Sept. 30, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Mia Sarkesian added to her legacy of clutch goalscoring for the second time this week, converting on a double-header sequence in the 13th minute of overtime, as fourth-ranked Notre Dame took the upper hand in the BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division standings with a 2-1 victory over No. 19 West Virginia, in Sunday-afternoon action at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (8-0-1, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) now owns a 58-2-2 all-time mark in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams, including 23-0-1 in the last 24. The Irish also own an impressive record of 17-4-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 teams during the three-year tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum.
The gamewinning goal featured a free-kick cross from sophomore forward Amanda Guertin and a header assist by freshman Mary Boland, who also opened the scoring (via an assist from Sarkesian) while again splitting time between the midfield and forward positions.
West Virginia (8-0-1, 4-0-0) tied the game in the 71st minute, on a header from Chrissy Abbott, and had several other scoring chances during a game that saw much of the play contested in the midfield. The Irish finished with a 14-11 shot edge while WVU attempted three corner kicks to ND’s two.
The game ended a 10-game stretch for the Irish in which they played five games (with three games in six days), including Friday night’s road game vs. Pittsburgh.
Melissa Haire made nine saves for the visitors but left the game following a collision in the 85th minute (her replacement Laura Finley did not have a save in 27 minutes of action).
Sarkesian-whose 11 career goals include six gamewinners (among them Tuesday’s goal in the 1-0 game vs. #3 Nebraska), plus pressure-packed scores vs. North Carolina and Boston College-notched her second goal of the season at the 102:05 mark, after sending a header into the right side of the net. Guertin’s long cross from the right flank found Boland at the far left post and the scrappy rookie redirected her header across the goalmouth. Sarkesian was in position at the opposite post and quickly headed the ball down into the goal to end the game.
Sarkesian’s long thru-ball sprung Boland early in the second half, with the scrappy freshman dribbling into the box before beating the charging ‘keeper Melissa Haire with a low shot into the center of the goal (53:53).
WVU netted the equalizer with 19 minutes left to play, on a free kick from the left side. Katie Barnes sent a low kick in to the penalty box and Abbott flicked her header from the left side, with the ball skipping past Irish goalkeeper Liz Wagner for a 1-1 game (71:04).
Gonzalez had a strong chance in the 83rd minute but sent an open shot from 15 yards over the crossbar. WVU then had the first strong chance in overtime, when Barnes broke free in the 101st minute-but defenders Vanessa Pruzinsky and Lindsey Jones closed in time to knock the ball away at the top of the box.
NOTES: Of the seven goals ND has allowed this season, just one has come in the first half (at 0:31, by Wisconsin) while all but two of the opponent scores have come in the final 20 minutes of regulation … the Irish are 27-0-2 in their last 29 regular-season games, one shy of tying the team record for unbeaten streak in the regular season (30-0-2, from 199-95) … the Irish are 106-3-2 in their last 111 home games … set plays have let to five of ND’s last nine goals, including Amanda Guertin’s gamewinner vs. Georgetown (directly from corner kick), the three-pass sequence off a free kick vs. Nebraska (scored by Sarkesian), goals by Guertin and Melissa Tancredi vs. Pittsburgh (both set up by deep free kicks from Monica Gonzalez) and Sunday’s gamewinner).
#19 WEST VIRGINIA (6-2-0, 1-1-0 BIG EAST) 0 1 0 – 1
#4 NOTRE DAME (8-0-1, 4-0-0 BIG EAST) 0 1 1 – 2
ND 1. Mary Boland 2 (Mia Sarkesian) 53:53, WVU 1. Chrissie Abbott 6 (Katie Barnes) 71:04, ND 2. Mia Sarkesian 2 (Mary Boland, Amanda Guertin 102:05.
SHOTS: WVU 3-6-2-11, ND 6-7-1-14.
SAVES: WVU (Melissa Haire 9, Laura Finley 0) 9, ND (Liz Wagner) 4.
CORNER KICKS: WVU 3, ND 2.
FOULS: WVU 8, ND 11.
OFFSIDES: WVU 3, ND 1.