Sept. 8, 2002
Christine Sinclair’s goal in the 82nd minute held up as the game’s only scoring as visiting Portland defeated the host team, 1-0, in Sunday afternoon action at the Notre Dame Classic, presented by St. Andrews Products.
Portland – which opened the season ranked No. 4 but slipped to 19th after a pair of losses, playing without its ace forward Sinclair – finished with an 8-4 edge in total shots and a 6-3 corner-kick advantage in a game that featured just five shots on goal.
Sixth-ranked Notre Dame (also 2-2-0) was forced to play without its defensive leader Vanessa Pruzinsky, as the senior was sidelined due to the nagging ankle problems that forced her to miss the first two games and most of the second half in Friday’s loss to Santa Clara (when SCU scored its four goals).
Two other Irish regulars – sophomore defender Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and junior midfielder Kim Carpenter – also did not start but went on to play a good portion of the game.
Notre Dame sophomore Candace Chapman again stood out as possibly the best player on the field and went on to earn the tournament’s defensive MVP award. Chapman opened the game at central defense – with strong marking of her Canadian national teammate Sinclair – before shifting to her customary outside back position.
Sinclair – who was named the tournament’s offensive MVP – struck at the 81:42 mark, after taking a pass from the right side and shaking loose of an Irish defender near the top of the box. The MVP and scoring champ of the recently-completed Under-19 World Championship then ripped a low shot past charging freshman ‘keeper Erika Bohn, with the ball clearing the inside of the right post for Sinclair’s second goal of the weekend.
Notre Dame – which suffered consecutive shutout losses for the first time since 1989 (and back-to-back losses for the first time since ’92) – had the best scoring chance of the first half, when freshman forward Maggie Manning dribbled on goal near the left endline. But senior ‘keeper Lauren Arase held her ground for the near-post save (37:52).
Bohn later made a huge save in the 61st minute, after Sinclair had streaked into the upper right corner of the box. Bohn alertly left her line to cut down the angle and Sinclair tried to slip her shot between the keeper’s legs – with Bohn making the save off her back foot to preserve the scoreless tie.
The home team in the ND-UP series has yet to win (0-7-0), with the Irish also winning two NCAA Tournament showdowns with the Pilots (ND now leads the series 6-3-0). All nine games in the series have been decided by a single goal (five by a 1-0 score).
In Sunday’s earlier game, Santa Clara defeated Clemson, 4-2, behind goals from all-tournament selections Veronica Zepeda, Aly Wagner (2) and Kristi Candau. Sarah Turner and all-tournament pick Heather Beem scored for the Tigers.
2002 Notre Dame Classic All-Tournament Team
Offensive MVP: Christine Sinclair (Portland, F, So.)
Defensive MVP: Candace Chapman (Notre Dame, D, So.)
Other All-Tournament Selections
Notre Dame: Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (D, So.)
Clemson: Heather Beem (F, Sr.)
Portland: Lauren Arase (G, Sr.), Betsy Barr (M, Sr.), Lindsey Huie (D, Fr.)
Santa Clara: Kristi Candau (F, Jr.), Megan Kakadelas (F, So.), Aly Wagner (M, Sr.), Veronica Zepeda (F, Jr.)