Oct. 29, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Michigan women’s soccer team – facing virtually a must-win game for its NCAA postseason chances – managed just a handful of scoring chances but converted on each of them before holding off a second-ranked and injury-hampered Notre Dame squad, 3-2, handing the Irish their first loss of the season while ending the fifth-longest shutout streak in NCAA history, during Wednesday’s rare midweek afternoon game.
Notre Dame (18-1-1) – already playing all season minus two injured battle-tested starters(All-America junior right back Candace Chapman and senior midfielder Randi Scheller, a second team all-BIG EAST pick in ’02) – clearly missed the presence of senior central back Melissa Tancredi and junior forward Mary Boland (the team’s leading scorer), with both players held out of action on Wednesday due to nagging injuries (each is a top candidate for 2003 All-America honors and are among the favorites for the respective BIG EAST defensive and offensive player-of-the-year awards).
Michigan (7-6-6) – which did not attempt a shot in the final 41 minutes while going into a defensive shell to hold off the ND onslaught – continued on its bizarre rollercoaster season that has included an 0-4-2 start and some solid results vs. top-25 teams (with ties vs. Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio State and Purdue, plus losses to ranked squads such as Penn State, USC Kansas and Utah). The Wolverines claimed an early lead before moving back in front in the 30th minute and then claiming a 3-1 lead early in the second half.
Notre Dame – which received goals from senior Amanda Guertin and sophomore Katie Thorlakson – finished with a 19-6 edge in total shots and a 10-6 margin in shots on goal, with three of those shots on target coming in the final goal sequence. The Irish also owned a 402 corner-kick edge but the visitors capitalized on both of those corners for their second and third goals.
The scope of Notre Dame’s record-setting 2003 season can be seen in the various streaks that came to an end at various stages during Wednesday’s game:
* Katie Kramer’s 12th-minute goal produced Notre Dame’s first deficit in 55 days, ending the team-record streak of 16 consecutive games without trailing.
* Kramer’s goal also halted ND’s 10-game shutout streak that ranks fifth in the NCAA record book (ND’s team-record streak of consecutive shutout minutes officially ended at 956 minutes).
* Sophomore ‘keeper Erika Bohn saw her personal shutout streak end at 981 minutes, also fifth in NCAA history and just 23 minutes shy of fourth place.
* Therese Heaton’s goal in the 32nd minute marked the first time since that the Irish had yielded multiple goals in more than a year, dating back to the 3-2 loss to BYU on Oct. 19, 2002 (the 24-game streak of not allowing multiple goals had tied an ND record set during the 2004 season).
* ND had allowed just three first-half goals all season but UM pushed across two, equaling the opponent’s goal total from ND’s previous 15 games.
* Stephanie Chavez’ goal in the 49th minute produced ND’s first two-goal deficit in 28 games, since the 3-1 loss to Purdue on Oct. 6, 2002.
* The Irish finished one game shy of posting the fourth unbeaten regular season in the program’s history (done in ’94, ’97 and ’00).
* ND’s 12-game winning streak came to an end (6th-longest in the Irish record book).
* The Irish had limited each of their previous 16 opponents to 0-3 shots on goal, with all three of UM’s second-half shots on goal coming on the sequence that produced the Stephanie Chavez goal in the 49th minute.
* Fifth-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum (92-16-4) missed out on a chance to register his 200th career win as a college women’s soccer head coach.
* It marked just the fourth time in Alumni Field history that Notre Dame had lost to an unranked team (104-4-1).
* The Irish still remained part of a small sampling of Division I women’s soccer teams with 0-1 losses (top-ranked UNC is unbeaten, five others join ND with one loss and the other 290 teams have at least two losses).
Kramer’s third goal of the season opened the scoring at the 11:07 mark. The sophomore forward was able to shake free of her defender near the left side of the box before chipping a well-placed shot into the right sidenetting.
Notre Dame quickly erased the deficit, with senior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky providing the entry pass just 61 seconds later (12:08). Guertin received the pass near the top of the box, turned and sidestepped ‘keeper Megan Tuura before sending the ball into the vacated net for her 10th goal of the season and 47th of her career.
The visitors retook the lead 13 minutes before halftime, after a leftside corner kick off the foot of junior midfielder Robyn Vince. Heaton found herself unmarked at the near post and deflected the ball into the net for the sophomore forward’s second goal of the season.
The key third goal game at the 48:12 mark, after another leftside corner kick from Vince. Freshman defender Katelin Spencer took advantage of Tancredi’s absence by winning a head ball on the left side of the box, with Bohn leaping to tip the 10-yard header off the crossbar. Chavez quickly swept the rebound toward the goalline – but Irish senior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky sent the ball back off the line, with Chavez then burying the second rebound for her fifth goal of the season and the 3-1 lead.
Notre Dame steadily pressured the Michigan defense the rest of the way, hoping to puncture the packed-in formation for a second and third goal. Senior forward Amy Warner sped down the left side in the 69th minute and sent a low cross from the left endline, with Thorlakson sliding onto the ball and scoring from eight yards for her ninth goal of the season (68:23).
Notes: Boland (12) – who leads the team with five game-winning goals and four first-goals – now has combined with Warner (10) and Guertin (10) as ND’s first trio of double-digit goalscorers since 2000 (when Meotis Erikson had 13, Guertin 11 and Warner 10) … one more goal from Thorlakson will yield ND’s first quarter of double-digit goalscorers sine ’99 (when Jenny Heft scored 20, Jenny Streiffer 19, Erikson 14 and Anne Makinen 13) … Guertin – who also smacked a first-half shot off the left post – has scored vs. UM in four of five games during her career (including three GWGs) … her 121 career points are 12th in ND history, just five behind Alison Lester (’94) and 14 back of U.S. World Cup member Shannon Boxx (’99) … Warner pushed her career point total to 98, just two shy of becoming the 14th ND player to reach the 100-point milestone … Warner made her 63rd career start while Pruzinsky logged her 92nd game and 90th start (10th in ND history, one behind ’97 grad. Cindy Daws) … ND’s season scoring edge now stands at 65-8, with the team goals-against avg. rising from 0.22 to 0.39 (the team record of 0.36 was set in ’97) while ND’s scoring average now is 3.25 goals per game.
Michigan 2 1 – 3
#2 Notre Dame (18-1-1) 1 1 – 2
UM 1. Katie Kramer 3 (-) 11:07; ND 1. Amanda Guertin 10 (Vanessa Pruzinsky) 12:08; UM 2. Therese Heaton 2 (Robyn Vince) 31:43; UM 3. Stephanie Chavez 5 (-) 48:12; ND 2. Katie Thorlakson 9 (Amy Warner) 68:23.
Shots: UM 3-3 – 6, ND 9-10 – 19.
Corner Kicks: UM 1-1 – 2, ND 3-1 – 4.
Saves: UM 8 (Megan Tuura), ND 3 (Erika Bohn 2, team 1).
Fouls: UM 14, ND 13.
Offsides: UM 0, ND 7.