Sept. 2, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team’s recipe for success in recent years has been built on the strength of its strong possession game and a suffocating team defense. Those elements – plus a dynamic attack that continues to emerge – were on display Friday in a 4-1 win over a Florida team ranked as high as 11th in the national polls, on a night that marked the first home appearance of the 2005 season for the defending national champs.
(Note: this recap now includes quotes from both coaches, updated ND notes and photos from the ND-Florida game).
Senior forward Katie Thorlakson is coming off a 2004 season in which she consistently turned in performances that required a scouring of the program’s record books. Just three games into the season, Thorlakson is up to her old tricks but has been joined by second-semester freshman Kerri Hanks – who is off to a quick start in fashioning one of the top debut seasons ever by a Notre Dame player. Thorlakson (4G-5A) and Hanks (8G-1A) have combined with sophomore Amanda Cinalli (2G-5A) to form a potent forward trio that already has totaled 14 goals and 11 assists (39 points) in the three games this season.
Amanda Cinalli is part of Notre Dame’s potent forward trio and already has matched her 2004 assist total, with five (all ND-Florida photos by Pete LaFleur).
Thorlakson – with 15 regular-season games and the 2005 postseason still ahead of her – provided the corner-kick service on Cinalli’s early header goal that ultimately provided the game-winning margin versus the Gators. The Canadian national teamer went on to score two goals of her own and was inches away from her third career hat trick, drilling a 25-yard shot that smacked off the left post. Thorlakson’s 2G-1A represented the seventh time in the past two seasons (30 games) that she has posted 5-plus points in a game. In the process, the All-American joined an elite group by becoming the sixth Notre Dame player ever to reach 40 goals (41) and 40 assists (43) during her career. The 24-year history of NCAA Division I women’s soccer has seen just 28 other players (in addition to the six from ND) reach the 40-40 milestone.
Hanks factored into just one of Friday’s goals but that was enough to make her the second Notre Dame player ever to score in the first three games of her freshman season, joining Monica Gerardo in that distinction. Gerardo did so 10 years earlier at the start of the 1995 NCAA championship season, ultimately scoring in each of the first five games during that freshman season. A total of nine Notre Dame players (also three sophomores, one junior and three seniors) in the program’s 18-year history have scored in the first three games of a season and Hanks now will have the chance to join Gerardo as the only Irish players to push that scoring start beyond the third game of the season.
Prior to setting foot on the grass at Alumni Field, Hanks already had set the Notre Dame record for goals in the first three games of a season (now 8), besting Mary Boland’s 6-goal start in the first three games of the ’03 season.
(Note that Friday’s game will be telecast by College Sports Television on a delayed basis in upcoming days: Sept. 5 at 8:00 p.m. EST/in South Bend; 9:00 EDT/in N.Y.; Sept. 6 at 12:30 a.m. EST; and Thursday, Sept. 8 at 11:00 a.m. … also check listings for other replays).
In Friday’s earlier game at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Soccer Classic, Brittany Taylor’s goal with 1:04 left in overtime gave 9th-ranked Connecticut a 2-1 win over No. 25 Maryland (see linescore and scoring notes below).
Notre Dame (3-0-0) – now 40-1-2 in its past 43 regular-season games – jumped ahead in the 12th minute of play, as Hanks scored after a low crossing pass from Cinalli. Six minutes later, Cinalli headed in Thorlakson’s rightside corner kick for the early 2-0 lead.
Thorlakson later volleyed a Christie Shaner cross in the 63rd minute and buried a penalty kick with 15 minutes left to play, yielding the 4-0 cushion.
Christie Shaner assisted on a goal minutes after entering the game, gving the Irish a 4-0 lead.
Florida (1-1-0) managed a 4-3 edge in corner kicks but the Irish doubled up the Gators in shots (15-7) and shots on goal (8-4). Jasmine Johnson’s late goal averted the shutout.
The win marked the sixth time in the Randy Wamdrum era (since ’99) that the Irish have defeated an NSCAA top-20 opponent by 3-plus goals, also doing so vs. #16 Michigan in ’99 (4-1), vs. #2 Santa Clara (6-1) and #15 Washington (5-0, at Portland) in 2000, at #25 Maryland in ’02 (5-2) and vs. #4 SCU in ’04 (5-2).
Friday’s matchup was the first game between the former NCAA champions (ND in ’95 and ’04, UF in ’98), as the Gators joined a long list of teams that have failed to beat the Irish in their first visit to Alumni Field. Since the start of the ’93 season, teams making their first visit to Alumni Field have gone just 3-38-1 vs. the Irish in those games while ND’s all-time record in series openers now is 71-25-2 (.735), including 38-5-0 since ’93 and 48-8-0 in all series openers at home (23-3-0 since ’93).
Notre Dame now has won 80% of its games vs. NSCAA top-25/postseason opponents during the Waldrum era (52-12-3). The Irish also are unbeaten in their past 13 regular-season tournament games (12-0-1, dating back to ’02) and have racked up 21 goals in the first three games of the 2005season (bested by just the ’95 and ’96 teams that each opened with 23 goals in the first three games of those seasons).
Thorlakson (41G-43A) joined Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A; ’96-’99), Cindy Daws (61G-57A; ’93-’96), Anne Makinen (65G-56A; ’97-’00), Meotis Erikson (59G-46A; ’97-’00) and Gerardo (73G-44A) in Notre Dame’s 40G-40A club.
Notre Dame’s only losses from the 2004 starting lineup came at the two central defender spots and the Irish back line played inconsistently during the 2005 opening week at the Vermont Classic. That all changed on Friday night as junior Kim Lorenzen and freshman Carrie Dew turned in a hard-nosed effort at the central spots while fifth-year veteran Candace Chapman and sophomore Ashley Jones nailed things down at the outside back roles. Shaner was a little under the weather and did not start at her customary left back spot, but her solid play in the final 30 minutes helped close out the win.
Freshman center back Carrie Dew was part of a strong defensive effort in the showdown with Florida.
Jasmine placed an early shot on goal in the game’s third minute but the visitors managed just one shot during the rest of the opening half before scoring late in the second half. It marked the 25th time in the past 26 games that the Irish have held their opponent to 0-1 goals.
Senior midfielder Annie Schefer picked up her first point of the season by playing a pass to Cinalli, setting the first goal in motion. Cinalli followed with a low cross into the left side of the box, where Hanks was slanting in for a well-timed run. A Florida defender lunged but failed stop Cinalli’s well-struck pass, as Hanks took the ball in stride and buried a shot inside the far-right post (11:46).
Senior midfielder Annie Schefter helped the Irish control possession and set the first goal in motion.
Thorlakson racked up eight corner-kick assists in 2004 and now has two in ’05, serving the ball from the right flag six minutes after Friday’s first goal. Cinalli found herself unmarked near the far post and headed the ball down into the goal for her second goal of the season and 12th of her own promising career (17:40).
The Irish appeared on the verge of claiming a 3-0 lead less than three minutes later, on a textbook combination sequence that saw Thorlakson and junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski both work their magic down the center of the field. Thorlakson spun away from trouble and Buczkowski quickly shifted to her left before playing a pass into the the box. Hanks was taken down after colliding with two UF players and most observers anticipated a penalty kick, but Hanks instead was called for the foul and the score remained 2-0.
Florida’s surge early in the second half was similar to Virginia’s earlier this season in their exhibition vs. the Irish – with Notre Dame again maintaining the shutout before adding to its lead. Just 37 seconds into the half, Amanda Erickson sent a shot from the top of the box that banged off the crossbar and the visitors then had two corner-kick chances, followed by a Cherry Pickman shot in the 55th minute (saved by Bohn) and a Katie Green shot that sailed wide in the 61st minute (the first 16 minutes of the second half produced three of UF’s seven total shots in the game).
Shaner checked into the game at the 59:00 mark and set up Thorlakson’s first goal moments later, marking Shaner’s first assist since the 2003 season. The two-time all-BIG EAST performer carried the ball down the left flank and eluded the UF defense before driving a cross from dee in the corner. The ball had plenty of pace on it and arrived at a tough angle but Thorlakson deftly sent a volley into the far-left side of the net for her 40th career goal with the Irish (62:49).
Thorlakson went down on a hard tackle in the 76th minute and converted the ensuing PK, on a rising shot into the right side of the net (75:12). Minutes earlier, she nearly had scored on a low blast from 25 yards that clanged off the left post.
Melanie Booth’s pass set up KeLeigh Hudson’s leftside cross in the 79th minute, leading to the Florida goal. Johnson was making the near-post run and quickly redirected the cross into the far-right side of the net for the 4-1 final (79:00).
(See quotes from both head coaches and updated ND notes below linescore, in addition to info. from the UConn-Maryland game).
#11 Florida (1-1-0) 0 1 – 1
#1 Notre Dame (3-0-0) 2 2 – 4
ND 1. Kerri Hanks 8 (Amanda Cinalli, Annie Schefter) 11:46; ND 2. Cinalli 2 (Katie Thorlakson) 17:40; ND 3. Thorlakson 3 (Christie Shaner) 62:49; ND 4. Thorlakson 4 (PK) 75:12; UF 1. Jasmine Johnson 2 (KeLeigh Hudson, Melanie Booth) 79:00
Shots: UF 2-5 – 7, ND 8-7 – 15
Corner Kicks: UF 2-2 – 4, ND 2-1 – 3
Saves: UF 4 (Jen Gardner), ND 3 (Erika Bohn)
Offsides: UF 0, ND 5
Fouls: UF 18, ND 11
Yellow Cards: Carrie Dew, ND (0:24; 1st of season); Shana Hudson, UF (34:07); Katie Thorlakson, ND (72:03; 2nd of season); Jasmine Johnson, UF (77:27)
NOTRE DAME COACH Randy Waldrum – “Our team was very motivated tonight to turn in a strong performance against one of the nation’s top teams and that’s what we did. We played a very athletic team that is very dangerous and can score quickly. Both teams played great. Our defense was a bit shaky last week but our backs tonight were very good. We has several quality chances that we did not finish but still scored enough to have that cushion at the end. Our players were very sharp tonight and did a great job in possession. Kim and Carrie really stepped forward at the right times tonight and each was aggressive, yet controlled. They rarely gave the Florida players time on the ball. Florida has some offensive players who are a handful, but I thought that Candace and Ashley handled things well on the outside. We also had some players come in and play well later in the game, which helped keep us fresh for what should be another tough game on Sunday.”
Candace Chapman (pictured) and fellow outside back Ashley Jones met the challenge of Florida dangerous attack in the 4-1 win.
FLORIDA COACH BECKY BURLEIGH – “I like the mentality of our team. We’ve got to get a lot better defensively. I thought we performed well against them up top and the goal we finished was an awesome goal from the first pass, to the serve and to the finish. We committed some mental errors tonight and those mental errors cost us. When you play a team like Notre Dame, they will capitalize on any chances. I thought they had a wonderful attack. But I also liked our attack.”
ADDITIONAL THORLAKSON NOTES – her 2G-1A pushed her career point total to 125, moving past former teammate Amanda Guertin (123) into 12th on the ND all-time scoring list (just one point behind Alison Lester and 10 shy of tying Shannon Boxx for 10th) … she next sets her sights on the 50-goal, 50-assist plateau, a mark reached by only three previous Irish players and 13 others in NCAA history … the pair of goals moved Thorlakson past Boxx into sole possesion of 12th place on the ND career goals list with 41, just behind Susie Zilvitis (44) and Lester (45) while also remaining 10th on the assists list with 43 (Gerardo and Kara Brown both had 44) … she needed just 11 games to go from the 30-30 distinction to 40-40 … now owns 12 career game-winning assists, tied with Lester for 5th in ND record book … her 39 game-winning points (13 GWGs) are tied with Daws for 8th in ND history, two behind Gerardo … nearly has averaged 3.0 points per game in the past two seasons (27G-29A, 83 points in 30 GP) … has points in 13 of ND’s past 14 games (16G-17A/49 pts; no pts vs. Vermont, after playing just 29 minutes) and has scored/assisted on 33 of ND’s past 49 goals … now averaging 1.71 pts/gm in her career, 8th in ND record book and close to the Michelle McCarthy (1.75) and Holly Manthei (1.77) career averages … has totaled 28 points (10G-8A) in games vs. NSCAA top-25 teams during the past two seasons (11 GP) … has played in 73 consecutive games with the Irish (her entire career) … now owns 56 points (19G-18A, 7 GWG) at Alumni Field during the ’04 and ’05 seasons, in 16 GP (3.5 ppg) … has totaled 29 points in her past 7 home games (10G-9A) and has racked up 74 points at Alumni Field during the ’03-’05 seasons (26G-22A, 9 GWG in 32 GP).
Freshman midfilder and Mexican national teamer Becca Mendoza made her debut with the Irish in the win over the Gators.
OTHER PLAYER NOTES – freshman midfielder Becca Mendoza made her debut with the Irish, playing some quality minutes in the second half (she joined the ND program a few days late after completing summer play with the Mexican National Team) … in addition to Hanks and Gerardo, the other Notre Dame players who have scored in the first three games of a season include: Jodi Hartwig as a junior in ’93, McCarthy as a senior in ’95, Boxx as a sophomore in ’96, Streiffer and Jenny Heft as sophomores in ’97, and ’03 teammates Boland (jr.) and Amy Warner (sr.) … Hanks now is just two goals shy of becoming the 17th ND freshman with double-digit goals … Bohn made her 71st career start while improving to 55-11-2 in her official decisions with the Irish … Cinallli (2G-5A) already has matched her 2004 assist total … Buczkowski and Schefter have played in all 54 games during the ’03-’05 seasons … Shaner (51), Lorenzen (44), junior M/F Lizzie Reed (43) and junior defensive M Jill Krivacek (38) also have noteworthy streaks of consecutive games played (each has played in 53 of 54 games during their ND careers).
Jill Krivacek and four of her fellow juniors have played in 54 of 55 games (or, in Jen Buczkowski’s case, all 55) during the past three seasons.
TRENDY – the Irish own a 209-game winning streak when claiming a 2-0 lead (231-0-1 all-time), are 216-3-1 when scoring 3-plus goals (118-1-0 since 10/6/95) and 302-9-12 when holding the opponent to 0-1 goals (107-3-5 since 9/9/99) … the past 122 opponents to face a 2-0 deficit vs. the Irish have been unable to even tie the score (since the ’96 BIG EAST title game) … ND owns a 96-25-7 all-time record in tournament action, including 40-13-6 (.724) in regular-season tournaments (19-3-2 at home) … since ’94, the Irish are 28-6-3 in regular-season tournaments (20 wins vs. ranked teams) … the Irish own a 48-11-2 overall record in tournament play during the Randy Waldrum era (’99-’05), including 19-4-1 in regular-season tournament action … since handing Seton Hall an early lead in the final regular-season game of ’04, the Irish are riding a 50-6 scoring edge over the last 13-plus games … ND owns a 167-14-3 all-time record at Alumni Field (49-10-1 vs. top-25 teams) … the Irish have won nearly 92% of their all-time regular-season home games at Alumni Field (134-11-3) … since a 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02, ND has trailed in just 11 of 58 games for 283 of 5,300 minutes (5.3%), going 51-5-2 in that 57-game stretch … ND has allowed just 27 first-half goals in the ’02-’05 seasons (0.29/gm) … ND has scored 4-plus goals in the first three games of a season for the third time (also ’95 and ’98) … Waldrum’s first season (’99) was the previous time that an Irish team had posted 4-plus goals in three straight games, with the ’99 team ultimately scoring 4-plus in seven straight games ( 7-1 vs. Miami, 9-2 at Wisconsin, 4-1 at Indiana, 5-0 vs. Miami, 5-0 vs. Seton Hall, 4-2 vs. Uconn and 5-1 vs. Dayton).
MD-UCONN NOTES – Brittany Tegeler gave the Huskies the early lead, finishing a thru-ball from Kristi Lefebvre (9:26) … the Terps quickly tied the game when Natalie Arias converted a Simone Dekker pass for a goal from close range … Jennifer Sullivan’s long pass down the left side set up the game-winning goal, as Brittany Taylor ran onto the ball and drove a shot into the far-right side of the net (see additional game stats below).
#25 Maryland (1-1-1) 1 0 0 0 – 1
#9 Connecticut (2-1-0) 1 0 0 1 – 2
UConn 1. Brittany Tegeler 1 (Kristi Lefebvre) 9:26; MD 1. Natalie Arias 1 (Simone Dekker); UConn 2. Brittany Taylor 1 (Jennifer Sullivan 108:56.
Shots: MD 5, UConn 12
Corner Kicks: MD 2, UConn 1
Saves: MD 2 (Nikki Resnick), UConn 1 (Stepanie Labbe)
Offsides: MD 7, UConn 2
Fouls: MD 21, Uconn 15
Yellow Cards: Niki Cross (UConn) 79:34; Mallory Mahar (MD) 101:57