July 23, 2006
The Notre Dame women’s soccer team has added a second exhibition game to its 2006 schedule, setting up another matchup with Virginia in a rare preseason showdown between two of the nation’s top teams. The Irish and Cavaliers will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at the Keystone Road Soccer Complex in Traverse City, Mich. (1:00 p.m. EDT). This will mark the third time in the past four years that Virginia has spent its preseason training in the Midwest, with UVa most recently losing its pair of 2005 preseason games versus Michigan (2-1, in Traverse City) and Notre Dame (2-0, in Fort Wayne, Ind.).
After facing the early test versus Virginia, the Irish women will return home for another exhibition game the next day (Aug. 17; 1:00) against a Xavier team that is coached by former Notre Dame assistant Alvin Alexander. Notre Dame’s first official game of the 2006 season will be on Aug. 26, versus Iowa State at Alumni Field (1:00).
Notre Dame and Virginia both feature a strong group of returners from their 2005 teams but each squad will be playing without two key players during the upcoming exhibition matchup. Two Irish players who are set to enter their sophomore seasons – midfielder Brittany Bock and central defender Carrie Dew – will be competing with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the 2006 Under-20 World Championship (from Aug. 17-Sept. 3, in Russia), as will Virginia forward Jess Rostedt and midfielder Nikki Krzysik.
Virginia went 18-6-1 in the 2005 season, losing to eventual NCAA runner-up UCLA in the NCAA quarterfinals (5-0). Notre Dame also reached the NCAA quarterfinals as part of a 22-3-0 record in 2006, ending its season with a 3-1 loss at NCAA champion Portland.
In addition to Bock and Dew, Notre Dame’s top returners for the 2006 season will include a pair of All-Americans – senior midfielder Jen Buczkowski and sophomore forward Kerri Hanks – plus four other veteran starters: junior forward Amanda Cinalli, senior midfielder Jill Krivacek, senior left back Christie Shaner and senior central defender Kil Lorenzen.
Notre Dame’s 2005 preseason win over Virginia saw both teams officially credited with seven shots and four corner kicks (the Irish had a 6-4 edge in shots on goal). Hanks assisted on a 20th-minute goal by Katie Thorlakson, who later set up a Susan Pinnick goal in the lategoing. That marquee game of the four-day IPFW Showcase attracted 3,470 fans to Heffern Field Stadium.