Nov. 2, 2001
Notre Dame Women’s Soccer
2001 Game Notes
vs. St. John’s
BIG EAST Quarterfinals (Nov. 4)
The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (13-2-1)-which carries a 37-game unbeaten streak at Alumni Field-won the BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division title (5-1-0) and will play host to St. John’s (the No. 4 seed in the Northeast Division) during the BIG EAST tournament quarterfinal round-with the game slated for Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1:00 p.m. … the ND-SJU winner then will play the winner of the Rutgers at Boston College game in the first BIG EAST semifinal, Nov. 9 at RU’s Yurcak Field (5:00 p.m. EST) … the other BIG EAST quarterfinal matchups include Villanova at Connecticut and Miami at West Virginia … ND closed the regular season with a 2-1 overtime win over No. 23 Michigan (ND and UNC were the only teams in last week’s NSCAA top eight who went unbeaten).
RED STORM NOTES – St. John’s (6-10-0, 3-3-0) returned 15 of 22 letterwinners and eight starters from its 2000 team that posted an 11-9-0 record and finished fifth in the BIG EAST Northeast Division (1-4-0) … the Red Storm have struggled to find the net this season (with 17 goals in 16 games) but earned a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament thanks to 1-0 wins over Boston College and Syracuse.
SERIES NOTES – Notre Dame has won each of its previous six meetings versus St. John’s-including a 7-0 win at ND on Oct. 12 (see p. 2)-since joining the BIG EAST in 1995 … the teams did not meet last year, with ND winning at SJU in 1998 (3-0) and ’99 (4-0) … the Red Storm dropped games to ND at Alumni Field in ’95 (9-0) and ’97 (7-0) … the Irish own a 36-0 scoring edge in the series … fifth-year defender Monica Gonzalez capped the scoring in the 1999 game vs. the Red Storm (she also had 1G-2A in the 1997 win over SJU).
“SECOND-SEASON” SURGE – The Notre Dame offense will be looking for a postseason surge, as the Irish averaged just 2.4 goals per game (38) during the regular season-with just two games of more than two goals (4-0 at Pitt, 7-0 vs. St. John’s) … by comparison, the 2000 ND team averaged 3.8 goals in the regular season and hit three-plus goals in nine of 18 games … surprisingly, the 2000 Irish team (7.3 shots per goal in regular season) and the 2001 ND squad (7.7) have posted similar shooting efficiencies-with the major difference coming in shots per game (the 2000 team averaged 24.8 shots in the regular season, compared to just 18.2 this season).
“GERTY” GETTING GOALS – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin (9G-6A), who leads ND in goals, points (24) and gamewinning goals (4), owns a five-game goalscoring streak and has registered points in 10 of the previous 12 games … Guertin was named BIG EAST player of the week after scoring both Irish goals in last week’s 2-0 win at Yale before scoring in overtime to beat #23 Michigan (2-1) … her five-game goalscoring streak is the longest by an ND 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) … her recent streak includes scoring four of ND’s last five goals, five of the last seven of six of the last 10 … she has totaled 20 goals in her young Irish career, including eight game-winning goals (three in 2001) … see more on Guertin on p. 2.
PRUZINSKY NAMED MAC FINALIST – ND junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2001 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Player of the Year Award … Prunzinsky-a 2000 first team Academic All-American and the 2001 preseason BIG EAST defensive player of the year-is one of just three defenders on the 15-player list and one of seven non-seniors among the 15 finalists … Pruzinsky has missed just one game in her ND career while starting all 66 games she has played for the Irish .. a chemical engineering major with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average, she became just the fourth ND sophomore (in any sport) to earn first team Academic All-America honors … a hard-nosed central defender with the speed to match her physical play, Pruzinsky played a leading role on the 2000 Irish defense that led the nation with an 0.39 goals-against average … she is the cornerstone of a veteran 2001 Notre Dame defense that has allowed just four first-half goals this season (13 overall) … other defenders on the MAC finalist list include UNC senior Danielle Borgman and Santa Clara senior Danielle Slaton … the other six juniors on the list include Penn State F Christie Welsh (the 2000 runner-up), BYU midfielder Aleisha Cramer, Nebraska F Christine Latham, California F Laura Schott and Washington G Hope Solo (Clemson forward Lindsay Browne is the only sophomore on the list).
POSTSEASON PRODUCTION – Junior F Ali Lovelace leads Notre Dame in career postsason points (13), with 5G-3A in 14 career postseason games … in fact, more than half of Lovelace’s 24 career points (8G-8A) have come in the postseason, including five of eight goals … the only other ND players with more than 10 career points in the postseason are senior M Mia Sarkesian (4G-3A) and fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez (3G-5A) … Sarkesian’s postseason heroics include three gamewinning goals, trailing only Monica Gerard (five postseason GWGs) and Amy Van Laecke (4) in Irish history.
UNBEATEN AT HOME – Notre Dame-which is unbeaten in its last 37 home games (36-0-1)-is aiming for its sixth unbeaten season at home, with the others coming in 1993 (9-0-0), 1994 (10-0-0), 1996 (15-0-0), 1997 (11-0-1) and 2000 (15-0-0) … the Irish are 10-0-1 at Alumni Field this season and own an impressive home record o 109-3-2 (.965) since losing to Stanford on Oct. 2, 1992.
OVERTIME MASTER – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin scored the OT gamewinner at West Virginia last season (2-1) before providing this season’s free kick that beat #19 WVU in overtime (also 2-1) and scoring in OT last week to beat #23 Michigan (2-1) … Guertin’s overtime magic is no surprise, as she has scored (2) or assisted (2) on four of the six OT goals by the Irish during the past two seasons (a seventh OT game ended with an own goal, beating Stanford 2-1 last season) … in the 2000 WVU game, Guertin emerged with the ball and dribbled down the center of the field before striking a low shot inside the left post … in this year’s meeting with WVU, Guertin lofted a free-kick cross from the right flank, with Mary Boland heading the ball across the goalmouth (left to right) for Mia Sarkesian’s gamewinning header … last week, she picked off a clearing attempt and calmly converted from six yards to beat UM … in the 2000 NCAA quarterfinal win over Santa Clara (2-1) Guertin dug the ball out of the left corner and passed to Randi Scheller, who sent the ball from the left endline to set up Meotis Erikson’s dramatic OT score.
A TRUE GAMEWINNER – Guertin-who also scored what proved to be the gamewinner in the 2001 season-opening 2-1 win over Penn State-delivered a pinpoint corner kick this season vs. Georgetown, just three minutes after the Hoyas had tied the game in the 76th minute … GU’s ‘keeper Shereena Chang mistimed her jump and the sailing kick crossed the goalline just to the right of center, with Irish freshman Mary Boland skying into the air and heading the ball into the net for good measure … nearly half of Guertin’s career goals at ND (eight of 20) have been gamewinners, including six that came in 2-1 games: at West Virginia (OT) and at home vs. vs. Boston College, PSU, GU, WVU and Michigan (she also opened the scoring in last year’s 8-0 win at GU and had the GWG in the 3-1 NCAA win over Michigan).
BIG-GAME RESULTS – The Irish are 18-5-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 teams in the Randy Waldrum era (57-7-3 overall), with three losses vs. UNC (when UNC was ranked 1, 3 and 5) plus a 1999 loss (4-2) at Santa Clara when the Broncos were top ranked and the recent 3-1 loss at No. 15 UConn … ND is 6-1-0 vs. top-25 teams this season, with wins over #8 Penn State, #25 Hartford, #3 Nebraska, #19 West Virginia, #24 Miami and #23 Michigan.
THE ANSWERS – The biggest question for ND heading into the 2001 season was who would play alongside junior Vanessa Pruzinsky at the central D position … the ultimate solution was fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez, with senior Lindsey Jones and freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir also seeing time at the position … Gonzalez-who combined with Jones as the returning starters at the outside back positions-has been a steady performer at her new position during the past five weeks, earning two BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week honors … another part of the solution has been the strong play of converted forward Candace Chapman, as the freshman has started all season at right back (with Jones shifting from the right to Gonzalez’ vacated left back spot).
RECAPPING THE LAST ND-SJU GAME (7-0, Oct. 12) – Notre Dame enjoyed its most efficient offensive game of 2001, scoring just 27 seconds into the game and adding two more goals in the first 25 minutes … SJU managed just one corner kick (to ND’s five) while the Irish enjoyed a 25-3 shot advantage (17-0 in shots on goal) … Melissa Tancredi scored the second-quickest goal-and quickest since 1995-in ND women’s soccer history, after the Irish intercepted the kickoff and converted a rush down the right side (Lindsey Jones set up Amanda Guertin’s cross, with Tancredi elevating over a SJU defender and sending a strong header into the lower right corner of the net … seven different players scored, including the promising trio of sophomore forwards-Tancredi, Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin (also 2A)-and the entire starting midfield of Mia Sarkesian, Randi Scheller and Ashley Dryer (her first of the season) … Kim Carpenter came off the bench to score her first goal of the year in the 68th minute, capping a stretch of three goals in eight minutes, and Kelly Tulisiak became the ninth Irish player to register a point in the game, setting up Guertin’s late breakaway.
ST. JOHN'S 0 0 - 0#5 NOTRE DAME 3 4 - 7
ND 1. Tancredi 3 (Guertin, L. Jones) 0:27, ND 2. Sarkesian 4 (Scheller) 9:19, ND 3. Warner 5 (-) 24:06, ND. 4 Scheller 2 (-) 59:55, ND 5. Dryer 1 (-) 67:05, ND 6. Carpenter 1 (Guertin) 67:49, ND 7. Guertin 4 (Tulisiak) 88:11.
Shots: SJU 2-1-3, ND 12-13-25 Corner Kicks: SJU 1-0-1, ND 4-1-5
Saves: SJU (Tina Fogg 7, Evie Ksenepoulos 3) 10, ND (Liz Wagner, Lauren Kent) 0
Fouls: SJU 4-4-8, ND 8-7-15 Offsides: SJU 1, ND 0
ONE-TOUCH NOTES – After struggling to score for much of the season, ND erupted for big wins vs. St. John’s (7-0) and Miami (4-0) before low-scoring games at UConn (1-3) and Yale (2-0) … with the win over Yale, the Irish have yet to lose consecutive games since Sept. 28, 1992 … sophomore F Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named BIG EAST offensive player of the week after totaling three goals vs. SJU and Miami (2) … sophomore F Melissa Tancredi’s goal vs. SJU at 0:27 tied for the second-quickest in ND history (and quickest since Michelle McCarthy’s 0:15 goal at Xavier in 1995) … the 7-0 win over SJU was ND’s most goals at home in 33 games (since a 10-0 win over Georgetown in 1999) while the 11 combined goals vs. SJU and Miami are most by the Irish in back-to-back games since totaling 13 at Wisconsin (9-2) and Indiana (4-1) on Oct. 27 and 31, 1999 … the Irish are 34-2-2 in their last 38 regular-season games (the 2-1 loss at Rutgers prevented the Irish from tying the team record for regular-season unbeaten streak, 30-0-2 from 1993-95) … ND is 8-0-3 in its last 11 OT games … the Irish set a team record on Sept. 7 with their 29th consecutive home win (2-1 in OT vs. Indiana) before seeing that streak snapped in a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin … Randy Waldrum’s first three ND teams have combined for a record of 57-7-3 … ND returned 15 of 22 letterwinners and eight players with starting experience from the 2000 squad that went 23-1-1 and advanced to the NCAA semifinals … six of senior M Mia Sarkesian’s 14 career goals have been gamewinners (vs. NU and WVU this season) … promising freshman M/F Mary Boland has missed the last three weeks due to an ankle injury and is out indefinitely … Boland’s goal vs. Penn State (at 6:54) was the earliest by an ND freshman in a season opener since ’89.
CHAPPY MAKES HER MARK – Irish freshman Candace Chapman – who made a name for herself as a speedy goalscorer with the Canadian national program – has totaled 3G-2A this season, despite playing mostly in the defense at outside back (a new position for the talented rookie) … Chapman scored her first two goals in the 4-0 road win over Pittsburgh, blasting a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute before scoring late as a forward, off a right endline cross from Lindsey Jones … Chapman’s quick goal ignited an early 3-0 lead for the Irish and ranks as ND’s third-quickest goal during the past two seasons (Mia Sarkesian scored at the 1:32 mark, last season at Syracuse, while Melissa Tancredi scored at 0:27 this year vs. St. John’s) … Chapman was shifted to forward during the second half at Seton Hall and used her quickness to shake free for the 2-1 gamewinner, in the 82nd minute.
50TH WIN ONE TO REMEMBER – Randy Waldrum’s 50th career win at ND (1-0) qualifies as one of his most memorable, as the fourth-ranked Irish used precision execution to score in the 18th minute on a three-pass set play before limiting third-ranked Nebraska to just a pair of shots on goal … sophomore M Randi Scheller initiated the indirect free kick, from 10 yards outside the top of the box … Scheller quickly sent a low pass into the box and her classmate Amanda Guertin flicked the ball into an open space on the right side. … fellow sophomore F Melissa Tancredi beat the Huskers to the ball and continued towards the right endline before serving a low pass to senior M Mia Sarkesian, who one-timed the ball into the net for her first goal of the season (17:30) … ND shifted fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez into the central D spot while returning senior Lindsey Jones to her customary right back position (freshman Candace Chapman then switched to the left).
EXTRA-TIME SUCCESS – Since losing to UNC in the 1999 opener (3-2, OT), the Irish are unbeaten in their last 11 overtime games (8-0-3) … ND has played five OT games this season, besting the team record for OT games in a season (four, in 1995 and 2000) and also setting a team record for OT wins in a season (the 2000 team won three) … the seven OT wins the past two seasons have featured GWGs from five different players: Amanda Guertin (2), Meotis Erikson, Kelly Tulisiak, Amy Warner and Mia Sarkesian (the 2000 Stanford game ended on an own goal).
FIRST-HALF FORTRESS – Notre Dame has allowed just four 1st-half goals all season, with three of those goals coming in the same weekend (two in the first 10 minutes at Rutgers and one right before halftime at Seton Hall) … Wisconsin also surprised the Irish with a goal in the first minute of play … ND has not allowed a first-half goal in its last five games, en route to shutout wins over St. John’s, Miami, Yale and Michigan (UConn scored three 2nd-half goals to beat the Irish) … ND also has allowed just 43 first-half shots this season, for an average of 2.7 opponent shots and 0.25 goals during the first half.
REGULAR-SEASON ROMP – Sparked by its 4-2 loss at then-No. 1 Santa Clara on Oct. 17, 1999, ND won its final four regular-season games of ’99 before winning its first 16 of 2000 (followed by an 0-0 tie at UConn) … that streak included a scoring edge of 78-10 and bested the team record of 18 consecutive wins in the regular season, set from Oct. 19, 1995 – Oct. 11, 1996 … ND headed into the 2001 Rutgers game (a 2-1 loss) riding a 31-game unbeaten streak (29-0-2, now 34-2-2) in regular-season play, good for second in the Irish record book behind a 30-0-2 regular-season run (Oct. 17, 1993 – Oct. 1, 1995) … the Irish also had a 27-game regular-season streak (26-0-1) from Oct. 20, 1996 – Sept. 11, 1998.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE – Notre Dame posted the fifth-longest home winning streak in NCAA history (29 games) before the 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin on Sept. 9 … the Irish still own a 37-game unbeaten streak at home (36-0-1) and have not tasted defeat at Alumni Field since a heartbreaking 3-2, double-OT loss to top-ranked UNC in the ’99 opener … the home streak includes 14 wins over top-25 teams (six vs. top-10 teams) … the 29-game home winning streak (with a 74-13 scoring edge) bested the ND record (28) that began after that 1992 Stanford loss and ended with a 5-4 OT loss to UConn on Oct. 6, 1995 (since that loss, ND is 78-2-2 in its last 82 home games, or 96.3 pct.) … the ’92-’95 streak included seven wins over top-25 teams (five vs. top-10 teams) … since losing to Stanford on Oct. 4, 1992, ND has posted 109 home wins while losing just three times at home in that span (109-3-2 or 96.5 pct.) … that 114-game span includes winning streaks of 29, 28, 23 and 22 games … in addition to OT losses to UConn in ’95 (5-4) and UNC in ’99 (3-2), the other recent home loss came to Portland in the 1998 NCAA quarterfinals (2-1) while the ties were vs. UNC, on Sept. 19, 1997 (2-2) and vs. Wisconsin on Sept. 9, 2001 (2-2) … the Irish own a 128-7-2 (.942) record in 13 seasons of play at Alumni Field … ND’s all-time record at Alumni Field vs. teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 87-1-1 (41-6-1 vs. ranked teams), with 76 straight home wins over unranked teams before the tie with Wisconsin, dating back to a 2-0 loss to Creighton in ’90 … the Irish played at Moose Krause Field in ’88 and ’89, with a home record of 19-5-1 during that span (all vs. unranked teams).
WORKING WONDERS – Third-year ND head coach Randy Waldrum-who repeated as BIG EAST coach of the year in 2000-has seen his Irish teams post an impressive 57-7-3 combined record (.873), with an 18-5-2 mark vs. NSCAA top-25 teams and a ’99 season that ended in the NCAA title game (the 2000 squad then was ranked No. 1 for most of the season and advanced to the NCAA semifinals) … Waldrum in ’99 became the only coach in the 18-year history of the NCAA women’s soccer championship to lead a team to the title game in his first season as that team’s head coach … he was the fourth first-year coach to take his team to the NCAA semi’s, with the Irish beating top-ranked and previously unbeaten Santa Clara in their backyard of San Jose, Calif. Waldrum’s 20-year record as a college head coach (with both men’s and women’s teams) is 240-112-22 (.671) … he owns a 164-56-15 (.730) record in 12 seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580) and 46-14-3 in three seasons at Baylor … Waldrum entered the 2001 season ranked 14th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (he ranks 25th on the total wins list).
MIDWEST MACHINE – Notre Dame’s dominance within the Midwest part of the country includes a recent 43-game winning streak versus Big Ten Conference teams (that ended in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin)-dating back to a 3-0 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 22, 1989 … since that 1989 loss to MSU, the Irish are 114-3-6 overall (.951) vs. Midwest teams, including 2001 wins over Penn State (2-1), Nebraska (1-0 and Michigan (2-1, OT) … the winning streak vs. Big Ten opponents included 11 wins vs. Indiana, 10 vs. Wisconsin, nine vs. MSU, seven vs. Michigan, four vs. Ohio State and one each vs. Northwestern and Penn State … the 2001 season-opening visit by 8th-ranked Penn State marked the biggest threat to that streak (in terms of opponent ranking) since then-No. 8 Wisconsin dropped a 2-0 game to the Irish in the 1994 season.
HOTLINE UP AND RUNNING – The 2001-02 academic year marks the full debut of the ND sports hotline, at (219) 631-3000-with schedule and result information for all varsity sports … to access women’s soccer information, select option “4” when prompted, followed by option “2” … the hotline made its debut last February and was a big hit with Irish fans during the highly-successful spring months.
SENIOR SALUTE – The five-player senior class has helped ND compile a record of 78-10-4 (.870) from 1998-2001, with four BIG EAST regular-season titles, three BIG EAST tournament titles and an NCAA runner-up finish in 1999 (plus a trip to the 2000 NCAA semifinals and the ’98 quarterfinals) … the senior class includes the team’s co-captains, M Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) and D Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.), plus fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez, G Liz Wagner and F Kelly Tulisiak.
WHO’S BACK, WHO’S GONE? – Notre Dame returned 13 of its top 18 players from the 2000 team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1 while compiling a 23-1-1 overall record and advancing to the NCAA semifinals … nine of the returners saw significant time as starters in 2000 while eight of the top 10 scorers returned, with the biggest losses being the 2000 team’s top two leading scorers, Anne Makinen (14G-15A) and Meotis Erikson (13G-13A), plus Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker (who both saw extensive time at the central marking back position).
A QUICK LOOK AT THE IRISH
* Senior Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) returned in the nets, after leading the nation in 2000 with an 0.39 GAA (0.85 in 2001) … several defensive regulars also returned from a unit that allowed just 10 total goals and 6.4 shots/gm last season … Academic All-American Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.)-the BIG EAST preseason co-defensive player of the year-returned for her junior season at central D, playing alongside a new teammate following the graduation of Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker … the Irish have plenty of experience at the outside marking back positions, with senior co-captain Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) returning on the right side while fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) opened 2001 back on the left … Jones and Gonzalez also have been tried at the open center back position, as has promising freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (a member of Iceland’s national team), with Gonzalez making a solid showing at center back during the past five weeks (she played sweeper for the Mexican National Team last summer).
* Senior co-captain Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich., 5G-3A in 2000, 5G-4A in 2001) and junior Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2G-5A in ’00, 1G in ’01) provide veteran midfield experience while promising sophomore Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa., 6G-7A in ’00, 2G-3A in ’01) has stepped into the attacking midfielder role, a spot vacated by the graduation of Anne Makinen (the 2000 national player of the year) … freshman Reagan Jones (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Kim Carpenter (Webster, N.Y.) fill a role similar to Scheller’s in 2000, as the first midfielders off the bench.
* ND has a surplus of forward options, led by its top returning scorers-sophomores Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas, 11G-4A in ’00, 9G-6A in ’01) and Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M., 10G-4A in ’00, 7G-1A in ’01), who joined junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky as ND’s pair of players on the 2001 preseason all-BIG EAST team … junior Ali Lovelace (Dallas, Ga., 4G-5A in ’00, 2A in ’01) and senior Kelly Tulisiak (Medina, Ohio, 4G-1A in ’00, 2G-2A in ’01) add to an experienced forward unit that has seen contributions from three “newcomers”: sophomore Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario, 3G-3A)-who missed all of 2000 due to an ACL knee injury-and the freshman duo of Mary Boland (Hudson, Ohio, 2G-2A) and Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario, 3G-2A) … the versatile Boland (out indefinitely with an Oct. 7 ankle injury) is a strong midfield option while Chapman has played mostly in the defense, at outside back.
GAMES IN THE BANK – The Irish returned four of five starters in the defensive third (including Liz Wagner in the goal), with a wealth of experience contained in the threesome of Monica Gonzalez (90 GP/44 GS), Lindsey Jones (91 GP, 65 GS) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (66 GP/66 GS)… those three-who each trained previously at forward or midfield-have combined to play in 247 career games at Notre Dame, with 175 starts … ND’s other starter in the defense, freshman Candace Chapman, is one of six Irish players to start all 16 games in the 2001 regular season (she previously was a forward and never had played defense before 2001).
THE VETERAN – Versatile defender Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) is the battle-tested veteran of the Irish squad, completing her fifth year due to a sophomore season lost due to injury … in addition to logging 90 career games (44 starts), Gonzalez-a converted forward and the team’s tallest player at 5-11-is a founding member of the three-year-old Mexican National Team … she opened 2001 at the left back position where she made most of her 18 starts in 2000, when she chipped in one goal and four assists while ranking as one of the best players on the field in the regular-season showdown at UConn and the NCAA semifinal matchup with North Carolina … Gonzalez also had a solid showing the past four weeks at another new position, central defender, with her dominating play in the air helping neutralize Nebraska’s four-player forward unit in that key 1-0 Irish win (she also has been shifted to the midfield, and even to forward, at times during the 2001 season).
CONFERENCE COMMAND – Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over UConn in the 2000 BIG EAST title game marked the eighth consecutive year the Irish have won their conference tournament … ND owns a 96-5-3 (.938) all-time record in 11 years of regular-season games vs. conference teams (’91-’94 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, ’95-present in the BIG EAST), plus a 19-0-0 record in conference tournament action … since 1995, the Irish own a 61-4-2 (.925) record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (26-2-1 in last 28), including cross-divisional games and the last two games at UConn (0-0 in 2000, 3-1 loss in ’01), which were not part of the official BIG EAST schedule … prior to the 2000 tie at UConn, the Irish had won 25 straight games vs. BIG EAST teams (19 regular season, six BIG EAST Tournament) … ND’s only other blemishes in BIG EAST regular-season play are a 5-4 OT loss to UConn during ND’s ’95 NCAA Championship season, a 1-1 tie at UConn in ’98, a 3-2 loss two days later at Seton Hall and the recent 2-1 loss at Rutgers … since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish are 75-5-2 (.927) in all games vs. BIG EAST opponents (with a 2-0 win over UConn in the ’95 NCAA quarterfinals and 2-1 loss to UConn in the ’97 NCAA semi’s) … ND’s 82 games vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95 have included nearly a 10-to-1 scoring edge ( 389-41, including 60-7 in 15 BIG EAST Tournament games).
PRIME-TIME PLAYER – The strong play of Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) often was lost on observers from the 2000 season, particularly if they witnessed a game where she hardly touched the ball (she faced just 19 shots in 13 regular-season games vs. unranked teams) as compared to seeing one of her many stellar efforts vs. ranked teams and in the postseason-when she made 42 saves and allowed just six goals in 12 such “big games” … Wagner added nine saves and one goal allowed in the opening week of 2001 vs. Penn State and Hartford, two saves vs. Nebraska (1-0), four vs. both West Virginia (2-1) and Miami (4-0), two at UConn (1-3) and one vs. Michigan (2-1)-yielding a total of 64 saves and 11 goals allowed in 19 career “big games” … Wagner’s nation-leading 0.39 GAA in 2000 included a 700-minute shutout streak (12th-longest in NCAA history) and a pair of prime-time, eight-save efforts at UConn (0-0) and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (2-1, OT) … she did not give up multiple goals in 2000 until the 2-1 NCAA semifinal loss to North Carolina-just the second time that Wagner and the Irish trailed during the entire 2000 season, spanning just 35 minutes.
WAGNER IN THE NCAA RECORD BOOK – Liz Wagner’s 0.55 career GAA would rank 9th in NCAA history, just ahead of former UMass ‘keeper Brianna Surry (0.56, ’90-’93) … Wagner’s 0.55 GAA also ranks first in ND history, followed by LaKeysia Beene (12th in NCAA history, 0.63, ’96-’99) and Jen Renola (16th in NCAA history, 0.69, ’93-’96) … with a strong showing in the 2001 postseason, Wagner could finsh as high as 3rd on the NCAA career GAA list.
GOALS-A-PLENTY – Notre Dame scored in 55 consecutive games from Aug. 29, 1997, to Sept. 17, 1999 (all of the ’97 and ’98 seasons and the first five games of ’99) … the streak came to an end in a 1-0 loss to SMU, with All-America midfielder Anne Makinen not playing for the Irish due to commitments with Finland’s national team … ND scored in 98 of the 101 games in Makinen’s career and injuries limited her play in the other two games where the Irish were shut out (she played just the first 30 minutes of the 2-0 loss to UNC in the ’99 NCAA title game and came off the bench late in the first half of an 0-0 tie at UConn in 2000) … ND’s previous record for scoring streak was a 36-game run from Oct. 19, 1995 to Dec. 6, 1996 (ending with the 1-0 OT loss to UNC in the title game) … stretching from 1992-2001, ND has scored in 96.1 percent of its games (223 of 232) … since 1994, the Irish have scored in 188 of 194 (.969, three shutouts in NCAA title games)-with goals in 144 of 147 regular-season games (.980) during that eight-year stretch.
POLL POSITION – Notre Dame has been ranked first, second or third in 65 of the last 97 NSCAA preseason or regular-season polls (67.0 pct.), also ranking in the top five in 79 of the last 97 polls and in the top 10 of 95 of the last 97 (dating back to 1993) … the Irish moved up a spot on Sept. 10, with Portland falling from third to fifth due to its 1-0 loss to second-ranked UCLA … ND then dropped back to fourth, behind Nebraska (after the 2-2 tie with Wisconsin) before beating the Huskers (1-0) to reclaim the third spot in the poll (the loss at Rutgers dropped ND to 5th, behind Portland and NU, with the Irish then moving back to 4th, dropping to 8th after the UConn loss and rising to 6th this week) … ND’s spots in the last 97 NSCAA polls: 17 weeks at No. 1, 32 at No. 2, 14 at No. 3, eight at No. 4, nine at No. 5, 12 at No. 6, three at No. 7, one at No. 8, one at No. 12.
NATIONAL TEAMS x 4 – ND’s 2001 roster includes four players who were active in the summer of 2001 with different national teams, including fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez (Mexican national team) and three freshmen: D/F Candace Chapman (Canadian under-19 team), M Mary Boland (U.S. under-19s) and D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Icelandic national team), who missed ND’s games vs. Pittsburgh and West Virginia while playing in Iceland’s game vs. Spain … former Irish D Kate Sobrero is one of the top young players currently on the U.S. National Team while four other former ND players-Ds Kelly Lindsey and Jen Grubb, M Shannon Boxx and G LaKeysia Beene-joined Sobrero among the 10 players called into the late-Oct. U.S. training camp.
FAR & WIDE – Much like the composition of the Notre Dame student body, players come from far and wide to be a part of the Irish women’s soccer program … the 2001 Irish roster includes players from 16 different states, plus Canada and Iceland … since the beginning of ND women’s soccer in 1988, the program’s players have come from 28 different states and three foreign countries (also Finland) … home states on the current Irish roster include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.
PUNCH THE CLOCK – Senior G Liz Wagner has started all 41 of Notre Dame’s games during the past two seasons while junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky did not play vs. Georgetown, ending her streak of 56 consecutive starts (every game of her ND career, she now has started 66 of 67) … four others have appeared in each of the last 41 games: sophomore F Amanda Guertin (37 GS), senior M Mia Sarkesian (40 GS) and senior D Lindsey Jones (39 GS) … sophomore M Randi Scheller missed the first (and still only) game of her Notre Dame career in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin.