Sept. 27, 2002
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Notre Dame’s Amanda Guertin opened the scoring early in the second half but Villanova went on to score twice in a 72-second span midway through the half, as the Wildcats defeated the injury-plagued Irish, 2-1, in BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division action Friday afternoon at the Villanova Soccer Stadium.
Notre Dame (6-3-0, 2-1-0 BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic) suffered just its fifth regular-season loss ever to a BIG EAST opponent, with Villanova (6-1-3, 2-1-1) joining Connecticut, Seton Hall and Rutgers as the conference’s only teams ever to beat the seven-time BIG EAST champs.
The Irish doubled up the Wildcats in total shots (24-12) and owned a 17-9 edge in shots on net – but VU sophomore Chrissy Dolan racked up 16 saves to secure the one-goal win.
Notre Dame again played without three of its top defensive players – central backs Vanessa Pruzinsky and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and midfielder Ashley Dryer – while sophomore Candace Chapman was shifted from the defense into the attacking midfield role. Junior forward Melissa Tancredi made another rare start at central back but was lost shortly after VU had claimed the lead, due to a leg injury (she likely will miss Sunday’s game at Georgetown).
The inexperienced back line also included junior midfielder Kim Carpenter at right back, freshman Cat Sigler at one of the central back spots and her classmate Miranda Ford at left back – with junior Mary Boland checking in as a forward midway through the first half. Guertin – who had sent one of her 10 shots off the post in the 49th minute – scored her third goal of the season and the 29th of her career in the 51st minute. The play built up from the back and Chapman played a pass down the right side, with Guertin then cutting to her left before striking a crossing shot into the lower left corner of the net (50:45).
Chapman nearly scored in the 60th minute, with her shot deflecting off the post.
Both of VU’s goals came via set plays, with an Irish foul just outside the box setting up the first goal. Laura Johnson sent the free kick into the goal area and the ball deflected high off an Irish defender, landing at Brittany Hunsacker’s feet. Hunsacker then played a pass back to Julie Battista, who sent a 10-yard shot into the left side of the net for her second goal of the season (64:03).
Moments later, Battista’s leftside corner kick led to another dump pass from Candice MacDonald to Johnson, who snuck in a 15-yard shot from the left side for her fourth goal of the season (65:15).
Notre Dame freshman Erika Bohn – who entered the game with the BIG EAST’s second-best goals-against average (0.66, trailing Dolan’s 0.46) – made seven saves, including a diving stop at the right post on Regina Villari’s first-half shot (extending ND’s season-long first-half shutout streak).
NOTRE DAME 0 1 – 1
VILLANOVA 0 2 – 2
ND 1. Amanda Guertin (Candace Chapman) 50:45; VU 1. Julie Battista 2 (Laura Johnson, Brittany Hunsaker) 64:03; VU 2. Johnson 4 (Candice MacDonald, Battista) 65:15.
Shots: ND 7-17-24, VU 6-6-12.
Corner Kicks: ND 1-2-3, VU 3-3–6.
Fouls: ND 16, VU 14.
Offsides: ND 1, VU 1. Yellow Card: Melissa Tancredi 4 (ND) 58:53.