Aug. 23, 2002
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – An undermanned Notre Dame women’s soccer squad battled North Carolina in a 4-2 exhibition loss Friday night at Heffern Field – with 4,200 fans taking in the action at the featured game of the IPFW Soccer Showcase. Both teams attempted 11 shots but UNC had a decided edge in corner kicks (13-2), with the quality scoring chances ending up fairly even over the course of the full 90 minutes.
Notre Dame – which plays another Soccer Showcase exhibition on Sunday morning vs. Kentucky (11:00 a.m.) – played without several of its key returners and newcomers, with just four returning starters in action for Friday’s game. Sophomore defender Candace Chapman is competing with Canada at the Under-19 World Championship (as is Irish freshman midfielder Katie Thorlakson) while three other top returners – senior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky, junior forward Melissa Tancredi and sophomore Mary Boland (who can play multiple positions) – did not suit up due to injury or illness.
The Irish starting lineup included four freshmen, two sophomores, four juniors and one senior – with four walk-on players drawing starts for the exhibition opener.
Notre Dame was particularly young in the defensive third, where the Irish started three freshmen (including goalkeeper Erika Bohn) and two sophomores. That situation took another hit early in the second half when sophomore central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir – who had several strong moments in the first half – was sidelined after knocking heads with massive 5-11 UNC midfielder Maggie Tomecka (Gunnarsdottir sat out the final 37 minutes as a precautionary measure).
Several Irish players logged all 90 minutes, including junior forwards Amanda Guertin and Amy Warner, senior midfielder Ashley Dryer, junior midfielder Randi Scheller and freshman central back Cat Sigler.
Fourth-year Irish head coach Randy Waldrum took several positives from the exhibition, most notably in how his team battled to the final whistle despite falling behind 3-0 on a fluke goal in the 47th minute.
“I think the team showed a lot of character after falling behind 3-0,” said Waldrum. “It could have been 2-2 or 2-1 at that point and some teams might have folded in that situation. But we kept playing hard and played with a lot of pride. We certainly are encouraged by a lot of things we saw tonight and really are looking forward to putting our whole lineup together.
“We had some lapses in the goal but Erika and Laurne also had some good saves. There was just some inconsistent play at every position, with both teams, but this was a valuable exhibition for both teams. When you consider the level of talent that we had on the sideline or up in Edmonton at the World Championship, this was a fairly positive start for us – and now we need to focus on Sunday’s game.”
Guertin and Warner combined with freshman forward Maggie Manning in the sequence of both Irish goals, with Warner again proving to be a crowd favorite as she flashed the bursts of speed that characterized the first half of her freshman season (prior to an ACL knee injury).
Other starters for the Irish included junior midfielder Kim Carpenter (who later switched to the defense), sophomore Kate Tulisiak at left back and freshman Miranda Ford at right back. Freshmen Jenny Walz and sophomore newcomer Sarah Halpenny also saw time in the midfield, junior Molly Tate saw some minutes at defense and junior Lauren Kent played the final 35 minutes in the nets.
Manning set the first Irish goal in motion with a pass from the right side to Guertin, who ripped a crossing shot from the right corner of the box. UNC ‘keeper Tyler Griffin made a diving stab to her right but Warner streaked in at the far post and sent the rebound high into the net for a 3-1 game (63:15).
The Irish answered UNC’s fourth goal with a score in the 75th minute, after Guertin carried the ball into the attacking third and worked to the left side of the box. Warner slanted into the play from the left and flicked a pass to Manning, who nailed a 14-yard crossing shot to a similar spot as Griffin’s dive failed to keep the ball out of the net (74:32).
Alyssa Ramsey opened the scoring in the 17th minute, finding herself open for a shot into the right sidenetting after an Anne Felts’ leftside corner kick. Cat Reddick then caught Bohn coming off her line near the left post, scoring into the other side of the net for the 2-0 halftime lead (40:25).
UNC’s lead grew to 3-0 just 73 seconds into the second half, after a cross from the right side. Bohn cradled the routine cross but the slick ball squirted out of her arms and bounced over the endline (46:13).
Susan Bush scored six minutes after Warner’s goal, on a sharp-angled shot from the right side that skipped under Kent for a 4-1 UNC lead (69:21).
Notre Dame 0 2 – 2
North Carolina 2 2 – 4
NC 1. Alyssa Ramsey (Anne Felts) 16:30; NC 2. Cat Reddick (-) 40:25; NC 3. Own goal (-) 46:13; ND 1. Amy Warner (Amanda Guertin, Maggie Manning) 63:15; NC 4. Susan Bush (-) 69:21; ND 4. Manning (Warner) 74:32.
Shots: ND 4-7/11, UNC 5-6/11.
Corner Kicks: ND 0-2/2, NC 8-5/13.
Saves: ND 4 (Erika Bohn 2, Lauren Kent 2), NC 5 (Jenni Branham 3, Aly Wingert 0, Tyler Griffin 2).
Fouls: ND 7, NC 11.
Offsides: ND 5, ND 2.