Kelsey Lysander made a career-high seven saves in the College Cup semifinals versus Stanford.

Top-Ranked Irish Set For Title Clash With North Carolina At The College Cup

Dec. 6, 2008

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2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 27

NCAA Women’s College Cup — Final

#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (26-0-0 / 11-0-0 BIG EAST) vs.

#4/5 North Carolina Tar Heels (24-1-2 / 9-0-1 ACC)

DATE: December 7, 2008

TIME: 2:00 p.m. ET

IN: Cary, N.C.

AT: WakeMed Soccer Park (7,000)

SERIES: UNC leads 9-4-2

1ST MTG: UNC 3-0 (10/15/93)

LAST MTG:ND 1-0 (9/5/08)

TV: ESPN2 (live) (live)

Beth Mowins, p-b-p

Cat Whitehill, color


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– Notre Dame has advanced to the NCAA Women’s College Cup final for the second time in three years and the seventh time in program history, winning national championships in 1995 and 2004.

– The Irish are 2-4 all-time in national final games, and won the program’s most recent title by beating UCLA in 2004 following six rounds of penalty kicks in Cary, N.C.

Everything the top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team has been working on for the past four months will culminate Sunday when the Irish take on No. 4/5 North Carolina in the NCAA Women’s College Cup national championship game at 2 p.m. (ET) from WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and

Notre Dame (26-0-0) earned its seventh trip to the NCAA title game with a 1-0 victory over No. 5/3 Stanford on Friday in Cary, N.C. Freshman midfielder Courtney Barg converted a pinpoint cross from classmate Melissa Henderson to give the Irish the lead in the 15th minute, and Notre Dame made it stand up with a resilient defense that kept the Cardinal at bay. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander also did her part with a career-high seven saves, the most for an Irish netminder in NCAA play since 2000.


– Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA poll and final Soccer America poll.

– North Carolina is ranked fourth in the latest NSCAA poll and was fifth in the final Soccer America poll.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish

Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season’s squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.

As if that weren’t enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.

Leading the way for Notre Dame this season are two of the country’s premier front-line players (and ’08 NSCAA All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.

A four-time All-American and the ’06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (19G-15A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish record books, sitting just off the national lead in goals and points this year after setting the NCAA pace in assists the past two seasons. A two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year (including 2008), Hanks became the firstDivision I player to log 73 goals and 73 assists in her career (83G-73A entering Friday’s game). She has earned national honors from Soccer America (Team of the Week) and Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) a combined seven times, as well as garnering four BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors. She was the only unanimous selection on the 2008 All-BIG EAST First Team.

Bock (6G-9A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points (16G-4A). A two-time All-America selection (first team in ’07, second team in ’08), Bock earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5. More recently, she was tapped for the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week on Oct. 21 after registering a goal and four assists in shutout wins at Providence and Connecticut.

Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back/co-captain and NSCAA first-team All-American Carrie Dew (1G-1A), the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player. One of three defenders to start every game for the Irish this season, Dew and the Notre Dame defense have recorded 18 shutouts and a 0.38 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).

A Quick Look At North Carolina

North Carolina (24-1-2) is playing in the NCAA title game for the 21st time in the 27-year history of the tournament, winning 18 titles (most recently with a 2-1 win over the Irish in 2006). UNC has now appeared in the NCAA Championship field for the 27th consecutive season.

The Tar Heels advanced to the title game with a 1-0 semifinal win over UCLA on Friday night. Senior midfielder Yael Averbuch netted the game’s only goal at 40:15 when she converted a penalty kick, which was earned by Brittani Bartok, who was fouled in the box.

On the season, junior forward Casey Nogueira leads the team with 23 goals and 54 points. Freshman forward Courtney Jones has chipped in with 13 goals, while junior forward Jessica McDonald has a team-high 10 assists.

In net, senior Anna Rodenbough and junior Ashlyn Harris have split time in the Tar Heel net, as both has appeared in 26 games. Rodenburgh has a 14-1-1 record and a team-best 0.51 goals-against-average. Harris has posted a perfect 10-0-0 mark while making 28 saves on the year. The duo has helped North Carolina notch 16 shutouts this season.

The Tar Heels are led by 30th-year head coach Anson Dorrance. While with UNC, Dorrance has captured 18 NCAA tournament titles while posting an overall record of 672-33-21 (.940). He has been at the helm for each of Notre Dame’s previous 15 meetings with the Tar Heels.

The Notre Dame-North Carolina Series

The Irish and Tar Heels have met 15 times, with North Carolina leading the all-time series 9-4-2, including a 6-1-1 edge when meeting on a neutral field. Irish head coach Randy Waldrum holds an all-time record of 2-4-0 versus UNC, including two consecutive victories. Prior to Notre Dame’s current two-game winning streak, North Carolina had been unbeaten in the previous six meetings (5-0-1). For a complete series breakdown, see page 99 of the 2008 Irish media guide.

Notre Dame and North Carolina have met on six occasions in NCAA Championship play, with the Tar Heels holding a 5-1-0 record in those contests. The two teams have previously met with the NCAA title on the line in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2006, with UNC holding a 4-0-0 record in those games.

In postseason play, the teams most recently met in NCAA round of 16 play last season in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Irish earned a 3-2 win on that day, behind two goals and an assist from Michele Weissenhofer as well as a Brittany Bock goal. Weissenhofer’s second goal, scored in the 60th minute, proved to be the gamewinner.

The Last Time ND And UNC Met

The Irish and Tar Heels most recently clashed earlier this season (Sept. 5) when (then) fifth-ranked Notre Dame upset (then) second-ranked North Carolina, 1-0, at UNC’s Fetzer Field in the Carolina Classic. Not only did the game mark North Carolina’s only defeat of the season to date, but it was also the only game in which the Tar Heels have been held off the scoreboard in 2008.

Senior Brittany Bock scored the lone goal at 50:21 to lead the Irish to victory. Bock has scored a goal in each of her three games player versus the Tar Heels. In the contest, junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander made three saves in what proved to be Notre Dame’s fourth shutout of the season. UNC held a slight 10-9 advantage in total shots, but the Irish put six shots on net to UNC’s three. The game also featured two yellow cards by each team and Notre Dame was whistled for being offside a season-high nine times.

Finding Common Ground

Aside from playing each other, Notre Dame and North Carolina have faced four common opponents this season — Stanford, Santa Clara, Duke and Florida State. The Irish went 4-0-0 (two games at home, two at neutral sites) versus those teams, while North Carolina posted a 2-0-2 record (one game at home, three on the road) against the same foes. In those contests, Notre Dame held a 8-1 edge in scoring margin, while UNC’s scoring margin was an 11-3 advantage.

Notre Dame beat Santa Clara (Aug. 31) at home by a score of 2-0. The Irish followed up with a 3-1 neutral site win over Duke (Sept. 7), a 2-0 win over Florida State in the NCAA quarterfinals (Nov. 28) and a 1-0 win over Stanford on Friday afternoon at the College Cup.

North Carolina battled Stanford to a 1-1 tie at the Stanford Invitational (Sept. 12) and follwed up with a 5-0 win over Santa Clara (Sept. 14) at the same tournament. UNC then faced Duke and Florida State in ACC play, defeating the Blue Devils 3-0 (Oct. 2) and earning a 2-2 tie versus the Seminoles (Oct. 30).

Notre Dame in The NCAA Finals

The Irish are making their seventh title game appearance, all since 1994. They hold a 2-4 mark all-time with the NCAA title on the line, with the past two trips to the championship game coming in Cary, N.C.

Notre Dame last played in the NCAA finals in 2006, dropping a 2-1 decision to North Carolina at the facility currently known as WakeMed Soccer Park. Brittany Bock headed in a cross from Kerri Hanks at 80:30 to halve the UNC lead, but the Tar Heels held on for the victory. In addition to Bock and Hanks (who each played 90 minutes), the 2008 Irish lineup features two other starters from that contest including Haley Ford (who also played the full 90 minutes) and Michele Weissenhofer (62 minutes). Amanda Clark (40 minutes) and Courtney Rosen (44 minutes) also saw action off the bench in that contest.

In 2004, Notre Dame played UCLA to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtime periods, before the teams moved on to penalty kicks. The regulation five PK rounds wouldn’t decide matters before the Irish proved victorious (4-3) in the sixth round, with goalkeeper Erika Bohn making the decisive stop to help the Irish win the second national title in program history.

Of Notre Dame’s six trips to the finals, three have moved to overtime. Aside from the dramatics versus UCLA in 2004, Notre Dame fell to North Carolina, 1-0 in the second overtime stanza of the 1996 title game. Prior to that, the Irish won their first national title in a thrilling 1-0 triple-overtime victory over Portland in 1995 at UNC’s Fetzer Field. Cindy Daws scored the decisive goal on a direct free kick at 125:31, when rules still allowed for a third overtime stanza to be played.

Irish In The NCAA Championship

– Notre Dame is competing in the NCAA Championship for the 16th time, dating back to the 1993 season. The Irish are one of three schools to win multiple national titles (1995, 2004), joining North Carolina and Portland.

– Notre Dame now holds the second-longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Championship berths with 16, trailing only North Carolina (27) in that category.

– The Irish and Tar Heels also remain the only teams to have reached the final-32 or further in every NCAA Championship since 1993.

– The Irish are 39-3-0 (.929) all-time at home in NCAA tournament games, with a 135-22 scoring margin in those contests.

– Notre Dame holds an all-time record of 49-13-1 (.786) in NCAA postseason play.

– The Irish senior class finished 20-0 all-time in postseason games (BIG EAST/NCAA) at Alumni Field, shutting out 16 of those 20 opponents.

– The Irish senior class is 17-3 all-time in NCAA postseason games.

– The Irish return nine players who were in the starting lineup for last season’s NCAA College Cup semifinal against Florida State (3-2 loss on goal in 72nd minute).

– The Irish entered the NCAAs with their first-ever unbeaten and untied record, but their fifth unbeaten record in the past 15 seasons (also 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2006).

The BIG EAST Hardware Haul

In addition to claiming its 11th BIG EAST regular-season title in 14 seasons, the Irish earned four of the six major individual awards and placed six players on the all-BIG EAST Conference Team during the BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Awards Banquet on Nov. 6 at the South Bend Marriott. The four individual award recipients matches the 2005 Irish club for the most major award honorees since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995.

Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks was a unanimous selection as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference choice by the BIG EAST coaches. Also the 2006 recipient of the award, Hanks joins former teammate Katie Thorlakson (2004, 2005) as the only Irish players to earn the trophy more than once.

For the second time in three years, senior defender/co-captain Carrie Dew was lauded as the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Dew is the fourth Irish player to be a two-time recipient of the honor, along with Jen Grubb (1998, 1999), Candace Chapman (2002, 2005) and Melissa Tancredi (2003, 2004), with Notre Dame now having a player garner that trophy for the sixth time in seven seasons.

Freshman forward Melissa Henderson was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, becoming the fourth Irish player in the past six seasons to collect the league’s top award for first-year players. She’s also the third current Irish player to earn the honor, following in the footsteps of Hanks (2005) and junior forward Michele Weissenhofer, who was the 2006 recipient.

Head coach Randy Waldrum was honored by his peers by being voted the BIG EAST Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his 10 seasons at Notre Dame. Waldrum also took home the honor in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004, and now has earned eight conference coach of the year awards in his illustrious career, adding previous citations in the Big 12 Conference (at Baylor in 1998) and Missouri Valley Conference (with Tulsa’s men’s program in 1991 and 1993).

The Irish also fielded four first-team all-conference selections — Hanks, Brittany Bock, Dew and Henderson — for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Bock also becomes the 15th Notre Dame player to be a two-time first-team all-BIG EAST honoree.

Junior midfielder Courtney Rosen was voted a second-team all-BIG EAST selection, her first career all-conference certificate. Senior defender Elise Weber was an honorable mention all-conference pick this season, earning her second consecutive all-BIG EAST citation, following a third-team honor a year ago.

Poll Position

Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls on Sept. 16 (unanimous in the final regular-season NSCAA balloting), with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).

Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season’s first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).

Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 94-6-3 (.927) as the nation’s top-ranked squad.

As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year’s media guide).

This year’s women’s soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women’s basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span (ice hockey returned to the top of its polls this week).

One Tough Slate

Lest anyone think Notre Dame hasn’t earned its place atop the polls, just take a look at the Irish schedule this season.

Notre Dame has 10 wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke, at No. 17/16 Penn State, at No. 17/16 Georgetown, vs. No. 24/18 Rutgers, vs. No. NR/25 Marquette, vs. No. 22/24 Minnesota, vs. No. 6/6 Florida State and No. 5/3 Stanford), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the UNC, Duke, Penn State, Georgetown and Stanford games all coming away from home.

And it’s not like the Irish have experience playing SCU, UNC and Duke in a row, having last seen those three powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the same regular season, let alone in a row, since 1999).

The 1-0 win at North Carolina on Sept. 5 was even more noteworthy, as it marked just the seventh time the Tar Heels had ever been shut out at home, and only the fifth time by a Division I team. One of those five was a 0-0 tie (Duke), while the other four were 1-0 losses, two at the hands of Notre Dame (the other came in the ’95 NCAA semifinals at Fetzer Field, leading to the first of two Irish national championships).

Numbers Don’t Lie

To get a clearer picture of just how dominating Notre Dame has been through 26 games this season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have put up.

Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 82-10 margin (+72, tied with North Carolina for best in the nation), with 18 shutouts this year. Through 26 games, the Irish also are second in the nation in scoring offense (3.24 goals/game), as well as third in goals-against average (0.40) and third in shutout percentage (0.68).

The Irish also allowed just 70 opponent shots on goal all year (12 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame’s goals). By comparison, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has 60 shots on goal all by herself.

Together, the Irish have registered 292 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 208 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame also has a sizeable 175-54 (+121) edge in corner kicks, the best margin in the nation.

Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way

With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have trailed for a grand total of 1:59 this season (59:06-61:05 vs. Marquette on Oct. 5) and have led for 1,564:17 of 2,360:52 minutes this season (66.3% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half or OT nine times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul, 1-1 vs. Marquette, 2-2 at Villanova, 0-0 vs. Connecticut, 0-0 vs. Michigan State, 0-0 vs. Minnesota) for a combined total of 227:12.

The One And Only

At 26-0-0, Notre Dame is the lone unbeaten and untied team left at any level of NCAA women’s soccer. The only other candidate was in Division II, but previously unbeaten Grand Valley State was upset by Wisconsin-Parkside, 1-0 on Nov. 21 in the second round of the NCAA Championship.

Now That’s How You Bounce Back

Since beginning last season with that tough 3-4-1 start, the Irish are 42-1-1 in their last 44 games overall, with the only loss coming to No. 14 Florida State (3-2) in last year’s NCAA College Cup semifinals, and the lone tie occurring at No. 12 West Virginia (1-1) in the ’07 BIG EAST tournament final (WVU won the title on penalty kicks, 5-3).

With a victory over Toledo in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 14, Notre Dame matched the best 40-game stretch in school history (38-1-1), previously set from Oct. 2, 2005-Dec. 1, 2006. The 40-game record can not be improved upon unless the Irish roll off nine more wins (extending into next season).

Sailing Into Uncharted Waters

Notre Dame’s current 26-game winning streak is the best run in program history. It bests the previous unbeaten streak of 24 games, set from Oct. 19, 1995-Oct. 11, 1996.

The current streak also marks the sixth consecutive season in which the Irish have reeled off at least 12 victories in a row. Prior to this year’s success string, the longest run in that span (dating back to 2003) had been a 15-game winning streak to kick off the 2004 national championship season.

Golden Domers Golden In OT

Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Irish are 18-3-8 (.759) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) when going to an extra period or two. Notre Dame went to OT for the first time this season on Oct. 12, taking a 3-2 win at Villanova on a “golden goal” by sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin at 96:58.

Notre Dame’s second OT win of the season came on Nov. 9 at Alumni Field, when, once again at exactly 96:58, Melissa Henderson scored to give the Irish a 1-0 win over Connecticut and secure the 2008 BIG EAST Championship. It marked the first “golden goal” in BIG EAST title-game history.

The Irish once again needed overtime to advance out of the NCAA third round on Nov. 21, doing so when senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks netted a penalty kick at 96:54 for a 1-0 victory over No. 22/24 Minnesota at Alumni Field.

This season marks the first time Notre Dame has ever played multiple overtime games in the postseason (BIG EAST/NCAA Championship).

Getting The Jump On The Competition

Notre Dame’s impressive results this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to the first half.

In 16 of their 26 games, the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play (including six in the opening 10 minutes), with an own goal against Cincinnati exactly 1:00 into the Nov. 2 BIG EAST quarterfinal being the fastest strike of the season. That marked the second-fastest goal in Notre Dame’s storied postseason history, not to mention the fourth-fastest of the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99).

The last time the Irish got on the board quicker than the Cincinnati game was on Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).

Strong Out Of The Blocks

Notre Dame is off to the best start in program history (26-0-0), with this year marking the completion of the first unbeaten and untied regular season in school history (18-0-0). That debut also eclipses the 16-0-0 start by the 2000 Irish squad during the second season for head coach Randy Waldrum at Notre Dame.

Here’s a look at the other strong starts the Irish have had to a season and how things ended up for Notre Dame:

Start Final Record Resultu2008 26-0-0 ?? ??2000 16-0-0 23-1-1 NCAA semifinalist2004 15-0-0 25-1-1 NCAA champion2006 13-0-0 25-1-1 NCAA runner-up1996 13-0-0 24-2-0 NCAA runner-up

Beasts Of The BIG EAST

With a win over Connecticut in the BIG EAST title game on Nov. 9, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 52-game unbeaten streak (50-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition (second-longest in NCAA Division I history) dating back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year’s BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie).

Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 123-8-4 (.926) all-time in regular-season conference games, 32-2-1 (.929) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 682-81 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.

What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 87-game home unbeaten streak (86-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).

Dude, We’re Going Streaking

With its 3-0 win at home over South Florida on Oct. 3, Notre Dame set a new school record for consecutive regular-season victories, with an active winning streak at 28 games heading into next season. The last time the Irish dropped a regular-season contest was more than a year ago (Sept. 23, 2007) when they gave up two second-half goals in a 2-1 loss to 14th-ranked Penn State at Alumni Field.

Notre Dame’s 28-game regular-season unbeaten streak also is tied for the third-longest in school history. In fact, it should be noted that, except for a 16-day stretch last September when the Irish lost four times in six games (twice in OT), Notre Dame has not dropped a regular-season game dating back the middle of the 2005 season.

Spreading The Wealth

In an early example of the incredible depth of this year’s Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since ’99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).

For the season, a record-setting 19 different Irish players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal. Freshman center back Jessica Schuveiller is the most recent goal scorer, as she headed home what proved to be the game-winning goal versus Florida State in Notre Dame’s 2-0 NCAA quarterfinal win on Nov. 28. In addition, Notre Dame has set a school record with 21 different point scorers this season, with senior forward Kerry Inglis the newest point scorer behind a two-goal afternoon against Seton Hall on Oct. 26.

The previous Irish single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996.

No Soup For You

For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when No. 12/11 Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.

The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program’s first national championship.

No Shots For You, Either

Notre Dame held South Florida without a single shot in a 3-0 win on Oct. 3. It marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (vs. Rutgers) that the Irish defense didn’t yield a shot.

Hanks = History

With each passing game, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks reaches more career milestones in the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in women’s college soccer history.

On Nov. 28 against Florida State, Hanks delivered two assists to become the first D-I player to amass 73 goals and 73 assists in her career. Only two others are even qualified for the 70G-70A club: North Carolina’s Mia Hamm and Notre Dame’s Jenny Streiffer.

Hanks currently stands in eighth place on the Division I career points list with 239 points (83G-73A), and 13th on the NCAA career goals chart following her penalty kick gamewinner in overtime against Minnesota on Nov. 21. On both lists, the person ahead of her is a current or former U.S. National Team member — Abby Wambach is seventh in career points (242 at Florida from 1998-2001), while Shannon MacMillan (87 at Portland from 1992-95) and April Heinrichs (87 at UNC from 1983-86) are four ahead of Hanks on the goals chart.

For more information on Hanks’ groundbreaking career at Notre Dame, including a full rundown of the records she currently holds, please see page 12 of this notes package.

One After The Other After The Other

Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks is in the midst of one of the most productive runs of her brilliant career and arguably one of best in NCAA Division I annals.

Against Seton Hall on Oct. 26, the Allen, Texas, native had her school-record 11-game goalscoring streak snapped (she did have a goal waved off due to an offsides call), ending what is tied for the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I history, a spot she shares with former Hartford player Maria Kun (1997) and one goal longer than the 10-game streaks by notables such as current U.S. National Team standouts Abby Wambach (2001 at Florida) and Christie (Pearce) Rampone (1996 at Monmouth).

Against Stanford, Hanks’ career-long 19-game point-scoring streak was snapped. Her 19-game streak broke the school record set by Hanks’ former teammate and current Canadian National Team member Katie Thorlakson from Oct. 14-Nov. 25, 2005 (the final 14 games of Thorlakson’s career).

Despite missing Notre Dame’s BIG EAST semifinal and final wins over Marquette and Connecticut, Hanks’ streak had remained intact with her spree through the NCAA Championship. It began with two assists in the NCAA opener against Toledo, followed by the helper on Rose Augustin’s gamewinner versus Michigan State, then the clinching penalty kick in overtime to beat Minnesota, and two assists in the Nov. 28 quarterfinal win vs. Florida State.

The Irish had a semi-similar situation occur in 1999, when Anne Makinen scored twice on Sept. 5 vs. Duke, then missed four games due to duty with the Finland National Team. Upon her return, she registered points in her next 11 games from Sept. 24-Oct. 27.

Hanks Sets The Table, Too

Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 77 (26G-25A) of Kerri Hanks’ 239 career points (83G-73A), representing 32.2% of her points with the Irish. Her 26 goals have come on penalty kicks (15-for-16, including 8-for-9 this year), free kicks (10), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 25 assists have been via corner-kick (16) or free-kick (9) services.

Here’s a look at Hanks’ set-piece success (numbers listed as goals-assists, except PKs):

Free Corner Penalty Total2005 3-1 0-1 0 3-2-8p2006 2-4 0-8 2 4-12-20p2007 5-3 1-4 5 11-7-29p2008 0-1 0-3 8 8-4-20pTotals 10-9 1-16 13 26-25-77p

A Pair Of Aces

Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks and freshman forward Melissa Henderson currently are tied as the most prolific goalscoring duo in the country this season with 36 goals (Hanks – 19, Henderson – 17). North Carolina’s Casey Nogueira (23) and Courtney Jones (13) also have combined for 36 goals this season.

Melissa Can’t Miss

Freshman forward/BIG EAST Rookie of the Year/first-team all-BIG EAST selection Melissa Henderson is making the most of her time on the field, ranking second in the BIG EAST in goals (17) despite averaging only 54.1 minutes per game. In fact, were she averaging a full 90 minutes and scoring at her current pace, Henderson would have 29 goals this year, one more than the Notre Dame single-season record (28 by Kerri Hanks as a freshman in 2005), and five more than national leader Sarah Hagen (Milwaukee) entering Sunday’s contest.

Bock Stays A-Head Of The Game

Nearly half (22) of the 46 career goals — 12th-most in school history — scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers. That includes nine of her last 14 scores, most recently the opening goal in the Oct. 12 win at Villanova. Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.

Lysander Minds The Store

After logging just five minutes of NCAA tournament play (in Notre Dame’s 7-1 opening round win vs. Oakland in 2006) in her first two seasons with the Irish, junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander has started all five of Notre Dame’s 2008 NCAA Championship games, totaling just over 452 minutes of play. Since being beat on a well-placed free kick by Toledo’s Molly Cornwell in the first half of Notre Dame’s 5-2 opening round win over the Rockets on Nov. 14 at Alumni Field, Lysander has not allowed goal in the past 433:55 of play (a season-high) while leading the Irish to four consecutive NCAA tourney shutouts.

In helping the Irish to a 5-0-0 record in this season’s NCAA tournament, Lysander has made 18 saves while posting a 0.20 goals against average and a .947 save percentage. Against Stanford, Lysander came up with a career-high seven saves to help the Irish advance to the title game. Her seven saves were the most by a Notre Dame goalkeeper in NCAA Championship play since Liz Wagner notched eight saves in the quarterfinals to lead Notre Dame to a 2-1 overtime win over Santa Clara on Nov. 24, 2000.

Knaack Is Taylor-Made For Goal Scoring

Sophomore forward Taylor Knaack may have missed all of last season while recovering from preseason ACL surgery. However, once she got up to speed with the college game, it’s been clear the Arlington, Texas, native has a bright future in the Irish lineup.

After scoring a goal in Notre Dame’s 7-0 season-opening win over Michigan on Aug. 22, Knaack added an assist at Cincinnati on Sept. 28, giving her three points in Notre Dame’s first 17 games.

Starting with the Oct. 26 regular-season finale against Seton Hall, when she netted Notre Dame’s third goal, Knaack has recorded four goals and an assist in an eight-game span. Her recent scoring spree has included three goals and an assist in postseason play, most recently the game-clinching score in a 2-0 Irish win over sixth-ranked Florida State in the NCAA quarterfinal on Nov. 28 at Alumni Field.

The Teacher And The Student

Senior defender/co-captain Carrie Dew, a two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, and her central defensive partner, freshman Jessica Schuveiller, were held off the scoreboard in the regular season and BIG EAST Championship, but have opened their 2008 goalscoring accounts in NCAA Championship play.

Dew scored her first goal of the season as she potted Notre Dame’s first tally against Toledo in NCAA first round play. She now has eight career goals, three of which have come in NCAA tournament play (37.5%). What’s more, all three of Dew’s NCAA tournament goals have been assisted by senior All-America forward Kerri Hanks.

Taking a cue from her backline mentor, Schuveiller scored her first collegiate goal in the NCAA quarterfinals on Nov. 28 to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead over Florida State. The goal proved to be the gamewinner, making Schuveiller the first freshman to score a game-winning goal for the Irish in NCAA play since current junior forward Michele Weissenhofer notched the first goal in Notre Dame’s 4-0 defeat of Penn State on Nov. 24, 2006, also in the NCAA quarterfinals. Weissenhofer went on to register a hat trick in that game, one of only two ever posted by an Irish play in the quarterfinal round or later of the NCAA Championship.

Iantorno Is One Super Sub

Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno is tied for third on the Irish with seven assists and fourth on the team with 17 points (5G-7A). All this for a player who came to Notre Dame last year as a walk-on (after reversing her original decision to attend Missouri) and had four points during her entire freshman season (on four assists).

This year, Iantorno has emerged as Notre Dame’s “microwave” off the bench, heating up the minute she gets into the game. In fact, less than a minute after subbing into the Penn State game on Sept. 21, the Hinsdale, Ill., native already had chalked up an assist, taking a throw-in, driving to the left endline and whipping a cross into the box that junior forward Michele Weissenhofer buried in the back of the net.

Five days later against Louisville, Iantorno posted a three-point night (1G-1A) less than 10 minutes after coming into the game at the 31-minute mark. First, she delivered a sharp cross at the top of the box that Weissenhofer dummied for freshman midfielder Courtney Barg, who scored her first career goal (33:35). Then, senior defender Elise Weber sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by the Louisville goalkeeper and Iantorno was on the doorstep for the easy finish (40:32).

Most recently on Nov. 14, Iantorno scored Notre Dame’s fifth goal against Toledo in the first round of the NCAA Championship, less than 19 minutes after returning as a second-half substitute.

Patience Pays Off For Inglis

Senior forward Kerry Inglis had to battle through four injury-plagued seasons at Notre Dame, enduring four major surgeries on her right ankle, which she initially injured on the first day of preseason practice as a freshman in 2005. She also missed the entire 2006 campaign because of the constant medical trouble, and has played in just 20 games in her college career because of the maladies.

However, Inglis’ persistence, faith and determination were rewarded on Senior Day (Oct. 26) against Seton Hall, when she earned the first starting assignment of her career. Not content with just enjoying the specter of being in the lineup, Inglis promptly went out and scored the first goal of her career at 11:18 of the first half, knocking home a crossing pass from classmate Brittany Bock.

As if that weren’t enough, Inglis tacked on a second goal in the game, scoring with 5:36 left after collecting a loose ball in the penalty box and poking it into the right side of the net.

Senior Moments

The Irish senior class ranks among the most successful in the country, with a four-year record to date of 92-9-3 (.899) that includes four NCAA quarterfinal berths, three trips to the NCAA College Cup and two appearances in the national title game.

Notre Dame’s Class of 2009 also finished with a 53-1-2 (.964) record against BIG EAST opponents and has been ranked either first or second in the nation in each of their four years (including No. 1 rankings in 2005, 2006 and 2008).

Our Fearless Leader

Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone on Sept. 21 at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum became the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins — he now has a record of 318-79-20 (.787) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).

Game #26 Recap: Stanford

Freshman midfielder Courtney Barg scored in the 15th minute and the Notre Dame defense did the rest, holding fast against a stern Stanford onslaught as the top-ranked Irish booked their place in the NCAA national championship game with a 1-0 victory over the No. 5 Cardinal in the NCAA Women’s College Cup semifinals on Friday afternoon before a crowd of 8,926 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The sequence that perpetuated Barg’s decisive strike started as sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin took a throw-in on the near sideline that found freshman forward Melissa Henderson just outside of the Stanford box, eight yards from the endline. Henderson took three touches to work her way around a Stanford defender before sliding the ball across the top of the box to Barg, who was making a run into the center of the box. The onrushing Barg gathered the pass and fired a low drive to Stanford goalkeeper Kira Maker’s right side to put the Irish up 1-0 at 14:07.

Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander had to make four saves in the first half including one on Stanford’s Kelley O’Hara at 21:43. O’Hara latched onto the end of a long ball sent from the Stanford midfield to break in on Lysander, but the junior goalkeeper was able to turn O’Hara’s shot aside with a sliding kick save. Minutes later, at 26:46, Lysander made a point-blank save to preserve the lead as Stanford’s sophomore forward Christen Press got a header on net from five yards out after O’Hara played in a cross from Lysander’s right side.

The second half saw Stanford push for the equalizer, but the Notre Dame back line held fast, and Lysander made three more saves to give her a career-high seven on the afternoon. As time was winding down, sophomore forward Taylor Knaack did well to earn a corner kick on the far endline in front of the spirited Irish faithful, effectively ending the game.

Stanford wound up outshooting Notre Dame, 20-12, including a 7-4 margin in shots on goal. The Cardinal also took six corner kicks to three for the Irish, but in the end, Notre Dame posted its eighth shutout in nine games and fourth in a row.

The Magic Number

Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 278-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 180-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 374-9-15 (.959) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

Most impressively, Notre Dame is 302-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 279 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just two of the past 191 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a tie, something achieved by four opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).

You Can Put It On The Board

Notre Dame has scored a goal in 51 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 51-game goal streak is the second-longest in school history, trailing only a 55-game run from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999.

A Little Added Face Time

Notre Dame played on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Oct. 19, Notre Dame traveled to Storrs, Conn., and defeated BIG EAST rival Connecticut, 2-0, on CBS College Sports.

In addition, Notre Dame will be playing on TV for the fourth time this postseason in Sunday’s NCAA College Cup final against North Carolina, as the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. Notre Dame’s 2-0 BIG EAST semifinal win over Marquette on Nov. 7 aired live on CBS College Sports, as did its Nov. 9 BIG EAST title-game victory in overtime against Connecticut, while Notre Dame’s College Cup semifinal win over Stanford was broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPNU and

In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games were broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (, with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online’s GameTracker service.

Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women’s soccer page at and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.

Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing “2”.

The Golden Girls

Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) and Shannon Boxx (’99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal.

The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis (’10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis’ career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the ’00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson (’32).

Fowlkes Tapped For U.S. U-20 Team

Sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes is one of 20 players who have been named to the final roster for the United States Under-20 Women’s National Soccer Team, it was announced Oct. 27 by head coach Tony DiCicco. Fowlkes and her American teammates arrived in Chile to compete in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, slated for Nov. 19-Dec. 7. Fowlkes previously was part of the U.S. U-20 squad that qualified for the World Cup back in June after finishing second at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico.

Thus far, Fowlkes has started all five games at center back for Team USA, which has posted three shutouts and advanced to the tournament finals following a 1-0 win over Germany on Thursday night. The Americans will face North Korea on Sunday evening in the finals.

Because of her national team commitments, Fowlkes will miss the balance of the 2008 postseason at Notre Dame. She appeared in 18 games for the Irish this year, starting six times, with her lone goal being the gamewinner in a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sept. 7 at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Fowlkes continues a strong tradition of Notre Dame players on the U.S. U-20 World Cup Team (and its predecessors at the U-19 level). Current Irish senior co-captains Brittany Bock and Carrie Dew donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth.

Another Notre Dame senior, All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks, played for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U19 Women’s World Championships, helping the Americans to the title in 2002 (defeating host Canada, 1-0 in OT in the final) and a third-place finish in 2004 in Thailand. In the `04 third-place game, Hanks scored the opening goal for the U.S. on a free kick in the 21st minute.