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Irish Travel To New Jersey For Conference Opener

Sept. 22, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women?s soccer team opens its BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic division schedule this weekend with road games at Seton Hall and Rutgers. The 4-2-0 Irish are coming off a 1-0 win over eighth-ranked Texas A&M and a 1-0 loss to SMU last weekend at the Women?s College Classic in Klein, Texas.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame travels to the Garden State to face Seton Hall on Fri., Sept. 24, at 3:00 p.m., before heading down to play Rutgers on Sun., Sept. 26, at 1:00 p.m., in a pair of BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic division games. The Pirates enter the game with a 4-3-0 record and are coming off a 3-1 loss to Stanford. Seton Hall is led by senior and BIG EAST preseason offensive player of the year Kelly Smith, who leads the NCAA in scoring with two goals per game and 4.29 points per game. Notre Dame leads the overall series with Seton Hall 3-1-0 and lost the last meeting 3-2 in overtime last year at Seton Hall.

The Scarlet Knights enter the week with a 4-1-0 record and will play Princeton and Pittsburgh before facing the Irish. Shannon Nagle and Alyssa Radu lead Rutgers with three goals each. Goal-keeper Angel Hadaway leads the BIG EAST with a 0.45 goals against average. Notre Dame has won the last six meetings with Rutgers after a 1-1 tie in the first meeting in 1992.

BAKKER HEADS HOME: Junior defender Kerri Bakker (Washington, N.J.) returns to her home state this weekend when the Irish play at Seton Hall and Rutgers. The graduate of Warren Hills High School has been a key part of Notre Dame?s defense this year, playing in five of the six Irish games. Bakker has started three games already in 1998 after playing in a reserve role in 16 games in her first two seasons.

WEEK IN REVIEW: The Irish used a 22nd-minute goal from senior All-American Jenny Streiffer (Ba-ton Rouge, La.) to shut out eighth-ranked Texas A&M 1-0 on Friday at the College Women’s Classic in Klein, Texas, in front of 1,587 at Meyer Park. The Irish out shot the Aggies 14-12 and Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) made three saves for Notre Dame’s third consecutive shutout victory. Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) won a ball from Texas A&M after an Irish through-in and dribbled to the left corner of the box five yards from the endline. She found Streiffer open just inside the left corner of the box. Streiffer blasted a shot into the open right of the net for her team-leading fourth goal of the season. Playing under a cloudless sky with the temperature in the 90s, the Irish out shot the Aggies 8-7 in the first half and 6-5 in the second half. Notre Dame was whistled for 13 fouls, including 12 in the first half, to 12 for Texas A&M. The Irish had three corner kicks and did not allow the Aggies a corner kick.

SMU’s Laura Snyder scored the game’s only goal in the 59th minute and the Mustang defense held Notre Dame without a goal for the first time in 55 games to blank the Irish 1-0 on Sunday at the College Women’s Classic. The Irish out shot the Mustangs 14-6, including 8-2 in the second half but forced SMU goalkeeper Becca Lief to make just two saves in the loss. Notre Dame’s best scoring chance came in the first half when Streiffer’s shot from 15 yards out was stopped after Lief came off her line to make the save. Sophomore Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) hit the post on an angled shot in the second half. Snyder’s goal came at 58:48 when she received a pass that split the Irish backline. Snyder dribbled the ball just past the box and scored into the upper center of the middle.

HEAD COACH RANDY WALDRUM: Randy Waldrum, a seven-year member of the United States national team coaching staff, is in his first year as head coach of the Irish after leading Baylor to the ?98 NCAA second round in just the third year of the program that he started in 1996. He comes to Notre Dame after being named 1998 National Soccer Coaches Association Central Region coach of the year and Big 12 Conference coach of the year. His 107-50-12 (.669) women?s soccer career record in three seasons coaching the Baylor women?s soccer program and six seasons with the Tulsa women?s soccer program has him listed 13th on the NCAA winningest coaches list by career winning percentage and 26th by wins. The Irving, Texas, native also has coached men?s teams at Tulsa, Texas Wesleyan and Austin College and boasts an overall career record of 183-105-19 in 17 total seasons before coming to Notre Dame.

FROSH SPARK IRISH: Notre Dame?s class of 2003 has given the Irish major contributions just six games into the season. Freshmen Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) have started all six games, while Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah) has played in five games and Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga.) in three games. Dryer and Lovelace sparked the Irish against SMU, both coming off the bench in the first half and starting the second half. Kate Morrel (Carmel, Ind.) and Emily Barnes (Redmond, Wash.) also have played in two games. Goalkeeper Sani Post (Davis, Calif.) has played 65:54 behind LaKeysia Beene and has yet to allow a goal. She has one shared shutout with Beene after playing the final 38:54 of Notre Dame?s 5-0 win against Butler. She also played against Duke, making two saves, including a diving save, in the 4-1 win.

THREE NAMED HERMANN TROPHY FINALISTS: Three Irish women?s soccer players have been selected as three of 15 finalists for the 1999 Hermann Trophy, to be presented December 11, in Charlotte, N.C. Senior All-Americans LaKeysia Beene and Jenny Streiffer and junior All-American Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) join three players from North Carolina in leading the ballot. Makinen was a finalist for the ?98 award, while Beene is the only goalkeeper among the finalists. Notre Dame has had one Hermann Trophy recipient in its history, Cindy Daws, who won the award in 1996.

IRISH IN BIG EAST PLAY: Notre Dame opens its fifth season of BIG EAST women?s soccer competition this weekend against Seton Hall and Rutgers and has compiled a 36-2-1 record in BIG EAST regular season games. The Irish have won the BIG EAST championship all four years with a 9-0-0 record in claiming those four conference crowns.

HEFT EYES SCORING RECORD, SURPASSES DAWS: Thanks to a single-season school record 28 goals last year and with two goals in ?99, senior Jenny Heft needs 18 more goals in her senior season to become just the 11th player in NCAA women?s soccer history to score 80 career goals. She entered her final year with 60 goals and 21 assists for 141 points, the seventh-most points in Irish history. Heft?s 62 goals are second most in Notre Dame history. Her 62nd goal against St. John?s moved her past Cindy Daws? 61 goals for second place. She remains on pace to break the record of 73 career goals that Monica Gerardo set just last year.

IRISH TABBED FOR TITLE, EARN PRESEASON BIG EAST HONORS: Notre Dame’s four-time defending BIG EAST women’s soccer champions have been picked to finish first in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic division, according to a vote by the conference coaches. Senior goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene and defender Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) have been voted preseason players of the year for their respective posi-tions for the second consecutive year. Jenny Streiffer and Anne Makinen join Beene and Grubb on the preseason all-BIG EAST team. Notre Dame leads the all-BIG EAST team with four of the 11 selections. Seton Hall’s Kelly Smith has been voted BIG EAST preseason offensive player of the year. Beginning with the 1999 season, the 13 competing BIG EAST schools will be divided into two divisions, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Interdivisional games have been randomly selected and will not be reflected in conference records and statistics. Only games against teams within each division will count as the conference record, which will be used to determine the field for the eight-team BIG EAST champi-onship. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the BIG EAST championship.

IRISH NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Notre Dame leads the 1999 College Soccer Online Pre-season All-America first team with four players selected to the 11-member team, more selections than any other school. Seniors LaKeysia Beene, Jen Grubb and Jenny Streiffer and junior Anne Makinen were selected to the team. Beene and Makinen also were named to Soccer America first team, with Grubb and Streiffer placed on the second team.

STREIFFER NEARS 60-60 PLATEAU: All-American and two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American Jenny Streiffer is on pace to join former Irish All-American Cindy Daws as one of just four players in NCAA history to reach 60 goals and 60 assists. She became just the ninth player in NCAA women?s soccer history to score 50 goals and record 50 assists as a junior. Streiffer currently has 55 goals and 56 assists.

IRISH HAVE BUSY SUMMER ON NATIONAL TEAMS: A number of current and former Irish women?s soccer players had busy summers with national teams. Senior All-Americans LaKeysia Beene, Jen Grubb and Jenny Streiffer were part of the U.S. under-21 national team that won the 1999 Nordic Cup in Iceland. Streiffer, who tallied the game-winning goal in the ?97 championship game against Norway, scored the game-tying goal in the championship game against Norway in the 85th-minute of the 2-1 overtime win. She also scored in the 22nd minute to lead the Americans to a 1-0 win over Finland in the opening round. Streiffer finished as the team?s leading scorer with three goals and one assist in four games. Former three-time Irish All-American Kate Sobrero played a key role in helping the U.S. claim its second FIFA Women?s World Cup in 1999 as one of the youngest players on the roster. She started five of the six games the Americans played, missing only the Korea game when she rested a sore ankle after the U.S. already had clinched the top spot in its pool. Sobrero starred for the U.S. as the youngest starting defender on team.

Junior Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) and all-time Irish leading scorer Monica Gerardo represented Mexico in that country?s first appearance in the World Cup in ?99. The Irish pair both started Mexico?s first World Cup game against Brazil, while Gerardo, who wrapped up her career at Notre Dame following the 1998 season, also started against Italy.