Oct. 2, 2001
Two Notre Dame women’s soccer players have been recognized by the BIG EAST Conference and Soccer America for their contributions to Irish victories last week over then-No. 3 Nebraska (1-0), Pittsburgh (4-0) and 19th-ranked West Virginia (2-1). Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) was named the BIG EAST’s offensive player of the week while fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) was named the conference’s defensive player of the week. Both players also were named to Soccer America’s 11-player national team of the week.
In other news, Notre Dame moved up from fourth to third in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll-after navigating a tough stretch of three games in six days (completing a 10-day stretch of five games for the Irish).
Sarkesian registered a pair of gamewinning goals versus nationally-ranked opponents, including the game’s only goal in the 1-0 battle with third-ranked Nebraska (after a well-executed free kick sequence that included three crisp passes). She then assisted on the final Irish goal in a 4-0 road win over Pittsburgh before assisting on the first ND goal and scoring the gamewinner in overtime vs. No. 19 West Virginia (2-1), with the clinching goal coming on a double-header combination after another free-kick set play. Sarkesian’s strong midfield play during the week made up for the limited contributions of injured junior Ashley Dryer (who did not play vs. Pittsburgh), with ND owning a 43-22 shot edge during the week.
Gonzalez-who has played mostly outside defense during the past two seasons-was utilized at one of the central defender spots during last week’s action, in part due to the absece of freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (who was playing in Spain with her native Icelandic national team). The versatile Gonzalez ranked as one of Notre Dame’s most valuable players during the big win over Nebraska by dominating play in the air and helping shut out Nebraska’s potent formation of four forwards (the Huskers managed just four shots on goal). She then provided a pair of free kicks that set up ND’s second and third goals in the 4-0 win over Pitt before helping limit West Virginia to one goal. For the week, Gonzalez helped the Irish defense allow just 22 shots (nine on goal), 12 corner kicks and one goal in three games.