Oct. 24, 2000

The top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (16-0-0) closes its regular season with two more road games: Sat., Oct. 21 at 25th-ranked Connecticut (7:00 p.m.) and Tues., Oct. 24, at Michigan (3:00 p.m.) … the UConn game previously was listed as 1:00 p.m. but shifted to a night start due to the recent addition of lights to Marrone Stadium … the Irish return home for a BIG EAST quarterfinal matchup vs. Miami on Sun., Oct. 29 (1:00 p.m.) … the Irish are in the midst of a six-day trip during fall break that included a 4-0 win at Yale on Oct. 18 … the Miami game will complete a 27-day stretch in which the Irish will have played just one home game (and six on the road) … due to the mid-afternoon start of the Michigan game, the Irish will head to Ann Arbor on Monday night … the Michigan game will complete an Oct. 14-24 stretch in which the Irish will have been on the road for 10 of 11 days (all but Monday, Oct. 16).

Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Schedule (listings indicate local starting times
Tues., Oct. 24 at Michigan (3:00 p.m.)
Sun., Oct.. 29 Miami, Fla. (1:00 p.m., BIG EAST quarterfinal)

A win Tuesday at Michigan would yield just the third undefeated regular season in the 13-year history of ND women’s soccer (the ’94 team went 17-0-1 while the ’97 team went 18-0-1 in the regular season).

Notre Dame has won all five previous games vs. Michigan: 4-3 in ’89 (@ND), 5-0 in ’97 (@ND), 1-0 in ’98 (double OT, @UM), 3-0 in ’98 (@ND, NCAA 2nd rd) and 4-1 in ’99 (@ND) … the Irish hold a 17-4 series scoring edge and have three-plus goals in four of the five games … in last year’s game (Oct. 5, 1999), ND was ranked 6th and UM 16th, with the Irish goals coming from Jenny Heft, Anne Makinen (2) and Meotis Erikson (Lindsey Jones, Monica Gonzales and Nancy Mikacenic each had assists) … UM’s Marie Spaccarotella tied the game in the 35th minute … ND held a 16-11 shot edge and 8-5 corner kick edge … Jones also had an assists in the 1998 NCAA win over Michigan while Makinen scored on a PK and Erikson had an assist in the ’97 meeting … ND has won its last 39 games vs. Big 10 Conference teams, including ’99 games vs. UM (4-1), Wisconsin (9-2) and Indiana (4-1).

The Irish will look to rediscover their first-half scoring form, as ND has totaled just two first-half goals in the last five games (vs. BC and at Syracuse), compared to 20 first-half goals in the first 12 games … the Irish have totaled eight second-half goals during the last five games … over the course of the entire season, ND has scored 10 more goals in the second half (32) than in the first 45 minutes (22).

Notre Dame’s 16-0-0 start bested the ND record for top won-loss record to open a season (the `96 team opened 13-0-0) … that ’96 team posted a 66-6 scoring edge through the first 13 games before dropping a 3-1 game at ninth-ranked Santa Clara (just days after the Irish had risen to No. 1 in the polls) … the ’96 team owned five wins over ranked teams during that 13-0 start, including victories over No. 14 Wisconsin (3-1), No. 13 Washington (4-0), No. 4 UConn (2-1), No. 1 UNC (2-1, OT) and No. 18 Stanford (4-0) … by comparison, the current Irish squad owns a 56-5 scoring edge and has posted three wins and one tie vs. teams that were ranked in the NSCAA poll at game time: No. 2 Santa Clara (6-1), No. 10 Stanford (2-1, OT), No. 15 Washington (5-0) and No. 25 UConn (0-0).

ND has clinched home field for the BIG EAST quarterfinals and will face Miami (Fla.) for the second straight season (Oct. 29, 1:00 p.m.) … Seton Hall (3-3-0) and Rutgers (3-2-1) also have clinched from the Mid-Atlantic Division, with Georgetown (2-1-1) and West Virginia (2-3-0) battling for the last spot … the four playoff teams from the Northeast Division (in order) will be UConn, BC, Syracuse and Miami … BC’s quarterfinal opponent will be the third-place finisher from the Mid-Atlantic (GU or SHU)-with the winner of that game facing the ND-Miami winner in the semifinals (Nov. 3, at ND) … RU has clinched the Mid-Atlantic No. 2 spot while three teams could be fourth seed (WVU, SHU and GU) … the only divisional game left is GU at WVU (Oct. 25).

Game 1: #4 MA Georgetown, Seton Hall or West Virginia at #1 NE Connecticut
Game 2: #3 MA Seton Hall or Georgetown at #2 NE Boston College
Game 3: #4 NE Miami at #1 MA Notre Dame
Game 4: #3 NE Syracuse at #2 MA Rutgers
Game 5: Games 1 and 4 winners (semifinal) – Nov. 3 at Notre Dame (5:00 p.m.)
Game 6: Games 2 and 3 winners (semifinal) – Nov. 3 at Notre Dame (7:00 p.m.)
Game 7: Games 5 and 6 winners (final) – Nov. 5 at Notre Dame (noon)

The Irish concluded Mid-Atlantic Division play with an undefeated record (6-0-0) for the second consecutive season and now own a 54-2-2 (.948) all-time record in BIG EAST regular-season play (including cross-divisional games and last week’s tie at UConn, which was not part of the official BIG EAST schedule) … prior to the tie at UConn, ND had won 25 games versus BIG EAST Conference teams, including 19 regular-season games plus six BIG EAST Tournament wins in that span … ND’s only blemishes in BIG EAST regular-season play include a 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut during the 1995 NCAA Championship season, a 1-1 tie at UConn in ’98, a 3-2 loss two days later at Seton Hall and last week’s 0-0 tie at UConn … since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish own a 67-3-2 record (.932) in all games versus BIG EAST opponents (including a 2-0 win over UConn in the 1995 NCAA quarterfinals and a 2-1 loss to UConn in the ’97 NCAA semifinals).

(0-0, Oct. 21) – The ever-growing ND-UConn rivalry added another chapter at Marrone Stadium, as the top-ranked Irish and 25th-ranked Huskies played to a scoreless tie in front of 2,494 spirited fans … road-weary Notre Dame-which had spent seven of the eight days away from home-failed to tie the Irish record for consecutive wins in a season while seeing its string of consecutive wins over BIG EAST teams end at 25 … UConn held a 16-7 shot edge but repeatedly was thwarted by Liz Wagner, who again turned in a strong performance vs. a ranked opponent by making eight saves while smothering several other potential scoring chances … several Irish players joined Wagner with solid all-around performances, led by five field players who logged the entire 120 minutes: Mia Sarkesian, Ashley Dryer, Nancy Mikacenic , Vanessa Pruzinsky and Monica Gonzalez-who played all over the field while ranking as one of the games most impactful players … ND continued to play without two of its top players-both out due to injury-as Amy Warner missed her seventh straight game while Kelly Lindsey missed her fourth … the Irish again elected to rest leading scorer Anne Makinen at the start of the game, with Gonzalez-who also played at defense and forward on Friday-filling Makinens central midfielder role before the three-time All-American entered late in the first half (she played the rest of the way) … UConn’s Jen Carlson nearly scored in the closing moments of regulation, on a 20-yard shot that clanged off the near right post in the 87th minute … Carlson later launched a 30-yarder from the left flank that Wagner boxed away from the upper right corner with 0:02 left in the first )T … ND managed just three shots on goal, including strong chances from close range in each OT session by Meotis Erikson and Monica Gonzales.

“I’m sure that this was a fun game to watch and both teams certainly had their chances. I think you saw tonight why Liz Wagner has to be considered for BIG EAST goalkeeper of the year. In a lot of our games this season, she hardly has touched the ball and it’s hard to appreciate her skill and leadership in that type of game. But every time she has been tested in a big game she has answered the bell for us. The way she has played for us-along with the play of an inexperienced defense that has battled through some injuries-have been invaluable to us this season. … This was the first game where we could not find the right combinations or formation, but much of that was due to UConn’s play. They were very strong tonight and their won-loss record is deceiving. This was a pretty wide-open game tonight and was enjoyable to watch for the fans.”

“This has been a tough stretch for us-with the travel and the injuries to key players-but we’ve had a number of players step in and do a great job. UConn has some injury problems as well and it’s certainly possible that we could see them again in a couple weeks, although there are teams in that BIG EAST Tournament that are capable of knocking off either one of us.”

“This game could prove to be a good lesson for us and we are looking forward to having some more spacing between games that comes with the postseason. Right now, the team needs some time-physically and mentally-to get refocused and rested. But it’s been a tremendous season. To have predicted that we would be 16-0-1 heading into the final regular-season game-with two starters missing a stretch of games-would have been a pretty bold statement heading into this season, but this team has shown great leadership and chemistry while playing with a lot of resiliency. It’s a special group and we are looking forward to the next few weeks.”

The Irish still hold a commanding 9-2-2 edge in the UConn series but only one of the games has been decided by more than two goals (NDs 6-1 win in the 1997 BIG EAST title game), with Friday ranking as the lowest-scoring game of a low-scoring series that also has included three 1-0 games, a 1-1 tie, one 2-0 game and three 2-1 games … UConn became the first team this season to best ND in shots and shots on goals and is the second to attempt more corner kicks than the Irish (5-3, with Portland owning a 7-3 edge) … ND’s seven shots, three shots on goal and three CKs were well below the Irish season averages (25, 15, 7) … ND had allowed just 22 shots over the previous eight games before UConn’s 16-shot outburst … UConn’s 16 shots are easily the most allowed by ND this season (Portland had 11, with the season average in the first 16 games being 4 opponent shots per game) … UConn’s eight shots on goal also are an ND opponent season high (SCU had 7, the avg. was 2) … UConn (5) joined Portland (7) and Yale (4) as the third ND opponent with more than 3 CKs … the game marked just the third scoreless tie in ND history and the first in six seasons (also at Dayton in 1991 and vs. North Carolina in a 94 game played in St. Louis).

Notre Dame entered last week as the nation’s only team ranked in the top seven for scoring offense and team goals-against average … ND’s 3.50 goals per game (now 3.29) ranked 6th while the Irish were tied with Hartford for 2nd in the nation with a 0.308 team goals-against average (now a nation-leading 0.28) … ND is the nation’s only remaining unbeaten team (among 274 Division I women’s soccer programs) and just three teams currently in the NSCAA top-25 have one loss and no ties: No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Nebraska (unranked Furman and Jacksonville also have just one loss).

Senior M Anne Makinen entered last week ranked 12th in the nation for assists/gm (0.79, now 0.75) … ND junior Liz Wagner now ranks 2nd in the nation for GAA (0.323), behind Brown’s Mary Jo Markle (0.150) … Wagner (1,391) has played 95% of ND’s minutes and has logged more than twice as many minutes as Markle, whose stats are skewed by the fact that she splits time in the goal for Brown … three ND players are ranked among the BIG EAST’s top-12 overall scorers: Makinen (2nd, 11G-12A-34P), senior F Meotis Erikson (5th, 10G-6A-26P) and freshman F Amanda Guertin (10th, 9G-2A-20P) … ND leads the BIG EAST in goals (56), GAA (0.28) and shutouts (12).

With 17 games in the books (the Irish could play as many as 26 games this season), Notre Dame is on pace to challenge several team records … ND has allowed just five goals (the team record is nine, in ’97) while the 0.28 team GAA is below the record of 0.36 (also set in ’97) … ND’s other projected 26-game totals include 640 shots (record 766 in 1997) and 132 shots allowed (record 101 in ’97) … the Irish have posted 12 shutouts and could make a run at the record (18, in ’95) … ND set the team record for best start (the ’96 team opened 13-0-0) and-prior to the tie at UConn-was one win shy of tying the record for longest single-season winning streak in Irish history (the `97 team won 17 straight midseason games) … ND also won 20 straight regular-season games (the previous team record was 18, from ’95-’96) … on the individual side, Anne Makinen’s record for shots in a season (106, in ’98) could be bested this season by either Makinen (on pace for 106 over 26 games) or Meotis Erikson (on pace for 107) … Makinen already owns five game-winning goals this season (Rosella Guerrero’s eight in ’94 are the ND record) while Erikson (12) has an outside shot at Jenny Heft’s Irish record for career GWGs (19, ’96-’99).

Notre Dame will be looking to continue its improved shooting accuracy, as the Irish were averaging one goal ever 7.8 shots before scoring three times on 12 shots at Syracuse and four times on 19 shots at Yale before failing to score on seven shots at UCpnn (an average of one goal every 5.4 shots over the course of those three games) … the current overall average of 7.5 shots/goal is highest in ND history, up slightly from the ’98 (6.8) and ’99 (6.1) campaigns … the best shot-to-goal ratio in ND history was 4.40 (in ’96) … the 2000 Irish are averaging 24.6 shots per game, which ranks ahead of every previous ND season except 1997 (30.9) and `98 (26.8) … seniors Anne Makinen (68 shots) and Meotis Erikson (70) have taken the bulk of ND’s shots this season (they have combined to average 8.1 shots per game) … the top shooting percentages among ND regulars include junior F Kelly Tulisiak (4G on 13 shots, 3.3 shots/goal) and freshman Fs Amy Warner (7 on 37, 5.3) and Amanda Guertin (9 on 48, 5.3).

ND’s current team goals-against average (0.28) is on pace to best the team record (0.36) set in ’97, when the Irish allowed just five goals in the regular season and nine overall … junior G Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) and the Irish defenders have allowed just two goals (on a PK at West Virginia and on a counterattack by BC) in the last 1,158 minutes of action, stretching back to Stanford’s goal in the 80th minute on Sept. 10 … the Irish have posted eight shutouts in the last nine games 912 total, three straight), allowing just 38 shots (17on goal) and 15 corner kicks during that nine-game stretch … ND is one more shutout shy of tying the team record for fewest goals allowed in the regular season (5, also in ’97) … Wagner and the Irish allowed just one goal in each game of the KeyBank Classic, vs. two of the nation’s top teams (Santa Clara, Stanford), before posting a pair of shutouts in the Portland adidas Invitational (vs. current #3 Washington and current #14 Portland), the 2-1 win at WVU and the five straight shutouts vs. Pittsburgh (1-0), Seton Hall (6-0), Rutgers (2-0), Georgetown (8-0) and Villanova (1-0), followed by shutouts at Syracuse (3-0), Yale (4-0) and 25th-ranked UConn (0-0).

Prior to the tie at UConn, Notre Dame nearly tied the team record for consecutive wins in a season (the `97 squad won 17 straight before losing 2-1 to UConn in the NCAA semifinals) … ND’s last regular-season loss came one year ago last week (Oct. 17, 1999), in a 4-2 game at then-No. 1 Santa Clara … since that time, the Irish set a team record by winning 20 straight regular-season games and now are 20-0-1 in the last 21 regular-season games (the `94-’95 teams combined to win 17 straight regular-season games) … ND is 26-1-2 in its last 29 games overall … a win over UConn also would equaled the second-longest overall winning streak in the 13-year history of the Notre Dame women’s soccer program (the 1995 and `96 teams combined to win 24 straight).

Last week’s six-day roadtrip during fall break included a dinner hosted by sophomore Vanessa Pruzinsky’s family (in their native Trumbull, Conn.) and a full day of sightseeing in New York City, including a visit to the New York Stock Exchange and a ride on the Staten Island Ferry (the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Staten Island served as excellent hosts to the team’s visit).

During the past eight weeks, Notre Dame has amassed 15 of 28 weekly BIG EAST awards for offensive player, defensive player and rookie (UConn is next with four) … due to the strong play in front of her, Irish junior Liz Wagner has been nominated just three times for BIG EAST goalkeeper of the week-when she totaled seven saves in the wins over Santa Clara and Stanford, when she totaled six saves in wins over Washington and Portland and after her eight-save effort in last week’s 0-0 game at UConn (Wagner has faced just 19 shots on goal over the course of ND’s other 12 games) … the Irish have produced three straight BIG EAST offensive players of the week (senior M Anne Makinen and senior F Meotis Erikson preceded junior M Mia Sarkesian) while ND players have collected seven straight BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week awards (including three by Kelly Lindsey and one by fellow senior Kerri Bakker, plus three by sophomore Vanessa Pruzinsky) … Amanda Guertin was the third Irish freshman to be honored by the BIG EAST in a three-week stretch, following in the footsteps of fellow F Amy Warner (a three-time honoree) and M Randi Scheller.

Notre Dame returns 16 of 22 letterwinners but lost five starters from its ’99 team that went 21-4-1 and advanced to the NCAA title game … senior M and leading national player-of-the-year candidate Anne Makinen (11G-12A) has scored or assisted on nearly half of ND’s goals this season (23 of 56) while other top scorers include freshman forwards Amy Warner (7G-4A) and Amanda Guertin (9G-1A) and senior F Meotis Erikson (10G-6A) … junior Elizabeth Wagner has played most of the minutes in the nets, with 35 saves and five goals allowed (one on a PK).

Information on Michigan is located at www.mgoblue.com.

Senior F Meotis Erikson scored three goals on Oct. 6 at Georgetown, becoming the 11th ND player to post three-plus hat tricks in her career (senior M Anne Makinen also owns three career HTs) … Erikson previously had registered three goals twice in a five-game span during late October of the 1997 season … just four previous ND players have turned in four-plus hat tricks: Jenny Heft (6, ’96-’99), Rosella Guerrero (5, ’92-’95), Michelle McCarthy (4, ’92-’95) and Monica Gerardo (4, ’95-’98) … Erikson’s hat trick is the 49th in ND history and the 25th in the last five seasons (freshman Amy Warner had 3G vs. PC on Sept. 3) … Erikson has points in four of last six games (5G-2A) and five of last eight(6G-3A) … Erikson’s recent surge gives her 151 points (56G-39A) for her career, just five behind `96 graduate Michelle McCarthy for 7th on the ND all-time scoring list … her 56 goals have pushed Erikson past `96 grad. Rosella Guerrero into 7th in ND history, three behind McCarthy, with Erikson edging past McCarthy (37) into 10th on the assists list.

ND freshman F Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) remains out indefinitely with a leg injury suffered in the Sept. 29 game vs. Seton Hall (she has missed the last seven games) … senior central D and second-year team captain Kelly Lindsey was injured late in the first half at Villanova on Oct. 8 and has missed the last four games … Warner’s spot in the starting lineup is being filled by sophomore Ali Lovelace, who had 1G-1A in the 8-0 win at Georgetown … the Irish have developed significant depth on the back line in recent weeks, with four players-Lindsey and fellow senior Kerri Bakker, plus sophomores Vanessa Pruzinsky and Nancy Mikacenic-capable of playing in the central positions while Pruzinsky, junior Lindsey Jones and senior Monica Gonzalez have seen significant time on the flanks … Mikacenic has started the last four games at Lindsey’s spot.

ND has trailed just once this season while holding the lead for 55% of the minutes … just three teams have managed to forge a tie (1-1) versus the Irish this season-Providence, Stanford and West Virginia-while Boston College is the only team to hold a lead on ND in 2000, doing so for 28 minutes-meaning the Irish have trailed for just 1.8% of the minutes this season.

Notre Dame jumped out to 1-0 leads in the first 12 minutes of six games this season, including three of the last six (Seton Hall, Georgetown and Syracuse) … the Irish also opened the season by scoring in the 12th minute vs. Detroit and scored in the eight minute the next week versus Providence … the most important quick-strike goal of the season came in the Sept. 17 game at Portland, as Meotis Erikson’s score in the 8th minute quieted the raucous 3,500-plus crowd and held up as the game’s only goal (the Irish ascended to the top of the national rankings one day later).

ND’s Quickest First Goals in 2000
1:32 at Syracuse (Mia Sarkesian)
7:20 at Portland (Meotis Erikson)
8:38 Providence (Amy Warner)
9:24 Seton Hall (Anne Makinen)
9:49 at Georgetown (Amanda Guertin)
11:36 Detroit (Makinen)

The Irish have scored first-half goals in 12 of 17 games this season while going past the 55-minute mark without any ND scoring in just three games … senior M Anne Makinen has come to the rescue several times this season with ND needing a second-half goal … on Sept. 1 vs. Tulsa, the ND offense was struggling before Makinen fired home a shot in the 69th minute and scored again for the 2-0 victory … one month later, the ever-reliable Makinen converted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute vs. Rutgers and ND went on to another 2-0 win … one week later at Villanova, Makinen’s leftside corner kick bent toward the goal and led to the decisive own goal in the 80th minute … most recently, Makinen came off the bench in the 54th minute at Yale and set up the first ND goal less than two minutes later, after slicing through the Bulldogs defense and sliding a pass to Meotis Erikson for the 1-0 lead (Makinen converted a free kick in the 83rd minute to spark a late flurry in the 4-0 win) … Mia Sarkesian’s first goal of the season-in the 37th minute vs. BC-helped erase ND’s only deficit of 2000 (Erikson assisted on that looping shot from 20 yards out).

ND’s Latest First Goals in 2000 (did not score at UConn)
79:11 at Villanova (own goal set up by Anne Makinen corner kick)
68:17 Tulsa (Makinen)
53:58 at Yale (Makinen)
52:56 Rutgers (Makinen)

Conventional thinking predicted that the 2000 Notre Dame women’s soccer team would experience a dropoff after losing five starters from the 1999 NCAA runner-up team to graduation, including three All-Americans (F/M Jen Streiffer, D Jen Grubb and G LaKeysia Beene) and ND all-time leading goalscorer Jenny Heft (80 career goals, with Streiffer ranking 2nd at 70), plus hard-nosed D Kara Brown (who ranks 5th in ND history with 99 games played) … those five seniors combined to log 485 games from 1996-99, including 440 starts …while struggling at times this season with consistently finishing its scoring chances, ND has risen to the top of the national soccer polls thanks to a skilled midfield that excels in possession and distribution and steady play in the defensive third that has yielded just five goals in 17 games (compared to 17 GA in the first 17 games of `99) … ND’s trio of central-based midfielders-senior Anne Makinen, junior Mia Sarkesian and sophomore Ashley Dryer-has provided consistent ball control that has yielded huge edges in shots (419-86), shots on goal (243-43) and corner kicks (109-36) … the Irish defense has thrived thanks to a seven-player group that has found strong chemistry despite limited experience … that group has included junior G Liz Wagner, senior central defenders Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker, junior right back Lindsey Jones and sophomore left back Vanessa Pruzinsky … senior Monica Gonzalez also has seen significant time on the flank while sophomore Nancy Mikacenic has done a solid job when called on to play in the middle-giving the Irish defense an effective six-player rotation … Lindsey is the only player among the six D who had made more than 26 career starts in the Irish defense prior to this season (Jones made 17 starts as a freshman M while Gonzalez was used strictly as a F prior to 2000 … and Wagner had no previous career starts) … Mikacenic-who has 21 GS as a M last season-has started the last four games in place of the injured Lindsey.

Since dropping a 4-2 game at Santa Clara on Oct. 17, 1999, ND has posted a 12-1-2 record in its last 15 games away from Alumni Field … the Irish have put up solid numbers on the road in the 2000 season (8 games), including a 24-1 scoring edge (the other 4 GA have come at home), a 139-56 shot edge (18-7 avg.) and a 82-24 edge in shots on goal (10-3 avg.).

Notre Dame senior F Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) has been a durable and reliable member of the Irish lineup throughout her career, appearing in all 93 of ND’s games during the past four seasons (starting 80 of them) … Erikson could become the 8th Irish player to appear in every game of her career (see list below) and only three players currently on that list logged more games than Erikson: M Shannon Boxx (101, `95-’98), D Kate Fisher (98, `93-’96) and G Jen Renola (98, `93-’96) … Erikson also ranks 12th on the ND list for career games played, recently passing current Irish G coach LaKeysia Beene (90, `96-’99) and F Rosella Guerrero (91, `92-’95) … Erikson could catch M Cindy Daws (`93-’96) on that list by playing in the Michigan game and would match F Jenny Heft (`96-’99) by adding two postseason games … others on that list include D Kate Sobrero (97, ’94-’97) and three with 98 GP: Fisher, Renola and F Monica Gerardo (`95-’98) … M/D Kara Brown (`96-’99) ranks 5th on that list with 99 GP while the top four include Boxx and three with an even 100 GP: M Holly Manthei (`94-’97), M/F Jenny Streiffer (`96-’99) and D Jen Grubb (`96-’99).

ND Players Who Have Appeared In Every Game Of Their Career
Shannon Boxx 1995-98 101
Kate Fisher 1993-96 98
Jen Renola 1993-96 98
Meotis Erikson 1997-2000 93
Rosella Guerrero 1992-95 91
Tiffany Thompson 1991-94 86
Suzie Zilvitis 1988-91 82
Alison Lester 1990-93 81

Notre Dame’s regular starting lineup during the 2000 season includes three players who had no previous starts on the Division I level-freshman Fs Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin and junior G Liz Wagner-plus several others with limited starting experience prior to 2000: senior D Kerri Bakker (3 GS prior to 2000), freshman M Ashley Dryer (15), junior M Mia Sarkesian (17), junior D Lindsey Jones (17) and sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinsky (26) … the only members of the everyday starting 11 with more than 26 starts prior to 2000 were senior D Kelly Lindsey (68), senior M Anne Makinen (66) and senior F Meotis Erikson (63) … by comparison, the Irish headed into the 1999 season with eight players who had more than 26 career starts.

Despite facing just 40 shots on goal all season, junior Liz Wagner has made several big plays vs. ranked opponents … in five games vs. teams ranked in last week’s NSCAA top 25, Wagner has totaled 21 saves while allowing just two goals (she has 14 saves and 3 GA in ND’s other 12 games) … in the 6-1 win over then-No. 2 Santa Clara, Wagner made five big saves, including an early breakaway and a diving stop in the second half … she finished the KeyBank Classic (which included a 2-1 OT win over Stanford) with seven saves, as the backstop to a defense that allowed just 16 shots … Wagner then made six saves at the Portland Invitational but turned in several other big plays in both games (she thwarted two early scoring chances by current No. 4 Washington before holding off current 17th-ranked Portland’s late charge) … she arguably was the best player on the field in last week’s 0-0 tie at UConn, making eight saves while smothering several other Huskies chances at a charged-up Marrone Stadium … Wagner is in the midst of her first season as a starter while facing the challenge of replacing All-American LaKeysia Beene and losing two starting defenders from the ’99 team (including four-time All-American Jen Grubb).

Senior M Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) scored on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 vs. Seton Hall and Rutgers, giving her 60 career goals to move past ’96 graduate Michelle McCarthy (59) into 5th on the ND all-time list (she then scored vs. Georgetown to move into a tie on the ND goalscoring list with 97 grad. Cindy Daws before adding her 62nd career goal at Yale) … Makinen was stuck on 49 career assists since Sept. 17 before assisting on all three Meotis Erikson goals in the 8-0 win at GU (Oct. 6)-becoming the 13th player in Division I history, and the third ND player, to eclipse the 50-goals-50-assists plateau (she entered 2000 as the nation’s only active 40-40 player) … Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A, ’96-’99) and Daws (61G-67A) are the only previous ND players to reach 50-50 … Makinen still has shot at reaching 60-60, needing 7A to become the sixth Division I player to earn that distinction … members of the 60-60 club include Streiffer, Daws, Carin Jennings (102G-60A, UC Santa Barbara, ’83-’86), Mia Hamm (103G-72A, North Carolina, ’89-’93) and Mandy Clemens (67G-65A, Santa Clara, ’96-’99) … nine more goals and 17 more assists would place Makinen alongside Streiffer and Hamm in the very exclusive 70-70 club.

Anne Makinen reached 10 points in three games this season and 20 (6G-8A) through seven games, despite being marked heavily as ND’s top returning offensive weapon (she now has 34 points, 11G-12A) … Makinen heads into the Michigan game with a career average of 2.19 points/gm (177 points in 81 games) … her 53 career assists are tied with Jen Grubb (`00) for 6th on the ND career list … Makinen’s 177 career points push her into 5th on the ND all-time list, moving past Holly Manthei’s career total from ’94-’97 (176) to trail only Jenny Streiffer (211, ’96-’99), Monica Gerardo (190, `95-’98), Cindy Daws (189, ’93-’96) and Jenny Heft (189, ’96-’99) … Makinen needs to total 48 points this season-she needs 14 more-to pass Gerardo into 2nd on the ND all-time scoring list (Makinen would need a 69-point season-or 35 more points-to surpass ND’s all-time leading scorer, Streiffer).

Anne Makinen-who has points in 11 of 17 games this season (15 starts)-has been the focal point of the Irish offense this season, as the three-year All-American has scored or assisted on more than 40% of ND’s goals (23 of 56), including five game-winning goals and four primary game-winning assists … her outlet pass also sprung Amy Warner for the cross that led to the game-ending own goal versus Stanford while her bending corner kick led to the own goal in the 1-0 game at Villanova … with her team struggling to cash in its chances vs. Tulsa on Sept. 1, Makinen took over in the lategoing by scoring a pair of goals for a 2-0 win … two days later, in the 5-1 win over Providence, her play from her central midfield spot helped the Irish eclipse 30 shots for the third straight game … her pass into the middle set up Amy Warner’s second goal of the PC game and Makinen added a long cross late in that game that Warner half-volleyed to complete her hat trick … Makinen had 1G-2A in the 6-1 win over No. 2 Santa Clara before setting up the game-ending sequence versus Stanford … at the Portland Invitational, Makinen’s long cross set up Ali Lovelace’s goal for a 2-0 lead on Washington and Makinen added a rebound goal and PK goal in that 5-0 game … the next day, her cross from the right set up Meotis Erikson’s goal in the 1-0 win over Portland … most recently, Makinen’s rocket shot from the top of the box held up as the only score in a 1-0 game with Pittsburgh before she opened the scoring to ignite the 6-0 win over Seton Hall and converted a second-half PK to give ND the lead in the 2-0 game with Rutgers … she then came off the bench in the 53rd minute to spark the 4-0 win at Yale, setting up Meotis Erikson for the first goal before sending a free kick over the wall and into the left corner for a late 2-0 cushion.

Notre Dame is in the midst of playing six of its final seven regular-season games away from home, with the lone home game in that stretch being the Oct. 13 matchup with Boston College … despite the six road games in October, the Irish potentially could spend most of the postseason playing at Alumni Field (the BIG EAST semifinals and final will be played at Notre Dame, on Nov. 3 and 5)-with as many as six straight postseason games in the home confines.

Notre Dame has returned to the top of the national polls for the first time since 1996, following a pair of quality wins on Sept. 16-17 over current No. 2 Washington (5-0) and current No. 10 Portland (1-0), coupled with North Carolina’s 2-1 loss earlier that week at upstart Clemson … North Carolina (now 12-2-0) dropped out of the top spot and is ranked 5th in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) poll (after losing last week to Florida State) … the Irish are ranked first in the NSCAA poll and various other polls conducted by soccer-specific publications and websites, including the long-running poll compiled by the editors of Soccer America magazine, the SoccerTimes.com national coaches poll and the American Soccer Writers media poll (coordinated by collegesoccerdaily.com).

Despite being outshot at UConn (16-7), Notre Dame has posted dominating statistical edges during the 2000 season, including: 56-5 in scoring, 419-86 in shots ( avg. 25-5), 243-43 in shots on goal (avg. 14-3) and 109-36 incorner kicks (avg. 6-2) …the Irish have held seven teams to 0-2 shots and have allowed more than eight shots just three times (10 by Santa Clara, 11 by Portland, 16 by UConn) … ND has allowed 0-2 shots on goal in 11 games (none in three) while SCU (7) and UConn (8) are the only teams to uncork more thanfour shots on goal vs. the Irish this season … 14 of the 17 ND opponents have been limited to 0-3 corner kicks (Portland had 7, Yale 4 and UConn 5).

Second-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum has seen his Irish teams post an impressive 37-4-2 combined record (.884), including a solid 9-3-2 mark versus NSCAA top-25 teams and a 1999 season that ended in the NCAA Championship title game … 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-finals, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose, Calif. … Waldrum’s 19-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 220-109-21 (.661) … he owns a 144-54-14 (.712) record in 10-plus 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 2000 season ranked 15th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (he ranks 26th on the total wins list).

Three different Notre Dame players-senior M Anne Makinen, senior F Meotis Erikson and freshman F Amy Warner-each scored the first goal of the game three-plus times in the first 11 games before freshman F Amanda Guertin joined that group with the first goal in the 8-0 win at Georgetown … junior M Mia Sarkesian then did the honors vs. BC and Syracuse, followed by Erikson netting the first goal at Yale … Makinen recently opened the scoring in three consecutive games (vs. Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Rutgers), after earlier scoring the first goal versus Detroit and Tulsa … Erikson scored first vs. Santa Clara, Washington, Portland and Yale while Warner broke the ice vs. Providence, Stanford and West Virginia.

In the season-opening win over Detroit (6-1), the Titans nearly scored the game’s first goal during an early flurry but ND responded by holding the Titans without a shot for the final 83 minutes … the final shot margin (49-2) ranks as one of the largest in ND history (the team record for shots in a game is 59) … the Irish gave up an early shot (not on goal) by Pittsburgh on Sept. 24 before holding the Panthers without a shot in the final 76 minutes … one week later, ND allowed Seton Hall just one shot (off goal) in the final 86 minutes of that game before holding Rutgers without a shot of any kind … the RU game marked the 13th time in ND history-and sixth time in the last six seasons-that the Irish have held the opponent without a shot.

Notre Dame’s home record in 10-plus seasons at Alumni Field is 112-7-1 (.938), including an 88-3-1 mark in the last 92 games-highlighted by a 27-game winning streak from 1992-95 (the fifth-longest home winning streak in NCAA women’s soccer history) … ND’s last three home losses have been at the hands of fifth-ranked Connecticut in ’95 (5-4, OT), sixth-ranked Portland in the ’98 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1) and top-rated North Carolina in the ’99 opener (3-2, OT) …the Irish currently carry a 20-game home winning streak … ND’s all-time record at Alumni Field vs. teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 77-1-0 (35-6-1 vs. ranked teams), with 70 straight home wins over unranked teams dating back to a 1990 loss to Creighton (2-0) … ND played at Moose Krause Field in the program’s first two seasons (’88 and ’89) , with a home record of 19-5-1 during that span (all vs. unranked teams).

The previous year in which Notre Dame sat atop the NSCAA poll during the regular season was 1996, when the Irish owned the top spot for the final two months of the season (a 2-1 win over UNC on Oct. 4 of that year, followed by a 2-0 win over Duke, bumped the Irish up from the No. 2 spot) … ND also spent the final month of the ’94 season as the No. 1-ranked team, thanks to an earlier 0-0 tie with UNC and the Tar Heels’ loss to Duke in early October.

Notre Dame is the only undefeated teams left in all of Division I women’s soccer (spanning 274 teams) … ND’s strength of schedule has improved since the start of the 2000 season, as Portland (10th), Washington (2nd), Boston College and Michigan (both not currently ranked) each have entered the NSCAA poll in recent weeks … other 2000 Irish opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA poll include No. 18 Stanford, 22nd-ranked Santa Clara and Connecticut (26th-most votes).

The Irish own a 29-3-1 all-time record (18-1-1 in the regular season) when playing as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll … ND’s losses as the No. 1 team have come at Santa Clara in the 1996 regular season (3-1) and in a pair of NCAA title games vs. UNC (5-0 in ’94, 1-0 in ’96), with the tie coming last week at UConn (0-0).

The Sept. 17 game at Portland completed a challenging stretch in which the Irish posted three consecutive wins over ranked opponents (then-#2 Santa Clara, then-#10 Stanford and #15 Washington), followed by the win over a Portland team that entered the NSCAA poll the next week at #14 … the last time ND played three straight NSCAA ranked opponents was during the 1995 NCAA championship run … early in that `95 season, ND posted successive wins over #13 Wisconsin, #19 Michigan State and #3 Stanford … later in `95, a rugged four-game stretch in the regular season yielded a 5-4 loss to #5 UConn, a 1-0 win over #6 SCU, a 2-2 tie with #11 Duke and a 2-0 loss to top-ranked North Carolina.

Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Santa Clara marked: SCU’s first consecutive losses since Sept. of 1994 (vs. LMU, Stanford and UNC), the first time SCU was outshot (23-10) in 19 games, and the most goals by an SCU opponent in 20 seasons-dating back to an 8-0 loss to UC Davis in ’80 (the last team to reach five goals vs. SCU was UNC, in ’91) … ND also became the first team to post more than 20 shots vs. Santa Clara since Washington did it in ’94 (23-18, in a 2-2 game).

“Anne Makinen is the best player in college soccer. She is a great international player, let alone a great college player. The international game is a much tougher game to be good than the college level. … I have such a high opinion of (Anne) that she would have to play just awesome for me to be kind of surprised. We talked about it in our team meeting. We just don’t have enough players that can kind of corral her.”

Despite being one of ND’s most dangerous players in the penalty box area, senior M Anne Makinen has taken many of ND’s corner kicks this season and is considered the team’s top option for that role due to her strong leg and pinpoint accuracy … senior F Meotis Erikson and freshman F Amanda Guertin also have been used recently on CKs … Erikson set up an Irish goal versus PC with one of those set plays, as did Makinen in the Detroit game … Makinen’s late corner in last week’s game at Villanova was bending into the goal before being kicked into the net by a VU player, for the game’s only goal … Guertin’s CK at Syracuse led to a header-volley combination by Ashley Dryer and Mia Sarkesian in the first two minutes of that 3-0 win.

Three-year starter and Notre Dame career goals-against average leader (0.63) LaKeysia Beene has moved on to the coaching ranks as a current Irish graduate assistant, leaving the goalkeeping position open to three capable players … junior Liz Wagner made her first career start in the Detroit game (she has started all 17 games this season) while sophomore Sani Post has played in the second half vs. Providence, Santa Clara, Seton Hall and Syracuse … freshman Lauren Kent (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) showed surprising development during the Brazil trip and has appeared in the lategoing vs. Detroit, Rutgers and Georgetown … due to the strong play in front of them, Post (132:03 played) and Kent (57:07) have yet to face a shot on goal.

“Tonight was a classic example of why Anne Makinen is the best player in college soccer. She takes the game to another level for our team and presents a whole different set of challenges for teams trying to defend us. It was amazing how the game changed so quickly after she checked in.”

“I’d always known Anne was a great player from watching her on TV but this was the first time I’d seen her in person and she completely changed the game from the moment she stepped on the field. She was creating great offensive chances but also made her teammates better. That’s the sign of great player and she’s the best I’ve seen this year.”

Notre Dame senior M Anne Makinen and senior F Meotis Erikson have joined 2000 graduates Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A, 211 pts) and Jenny Heft (80G-29A, 189 pts) as the second pair of ND classmates to each reach 150 career points … Makinen ranks 5th in ND history with 177 points (62G-53A) while Erikson ranks 8th with 151 (56G-39A).

Junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian has totaled just five goals in her ND career but many of them have come in clutch situations … most recently, she scored on a looping 20-yard shot late in the first half to tie the BC game and halt ND’s only deficit of the season (that was her first goal of the season, to go along with one assist) … two days later, Sarkesian’s volley of a corner kick-header combination gave ND a 1-0 lead in the first two minutes at Syracuse and she worked a give-and-go to set up Randi Scheller’s clinching goal late in the game (3-0) … all three of Sarkesian’s 1999 goals came in big games: versus top-ranked North Carolina in the ’99 opener (UNC won 3-2 in OT), vs. Seton Hall in the BIG EAST semifinals (a 5-0 win) and vs. Stanford in a 1-0 NCAA third-round game.

ND’s typical starting 11 is representative of the University’s national student body, as that starting unit includes players from nine states and Finland (senior M Anne Makinen), with the lone duplicate state being Texas (junior G Liz Wagner and freshman F Amanda Guertin) … the other regular starters hail from Connecticut (sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinsky), Indiana (junior D Lindsey Jones), Michigan (junior M Mia Sarkesian), Nebraska (senior D Kelly Lindsey), New Jersey (senior D Kerri Bakker), New Mexico (freshman F Amy Warner), Utah (sophomore M Ashley Dryer) and Washington (senior F Meotis Erikson) … the team’s top five reserves represent three more states: Ohio (junior F Kelly Tulisiak), Pennsylvania (freshman M Randi Scheller) and Georgia (sophomore F Ali Lovelace), plus repeats for Washington (sophomore D Nancy Mikacenic) and Texas (senior D/F Monica Gonzalez) … ND’s entire 27-player roster for 2000 includes players from 19 states and countries (the above 13, plus California, Canada, Florida, Idaho, Illinois and New York) … ND’s all-time women’s soccer roster includes players from 29 states and two countries, the above 19 plus: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

ND’s 27-player roster includes five players whose first names begin with A and five who begin with M (plus five that start with K and four with L) … five of the 10 players whose names start with A or M have combined to score ND’s first goal in every game, including five by senior M Anne Makinen, four by senior F Meotis Erikson, three by freshman F Amy Warner, two by junior M Mia Sarkesian and one by freshman F Amanda Guertin (Makinen also had the corner kick that led to an own goal in the 1-0 game at Villanova) … all told, seven players from the “A-M frequency” (also sophomore F Ali Lovelace and sophomore M Ashley Dryer) have combined to score 80 percent of the team’s goals (43 of 54), with that 54-goal total not including a pair of own goals that the A-M players helped set up (Makinen’s pass sprung Warner for a cross that was deflected in for a 2-1 overtime win over Stanford) … the names of ND’s top four forwards and entire starting midfield (all listed above) each start with an A or M.

Notre Dame F Amanda Guertin and M Randi Scheller have provided boosts to the ND offense in recent weeks while helping fill the void left by the injury to their classmate Amy Warner … Guertin has points in five of the last sevengames (5G-1A) while Scheller has 2G-2A in that seven-game span (equaling her total from the first 10 games).

Despite a dropoff in its overall scoring and shooting efficiency, the 2000 Notre Dame offense has shown the ability to score back-to-back goals in short periods of time during many of its games this season … in fact, the Irish have scored twice in a span of 5:21 or shorter 12 times this season, highlighted by five times when ND scored twice in 2:36 or less and three games in which the Irish erupted for a pair of two scores in a span of less than two minutes … eight different players have combined to score the second goals in those flurries, including two each by sophomore F Ali Lovelace, senior F Meotis Erikson and freshman Fs Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin (plus one each by freshman M Randi Scheller, junior F Kelly Tulisiak, sophomore M Ashley Dryer and senior M Caroline Marino) … ND has scored a pair of bunched twice in the same game vs. Santa Clara, Seton Hall and Georgetown … in addition to the bunched pairs listed below, the Irish also have posted two noteworthy three-goal flurries in the 2000 season, scoring five times in a span of 5:01 to stunningly take a 3-0 lead on Washington while putting the Yale game away with three goals in a late 6:54 stretch (each of those flurries are included below):

1:01 Erikson-Lovelace 26:10-27:11 2-0 Washington (@Portland)
1:53 Makinen-Warner 9:24-10:17 2-0 Seton Hall
1:56 Guertin-Erikson 9:49-11:45 2-0 at Georgetown
2:09 Guertin-Scheller 86:48-88:57 4-0 at Yale
2:36 Tulisiak-Tulisiak 86:30-89:06 6-1 Santa Clara
3:09 Warner-Dryer 75:16-78:25 6-1 Providence
3:43 Makinen-Guertin 52:56-56:39 2-0 Rutgers
4:00 Lovelace-Lovelace 27:11-31:11 3-0 Washington (@Portland)
4:36 Erikson-Warner 17:21-21:57 *2-1 Santa Clara
4:45 Makinen-Guertin 82:03-86:48 3-0 Yale
5:03 Erikson-Erikson 64:01-69:04 5-0 Georgetown
5:21 Tulisiak-Marino 63:36-68:57 6-0 Seton Hall

* Note: Erikson and Warner’s goals were sandwiched around a score by SCU’s Kathleen Celio (20:26).

There have been times during recent weeks in which the Irish women’s soccer team has felt like it was several weeks farther along in the season, due in large part to the preseason trip to Brazil that included seven games versus Brazilian club teams … including the games in Brazil, ND has played 25 games in 2000 (the equivalent of playing the regular season, three BIG EAST Tournament games and four games in the NCAAs).