Sept. 20, 2000
RISING TO THE TOP: The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (7-0-0) faces a challenging test in its first game as the nation’s top-ranked team, as Notre Dame next plays on Friday, Sept. 22 at West Virginia (which received the 29th-most votes in this week’s NSCAA poll) … that game kicks off a string of eight straight BIG EAST Conference games for the Irish, with upcoming home dates versus Pittsburgh (Sept. 24, 3:00 p.m.), Seton Hall (Sept. 29, 5:30 p.m.) and Rutgers (Oct. 1, 1:00 p.m. … Notre Dame’s only remaining games versus teams currently in the NSCAA top 25 are Oct. 13 at home versus Boston College (7:30 p.m.) and Oct. 21 at Connecticut (1:00 p.m.).
Notre Dame Women’s Soccer Schedule (listings indicate local starting times)
Fri., Sept. 22 at West Virginia (6:00 p.m.)
Sat., Sept. 23 vs. Pittsburgh, at Alumni Field (3:00 p.m.)
INTERNET RADIO AND TV COVERAGE: Both of this week’s Notre Dame women’s soccer games will be broadcast by members of the electronic media … the ND-West Virginia game will feature a live radio broadcast available via the official WVU website (www.MSNsporsNet.com) … the direct link to the radio broadcast is http://www.broadcast.com/sports/ncaa/WestVirginia/WomensSoccer/ … the ND-Pittsburgh game will be broadcast on a delayed basis by South Bend-based WHME-TV channel 46, with the game to be aired on Monday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 p.m.
IRISH CLIMB TO NO. 1: The Notre Dame women’s soccer program has returned to the top of the national polls for the first time since 1996, following last week’s pair of quality wins and North Carolina’s 2-1 loss at upstart Clemson … ND (7-0-0) headed to the Northwest last week as the nation’s No. 2-ranked team and posted two wins at the Portland adidas Invitational over teams currently ranked in the national top 25: Washington (5-0) and Portland (1-0) … North Carolina (8-1-0) dropped out of the top spot and currently is ranked fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) poll … the Irish are ranked first in the NSCAA poll and various other polls conducted by soccer-specific publications and websites, including the long-running poll compiled by the editors of Soccer America magazine.
NO. 1 HISTORY: The last time Notre Dame sat atop the NSCAA poll during the regular season was 1996, when the Irish owned the top spot for the final two months of the season (a 2-1 win over UNC on Oct. 4 of that year, followed by a 2-0 win over Duke, bumped the Irish up from the No. 2 spot) … Notre Dame also spent the final month of the 1994 season as the No. 1-ranked team, thanks to an earlier 0-0 tie with UNC and the Tar Heels’ loss to Duke in early October.
ND HEAD COACH RANDY WALDRUM ON BEING NO. 1: “To be ranked No. 1 is a tremendous honor for our team and the players deserve a lot of credit, because we’ve kind of snuck up on some people who thought-justifiably so-that we might be down a little after graduating five starters, three of whom were All-Americans. Along those lines, we truly are a team that still is developing its identity and we have some huge strides ahead of us. The team feels very honored to be No. 1 but they know that we still have a lot of work to do. At the same time, you can’t minimize what this group accomplished during the last four games. We beat four of the nation’s top teams, including two of the nation’s premier programs in Santa Clara and Stanford, a win over Washington after a long roadtrip and the victory over Portland in a tough atmosphere, with almost 4,000 fans that were very vocal and are right on top of you. So, it’s certainly a special moment for Notre Dame soccer … but we hope that there are many more to come this season.”
TOP-25 NOTES: Notre Dame is one of six undefeated teams in the NSCAA top 25, with the others including second-ranked Clemson, No. 3 Nebraska, Duke (8th), California (11th) and Arizona State (24th). Notre Dame’s strength of schedule has improved since the start of the 2000 season, as Portland (14th), Washington (15th), BC (22nd) and Michigan (24th) each have entered the NSCAA poll in recent weeks. Other 2000 Irish opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA poll include No. 5 Stanford, 19th-ranked Santa Clara and Connecticut (25).
PLAYING WITH THE BULLSEYE: The Irish own a 20-3 record (9-1-0 in the regular season) when playing as the top-ranked team in the NSCAA poll … ND’s losses as the No. 1 team have come at Santa Clara in the 1996 regular season (3-1) and in a pair of NCAA title games versus North Carolina (5-0 in 1994, 1-0 in ’96).
BAKKER NAMED BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s soccer program has produced the BIG EAST Conference defensive player of the week for the third consecutive time, as senior Kerri Bakker (Washington, N.J.) was tabbed with the honor after helping the Irish post a pair of shutouts at the Portland adidas Invitational on Sept. 16-17 … Bakker played a key role off the bench in the 5-0 win over Washington, helping the Irish allow just seven shots in that game (only two of them on goal) … she then drew a start for the crucial matchup with Portland, playing at central defender alongside classmate Kelly Lindsey (who earned the last two BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week awards) … she played a key role in the win over UP, holding the Pilots to 11 shots (four on goal) and helping to withstand a late charge as the Irish escaped spirited Merlo Field with a 1-0 victory.
MORE ON THE IRISH D: Senior Kerri Bakker-who made her fifth career start, and second of the season, in the Portland game-is part of a Notre Dame defense that has allowed just three goals (the Irish have scored 27) while compiling a 194-40 shot margin (average of 28-6). … that number is even more noteworthy when considering shots on goal, as Notre Dame has attempted 116 (17 per game) while allowing just 21 (three per game) … ND has yet to trail this season while holding the lead for nearly 70 percent of the minutes played … just two teams have managed to forge a tie versus the Irish this season: Providence and Stanford.
ERIKSON TABBED AS OFFENSIVE MVP AT PORTLAND INVITATIONAL: Notre Dame senior forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) was named the offensive MVP of last week’s Portland adidas Invitational, after scoring the game-winning goals versus Washington (5-0) and Portland (1-0) … both o Eriskon’s goals showcased strong individual efforts that included tricky turns to shake her defender followed by well-placed shots … her 50th career goal was a huge one, in the win at Portland on a hot day in front of large, hostile crowd (her goal in the eighth minute helped subdue the rowdy crowd) … in the first game, Washington had two strong scoring chances and ND was off to a sluggish start before Erikson’s goal sparked ND to three goals on a 5-minute stretch.
WALDRUM WORKING WONDERS: Second-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum has seen his Irish teams post an impressive 28-4-1 combined record (.864), including a solid 9-3-1 mark versus NSCAA top-25 teams and a 1999 season that ended in the NCAA Championship title game … Waldrum in 1999 became the only coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth first-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semi-finals, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose, Calif. … Waldrum’s 19-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 211-109-20 (.650) … he owns a 135-54-13 (.700) record in 10-plus seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580) and 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum ranks 15th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (he ranks 26th on the total wins list).
SCOUTING THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns 16 of 22 letterwinners but lost five starters from its ’99 team that went 21-4-1 and advanced to the NCAA title game … senior M and leading national player-of-the-year candidate Anne Makinen (6G-8A) has scored or assisted on more than half of ND’s goals this season (14 of 28) while other top scorers include freshman forwards Amy Warner (5G-2A) and Amanda Guertin (3G-1A) and senior F Meotis Erikson (4G-3A) … junior Elizabeth Wagner has played most of the minutes in the nets for ND, with 16 saves and three goals allowed.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Information on the Mountaineers can be found at www.MSNsportsNET.com while Panthers information is located at www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
BIG GAPS: Notre Dame has compiled an eye-popping 194-40 shot advantage through the first seven games of the 2000 season (holding five of those opponents to 2-7 shots), plus a 53-19 edge in corner kicks … ND owns an average shot margin of 28-6 (8-3 on corner kicks) … even more impressive is the fact that the Irish have allowed just 21 shots on goal this season (2.6 per game) while attempting 111 (12.6/gm).
RUGGED STRETCH: Last week’s action completes a challenging stretch in which the Irish posted three consecutive wins over ranked opponents (then-#2 Santa Clara, then-#10 Stanford and #15 Washington), followed by a win over a Portland team that entered the NSCAA poll this week at #14 … the last time the Irish played three straight NSCAA ranked opponents was during Notre Dame’s 1995 NCAA championship run . early in that `95 season, ND posted successive wins over #13 Wisconsin, #19 Michigan State and #3 Stanford … later in `95, a rugged four-game stretch in the regular season yielded a 5-4 loss to #5 UConn, a 1-0 win over #6 SCU, a 2-2 tie with #11 Duke and a 2-0 loss to top-ranked North Carolina
WASHINGTON RECAP (5-0): Notre Dame shook off a sluggish start by erupting for three goals in a five-minute span before using its depth to wear down the 15th-ranked Huskies .. ND received two goals each from Ali Lovelace and Anne Makinen, who also provided a long cross to set up Lovelace’s first goal . Meotis Erikson-a native of nearby Kennewick, Wash.-used some clever moves to score the game’s first goal before Lovelace sparked the Irish off the bench with a pair of strong individual efforts .. Washington (6-1-0) had the first two quality scoring chances of the game, with junior forward Erin Otagaki misfiring on both opportunities .. ND again held a decisive shot margin (16-7), with just two of the UW shots requiring saves … a pair of well-placed long balls gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in a span of 64 seconds … Lindsey Jones’ serve from the defensive third set up Erikson’s move at the top of the box and a crossing shot into the sidenetting on the far left side (26:10). … moments later, Makinen picked off a clearing attempt and crossed the ball from the left flank … Lovelace had position on a pair of UW defenders near the right post, deftly trapped the cross and snapped a low shot inside the near right post (27:14) … Lovelace turned in a more impressive effort on the third Irish goal, at a similar spot on the field .. two Huskies players appeared to have moved the ball past Lovelace in the penalty box but Lovelace jumped back into the play, stole the ball, flipped around and struck a low crossing shot inside the far left post (31:11) … ND dominated play in the second half (13-3 shot edge), with Erikson nearly scoring a second goal on a shot from the left side that clanged loudly off the crossbar .. Makinen gathered the rebound and sent a blast on net, with a diving Hope Solo unable to stop the powerful shot … Ashley Dryer set up the final goal with a strong run into the left side of the penalty box … after Dryer was taken down from behind in the top corner of the box, Makinen caught Solo guessing to her right for the 5-0 lead (64:12).
#15 WASHINGTON (6-1-0) 0 0 – 0
#2 NOTRE DAME (6-0-0) 3 2 – 5
ND 1. Meotis Erikson 3 (-) 26:10, ND 2. Ali Lovelace 1 (Makinen) 27:14, ND 3. Lovelace 2 (-) 31:33, ND 4. Makinen 5 (Erikson) 57:40, ND 5. Makinen 6 (penalty kick) 64:12.
Shots: UW 7, ND 16.
Saves: UW 7 (Hope Solo), ND 2 (Elizabeth Wagner 2, Sani Post 0).
Corner Kicks: UW 3, ND 3. Fouls: UW 19, ND 11.
Offsides: UW 1, ND 2.
Yellow Card: Megan McKinstry (UW).
WALDRUM ON THE UW GAME: “We were a little bit unorganized during the first 20 minutes before being able to capitalize on three straight chances. Meotis scored a good goal and then Ali really gave us a boost off the bench. Our depth also made a big difference later in the game, because we’ve had three tough games in a row.”
PORTLAND RECAP (1-0): Meotis Erikson’s 50th career goal proved to be a valuable one while the Irish defense held off a late Portland onslaught, at rowdy Merlo Field … Portland nearly became the first team to outshoot the Irish this season (12-11) while holding a 7-3 edge in corner kicks … the 80-degree sunsplashed game was played in front of a raucous crowd of 3,548, including the spirited “Lions of Batacuda”-a 25-piece drum and dance group … senior All-America M Anne Makinen set the Irish goal in motion with an early cross from the right flank her classmate Erikson-fromnearby Kennewick, Wash.-took it from there with some of her classic moves at the top of the box … Erikson received the cross and shook her defender with a turn to her right before striking an 18-yard shot into the upper left corner that sailed beyond the reach of UP goalkeeper Cheryl Loveless … the Irish had several chances to gain a cushion early in the second half, with Makinen and freshman Amy Warner both striking balls that Loveless deflected off the pipes … those missed opportunities helped set up a frantic final 15 minutes, with the Pilots having several chances at the equalizer-but junior G Liz Wagner and the Irish defense came up with the big plays to preserve the win.
#2 NOTRE DAME (7-0-0) 1 0 – 1
PORTLAND (7-1-0) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Meotis Erikson 4 (Anne Makinen) 7:20.
Shots: ND 11, UP 12.
Saves: ND 4 (Liz Wagner), UP 4 (Cheryl Loveless).
Corner Kicks: ND 3, UP 7.
Fouls: ND 11, UP 9.
Offsides: ND 1, UP 1.
WALDRUM ON THE PORTLAND GAME: “Portland is possibly the toughest team we have played this season and this was a challenging environment for our team. Meotis made a tremendous turn and shot to give us the early lead and we had several chances early in the second half to add to that lead. But it ended up being one of those games where our defense had to make some big stops and they were up to the task.”
PORTLAND POSTGAME NOTES: Notre Dame now holds a 6-2-0 lead in the series, with all eight contests decided by one goal and four coming in NCAA tournament play (the home team has yet to win in the series) … the Pilots have won nearly 88 percent of their all-time home games at Merlo Field (90-12-2, since 1990), with the Irish handing UP four of those losses … no other team has beaten the Pilots more than twice at Merlo Field (North Carolina and Virginia each have a pair of wins over UP at Merlo).
BRONCO BUSTERS: Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Santa Clara held several levels of significance, as it marked: SCU’s first consecutive losses since a three-game losing streak in September of 1994 (vs. LMU, Stanford and UNC), the first time SCU was outshot (23-10) in 19 games, and the most goals by an SCU opponent in 20 seasons-dating back to an 8-0 loss to UC Davis in 1980 (the last team to reach five goals vs. SCU was UNC, in 1991) … ND also became the first team to post more than 20 shots versus Santa Clara since Washington did it in 1994 (23-18, in a game that finished 2-2).
BIG WEEKENDS: Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) allowed just one goal in each game of the KeyBank Classic, versus two of the nation’s top teams (Santa Clara, Stanford), before posting a pair of shutouts in the Portland adidas Invitational (vs. #15 Washington and current #14 Portland) … Wagner heads into the WVU game riding a lengthy shutout streak (228:48) … in the win over SCU, Wagner made seven big saves, including an early breakaway and a diving stop in the second half … she finished the KeyBank Classic weekend with 10 saves, as the backstop to an Irish defense that allowed just 16 shots … Wagner then made six saves at the Portland Invitational but turned in several other big plays in both games (she thwarted two early scoring chances by Washington before holding off Portland’s late charge) … Wagner is in the midst of her first season as a starter while facing the challenge of replacing All-American Lakeysia Beene while losing two starting defenders from ’99 team (including four-time All-American Jen Grubb).
MAKIN’ WAVES: Notre Dame senior midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland)-who has points in six of seven games this season-has been the focal point of the Irish offense this season, as the three-year All-American has scored or assisted on more than half of ND’s goals (14 of 27), including two game-winning goals and three primary game-winning assists (her outlet pass also sprung Amy Warner for the cross that led to the game-ending own goal versus Stanford) … with her team struggling to cash in its chances vs. Tulsa on Sept. 1, Makinen took over in the lategoing by scoring a pair of goals for a 2-0 win … two days later, in the 5-1 win over Providence, Makinen’s play from her central midfield spot helped the Irish eclipse 30 shots for the third straight game … her pass into the middle set up Amy Warner’s second goal of the PC game and Makinen added a long cross late in that game that Warner half-volleyed to complete her hat trick … she went on to record a goal and two assists in the 6-1 win over second-ranked Santa Clara before setting up the game-ending sequence versus Stanford … in last week’s action, Makinen’s long cross set up Ali Lovelace’s goal for a 2-0 lead on Washington and Makinen added a rebound goal and penalty-kick score in that 5-0 game … the next day, her cross from the right set up Meotis Erikson’s goal in the 1-0 win over Portland.
ANNE’S ARSENAL: Anne Makinen reached 10 points in three games this season and 20 points (6g-8A) through seven games, despite being marked heavily as ND’s top returning offensive weapon … Makinen’s quick start factors out to 74 points over the course of 26 games (Cindy Daws owns the ND record for points in a season, with 72 in 1996) … Makinen heads into the WVU game with a career average of 2.23 points per game (163 points in 73 games) … her 57 career goals rank 6th in ND history (two ahead of with ’96 grad. Rosella Guerrero), just two behind another ’96 graduate Michelle McCarthy (Daws is fourth on the career goals list, with 61) … Makinen’s 49 career assists recently moved her past former teammates Monica Gerardo (’95-98) and Kara Brown (”96-’99) into 6th on the ND career assists list (Gerardo and Brown each had 44) … Makinen’s 163 career points are 6th in ND history-she just passed ’96 grad. Michelle McCarthy (156)-and she needs to total 48 points this season to pass Gerardo into 2nd on the ND all-time scoring list (Makinen would need a 69-point season to surpass all-time leading scorer and 2000 graduate Jenny Streiffer).
PRETTY GOOD CHANCE AT 50-50: Anne Makinen entered the 2000 season as the nation’s only active player with 40-plus goals and 40-plus assists in her career (51G-41A) and now stands one assist shy of becoming the 13th player in Division I history-and the third ND player-to eclipsed the 50-50 plateau .. Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A, 1996-99) and ’97 grad. Cindy Daws (61G-67A) are the only previous ND players to reach 50 career goals and 50 assists … Makinen also has a good shot at reaching 60-60 in her career, needing three goals and 11 assists to become the sixth Division I player to earn that distinction … the current members of the 60-60 club include Streiffer, Daws, Carin Jennings (102G-60A, UC Santa Barbara, ’83-’86), Mia Hamm (103G-72A, North Carolina, ’89-’93) and Mandy Clemens (67G-65A, Santa Clara, ’96-’99) … 13 more goals and 21 more assists would place Makinen alongside Streiffer and Hamm in the very exclusive 70-70 club.
NO BIG DEAL: Notre Dame senior midfielder Anne Makinen-who had a goal and two assists in the recent 6-1 win over Santa Clara-was named offensive MVP of the KeyBank Classic, marking the fifth time in her career that she has been named a tournament MVP (including ND’s ’97 adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic, the ’98 KeyBank Classic and the ’97 and ’99 BIG EAST Championships).
SANTA CLARA’S JERRY SMITH ON ANNE MAKINEN: “Anne Makinen is the best player in college soccer. She is a great international player, let alone a great college player. The international game is a much tougher game to be good than the college level. … I have such a high opinion of (Anne) that she would have to play just awesome for me to be kind of surprised. We talked about it in our team meeting. We just don’t have enough players that can kind of corral her.”
WALDRUM ON MAKINEN: “Anne was all over the place tonight. She was winning balls all night, she was springing people in and creating chances for others and herself. She is a very complete player. She can do it all.”
HOMESTANDERS: Notre Dame’s home record in 10-plus seasons at Alumni Field is 108-7-1 (.935), including an 85-3-1 mark in the last 89 games-highlighted by a 27-game winning streak from 1992-95 (the fifth-longest home winning streak in NCAA women’s soccer history) … ND’s last three home losses have been at the hands of fifth-ranked Connecticut in ’95 (5-4, OT), sixth-ranked Portland in the ’98 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1) and top-rated North Carolina in the ’99 opener (3-2, OT) …the Irish currently carry a 15-game home winning streak … Notre Dame’s all-time record at Alumni Field versus teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 73-1-0 (35-6-1 vs. ranked teams), with 67 straight home wins over unranked teams dating back to a 1990 loss to Creighton (2-0) … Notre Dame played at Moose Krause Field in the program’s first two seasons (1988 and ’89) , with a home record of 19-5-1 during that span (all vs. unranked teams).
HAT TRICKERY: Freshman F Amy Warner’s three goals in the Providence game marked the first hat trick is the first by a Notre Dame freshman since current senior M Anne Makinen’s three-goal effort in the 1997 BIG EAST title game versus Connecticut (a 6-1 Irish win) … Warner-who has earned a pair of BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week honors this season-registered the 48th all-time hat trick by an ND player and the 16th by a freshman (by 13 different players), with Makinen and current senior forward Meotis Erikson each registering a pair of hat tricks in 1997 … the date of Warner’s hat trick (Sept. 3) ranks as the earliest ever recorded by a ND freshman while Rosella Guerrero holds the mark for earliest freshman hat trick in terms of games played (she scored three times in the ’92 opener at North Carolina State).
ANOTHER TYPE OF SHUTOUT: In Notre Dame’s season-opening 6-1 win over Detroit, the Titans nearly scored the game’s first goal during an early flurry but Notre Dame responded by holding the Titans without a shot for the game’s final 83 minutes … the final shot margin (49-2) ranks as one of the largest in Notre Dame women’s soccer history (the team record for shots in a game is 59).
FILLING THE VOID: Notre Dame entered the season searching for answers at several positions, after losing five starters from the 1999 NCAA runner-up squad … the starting lineup in 2000 often has featured sophomore Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) at the central defender spot formerly occupied by All-American Jen Grubb … Pruzinsky’s spot on the flank has been filled by versatile senior Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas)-who previously has played up front-while sophomore Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga.) and freshman Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) started the opener at forward on the wings … other newcomers to the starting lineup have included junior defender Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.)-who started 17 games as a freshman midfielder and has taken the spot held by 2000 grad. Kara Brown-and junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.), who shared starting time with current sophomore Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) in the ’99 season … junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Wagner (Spring, Texas) drew her first career start with the Irish but had a fairly uneventful day, with one save, two shots faced and two Detroit corner kicks … senior Kerri Bakker (Washington, N.J.) also has seen time at central defender and remains a candidate at that position … Bakker has appeared in 33 career games at Notre Dame (with four starts) and has more experience reading the game from the central defender position while Pruzinsky is one of the quickest players and best all-around athletics on the Irish team.
INJURY REPORT: Notre Dame lost one of its top players early in the overtime of the Stanford game, as senior defender and two-time team captain Kelly Lindsey left due to injury after colliding with Irish junior goalkeeper Liz Wagner and a Stanford player, with 10:32 left in the first OT (she returned to action at last week’s Portland Invitational) … sophomore F Ali Lovelace started the Detroit game but did not factor into any of the scoring, after leaving the game late in the first half due to injury … Lovelace then did not play the next week’s games before returning to action as a reserve in the KeyBank Classic … sophomore G Sani Post (Davis, Calif.) saw her first action of the season in the second half of the Providence game, after returning from a stress fracture in her leg … Notre Dame is playing the 2000 season without the services of promising freshman Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario), who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament during the summer (she was being considered as a candidate in the back).
VIVA BRAZIL!: Notre Dame returned on Aug. 21 from a 10-day tour of Brazil, with the trip including five games versus local professional clubs … the tour provided the Irish with a chance to evaluate different options as they pertain to replacing five starters lost to graduation … senior D and team captain Kerri Bakker provided daily diary entries from the Brazil trip and they are posted on the Notre Dame website at www.und.com.
WALDRUM ON THE BRAZIL TRIP: “The trip was of tremendous value in terms of evaluating new players and seeing how they fit into the team. We still are concerned after replacing the kind of players-particularly goalscorers-that we lost to graduation. Somebody, or a group of players, needs to step up and pick up the slack in that area. This was a great year to do the tour and it eases our minds a little bit heading into the season. Having three games before the big KeyBank Classic games versus Santa Clara and Stanford also is helpful because that will allow us time to answer some of the personnel questions we have and help the new players ease into college soccer.”
RETURNING STARTERS: Notre Dame returns six starters from the 1999 team that posted a 21-4-1 record and advanced to the NCAA title game … the returning starters include senior F Meotis Erikson, All-America senior M Anne Makinen, senior D and second-year team captain Kelly Lindsey, sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinsky and sophomore midfielders Ashley Dryer (salt Lake City, Utah) and Nancy Mikacenic.
LOTS OF MIDFIELD OPTIONS: Notre Dame returns plenty of experience in the midfield, led by three-time All-American and leading national player-of-the year candidate Anne Makinen … top candidates on the outside include junior Mia Sarkesian and sophomores Ashley Dryer and Nancy Mikacenic (each of those three were starters at some point in the ’99 season) while promising freshman Randi Scheller should be in the mix as well.
CALLING ALL FINISHERS!: One of Notre Dame’s primary tasks in 2000 is replacing the firepower lost in graduates Jenny Heft (80 career goals, 20 in ’99) and Jenny Streiffer (70, 19 in ’99)-with senior M Anne Makinen (56, 13 in ’99) and senior F Meotis Erikson (50, 14 in ’99) among the top candidates to boost their goalscoring … those players combined to score the first two goals in the win over Detroit and Makinen added both scores in the 2-0 win over Tulsa (they both also scored in the 6-1 win over Santa Clara while Erikson had both game-winners at the Portland Invitational and Makinen had two goals in the 5-1 win over Washington … Makinen has been urged by the coaching staff to become more selfish with her scoring opportunities and will be looking to have a season similar to her freshman campaign, when she scored 23 goals (she had 15 in ’98 and 13 in ’99).
CORNER KICKER: Despite being one of Notre Dame’s most dangerous players in the penalty box area, senior M Anne Makinen has taken many of ND’s corner kicks this season and is considered the team’s top option for that role due to her strong leg and pinpoint accuracy … senior F Meotis Erikson also has been used recently on CKs and set up an Irish goal versus PC with one of those set plays (as did Makinen in the Detroit game).
“TRIPLE-A” OFFENSE OFF AND RUNNING: Notre Dame’s “triple-A combination”-sophomore Ali Lovelace and freshmen Amanda Guertin and Amy Warner-turned in an impressive debut in the win over Detroit and has provided the Irish with a new-and needed-dimension up front due to their speed … Lovelace created several chances in the first half before leaving the game shortly before halftime du to injury (she did not play the next week) … Warner-who registered a hat trick in the Sept. 3 PC game-was a threat throughout the Detroit game, streaking down both wins and buzzing around the goalmouth (her run down the right side set up a goal by classmate Randi Scheller) … Guertin provided a spark off the bench vs. Detroit and put her all-around skills on display, including a late goal on a 15-yard chip shot (she also scored vs. PC) … that threesome has combined for 10 goals and three assists this season, including Lovelace’s pair of crafty goals in last week’s 5-0 win over Washington.
NEW FACES IN THE NETS: Three-year starter and Notre Dame career goals-against average leader (0.63) LaKeysia Beene has moved on to the coaching ranks as a current Irish graduate assistant, leaving the goalkeeping position open to three capable players … junior Liz Wagner made her first career start in the Detroit game (she has started all seven games this season) while sophomore Sani Post played in the second half of the PC game, after returning from a stress fracture in her leg … freshman Lauren Kent (Laguna Nigel, Calif.) showed surprising development during the Brazil trip and could see some game time in the earlygoing (she played the final 17 minutes of the Detroit game).