Nov. 5, 1999
The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team will play for its fifth consecutive BIG EAST championship after beating Seton Hall 5-0 on Friday night at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field in the BIG EAST championship semifinals. Junior forward Meotis Erikson scored two twice and assisted on two other goals to lead the Irish, who improved to 17-3-0 with the win. Seton Hall falls to 11-9-0 with the loss. Senior All-American goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene saved a pair of Pirate shots in the first half to combined with sohomore Liz Wagner for the shutout. The Irish will face the winner of the second semifinal of Boston College and Connecticut in Sunday’s noon championship game.
The Irish held a 34-2 advantage in shots, including 18-0 in the second half. Notre Dame’s defense, led by 1998 and 1999 BIG EAST defensive player of the year Jen Gubb, held Seton Hall without a shot in the final 59:47 of the contest. Beene tipped a free kick from Brigid Sullivan over the crossbar at 18:45 and saved a shot from Dana Sheffer from the right wing at 30:13 to stop Seton Hall’s two shots. Seton Hall forward Kelly Smith left the game in the 23rd minute with a sprained ankle and reentered in the 63rd minute before leaving the game in the 71st minute.
Senior All-American Jenny Streiffer gave the Irish a 1-0 lead with the game-winning goal at 6:13 with a header from five yards. Erikson turned on a throw-in from Kara Brown and dribbled to the right sideline. Erikson served a cross to Streiffer in front of the net, where Streiffer directed her header into the lower left corner for her 67th career goal. Erikson then connected on a service from Brown for Notre Dame’s second goal at 22:43. Brown crossed the ball from the right endline to the far post where Erikson booted a high volley into the left corner for a 2-0 halftime lead.
Erikson’s header in the 55th minute bounced off the crossbar, but she scored her second goal of the game at 61:02 when she turned and fired a shot from the upper right corner of the box into the upper left corner of the net. Irish freshman Vanessa Pruzinsky, who was named the 1999 BIG EAST rookie of the year at Thursday’s championship banquet, settled a Pirate clear at midfield and dropped a pass to Erikson for her fifth assist of the season.
Senior Jenny Heft scored her school-record 78th career goal at 66:12 when she beat Seton Hall goalkeeper Leah Miller to a low cross from Streiffer from the top of the left box. Sophomore Mia Sarkesian closed out the scoring at 85:35 when she dribbled into the box from 20 yards and scored past Miller from a pass from junior forward Monica Gonzalez.
Heft’s 78th career goal moved her past Robin Confer (North Carolina, 1994-97) for 15th place on the NCAA Division I career goal-scoring list. Streiffer’s goal and assist upper her career totals to 67 goals and 70 assists for 204 points, already tops in Irish history and 11th in NCAA history.