Nov. 4, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore forward Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas) extended her goalscoring streak to six games and senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) likewise scored an early goal as the sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team opened postseason play with a 2-0 win over visiting St. John’s, in BIG EAST quarterfinal action at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (14-2-1)-the top seed from the Mid-Atlantic Division-advances to the first BIG EAST semifinal game, to be played at 5:00 p.m. at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field. The Irish will face the Northeast Division’s second seed Boston College, which survived a 4-3 game Sunday versus Rutgers. Friday’s second semifinal will feature Northeast champion Connecticut (a 1-0 winner over Villanova) versus West Virginia, which beat Miami 2-0.
Notre Dame extended its home unbeaten streak to 38 games (37-0-1) while pushing the program’s all-time record in conference tournament games to 20-0-0 (16-0-0 in BIG EAST tourney games). The Irish also improved the program’s postseason record at Alumni Field to 24-1-0, including 10 straight postseason wins since dropping a 2-1 NCAA quarterfinal game to Portland in 1998.
St. John’s (6-11-0) managed just seven shots (to Notre Dame’s 22), with the Irish holding an 11-3 edge in shots on goal and a 9-2 m corner kick margin.
The early moments of Sunday’s game were similar to the Oct. 12 meeting between the teams, when the Irish scored three goals in the first 25 minutes en route to a 7-0 win. Notre Dame scored on its second shot of the game-but the play began as a corner kick, with Guertin drilling a leftside corner towards the goal in the eighth minute. SJU ‘keeper Tina Fogg went up for the ball in a crowd at the near post but the kick cleared all players and bent towards the right side, with a sliding Red Storm player clearing the ball after it had crossed the goalline (7:17).
The goal was the team-leading 10th of the season for Guertin, who also scored from the same spot on a corner kick versus Georgetown earlier this season (Sept. 23). Guertin has points in 11 of the last 13 games while scoring seven of the last 12 Irish goals.
Sarkesian notched the fifth postseason goal of her career five minutes later, after receiving a pass near the top of the box. The senior captain then used her dribbling skills to shake her defender and gain space for a 20-yard shot, lofting the ball into the upper left side of the net for the quick 2-0 lead and her career-best sixth goal of the season (12:15).
Irish senior goalkeeper Liz Wagner improved to 17-2-1 in 20 career starts versus ranked teams and/or in the postseason, with 67 saves and just 11 goals allowed in those “big games” (she made three saves on Sunday). Wagner dropped her career goals-against average to 0.54, good for first in Notre Dame history and eighth in the NCAA record book (she could finish her career as high as third in NCAA history, a spot currently shared by two players at 0.47)
Guertin leads the 2001 Irish in goals (10), points (26) and game-winning goals (5), with her 21 career goals including nine GWGs. Her six-game goalscoring streak in the longest by an Irish player since Nov. 14, 1999, when Jenny Heft scored for the eighth straight game and Jenny Streiffer for the seventh consecutive game in a 5-1 NCAA win over Dayton (neither scored in the next week’s 1-0 win over Stanford).
Notre Dame extended its first-half shutout streak to six games, with the Irish allowing just four first-half goals all season (ND also has held its 2001 opponents to 45 first-half shots, or 2.7 per game).
The previous six Irish teams combined for a 30-1 scoring edge in the BIG EAST semifinal round, with ND advancing each year to beat UConn in the title game. Notre Dame’s 16-0-0 record in BIG EAST tournament games includes a 62-7 overall scoring edge, with 13 shutouts.
Notre Dame is 110-3-2 in its last 115 home games (dating back to 1992) and the Irish own an 88-1-1 all-time record at home versus unranked opponents (83-0-1 in the last 84).
Notre Dame’s all-time record versus BIG EAST teams is 76-5-2 (since joining the league in 1995), including seven shutout wins versus SJU.
The Irish still have posted three-plus goals just twice this season, with an average of just 2.4 goals per game. Notre Dame has scored in 189 of its last 195 games (.96.9 pct.), including 25 straight.
Notre Dame’s senior class owns a four-year record of 79-10-4 (.871), including 58-7-3 (.875) during the three-year tenure of current head coach Randy Waldrum.
ST. JOHN'S (6-11-0) 0 0 - 0#6 NOTRE DAME (14-2-1) 2 0 - 2
ND 1. Amanda Guertin 10 (-) 7:17, ND 2. Mia Sarkesian 6 (-) 12:15.
Shots: SJU 2-5-7, ND 11-11-22
Corner Kicks: SJU 2, ND 9
Saves: SJU (Tina Fogg) 9, ND (Liz Wagner) 3
Fouls: SJU 17, ND 18
Offsides: SJU 2, ND 1
Yellow Cards: Monica Gonzalez (ND), Karyn Lundgren (SJU)