Nov. 14, 2001
Notre Dame Women’s Soccer 2001 Game Notes – vs. Eastern Illinois, NCAA First Round (Nov. 16)
ON TO THE NCAAs – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (16-2-1)-on the heels of capturing its seventh consecutive BIG EAST title-heads into the 2001 NCAA Tournament as the nation’s No. 7 overall seed, with a first-round home game versus Eastern Illinois (winner of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament) on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. … that game will follow another Midwestern matchup between tournament winners from the Mid-Continent Conference (Oakland University) and Conference USA (Cincinnati), slated to start at 5:00 p.m. at Alumni Field … the winners then will meet in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 18 (1:00 p.m., Alumni Field).
INSIDE THE BRACKET – Should Notre Dame advance to the third round, the Irish likely would host another game at Alumni Field next weekend (Nov. 23-25)-versus the winner of games being played at the University of Virginia (the first-round pairings are Wake Forest-William & Mary and Liberty-UVa) … if the seeds hold to the quarterfinal round, No. 2 seed Santa Clara would play host to the team that emerges from the third-round game between the winners of ND and UVa sites … the top-six national seeds are North Carolina, SCU, UCLA, Portland, Stanford and Florida …the BIG EAST Conference placed the most teams (8) into the 2001 NCAA field, with Connecticut earning the No. 8 national seed while West Virginia is one of the 16 host sites.
ALUMNI SUPPORT – Alumni Field and postseason success have gone hand-in-hand for the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, with the Irish owning a 25-0-1 record in all-time postseason games played at home (17-0-1 in the NCAAs) … the Irish also are unbeaten in their last 38 overall home games (37-0-1) and are 110-3-2 in their last 115 home games (since 1992) … Notre Dame made its run to the 2000 NCAA semifinals with home wins over Michigan (3-1), Harvard (2-0) and Santa Clara (2-1, OT).
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY – Notre Dame has played in every NCAA Championship since 1993, including six trips to the semifinals in the last seven years, four title-game appearances and the 1995 championship season … the Irish own an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 23-7-1 (.758), with four losses coming at the hands of North Carolina in the championship game (5-0 in ’94, 1-0 in OT in ’96, 2-0 in ’99, 2-1 in ’00) … ND dropped its first-ever NCAA Tournament game to George Mason in 1993 (2-1) while ending the ’97 season with an NCAA semifinal loss to UConn (2-1) and closing ’98 with a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Portland at Alumni Field (still ND’s only postseason loss at home, at 25-0-1, including 17-0-1 in the NCAAs) … the Irish claimed the 1995 NCAA title with a semifinal win over North Carolina (1-0) and a triple-overtime win over Portland in the title game (1-0).
SERIES NOTES – Notre Dame never has faced Eastern Illinois or Oakland while the Irish own a 4-0-1 series edge vs. Cincinnati (23-4 scoring edge, with a 2-2 tie at UC in 1995) … the Irish beat the Bearcats 7-1 in a 1997 NCAA first-round game (current fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez was a freshman F on that ’97 Irish team).
SERIES OPENERS- Notre Dame has won its last 16 series openers, dating back to a 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut in 1995 … the Irish own an all-time record of 59-23-2 in series openers (.714), including wins this season over Penn State (2-1) and Hartford (2-0) … since 1993, ND is 26-3-0 in series openers, with two of those losses coming in ’93-to North Carolina (3-0, in Houston) and to George Mason (2-1, at Wisconsin in 1st round of NCAAs) … in series openers played at home, ND is 39-6-0 (14-1-0 since ’93) … during the 14-year history of Notre Dame women’s soccer, opposing teams have won just 14 percent of the time (9-60-2) when making their first visit to Notre Dame … since the beginning of the 1993 season, the Irish are 31-1-1 when facing an opponent making its first trip to ND (see p. 4), with the ’95 loss to UConn and a 2-2 tie vs. UNC in ’97 … noteworthy teams that have dropped their first game at ND (in addition to PSU and Hartford) include UCLA (8-0, ’97 NCAA quarterfinals), Nebraska (6-0, ’97 NCAA 2nd round), Santa Clara (1-0, ’95), Washington (4-0, ’96) and Harvard (2-0, ”00 NCAA third round) … Portland (2-1, ’92) and Stanford (3-0, ’92) are the more noteworthy teams to win their first game at ND, with UNC settling for the tie.
ADDED PRESSURE – The ND-Eastern Illinois game will mark the sixth time that the Irish have played a series opener in the NCAAs, with a 5-1-0 mark in the previous five (4-0-0 at home): a 2-1 loss to George Mason in the 1st round of the ’93 NCAAs (at Wisconsin), a 2-1 win over Maryland in the 1996 quarterfinals, a 6-0 win over Nebraska in the 1997 second round, an 8-0 win over UCLA in the ’97 quarterfinals and the 2-0 win over Harvard in e third round of the 200 NCAAs.
* Notre Dame returned 13 of its top 18 players from the 2000 team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1 while compiling a 23-1-1 overall record and advancing to the NCAA semifinals, with the biggest losses being top scorers Anne Makinen (14G-15A) and Meotis Erikson (13G-13A), plus Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker (who both saw extensive time at the central marking back position).
* ND’s typical starting 11 (from seven states and Ontario) is representative of the ND’s national student body … the 23-player roster includes players from 16 states, two foreign countries.
* The Irish are 60-7-3 (.879) in the three-year tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum, including a 49-4-3 mark in the last 56 games (since losing 4-2 at SCU on Oct. 17, 1999).
* The current senior class has helped ND compile a 81-10-4 (.874) record from 1998-2001.
* Only three teams in the top 25-North Carolina, UCLA and Santa Clara-own records of two losses (UCLA, SCU) or better (UNC), with ND among the next group at two losses and one tie.
* The Irish closed the regular season with a 2-1 overtime win over No. 23 Michigan (ND and UNC were the only teams in that week’s NSCAA top eight who went unbeaten).
Schedule and Location Notes
* The semifinal matchup vs. Boston College marked ND’s eighth road game in the last 12.
* ND is 129-7-2 (.940) at Alumni Field, including 110-3-2 in the last 115 and 88-1-1 vs. unranked teams … ND’s current 38-game home unbeaten streak (37-0-1) includes a 92-19 scoring edge.
* The Irish are 9-1-0 in games at Yurcak Stadium, including four BIG EAST Tournament wins (in 1997 and ’99) and a 3-1 record vs. Rutgers.
Streaks and Records
* The Irish set a team record on Sept. 7 with their 29th consecutive home win (2-1 in OT vs. Indiana) before seeing that streak snapped in a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin.
* The Irish are 34-2-2 in their last 38 regular-season games (the 2-1 loss at Rutgers prevented the Irish from tying the team record for regular-season unbeaten streak, 30-0-2 from 1993-95).
* Notre Dame is 8-0-3 in its last 11 overtime games.
* The Irish have not lost consecutive games since Sept. 28, 1992.
* The 7-0 win over St. John’s is ND’s most goals at home in the last 35 home games (since 10-0 win over Georgetown in 1999) while the 11 combined goals vs. SJU and Miami are most by the Irish in back-to-back games since totaling 13 at Wisconsin (9-2) and Indiana (4-1) on Oct. 27 and 31, 1999.
Postseason and NCAA Notes
* Notre Dame’s all-time NCAA Tournament winning pct. (.758, 23-7-1) ranks 2nd in NCAA history, highlighted by the 1995 NCAA championship season, the 1994, ’96 and ’99-and six trips to the Women’s College Cup semifinals in the past seven years (the 1998 team lost to Portland in the quarterfinals).
* ND is 15-2-1 in its last 18 postseason games (44-11 scoring edge), 21-4-1 in the last 26 (61-15).
* The Irish own a 17-1-0 all-time record at home during NCAA Tournament play.
* ND is 34-2-1 in its last 37 games vs. BIG EAST teams (76-5-2/.928 since joining in ’95).
* The Irish own an 18-0-0 all-time record in the BIG EAST Tournament (67-8 scoring edge).
Liz Wagner Notes (second team all-BIG EAST, first team all-region in 2000)
* Has come up big in the big games, totaling 69 saves and just 12 GA in 21 career starts vs. ranked teams and/or in the postseason (with an 18-2-1 record in those games).
* Her 0.39 season GAA in 2001 (6 solo shutouts, 10 shared) ranked 1st in the nation and 19th in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history … saw her 2000 shutout streak snapped at 700 minutes ( ND record, 12th in NCAA history), with the streak ending in the NCAA 2nd-round game vs. Michigan.
* Her 0.54 career GAA is on pace to best the Irish record set by Beene (0.63 career, 0.36 in ’97) and ranks 8th in NCAA history, within range of third (0.47).
* Has started all 44 games the past two seasons, allowing just 24 goals while playing nearly 93% of the minutes and allowing more than one goal in just four games (more than two in just one) … has logged 97.1% of the team’s minutes in 2001 (148 of 1,801).
Other Player Notes
* Six players have started all 19 games this season, including the defensive core of fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez, senior Lindsey Jones and freshman D Candace Chapman (the other D, junior Vanessa Pruzinsky, has 16 starts) … others who have started all 19 games include senior M Mia Sarkesian, sophomore F Amy Warner and senior G Liz Wagner.
* Sophomore F Amanda Guertin takes an eight-game goalscoring streak into the NCAAs and has points in 13 of the last 15 games (she has scored seven of ND’s last 10 goals).
* Freshman M/F Mary Boland returned to action vs. Villanova (Sept. 21), after missing five games due to an injury suffered in the final seconds of the opening win over Penn state (2-1) … Boland also missed the last eight games, since suffering an ankle injury late in the Oct. 7 game at Seton Hall.
* Sophomore F Melissa Tancredi’s goal vs. St. John’s at 0:27 tied for the second-quickest in ND history (and quickest since Michelle McCarthy’s 0:15 goal at Xavier in 1995).
ND’s dominance within the Midwest part of the country includes a recent 43-game winning streak versus Big Ten Conference teams (that ended in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin)-dating back to a 3-0 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 22, 1989 … since that 1989 loss to MSU, the Irish are 114-3-6 overall (.951) vs. Midwest teams, including 2001 wins over Penn State (2-1), Nebraska (1-0 and Michigan (2-1, OT) … the winning streak vs. Big Ten opponents included 11 wins vs. Indiana, 10 vs. Wisconsin, nine vs. MSU, seven vs. Michigan, four vs. Ohio State and one each vs. Northwestern and Penn State … the 2001 season-opening visit by 8th-ranked Penn State marked the biggest threat to that streak (in terms of opponent ranking) since then-No. 8 Wisconsin dropped a 2-0 game to ND in ’94.
DEFENSIVE DANDIES – An unprecedented three members of the ND women’s soccer defensive unit were recognized with first team all-BIG EAST honors … fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) and freshman Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) earned BIG EAST honors for the first time while junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) rounded out ND’s first-team selections, after earning second-team honors in 2000 … it marked the first time in the seven-year history of the awards that three defenders from the same team have earned first team all-BIG EAST … the trio also matched the number of previous ND defenders who have been BIG EAST first-teamers, with that group including four-time honoree Jen Grubb (’96-’99), Kate Sobrero (’96-’97) and Kelly Lindsey (’00) … Grubb and Sobrero are the only previous defenders from the same team to be named first team all-BIG EAST (in ’96 and ’97) … the only other time that a school has produced three BIG EAST first-teamers at the same position came in 1995, when UConn forwards Jana Carabino, Kerry Connors and Christy Rowe each were named first team all-BIG EAST.
ALL-BIG EAST NOTES – Two other ND players-senior M Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) and sophomore F Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.)-earned second team All-BIG EAST honors while D Candace Chapman earned a spot on the BIG EAST all-rookie team … 17 ND players have combined for 29 first team all-BIG EAST honors since 1995, with that group including six defenders combining 10 first-team awards, three midfielders (nine awards), five forwards (seven awards) and three goalkeepers … Chapman joined Warner as two of seven all-time ND players to earn first team all-BIG EAST honors as a freshman, with Chapman and Jen Grubb (’96) ranking as the only Irish defenders to be BIG EAST first-teamers as a rookie … the others include M Anne Makinen (’97) and Fs Monica Gerardo (’95), Jenny Streiffer (’96) and Meotis Erikson (’97).
SEVENTH STRAIGHT TITLE A RARITY – During the history of BIG EAST Conference championship competition, just five previous teams from all sports (and just two from the nine team-oriented sports) have won seven consecutive BIG EAST titles (or more), with the Notre Dame women’s soccer program winning all seven titles since joining the conference in 1995 … the UConn women’s basketball team has won the last eight BIG EAST tournament titles (’94-’01) while Pittsburgh won seven straight BIG EAST volleyball titles (1998-94, with ND winning five of the next six) … Pittsburgh also won 10 straight BIG EAST titles in men’s swimming and diving (’83-’92) and nine straight in women’s swimming and diving (’83-’91) while Boston College won eight consecutive BIG EAST men’s tennis titles from 1981-88.
* Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over West Virginia in the 2001 BIG EAST title game marked the ninth consecutive year the Irish have won their conference tournament (none pre-1993).
* ND is 96-5-3 (.938) in 11 years of regular-season games vs. conference teams (’91-’94 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, ’95-present in the BIG EAST), plus a 22-0-0 record in conference tournament action (18-0-0 in the BIG EAST Tournament).
* Since 1995, the Irish own a 61-4-2 (.925) record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (26-2-1 in last 29), including cross-divisional games and the last two games at UConn (0-0 in 2000, 3-1 loss in ’01), which were not part of the official BIG EAST schedule.
* Prior to the 2000 tie at UConn, the Irish had won 25 straight games vs. BIG EAST teams (19 regular season, six BIG EAST Tournament).
* Notre Dame’s only other blemishes in BIG EAST regular-season play are a 5-4 OT loss to UConn during ND’s 1995 NCAA Championship season, a 1-1 tie at UConn in ’98, a 3-2 loss two days later at Seton Hall, and this season’s 2-1 loss at Rutgers.
* Since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish are 78-5-2 (.929) in all games vs. BIG EAST opponents, with a 2-0 win over UConn in the 1995 NCAA quarterfinals and 2-1 loss to UConn in the ’97 NCAA semifinals.
* ND’s 85 games vs. BIG EAST teams since 1995 have included nearly a 10-to-1 scoring edge (396-42), including 67-8 in 18 BIG EAST Tournament games (with 14 BET shutouts).
BIG-GAME RESULTS – The Irish are 18-5-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 teams in the Randy Waldrum era (58-7-3 overall), with three losses vs. UNC (when UNC was ranked 1, 3 and 5) plus a 1999 loss (4-2) at Santa Clara when the Broncos were top ranked and the recent 3-1 loss at No. 15 UConn … ND is 6-1-0 vs. top-25 teams this season, with wins over #8 Penn State, #25 Hartford, #3 Nebraska, #19 West Virginia, #24 Miami and #23 Michigan … ND also is 18-2-1 during the past two seasons when facing a ranked team and/or playing in the postseason, with a 49-13 scoring edge in those 21 “big games” … senior G Liz Wagner has totaled 69 saves and 12 goals allowed in those 21 games while sophomore F Amanda Guertin has racked up 25 points in those big games (10G-5A) … Guertin’s classmate Amy Warner owns eight career goals and one assist in “big games” while junior F Ali Lovelace has 3G-6A during games vs. ranked teams and/or in the postseason.
Since the start of the 1993 season, Notre Dame opponents that were making their first visit to Alumni Field have lost to the Irish 31 times (including Penn State and Hartford earlier this season), with just one win for the opposition, one tie and a 163-15 Irish scoring edge in those 33 games. Since a 2-2 tie with UNC in 1997, the Irish have won each of the last 11 games when the opponent was making its fist visit to Alumni Field (20-0-1 since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95). Here’s how first-time visitors have fared vs. ND since ’93 (see PDF).
POSTSEASON PRODUCTION (see PDF for list) – Junior F Ali Lovelace (5G-4A) and senior M Mia Sarkesian (5G-4A) lead Notre Dame in career postseason points (each with 14) … in fact, more than half of Lovelace’s 25 career points (8G-9A) have come in the postseason, including five of eight goals (three in the BIG EAST Tournament), while one-third of Sarkesian’s career goals (5 of 15, three in BET) have come in postseason … the only other ND players with more than 10 career points in the postseason are fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez (3G-5A) and surging sophomore F Amanda Guertin (5G-1A) … Sarkesian’s postseason heroics include three gamewinning goals, trailing only Monica Gerardo (5) and Amy Van Laecke (4) in Irish history … she also had a huge assist on the header that led to Randi Scheller’s rebound volley that held up as the gamewinner vs. WVU in the BIG EAST title game (2-1).
“SECOND-SEASON” SURGE – The ND offense will be looking for a postseason surge, as the Irish have averaged just 2.4 goals per game (45)-with just four games of more than two goals (4-0 at Pitt and Miami, 7-0 vs. St. John’s, 3-0 vs. BC) … by comparison, the 2000 ND team averaged 3.8 goals in the regular season and hit three-plus goals in nine of 18 games … surprisingly, the 2000 Irish team (7.3 shots per goal in regular season) and the 2001 ND squad (7.8) posted similar regular-season shooting efficiencies-with the major difference coming in shots per game (the 2000 team averaged 24.8 shots in the regular season, compared to just 18.4 in 2001).
THE ANSWERS – The biggest question for ND heading into 2001 was who would play alongside junior Vanessa Pruzinsky at the central D position … the ultimate solution was fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez, with senior Lindsey Jones and freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir also seeing time at the position … Gonzalez-who combined with Jones as the returning starters at the outside back positions-has been a steady performer at her new position during the past seven weeks (since the Sept. 25 Nebraska game), earning two BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week honors … another part of the solution has been the strong play of converted forward Candace Chapman, as the freshman has started all season at right back (with Jones shifting from the right to Gonzalez’ vacated left back spot).
SCORING STREAK NEARS RECORD – Guertin’s eight-game goalscoring streak is tied for third in ND history and is the longest by an Irish player since Nov. 14, 1999-when Jenny Heft scored for the eighth straight game (Jenny Streiffer also scored for the seventh consecutive) in a 5-1 NCAA win over Dayton (neither scored in the next week’s 1-0 win over Stanford) … Guertin’s recent streak includes scoring seven of ND’s last 12 goals, eight of the last 14 and nine of the last 17 … she has 23 goals in her young Irish career, including nine gamewinners … the ND record for goalscoring streak (9 games, good for sixth in NCAA history) is shared by Amy Van Laecke (1995) and Meotis Erikson (1997) … Streiffer’s 1997 flurry is one of three seven-game goalscoring streaks in ND history (also Anne Makinen in ’97 and Heft in ’98) … current USA National Team member Brandi Chastain holds the NCAA record with a 15-game goalscoring streak while playing for Santa Clara in 1990.
FIRE & ICE – That old clich? aptly applies to the equally-effective styles of second-year forwards Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas), with Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario) rounding out the promising sophomore trio of forwards (Tancredi missed all of the 2000 season due to injury) … Warner (7G-1A in 2001) burst onto the scene early in 2000, ranking as the team’s second-leading scorer through 10 games (7G-4A) before a knee injury caused her to miss seven games (she finished with 9G-4A) … the poised and multi-talented Guertin quietly turned in a rookie season that included 11G-4A (her 26 points trailed only seniors Anne Makinen and Meotis Erikson on the Irish scoring charts) … Guertin leads the 2001 Irish with 30 points (12G-6A).
“GERTY” GETTING GOALS – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin (12G-6A), who leads ND in goals, points (30) and gamewinning goals (5), owns an eight-game goalscoring streak and has registered points in 11 of the previous 13 games … Guertin was named BIG EAST player of the week after scoring both Irish goals in the recent 2-0 win at Yale before scoring in overtime to beat #23 Michigan (2-1) … she then was named MVP of the BIG EAST Tournament after scoring in all three Irish wins … she set up two other Irish goals in the BET (although not credited with an assist), including the corner kick that led to the gamewinner in the BIG EAST title game.
OVERTIME MASTER – Guertin scored the OT gamewinner at West Virginia last season (2-1) before providing this season’s free kick that beat #19 WVU in overtime (also 2-1) and scoring in OT in the regular-season finale to beat #23 Michigan (2-1) … she has scored (2) or assisted (2) on four of the six OT goals by the Irish during the past two seasons (a seventh OT game ended with an own goal, vs. Stanford last season) … in the 2000 WVU game, Guertin emerged with the ball and dribbled down the center of the field before striking a low shot inside the left post … in this year’s meeting with WVU, Guertin lofted a free-kick cross from the right flank, with Mary Boland heading the ball across the goalmouth (left to right) for Mia Sarkesian’s gamewinning header … vs. Michigan, she picked off a clearing attempt and calmly converted from six yards … in the 2000 NCAA quarterfinal win over Santa Clara (2-1), Guertin dug the ball out of the left corner and passed to Randi Scheller, who sent the ball from the left endline to set up Meotis Erikson’s dramatic OT score.
A TRUE GAMEWINNER – Guertin-who also scored what proved to be the gamewinner in the season-opening 2-1 win over Penn State-delivered a pinpoint corner kick this season vs. Georgetown, just three minutes after the Hoyas had tied the game in the 76th minute … GU’s ‘keeper Shereena Chang mistimed her jump and the sailing kick crossed the goalline just to the right of center, with Irish freshman Mary Boland skying into the air and heading the ball into the net for good measure … Guertin then scored a similar GWG in the BIG EAST quarterfinals vs. St. John’s (2-0), from the same spot on the field … nearly half of Guertin’s career goals at ND (nine of 23) have been gamewinners (three in the postseason), including six that came in 2-1 games: at West Virginia (OT) and at home vs. vs. Boston College, PSU, GU, WVU and Michigan (she also opened the scoring in last year’s 8-0 win at GU and had the GWG in the 3-1 NCAA win over Michigan).
MAKING HER MARK – Irish freshman Candace Chapman – who made a name for herself as a speedy goalscorer with the Canadian national program – has totaled 3G-2A this season, despite playing mostly in the defense at outside back (a new position for the talented rookie) … Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) scored her first two goals in the 4-0 road win over Pittsburgh, blasting a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute before scoring late as a forward, off a right endline cross from Lindsey Jones … Chapman’s quick goal ignited an early 3-0 lead for the Irish and ranks as ND’s third-quickest goal during the past two seasons (Mia Sarkesian scored at the 1:32 mark, last season at Syracuse, while Melissa Tancredi scored at 0:27 this year vs. St. John’s) … Chapman was shifted to forward during the second half at Seton Hall and used her quickness to shake free for the 2-1 gamewinner, in the 82nd minute (she also played some forward last week vs. SJU).
PRUZINSKY NAMED MAC FINALIST – ND junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2001 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Player of the Year Award … a 2000 first team Academic All-American and the 2001 preseason BIG EAST defensive player of the year, she is one of just three defenders and seven non-seniors on the 15-player list … Pruzinsky has missed just one game in her ND career while starting all 69 she has played for the Irish .. a chemical engineering major with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, she became just the fourth ND sophomore (in any sport) to earn first team Academic All-America honors … a hard-nosed central defender with the speed to match her physical play, Pruzinsky played a leading role on the 2000 Irish defense that led the nation with an 0.39 goals-against average … she is the cornerstone of a veteran 2001 Notre Dame defense that has allowed just five 1st-half goals this season (15 overall) … other defenders on the MAC finalist list include UNC senior Danielle Borgman and Santa Clara senior Danielle Slaton … the other six juniors on the list include Penn State F Christie Welsh (the 2000 runner-up), BYU midfielder Aleisha Cramer, Nebraska F Christine Latham, California F Laura Schott and Washington G Hope Solo (Clemson F Lindsay Browne is the only other non-senior on the list).
EXPERIENCE IN THE BACK – Fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (93 games played) and senior Lindsey Jones (94) are just the second pair of Notre Dame defensive teammates to reach 90 career games, lending veteran stability to a defense that includes junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (a three-year starter) and surging freshman Candace Chapman … ND’s only other pair of defensive teammates with 90-plus career GP were Jen Grubb (100) and Kara Brown (99) in 1999 … senior M Mia Sarkesian (89) is on the verge of playing her 90th game … just three previous ND senior classes have included three-plus players with 90 or more GP: the five-player 1999 group (also Fs Jenny Streiffer, 100, and Jenny Heft, 96, plus G LaKeysia Beene at 90), the 1996 group of D Kate Fisher (98), G Jen Renola (98) and M Cindy Daws (94) and the 2000 seniors that included F Meotis Erikson (101), D Kelly Lindsey (91) and M Anne Makinen (90).
Third-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum-who repeated as BIG EAST coach of the year in 2000-has seen his Irish teams post an impressive 60-7-3 combined record (.879), with an 18-5-2 mark vs. NSCAA top-25 teams and a ’99 season that ended in the NCAA title game (the 2000 squad then was ranked No. 1 for most of the season and advanced to the NCAA semifinals) … Waldrum in ’99 became the only coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth first-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semi’s, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose, Calif.
Waldrum’s 20-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 243-112-22 (.673) … he owns a 167-56-15 (.733) record in 12 seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580) and 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum entered the 2001 season ranked 14th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (he ranks 25th on the total wins list).
PUNCH THE CLOCK
Senior G Liz Wagner has started all 44 of Notre Dame’s games during the past two seasons while junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky did not play vs. Georgetown, ending her streak of 56 consecutive starts (every game of her ND career, she now has started 69 of 70) … four others have appeared in each of the last 44 games: sophomore F Amanda Guertin (40 GS), senior M Mia Sarkesian (43 GS) and senior D Lindsey Jones (42 GS) … sophomore M Randi Scheller missed the first (and still only) game of her Notre Dame career in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin.
PRIME-TIME PLAYER – The strong play of Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) often was lost on observers from the 2000 season, particularly if they witnessed a game where she hardly touched the ball (she faced just 23 shots in 14 regular-season games vs. unranked teams) as compared to seeing one of her many stellar efforts vs. ranked teams and in the postseason-when she made 38 saves and allowed just six goals in 11 such “big games” … Wagner added nine saves and one goal allowed in the opening week of 2001 vs. Penn State and Hartford, two saves vs. Nebraska (1-0), four vs. both West Virginia (2-1) and Miami (4-0), two at UConn (1-3) and one vs. Michigan (2-1), before making three saves in the 2-0 BIG EAST quarterfinal win over St. John’s, four in the semifinal win over BC and two in the title game vs. WVU-yielding a total of 69 saves and 12 goals allowed in 21 career “big games” (with an 18-2-1 record in those games) … Wagner’s nation-leading 0.39 GAA in 2000 included a 700-minute shutout streak (12th-longest in NCAA history) and a pair of prime-time, eight-save efforts at UConn (0-0) and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (2-1, OT) … she did not give up multiple goals in 2000 until the 2-1 NCAA semifinal loss to North Carolina-just the second time that Wagner and the Irish trailed during the entire 2000 season, spanning just 35 minutes.
WAGNER IN THE NCAA RECORD BOOK – Liz Wagner’s 0.54 career GAA would rank 8th in NCAA history, just behind Carla DeSantis (UMass, ’85-’88) and former Portland ‘keeper Erin Fahey (0.50, ’91-’95) … Wagner also owns the nation’s 3rd-best career GAA since 1995, behind UNC’s Siri Mullinix (0.28, ’95-’98) and Santa Clara’s Crystal Gordon (0.47, ’97-’00) … Wagner ranks first in ND history for career GAA, followed by LaKeysia Beene (12th in NCAA history, 0.63, ’96-’99) and Jen Renola (16th in NCAA history, 0.69, ’93-’96) … with a strong showing in the 2001 postseason, Wagner could finish as high as 3rd on the NCAA career GAA list (a spot currently shared by two players, at 0.47). See PDF for top-10 NCAA career GAA list.
THE VETERAN – Versatile defender Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) is the battle-tested veteran of the Irish squad, completing her fifth year due to a sophomore season lost due to injury … in addition to logging 93 career games (47 starts), Gonzalez-a converted forward and the team’s tallest player at 5-11-is a founding member of the three-year-old Mexican National Team … she opened 2001 at the left back position where she made most of her 18 starts in 2000, when she chipped in one goal and four assists while ranking as one of the best players on the field in the regular-season showdown at UConn and the NCAA semifinal matchup with North Carolina … Gonzalez also had a solid showing the past seven weeks at another new position, central defender, with her dominating play in the air helping neutralize Nebraska’s four-player forward unit in that key 1-0 Irish win (she also has been shifted to the midfield, and even to forward, at times during the 2001 season).
UNBEATEN AT HOME – Notre Dame-which is unbeaten in its last 38 home games (37-0-1)-is aiming for its sixth unbeaten season at home, with the others coming in 1993 (9-0-0), 1994 (10-0-0), 1996 (15-0-0), 1997 (11-0-1) and 2000 (15-0-0) … the Irish are 11-0-1 at Alumni Field this season and own an impressive home record o 110-3-2 (.965) since losing to Stanford on Oct. 2, 1992.
EXTRA-TIME SUCCESS – Since losing to UNC in the 1999 opener (3-2, OT), the Irish are unbeaten in their last 11 overtime games (8-0-3) … ND has played five OT games this season, besting the team record for OT games in a season (four, in 1995 and 2000) and also setting a team record for OT wins in a season (the 2000 team won three) … the seven OT wins the past two seasons have featured GWGs from five different players: Amanda Guertin (2), Meotis Erikson, Kelly Tulisiak, Amy Warner and Mia Sarkesian (the 2000 Stanford game ended on an own goal).
GOALS-A-PLENTY – Notre Dame-currently riding a 27-game scoring streak (3rd in ND history)-scored in a record 55 consecutive games from Aug. 29, 1997, to Sept. 17, 1999 (all of the ’97 and ’98 seasons and the first five games of ’99) … the streak came to an end in a 1-0 loss to SMU, with All-America midfielder Anne Makinen not playing for the Irish due to commitments with Finland’s national team … ND scored in 98 of the 101 games in Makinen’s career and injuries limited her play in the other two games where the Irish were shut out (she played just the first 30 minutes of the 2-0 loss to UNC in the ’99 NCAA title game and came off the bench late in the first half of an 0-0 tie at UConn in 2000) … ND’s previous record for scoring streak was a 36-game run from Oct. 19, 1995 to Dec. 6, 1996 (ending with the 1-0 OT loss to UNC in the title game) … stretching from 1992-2001, ND has scored in 96.2 percent of its games (226 of 235) … since 1994, the Irish have scored in 191 of 197 (.970, three shutouts in NCAA title games)-with goals in 144 of 147 regular-season games (.980) during that eight-year stretch.
FAR & WIDE – Much like the composition of the ND student body, players come from far and wide to be a part of the Irish women’s soccer program … the 2001 Irish roster includes players from 14 different states, plus Canada and Iceland … since the beginning of ND women’s soccer in 1988, the program’s players have come from 28 different states and three foreign countries (also Finland) … home states on the current Irish roster include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.
PYRAMID POWER – Notre Dame’s unique 4-3-3 “inverted pyramid” formation returned two of its three central-based midfielders in senior Mia Sarkesian and junior Ashley Dryer while promising sophomore Randi Scheller has filled Anne Makinen’s attacking role at the third midfield spot … Dryer missed the Key Bank Classic while recovering from a bout with mononucleosis but returned to the lineup in the second week (Scheller was out with an injury in the 2-2 tie with Wisconsin).
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
Notre Dame posted the fifth-longest home winning streak in NCAA history (29 games) before the 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin on Sept. 9 … the Irish still own a 38-game unbeaten streak at home (37-0-1) and have not tasted defeat at Alumni Field since a heartbreaking 3-2, double-OT loss to top-ranked UNC in the ’99 opener … the home streak includes 14 wins over top-25 teams (six top-10 teams) … the 29-game home winning streak (74-13 scoring edge) bested the ND record (28) that began after a 1992 Stanford loss and ended with a 5-4 OT loss to UConn on Oct. 6, 1995 (since that loss, ND is 78-2-2 in its last 82 home games, or 96.3 pct.) … the ’92-’95 streak included seven wins over top-25 teams (five vs. top-10 teams).
Since losing to Stanford on Oct. 4, 1992, ND has posted 110 home wins while losing just three times at home in that span (110-3-2 or 96.5 pct.) … that 115-game span includes winning streaks of 29, 28, 23 and 22 games … in addition to OT losses to UConn in ’95 (5-4) and UNC in ’99 (3-2), the other recent home loss came to Portland in the 1998 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1) while the ties were vs. UNC, on Sept. 19, 1997 (2-2) and vs. Wisconsin on Sept. 9, 2001 (2-2) … the Irish own a 129-7-2 (.942) home record in 12 seasons of play at Alumni Field … ND’s all-time record at Alumni Field vs. teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 88-1-1 (41-6-1 vs. ranked teams), with 76 straight home wins over unranked teams before the tie with Wisconsin, dating back to a 2-0 loss to Creighton in ’90 … the Irish played at Moose Krause Field in ’88 and ’89, with a home record of 19-5-1 during that span (all vs. unranked teams).
REGULAR-SEASON ROMP – Sparked by its 4-2 loss at then-No. 1 Santa Clara on Oct. 17, 1999, ND won its final four regular-season games of ’99 before winning its first 16 of 2000 (followed by an 0-0 tie at UConn) … that streak included a scoring edge of 78-10 and bested the team record of 18 consecutive wins in the regular season, set from Oct. 19, 1995 – Oct. 11, 1996 … ND headed into the 2001 Rutgers game (a 2-1 loss) riding a 31-game unbeaten streak (29-0-2, now 34-2-2) in regular-season play, good for second in the Irish record book behind a 30-0-2 regular-season run (Oct. 17, 1993 – Oct. 1, 1995) … the Irish also had a 27-game regular-season streak (26-0-1) from Oct. 20, 1996 – Sept. 11, 1998.
FIRST-HALF FORTRESS – Notre Dame has allowed just five 1st-half goals all season, with three of those goals coming in the same weekend (two in the first 10 minutes at Rutgers and one right before halftime at Seton Hall) … Wisconsin also surprised the Irish with a goal in the first minute of play … ND did not allow a first-half goal in seven games-before WVU scored in the BIG EAST title game-en route to shutout wins over St. John’s (2), Miami, Yale and BC (UConn scored three 2nd-half goals to beat the Irish and Michigan scored in the 2nd half of 2-1 loss to ND) … ND also has allowed just 55 first-half shots this season, for an average of 2.9 opponent shots and 0.26 goals during the first half.
SENIOR SALUTE – The five-player senior class-has helped ND compile a record of 81-10-4 (.874) from 1998-2001, with four BIG EAST and tournament titles and an NCAA runner-up finish in 1999 (plus a trip to the 2000 NCAA semifinals and the ’98 quarterfinals) … the senior class includes the team’s co-captains, M Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) and D Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.), plus fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas), G Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) and F Kelly Tulisiak (Medina, Ohio) … those five players also have combined for 12 Dean’s List semesters (at least one from each), with four by Gonzalez, three by Tulisiak and two each by Jones and Wagner.
WHO’S BACK, WHO’S GONE? – Notre Dame returned 13 of its top 18 players from the 2000 team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1 while compiling a 23-1-1 overall record and advancing to the NCAA semifinals … nine of the returners saw significant time as starters in 2000 while eight of the top 10 scorers returned, with the biggest losses being the 2000 team’s top two leading scorers, Anne Makinen (14G-15A) and Meotis Erikson (13G-13A), plus Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker (who both saw extensive time at the central marking back position).
A QUICK LOOK AT THE IRISH
* Senior Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) returned in the nets, after leading the nation in 2000 with an 0.39 GAA (0.77 in 2001) … several defensive regulars also returned from a unit that allowed just 10 total goals and 6.4 shots/gm last season … Academic All-American Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) returned for her junior season at central D, playing alongside a new teammate following the graduation of Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker … the Irish have plenty of experience at the outside marking back positions, with senior co-captain Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) returning on the right side while fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) opened 2001 back on the left … Jones and Gonzalez also have been tried at the open center back position, as has promising freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (a member of Iceland’s national team), with Gonzalez making a solid showing at center back during the past seven weeks (she played sweeper for the Mexican National Team last summer).
* Senior co-captain Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich., 5G-3A in 2000, 6G-6A in 2001) and junior Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2G-5A in ’00, 1G in ’01) provide veteran midfield experience while promising sophomore Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa., 6G-7A in ’00, 4G-4A in ’01) has stepped into the attacking midfielder role, a spot vacated by the graduation of Anne Makinen (the 2000 national player of the year) … sophomore Kim Carpenter (Webster, N.Y.) and freshman Reagan Jones (Tampa, Fla.) fill a role similar to Scheller’s in 2000, as the first midfielders off the bench.
* ND has a surplus of forward options, led by its top returning scorers-sophomores Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas, 11G-4A in ’00, 12G-6A in ’01) and Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M., 10G-4A in ’00, 8G-1A in ’01) … junior Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga., 4G-5A in ’00, 3A in ’01) and senior Kelly Tulisiak (Medina, Ohio, 4G-1A in ’00, 2G-2A in ’01) add to an experienced forward unit that has seen contributions from three “newcomers”: sophomore Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario, 4G-4A)-who missed all of 2000 due to an ACL knee injury-and the freshman duo of Mary Boland (Hudson, Ohio, 2G-2A) and Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario, 3G-2A) … the versatile Boland (out indefinitely with an Oct. 7 ankle injury) is a strong midfield option while Chapman has played mostly in the defense, at outside back.
GAMES IN THE BANK – The Irish returned four of five starters in the defensive third (including Liz Wagner in the goal), with a wealth of experience contained in the threesome of Monica Gonzalez (now 93 GP/47 GS), Lindsey Jones (94 GP, 68 GS) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (69 GP/69 GS)… those three-who each trained previously at forward or midfield-have combined to play in 256 career games at Notre Dame, with 184 starts … ND’s other starter in the defense, freshman Candace Chapman, is one of six Irish players to start all 19 games in the 2001 regular season (she previously was a forward and never had played defense before 2001).
MIA’S MAGIC – Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian continues to make a name for herself as a big-game goalscorer, after netting gamewinners in the same week vs. No. 3 Nebraska (1-0) and No. 19 West Virginia (2-1, OT) … Sarkesian’s 15 career goals at ND include six gamewinners, plus pressure-packed scores vs. top-ranked North Carolina in 1999 (2-1 lead, lost 3-2 in OT) and vs. Boston College in 2000 (ends ND’s only deficit of regular season, win 2-1) … her more noteworthy GWGs also include the lone score in a 1-0 win over Stanford, during third-round action of the 1999 NCAAs.