Oct. 27, 2003

The second-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team – which closes the regular season at home on Wednesday afternoon vs. Michigan (4:00 p.m. EST) – will open the 2003 postseason at Alumni Field in a BIG EAST quarterfinal matchup versus Miami, with the game slated for Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2, at 1:00 p.m. EST. The Irish and Hurricanes met in mid-October, with homesteading Notre Dame posting a 3-0 win in the sixth game on the current 10-game shutout streak that ranks fifth-longest in Division I women’s soccer history.

The winner of the ND-Miami quarterfinal will advance to the BIG EAST Championship weekend at Rutgers Yurcak Stadium, with a semifinal matchup on Friday, Nov. 7 (5:00 p.m. EST), versus the winner of the Rutgers at Boston College quarterfinal (see full schedule below). Both semifinals will be broadcast by College Sports Television (delayed, on Nov. 8) while Fox Sports Net affiliates will broadcast the Nov. 9 BIG EAST final.

Livestats of the ND-Miami quarterfinal will be available at www.und.com while an internet radio broadcast also will be provided at und.com for College Sports Pass subscribers.

Notre Dame (18-0-1) finished first in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division (6-0-0) while Miami (9-8-1) slipped to a tie for third (3-3-0) and ended up as the fourth seed from the Northeast Division. The Irish have won all five previous games versus Miami (with a 22-1 scoring edge), including BIG EAST quarterfinal wins over the Hurricanes in 1999 (5-0) and 2000 (4-0).

The Irish are 28-2-0 in all-time postseason games at Alumni Field and never have lost a BIG EAST Tournament game, going 18-0-0 while winning seven consecutive titles from 1995-2001. Notre Dame also carries a 49-game home winning streak versus BIG EAST opponents, dating back to a 1995 classic versus Connecticut (a 5-4 Huskies win).

Miami was on track to challenge for the Northeast Division title after an early win over favorite Connecticut – but the Hurricanes then slipped down in the standings, capped by Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Providence. Miami has been outscored 29-23 this season, with sophomore Lindsay Yach (9 goals, 3 assists) representing the only UM player with more than three goals or 11 points. The Hurricanes returned just six starters from their 2002 team that went 9-9-1, with freshman Alex Alford logging every minute in goal this season.

The Irish have rolled up a 63-5 season scoring edge – including 36-1 in the last 11-plus games – while leading the nation with a 0.26 team goals-against average and ranking fourth nationally in scoring at 3.32 goals per game. Notre Dame’s dynamic and diverse attack includes eight players who have posted multiple-goal games, led by the potent forward quartet of seniors Amy Warner (10G-10A) and Amanda Guertin (9G-6A), junior Mary Boland (12G-4A) and sophomore Katie Thorlakson (8G-9A).

Senior central defender and All-America candidate Melissa Tancredi headlines a Notre Dame defense that has held 16 straight opponents to 0-3 shots on goal, including a total of just 14 shots on goal during the 10-game shutout streak. Sophomore goalkeeper Erika Bohn leads the nation with a 0.22 GAA and owns a personal 969-minute shutout streak ranks fifth in the NCAA record book. The Irish have registered 14 shutouts in the last 16 games while Bohn has yielded just one goal in the last 15-plus games.

Notre Dame – which owns a +23 ratio of goals scored (63) to opponent shots on goal (40) – has tied a team record for consecutive games without allowing multiple goals (24, including the final five in ’02) and is one game shy of posting the fourth unbeaten regular season in the program’s history (the current 19-game unbeaten streak is tied for fifth in ND history). The Irish have not faced a deficit in the last 16-plus games and have trailed only once all season, for seven minutes in the early moments of the 2-1 win over Arizona State (Sept. 5).

Fifth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum is nearing his 200th career victory as a Division I women’s soccer coach (199-66-16, including 92-16-4 at ND, plus six seasons at Tulsa and three at Baylor). He is 275-121-23 in 23 overall seasons as a men’s and women’s college head coach.

Notre Dame’s earlier win over Miami capped a rugged stretch of six games in 13 days for the Irish, with Notre Dame owning a 17-4 shot edge (plus 7-2 in corner kicks) while holding the Hurricanes to just two shots on goal. The opportunistic ND offense cashed in three of its seven shots on goal in that game, the first coming on a Thorlakson-to-Boland header sequence, following Christie Shaner’s rightside corner kick.

Thorlakson also played a part in the second goal, making a “dummy fake” on Tancredi’s long thru-ball before Guertin converted a 12-yard crossing shot from the right side. Thorlakson then completed her strong game by banging home a rebounded Jill Krivacek shot for the 3-0 final.

2003 BIG EAST Conference Women’s Soccer Championship

(all quarterfinal games to be played Nov. 3 at 1:00 p.m. EST)

Quarterfinal 1 – Notre Dame (Mid-Atlantic #1; 18-0-1, 6-0 divisional record) vs. Miami (Northeast #4; 9-8-1, 3-3-0)

Quarterfinal 2 – Boston College (Northeast #2; 13-2-2, 3-2-1) vs. Rutgers (Mid-Atlantic #3; 10-5-4, 3-2-1)

Quarterfinal 3 – Connecticut (Northeast #1; 10-4-3, 5-1-0) vs. Villanova (Mid-Atlantic #4; 12-5-1, 3-2-1)

Quarterfinal 4 – West Virginia (Mid-Atlantic #2; 14-3-1,4-1-1) vs. St. John’s (Northeast #3; 9-8-1, 3-3)

BIG EAST Championship Weekend (at Rutgers University, Yurcak Stadium; Piscataway, N.J.)

(semifinals to be broadcast by CSTV, final by Fox Sports Net affiliates)

Semifinal 1 (Friday, Nov. 7) – ND/Miami winner vs. BC/Rutgers winner (5:00 p.m. EST)

Semifinal 2 (Friday, Nov. 7) – UConn/Villanova winner vs. WVU/SJU winner (7:00 p.m. EST)

Championship Final (Sunday, Nov. 9) – Noon EST