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Sixth-Ranked Irish Set To Open Season At UConn Classic, Looking To Overcome More Injury Woes

Aug. 28, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
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University of Connecticut Adidas Classic

Fri., Aug. 29, 2003 (vs. Hartford; 4:30 EDT)

Sun., Aug. 31, 2003 (vs. Wake Forest; Noon EDT)

(Note: see PDF for complete release with chart and sidebar data)

The Notre Dame women’s soccer team – ranked sixth in the Soccer America preseason poll and 10th in the NSCAA coaches poll – opens its 2003 season at a familiar site, heading to Marrone Stadium for the University of Connecticut adidas Classic … ND returns 12 of its top 13 players (two recently were lost for the season) from the 2002 squad that closed with a 6-2-0 record and gave top-ranked Stanford all it could handle in a 1-0 third-round NCAA loss …the Irish will face a pair of top opponents this weekend, with games versus Hartford (Aug. 29; 4:30) and Wake Forest (Aug. 31, noon) … both of those teams were ranked in ’02 and advanced to the NCAAs (Hartford returns 12 letterwinners but just six starters from its 2002 team that went 14-7-0, WFU also returns six starters and 10 letterwinners from a 13-8-2 team) … this marks the third straight season that ND has faced Hartford (the Irish won 2-0 at home in the 2001 Key Bank Classic and 2-1 at the ’02 Maryland Classic) … ND and UConn will meet later this season at Alumni Field (Oct. 17) … Notre Dame will be looking to overcome more bad news on the injury front (see below) while aiming to maintain a recent trend of strong play on the road in regular-season tournaments.


LIVE STATS: Connecticut will be providing live stats for both games involving ND this weekend, at (a link also should be available at

ND SPORTS HOTLINE (574-631-3000): The Notre Dame sports hotline again will provide short game recaps after every game this season … for schedule and result information on all 26 Notre Dame varsity sports, call the ND Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 (press “4” for soccer information and then ‘2″ for women’s soccer results).

INJURY WOES CONTINUE; CHAPMAN, SCHELLER LIKELY OUT FOR SEASON: Notre Dame’s 2002 season was hampered by injuries to several top players (totaling 64 games missed) and the Irish now must play the 2003 season minus two other crucial players – as junior All-America defender Candace Chapman suffered a torn ACL knee injury in training with the Canadian National Team (in preparation for the upcoming World Cup) while senior midfielder Randi Scheller is undergoing hip surgery this weekend … three others – sophomore M Jenny Walz (ACL), freshman D Kari Kennedy (foot) and junior D Kate Tulisiak (back) – are sidelined for several weeks while veteran defenders Vanessa Pruzinsky (ankle) and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (foot) are nearing a full-time return to action (both could see action at UConn) … Scheller will have the option to apply for a fifth year of eligibility in 2004, as will central defender Melissa Tancredi (she missed the 2000 season with an ACL injury) … Pruzinsky is a current fifth-year player (out most of ’02 with the ankle injury) while Chapman will be a senior in 2004 and then have her own option at a fifth year in ’05 … here is the updated injury report:

Candace Chapman (So., D) … torn ACL training with Canada for W. Cup (out for year)

Randi Scheller (Sr., M) … hip capsule surgery this weekend (out for year)

Jenny Walz (So., M) … rehabbing from ACL knee surgery (could return mid-season)

Kate Tulisiak (Jr., D) … nagging back injury (out indefinitely)

Kari Kennedy (Fr., D) … preseason foot injury (out 2-3 weeks)

Vanessa Pruzinsky (Sr., D) … nearing return from ankle injury that held her out in ’02

Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Jr., D) … nearing full return from foot surgery

OPENER SUCCESS: Notre Dame will be looking to add to its 13-2-0 all-time record in season openers, including three straight season-opening wins and a 9-1-0 mark in the last 10 (with the loss coming in a 1999 heartbreaker vs. top-ranked UNC, 3-2 in double OT).


DEPTH CHARGES – ND returned 12 of its top 13 players from the 2002 roster (including Candace Chapman and Randi Scheller, now both out for the year), with the biggest loss being ace defensive M Ashley Dryer … addition of nation’s 5th-rated freshman class gives the Irish the greatest depth of the five-year Randy Waldrum era.

FIRE & ICE – Seniors Amy Warner (27 career goals) and Amanda Guertin (37) could emerge as one of the nation’s premier forward tandems, with both among 12 total players named to the preseason all-BIG EAST team.

MIDFIELD SHIFT – ND could alter the alignment of three central-based midfielders, with one of those players in a defensive role and two in more attacking roles (the Irish used that shape in ’99, then two back and one forward in ’00-’02).

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE – Fifth-year D Vanessa Pruzinsky in May 2003 became the third chemical engineering major (and first since ’74) to graduate from ND with a 4.0 cumulative GPA … Pruzinsky is a two-time Academic All-American, with ND’s other top candidates for that award in ’03 including junior F/M Mary Boland (3.87, psychology), sophomore M/D Annie Schefter (3.67, College of Science) and sophomore G Erika Bohn (3.67, College of Business).

NOTRE DAME PLAYER QUICK FACTS (see PDF for brief notes and stats on each player)


PRUZINSKY, BOHN BACK IN THE NUTMEG STATE – Two of ND’s top players – fifth-year D Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull HS; Weston Wild Things) and sophomore G Erika Bohn (Brookfield HS; Yankee United Rage) are Connecticut natives, with Bohn’s family recently moving to Rutland, Vt. … Pruzinsky in 2001 became the second ND student-athlete ever named first team Academic All-America as a sophomore and junior but was not eligible in 2002 due to her season-ending ankle injury (she was the ’02 preseason BIG EAST player of the year and in the mix at that time for a spot on the U.S. under-21 team) … she went on to become the third chemical engineering major (and first since 1974) to graduate from Notre Dame with a 4.0 cumulative GPA … Pruzinsky was the NSCAA national player of the year after her senior season at Trumbull HS, led Trumbull to three state titles ( 65-8-3 four-year record) and helped the Weston Wild Things win the ’98 national title … her 20-0 senior-year team at Trumbull did not allow a goal while she finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer (79G-59A), playing as a forward … Bohn had a solid debut season with the Irish (1.28 GAA), finishing strong with 8 GA allowed in the final seven games (one on a PK) and totaling 14 games with 0-1 GA (she then allowed just 2G in five 2003 spring games) … she posted a 0.68 GAA and 41 shutouts in her Brookfield career (state runner-up in ’99 and ’01), also scoring 16 goals as a free-kick and PK specialist … Bohn also helped the Yankee United Rage win five state titles.

ND-HARTFORD SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame beat Hartford in two previous meetings (2-0 at ND’s 2001 Key Bank Classic, 2-1 at the 2002 Maryland Classic) … in last year’s game, Jenette Akerlund’s cross set up Tini Lyng for an open shot at the top of the box (giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute) … Randi Scheller’s 22-yard free kick tied the game minutes later and Amy Warner scored the gamewinner in the 62nd minute, on a leftside crossing shot after running onto a thru-ball from Ashley Dryer … ND played without injured D Vanessa Pruzinsky and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, with Melissa Tancredi making her first start in the back … Candace Chapman’s second-half shift to the midfield helped spark the comeback, after ND managed just three 1st-half shots.

SERIES OPENER SUCCESS: Notre Dame will be facing Wake Forest for the first time and has won 70 percent of its all-time series openers (61-25-2, .705), including 28-5 in series openers since 1993.

VS. THE ACC: Following last season’s 5-2 win at Maryland, the Irish have not lost to an ACC team other than UNC since a 2-1 loss to Duke on Sept. 25, 1992 (9-0-1 vs. ACC teams, other than UNC, since that game) … that 10-game streak of not losing to an ACC team other than UNC includes a 6-0-1 mark vs. Duke, a ’93 win over NC State and two wins over Maryland (also in the ’96 NCAAs).

TOURNAMENT-TESTED: Notre Dame owns a 76-23-6 all-time record (.752) in tournament action, including 30-13-5 in regular-season tournaments, 22-0-0 in conference tournaments and 24-10-1 in the NCAAs … beginning with the 1994 season (which ended with an NCAA runner-up finish), Notre Dame owns a 21-6-3 record in regular-season tournaments – with 17 of those wins coming vs. ranked teams … since ’94, the Irish have lost just six regular-season tournament games: vs. UNC twice (2-0 in ’95, in Houston; 3-2 at the ’99 KBC), vs. SCU in ’96 (3-1, at Duke), vs. SMU in 1999 (1-0; in Klein, Texas, minus star player Anne Makinen and 2002 games vs. the potent duo of SCU and Portland … ND’s impressive showing on the road in regular-season tournaments recently has included a pair of wins at the 2000 Portland Invitational (5-0 vs. Washington and 1-0 vs. Portland, elevating ND to No. 1) and 2002 wins at the Fila Classic vs. Hartford (2-1) and host Maryland (5-2) … ND was slated to play at SCU’s 2001 tournament (vs. the Broncos an Stanford) but the event was canceled due to the 9/11 tragedy.

ALUMNI UPDATE – Several former Notre Dame women’s soccer players have been in the news during recent weeks:

* D Kate Sobrero (’98) and M Shannon Boxx (’99) were named to the 18-player U.S. National Team roster that will compete in the upcoming World Cup (Sept. 23-Oct. 12) … Sobrero also played for the U.S. team that won the 1999 World Cup and was on the 2000 Olympic team … Boxx was the surprise of the roster, with no previous National Team experience but an impressive 2003 season in the WUSA.

* Sobrero (Boston Breakers) and Boxx (MVP of New York Power) were two of five ND players named to the Women’s United Soccer Association 2003 all-star game, with the others including Washington Freedom D Jen Grubb (’00), Boston D Monica Gonzalez (’02) and San Jose CyberRays G LaKeysia Beene (’00) … Sobrero and Gonzalez helped Boston win the WUSA regular-season title while Grubb – who has not missed a single minute of action in the first three WUSA season – captained the Freedom to the 2003 WUSA Founders Cup title after a 2-1 overtime win over the Atlanta Beat … four other ND alums played in the WUSA during the 2003 season: M Anne Makinen (’01; Philadelphia Charge), D Lindsey Jones (’02; N.Y. Power), D Kelly Lindsey (’01; San Jose) and M Monica Gerardo (’99; Washington).

* Three of the above players recently became college assistant coaches: Gerardo at the University of Pittsburgh (where former ND assistant Sue-Moy Chin is the first-year head coach), Lindsey at the University of Colorado and Boxx at Cal State Dominguez Hills … Boxx also is enrolled in graduate school at Pepperdine and is one of several former ND players who were set to be married in coming months (as were Sobrero and former midfield great Holly Manthei).

HEADS OF THE CLASS – Notre Dame has plenty of quality players in the air, led by senior central D Melissa Tancredi (5 of 8 career goals on CK headers, including all four in ’02) … junior Mary Boland also has converted several header goals in her career while 5-10 freshman Jill Krivacek could emerge as a devastating presence in the air (her classmate Christie Shaner also is noted her play in the air) … senior F Amanda Guertin’s pinpoint corner kicks and free kicks could find the heads of the above players with regularity in 2003 (nine of her 11 assists in ’02 came on set pieces, including eight on CKs).

SCORING BOOST – The Irish will be looking for increased goal production in 2003, with several “newcomers” among the top candidates to provide that boost: sophomore M/D Annie Schefter (dnp in ’02; 47G as prep senior at West Valley HS), the freshman midfield duo of Jen Buczkowski (69G in three seasons at Elk Grove HS) and Jill Krivacek (set Rosary HS record with 78 career G) and freshman D/M Lizzie Reed (2nd in Ramapo Regional HS history with 126 career G).

FRESHMAN CLASS RANKED AMONG BEST IN NATION – Soccer America rated Notre Dame’s current 10-player freshman class as the fifth-best group of incoming recruits, behind Santa Clara, UCLA, Texas and Portland … Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove, Ill.) was No. 6 on the list of top individual recruits (second among M, behind Nebraska’s Brittany Timko, No. 2 overall) … D Christie Shaner (Ambler, Pa.) is No. 22 on that list, making the Irish one of seven schools with multiple players on that top-25 list … M/D Lizzie Reed (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) joins the above two players as ND freshmen who were prep All-Americans.

PRIMETIME PLAYERS: Notre Dame went 24-8-1 during the previous three seasons when facing a ranked team and/or playing in the postseason, with a 69-33 scoring edge in those 32 “big games” … junior F Amanda Guertin has racked up 50 points in those big games (20G-10A) … Guertin’s classmate Amy Warner owns 8G-5A vs. ranked or postseason opponents (she missed half of the 2000 season due to injury).

HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum: The Irish are 74-16-3 (.812) in the tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum (since ’99), including a 63-13-3 mark in the last 79 games (since losing 4-2 at SCU on Oct. 17, 1999) … Waldrum’s ND record spans the career of fifth-year D Vanessa Pruzinsky … Waldrum – who repeated as BIG EAST coach of the year in 2000 – in ’99 became the only coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth first-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semi’s, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose … Waldrum’s 21-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 257-121-22 (.670) … he owns a 181-66-15 (.720) record in 12 previous seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580) and 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum enters 2003 ranked seventh among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (min. 10 Div. I seasons).

FAR AND WIDE: Notre Dame’s 2003 roster includes players from 14 states, two Canadian provinces (British Columbia and Ontario) and Iceland … the states on the ’03 roster include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

HAT TRICKERY: Amy Warner’s 3G at Georgetown (Sept. 29, 2002) made her the 13th ND player ever to post multiple hat tricks (also vs. Providence on Sept. 3, 2000 – earliest ever by an ND freshman) … 10 previous ND players have three-plus hat tricks, led by Jenny Heft’s six (’96-’99) and five each from Rosella Guerrero (’92-’95) and Monica Gerardo (’95-’98).

Amanda Guertin NOTES

CLOSE TO CENTURY MARK, FAR FROM TOP 10: Senior Amanda Guertin’s career point total (95; 37G-21A) would rank near the top of the record book at many schools but she stands just 13th in Notre Dame history – 40 points shy of the top 10 (her 37G are six out of that ND top-10 list) … players ahead of Guertin include Suzie Zilvitis (112, 43G-26A, ’88-’91) and another early frontrunner, All-American Alison Lester (126, 45G-36A; ’90-’93) … the 10th spot is held down by Shannon Boxx (135, 39G-57A; ’95-’98), now a hard-nosed defensive midfielder with the WUSA’s New York who was a surprise addition to the 2003 U.S. World Cup roster … Guertin’s nine points in the ’02 NCAAs moved her past M Jody Hartwig (87; ’91-’94), F Amy VanLaecke (90; ’94-’96) and All-America M Tiffany Thompson (91; ’91-’94).

STREAK #1: Guertin scored a goal in the final 10 games of 2001 – the third-longest goal streak in Div. I women’s soccer history (Brandi Chastain had a 15-game streak for Santa Clara in ’90, Hartford’s Maria Kun an 11-game streak in ’97).

STREAK #2: Guertin scored goals in an ND-record seven straight postseason games, spanning the 2001 and ’02 seasons (she has totaled nine goals of 15 career postseason games) … her postseason goal streak (10G-1A) included 2001 BIG EAST Tournament goals vs. St. John’s, Boston College and West Virginia, followed by NCAA Tournament games vs. Eastern Illinois (2), Cincinnati in 2001 and then Ohio State (2) and Purdue (2) in ’02.

STREAK #3: Guertin had points in eight straight games (7G-6A) before the 1-0 loss at Stanford in the third round of the 2002 NCAAs, after 6G-5A in the first 12 games of ’02… Guertin’s 2002 point streak broke down as follows: Purdue (G), UConn (2A), Michigan (G), BYU (A), Syracuse (2A), BC (G), Ohio State in NCAAs (2G) and Purdue in NCAAs (2G-1A).

‘TIS BETTER TO GIVE?: Despite a early-season dropoff in her 2002 goal production, Guertin emerged as one of the nation’s most dangerous playmakers in 2002 due to pinpoint corner kicks and effectiveness on other set plays … she has one-third of ND’s assists in ’02 (11 of 34), besting her combined total in ’00 and ’01 (10) … eight of Guertin’s assists in ’02 have come via the CK – two each in comeback wins over #25 Maryland (5-2, to classmate Melissa Tancredi on 2nd and 4th goals) and #8 UConn (3-1, to junior M Randi Scheller and Tancredi after 1-1 tie), two more in the 6-0 win over Syracuse (to Scheller and sophomore M Mary Boland) and Tancredi’s header that capped the 3-1 NCAA win over #14 Purdue, plus the kick that produced freshman D Cat Sigler’s goal for 3-0 lead vs. Pittsburgh (4-0) … another Guertin set play (a free kick off the left post) set up Candace Chapman’s goal that opened the scoring vs. BYU (3-2 loss).

GETTING THE GWGs: Guertin continues to add clutch goals and assists to her career totals (37G-21A, in 67 GP) – with her 15 gamewinning goals ranking sixth on the ND all-time list (one behind three who are tied for third) … seven of Guertin’s GWGs have come in one-goal games, including three in OT (an ND record) … nearly half of Guertin’s career goals (15 of 37, or 40.5%) have been gamewinners – well ahead of the others on the GWG list (see PDF for chart):

QUALITY & QUANTITY: Guertin has delivered in countless clutch situations during her ND career (see PDF for full list of yearly highlights):

FIRST-HALF FORTRESS: Notre Dame did not allow a 1st-half goal in its first nine games of 2002, with the next five producing eight 1st-half goals by the opposition (2 by Georgetown and WVU, 3 by Purdue, 1 by UConn) – followed by just two in the final seven games … ND (12) and its opponents (10) combined for just 22 first-half goals in 2002, compared to more than twice as many (49) in the 2nd half (32 by ND, 19 by opp.) … the Irish allowed opponents an average of just 3.9 shots and 1.6 CKs in the first half of 2002 games… in the final games of ’02, ND matched its opponents’ scoring (10-10) in the 1st half but owned a 17-7 edge in the 2nd half … the Irish also were stingy in the first half during 2001 (seven 1st-half GA in 20 games).

LIGHTING THE SPARK: Current sophomore forward Katie Thorlakson- a key part of Canada’s attack in the 2002 U-19 World Championship and the ’03 Pan Am Games – experienced an offensive breakthrough in the second half of her freshman season (’02), scoring to tie the game in the 3-1 comeback vs. #8 UConn, adding the goal that forged a 1-1 tie vs. BYU (3-2 loss), posting 1G-1A in the 6-0 win over Syracuse and scoring the GWG vs. Ohio State in the NCAAs (she also had the thru-ball that sprung Amanda Guertin for the first goal in the NCAA win over Purdue) … all four of Thorlakson’s goals came in the final eight games of ’02, coinciding with her full-time move to forward.

PUNCHING THE CLOCK: Three Notre Dame seniors are riding streaks of nearly 40-plus consecutive starts … Amanda Guertin has played in all 67 games of her ND career (63 starts), with starts in the last 36 … fellow F Amy Warner has seen action in ND’s last 49 games (43 straight starts) … M Randi Scheller had started ND’s last 38 games, playing in 65 of 67, but she is sidelined with a hip injury.

GOING THE DISTANCE: Notre Dame is unbeaten in its last 13 overtime games (10-0-3), dating back to the 3-2, double-OT loss to UNC in the ’99 opener … that team went on to post a 2-1, double-OT win at UConn and played to a 1-1 tie at Nebraska in the NCAA quarterfinals (advanced on PKs) … the 2000 team had three OT wins – over Stanford, at West Virginia and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (all 2-1), also playing to a scoreless tie at UConn … the ’01 season featured an unprecedented five OT games, with 2-1 wins vs. Indiana, Villanova, WVU and Michigan and a 2-2 tie with Wisconsin … the OT streak continued in 2002, with 1-0 wins over Rutgers and at Boston College.

OT MASTERS: Senior Amanda Guertin holds the ND record for career OT goals (3), with her classmate Amy Warner and ’96 national player of the year Cindy Daws ranking second with two OT goals (including Daws’ goal vs. Portland in the ’95 NCAA title game) … Guertin (3G-2A) owns eight career points in OT, followed by Warner (6; 2G-2A) … Guertin’s other OT goals came at WVU in 2000 and at home vs. WVU in 2001 (both 2-1) … in addition to her double-OT goal on Sept. 20 vs. Rutgers (1-0), Warner scored in OT vs. Villanova (’01) and had the primary assist on Kelly Tulisiak’s OT goal in ’01 vs. Indiana (both 2-1) … she had the cross that produced an OT own-goal to beat Stanford in 2000 and assisted on Guertin’s OT goal in 2002 at BC (1-0), playing a key role in five of ND’s last nine OT goals (Guertin on five of the last eight).

PRIME-TIME FLURRY: The outburst in the 2002 win at #25 Maryland (5-2; all ND goals came in final 25 minutes) is the most goals ever scored by the Irish vs. an NSCAA top-25 opponent on its home field … it matched the 6th-highest goalscoring day for the Irish in any game vs. a top-25 foe (2nd-most since ’97) and tied ND’s 2nd-highest goal output in a regular-season game vs. a top-25 team … ND’s top scoring games vs. top-25 teams include ’97 postseason wins over UConn (6-1, BIG EAST title game), Nebraska (6-0, NCAA 2nd rd) and UCLA (8-0, NCAA quarterfinal), plus 8-1 vs. Indiana in the ’96 NCAA 1st rd and 6-1 vs. Santa Clara in 2000 regular-season.

CONFERENCE CALL: ND’s all-time record in regular-season conference games is 86-7-2 (.916), including 67-7-2 (.895) in BIG EAST games (since ’95) … the Irish own a 48-1 record in all-time home games vs. BIG EAST teams, with 44 straight wins since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95 (225-16 scoring edge, 30 shutouts, 13 games with 1 GA) … since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, ND’s all-time record in vs. BIG EAST teams (1-1-0 vs. UConn in NCAAs) is 86-8-2 (.906).