Oct. 24, 2000
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (10/24/00) – Four different Irish players registered a goal as the top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team completed the third undefeated regular season in the program’s history, following Tuesday afternoon’s 5-1 victory over Michigan at the Michigan Soccer Field.
Notre Dame (17-0-1).-which completed a stretch of three road games in seven days-received a pair of first-half scores from unlikely goalscorers while the surging freshman class accounted for three goals in the second half, including one by forward Amy Warner in an encouraging return to action.
Michigan’s Marie Spaccarotella averted the shutout in the 75th minute, after knocking a tough crossing shot past backup goaltender Sani Post.
Just two previous Notre Dame teams have turned in undefeated regular seasons, with the 1994 team heading into the postseason with a similar 17-0-1 mark while the ’97 Irish squad went 18-0-1 in the regular season. Notre Dame concludes the 2000 regular season with a 61-6 scoring edge, yielding a 10-to-1 scoring ratio that trails only the high-scoring ’97 squad (135-9 scoring edge, 15-to-1 ratio) in the program’s 13-year history.
Michigan’s late goal prevented the Irish from tying the team record for fewest goals allowed in the regular season, set by the ’97 squad (which allowed five in the regular season and an ND-record nine overall).
Notre Dame, which held a 27-16 shot edge and 10-2 corner kick edge on the Wolverines-leads the nation in goals-against average (now 0.323), led by junior Liz Wagner’s nation-leading .308 (she made four saves in 69 minutes of action Tuesday).
Versatile senior Monica Gonzalez-making her first start at forward this season-scored her first goal of 2000 in the 17th minute of action, on a play set up by sophomore forward Ali Lovelace’s slicing moves into the right side of the box. Lovelace dropped a pass back to senior midfielder Anne Makinen, who sidestepped a defender before striking a shot toward the near right post. Freshman goaltender Suzie Grech batted the ball away but Gonzalez knocked the rebound into the right side of the net for the 16th goal of her career (17:27).
Notre Dame’s improving execution on set plays produced the second goal, started by a leftside corner kick from senior forward Meotis Erikson. Junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian-a native of nearby Canton, Mich.-connected on a header from six yards out, sending the ball inside the near left post for her third goal of the season (all in the last five games) and the seventh of her career (39:56).
Freshman midfielder Randi Scheller continued to spark the offense off the bench, striking for a pair of crafty goals in a 20-minute stretch. Scheller worked a leftside give-and-go with classmate Amanda Guertin in the 48th minute-with Guertin nudging the pass forward into an open spot while Scheller ran onto the ball, dribbled to her right past Grech and tapped the east goal into the vacant net (47:45).
Scheller-who has four goals and two assists in the last eight games-utilized a higher level of difficulty to notch her sixth goal of the season later in the half, after taking a feed from sophomore midfielder Ashley Dryer near the top left corner of the box. Scheller faked out a Michigan defender with a move to her right before placing a rising shot past Gerch’s outstretched hands into the upper right corner of the net (67:37).
Seven minutes later, a pass from senior Kacy Beitel provided Spaccarotella with some space on the right side and she sent a crossing shot from the edge of the box that eluded a diving Post before settling into the far left side for her fourth goal of the season (74:54).
Warner-who had missed the past seven games due to a leg injury-returned to her buzz-around-the-field form after checking in for the final 20 minutes. Senior midfielder Caroline Marino picked up her first career assist with an upfield pass to Warner, who beat the defense down the right side before sending a low shot into the net for her eighth goal of the season (88:16).
NOTES: ND heads into the Oct. 29 BIG EAST quarterfinal vs. Mimi (at ND, 1:00 p.m.) with the following season stat edges: 446-102 in shots (avg. 25-6), 257-50 in shots on goal (14-3 avg.) and 119-38 in corner kicks (avg. 7-2) … ND trailed just once during the regular season (28 minutes vs. BC), representing 1.7 percent of the minutes (the Irish have led nearly 60% of the time) … set plays have produced five ND goals in the last six games: Makinen’s CK that led to own goal at Villanova, Sarkesian’s volley set up by CK at Syracuse, Erikson’s free kick at SU, Makinen’s free kick at Yale, and Sarkesian’s header off a CK at UM … freshmen have combined to score nearly 40% of the ND goals this season (24 of 61) … Guertin (9), Warner (8) and Scheller (6) suddenly have a chance to become just the second trio of ND freshmen ever to each reach 10 goals in their rookie season (in ’97, Makinen had 23, Erikson 22 and Gonzalez 10) … 13 previous ND freshmen have reached 10 goals in their debut season … ND now leads the Michigan series 6-0-0 (22-5 scoring edge, three-plus ND goals in five games) … the Irish have won their last 40 games vs. Big Ten Conference teams … ND had managed just two first-half goals in the previous five games (and 22 in the first 17) before Tuesday’s pair of 1st-half scores … ND’s regular season included a 24-3 scoring edge in the 1st half, 35-3 in
the 2nd half (2-0 in OT) … the Irish own a 29-2 scoring edge away from
home this season (32-4 at home) … Erikson played in her 94th career game, tying Cindy Daws (’93-’96) for 11th in ND history … Makinen now sits alone in 5th place on the ND career assists list (54), three behind Shannon Boxx (’95-’98) … the Irish were on the road for 10 of 11 days from Oct. 14-24, including games at Syracuse, Yale, UConn and Michigan (plus a home game vs. BC).
|#1 NOTRE DAME (17-0-1)||2||3||5|
ND 1. Monica Gonzalez 1 (Anne Makinen) 17:27, ND 2. Mia Sarkesian 3
(Meotis Erikson) 39:56, ND 3. Randi Scheller 5 (Amanda Guertin) 47:45, ND 4. Scheller 6 (Ashley Dryer), MICH 1. Marie Spaccarotella (Kacy Beitel)74:54, ND 5. Amy Warner 8 (Caroline Marino) 88:16.
Shots: ND 27, MICH 16.
Corner Kicks: ND 10, MICH 2.
Fouls: ND 12, MICH 13.
Saves: ND 7 (Liz Wagner 4, Sani Post 3), MICH 9 (Suzie Grech 8, team 1).
Offsides: ND 1, MICH.