November 12, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The fifth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team used a goal by sophomore midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) in the 81st minute to beat third-ranked Connecticut for its fourth consecutive BIG EAST championship. With the title, the Irish, now ranked fourth, earned the BIG EAST Conference’s automatic bid into the 48-team NCAA championship field.

Notre Dame earned the fourth seed and received a bye into the NCAA second round when it will play host to 18th-ranked Michigan on Sun., Nov. 17, at 1:00 p.m., at Alumni Field. The Wolverines beat Xavier 4-2 on Wed., Nov. 11, in a first round game. The Irish beat Michigan 1-0 in double overtime earlier in the season on Oct. 23, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

BIG EAST Championship Review: Anne Makinens goal at 80:39 was the only score as the fifth-ranked Irish blanked third-ranked and host Connecticut to win its fourth consecutive BIG EAST championship in front of 2,333 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. Makinen was named the championships most outstanding player for the second consecutive year after scoring a hat trick in the Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Connecticut in the 1997 final.

Makinens goal came off a corner kick from Irish junior defender Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) which sailed over the goal and was deflected by Connecticut to another Husky player, defender Laura Molinaro. Molinaro attempted to clear the ball but it went off the side of her foot to Makinen from five yards out at the left post. Makinen then blasted a shot into the right corner for her 15th goal of ’98.

Five different players scored to lead Notre Dame to a 5-1 win over Syracuse in the BIG EAST championship semifinals on Friday. Notre Dame outshot Syracuse 18-5 in the contest as it beat the Orangewomen for the second time in the six days after a 7-0 win at Notre Dame on Sun., Nov. 6. The Irish took a 3-0 lead into halftime and scored twice in two minutes to build a 5-0 lead in the 57th minute. Syracuse scored its first goal against Notre Dame in 266 minutes over the three games the teams have played at 86:14 to close out the scoring.

Irish in the NCAA championship: Notre Dame will be making its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA championship since its first appearance 1993, one of just six teams in the draw to appear in the last six championships. The Irish are 14-4-0 all-time in their five previous appearances with a .778 winning percent, the second best among the 63 teams that have ever played in the championship.

The Irish lost their first-ever game in the NCAAs in 1993, a 2-1 loss to eventual finalist George Mason. In 1994, Notre Dame went from a first-round loser in ’93, to the championship game before losing to North Carolina. The Irish claimed their first NCAA title in 1995 and made it to the finals for the third consecutive year in 1996. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the fourth consecutive year in 1997 before losing to Connecticut.

Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Big 10: Notre Dame and Michigan have played three times previously and twice since Michigan began fielding a varsity team. The Irish beat Michigan’s club team 4-3 in 1989. Notre Dame won 5-0 in 1997 and 1-0 in double overtime in its first trip to Michigan earlier this season on Oct. 23. Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) scored the only goal in the 113th minute. The Irish outshot the Wolverines 23-5 in the contest but could not find the net until Hefts game winner.

Notre Dame brings a 35-game winning streak against Big 10 teams into the Michigan game. Irish head coach Chris Petrucelli is 33-0-0 against the Big 10 since taking over at Notre Dame. The Irish have recorded 24 shutouts in the 35 wins and have outscored their Big 10 opponents 162-15 during the winning streak, which began with a 4-1 win over Indiana in 1989.

Irish in Conference Championships: Notre Dame remains perfect in conference postseason events, winning each conference championship in which it has played. The Irish won Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles in 1993 and 1994 before beginning their string of four BIG EAST titles in 1995 with an all-time conference championship record of 14-0-0.

Home Sweet Home: Notre Dame takes a 43-game unbeaten streak at Alumni Field into the NCAA championship. Since a 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut in 1995, the Irish have gone 42-0-1 at Alumni Field with 32 wins by shutout and 14 wins over ranked teams. Notre Dame has been unbeatable at home during the NCAA championship, building a 10-0-0 record at home and 9-0-0 record at Alumni Field (Notre Dame played Maryland in the 1996 third at nearby Saint Mary’s). The Irish have outscored the opposition 50-4 in those 10 games.

Irish Against NCAA Field: Notre Dame has played seven teams in the 48-team field and has a 7-1-1 record against the NCAA teams. The Irish have two wins over Syracuse and have beaten sixth-seeded Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Notre Dame tied Connecticut and lost to top-seeded North Carolina.

Grubb, Beene, Irish Earn BIG EAST Awards: Junior All-Americans LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) and Jen Grubb were voted BIG EAST players of the year by a vote of the league coaches and were presented their awards at the BIG EAST championship banquet. Beene was voted BIG EAST goalkeeper of the year, the first time the award has been presented, while Grubb was named BIG EAST defensive player of the year. Grubb is the second straight Notre Dame player to win defense player of the year, after former Irish All-American and current U.S. national team member and Kate Sobrero, now a volunteer assistant coach at Notre Dame, won the award as a senior in 1997.

Beene and Grubb also were named to the All-BIG EAST first team, along with teammates Jenny Heft and Anne Makinen. Notre Dame led the All-BIG EAST first-team with four selections, while Connecticut, Seton Hall and Syracuse each place two on the first team.

Senior forward Monica Gerardo (Simi Valley, Calif.), Notre Dame’s all-time leading goal scorer, was joined on the second team by junior All-American Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.). Irish freshman midfielder Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) was a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST all-rookie team.

Makinen “Outstanding” In BIG EAST Championship: Sophomore All-American midfielder Anne Makinen scored two goals and two assists in Notre Dame’s three BIG EAST championship wins to earn the BIG EAST championship most outstanding player award for the second consecutive year. Makinen, who scored the game-winning goal in the 1-0 Irish win over Connecticut in the final, became the only player to win the award more than once in the six-year history of the championship. She had a hat trick in Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Connecticut in the 1997 BIG EAST championship game.

Beene, Makinen Earn Weekly Honors: LaKeysia Beene and Anne Makinen were named to the Soccer America Women’s Team of the Week for their performances in the BIG EAST championship game. Makinen also was named College Soccer Weekly’s player of the week. She scored the game-winning goal, and Beene blanked the Huskies on 16 shots with seven saves in the 1-0 Irish win.

Streiffer Joins Elite Group: Junior midfielder Jenny Streiffer became just the eighth player in NCAA women’s soccer history to score at least 50 goals and record at least 50 assists in a career. Streiffer entered the Wisconsin game on Oct. 30, with 49 goals and 51 assists in her career. With the Irish clinging to a 2-1 lead midway through the second half against the Badgers, Streiffer blasted a shot from the top of the box into the net for the 50th goal of her career. Former Irish All-American and national player of the year Cindy Daws not only is one of the eight members of the 50-50 club, but she scored 61 goals and 67 assists in her career and is one of just three players in the 60-60 club. Streiffer enters the NCAA championship second round with 51 goals and 55 assists.

Gerardo Moving On Up: Senior forward Monica Gerardo recently moved past former Irish four-time All-American Holly Manthei’s 176 points for second place in the Notre Dame recordbook. Gerardo’s 182 career points (69 goals and 44 assists) place her 18th all-time in the NCAA women’s soccer history. The next player ahead of Gerardo among the all-time NCAA scorers is Cindy Daws, who also leads the Notre Dame list with 189 points from 1993-96. Gerardo already has broken Daws’ record for career goals with her 69 goals, eight better than Daws’ 61.

Heft Ties Record: Another of Cindy Daws’ Notre Dame records appears ready to fall as junior forward Jenny Heft tied the record for goals in a season. Daws scored 26 goals in 26 games as a senior in 1996 on her way to winning the Hermann Trophy and the Missouri Athletic Club national player of the year award. Heft also has scored 26 goals this season in 22 games.

Final NSCAA Top 25

     1.  North Carolina *    21-0-0  300   1     2.  Santa Clara         19-0-1  287   2     3.  Florida             21-1-0  275   4     4.  NOTRE DAME          19-2-1  266   5     5.  Connecticut *       19-1-2  252   3     6.  Portland            16-2-2  240   6     7.  William & Mary      16-2-2  222   8     8.  San Diego State     18-2-1  211   9     9.  Dartmouth           14-1-2  200   7    10.  Penn State          19-3-1  192  11    11.  Vanderbilt          16-5-0  185  10    12.  Clemson             15-6-0  167  14    13.  Nebraska            16-3-1  146  17    14.  BYU                 18-4-0  142  15    15.  Virginia            13-6-2  134  13    16.  Hartford            16-4-0  110  18    17.  Baylor              15-4-1   99  12    18.  Michigan *          13-6-1   98  24    19.  Wake Forest *       13-6-1   69  21    20.  Northwestern        14-4-1  120  18    21.  USC                 13-6-1   61  NR    22.  Harvard             11-4-1   49  23    23.  UCLA                17-3-1   44  20    24.  James Madison       12-7-1   21  19    25.  Alabama             13-6-1   19  25    * indicates 1998 Notre Dame opponents   

BIG EAST Championship Results
Tues., Nov. 3, 1998
#5 Boston College 2, Seton Hall 1
#1 Connecticut 5, #8 Villanova 0
#2 Notre Dame 5, #7 West Virginia 0

Wed., Nov. 4, 1998
#3 Syracuse 2, #6 Pittsburgh 0

Fri., Nov. 6, at Storrs, Conn.
#1 Connecticut 2, #5 Boston College 0
#2 Notre Dame 5, #3 Syracuse 1

Sun., Nov. 8, at Storrs, Conn.
#2 Notre Dame 1, #1 Connecticut 0

November Reign: Notre Dame has won 20 consecutive games in the month of November, including 14 shutouts among those 20 games. The Irish have won 26 of their last 27 games in November, with the last defeat coming against North Carolina in the 1994 NCAA championship game.

Head Coach Chris Petrucelli: Chris Petrucelli is in his ninth season as head coach of Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team after leading the Irish to their fourth straight NCAA championship weekend appearance in 1997. Petrucelli was named NSCAA coach of the year for the second consecutive year after guiding Notre Dame to its first NCAA women’s soccer title in 1995, becoming the first coach to win the honor two straight years. The Orange, N.J., native owns a 173-21-10 record with an .873 winning percentage that is second best among all NCAA Division I women’s soccer coaches, active and nonactive. During his eight seasons as head coach, Petrucelli has coached his players to 21 NSCAA All-America selections, including 18 since 1994, the most in the country during that span.

Irish Draw Record-Setting Crowds: Notre Dame recently drew another record-setting crowd to one of its women’s soccer games in its 1-0 win at Michigan on Oct. 23. The Irish drew 1,092 fans to their overtime win at the Michigan Soccer Field. Earlier in the season, Notre Dame and North Carolina played in front 6,024 fans at Fetzer Field, the largest regular-season crowd in Tar Heel history. Notre Dame has played in front of more than 1,000 fans six times in 1998, including a crowd of 2,333 at Morrone Stadium in the BIG EAST championship game.

The Irish also have drawn record crowds at Connecticut and Santa Clara in 1996 and at Portland and Syracuse in 1997. The Irish beat the Huskies 2-1 in front of then a record 3,711 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on Sept. 22, 1996. The Broncos beat the Irish 3-1 in front of a regular-season record 3,714 fans at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 13, 1996. Notre Dame beat Portland 1-0 in front of 5,041 fans at Merlo Field on Sept. 7, 1997 and beat Syracuse 8-0 in front of 1,500 fans on Oct. 19, 1997.

Irish Named Finalists: Three Notre Dame juniors have been named finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation Collegiate Player of the Year award, which will be presented Jan. 8, 1999. All-American goalkeeper, LaKeysia Beene, All-American defender Jen Grubb and All-American midfielder Jenny Streiffer are three of the 15 candidates for the award and were chosen by balloting of coaches of the top 20 teams in the preseason rankings. The winner of the award, which recognizes the top American born or naturalized college soccer player, will be selected in balloting by approximately 800 coaches from across the country.

Irish In Front: Notre Dame has trailed just 65:45 of 2034:07 in its 22 games this season, about only three percent of its total minutes played. Only North Carolina (45:08), Seton Hall (15:51) and Pittsburgh (4:46) have held leads over the Irish. Notre Dame has led for 65 percent of the minutes played and been tied during 32 percent of the action.

Petrucelli Coaches 200th: In his ninth year as head coach, Chris Petrucelli reached a coaching milestone on Fri., Oct. 30. Petrucelli led the Irish to a 6-1 win over Wisconsin in his 200th game as a collegiate coach.

Quick Strikes: Notre Dame has scored first in 21 of 22 games this season, with two goals in the first minute of the game, against North Carolina (0:55) and Rutgers (0:56). The Irish have scored four times in the first three minutes and in the first 10 minutes in nine of their 20 games. The longest the Irish have gone with a goal in a regulation game came in the 1-0 win at Connecticut, scoring at 80:39. Notre Dame won 1-0 in double overtime at Michigan with a goal at 112:58. Pittsburgh, the only team to score first against Notre Dame, also scored the quickest against the Irish with its goal at 7:36.

Irish Among NCAA Leaders: Notre Dame is first in the latest NCAA national statistics in scoring offense with 4.23 goals per game, fourth in shutouts per game with 15 in 22 games and seventh in team defense with 0.58 goals per game. Individually, Jenny Heft is fifth in goals per game with 26 goals in 22 games for a 1.18 average and seventh in points per game with 2.59. Sophomore All-American midfielder Anne Makinen is eighth in points per game with 2.56 and third in assists per game with 0.89, while Jen Grubb is fourth in assists with 0.86. Jenny Streiffer is 14th with 0.68 assists per game. LaKeysia Beene is ninth in goals against average with 0.63.

Irish Among BIG EAST Leaders: Notre Dame finished with three of the top five scorers in the BIG EAST in conference games. Jenny Heft led the conference in goals with 15 goals and three assists for 33 points, tied with Seton Hall’s Kelly Smith, who finished the regular season with 14 goals and five assists. Anne Makinen was third with 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points, while Monica Gerardo was fifth with nine goals and six assists for 24 points.