Nov. 14, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team headed into Friday’s NCAA Tournament opener versus Loyola University Chicago as the nation’s No. 2 seed but also as a team that was looking to regain its offensive spark, after being outscored 6-5 in its last three games and totaling just 11 goals in the previous seven games. The Irish also started Friday’s action minus three of their top-four scorers, but there were plenty of others ready to step up – as the hosts put four goals on the board in the first half en route to a 5-0 victory over the Ramblers.
Notre Dame (20-2-1) – which now carries a 30-2 all-time home record in postseason games – moves on to a second-round matchup versus Michigan (10-7-6), a 1-0 winner over Oakland earlier Friday night. The Irish and Wolverines will return to Alumni Field on Sunday, Nov. 16, at 1:00 p.m. EST, less than three weeks after UM handed the Irish their first loss of the season (3-2, on Oct. 29).
Notre Dame entered the NCAAs as the nation’s only team with four double-digit goalscorers but three of those players did not see the field in the first half, with Amy Warner again sidelined due to an ankle injury while her fellow senior Amanda Guertin and junior Mary Boland were rested due to minor injuries (Guertin went on to play the entire second half, with Boland logging a handful of minutes).
Despite the absence of those players’ 33 combined goals – plus the season-long injuries to key starters Candace Chapman and Randi Scheller – Notre Dame came out firing in the first half, putting 12 of its 15 shots on net. Senior midfielder Kimberly Carpenter opened the scoring in the 16th minute and freshman midfielder Jen Buczkowski added a goal at 35:48 – before rookie central back Christie Shaner and Buczkowski scored in the closing moments of the half. Yet another freshman, defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek, scored early in the second half as Notre Dame emptied its bench for the remainder of the game.
Notre Dame – which has reached 20 wins for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons – outshot Loyola (10-11-0) by a 31-3 margin (one shy of ND’s season-high shot total, with each of the Ramblers’ shots coming in the lategoing. The Irish also held a 20-1 edge in shots on goal (with Loyola’s coming in the final 10 seconds), with Notre Dame attempting all 12 corner kicks in the game.
It marked the 11th time this season that Notre Dame has limited its opponent to one shot on goal, with the Irish owning 21 more goals (73) than shots on goal allowed (52). Notre Dame also has held 19 of its last 20 opponents to 0-3 shots on target, with the opponents now averaging just 2.3 shots on goal versus the Irish this season.
The Irish extended their season scoring margin to 73-11, still ranking third nationally in scoring at 3.13 goals per game (behind UNC’s 4.05 and the final 3.27 posted by North Texas) while also moving up to third in the nation with a 0.47 goals-against average (just behind two other teams that are finished, Utah at 0.44 and Hofstra at 0.45).
Friday’s game also marked the Notre Dame midfield’s most productive showing in the past month, with the typical starting trio of Carpenter (2A), Buczkowski and sophomore Annie Schefter combining for just two points in the previous eight games (before three goals and one assist vs. Loyola).
Notre Dame’s all-time NCAA Tournament record now stands at 26-9-1 (.736, second-best in the NCAA record book), including 21-2-0 in games at Alumni Field.
The BIG EAST and the Southeastern Conferences both saw five of their teams head to the second round, the most from any conference in the nation.
Carpenter – a former walk-on who easily has been one of Notre Dame’s most steady players this season – helped pick up the slack early in the first half, keeping the pressure on from her attacking midfielder spot to create multiple scoring chances (Heather Joseph’s eight first-half saves thwarted several early threats).
Junior Maggie Manning – who started at forward alongside sophomore Katie Thorlakson and junior Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, normally a central back with the Irish – set up the first goal with a pass into the upper left corner of the box. Carpenter collected the feed and cut sharply to her right, gaining enough separation for a chip from the top of the box. A Loyola player partially deflected the shot, with the ball spinning over Joseph’s head and under the crossbar for what proved to be Carpenter’s third game-winning goal of the season (15:32).
Thorlakson’s pass from the right side set up the second goal, with Buczkowski finding an opening on the right side of the box and burying a crossing shot into the lower left corner (35:48). It marked the third goal of the season – and first in 19 games – for the defensive midfielder and BIG EAST all-rookie team selection.
Thorlakson struck again in the closing moments of the first half, on a well-struck corner kick from the left flag. Shaner was unmarked on the left side and sent an easy header into the net for her first goal of the season (42:35).
Less than two minutes later, Schefter chipped a left-side free kick into the left side of the box. Buczkowski ran onto the ball and appeared to surprise Joseph with a quick shot from the tough angle – with the shot settling into the far right-sidenetting for her second two-goal game of the season (44:23).
Krivacek – who played alongside Buczkowski and Irish right back Kim Lorenzen on the Chicago Sockers club team and the Illinois ODP squad that won the 2003 national title – then closed the scoring early in the second half, collecting a loose ball near the top of the box and ripping a shot into the upper right corner for her second goal of the season and first since the second-game win over Wake Forest on Aug. 31 (47:19).
NOTE UPDATES: ND has played seven “big games” games this season (vs. NSCAA top-25 opponents and/or in the postseason), with Thorlakson (3G-4A, 2 GWG in those seven games) and Carpenter (2G-2A, 2 GWG) proving to be the team’s top primetime performers in 2003 … Carpenter (6G-5A) now has more than triple her point total from her first three seasons with the Irish (2G-1A) … sophomore Erika Bohn (0.46) moved up from 6th to 2nd on the national GAA charts, behind Utah’s Ashley Mason (0.30) … the Irish have scored more goals in the first half just twice this season, with five in the opener vs. Hartford and again vs. North Texas (in the ninth game) … Carpenter’s goal was her first in nine games and the first NCAA Tournament point of her career … the Irish are 13-1 at Alumni Field this season, with a 50-7 scoring edge (304-58 in shots, 147-27 in shots on goal and 90-31 in corner kicks – for per-game margins of 22-4 in shots, 11-2 in shots on goal and 7-2 in CKs) … Carpenter has posted 15 of her 17 points in 2003 at Alumni Field (Schefter has 11 of her 13 points at home, Buczkowski 13 of 14, and Thorlakson 20 of 29) … ND players now have combined for 12 multiple-goal games in ’03 (two each by Boland, Guertin, Thorlakson and Buczkowski, plus one each from Manning, Schefter, Tancredi and Warner) … ND now is 29-8-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponents during the past four seasons … ND first-half scoring edge now stands at 40-7 … the Irish are 20-4-1 in their last 25 postseason games (62-20 scoring edge) … ND has led for 64% of the minutes in ’03 and trailed for just 0.7% (148 total minutes) … Bohn is 29-3-1 in her last 33 starts with the Irish (16 GA) … eight ND players now have combined to miss 105 games this season due to injury … fifth-year D Vanessa Pruzinsky logged her 95th career game (two shy of that ND top-10 list) and 93rd start (9th all-time, three out of 7th) … Randy Waldrum’s five ND teams now have combined for a 93-18-4 record (.826), including 78-14-3 in the last 95 … ND is 103-1-0 in its last 104 games when scoring 3-plus goals (since ’95; 199-3-1 all-time) and is 276-8-1 all-time when holding the opponent to 0-1 goals (81-2-4 since ’99).
LOYOLA CHICAGO (10-11-0) 0 0 – 0
#2 NOTRE DAME (20-2-1) 4 1 – 5
ND 1. Kimberly Carpenter 6 (-) 15:32; ND 2. Jen Buczkowski 3 (Katie Thorlakson) 35:48; ND 3. Christie Shaner 1 (Thorlakson) 42:35; ND 4. Buczkowski 4 (Annie Schefter) 44:23; ND 5. Jill Krivacek 2 (-) 47:19.
Shots: LOY 0-3 – 3, ND 15-16 – 31.
Corner Kicks: 0-0 – 0, ND 4-8 – 12.
Saves: LOY 15 (Heather Joseph 8, Emily Peick 7), ND 1 (Erika Bohn 0, Nikki Westfall 1).
Fouls: LOY 5, ND 13.
Offsides: LOY 1, ND 1.