Oct. 3, 2004
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – National player-of-the-year frontrunner Katie Thorlakson picked up her 11th goal and 12th assist of the season while the Irish defense turned in another dominating effort, as the top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team registered its 52nd consecutive home victory over a BIG EAST Conference opponent, 3-0 versus Providence, in Sunday-afternoon action at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (12-0-0, 5-0-0 BIG EAST) – the only remaining unbeaten and untied team out of 308 in Division I – dominated possession and the run of play to the tune of a 38-2 edge in total shots. The Irish also attempted all 12 corner kicks in the game and have not allowed a corner kick in their last three home games (the opponents now have totaled just 19 corners versus the Irish all season).
Thorlakson and freshman midfielder Jannica Tjeder both scored in the first half while junior midfielder Annie Schefter added one of her patented strikes from outside the box to cap the scoring early in the second half. The Irish again rested many of their regulars, with all 24 of the active players seeing the field for significant minutes (Sunday’s opening lineup included five players who did not start on Friday at West Virginia).
The Irish now are 31-1-1 in their last 34 regular-season games and have won 34 straight when scoring the first goal of the game. This marks the third time in the program’s history that Notre Dame has won its first 12 games of the season (also 16-0 in ’00, 13-0 in ’96) while the 2004 team is the seventh Irish squad to be unbeaten after 12 games.
Thorlakson has been a threat to score from all angles – and with both feet – all season and that certainly was the case on Sunday, as she tracked down a ball on the left endline and surprisingly ripped a leftfooted shot that sailed into the right sidenetting despite the near-impossible angle (25:42). The spunky Canadian now has scored in five straight games and owns half (6 of 12) of the team’s gamewinning goals, just two shy of Rosella Guerrero’s team record (8, set in ’94).
One minute after opening the scoring, Thorlakson set up another goal by working the ball to senior Candace Chapman outside the top of a crowded penalty box. Chapman quickly played a thru ball to her left, with Tjeder running onto the play and sending her shot into the right side of the net (26:35). It was the first goal of the official fall season for Tjeder, who was second on the team with three goals during the preseason trip to Brazil but has been slowed the past month by an ankle injury that held her out of five games.
Schefter now has scored all eight of her goals with the Irish in the friendly confines of Alumni Field, with three of her four goals this season coming on well-struck balls from outside the penalty area. A corner-kick sequence set up Sunday’s score, with the ball kicking out to the top right corner of the box. Schefter quickly delivered a tricky one-timer that sailed into the far-left sidenetting for the 3-0 final (58:25).
THORLAKSON ADDS TO PLAYER-OF-THE YEAR RESUME – Katie Thorlakson’s 1G-1A vs. PC gives her 11G-12A and 34 points for the season (she totaled 42 combined points as a freshman and sophomore) … she entered the week ranked 2nd nationally in points and assists, adding 2G-2A in combined action vs. WVU and PC … Thorlakson became the 16th ND player ever to total 25-plus goals and 25-plus assists in her career (25G-26A) … she is averaging 2.83 points per game this season and would total 76 points at that pace if ND plays the full allotment of nine postseason games (27 total GP) … that projection of 76 points would best the ND record of 72 (26G-20A) set by midfielder Cindy Daws in her 1996 national player-of-the-year season … only two other Irish players have totaled more than 60 points in a season: Jenny Streiffer (66, in ’96) and Jenny Heft (61, in ’98) … Streiffer is the last ND player with 50-plus points in a season (53, in ’99) … Thorlakson has factored into 25 of ND’s 37 goals this season (68%), including two “unofficial” assists) … she already has 6 GWGs in ’04 (6th in ND history) and 12 in her career, good for 9th in the ND record book (one behind ’01 grad. Meotis Erikson) … her 73 career points would rank near the top of many school’s record books but she now is 20th in ND career scoring … Thorlakson has totaled 45 points at Alumni Field the past two seasons (16G-13A, 7 GWG in 22 GP) … nine previous ND players reached 30G and 30A in their careers … the only ND players with more GWGs in a season are Guerrero (8, in ’94) and four with 7 GWGs: Heft (’98), Monica Gerardo (’98), Steiffer (’96) and Michelle McCarthy (’94) … the 15 other ND players in the 25-goal, 20-assist club: Shannon Boxx (39G-57A), Daws (61-67), Erikson (59-46), Gerardo (73-44), Guerrero (55-32), Amanda Guertin (48-27), Jodi Hartwig (27-33), Heft (80-29), Alison Lester (45-36), Anne Makinen (65-56), McCarthy (59-38), Streiffer (70-71), Tiffany Thompson (27-37), Amy Warner (37-25) and Suzie Zilvitis (43-26).
NOTRE DAME HEAD COACH Randy Waldrum – “The mark of a great player is overall consistency but also the ability to do things that somehow amaze you more than before. And that’s Katie Thorlakson’s season in a nutshell. She changes everything when she’s on the field and can score or assist in so many different ways. That goal she scored today was a classic goalscorer’s goal. She has that awareness of the situation but also the awareness of what she can do with the ball. You don’t see many players score from that angle, not intentionally at least. And then she gets the assist with a simple pass in traffic. … This was another game where we had the chance to play a lot of players and rest some of the regulars. With a player like Katie, she could pad her stats by playing more minutes but we have our sights on the bigger picture. Anyone who plays against her, coaches against her or sees her play this season will realize she has to be included on the short list for the Hermann Trophy. Her play speaks for itself and her stats are pretty impressive as well. … Kim Lorenzen had a great weekend and is having an excellent season for us as both a midfielder and outside back. She plays an unsung role but is one of our most important players right now. … It was great to see Jannica score today and we really need her to make a big surge here at the end of the season. She and Candace Chapman both have been coming back from injuries but they each are rounding back to form and will be very key to our offensive production. … Looking back at the West Virginia game, we knew that was going to be a battle but we were very please with how they team responded after they tied it up. It was similar to the Santa Clara game earlier this season and both times we have responded by scoring some goals and closing out the game. That’s a game that we might have tied or even lost in previous years, but this team has shown great poise and the ability to get the goals when we need them.”
NOTES – Since facing a rare deficit on Sept. 24 vs. Pittsburgh, the Irish have outscored the opposition 13-1 over the course of three-plus games … since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish are 100-9-2 (.910) in all games vs. BIG EAST teams (55-1-0 at home) … ND now owns an 18-2 first-half scoring edge this season … the Irish have a +5 ratio of goals scored (37) minus opponent shots on goal (32), after going +20 in 2003 (73G, 53 opp. SOG) … in addition to a 37-8 season scoring edge, the Irish also hold a 267-70 edge in total shots (avg. 22-6), 131-32 in shots on goal (11-3) and 75-19 in corner kicks (6-2) … ND has limited 29 of its last 33 overall opponents to 0-3 shots on goal … the Irish are 15-0-0 the past two seasons (’03-’04) when playing a regular-season game two days after a previous game (44-5 scoring edge), after going just 4-5-0 in 2002 “bounceback” games (18-16 scoring) … ND has scored in 186 of 193 regular-season games (.964) during the past 11 seasons … the Irish own a 157-14-2 all-time (.913) at Alumni Field, including 112-4-1 vs. teams not in the NSCAA top-25 … the Irish are 106-19-4 (.837) in the six-year Randy Waldrum era … ND improved to 207-3-1 (.983) all-time when scoring 3-plus goals (111-1-0 since 10/6/95) … the Irish lead the PC series 9-0-0 (51-1 scoring edge).
Providence (3-9-0, 0-6-0 BIG EAST) 0 0 – 0
Notre Dame (12-0-0, 5-0-0 BIG EAST) 2 1 – 3
ND 1. Katie Thorlakson 11 (-) 25:42.
ND 2. Jannica Tjeder 1 (Candace Chapman, Thorlakson) 26:35.
ND 3. Annie Schefter 4 (-) 58:25.
Shots: PC 0-2 – 2, ND 16-22 – 38.
Corner Kicks: PC 0-0 – 0, ND 5-7 – 12.
Saves: PC 15 (Ashley Fedshyn), ND 2 (Erika Bohn 0, Lauren Karas 1, Nikki Westfall 1). Fouls: PC 5, ND 5.
Offsides: PC 0, ND 2.