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Irish Women's Soccer Travels To St. John', Returns Home To Face Butler

Sept. 8, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish women?s soccer team hits the road for the first time in 1999 with a BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional game at St. John?s on Sun., Sept. 12, before returning home to face Butler on Wed., Sept. 15. Notre Dame opened its 12th season of varsity women?s soccer with a 3-2 double-overtime loss to North Carolina and a 4-1 win over Duke at the KeyBank Soccer Classic.

THIS WEEK FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame hits the road for the first time as the Irish travel to St. John?s for a 1:00 p.m. game on Sun., Sept. 12, at DaSilva Field. The Red Storm enter the week with a 2-0-1 record and will face Wagner on Thurs., Sept. 9 before playing Notre Dame. The Red Storm opened the season with a 2-2 tie against Fordam before winning the Black Bear Invitational with wins over New Hampshire and Maine. Notre Dame has won all four previous meetings against St. John?s, including a 3-0 win at DaSilva Field last year.

The Irish then return home to take on former Midwestern Collegiate Conference rival Butler at 7:00 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 15. The Bulldogs currently are 0-2-0 before a pair of weekend games against Utah and Montana. Notre Dame has won all eight meetings with Butler, including a 5-0 win last year.

IRISH OPEN WITH OVERTIME LOSS, WIN: Notre Dame?s bid to knock off top-ranked North Carolina fell just 2:56 short as the Tar Heels rallied for a 3-2 double-overtime win in front of 2,957 fans at Alumni Field in the second game of the KeyBank Soccer Classic. After North Carolina scored first at 24:24, the Irish quickly recovered to knot the game at 1-1 when Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) connected on a cross from Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) at 26:33. Sophomore Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) scored her second career goal at 43:42 to give Notre Dame a 2-1 halftime lead. Sarkesian, who entered the game at 28:18 for Heft, collected a loose ball from 25 yards out on the left side and fired a shot to the right side off the right post and back into the middle of the net.

North Carolina outshot Notre Dame 9-4 in the first half and 11-5 in the second half but the Irish backline of Kara Brown (Avon, Conn.), Kelly Lindsey (Omaha, Neb.), Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) kept the Tar Heels contained in the second half. Notre Dame had chances for a 3-1 lead. Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) found Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) a yard in front of the near post on a free kick served just outside the box on the left endline but Erikson?s shot was saved on the line by a defender at 62:57. Heft then had another shot saved on the line at 82:27. North Carolina?s Kim Patrick?s tying goal came at 87:04 when she shot from 20 yards out on the right side. LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.), who made a career-high 15 saves, had the shot lined up ready to make the save but the ball took an unnatural hop off the natural turf and bounced over Beene?s right shoulder into the net. Meredith Florance?s game-winning goal came at the 114:00 mark when she volleyed a throw-in from Kalli Kamholz into the net on the right side from 12 yards.

The Irish rebounded against Duke with a strong first-half attack up the middle to score three goals in the first 23:22 for a 4-1 win over Duke in the final game of the KeyBank Soccer Classic. Junior Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 9:05 Heft?s pass split the Duke back line. Makinen then dribbled past Duke goalkeeper Isis Dallis, who came off her line, and scored into the open net from 15 yards. Senior Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) netted the game-winning goal at 19:13 when she took a thru-ball from Erikson and scored from 15 yards on the left wing. Heft then put the Irish ahead 3-0 on another thru-ball from Erikson at 23:22. Erikson slipped another pass through the Duke back line to sophomore Kelly Tulisiak (Medina, Ohio), who scored less than four minutes after entering with a lofted shot from 15 yards over an extended Dallis for a 4-0 lead at 38:43.

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.

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 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.

HEFT EYES SCORING RECORD: Thanks to a single-season school record 28 goals last year and a goal against Duke, senior Jenny Heft needs 19 goals in her senior season to become just the 11th player in NCAA women?s soccer history to score 80 career goals. She enters her final year with 60 goals and 21 assists for 141 points, the seventh-most points in Irish history. Heft?s 61 goals are second most in Notre Dame history, matching Cindy Daws for second place. She is 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 have been voted preseason players of the year for their respective positions 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 championship. 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 Preseason 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 52 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 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.

SCOUTING THE IRISH: The Randy Waldrum era begins in 1999 as the Irish aim to continue the success that has made Notre Dame the second-winningest team of the ?90s. Nine returning starters and four All-Americans join one of the top freshman classes in the country to make up the ?99 Irish.

Notre Dame continues its tradition of strong goalkeepers with the return of All-American LaKeysia Beene and sophomore Elizabeth Wagner (Spring, Texas) and the addition of Parade high school All-America goalkeeper Sani Post (Davis, Calif.). The 1998 BIG EAST goalkeeper of the year started every game of the season for the second consecutive year in ?98 and posted seven solo shutouts and six shared shutouts with a 0.68 goals-against average. Wagner provided Beene with a solid backup and saw action in seven games in the net in ?98 without allowing a goal to share six shutouts with Beene. Post comes to Notre Dame after allowing just five goals in four years at Davis Senior High School where she was named an NSCAA youth All-American in 1998 and was selected as one of Soccer America?s top 25 incoming freshmen.

While the Irish have the goalkeeping duties solidified, Waldrum sees questions marks when looking at Notre Dame?s backfield for the ?99 season. Jen Grubb, junior Kelly Lindsey and senior Kara Brown all return after allowing just 16 goals in 25 games, the fourth-fewest goals allowed in school history. Grubb spent the ?99 spring semester training with the U.S. national team in its preparation for the World Cup. She enters her senior year with the chance to become only the second four-time Irish All-American and the first four-time All-America defender. Her combination of speed and power helped her win the 1998 BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-year award. Brown made a successful move to defender last year after playing in the outside midfield her first two seasons. Her determination and relentlessness proved to translate well into the backfield as she started all but one game last year. Lindsey battled through 1998 to start all but one game, scoring two goals and dishing off five assists. She looks to return to the action with the same speed and athletic ability.

Sophomore Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) could see a shift from the outside midfield to the back after spending the spring season playing on defense. Junior Kerri Bakker (Washington, N.J.) also turned in a solid spring season in the back and could contribute in that spot after spending her first two seasons playing up front and in the midfield. Junior Liz Zanoni (Kalamazoo, Mich.) continues her recovery from injury which forced her to miss all of the 1998 season. Freshmen Emily Barnes (Redmond, Wash.), Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah), Nancy Mikacenic and Vanessa Pruzinsky also could see action on defense. Barnes and Dryer have been a part of the U.S. Regional Olympic Development program. Mikacenic is a two-time Parade high school All-American and has trained with the U.S. under-18 national team, while Pruzinsky comes to Notre Dame as the NSCAA high school player of the year.

Just as the Irish remain strong in the goal, Notre Dame returns another impressive group of midfielders highlighted by a pair of returning All-Americans. Junior Anne Makinen and senior Jenny Streiffer have proven to be among the most talented players in the country. Sophomore Mia Sarkesian should contribute in the midfield once again, with Grubb another possibility. The anchor of the midfield once again will be Makinen, a two-time Hermann Trophy finalist in her first two seasons. The leader of the Finnish national team stands among the top players in the game with her powerful goal scoring and crafty playmaking abilities. Streiffer brings her trademark silent intensity back to Notre Dame for the final season in ?99. The two-time GTE Academic All-American is expected to play in the center of the field where her creativity and dribbling skills will be best utilized.

After playing in 20 games as a freshman, Sarkesian impressed the coaches with her improvement and solid play in the spring season. Sophomore Kelly Tulisiak sparked Notre Dame off the bench in 14 games last year and also should contribute. Freshman Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga.) should give the Irish a boost in the outside midfield. She has been a member of the U.S. under-18 and under-17 national teams and has been active in her regional Olympic development team since ?92. Barnes, Dryer, Mikacenic, Pruzinsky and freshman Kate Morrel (Carmel, Ind.) could contribute in the midfield.

The Irish front line hopes to continue its offensive output as the highest-scoring offense in the country. Senior Jenny Heft scored a Notre Dame single-season record 28 goals last year, while junior Meotis Erikson was fifth on the team in scoring. Despite the loss of all-time leading scorer Monica Gerardo, another Monica, junior Monica Gonzalez, returns from an injury that forced her to miss all of 1998. In addition to the talented trio of Heft, Erikson and Gonzalez, which has scored 102 goals in six combined seasons, Waldrum also may place Streiffer and Lovelace up front to give the Irish even more talent at the forward position. Senior Iris Lancaster (Waiahae, Hawaii) has given Notre Dame depth off the bench. She played in 15 games last year with a goal against Wisconsin and an assist against Providence.

BIG EAST Preseason Poll
Mid-Atlantic Division

   School         ?98 BIG EAST  ?98 overall1. Notre Dame     9-1-1         21-3-12. Seton Hall     7-3-1         11-6-13. West Virginia  4-5-2         11-6-24. Rutgers        2-4-5         5-9-55. Pittsburgh     5-6-0         8-11-06. Villanova      4-6-1         9-9-27. Georgetown     1-9-1         4-9-1
Northeast Division
School ?98 BIG EAST ?98 overall1. Connecticut 10-0-1 21-2-22. Syracuse 7-3-1 14-7-13. Boston College 5-3-3 12-6-34. Miami N/A 11-7-15. St. John?s 1-8-2 3-13-26. Providence 2-9-0 3-15-0

NSCAA Top 25 (9/6)

     Team              Record  Points Last Wk. 1.  North Carolina *  3-0-0   247    1 2.  Santa Clara *     2-0-0   241    2 3.  Florida           3-0-0   224    4 4.  NOTRE DAME        1-1-0   209    7 5.  Penn State        2-0-0   205    6 6.  Nebraska          4-0-0   193    8 7.  Clemson           4-0-0   178    12 8.  Hartford          2-0-0   166    11 9.  California        3-1-0   164    NR10.  Texas A&M *       3-0-0   147    NR11.  BYU               2-0-0   140    1412.  Connecticut *     0-2-0   134    413.  Virginia          1-1-0   129    1814.  Wisconsin *       2-0-2   100    NR15.  USC               2-0-0   99     2416.  Georgia           3-0-1   95     2217.  Dartmouth         0-0-0   79     918.  Alabama           3-0-0   77     NR19.  Portland          1-1-1   67     320.  Duke *            3-1-0   63     NR21.  William & Mary    2-2-0   61     1122.  Minnesota         2-0-0   48     NR23.  Stanford          1-1-0   37     2424.  Baylor            3-1-0   35     1725.  Wake Forest       3-0-0   24     23

* indicates 1999 Notre Dame opponents

Soccer Times Top 25 (9/7)

     Team                 Record  Pts   Last Wk. 1.  North Carolina (6) * 3-0-0   294   2 2.  Santa Clara (6) *    2-0-0   293   1 T3. Florida              4-0-0   270   5 T3. Notre Dame           1-1-0   270   3 5.  Nebraska             4-0-0   246   7 6.  Penn State           2-0-0   239   8 7.  Clemson              4-0-0   225   9 8.  Connecticut *        0-2-0   175   4 9.  Virginia             1-3-0   170   1310.  Duke *               3-1-0   164   2411.  Hartford             3-1-0   164   1212.  BYU                  3-0-0   148   2013.  Texas A&M *          4-0-0   145   2314.  Portland             1-1-1   140   615.  California           3-1-0   128   NR16.  Stanford             1-1-0   124   1417.  Dartmouth            0-0-0   115   1018.  UCLA                 2-1-0   112   1719.  USC                  2-0-0   82    NR20.  Wisconsin *          2-0-2   64    NR21.  Wake Forest          3-0-0   60    2522.  Missouri             3-1-0   45    NR23.  Georgia              3-0-1   41    NRT24. Baylor               3-1-0   36    21T24. Harvard              0-0-0   36    22

* indicates 1999 Notre Dame opponents