Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Women's Soccer Makes Seventh Consecutive NCAA Appearance

Nov. 9, 1999

PDF Formatted Notesicon-acrosmall.gif

Jenny Streiffer named Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The fifth-ranked Notre Dame women?s soccer team won its fifth consecutive BIG EAST championship with a 4-2 over Connecticut on Sunday to earn the conference?s automatic bid in the 48-team NCAA championship. The Irish earned a first-round bye as the fifth seed and will play host to the winner of a first-round game between Dayton and Evansville. The winner of that game will travel to Alumni Field to take on Notre Dame at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14.

Notre Dame awaits the winner of the NCAA first-round game between Dayton and Evansville that will be played at Dayton?s Baujan Field at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The Flyers beat the Purple Aces 4-3 in overtime earlier in the season in a game played at Evansville. Dayton, with a 17-3-0 record, claimed the Atlantic 10 automatic bid, while 10-9-2 Evansville beat Southwest Missouri State 3-2 in triple overtime to win the Missouri Valley Conference title. Notre Dame has played Dayton five times with the series tied at 2-2-1 since the last meeting in 1992. The Flyers beat the Irish 6-0 in 1988, which still stands as the most goal allowed and worst loss in the Notre Dame record book. Evansville dropped its only game against the Irish, a 4-0 loss in 1993.

Notre Dame is making its seventh straight NCAA championship appearance and is one of only five teams (Connecticut, North Carolina, Santa Clara and William & Mary) to appear in each of the last seven championships. The Irish boast a record of 16-5 in its six previous NCAA championship appearances for a .762 winning percentage, the second highest in NCAA history. The Irish won the NCAA championship in 1995, reached the final in 1994 and 1996, were semifinalists in 1997 and were quarterfinalists in 1998. The Irish lost in the regional semifinals in their first appearance in 1993. Notre Dame has a 5-3 record against the other 47 teams in the field.

Senior All-American Jen Grubb was named the 1999 BIG EAST Conference defensive player of the year, and freshman defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) was named the 1999 BIG EAST Conference rookie of the year at the annual BIG EAST women?s soccer banquet on Thursday night. Grubb also was named defensive player of the year as a junior in 1998. The award marks the third consecutive year that an Irish defender has won the award after Kate Sobrero was named the first BIG EAST defensive player of the year in 1997. Grubb also was voted to the all-BIG EAST first team for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the first four-time first team all-BIG EAST women?s soccer player. Pruzinsky, the 1998 National Soccer Coaches Association of America high school player of the year, has started all 20 games at defense for the Irish. Pruzinsky has assisted on four of Notre Dame?s goals. She becomes the third Irish freshman to win rookie-of-the-year award in Notre Dame?s five years in the BIG EAST Conference. Monica Gerardo won the award in 1995, while senior Jenny Streiffer was the 1996 recipient.

Irish head coach Randy Waldrum has been voted the 1999 BIG EAST coach of the year in his first year at Notre Dame. Waldrum led the 1999 Irish to the inaugural BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic division title with a 6-0-0 record against divisional opponents and a 3-0-0 record in cross-divisional games. The award marks the second consecutive conference coach-of-the-year honor for Waldrum, who was voted the 1998 Big 12 coach of the year after leading Baylor to the ?98 regular season title. The semifinal win over Seton Hall marked the 200th win of Waldrum?s coaching career. His record now stands at 201-108-19 in 17-plus seasons after the win over Connecticut.

Waldrum, a seven-year member of the United States national team coaching staff, is in his first year as head coach of the Irish after leading Baylor to the ?98 NCAA championship second round in just the third year of the program that he started in 1996. He comes to Notre Dame after being named 1998 National Soccer Coaches Association Central Region coach of the year in addition to the Big 12 coach-of-the-year award. His 107-50-12 (.669) women?s soccer career record in three seasons coaching the Baylor women?s soccer program and six seasons with the Tulsa women?s soccer program has him listed 13th on the NCAA winningest coaches list by career winning percentage and 26th by wins. The Irving, Texas, native also has coached men?s teams at Tulsa, Texas Wesleyan and Austin College and boasted an overall career record of 183-105-19 in 17 total seasons before coming to Notre Dame.

Notre Dame used goals by three different players and took advantage of a Connecticut own goal to win its fifth consecutive BIG EAST championship with a 4-2 win over the 13th-ranked Huskies on Sunday at Rutgers? Yurcak Field. Senior Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) and freshman Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga.) tallied second-half goals to lead the Irish. Senior All-American Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.), who had a goal and an assist in each of Notre Dame’s three wins in the conference championship, was named the BIG EAST championship most outstanding player. The Irish held only an 11-9 edge in shots over the Huskies at blustery Yurcak Field but scored on two of their first three shots in the second half to pull away from Connecticut. Notre Dame improves to 12-0-0 all-time in the BIG EAST championship, having beaten Connecticut in every final from 1995-99 for its five straight BIG EAST titles.

Streiffer, who scored the game-winning goal at 6:13 against Seton Hall in the semifinals, gave the Irish another quick lead at 8:12 against the Huskies. Senior All-American and two-time BIG EAST defensive player of the year Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) won a long service from Connecticut in the back and dribbled up midfield. Grubb dribbled through the Husky midfield to just past midfield on the right side. She served the ball to charging Streiffer on the left wing. Streiffer volleyed the ball off of the bounce just outside the box and scored past Connecticut goalkeeper Maria Yatrakis, who came off her line but could not make the save. Notre Dame then took a 2-0 lead on a Connecticut own goal at 36:05. The Huskies played the ball back to Yatrakis, who came out to control the ball but it went under her foot and into the lower left corner of the net to give the Irish a 2-0 halftime lead. The Huskies pulled within 2-1 just 3:22 into the second half on a goal from Salla Ranta. Heft put the Irish ahead by two goals again at 55:37 when she blasted a shot from 18 yards on the left wing into the upper right corner of the net. Junior All-American Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) won the ball at midfield and dribbled down field before dropping a pass to Heft on the left wing. Lovelace gave the Irish a 4-1 lead at 71:48 on an open shot from seven yards near the right post. Heft dribbled into the left side of the box and passed to Streiffer in front of the net from eight yards. A pair of Husky defenders closed on Streiffer, who tapped the ball to an unmarked Lovelace, quickly scoring her third goal of the championship with a blast past goalkeeper Shanna Caldwell, who replaced Yatrakis to start the second half. Connecticut added a goal late in the game for the 4-2 final score.

In the 5-0 semifinal win over Seton Hall, junior forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) scored two twice and assisted on two other goals to lead the Irish, while senior All-American goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) saved a pair of Pirate shots in the first half to combined with sophomore Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) for the shutout. The Irish held a 34-2 advantage in shots, including 18-0 in the second half. Notre Dame?s defense, led by 1998 and 1999 BIG EAST defensive player of the year Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), held Seton Hall without a shot in the final 59:47 of the contest. Streiffer scored the game-winning goal at 6:13 with a header from five yards.

Led by 1999 BIG EAST defensive player of the year Jen Grubb, six of Notre Dame?s 11 starters have earned all-BIG EAST honors. Joining Grubb on the all-BIG EAST first team are senior forwards Jenny Heft and Jenny Streiffer and junior midfielder Anne Makinen. Makinen joined 1999 BIG EAST offensive player of the year Kelly Smith of Seton Hall as the only unanimous first-team selections. Senior goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene and senior defender Kara Brown (Avon, Conn.) were voted to the second team. Freshmen Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) and Vanessa Pruzinsky were named to the BIG EAST all-rookie team. Pruzinsky was the only unanimous selection to the all-rookie team. Notre Dame?s six all-BIG EAST selections and four first-team selections lead all schools.

Senior forward Jenny Heft scored one goal against both Connecticut and Miami earlier this season to tie and then surpass the 73 goals Monica Gerardo scored from 1995-98 to become Notre Dame?s all-time leading goal scorer with 74 goals. She added single tallies against Wisconsin, Indiana, Miami, Seton Hall and Connecticut to bring her total to 79 goals, placing her tied for 11th on the NCAA Division I career goals list. Heft scored 12 goals as a freshman and 20 as a sophomore before setting the Irish single-season mark with 28 goals as a junior in 1998.

All-American and two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American forward Jenny Streiffer has scored nine goals and assisted on seven goals in the last six games to reach the 60-goals and 60-assist mark and move closer to becoming just the second player in NCAA Division I history to reach 70-70. Her goal and assist against Connecticut in the BIG EAST semifinals moved her career totals to 68 goals and 71 assists for 207 points. She is the 11th player in NCAA Division I history and first Notre Dame player to reach 200 points.

Spreading The Wealth:
The Irish have distributed their scoring evenly in 1999, with two 40-point scorers on the team and two others with at least 30 points. Fourteen different players have scored at least one goal, while four players have at least 12 goals.

After not recording a point in the season-opening game against North Carolina, junior All-American midfielder Anne Makinen had at least one point in the next 12 games in which she played and currently has 12 goals and nine assists for 33 points. Her streak reached 12 straight games with two goals and two assists against Wisconsin to break the school record for consecutive games with a point. Jenny Streiffer, Meotis Erikson and former Irish All-American Holly Manthei had recorded at least one point in 11 consecutive games to set the previous record. After scoring her first goal of the season against Duke, Makinen missed four games from Sept. 12-19, while playing with the Finnish national team. She had 11 goals and seven assists for 29 points in those 12 games. The streak was stopped when she did not have a goal or an assist against Indiana.

Irish Among BIG EAST Leaders:
In addition to finishing 6-0 in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic, winning its three cross-division games and winning the championship, Notre Dame stands among the BIG EAST statistical leaders. In all games played, the Irish have scored the most goals (90) and recorded the most assists (100). Individually, the Irish boast five of the top six scorers in BIG EAST games. Jenny Heft is the leading scorer with 3.5 points per BIG EAST game (nine goals and three assists in six games), while Jenny Streiffer is third with 2.7 points per game. Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) and Anne Makinen are fourth with 2.2, while Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) is sixth with 1.7.

After suffering their first shutout in 55 games in the 1-0 loss to SMU, the Irish have scored 74 goals in the 15 games since and at least four goals in 13 of the last 15 games. Notre Dame has totalled 90 goals in 21 games in 1999 for an average of 4.29 goals per game entering the week, third best in the NCAA entering the week.

: Irish senior All-American defender Jen Grubb?s nine goals in 1999 surpass the six career goals she had scored entering her senior year. Grubb scored three as a freshman, two as a sophomore and one as a junior for a total of six goals. She also has six assists in ?99 to go along with her nine goals for 25 points, placing her fifth on the team in scoring. Five of her goals have come from free kicks against Santa Clara, Georgetown, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Butler. She had the first two-goal game of her career against Wisconsin.

Senior defender Kara Brown recorded assists in six consecutive games before the BIG EAST final, in eight of the last 10 and in 10 of the last 13 games for a team-high 16 assists. Her 16 assists in her senior season have moved her into eighth place on Notre Dame career assist list with 40 assists during her Irish career. Her 16 assists eclipse her previous season-high 11 assists she had as a freshman midfielder in 1996.

Notre Dame?s class of 2003 has given the Irish major contributions this season. Defender Vanessa Pruzinsky has started all 21 games, while midfielder Nancy Mikacenic has started 19 games. Pruzinsky has assisted on five Irish goals, while Mikacenic scored the game-winning goal against Butler and has nine assists. Midfielder Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah) has started 10 games and played in 19 games total with six assists, while forward Ali Lovelace has played in 16 games and scored twice against Miami in the BIG EAST quarterfinals and once against Connecticut in the BIG EAST final. Kate Morrel (Carmel, Ind.) and Emily Barnes (Redmond, Wash.) also have played in five games, with Morrel scoring her first career goal against Georgetown and adding an assist against West Virginia.

Goalkeeper Sani Post (Davis, Calif.) has played 174:16 behind LaKeysia Beene and has yet to allow a goal. She has two shared shutouts with Beene after playing the final 38:54 of Notre Dame?s 5-0 win against Butler and the entire second half against Rutgers.

Junior forward Meotis Erikson already is listed among Notre Dame?s most proficient goal scorers with her 46 career goals in just 70 games, an average of nearly two goals for every three games. She has scored in 12 of Notre Dame?s 21 games.

Notre Dame led the 1999 College Soccer Online Preseason All-America first team with four players selected to the 11-member team, more selections than any other school. Seniors LaKeysia Beene, Jen Grubb and Jenny Streiffer and junior Anne Makinen were selected to the team. Beene and Makinen also were named to Soccer America first team, with Grubb and Streiffer placed on the second team.

Senior All-Americans LaKeysia Beene, Jen Grubb and Jenny Streiffer and junior All-American Anne Makinen have been named four of the 15 finalists for the ninth annual Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation Collegiate Player of the Year award. Notre Dame leads all schools with four players among the finalists, while North Carolina, with two players, is the only other school with more than one finalist. With Seton Hall?s Kelly Smith and Connecticut?s Mary-Frances Monroe also among the finalists, the BIG EAST Conference accounts for more finalists with six than any other conference. Beene, Grubb, Makinen and Streiffer will be looking to become Notre Dame?s first winner of the MAC award since former Irish All-American Cindy Daws was selected as the recipient following the 1996 season. Beene, Grubb and Streiffer also were finalists for the 1998 award, while Grubb and Streiffer were finalists as sophomores in 1997.

Three Irish women?s soccer players also have been selected as three of 15 finalists for the 1999 Hermann Trophy, to be presented December 11, in Charlotte, N.C. Beene, Makinen and Streiffer join three players from North Carolina in leading the ballot. Makinen was a finalist for the ?98 award, while Beene is the only goalkeeper among the finalists. Notre Dame has had one Hermann Trophy recipient in its history, Cindy Daws, who won the award in 1996.

A number of current and former Irish women?s soccer players had busy summers with national teams. Senior All-Americans LaKeysia Beene, Jen Grubb and Jenny Streiffer were part of the U.S. under-21 national team that won the 1999 Nordic Cup in Iceland. Streiffer, who tallied the game-winning goal in the ?97 championship game against Norway, scored the game-tying goal in the championship game against Norway in the 85th-minute of the 2-1 overtime win. She also scored in the 22nd minute to lead the Americans to a 1-0 win over Finland in the opening round. Streiffer finished as the team?s leading scorer with three goals and one assist in four games.

Former three-time Irish All-American Kate Sobrero played a key role in helping the U.S. claim its second FIFA Women?s World Cup in 1999 as one of the youngest players on the roster. She started five of the six games the Americans played, missing only the Korea game when she rested a sore ankle after the U.S. already had clinched the top spot in its pool. Sobrero starred for the U.S. as the youngest starting defender on team.

Junior Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) and former all-time Irish leading scorer Monica Gerardo represented Mexico in that country?s first appearance in the World Cup in ?99. The Irish pair both started Mexico?s first World Cup game against Brazil, while Gerardo, who wrapped up her career at Notre Dame following the 1998 season, also started against Italy.