Oct. 15, 2000
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (10/15/00) – The top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team-despite playing without the services of its top two scorers and its defensive leader-received an early goal from junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian and allowed just two shots in the game, en route to a 3-0 win over Syracuse in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional action Sunday afternoon at the Syracuse Soccer Stadium.
Notre Dame (15-0-0), which now owns the second-longest single-season winning streak in Irish history, continued to play without two injured players-freshman forward Amy Warner and senior defender Kelly Lindsey-while also electing Sunday to rest three-time All-America midfielder Anne Makinen. Sophomore Ali Lovelace continued to provide strong play at Warner’s forward spot while sophomore Nancy Mikacenic again was solid at Lindsey’s central defender position. Versatile senior Monica Gonzalez likewise stepped up after being plugged into the open midfield spot (she has played most of the 2000 season at defense and forward).
Syracuse (10-6-0) managed just two shots (one on goal) while playing in front of its largest home crowd of the season (1,106). The shutout was the 10th of the season-and the sixth in the last seven games-for Notre Dame, which has yielded a total of just five goals in 15 games this season.
Notre Dame is the only remaining undefeated team among the nation’s 274 Division I women’s soccer programs, following Brown’s 1-0 loss to Princeton on Friday night and Nebraska’s 2-1 loss to Oklahoma on Sunday.
Sarkesian-who scored her first goal of the season on Friday to forge a tie in the eventual 2-1 win over BC-struck just 92 seconds into Sunday’s game, on a play set up by freshman Amanda Guertin’s rightside corner kick. Several players from both teams contested the cross but Irish sophomore Ashley Dryer won the header, with Sarkesian then trapping the ball and volleying a shot from close range for the early lead.
The Irish posted a 2-0 cushion early in the second half, on a free kick from just outside the top of the box. Senior Meotis Erikson stepped forward to take the kick-a role filled mostly by Makinen this season-and Erikson netted her ninth goal of the season after bending a low shot around the right side of the wall (48:04).
Sophomore midfielder Randi Scheller capped the scoring in the 70th minute, after working a give-and-go with Sarkesian near the top of the box. Scheller broke free and quickly struck a shot from 20 yards that sailed inside the near right post for her third goal of the season (69:29).
Notre Dame equaled its season-low with 12 shots in the game-well below the team’s season average of 27 shots per game-but the Irish also enjoyed one if their most efficient shooting games of the season (ND had been averaging one goal every 7.8 shots but scored once every 4.0 shots on Sunday).
The Irish now have allowed 0-2 total shots in seven games this season while allowing 0-2 shots on goal in 10 games (0-1 in six). All but one of ND’s 15 opponents have been limited to three or fewer corner kicks.
The Irish rested most of their regulars during the final 15 minutes, with freshman forward Lizzy Coghill making the first appearance of her Irish career while sophomore goalkeeper Sani Post made her fourth appearance of 2000 (she still has yet to face a shot, in 134 minutes of action). Freshman Megan Rogers-who spent the past nine years living in Syracuse, the first eight while her father Kevin was offensive coordinator of the SU football team (before coming to ND)-played in the lategoing at forward and received a noticeable cheer from her friends in attendance.
NOTES: The current 15-game winning streak trails only a 17-game midseason run in 1997 as the longest win streak in Irish history (the ’95 and ’96 teams combined to win 24 straight) … ND will have one full day back in South Bend before returning to the east coast during fall break week, for games at Yale (Oct. 18) and UConn (Oct. 21) … ND continues to add to its dominating season statistical edges in scoring (52-5), shots (393-66, avg. 26-4), shots on goal (235-35, avg. 16-2) and corner kicks (105-30, avg. 7-2) … ND has won its last 25 games vs. BIG EAST opponents and is 67-3-1 vs. BIG EAST teams since joining the conference in 1995 … ND has won its last 18 regular-season games, tying an Irish record set from 1995-96 … Erikson has nine points (4G-1A) in the last four games and 148 (55G-38A) for her career, just eight behind ’96 graduate Michelle McCarthy for 7th on the ND all-time scoring list (her 55 goals are tied with ’96 grad. Rosella Guerrero for 7th in ND history, four behind McCarthy, with Erikson and McCarthy tied for 10th on the ND career assists list) … Santa Clara (7) remains the only team to uncork more than four shots on goal vs. ND this season (Portland is the only one with more than three CKs, with 7) … head coach Randy Waldrum has seen his first two Irish teams combine for a 36-4-1 record … ND now leads the Syracuse series 4-0-0 (with a 23-1 scoring edge) … during the past two weeks, ND’s 14 goals have come from seven different players (plus an own goal), including four from Erikson, three from Guertin, two from Sarkesian and one each from Makinen, Lovelace, Scheller and freshman midfielder Kim Carpenter.
NOTRE DAME (15-0-0) 1 2 – 0
SYRACUSE (10-6-0) 0 0 – 0
ND 1. Mia Sarkesian 2 (Ashley Dryer, Amanda Guertin) 1:32, ND 2. Meotis Erikson 9 (free kick) 48:04, ND 3. Randi Scheller 3 (Sarkesian) 69:29.
Shots: ND 12, SU 2.
Corner Kicks: ND 5, SU 2.
Saves: ND 1 (Liz Wagner 1, Sani Post 0), SU 6 (Katie Karlander).
Fouls: ND 3, SU 4.
Offsides: ND 1, SU 0.