Oct. 14, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Katie Thorlakson factored into three of the goals to lead the Notre Dame women’s soccer team in one of its most dominating wins ever versus a top-10 opponent, as the 6th-ranked Irish handed 10th-ranked Connecticut a 4-0 Friday night in front of 2,310 fans at a spirited Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (13-2-0, 7-1-0 BIG EAST) is unbeaten in its past 62 home games (61-0-1) when taking on a BIG EAST opponent, stretching back to 1995. The Irish posted their 10th shutout of the season and now have shut out eight of their past nine opponents.
Connecticut (11-3-1, 7-1-0) was held without a shot until 14 minutes remained and the Huskies’ only shot of goal came in the 83rd minute of play. That harmless tap by Nikki Cross ended a 245-minute stretch in which the Irish did not surrender a shot on goal, dating back to early in the Oct. 7 game at Rutgers.
Notre Dame finished with a 26-3 margin in shots, 15-1 in shots on goal and 9-4 in corner kicks. The Irish entered the night as the nation’s top-scoring team (4.36 goals per game) and now have totaled 65 goals for the season while allowing just 66 shots by their opponents (32 on goal) in the 15 games.
Thorlakson’s pair of assists in the game extended her nation-leading total to 18 and give her 56 for her career, tying 2000 national player of the year Anne Makinen for fifth on the Notre Dame career assists list (also 15th in NCAA history). The senior forward also picked up her 12th goal of the season and 49th of her career – needing one more score to become the 17th player to reach 50 goals and 50 assists, in 24 season of Division I women’s soccer.
Senior midfielder Annie Schefter opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, sending home her first goal of the season. Junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski and freshman defender Carrie Dew also scored for the Irish, who now have registered 16 consecutive unanswered goals.
Thorlakson set up the first goal with a low service from the left flank. Sophomore forward Amanda Cinalli volleyed the ball at the right side of the box and it carried to the far post – with Schefter crashing in for her ninth career goal, on a shot into the left side of the net (21:34).
The Irish stretched their lead early in the second half, on a play set up by Thorlakson’s rightside corner kick. Fifth-year defender Candace Chapman tracked down the ball at the top of the box and sent it back near the right endline for Thorlakson, who showed her tremendous playmaking skill by surveying the penalty area before threading a driven ball towards the near post. Buczkowski was unmarked and beat ‘keeper Stephanie Lavve with a shot into the right side of the net for her fifth goal of the season and 17th of her career (59:07).
Freshman Brittany Bock – steadily emerging as a formidable force in the Irish midfield – set up the third goal with one of her patented driven balls through traffic and down the center of the field. Thorlakson raced free into the right side of the box and nailed the low shot inside the far post for the 3-0 lead (68:01).
Dew’s third goal of the season capped the scoring in the 81st minute. Schefter supplied the corner kick service and the rookie sent her header into the right side of the net for the 4-0 final (80:45).
NOTES – ND is 57-2-0 in its past 59 games when scoring first (one of the losses was to UConn, 2-1 in the ’04 BIG EAST title game) … the Irish are riding a 218-game winning streak when claiming a 2-0 lead (241-0-1 all-time) and are 129-1-0 in their past 130 games when scoring 3-plus goals (224-3-1 all-time) … ND is 50-3-2 in its past 55 regular-season games … ND is 53-15-3 in the Randy Waldrum era when facing an NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponent … ND has posted 4-plus goals in 10 of 15 games this season … the ND players have combined to play 1,036 career games at ND (632 starts) … Friday’s win marked the seventh time in the seven-year Waldrum era that ND has defeated an NSCAA top-20 opponent by 3-plus goals … Thorlakson has 12 goals on just 43 shots this season (3.6 shots per goal) … her 154 career points remain 9th in ND history, two shy of Michelle McCarthy … Thorlakson now has scored (15) or assisted (18) on 33 gamewinning goals during her ND career (second on to Jenny Streiffer’s 36) … look for more updated notes and quotes from Waldrum following Sunday’s game vs. Providence.
#10 Connecticut 0 0 – 0
#6 Notre Dame 1 3 – 4
ND 1. Annie Schefter 1 (Amanda Cinalli, Katie Thorlakson) 21:34; ND 2. Jen Buczkowski 5 (Thorlakson, Candace Chapman) 59:07; ND 3. Thorlakson 12 (Brittany Bock) 68:01; ND 4. Carrie Dew 2 (Schefter) 80:45
Shots: UConn 0-3 – 3, ND 13-13 – 26
Corner Kicks: UConn 1-3 – 4, ND 3-6 – 9
Saves: UConn 11 (Stephanie Lavve 9, team 2), ND 1 (Lauren Karas 0, Erika Bohn 1)
Fouls: UConn 10, ND 7
Offsides: UConn 0, ND 1
Yellow Cards: None