Oct. 22, 2003
The Notre Dame women’s soccer program has collected two more BIG EAST weekly awards, with sophomore Erika Bohn earning the goalkeeper honor while freshmen central back Christie Shaner picked up her second rookie-of-the-week award – with Notre Dame becoming the first team to receive all four BIG EAST weekly awards this season (offensive, defensive, goalkeeper and rookie).
Bohn made five saves in last week’s wins over 15th-ranked Connecticut (2-0) and a rested Pittsburgh squad (1-0) while posting her seventh and eighth solo shutouts of the season (plus four shared shutouts) and setting the Notre Dame record for consecutive shutout minutes, with 789 (good for 11th in the NCAA record book). She continues to lead the nation with a 0.25 season goals-against average and has allowed just one goal in the last 14-plus games.
Shaner registered an assist for the second and third consecutive games in the Oct. 13-19 action, also helping the Irish tie the team record for consecutive shutouts (8). She played a key role for the Notre Dame defense that allowed just 10 shots (five on goal) and five corner kicks over the course of last week’s action, with her strong play helping overcome the absence of fellow central back and All-America hopeful Melissa Tancredi in the Pittsburgh game.
Bohn’s strong all-around play last week – including dominant control of the goal area to snuff out several potential shots on goal – was highlighted by one moment when she pounced off her line to save a strong first-half breakaway chance by UConn leading scorer Jessica Gjersten. She owns a 25-1-1 record in her last 27 overall starts with the Irish (10 GA in those games) while her shutout streak is third-longest in Division I women’s soccer since 1999, just behind a pair of shutout streaks posted by Denver’s Erica Izard (827 minutes in ’01 and 804 in ’02). The Academic All-America candidate needs just 40 more scoreless minutes to move up to seventh on the NCAA list and could reach sixth place with 67 shutout minutes on Friday at Rutgers (former UNC ‘keeper Anne Sherow holds the NCAA record with 1,670 consecutive shutout minutes, spanning the 1987 and ’88 seasons).
Erika Bohn continues to put together one of the top seasons ever by a Notre Dame goalkeeper.
Bohn also has led an ND defense that has held its last 22 fall opponents to 0-1 goals, two shy of the team record for conesecutive games without multiple goals allowed (24, set in 2000). She and the Irish still have trailed just once all season (for 7:18 vs. ASU), with no deficits in the last 14 games (ND has led for 73% of the minutes and trailed for just 0.4%).
Shaner has combined with Bohn and the rest of Notre Dame’s team defense approach to set the Irish record for consecutiveshutouts minutes (764) while emerging as a strong central defender alongside Tancredi. The talented rookie assisted on the first goal vs. UConn on a leftside corner kick that led to a Katie Thorlakson goal and she then assisted on another gamewinner vs. Pittsburgh, on a long service into the box (with junior forward Mary Boland scoring on a 12-yard header) . She has helped ND post the 17th-longest shutout streak in NCAA history and no previous team in Irish history has allowed fewer goals at the 17-game mark than the current squad (58-5 scoring edge) – with ND also holding the last 14 opponents to 0-3 shots on goal (21 total opponent shots on goal in that stretch).
Shaner’s defensive excellence is all the more noteworthy due to the season-long absence of injured junior All-America right back Candace Chapman (ACL knee injury) and the limited play of junior Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (returning from broken arm) – with fellow freshman Kim Lorenzen and fifth-year left back Vanessa Pruzinsky filling out the defensive unit alongside Shaner and Tancredi.
Notre Dame players have combined to receive nine BIG EAST weekly awards this season, with the others including offensive players of the week Boland (Sept. 1) and Amy Warner (Oct. 13), defensive players of the week Pruzinsky (Sept. 15) and Tancredi (Oct. 6, 13) and rookie of the week Jen Buczkowski (Sept. 8) – making Notre Dame the BIG EAST’s only team to receive at least six awards (Rutgers is next with five). Notre Dame also remains the only squad with multiple players among the recipients for any of the awards (doing so in the offensive, defensive and rookie awards).
Notre Dame steadily has emerged as possibly the nation’s top all-around team, currently ranking third nationally in team scoring (3.41 goals per game) while leading the nation with a 0.29 goals-against average. Notre Dame and UNC are the only unbeaten teams remaining among 297 Division I women’s soccer programs, with just eight other teams having only one loss ( top-25 teams UCLA, Colorado, Princeton and Cal Poly, plus Southeastern Louisiana, Central Connecticut, Maine and Hofstra).