a 12-10 first-half scoring edge in ’02.
• Far & Wide – ND’s ’04 roster includes players from 13 states, two Canadian provinces, Iceland and Finland … the program’s all-time roster canvasses 30 states and three foreign countries … ND’s student-athlete population in the ’02-’03 academic year included nearly 800 individuals from 47 states (all but Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada) and 20 countries.
• OT-Tested – The Irish are unbeaten in their last 17 overtime games (12-0-5), since the ’99 opener.
• Poll Position – ND has been ranked 1st or 2nd in the NSCAA poll during 9 of the past 11 seasons (#1 in five).
• Winning When They Should – Notre Dame is 114-4-2 all-time at Alumni Field when facing an unranked opponent.
• Fabulous Frosh – ND’s current freshman class was ranked #2 by Soccer Buzz and #5 by Soccer America (the current sophomore class was rated #5 by both in ’03)
• Statistical Domination – In addition to a 55-10 season scoring edge, the Irish also hold a 423-110 edge in total shots (avg. 22-6), 215-52 in shots on goal (11-3) and 109-33 in corner kicks (6-2) … the Irish have held 6 of the last 11 opponents without a corner kick.
• Frontrunners – ND has faced just four deficits in ’04 and has trailed for just 266 total minutes the past two-plus seasons (6% of the total minutes, spanning 47 games)
• No Shooting Zone – ND has limited 33 of its last 40 overall opponents to 0-3 shots on goal
• One And Done – ND has won its last 38 games when scoring first (dating back to a 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02; ND is 4-3-0 in that span when the opponent scores first) … the Irish also have seen just five of the last 47 opponents come back to tie the game.
• Road Warriors – ND has not lost on the opponent’s field in the past two seasons (13-0-0; 8-0-0 in `04)

RETURN OF THE OFFENSE? – Notre Dame averaged 3.6 goals per game (29) in the ’04 regular season vs. non-conference opponents, compared to just 1.9 gpg (19) in BIG EAST play … that trend changed in the BIG EAST quarterfinal, when the Irish rolled to a 7-0 win over St. John’s … since the 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 10, ND has posted a 15-1 scoring edge, plus 112-14 in shots (avg. 23-3), 42-6 in shots on goal (avg. 8-1) and 17-1 in corner kicks (avg. 3-0), in 5 GP … the Irish have scored 14 straight goals without allowing an opponent score since Seton Hall’s early goal on Oct. 22 (set up by an errant goal kick) … defensively, the Irish posted a better goals-against avg. in BIG EAST play (0.49, compared to 0.63 vs. non-conf. teams).

SHANER SHINES AS MEMBER OF DOMINATING DEFENSE – Sophomore left back Christie Shaner, considered by coach Randy Waldrum to be ND’s “most consistent defender” in ’04, was named BIG EAST defensive player of the week after helping hold #20 Boston College to one shot on goal, in the 88th minute of that 1-0 win (Oct. 16) … Shaner is part of a veteran back line that also includes: 5th-year central back Melissa Tancredi (a 2003 All-American and one of 12 final candidates for the ’03 Hermann Trophy), senior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (a starter with the Icelandic National Team) and sophomore right back Kim Lorenzen … Lorenzen’s all-around athleticism affords her the versatility to play any field position (she often shifts to a flank M role) and she has surged to 6th on the team in scoring (2G-4A, 8 pts), recently delivering a clutch GWG at West Virginia (3-1) and the late primary assist to beat Boston College, 1-0 (both teams were #20 at game time), plus 1G-1A in the BIG EAST quarterfinal vs. St. John’s … Tancredi is a starter with the Canadian National Team while Shaner is in the U.S. Under-21 National Team player pool … Shaner’s ’03 honors included 2nd team all-BIG EAST and BIG EAST rookie of the year … the ’04 defense has allowed just 10 goals (0.52 GAA), 110 total shots (5.8/gm), 55 shots on goal (2.9/gm) and 33 corner kicks (1.7/gm) with just four deficits (85 min.) … the four backline starters have combined for 217 career games played at ND (174 starts) … Tancredi (1,607; 85/gm) and Shaner (1,580/83) lead the ’04 team in minutes played while Lorenzen is 5th (1,330), with Gunnarsdottir logging 1,134 (dnp 3 gms/minor inj.).

PUNCHING THE CLOCK – Current junior F Katie Thorlakson missed the first two games of her ND career due to the 2002 Under-19 World Championship but has not missed a game since joining the Irish (62 straight) … junior M Annie Schefter (missed ’02 due to injury) and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski each have appeared in all 43 games over the past two seasons while four sophomore have played in 42 of the 43: D Christie Shaner (40 straight, dnp vs. ASU in ’03), D Kim Lorenzen (33, dnp vs. Indiana State in ’03), F/M Lizzie Reed (32, dnp vs. West Virginia in ’02) and DM Jill Krivacek (27, dnp vs. UConn in ’03).

IRISH SQUADS MAKES CASE FOR BEST COMBINED SOCCER PROGRAM – Notre Dame has made a strong case in 2004 for having the nation’s top combined men’s and women’s soccer programs:
• As of Oct. 31, Notre Dame’s soccer teams had more combined wins (31-2-3, .903) than any other Div. I school … only three others – Virginia (28-5-1), UNC-Greensboro (29-4-2) and Dayton (28-7-1) – had reached more than 26 combined wins (as of Oct. 31).
• The No. 2 ND women are 18-0-1 and rolled to the BIG EAST regular-season title (9-0-1) while the Irish men (No. 4 NSCAA) are 13-2-2 and won their first BIG EAST regular-season title (8-1-1; 17-1-2 combined with the women).
• ND was the only school with its men’s and women’s teams in at least the top nine of the Nov. 1 NSCAA polls … Virginia had both teams in the top 10 while Penn State and UCLA were the only other school with both teams in the top 15 of the NSCAA polls … just two others (Washington and Boston College, Duke and Santa Clara) have both teams somewhere in the top 25 … the Irish women have lost just once in their last 40 regular-season games (37-1-2).
• UConn, in ’98, is the only other school ever to post the best BIG EAST men’s and women’s soccer records in the same regular season (excluding ties in the standings).
• As of Oct. 31, the ND men are riding a 9-0-1 streak (18-1 scoring edge) while the women have a 31-3 scoring margin over their last 11 games, yielding a 49-4 combined scoring margin in the past six weeks.
• ND was the only school that saw both its men’s (Bobby Clark) and women’s (Randy Waldrum) coaches honored as NSCAA regional coaches of the year in ’03 … Waldrum (112-19-5) and Clark (53-18-9) have combined to win nearly 80% of their games at ND (165-37-14, .796) and they have combined for 500-plus wins in their careers as college head coaches (501-205-58, .694) … Waldrum’s 23-year college coaching career (295-124-23) includes previous stints at Tulsa (where he coached the men’s and women’s teams) and Baylor while Clark also enjoyed great success in previous stops at Dartmouth and Stanford (he is 206-81-34 in 18 college seasons).
• The ND women’s soccer roster includes four straight classes that have been ranked among the top-15 recruiting classes (14th in ’01, 9th in ’02, 5th in ’03, 2nd in ’04), with UVa and UNC the only other women’s teams that can make that claim … the ND women also join Texas as the only schools with top-5 recruiting classes each of the past two seasons … each of the past four seasons have seen the seen ND men’s classes ranked 18th or higher (18th in ’01, 14th in ’02, 5th in ’03 and 11th in ’04) … only four other men’s teams – perennial powers Indiana, SMU, UCLA and Virginia – can make such a claim of recruiting class success during the past four seasons.
• Nine current members of the ND women’s program have been active with various national teams, including senior F/D Candace Chapman and fifth-year central D Melissa Tancredi as starters with Canada’s full national team … Chapman and junior F Katie Thorlakson have been standouts with Canada’s Under-19 National Team … four others – junior M Annie Schefter, senior F Mary Boland, sophomore M Jen Buczkowski and F Kerri Hanks – have been starters with the U.S. Under-19s (Hanks currently is training for the Under-19 World Championship and will enroll at ND next semester) while senior central D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir is a standout with Iceland’s national team and freshman M/F Jannica Tjeder has been a regular with Finland’s Under-17, -19 and -21 teams .. the ND men’s program includes three members of the sophomore class – D Greg Dalby, F/M Nate Norman and M Ian Etherington – who were top players on the U.S. Under-18 National Team, with Dalby and Norman now members of the U.S. Under-20 squad … their classmate, D Jorge Schippes, has starred on the national-team stage with Guatemala’s Under-17 and Under-20 national teams.
• Both programs are stocked with former Olympic Development Program standouts … each ND soccer team currently includes 25 non-foreign players, with 19 members of the Irish women’s squad being former ODP state players while the ND men’s team includes 17 state ODP products … the current ND women’s roster also includes 14 players who starred for elite ODP region teams while eight such players currently star for the Irish men’s team.
• The ND student body truly is a national (and international) sampling and that holds true with the various athletic teams … ND’s student-athlete population in ’02-’03 included nearly 800 individuals from 47 states (all but Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada) and 20 foreign countries … the ’04 rosters for the Irish men’s and women’s soccer teams touch all corners of the U.S. while also including players from Canada, England, Finland, Guatemala and Iceland … the current Irish soccer players hail from 20 different states, with both teams including players from California, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Texas … other states represented by the current ND soccer teams include: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.
• Both Irish teams also are coming off stellar 2003 seasons, as the ND women were ranked No. 2 for most of `03 (finishing 20-3-1) while the men earned the highest ranking (No. 3) in the program’s history during the ’03 season.
• Notre Dame also joined North Carolina as the only schools with multiple players on the preseason watch lists for both the men’s and women’s MAC Hermann Trophy, presented to the national player of the year … 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi and senior F/D Candace Chapman were included on the women’s watch list while G Chris Sawyer and senior D Jack Stewart were on the men’s list.

GOALS-A-PLENTY – Stretching from ’92-’04, the Irish have scored in 94.7% of their games (286 of 302) … since ’94, the Irish have scored in 245 of 258 (.950; three shutouts in NCAA title games) – with goals in 190 of 198 regular-season games (.960) over that 11-year stretch … ND saw its 31-game scoring streak (3rd-best in Irish history) end in ’02.

GOAL PATROL – Notre Dame players have combined for 20 multiple-goal games over 43 games in the past two seasons (compared to just five in all of ’02), by 10 different players … three different players – Amanda Cinalli, Katie Thorlakson and Candace Chapman – had two goals in the 2004 opener vs. Baylor, with Thorlakson adding 3G vs. Santa Clara, 2G vs. both UWGB and Michigan and then 4G vs. St. John’s while Maggie Manning had 2G at Texas Tech and Chapman added 2G vs. Seton Hall … current players who posted multiple-goal games in ’03 included: Manning vs. Hartford (2), Jen Buczkowski vs. Oklahoma, Thorlakson and Annie Schefter vs. Western Kentucky, Melissa Tancredi vs. North Texas and Thorlakson at Rutgers.

LOFTY COMPANY – Here’s a look at the former Irish players who have welcomed Katie Thorlakson as one of the most accomplished scorers in the program’s history:
• She and Amy Warner (’00 and ’02) are the only ND players since 2000 with 3-plus goals more than once in their careers
• She and Jenny Streiffer (2G-5A vs. Providence, 3G-2A vs. Seton Hall, in ’96) are the only ND players with 8-plus points in multiple games during the same season (Streiffer also had a 4G/8-point game in ’97 while Monica Gerardo had 4G games in
• The other nine ND players in the 30-goal, 30-assist club: Shannon Boxx (39G-57A), Cindy Daws (61-67), Meotis Erikson (59-46), Gerardo (73-44), Rosella Guerrero (55-32), Alison Lester (45-36), Anne Makinen (65-56), Michelle McCarthy (59-38) and Streiffer (70-71) … all but Guerrero also reached 35G-35A … Daws, Erikson, Gerardo, Makinen and Streiffer are five of 33 all-time Division I players to reach 40G-40A while Daws, Streiffer and Makinen are among 16 in the 50G-50A club … Daws, Streiffer and just thee other players in NCAA history have reached 60G-60A (Streiffer and former UNC great Mia Hamm are the only 70-70 players).
• She is the third ND player to reach 14G-14A in regular season (1st since ’97), joining Daws (21G-17A in ’96) and Streiffer (18G-21A in ’96, 16G-16A in ’97) in that distinction
• She could join Daws (26G-20A) and Streiffer (22G-22A) as the only ND players to reach 20G-20A in a season (both in ’96)
• Her 10-point game vs. St. John’s bested the Notre Dame record of nine, previously shared by 1996 teammates Streiffer (2G-5A vs. Providence) and Gerardo (4G-1A vs. Seton Hall).
• Her 4G vs. SJU were the most by an ND player in seven seasons and tied the team mark shared by Streiffer (’97 vs. Georgetown) and Gerardo (’96 vs. SHU and Indiana).

BEWARE OF THOR! – Katie Thorlakson continues to lead the nation in assists (17) while ranking 2nd in points (53) and 4th in goals (18) … two of her Canadian national teammates, Nebraska’s Brittany Timko (43) and Portland’s Christine Sinclair (44), entered the week among the nation’s top-six scoring leaders … Thorlakson’s 10 points vs. St. John’s (4G-2A) are 5th-most by a Div. I player this season (among players from 306 schools) while her 8 points vs. #4 Santa Clara are tied for 8th and are most by any player vs. a top-25 opponent … she is the only player from a current top-25 team who has posted 8-plus points in a game (doing so twice) and joins Detroit’s Mary Parker (12 vs. Cleveland State, 8 vs. Niagara) as the only players to post 8-plus points in multiple games this season … Thorlakson’s 4-goal game has been bested just four times this season by Division I players while only six players in the nation have totaled more assists in a game this season than Thorlakson’s 3A vs. Baylor … she combines with Sam Houston State’s Yoanna Garcia as the nation’s only players to post 4-plus goals and 3-plus assists in games this season (Thorlakson did so in different games while Garcia had 5G-4A vs. Texas Southern) … here are the NCAA stat leaders entering this week’s action (see PDF)

GREAT STARTS – The 2003 season saw Notre Dame go unbeaten after 19 games for the fourth time in the program’s history while the 2004 team now has duplicated that feat with an 18-0-1 start … the ’04 season marked the second time an ND team has won the first 15 games of the season (before the 0-0 tie vs. Rutgers), one shy of the record-setting 16-0-0 start in 2000 … here’s a look at the top season-opening streaks in the ND record book (see PDF):

RECORD-SETTING START – Here’s a look at the historical significance behind Katie Thorlakson’s early fireworks:
• Her 7 points vs. Baylor at the time tied Jenny Streiffer (3G-1A vs. Miami; 10/24/99) and current senior F Mary Boland (3G-1A vs. Hartford ; 8/29/03, at the UConn Classic) for most by an ND player in the six-year Randy Waldrum era.
• She became the first ND player to score or assist on 5-plus goals during a game since Anne Makinen’s 8-point game (3G-2A) vs. Syracuse in ’98 … the Irish had played 123 straight games without seeing an ND player factor into 5-plus goals.
• It had been six years since an ND player had 7 points in a half, as current Pittsburgh Monica Gerardo scored goals 2-4 and assisted on the 5th (by Jenny Heft) as part of the 6-0 halftime lead at Providence (10/11/98; 8-0) … Tasha Strawbridge had 7 pts in the 2nd half of a 12-1 win over Valparaiso on 9/14/90 (she scored goals 1, 10 and 11 and assisted on the 9th goal, by Denise Chabot).
• It had been five years since an ND player even had opened a game with points on the team’s first four goals (eight times): Suzie Zilvitis vs. Alma (10/13/89; G-G-A-A; 6-0); Alison Lester at Indiana (9/14/93; G-G-A-A; 4-0/5-1); Rosella Guerrero vs. Michigan State (9/17/93; A-A-G-G; 6-0); Lester at Ohio State (10/23/93; G-G-A-G; 6-0); Michelle McCarthy vs. St. John’s (9/3/95; A-G-A-G; 9-0); Holly Manthei vs. OSU (11/1/96; A-A-G-A; 7-0) and at Villanova (9/28/9; A-A-A-A; 4-0); and Meotis Erikson vs. Seton Hall in BIG EAST semifinal at Rutgers (11/5/99; A-G-G-A; 5-0).
• She was an easy choice for offensive MVP at ND Adidas Classic, with 3G-2A vs. #4 Santa Clara as she again factored into ND’s first 5 goals (5-2) … the 8 eight pts vs. SCU are most ever by an Irish player vs. a top-25 team and seven of her pts came in the 2nd half (3G-1A), tying the ND record she already had shared with two others (2G-3A vs. Baylor) … she now has scored or assisted on all 7 goals ND has scored vs. SCU the past two seasons, also setting up a Mary Boland goal and scoring the late GWG at SCU in ’03 (2-1).
• She had the first hat trick of her career and added assists on the 1st and 4th goals vs. SCU … it was the 9th time an ND player had a hat trick vs. a top-25 team – first since Jenny Heft in ’98 vs. #25 Wake Forest (3-0) … two previous ND players had a hat trick vs. a top-10 team: Rosella Guerrero at #5 N.C. State in ’92 opener (3-4), Anne Makinen vs. #4 UConn in ’97 BIG EAST title game (6-1, at RU).
• The ’04 squad was looking to replace graduated top goalscorers Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin while coping with the absence of two freshman frontrunners who were prep All-Americans (Kerri Hanks is training with the U.S. Under-19 National Team; Susan Pinnick was injured in a summer team van accident with her club team) … another top rookie, Finnish national Jannica Tjeder, injured her ankle vs. Baylor and missed five games while senior F Mary Boland suffered a season-ending broken leg in the ’04 SCU game.
• With the above limits at forward, Thorlakson took it upon herself to factor into nearly every early-season goal the Irish scored … in the first two weeks, she had 5G-6A and two other plays where she directly set up goals (no official assist) – meaning she played a lead role in 13 of 16 goals (now 37 of 55, or 67%) … she did not play the 2nd half vs. Baylor, when two other goals were scored, and was taking a short breather when the late PK was scored vs. Stanford … that shook out to 13 goals scored by the Irish in the first four games with Thorlakson on the field – and she played a lead role in all 13.
• Her 8 points vs. SCU are most by an Irish player in six years and one shy of ND record, shared by ’96 teammates Streiffer (2G-5A, vs. Providence, Aug. 31) and Gerardo (4G-1A vs. Seton Hall, Oct. 27) … ND players have combined for seven other 8-point games, last by Makinen vs. Syracuse (3G-3A; 11/1/98) … the others: Stacia Masters vs. Loyola (3G-2A, 12-0, 10/20/93), McCarthy vs. St. John’s (3G-2A, 9-0, 9/3/95), Gerardo’s 4G at Indiana (7-0, 9/7/95), Streiffer in the game where Gerardo had nine vs. SHU (3G-2A, 10-0, 10/27/96), Cindy Daws vs. Villanova (3G-2A, 10-1, 11/3/96), Erikson vs. SHU (3G-2A, 7-1, 10/24/97) and Streiffer’s 4G at Georgetown (10/11/97).

THORLAKSON TO STAY – Notre Dame junior F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.), a top contender for NCAA player of the year, recently announced her intention to remain with the Irish for the entire ’04 season, foregoing the previous plan to leave for three weeks to compete with Canadian side at the Under-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27, in Thailand) … that event overlaps with the first three rounds of the NCAAs and could prevent players from returning for the fourth/quarterfinal round (Nov. 26-28) … several other players – including ND sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove, Ill.) – have made similar decisions in recent months … Buczkowski is the playmaker of the Irish midfield and has been a starting defender with the U.S. U-19 squad … unlike their Canadian counterparts, the U.S. federation instituted a residency training camp for the months leading up to the U-19 World Championship, meaning team members had to sit out the entire semester from their respective colleges or high schools (ND signee Kerri Hanks is the leading scorer for the U.S. U-19s and has delayed her enrollment until the ’05 spring semester) … Buczkowski made a surprise announcement at the team’s ’04 spring banquet, informing the team she would be returning to Notre Dame for the fall of ’04.

Katie Thorlakson ON REMAINING AT ND FOR ENTIRE ’04 SEASON – “It was a really hard decision. I thought about all the stress and decisions I’ve had to make the last three years and the positions I’ve put myself in, never really feeling like I was part of something and going back and forth from one team to another. This year has been so special with ND and I just decided to forego going to the U-19 World Championships. With that team, a number of girls will step up and be leaders and maybe it will be a good opportunity for them. … I could have gone for just a couple of weeks to Thailand and coach (Waldrum) allowed me to do that and gave me a lot of space in this process. When it came down to it, I just realized that I needed to be at school and playing soccer here. (At Syracuse) there was an incident where I could have gotten into a scuffle and that’s something I might have done in the past, but then I probably would have been kicked out and would not have been able to score the winning goal. It’s all become a matter of putting the team over myself. I’ve worked hard at showing more restraint in my emotions. … Playing for the National Team is an awesome experience. Most of my best friends are from that team that played in 2002. Playing with them every day is awesome. They are the best players in your country and you are best friends. … At the same time, we are even more like family here at Notre Dame. We are together just about all year-round. Our team concept really came together during the Brazil trip, always playing hard and playing to win.”

NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – “We now have had two players on this team make the decision to forego the Under-19 World Championships, as Jen Buczkowski earlier this summer was one of several U.S. players who have opted out of that great experience. Katie and Jen both love their national teams but they also love this team here at Notre Dame, so it’s a tremendously difficult decision for them. But I also think it shows how both have matured so much in the past year. It says a lot about them as people and teammates and shows how much they care about this program and this school. Katie’s attitude, intensity and leadership this season have been just as phenomenal as her performance on the field. She has made a great commitment to being a great player and I can’t think that anyone in the college game is playing as well as she is right now. This is a huge moment for our program because it shows the commitment of an elite player who is willing to stay and help lead us to a national championship.”

IRISH COMPLETE UNBEATEN HOME SLATE – Notre Dame went unbeaten at home in the 2004 regular season (9-0-1), marking the 9th time in the 15-year history of Alumni Field that ND has not lost a regular-season home game (all but ’90, ’92, ’95, ’02, ’03) … the Irish have won nearly 92% of their all-time regular-season home games at Alumni Field (133-11-3, .915), including four seasons with one loss … in 10 of the last 11 seasons (all but ’03), the Irish have suffered 0-1 regular-season losses at home (97-7-3, .921 in that 11-year stretch).

SOCCER “BUZZ” – Sophomore M Jen Buczkowski opened the scoring in the 2-1 win at Syracuse, matching her goal total (4) from all of ’03 after playing just eight games in ’04 … she now is 3rd on the team with 24 points (7G-10A) and more than tripled her regular-season goal output from 2003 (2), closing with 3G-3A (2 GWG) in the final five games of the ’04 regular season (then 2A in the BIG EAST quarterfinals vs. St. John’s).

20-SOMETHING – Notre Dame is two victories shy of reaching the 20-win plateau for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons … the 1996 team racked up an ND-record 24 wins, with 23 victories in 1994, ’97 and ’00, 21 wins in ’95, ’98 and ’99, and 20 Ws in 2003.

FIRST-HALF FORTRESS – The Notre Dame defense has been particularly stingy in the first half the past four seasons, allowing just 26 goals in the first half of those 83 games (0.31/gm) … the first half in ’02 featured little scoring (12-10 ND edge), compared to a 40-7 first-half edge in 2003 (plus 25-4 in ’04) … the Irish have been equally dominant in the first (65-11) and second half (57-11) over the past two seasons.

TOURNAMENT TOUGH – Notre Dame owns an 86-25-7 all-time record (.759) in tournament action, including 37-13-6 in regular-season tournaments (19-3-2 at home, with 61-23 scoring edge), 24-1-0 in conference tournaments and 25-11-1 in the NCAAs … since ’94, ND is 25-6-3 in regular-season tournaments (18 wins vs. NSCAA top-25), and 20-4-2 from ’97-’04.

QUICK-STRIKE ARTISTS – Notre Dame has scored in the first seven minutes of 11 games the past two seasons (12 “quick-strike” goals in that 43-game span) … the second game of ’04 saw Annie Schefter score vs. Eastern Illinois at 4:35 (20-yard shot after short CK) while Katie Thorlakson scored at 2:54 in the 4-0 win over Wisconsin-Green Bay (volleyed in Schefter free kick) and Christie Shaner headed in a Thorlakson corner at 2:38 of the 3-1 win at WVU, for ND’s quickest goal of ’04 … senior F Mary Boland, who was lost for the ’04 season after an early-season broken leg, had a team-best three “quick goals” in ’03 … current players who scored in the first five minutes of 2003 games included: Thorlakson (2:44; from close range, after leftside pass from Amy Warner) and Melissa Tancredo (3:53; header, via Thorlakson corner kick) both at Rutgers, and Jen Buczkowski vs. Oklahoma (5:58; rebound after flurry).

FRONTRUNNERS – Since a 3-2 loss to BYU (10/19/02), ND has trailed in just 9 of 47 games for 266:14 (6.2% of 4,289:29), going 41-4-2 in that 47-game stretch … four of ND’s nine deficits in that span have been 11 minutes or shorter while only three teams have led the Irish more than 40 minutes over that 47-game stretch (Michigan for 60, Boston College for 83, Pittsburgh for 41).

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team has been forced to overcome injuries to some top players during the past five seasons, most notably in 2002, ’03 and ’04 (252 total games lost to injury in that 3-year span) … many of those players were sidelined for large chunks of the season or were lost at key postseason junctures … here’s a sampling of some of the more noteworthy injuries that the Irish have overcome in the past five seasons (see PDF):

HOME SWEET HOME – The Irish own a 162-14-3 all-time record (.913) at Alumni Field (135-10-2 in last 147) – with a 29-game home win streak (5th NCAA history) from ’99-’01 … 8 of ND’s last 10 home losses have been by a single goal … ND’s Alumni Field record vs. teams not in the NSCAA top-25 is 114-4-2/.958 (46-10-1 vs. ranked teams) … junior F Katie Thorlakson has totaled 58 points at Alumni Field the past two seasons (21G-16A, 9 GWG in 26 GP) while junior M Annie Schefter has scored all 8 of her career goals (4 GWG) at home … sophomore M Jen Buczkowski has registered 8 of her 10 career goals and 29 of her 38 career points with the Irish in the confines of Alumni Field.

ONE-TWO PUNCH – Notre Dame boasts possibly the best forward/defender combination in the nation, as junior F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) and 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.) have led the Irish domination from their respective positions … Thorlakson (18 goals, 17 assists, 53 points, 8 gamewinning goals) entered the week ranked 2nd in the nation for points, 1st in assists and 4th in goals (she is the only players with more than 14 goals and 14 assists) … Thorlakson has been the BIG EAST player of the week three times (also named to Soccer America and Soccer Buzz national teams of the week twice each) and posted three 8-point weekends (2G-3A vs. Baylor, 1A vs. Eastern Illinois; 3G-2A vs. Santa Clara; 1G-1A vs. Pittsburgh, 2G-1A vs. UW Green Bay) before totaling 16 points in last week’s action vs. Michigan (2G-2A) and St. John’s (4G-2A) … Tancredi, a 2003 All-American and reigning BIG EAST defensive player of the year, has earned thee BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week honors this season and was one of 12 final candidates for the ’03 MAC Hermann Trophy national player-of-the-year award.

LAST-MINUTE HERO – Jen Buczkowski’s goal at Georgetown on Oct. 10 (2-1), with 44 seconds left in regulation, held special significance in the program’s history … the sophomore M became the first ND player since ’94 – and just the third in the program’s 17-year history – to win a game by scoring in the final minute of play (regulation or OT) … just four of the program’s 380 all-time games have featured a last-minute gamewinning goal (by either team) but GU’s Harbin Field has been the site for two of those fantastic finishes … Buczkowski’s goal helped avenge the heartbreaking loss suffered by the Irish on their previous visit to GU … the Hoyas won that day, 4-3, on a goal with 24 seconds left in regulation, in a game that also remains the only time in the last 10 seasons that the Irish have scored three goals and failed to win (111-1-0) … the last ND player to win a game in the final minute of play was Michelle McCarthy, whose goal with 25 seconds left in OT (119:35) completed a wild comeback vs. William & Mary, 4-3 … Jody Hartwig’s goal in the 85th minute had forged a 2-2 tie for the Irish in that game but the Tribe scored first in OT (non-sudden death) before future All-American Rosella Guerrero answered with another tying goal … the only other Irish player to score a last-minute GWG was future All-American Ragen Coyne, vs. Wright State in the 1992 Midwest Conference championship game (89:24).

BAM! … BUCZKOWSKI DOES IT AGAIN – Sophomore M Jen Buczkowski did not register a gamewinning goal in the first 37 games of her ND career before delivering a pair of GWGs in the late moments of back-to-back wins at Georgetown (89:16; 2-1) and vs. #20 Boston College (79:06; 1-0) … three games later, she added her 3rd GWG in the 4-0 win at Michigan … Buczkowski also has surged to 2nd among BIG EAST players with 10 assists (19th nationally), trailing only her teammate Katie Thorlakson’s 17 (tops in the nation).

HAPPY HELPERS – Notre Dame is one of three teams in the nation that entered the week with multiple players who have posted double-digit assists this season (junior F Katie Thorlakson has a nation-leading 17 and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski has 10) … Virginia has three players with 10-plus assists (Shannon Foley 13, Sarah Huffman 11, Noelle Keselica 10) while two players from Chattanooga (Meghan Chismark and Maya Peel with 10 each) have reached double-digit assists … Thorlakson (12) and former teammate Amy Warner (11) both reached double-digit assists in 2003.

FOUR NOMINATED FOR ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA – Notre Dame’s 2004 roster is stocked with Academic All-America candidates and four of them recently were nominated for the official Academic All-America team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America … Academic All-District teams will be announced on Nov. 4, with the 1st teamers from each district moving on to the ballot for Academic All-America (TBA Nov. 23) … ND’s nominees include junior G Erika Bohn (3.63 cumulative GPA, art studio), junior M Annie Schefter (3.73, pre-professional studies and psychology), sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (3.37, business) and sophomore D Christie Shaner (3.42, design) … the ND women’s soccer program’s stellar scholar-athlete tradition includes two Academic All-Americans of the Year (G Jen Renola in ’96, D Vanessa Pruzinsky in ’03) and 13 total Academic All-America selections in the past 10 seasons (most from any school in that span) … ND’s ’03 team became the first in Division I women’s soccer history ever to produce three Academic All-Americans in the same season: Pruzinsky (1st team), Bohn (2nd team) and current senior F Mary Boland, who is not eligible in ’04 after suffering a broken leg in the 4th game of the season … Boland would have been a strong contender for Academic All-America of the Year, with a 3.90 GPA as a psychology major (including a 4.0 in the fall of ’03) … Pruzinsky became the first Division I player ever to be named 1st team Academic All-America three times (also ’00 and ’01, injured in ’02).

SUPER FROSH – Freshman F Amanda Cinalli scored the late GWG at UConn and had the primary assist on the first goal (by Jen Buczkowski) at Syracuse, earning BIG EAST rookie of the week honors for Sept. 13-19 … Cinalli, currently 4th on the team in scoring (19 pts; 7G-5A), then became the first freshman to be honored by the BIG EAST this season as offensive (or defensive) player of the week, after a pair of key goals in BIG EAST road wins over Villanova (1-0) and Georgetown (2-1) on Oct. 8 and 10 … her goal at VU came on a well-placed crossing shot from 30 yards that ripped into the upper right corner of the net … Cinalli’s 19 points and 7 goals both rank among the BIG EAST freshman leaders and she ranks 11th overall among BIG EAST players in goals… Cinalli scored ND’s first two goals of the season in the 7-2 win over Baylor, becoming just the 4th freshman ever to open the season scoring for the Irish and likewise was the 4th ND player ever to score the first 2G in a season.

WINDY-CITY TRIO – The “Canadian Connection” is not the only noteworthy trio on the ND women’s soccer team, as three Chicago-area natives have played key roles … the three sophomores – M Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove HS), D/M Kim Lorenzen (Naperville North HS) and defensive M Jill Krivacek (Geneva; Rosary HS) – led the Illinois team to the 2003 Olympic Development national title before starting their Notre Dame careers … each of the Chicago natives play key, but subtle, roles on the Irish squad, with Lorenzen’s great versatility allowing her to play anywhere on the field (she scored the gamewinning goal in the 74th minute at #20 West Virginia and had the primary assist on Buczkowski’s GWG vs. #20 Boston College) … the 5-foot-10 Krivacek has fortified the defensive midfield spot while Buczkowski is the classic field general and is 3rd on the team with 19 points (6G-7A).

BIG & BRIGHT – The lone star state has deep connections to Notre Dame women’s soccer, as all three coaches and three players are Texas natives:
• Sixth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum is a native of Irvin, Texas, played at Midwestern State (Wichita Falls, Texas) from ’77-’80, coached the men’s teams at Austin College (’82) and Texas Wesleyan (’88) and coached the Baylor women from ’96-’98 (he was the Texas Longhorns club’s director of coaching from ’87-’89).
• 2nd-year assistant Alvin Alexander is an Arlington native and his Lamar HS team was a rival of Waldrum’s MacArthur HS squad (they were teammates at Midwestern) … Alexander’s background in Texas youth soccer includes eight years as a staff coach/trainer with the North Texas and Midland Olympic Development programs (’93-’01) … he coached the u-13 and u-15 girls and u-11 boys with the elite Dallas Texans club (’02-’03) and built Black Magic into one of best clubs in West Texas (from ’89-’99) … Alexander also held coaching and/or administrative duties with teams at Oakridge HS (’99-’03), the American Eagles girls developmental team in Colleyville (’01-’02), the Arlington Strikers boys teams (’99-’00) and the Texas-Permian Basin men’s team in Odessa (’95-’97) – in addition to being a player/coach with the Permian Basin Mirage pro indoor soccer team.
• 2nd-year assistant Dawn Greathouse is a native of Allen, Texas, and played for Waldrum as the starting ‘keeper at Baylor … she also starred for the Texas Longhorns and the Region III and North Texas ODP squads.
• Current ND sophomore M Claire Gallerano (Dallas/Ursuline HS) helped lead the Dallas Texans to the 2003 USYSA national club championship.
• Prep All-America F Kerri Hanks – a ’03 signee who will not enroll at ND until next string, due to Under-19 World Championship training with the U.S. team – earned the USYSA’s Golden Boot Award as the tournament’s top scorer with that ’03 Dallas Texans.
• Current freshman G Lauren Karas (Flower Mound HS) also has starred for the Dallas Sting and Texans club teams, plus the Region III and North Texas ODP teams (she earned the Golden Glove Award with North Texas at the 2004 ODP nationals).
• ND’s all-time roster includes 16 Texas natives, most notably: early scoring leader Stephanie Porter (’90-’93; Spring/Klein HS); steady M Tiffany Thompson (’91-’94; Houston/Cypress Creek HS); clutch ‘keeper Liz Wagner (’98-’01; Spring/Klein HS); All-America D Monica Gonzalez (’97-’01; Richardson/Plano East HS); and high-scoring F Amanda Guertin (’00-’03; Grapevine HS).

WEEKLY HONORS – Notre Dame players combined to earn 9 of the 19 BIG EAST offensive (4) and defensive (5) player-of-the-week honors this season, including at least one honoree in the first eight weeks of the season … junior F Katie Thorlakson received the offensive honor on Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 while fifth-year center D Melissa Tancredi has earned three of the defensive honors (Sept. 6, 13 and 27) while senior left back Kate Tulisiak was the Sept. 20 honoree and sophomore left back Christie Shaner the Oct. 18 selection … freshman F Amanda Cinalli is the BIG EAST’s only freshman to earn the offensive (or defensive) weekly honor, on Oct. 11 (she also was rookie of the week, on Sept. 20).

PLAYING THE BEST – Notre Dame has played some of its best soccer vs. ranked opponents, going 27-11-3 (.695) vs. NSCAA top-25 teams in the Waldrum era (since ’99) … that trend held true in ’01 (5-1-0): 2-1 vs. Penn State, 2-0 vs. Hartford, 2-1 vs. West Virginia, 3-0 vs. Miami, 0-3 at UConn, 2-1 vs. Michigan … the Irish had ’02 wins over #25 Maryland (5-2), #8 UConn (3-1), #13 Michigan (1-0) and #14 Purdue (3-1) … over the course of ’01-’04, ND has owned a 12-7-1 record vs. NSCAA top-25 teams (50-7-1 vs. unranked teams), including 2003 wins over #16 Santa Clara (2-1), #8 West Virginia (2-0) and #15 UConn (2-0) and a scoreless tie vs. #24 Stanford – plus ’04 wins over #2 SCU (5-2), #24 WVU (3-1) and #20 Boston College (1-0).

FAR & WIDE – ND’s ’04 roster includes players from 13 states, two Canadian provinces, Iceland and Finland … the program’s all-time roster canvasses 30 states and three foreign countries … ND’s student-athlete population in ’02-’03 included nearly 800 individuals from 47 states (all but Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada) and 20 foreign countries.

TURNAROUND SUCCESS – Notre Dame is 18-0-1 the past two seasons (10-1-0 in ’03, 8-0 in ’04) when playing two days after a previous game (49-8 scoring edge) … that’s a big improvement from ’02, when the Irish were just 5-5 (21-17 scoring edge) in such “bounceback” games … the 2003 bounceback games included the big 2-1 win at Santa Clara while the ’04 season has yielded a 5-2 bounceback win over that same SCU team … ND’s only bounceback-game loss in the past two seasons was the 2003 NCAA 2nd-round game vs. Michigan (1-0).

HIT & MISS – Notre Dame has averaged 22 shots per game this season but has met with mixed results when it comes to finding the net, averaging 7.7 shots per goal … here’s a look at the team’s five best and five worst shooting-pct. games of 2004 (see PDF):

CLUTCH CANADIAN – Sophomore F Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) picked key times for all four of her game-winning goals in ’03, with two vs. top-15 teams (#10 Santa Clara, #15 UConn), plus the OT goal vs. Villanova and the early strike at Rutgers (3-0) … she is the only current ND player with multiple career goals vs. UConn (her goal tied the ’02 game, 1-1, in a 3-1 win) … the ’02 ND-UConn game proved to be a key turning point for the program, with current 5th-year senior Melissa Tancredi making the full-time move from F to central D while Thorlakson shifted permanently from M to F … since those key shifts, the Irish are 43-5-2 in their past 50 games.

NUMBER-ONE NOTES – This marks the 5th season in the last 11 that the Irish have been No. 1 (also ’94, ’95, ’96, ’00), with all but the ’95 team earning the top ranking prior to the final poll (the ’95 team never reached No. 1 before winning the NCAA title) … two familiar landmarks returned to campus in the fall of ’04: the lighted No. 1 sign atop the Grace Hall tower on the northwest corner of campus and the No. 1 flag in front of the Joyce Center … both displays reappear any time an ND team earns the nation’s top ranking (or wins a national title) … ND now has been No. 1 in 22 NSCAA polls, plus 41 all-time appearances at No. 2 in the NSCAA poll … during the past 12 years, the Irish have been 1st or 2nd in the NSCAA poll during 10 seasons while appearing in the top five of 100 of 128 NSCAA polls (78%) over that 12-year span (1st-3rd in 75 NSCAA polls since ’93) … only five weekly polls in the past 12 seasons have seen ND outside the top eight of the NSCAA rankings … the Irish spent most of ’03 and the first few weeks of ’04 ranked No. 2 in the national polls … ND owns an all-time record of 44-4-2 as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll (28-1-2 in regular-season play).

No. 1 SIGN RETURNS – Notre Dame’s 8-foot No. 1 sign perched atop the Grace Hall tower dates back to the 1974, when it was built by Fr. Bob Malone and a group of seminarians in recognition of the 1973 national championship football team … the sign was placed atop Moreau Seminary and moved to Howard Hall before shifting high atop the roof of Grace Hall … the sign was displayed during the 1988 national-title football season and returned in parts of the ’89, ’90 and ’93 football seasons … it shone brightly in recognition of ND’s ’94 fencing and ’95 women’s soccer national championships, followed by No. 1 rankings for women’s soccer in ’96 and ’00 and for the fencing teams in ’01, ’02, ’03 (also national champs) and ’04 – plus the ’00-’01 academic year saw an unprecedented four Notre Dame teams earn the No. 1 ranking: women’s soccer, women’s basketball (also national champs), baseball and men’s fencing.

TANCREDI TABBED THREE TIMES FOR WEEKLY DEFENSIVE HONORS – Another leader of Notre Dame’s Canadian connection, 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi, picked up defensive MVP honors at the Adidas Classic (and BIG EAST defensive player of the week), after leading the Irish squad that allowed just 2 goals, 11 shots, 6 shots on goal and 8 corner kicks in action vs. two top teams … she combined with fellow backline veterans Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Christie Shaner and defensive M Jill Krivacek in neutralizing Stanford All-America F Marcie Ward before shutting out Santa Clara for the first 60 minutes and not allowing the second SCU goal until the 82nd minute … Tancredi repeated the BIG EAST weekly honor on Sept. 13, after wins at #11 ASU (2-1) and Texas Tech (3-0), with ND allowing just 11 shots, 5 SOG and 2 CKs over the weekend … she picked the perfect time for her first goal of ’04, on a classic leaping volley via a free-kick service from fellow Canadian Katie Thorlakson for the gamewinner at ASU … Tancredi received the BIG EAST honor for the third time on Sept. 27, after playing a lead role in wins over Pittsburgh (3-1) and Wisconsin-Green Bay (4-0) … Tancredi scored the game-tying goal and had the primary assist on the final goal (by Candace Chapman) vs. the Panthers while helping the Irish allow just 7 total shots (one inside the 18-yard box), 5 SOG and no CKs over the weekend games.

MAGIC NUMBERS ¬- The 3-goal mark has been virtually an automatic win for ND, with the Irish 210-3-1 all-time (.984) when scoring 3-plus, losing to N.C. State in the ’92 opener (4-3), UConn in ’95 (5-4, OT) and at Georgetown in ’02 (4-3), plus a 3-3 tie vs. Vanderbilt in ’91… the Irish had won 88 straight when scoring 3-plus, before the GU loss (now 114-1-0 since 10/6/95) … ND is 292-9-12 (.952) all-time when holding the opponent to 0-1 goals (96-3-5 since 9/9/99), including tough 1-0 losses in ’02 to eventual NCAA champ Portland and top-ranked Stanford … prior to the UP loss, the Irish had been 56-0-3 in the previous 59 games when allowing 0-1 GA (dating back to 1-0 loss to SMU in ’99, playing minus Finnish national teamer Anne Makinen) … the program’s 17-year history includes just 298 goals allowed in 385 games (0.77 GA per game) … the Irish have allowed more than one goal in only 72 all-time games (19%) and have yielded 3-plus goals in just 33 all-time games (9%; including two 6-goal games by the opponent, four 5-goal and six 4-goal) … 91% of ND’s all-time games have seen the Irish hold the opponent to 0-2 goals (ND is just 4-28-1 all-time when allowing 3-plus).

OPENING-DAY RECORDS – Amanda Cinalli’s goal vs. Baylor made her the 4th freshman ever to score ND’s first goal of a season, with others including Margaret Jarc (’89; 4-1 vs. St. Joseph’s), Rosella Guerrero (’92; 3-4 vs. N.C. State) and current senior Mary Boland (’01; 2-1 vs. Penn State) … Cinalli became the 4th ND player to score the team’s first two goals in a season, joining Alison Lester (’91; 2-0 vs. Mercyhurst) and Guerrero (’92; 3-4 vs. N.C. St.; ’93, 12-0 vs. LaSalle) … Katie Thorlakson’s 2G-3A vs. Baylor tied the ND record for pts in a half (7) shared by Tasha Strawbridge (3G-1A vs. Valparaiso, ’90) and Monica Gerardo (3G-1A at Prov., ’98).

TULISIAK TAKES CHARGE – Senior D Kate Tulisiak played a reserve role her first two seasons and missed most of ’03 due to a back injury, but she picked an ideal time for the first point of her career after intercepting a pass and providing the endline cross as Amanda Cinalli scored in the 84th minute for the 1-0 win at UConn on Sept. 17 … she also helped hold UConn (1-0) and Syracuse (2-1) to 14 combined shots, 4 shots on goal and 3 corner kicks, en route to earning BIG EAST defensive player of the week.

GOING THE DISTANCE – ND is unbeaten in its last 17 overtime games (12-0-5), since the 3-2, double-OT loss to UNC in the ’99 opener … prior to the recent 0-0 game vs. Rutgers, the Irish played 18 straight non-OT games (longest since the ’97 and ’98 teams combined for 31 straight non-OT games) … after the opening ’99 loss to UNC, that Irish team went on to post a 2-1, double-OT win at UConn and played to a 1-1 tie at Nebraska in the NCAA quarterfinals (adv. on PKs) … the 2000 team had OT wins over Stanford, at West Virginia and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (all 2-1) plus a 0-0 tie at UConn … ’01 featured an unprecedented five OT games (2-1 vs. Indiana, Villanova, WVU and Michigan; 2-2 vs. Wisconsin) while the ’02 team added 1-0 OT wins over Rutgers and BC … the ’03 team had a 0-0 tie with Stanford (at SCU) and OT wins over Villanova (1-0) and Miami (2-1, BE quarter’s).

SHARING THE WEALTH IN OT – ND’s 12 overtime wins in the six-year Randy Waldrum era include goals from seven players (own goal vs. Stanford in ’00): Anne Makinen (vs. UConn, ’99), Amanda Guertin (ND record 4; vs. West Virginia in ’00, Michigan in ’01, Boston College in ’02, Miami in ’03 BIG EAST quarter’s), Meotis Erikson (vs. SCU in ’00 NCAA quarter’s), Kelly Tulisiak (vs. Indiana, ’01), Amy Warner (2; vs. Villanova in ’01, Rutgers in ’02), Mia Sarkesian (vs. WVU, ’01) and Katie Thorlakson (vs. Villanova, ’03).

GREAT GRADES – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team consistently has performed at a high level on the field and in the classroom … in ’03-’04, the Irish posted a 20-3-1 record followed by a 3.28 team GPA in the ’03 fall semester and a 3.32 in the spring of ’04 (22 of 25 players with GPA of 3.0 or better, 13 at 3.4-plus) … the ’04 team includes two Academic All-Americans – senior F Mary Boland (3.90 cumulative GPA, psychology major) and junior G Erika Bohn (3.63, design) – with other top candidates for that honor in ’04 including junior M Annie Schefter (3.73, pre-professional studies/psychology).

TANCREDI, CHAPMAN TABBED FOR TOP NATIONAL HONORS – 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.) and F/D Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ont.) were among 12 named to the Soccer Buzz preseason All-America squad while both were among 25 on the 2004 preseason watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy national player-of-the-year award … Tancredi was one of 11 named to Soccer America ‘s ’04 preseason All-America team … Tancredi was a Soccer Buzz 1st team All-American in ’03 (2nd team from NSCAA) … Chapman was an NSCAA 2nd team All-American in ’02 but missed ’03 with an ACL knee injury … Tancredi – who like Chapman has starred for the Canadian National Team – could prove to be the nation’s top defender, with Tennessee senior Keeley Dowling being the only other D on the SA and SB preseason All-America teams … Tancredi, Chapman, Dowling and Virginia’s Becky Sauerbrunn were the only defenders on the Hermann watch list … Tancredi was one of nine listed on both the SA and SB preseason All-America teams, the others: Dowling, M Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Lindsey Huie (Portland), Leslie Osborne (Santa Clara) and Lori Chalupny (UNC), Portland F Christine Sinclair and the UNC forward tandem of Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly … ND joined UNC and Portland as teams with multiple players on the SB “Elite 12” preseason All-America team while the Irish were one of five with multiple players on Hermann watch list (also UNC, Portland, Texas, UVa) … Chapman was on the ’03 watch list (prior to injury) while Tancredi and former ND forward Amy Warner were on the list of the final 15 candidates for the 2003 MAC Hermann Trophy.

TANCREDI, BUCZKOWSKI TAKE PRESEASON HONORS – 5th-year All-America central D Melissa Tancredi was picked to repeat as BIG EAST defensive player of the year and was joined by sophomore M Jen Buczkowski on the 11-player preseason all-BIG EAST team … senior F Mary Boland was overlooked on the preseason all-BIG EAST team, despite earning 1st team all-BIG EAST and NSCAA 2nd-team all-region honors in ’03 … sophomore D Christie Shaner – the league’s co-rookie of the year and 2nd-team all-BIG EAST in ’03 – failed to crack the ’04 preseason list, which includes two D (Tancredi, VU’s Michelle Biehl).

FRESHMAN CLASS RATED NO. 2 – Soccer Buzz ranked ND’s incoming class as the 2nd-best in the nation while Soccer America had the Irish 5th on its list of top ’04 classes … the six signees for ’04 included four highly-regarded forwards – Amanda Cinalli (Maple Hts, Ohio), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Susan Pinnick (South Bend, Ind.) and Jannica Tjeder (Espoo, Finland) – plus M Ashley Jones (Westlake Village, Calif.) and G Lauren Karas (Flower Mound, Texas) … Hanks is the leading scorer for the U.S. Under-19 National Team while Cinalli and Pinnick have been members of the U-17s (all three earned prep All-America honors) … each of the five U.S. signees was a member of her respective Olympic Development regional team, with Karas a member of the U-16 National Team player pool while Jones helped lead both her ODP squad and the Southern California United club program to national titles … Tjeder is one of the top young players in Finland, playing for her national under-17, u-19 and u-21 teams.

RECRUIT RANKINGS HISTORY – ND’s ’04 roster is comprised of four top-ranked recruiting classes … ND joins UNC and Virginia as the only teams to have their recruiting classes in the Soccer Buzz top 15 from ’01-’04 (ND 14th-9th-5th-2nd from ’01-’04; UNC 2nd-1st-6th-3rd; UVa 1st-3rd-11th-12th) … ND and UNC are the only teams to be in the Soccer Buzz top-15 classes every year since those rankings began in ’98 (ND was 11th in ’98, 4th in ’99, 9th in ’00; UNC 2nd-1st-2nd from ’98-’00) … Soccer America has ranked top-10 classes since ’02, with ND and UNC the only teams in the SA top 10 every year from ’02-’04 (ND was 9th by SA in ’02, 5th in ’03 and ’04; UNC 1st in ’02, 6th in ’03) … ND and Texas (3rd in ’03 and ’04) are the only teams to attract SA top-5 classes each of the past two seasons … SB’s top-15 classes for ’04: Texas A&M, ND, UNC, Penn St., Texas, Clemson, Portland, Maryland, Ohio St., Cal, Villanova, UVa, Michigan, Illinois, Santa Clara … SA’s top-10: A&M, UNC, Texas, PSU, ND, Nebraska, OSU, Portland, Florida, Cal.

WINNING TRADITIONS – Several ND women’s soccer players led their clubs and state Olympic Development teams to elite status before becoming part of another winning tradition with the Irish … five members of the current sophomore class helped their teams post top national finishes in ’03 and the current freshman class also lived up to the standard … most notably, Ashley Jones completed the rare double of winning 2004 national titles with her California South state ODP team and her Southern California United club … her classmate Kerri Hanks earlier won the Golden Boot Award as the tournament’s top scorer with the ’03 Dallas Texans national champs while Lauren Karas earned the Golden Glove Award with North Texas at the 2004 ODP nationals (her team lost to Jones and Cal-South, 1-0) … finally, newcomer Susan Pinnick led the Carmel (Ind.) Commotion to a runner-up finish at the 2003 USYSA under-17 nationals while Kelly Simon was a member of the St. Louis-based Busch Soccer Club that was the ’01 and ’02 national runner-up.

NATIONAL TEAMS – Three former ND players – D Kate Sobrero Markgraf, G LaKeysia Beene and defensive M Shannon Boxx – recently have been starters with the U.S. National Team, with Sobrero and Boxx starting for the ’03 World Cup (3rd place) and ’04 Olympic (gold) teams … nine current members of the ND program have been active with various national teams, including Candace Chapman and Melissa Tancredi (starters with Canada’s national team) and Chapman and Katie Thorlakson with Canada’s U-19 National Team … Annie Schefter, Mary Boland, Jen Buczkowski and Kerri Hanks have been starters with the U.S. U-19s while Gudrun Gunnarsdottir is a member of Iceland’s national team and Jannica Tjeder has been a regular with Finland’s U-17, -19 and -21 teams … former Irish D Monica Gonzalez is a founding member of Mexico’s women’s national team and captained Mexico in its historic appearance at the ’04 Olympics (former Irish F Monica Gerardo also was a founding member of the Mexican team).

GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Four members of the ND women’s soccer team – plus senior F Mary Boland (broken leg in 4th game of ’04, out for season) – will not compete with the Irish in ’04 … freshman F Kerri Hanks – rated by Soccer America as the nation’s No. 4 signee and part of the No. 2-ranked freshman class (per Soccer Buzz, No. 4 class per SA) – is training with the U.S. for the U-19 World Championship (Nov. 10-27 in Thailand) and will enroll next spring … 5th-year M Randi Scheller (hip), freshman F Susan Pinnick (neck/back; summer club team van accident) and freshman M Kelly Simon (shoulder surgery) are out due to injuries … Pinnick, like classmates Hanks and Amanda Cinalli, was a prep All-American and played alongside Cinalli on the U.S. U-17s.

VIVA BRAZIL! – ND’s preseason training trip in Campinas, Brazil (Aug. 10-19), featured a 5-0-1 record and 16-3 scoring edge vs. top semi-pro women’s teams from the Sao Paulo area … the games attracted local spectators and included traditional exchange of gifts, plus group photos … the Irish enjoyed great camaraderie at the five-star Vitoria Hotel and soaked in the atmosphere at first-division Brazilian men’s games at Ponta Preta and Guarani … meals included Brazil’s many exotic and tasty forms of pizza and the unique Brazilian steakhouses that feature table-top carvings of a variety of entrees … leading scorers on the trip included senior F/D Candace Chapman (4G), junior F Katie Thorlakson (6A) and the freshman duo of F/M Jannica Tjeder (3G-2A) and M Ashley Jones (2G-3A).