Sept. 21, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (9/21/03) – Junior forward Mary Boland scored six minutes into the game and added the shot that led to Katie Thorlakson’s game-winning rebound goal as the Notre Dame women’s soccer team proved its worth as the nation’s No. 2-ranked squad, overcoming 95-degree heat and the talent of 10th-ranked Santa Clara to defeat the host Broncos, 2-1, in Sunday-afternoon action at the SCU Adidas Classic.
Notre Dame (7-0-1) – which next plays eight straight games at home – put steady pressure on Santa Clara (3-2-3) while racking up a 14-5 overall shot edge, including an 8-1 advantage in a dominant first half while SCU converted its only shot on goal (in the second half).
Thorlakson – who earned the tournament’s offensive MVP award – lofted a 30-yard pass from the left sideline to set up the first goal, with the cross kicking through the box and Boland in place to sweep the ball into the far right side of the net (5:03). It marked Boland’s seventh goal of the season, matching her combined total from 2001 and ’02, but was her first goal since finding the net six times in the first three games (a Notre Dame record).
The Notre Dame coaching staff made a key tactical decision by making timely substitutions throughout lineup, capitalizing on the team’s tremendous depth (despite having five players out with injuries) while also minimizing the effect of the brutal heat on the blue-clad Irish squad.
That strategy paid dividends in the second half, as the Irish answered SCU’s equalizer in the 63rd minute by scoring with a fresh group of players on the field. Senior forward Amy Warner – who was one of four Irish players to re-enter the game in the 65th minute – chased down a ball in the right corner and continued to harass the Broncos defenders before regaining possession near the right side of the box.
Warner then played a short pass to fellow all-tournament pick Boland and the Academic All-America candidate took the pass with her back to the goal before deftly turning to her left to shake free of a SCU player. Boland then struck a low shot to the far left side of the goal and ‘keeper Julie Ryder was able to make the save – but Thorlakson pounced on the deflection and deposited her third goal of the season into the left side of the net (75:14).
Santa Clara converted its only shot on goal in the game, as Veronica Zepeda’s pass found freshman Marian Dalmy open near the top of the box, with Dalmy drilling a shot into the upper right corner for her fourth goal of the season (62:47) – ending Notre Dame’s shutout streak at 418 minutes and marking just the fourth goal allowed by the Irish all season. It also was the first time the Irish have allowed a second-half goal in 2003.
NOTES: Freshman central D Christie Shaner was ND’s fourth all-tournament selection and was named the tournament’s defensive MVP …Thorlakson was a streaky player in 2002 (all 4 of her goals and 2 of 3 assists came in the final 9 games) and she appears to be at it again, with 3G-1A and a breakaway that led to an Annie Schefter PK score during the last 4 games (after totaling just 1A in the first 4) … ND continues to avoid the slumps that have haunted the Irish during second games of a weekend, as ND now is 4-0-0 with a 15-2 scoring edge when playing two days after a previous game (compared to the ’02 team that was 4-4 and outscored 14-12 in those games during the regular season) … ND’s season stats now include a 29-4 scoring edge, a 148-50 shot edge and an 80-22 edge in shots on goal …just three previous ND teams have allowed fewer goals during the first eight games of a season (8 in ’93, 0 in ’95, 3 in ’97, also 4 in 2000) … sophomore G Erika Bohn now is 16-1-1 in her last 17 games with the Irish, allowing just 10 goals in those games … ND is 22-10-3 vs. teams ranked in the NSCAA top-25 poll during the five-year Randy Waldrum era … the Irish now have posted solid results in their last seven regular-season tournament games on the road (5-0 vs. Washington and 1-0 vs. Portland at the 2000 UP Invitational, 2-1 vs. Hartford and 5-2 vs. Maryland at the ’02 Maryland Classic, 9-1 vs. Hartford and 3-0 vs. Wake Forest at the ’03 UConn Classic and this weekend’s 0-0 tie with Stanford and 2-1 win over SCU … ND now leads the SCU series 5-3-0.
1 2 F#2 NOTRE DAME 1 1 - 2#10 SANTA CLARA 0 1 - 1
ND 1. Mary Boland 7 (Katie Thorlakson) 5:03
SCU 1. Marian Dalmy 4 (Veronica Zepeda) 62:47;
ND 2. Katie Thorlakson 3 (Boland) 75:14.
Shots: ND 8-6 – 14, SCU 2-3 – 5.
Corner Kicks: ND 6-0 – 6, SCU 1-0 – 1.
Saves: ND 0-0 – 0 (Erika Bohn), SCU 3-2 – 5 (Julie Ryder).
Fouls: ND 7-4 – 11, SCU 3-7 – 10.
Offsides: ND 0-7 – 7, SCU 0-0 – 0.