Nov. 6, 2004

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NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER – BIG EAST Final vs. Connecticut (Nov. 7, 2004)

The No. 2-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (19-0-1, 9-0-1 BIG EAST) – coming off a 2-0 semifinal win over Boston College – will face Connecticut in the BIG EAST title game on Sunday, Nov. 7 at UConn’s Morrone Stadium (noon EST; see note below for live TV coverage) … the Irish will be taking aim at the program’s 8th BIG EAST tournament tile, with the ’95-’01 ND teams each beating UConn in the BIG EAST title game … this will mark the first time in four seasons that ND and UConn have met in the final (ND beat WVU in ’01, UConn beat WVU in ’02 and neither team reached the ’03 final) … since 1995 (when ND joined the conference), only two sports teams have won more BIG EAST titles (ND women’s swimming and Pittsburgh men’s swimming, with 8 each) … since handing Seton Hall an early lead on an errant goal kick, ND has scored 16 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 and is unbeaten after 20 games for the 4th time (the ’94, ’97 and ’00 teams all went 23-0-1 before losing) … Jen Buczkowski has 4 GWGs in the last 6 games while Erica Bohn now ranks 2nd in the nation with a 0.34 GAA and carries a 566-min. shutout streak … ND owns a 52-11-1 all-time record in postseason play (.820), including 21-1-0 in the BIG EAST Tournament … 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 16 opponents to 0-1 goals (0.37 GAA in that stretch) … ND had just 4G in a 4-game stretch before totaling 21G vs. SHU, Michigan, SJU and BC … since a rare deficit vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 24, ND has outscored the opposition 33-3 (2 GA in last 9-plus gms) … since joining the conference in ’95, ND is 108-9-3 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams (a win on Sunday would put ND +100 in its all-time BIG EAST record) … the Irish have more goals (58) than opp. shots on goal (54; 2.7/gm) and have allowed just 34 corner kicks all season (1.7/gm; 6 of last 12 opp. held to 0 CKs) … 6th-year coach Randy Waldrum is 113-19-5/.843 in 6 seasons at ND and is 4 wins shy of his 300th overall win as a college coach (296-124-24).

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 – The BIG EAST title game (Nov. 7, noon) will be telecast live by College Sports Television, 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

SEMIFINAL RECAP – Jen Buczkowski and Katie Thorlakson continued their scoring surges while the Irish defense logged another strong performance in the 2-0 win over BC … Jenny Maurer’s shot in the 12th minute was the first shot on goal allowed by ND in 124 minutes … Candace Chapman helped set up both goals while Ashley Jones and Amanda Cinalli also played key roles in the goalscoring sequences … midway through the 1st half, Chapman played a ball in the center of the field to Jones and the feisty midfielder dribbled away from the pursuit before playing a pass into the upper left corner of the box … Buczkowski was being tightly marked but she was first to the ball and struck a tough leftfooted shot that found its way into the far right-sidenetting … it was Buczkowski’s 4th GWG in the last 6 games … Jones also had the primary assist when Buczkowski scored to beat BC three weeks ago (1-0) …Cinalli – the late goalscoring hero in ND’s previous visit to UConn – nearly found the net early in the 2nd half, after drilling a shot from the upper left corner of the box … the shot smacked off the center of the crossbar and deflected near the right endline, where Chapman and BC ‘keeper Kate Taylor battled for the ball … Chapman was able to tap the ball back into the box and Thorlakson slid into the play, driving her 19th goal of the season into the net from close range.

#2 Notre Dame (19-0-1) 1 1 – 2
#19 Boston College (14-6-0) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Jen Buczkowski 8 (Jones) 27:04; ND 2. Katie Thorlakson 19 (Chapman) 59:30
Shots: BC 2-6 – 8, ND 5-10 – 15.
Corner Kicks: BC 1-0 – 1, ND 2-4 – 7.
Saves: BC 7 (Katie Taylor 2, team 0), ND 2 (Erika Bohn).
Fouls: BC 11, ND 13.
Offsides: BC 0, ND 6.


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 – 21-1-0/.955 (10-0-0 home, 2-0-0 away, 9-1-0 neutral)
• NCAA Tournament – 26-10-1/.716 (21-3 at home/.875, 2-1-1 away, 3-6 neut.)
• Postseason Totals – 52-11-1/.820 (31-3 home/.912, 4-1-1 away, 17-7 neutral)

BIG EAST FINAL HISTORY – ND defeated UConn in six straight BIG EAST finals (18-4 scoring edge): 1-0 in ’95 (at SHU), 4-3 in ’96 (at ND), 6-1 in ’97 (at RU), 1-0 in ’98 (at UConn), 5-0 in ’99 (at RU) and 1-0 in ’00 (at ND), with the Irish also winning the title in 2001 (2-1 over West Virginia, at RU).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME – Notre Dame owns a 9-1-2 all-time record (29-7 scoring edge) at UConn’s Morrone Stadium, including 2-1-2 in regular-season games vs. the Huskies, two wins that secured the 1998 BIG EAST Tournament title (5-1 vs. Syracuse, 1-0 vs. UConn), a pair of wins in the 2003 UConn Classic (9-1 vs. Hartford, 3-0 vs. Wake Forest) and Friday’s win over Boston College (2-0) … 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 108-9-3 (.913; 1-1-0 vs. UConn in NCAAs).

TALE OF THE TAPE (see PDF for statistical comparison of ND and UConn)


Notre Dame – 1st in goals-against average (0.49, 11th nationally), goals per game (2.82, 12th nationally) and shots per game (21.9); 2nd in shutouts (12, 8th nationally) and corner kicks per game (5.7)

Connecticut – 1st in shutouts (13); 2nd in goals-against avg. (0.62); 3rd in shots per game (14.5); 6th in corner kicks per game (4.4) and goals per game (1.59);

Notre Dame Players
Katie Thorlakson – 1st in points (55, 2nd nationally), goals (19, 4th nat.), assists (17, 1st nat.), GWGs (8), shots (99)
Candace Chapman – 5th in goals (9) and points (26), 5th in assists (8) Amanda Cinalli – 9th in shots (53), 12th in goals (7)
Jen Buczkowski – 2nd in assists (10), 5th in points (26), 12th in goals (8)
Annie Schefter – 14th in assists (5)
Erika Bohn – 1st in goals-against avg. (0.34; 4th in nation), 3rd in save pct. (.848), 5th in solo shutouts (6)

Connecticut Players
Kristen Graczyk – 2nd in points (29), 3rd in assists (9) and shots (81), 4th in goals (10)
Jessica Gjersten -5th in goals (9), 10th in shots (60)
Megan Jessie – 1st in save pct. (.881) and solo shutouts (13), 2nd in goals-against avg. (0.63)

HUSKIES NOTES – UConn is 15-6-1 and advance to the BIG EAST title game on penalty, after ending overtime in a 1-1 tie vs. Villanova … see the Tale of the Tape, the BIG EAST stat leaders and for additional info. on UConn.

SERIES NOTES – Notre Dame leads the UConn series 13-3-2 (7-1-1 in last nine), including 3-1-2 at Morrone Stadium and 5-0-0 in BIG EAST title games (’96-’00) … the Irish have won the last three games vs. the Huskies (3-1 in ’02, 2-0 in ’03, 1-0 in `04), outshooting UConn 46-15 in those games (21-6 shots on goal, 13-6 CKs) … the Irish beat UConn twice in ’99 – 2-1 in double OT (at ND) and 1-0 in BIG EAST title game (at Rutgers) – followed by an 0-0 tie (when ND was #1) at UConn in ’00 … ND beat the Huskies in the ’00 BIG EAST title game, 1-0 at ND on an own goal … UConn won the ’01 game in Storrs (3-1), behind first goals of the season from Casey Zimny and Jennifer Amaio (Alexa Borisjuk also scored, with Amanda Guertin averting the shutout) … ND – which played without Mary Boland – owned a 15-9 shot edge in the ’01 game (6-6 in corners) … the Irish came back to beat UConn in ’02 (3-1) followed by a 2-0 win in ’03 … the Irish have not lost a home BIG EAST game since a wild 5-4 OT game with UConn in ’95 (a 55-0-1 streak) … ND dominated the 2nd half of the ’02 game (9-0 shot edge, 4-0 on corner kicks), yielding final totals of 17-4 in shots and 5-2 in corners … the Irish tied the game on Katie Thorlakson’s first goal of ’02 before Guertin’s pinpoint corners set up header goals by Randi Scheller and Melissa Tancredi … Mary Boland effectively neutralized M Sarah Popper while Tancredi held top forward Kristen Graczyk in check … UConn struck first when Salla Ranta ran onto a thru-ball for a low shot, shortly before halftime … early in the 2nd half, Candace Chapman and Amy Warner worked a give-and-go and Chapman sent a lead pass, with Thorlakson one-touching a 16-yard shot into the lower left corner … Scheller later found herself unmarked at the far left post and sent home an easy header on Guertin’s corner while Tancredi capped the win by elevating above the defense and heading another Guertin corner under the crossbar.

SERIES SCORING – ND owns a 37-20 series scoring edge vs. UConn (23-11 in the last 12) … UConn has scored more than two goals vs. ND just three times (5-4 UC win in ’95, 4-3 ND win in ’96, 3-1 UC win in ’01) and the Irish have held UConn to 0-2 goals in 12 of the last 13 (the Huskies totaled one goal over four games vs. ND in 1999 and 2000) … ND owns a 203-113 shot edge (avg. 19-10) in the last 11 games of the series … the series has produced low-scoring games (avg. 3.1 combined goals/gm), with one 0-0 game, five 1-0 games, one 1-1 game, two 2-0 games, three 2-1 games (others: 5-4, 4-3, 6-1, 4-2, 3-1).

IN THE POLLS – Prior to ’02, both teams had been ranked in the NSCAA poll in the first 15 games of the series, including 10 times in which each team was ranked among the top five … the lower-ranked team is 5-10-2 in previous ND-UConn games, with the underdog wins coming in 1995 (#5 UConn over #2 ND, 5-4 in OT), in the 1997 NCAA semifinals (#4 UConn 2, #2 ND 1), in the 1998 BE title game (#5 ND 1, #3 UConn 0), in 2001 (#15 UConn 3, #4 ND 1) and in 2002 (ND 3, #9 UConn 1).

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.

FRIEND OR FOE? – UConn senior D Kim Noivadhana and junior M Karlyn Miselis were members of the Yankee United Rage club program, as was Notre Dame junior G Erika Bohn … Bohn also played on the Connecticut state ODP team with UConn junior M Lara Batey (they opposed each other in high school) while junior M/F Kristi Lefebvre was a teammate of Bohn’s on the regional ODP team (she also played for the Bethesda Fury club team, an arch-rival of the Yankee United Rage) … ND junior M Annie Schefter and UConn junior F Brittany Barakat were teammates on the USYSA national team … ND sophomore M Jen Buczkowski and UConn sophomore M/F Megan Schnur are former U.S. Under-19 National teammates … Buczkowski’s busy summer of ’04 included playing a few games with the W-League’s Chicago Cobras, where her teammates included UConn senior F Kristen Graczyk … the Cobras were rivals of the Fort Wayne Fever squad that featured several ND players (including Christie Shaner, Jenny Walz, Kim Lorenzen, Jill Krivacek, Amanda Cinalli and Lauren Karas) … Graczyk and her former La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) high school teammate Amy Warner (a 2003 All-America F and ’04 ND grad) somehow found themselves playing for rival teams in the BIG EAST from ’01-’03 … Shaner and UConn’s Elise Koslowski played for the standout F.C. Parkwood (Pa.) club team that reached the ’03 national semifinals.

RECAPPING THE PREVIOUS MEETING (ND 1, at UConn 0; 9/7/04) – Kate Tulisiak – who played primarily a reserve role during her first two seasons with the Notre Dame women’s soccer team before missing most of ’03 due to a nagging back injury – picked an ideal time for the first point of her career, intercepting a pass and providing the endline cross as Amanda Cinalli scored in the 84th minute for a 1-0 win at UConn … ND finished with an 18-7 edge in total shots and 9-2 in shots on goal while attempting four of the game’s five corner kicks … UConn stayed in the game thanks to a handful of counterattack chances and the strong play of junior goalkeeper Megan Jessee (six saves) … the Irish also hit the crossbar twice and had two other shots cleared off the goal line by UConn defenders … Cinalli and Tulisiak both re-entered the game midway through the second half, shortly before combining on the game’s only goal … UConn had cleared a Jen Buczkowski shot off the line moments earlier and tried to send a pass out to their left flank … Tulisiak anticipated the pass from her right back position and raced in to intercept the ball, running on to the endline before driving a low cross into the box … ND’s Annie Schefter played a “dummy” move on the pass and Cinalli was filling the middle, making a touch on the ball before quickly sending a shot into the right corner for her fourth goal of the season and first gamewinner (83:34) … Cinalli nearly had scored in the early moments of the game, drilling a 12-yard shot from the right side of the box that was saved by a diving Jessee … she then hit the crossbar moments later, as did Buczkowski on a well-struck ball from 18 yards out.

#1 Notre Dame (7-0-0) 0 1 – 1
Connecticut (2-4-0) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Amanda Cinalli 4 (Kate Tulisiak) 83:34.
Shots: ND 10-8 – 18, UConn 5-3 – 8.
Corner Kicks: ND 2-2 – 4, UConn 0-1 – 1.
Saves: ND 2 (Erika Bohn), UConn 8.
Fouls: ND 9, UConn 5.
Offsides: ND 6, UConn 1.

HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – “Kate made a great read to intercept the ball and we all are so happy for her. She has been such a hard worker and really has come on during the last six months or so. … Our depth was a key tonight because of the tempo of the game. We felt very comfortable with putting so many players into the game and that can make all the difference in a 1-0 game like this. … It was a wet, slick night and their goalkeeper played very well, her best game of the season. UConn was very good in their counterattacks and very direct in their play. We felt like they might score off a free kick or counter but not in the run of play. … One thing we need to work on is making a quicker transition from the attack to the defense, but overall we controlled the game tonight. … There was a great pace out there tonight. It was end-to-end, like an NBA game. .. After the goal, we did a great job of keeping the pressure on and taking the wind out of them.”

Kate Tulisiak – “They tried to play the ball to the forward on my side but I took the ball and made two touches down the sideline before crossing it into the box and Amanda scored. … It’s an awesome feeling to be able to contribute to the team like I was able to do tonight. I’m excited and very glad that we won. … Last spring, I gained a lot of confidence just playing in games and the same goes with this summer playing in the W-League (with the Ohio Internationals). The confidence and experience from both the spring and summer really have helped my play this fall.”

Amanda Cinalli – “When Kate first got the ball, nobody was marking me so I just made a run for the top of the six. Kate played an awesome ball in and it skipped around a bit but I was able to make a touch and get a good shot into the corner. … Their `keeper had a great game. She got to a lot of balls and had some diving saves. … Playing last summer in the W-League and then the preseason trip to Brazil has helped a lot with my adjustment to the speed and physical play at the college level. This has been a great start to the season and a very enjoyable experience. I just love this team and they all work so hard to be the best. It’s great to be a part of it.”

CAREER STATS VS. UCONN – Current ND players have scored five career goals vs. UConn, by: current junior F Katie Thorlakson (2), fifth-year D Melissa Tancredi, sophomore M/F Lizzie Reed and freshman F Amanda Cinalli … Tancredi also assisted on Reed’s goal vs. UConn in ’03 (as did current sophomore D Christie Shaner) … Tancredi missed the two 2000 games vs. UConn due to an ACL injury that sidelined her that season.


TITLE TOWN – Notre Dame is one win 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): (see PDF for chart)

POSTSEASON AWARDS BEGIN TO ROLL IN – The past two days have seen several Notre Dame players recognized on the conference, regional and national level:
• 5th-year D Melissa Tancredi and junior F Katie Thorlakson are among the 15 final candidates for the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy national player-of-the-year award.
• Three Irish players – junior G Erika Bohn, junior M Annie Schefter and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski – have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V first team and now advance to the ballot for the official Academic All-America team (as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America) … sophomore D Christie Shaner was a 2nd team Academic All-District selection.
• Notre Dame became the first team since 1995 to sweep the top three BIG EAST awards – offensive (Thorlakson) and defensive (Tancredi) player and coach (Randy Waldrum) of the year.
• Buczkowski and freshman F Amanda Cinalli joined Tancredi and Thorlakson on the first team all-BIG EAST squad while three others were named to the 3rd team: Shaner, senior F Candace Chapman, sophomore defensive M Jill Krivacek.

DYNAMIC DUO – Two members of ND’s Canadian Connection – 5th-year central D Melissa Tancredi and junior F Katie Thorlakson – are among the 15 final candidates named for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy … ND is the only team with a D and F on that elite list … Portland (junior F Christine Sinclair, junior M Lindsey Huie) and UNC (junior F Lindsay Tarpley, sophomore F Heather O’Reilly, junior F Lori Chalupny) also have multiple players on the final 15 … Tancredi (and former Irish F Amy Warner) also were on the list of 2003 final-15 candidates for the Hermann Trophy … five others who have returned to the final ballot in ’04 include Tarpley, Chalupny, Stanford senior G Nicole Barnhart, Tennessee senior D Keeley Dowling and Penn State junior F Tiffany Weimer … Tancredi and Dowling are the only D among the 2004 final-15 … others on the list include two BIG EAST players (UConn senior F Kristen Graczyk and Rutgers senior M Carli Lloyd), plus Hawaii junior F Natasha Kai, Santa Clara senior M Leslie Osborne and Nebraska sophomore M Brittany Timko … Thorlakson, Sinclair and Timko (all products of the Canadian National Team program) are among nine of the final-15 candidates who are set to return in 2005 … three finalists will be announced in early Dec., with the winner announced on Jan. 7 at the MAC … two members of the ND men’s program – senior D Kevin Goldthwaite and Jack Stewart – are among the final 15 for the men’s Hermann Trophy, making ND the only school with multiple candidates for both awards.

• Randy Waldrum received an unprecedented fourth BIG EAST coach-of-the-year award (also ’99, ’00, ’03; no other coach has more than two) … he also was the 1998 Big 12 coach of the year (at Baylor) and twice was named Missouri Valley Conference men’s soccer coach of the year at Tulsa (’91, ’93) … Wladrum’s 23 coaching seasons include five NSCAA regional coach-of-the-year honors.
• ND’s seven all-BIG EAST selections were nearly double the highest total from any other team (four schools each had four honorees).
• Junior G Erika Bohn – despite now ranking 2nd in the nation with a BIG EAST-leading 0.34 goals-against average – again was overlooked for the BIG EAST awards (she was an NSCAA 2nd team all-region pick in ’03 but was not named all-BIG EAST).
• Melissa Tancredi is the third player ever to repeat as BIG EAST defensive player of the year, joining former Notre Dame great Jen Grubb (’98, ’99) and Connecticut’s Sara Whalen (’95, ’96) in that distinction.
• Katie Thorlakson amazingly is the first ND player ever named BIG EAST offensive player of the year, despite the fact that former M Cindy Daws (’96) and Anne Makinen (’00) earned the Hermann Trophy while others such as four-time All-American Holly Manthei (the NCAA all-time assists leader) and forward Jenny Streiffer (who joined Mia Hamm as the only women’s soccer players ever to reach 70 career goals and 70 assists) likewise could have preceded Thorlakson as BIG EAST offensive player-of-the-year recipients.
• Thorlakson followed Tancredi’s 2003 lead as the only players ever to receive a major BIG EAST women’s soccer award after not being an all-BIG EAST selection previously in her career.
• Candace Chapman holds the unique distinction of earning all-BIG EAST honors at multiple positions during her career, after being a 1st-team selection as a freshman and sophomore at right back (she also was the 2002 BIG EAST defensive player of the year).
• Jen Buczkowski follows in the footsteps of three all-time greats – Daws (`95, ’96), Makinen (`97-’00) and Manthei (`95-’97) – as the fourth Notre Dame midfielder to earn first team all-BIG EAST honors.
• Thorlakson, Amanda Cinalli and Chapman are the fourth trio of forwards from the same team to earn all-BIG EAST honors, including Streiffer, Monica Gerardo (both 1st team) and Amy Van Laecke (2nd team) in 1996 followed by Jenny Heft, Gerardo (both 1st team) and Streiffer (2nd team) in ’98 … UConn produced three 1st-team forwards in 1995 (Jana Carabino, Kerry Connors, Christy Rowe).
• Thorlakson and Tancredi pulled off the offensive/defensive double, achieved just twice previously in the 10-year history of the BIG EAST women’s soccer awards (by Connors and Whalen with the ’95 and ’96 UConn teams) … Len Tsintaris also was the 1995 coach of the year, the only previous time that a BIG EAST team produced the offensive, defensive and coach awards in the same season.
• Christe Shaner has, in the words of Waldrum, been ND’s “most consistent defender” in 2004 but she failed to improve on her 2nd team all-BIG EAST from 2003, instead slipping to the 3rd team … the ’04 1st team all-BIG EAST selections included seven forwards, two midfielders and just one defender (Tancredi).
• Irish players now have combined to win six of the last eight BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-year awards … ND’s previous recipients include former greats Kate Sobrero (’97) and Grubb (’98, ’99), plus Chapman in ’01 and Tancredi in ’03.
• Cinalli is ND’s eighth freshman ever to be a first-team all-BIG EAST selection, with the others including Gerardo (’95), Streiffer (’96), Grubb (’96), Makinen (’97), Fs Meotis Erikson (’97) and Amy Warner (’00), and Chapman (’01) … two others – M Shannon Boxx (’95) and Shaner – were 2nd team all-BIGE AST picks as freshmen.
• ND produced a pair of 1st-team forwards for the second consecutive season (Warner and Mary Boland in ’03), with no other BIG EAST team including two 1st-team forwards since 1999 (when Streiffer and Heft were so honored).
• 22 ND players now have combined for 38 first team all-BIG EAST honors since ’95, with that group including 7 defenders combining 13 first-team awards, 4 midfielders (10 awards), 8 forwards (12 awards) and 3 goalkeepers.
• Jill Krivacek’s 3rd-team honor fittingly recognizes one of several ND players (such as sophomore D Kim Lorenzen, senior D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and junior M Annie Schefter) who might be among the top players on other BIG EAST teams.

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA HOPEFULS – Notre Dame’s 2004 roster is stocked with Academic All-America candidates and four recently were nominated for the official Academic All-America team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America … three of those individuals were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V team and now have advanced to the Academic All-America ballot: junior G Erika Bohn (3.63 cumulative GPA, art studio), junior M Annie Schefter (3.73, pre-professional studies and psychology) and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski (3.37, business) … sophomore D Christie Shaner (3.42, design) was a 2nd team Academic All-District pick … 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).

TURNAROUND SUCCESS – Notre Dame is 18-1-0 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).

PRIMETIME PLAYERS – Notre Dame has won more than 75 percent of its “big games” during the Randy Waldrum era (’99-’04), posting a 43-12-3 record (.767) when facing an NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponent.

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 four wins shy of his next milestone: 300 combined wins as a men’s and women’s college head coach (296-124-24/.694, in 23 seasons) … Waldrum now owns a 220-69-17 mark (.747) in 15 combined seasons as the women’s head coach at Tulsa, Baylor and Notre Dame … the Irish are 113-19-5 (.843) 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).




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, now 55) and 4th in goals (18, now 19)
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 (33G-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 (19G-17A), 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 55 pts are more than double team’s 2nd-leading scorer (two 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 4 GWGs … also ranks 8th in ND record book with 14 career GWGs, 5 shy of Jenny Heft’s record
ON A ROLL – has totaled 21 points (13G-5A) in last 4 games (1G-1A vs. Seton Hall, 2G-2A vs. Michigan, 4G-2A vs. St. John’s, 1G vs. BC), after rare 4-game “slump” without a point
PULLING HER WEIGHT – has played role in nearly 70% of team’s goals in ’04 (38 of 57, 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 (now 13 of 14, dating back to 2nd goal in 3-1 win over SHU)
SHARPSHOOTER – owns .192 shot pct. and is averaging 5.2 shots per goal (rest of team is just .112/8.9) … also converting 1G every 3.0 shots on goal (19 of 57)
RECORD PACE – averaging 2.75 pts/gm in ’04 and would total 77 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 14 pts (5G-4A) in six ’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 55 points rank 8th in ND history (most since ’98) 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 97 career pts would rank near top of many school’s record books but she is 15th in ND career scoring (32G-31A), still 12G 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 63 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 notes on the ND regulars)

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 20 games: Thorlakson (19G-17A), Chapman (9G-8A), Buczkowski (8G-10A), Cinalli (7G-5A) and Schefter (4G-5A).

NET ZERO – Junior G Erika Bohn has not allowed a goal since the 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 10 and takes a 566-minute shutout streak into the BIG EAST final vs. UConn … Bohn also has surged to 2nd in the nation with a 0.34 goals-against average (behind the 0.27 owned by Loyola’sKate Gilfillan (Loyola), which would best the ND record of 0.36 set by LaKeysia Beene in ’97 … Bohn’s 0.70 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 46-4-2 in her last 52 overall decisions with the Irish (since 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02), allowing just 24 goals in that 52-game stretch (32 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 17-0-1 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 58 official starts at ND (in fall games) include 34 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 44 of her last 47 fall games (33 with 0 GA, 11 with 1 GA, 2-1 loss to BC, 3-2 loss to UM, 5-2 win over Santa Clara).

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 (63 straight) … junior M Annie Schefter (missed ’02 due to injury) and sophomore M Jen Buczkowski each have appeared in all 44 games over the past two seasons while four sophomore have played in 43 of the 44: D Christie Shaner (41 straight, dnp vs. ASU in ’03), D Kim Lorenzen (34, dnp vs. Indiana State in ’03), F/M Lizzie Reed (33, dnp vs. West Virginia in ’02) and DM Jill Krivacek (28, dnp vs. UConn in ’03).

20-SOMETHING – Notre Dame is one victory 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 84 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 26-4 in ’04) … the Irish have been equally dominant in the first (66-11) and second half (58-11) over the past two seasons.

FRONTRUNNERS – Since a 3-2 loss to BYU (10/19/02), ND has trailed in just 9 of 47 games for 266:14 (6.1% of 4,379:29), going 42-4-2 in that 48-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 48-game stretch (Michigan for 60, Boston College for 83, Pittsburgh for 41).

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 and then had the GWG on Friday vs. BC (2-0, giving her 4 GWGs in 6 games) … 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).

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).