October 13, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team began its stretch of six road games this past weekend with two BIG EAST wins at Boston College and Providence. The Irish hit the road again this weekend with BIG EAST games at fourth-ranked Connecticut and Seton Hall.

This Week for the Irish: Notre Dame continues its road swing with two more BIG EAST games at Connecticut on Fri., Oct. 16, and at Seton Hall on Sun., Oct. 18. The Irish will make just their second trip to Storrs, Conn., for their ninth meeting with the fourth-ranked Huskies, who enter the game with a 12-0-1 record and 6-0-0 BIG EAST record. Connecticut opened the season with 12 straight wins before tying Maryland 2-2 on Sunday. Freshman Mary-Frances Monroe leads the Huskies offensively with 14 goals and 13 assists, while sophomore Jen Carlson has scored 10 goals. Freshman goalkeeper Anne-Elisabeth Esker has started all 13 games and has a 0.67 goals against average with five and a half shutouts. Connecticut enters the game third in scoring offense (4.15) in the latest NCAA statistics.

Junior Kelly Smith, the ’97 BIG EAST offensive player of the year and rookie of the year, leads Seton Hall, which enters the week with a 6-4-1 record and 3-2-1 mark in the BIG EAST. Smith has scored 14 goals in 11 games this year, including eight in six BIG EAST games. Notre Dame is 3-0-0 all-time against Seton Hall and will be making its first trip to Owen T. Carroll since winning its first BIG EAST championship there in 1995.

Last Week for the Irish: Senior forward Monica Gerardo (Simi Valley, Calif.) tied the Irish career goals record with two goals on Fri., Oct. 9, as second-ranked Notre Dame beat Boston College 3-1. Notre Dame outshot Boston College 29-1 as the Eagles were content to play with just one forward and clog Notre Dame’s scoring opportunities on the narrow football field at Natick High School.

Gerardo scored her 60th career goal and the first of the game at 53:44 with a header from 10 yards out that skimmed off the left post and into the right corner of the net. Gerardo tied Daws’ record at 65:53 with a blast from 20 yards out. Gerardo found an opening just behind the top of the right corner of the box from a pass from Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.).

Boston College scored on its only shot the game at 85:29 when Meghan Moore lofted a ball from the right endline that fell into the left corner of the net. Junior midfielder Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) and the Irish struck right back just 1:02 later at 86:31 when junior defender Kara Brown (Avon, Conn.) passed to Streiffer, who scored at the top of the box.

Gerardo scored a hat trick and added two assists to set the Notre Dame career record for goals with 64 as the second-ranked Irish blanked Providence 8-0 on Sun., Oct. 11, at Glay Field. Gerardo scored on her first three shots as the Irish built a 4-0 lead 6:02 into the game against the Friars. The Irish struck quickly when Streiffer scored the game-winning goal just 2:04 into the game when she fired a cross from freshman midfielder Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) into the right corner of the net from the left wing. Gerardo scored her first goal 49 seconds later when she blasted a shot from the top of the box into the lower right corner of the net.

Senior midfielder Shannon Boxx (Torrance, Calif.) headed a cross from junior forward Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) to Gerardo, who headed in the third goal of the game at 4:06. She scored her 64th career goal when she volleyed a cross from Jones at 6:02. Gerardo then set up Notre Dames final two goals of the first half with assists to Heft at 28:24 and a give-and-go with sophomore defender Kelly Lindsey (Omaha, Neb.) at 30:46. The Irish added two more goals in the second half.

Gerardo’s Record-Setting Weekend: Gerardo entered last weekend two goals behind former All-American and national player of the year Cindy Daws with 59 career goals, two behind Daws’ 61 goals from 1993-96. Gerardo had tied the record with two goals in Notre Dames 3-1 win at Boston College and then broke the record with her fourth-career hat trick against Providence. She scored 20 goals as a freshman in 1995, 23 goals as a sophomore in 1996 and 10 goals as a junior in 1997. Gerardo had scored six goals entering the weekend to bring her career total to 59 but nearly doubled her season total with five against Boston College and Providence.

It is fitting Monica broke the record in a game where she scored three goals because over her career, she has tended to score goals in bunches, said Irish head coach Chris Petrucelli. Our teams have always scored a lot of goals evenly by a lot of players, so Monica had a lot of competition to reach the record.

Gerardo’s eight points in the first half also broke a nine-year-old Irish record for most points in a 45-minute half. Tasha Strawbridge recorded seven first-half points against Valparaiso in 1990 before Gerardo bettered that mark against Providence on Sunday. Her three goals in the first half joined eight other Notre Dame players with the most goals in a half.

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 (Gold River, Calif.), All-American defender Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Calif.) 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, Huskies Meet Again: Second-ranked Notre Dame and fourth-ranked Connecticut have met eight times since the Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference with Friday’s game to be the ninth meeting between the teams. The Irish hold a 6-2-0 edge in the series with the Huskies having won the first meeting on Oct. 6, 1995, in the BIG EAST regular season and the last meeting on Dec. 5, 1997, in the NCAA semifinals. Notre Dame won six straight against Connecticut between the two losses, including three BIG EAST championships.

Notre Dame has scored 21 goals in the eight games against Connecticut with 13 scored by current Irish players. Monica Gerardo, Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) and Jenny Streiffer each have scored three goals against the Huskies, while Shannon Boxx, Meotis Erikson, Monica Gonzalez and Jenny Heft each have scored one. Makinen’s three goals came in Notre Dame’s 6-1 win in the ’97 BIG EAST championship final, and Heft’s goal was the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s 4-3 win in the ’96 BIG EAST final. Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene has allowed three goals in 180 minutes against Connecticut.

Irish Vs. Top Four: Dating back to the 1995 season, Notre Dame has compiled a 10-2-1 record against teams ranked among the top four teams in the country by the NSCAA. Five of the 10 wins have come against Connecticut, three against Portland and two against North Carolina. Both losses and the tie have come against North Carolina.

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 166-20-9 record with an .874 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 Among NCAA Leaders: Notre Dame is first in the latest NCAA national statistics in scoring offense with 4.76 goals per game, second in shutouts per game with 10 in 13 games and fifth in team defense with 0.54 goals per game.

Individually, Jenny Heft is third in goals per game with 17 goals in 13 games for a 1.31 average while Monica Gerardo is 11th with 1.10 goals per game. Heft and Gerardo are fifth and 13th in points per game with 2.92 and 2.60, respectively. Jen Grubb is ninth in assists with 11 in 13 games (0.85) while Shannon Boxx and Jenny Streiffer are tied for 18th with nine in 13 games (0.69). LaKeysia Beene is ninth in goals against average with 0.61

Irish Among BIG EAST Leaders: Notre Dame once again is the BIG EAST statistical leader. In all games played, the Irish have scored the most goals (62), recorded the most assists (72) and shutouts (10) and compiled the lowest goals against average (0.54) in all games.

Individually, LaKeysia Beene, the preseason BIG EAST goalkeeper of the year, has the lowest goals against average in both BIG EAST games (0.35) and all games (0.61). In BIG EAST games, the Irish boast the top three scorers. Jenny Heft is the leading scorer with 10 goals and three assists for 23 points. Anne Makinen is second with six goals and eight assists for 20 points in five BIG EAST games played, while Monica Gerardo is second with eight goals and three for 19 points in just four BIG EAST games played.

'98 Irish Women's Soccer (12-1-0, 7-0-0)
September Tues. 1 at Michigan State W, 4-0 Fri. 4 West Virginia * W, 7-0 Sun. 6 Pittsburgh * W, 9-1 Fri. 11 vs. #14 Duke (Chapel Hill, N.C.) W, 3-0 Sun. 13 at #1 North Carolina L, 1-5 Fri. 18 Rutgers * W, 3-0 Sun. 20 Villanova * W, 5-0
Key Bank Classic
Friday, September 25 Missouri vs. Wake Forest WF, 4-1 Indiana at Notre Dame W, 3-0
Sunday, September 27 Indiana vs. Missouri UM, 3-2 #25 Wake Forest at Notre Dame W, 3-0
October Fri. 2 Butler W, 5-0 Sun. 4 Georgetown * W, 8-0 Fri. 9 at Boston College * W, 3-1 Sun. 11 at Providence * W, 8-0 Fri. 16 at Connecticut * 3:00 p.m. Sun. 18 at Seton Hall * 1:00 p.m. Fri. 23 at Michigan 4:00 p.m. Sun. 25 at St. John's * 2:00 p.m. Fri. 30 WISCONSIN 5:00 p.m.
November Sun. 1 syracuse * 1:00 p.m.Tues.-Wed. 3-4 BIG EAST Champ. quarterfinalsFri.-Sun. 7-9 at BIG EAST Championship
* BIG EAST Conference match All times are localBold CAPS denotes home matchAll home matches played at Alumni Field

NSCAA Top 25 (10/12)
Team Record Points Last Wk. 1. North Carolina * 13-0-0 300 1 2. NOTRE DAME 12-1-0 283 2 3. Santa Clara 12-0-1 282 3 4. Connecticut * 12-0-1 257 4 5. Florida 11-1-0 256 5 6. Penn State 12-0-1 242 6 7. Portland 9-0-2 227 7 8. Vanderbilt 9-3-0 205 8 9. Dartmouth 8-1-1 191 10 10. William & Mary 8-1-1 190 11 11. San Diego State 11-1-1 185 14 12. Nebraska 9-2-1 174 13 13. Clemson 9-3-0 158 12 14. UCLA 12-1-1 141 20 15. Maryland 8-4-1 114 24 16. Hartford 7-4-0 102 15 17. Indiana * 9-4-0 88 1618T. Baylor 10-3-0 76 2318T. BYU 11-2-0 76 25 20. Wisconsin * 8-4-0 75 NR 21. Wake Forest * 9-3-1 69 21T 22. Virginia 7-4-2 52 17 23. Harvard 6-2-1 42 21T 24. Texas A&M 7-5-0 25 19 25. Stanford 7-3-2 21 9
* indicates 1998 Notre Dame opponents