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Oct. 18, 2001

Notre Dame Women’s Soccer 2001 Game Notes

at Connecticut (Oct. 21)

(Note: see PDF for complete notes)

The fourth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (11-1-1) heads into its annual showdown vs. BIG EAST rival and 15th-ranked Connecticut (10-4-0), at Marrone Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1:00 p.m. (the game will be telecast live by Connecticut Public TV) … both teams won their BIG EAST Divisions, with 5-1-0 marks (both ND and UConn will play host to a BIG EAST quarterfinal game on Nov. 3-4), with the Irish to face the No. 4 seed from the Northeast (currently St. John’s) … ND-which erupted for big wins last week vs. St. John’s (7-0) and at No. 24 Miami (4-0)-played eight of its first nine games at home but now is playing five of the final seven on the road … 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 0:12 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.

HUSKIES NOTES – UConn repeated as BIG EAST Northeast Division champ, with a 5-1-0 record (the Huskies lost 2-0 at Boston College on Oct. 7) … UConn (10-4-0 overall) is averaging 2.2 goals per game, with an 0.78 goals-against avg. … sophomore Erin Rice (1.02 GAA, with 41 saves and 10 GA) has emerged as UConn’s starting ‘keeper while freshman Kristen Graczyk (7G-2A) is the Huskies leading scorer … UConn returned 18 of 23 players from its 2000 team that went 17-7-2, lost to ND in the BIG EAST title game (1-0) and posted a big third-round upset in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska (1-0) before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual national champion North Carolina (3-0).

THE SERIES – ND leads the UConn series 10-2-2 (4-0-2 in last six), including a pair of wins in ’99-2-1 in double OT (at ND) and 1-0 in the BIG EAST title game (at Rutgers)-followed by an 0-0 tied at UConn late in the 2000 season (the Irish beat the Huskies in the 2000 BIG EAST title game, 1-0 at ND on an own goal).

AT MARRONE – The Irish never have lost at UConn’s Marrone Stadium, with a 3-0-2 mark vs. the Huskies on their home field (ND won the 1998 BIG EAST title at UConn) … the teams also met in the 1995 NCAA quarterfinals (2-0 home win for ND) and the 1997 NCAA semifinals (a 2-1 UConn win, in Greensboro, N.C.).

SERIES SCORING – ND owns a 30-16 series scoring edge (16-7 in the last eight) … UConn has scored more than two goals vs. ND just twice (5-4 Huskies win in ’95, 4-3 ND win in ’96) and the Irish have held UConn to 0-2 goals in each of the last nine meetings (the Huskies totaled one goal over the course of four games vs. ND in 1999 and 2000) … ND owns a 159-92 shot edge (avg. 20-11) in the last eight games of the series … the series has produced low-scoring games (avg. 3.3 combined goals/gm), with one 0-0 game, four 1-0 games, one 1-1 game, one 2-0 game, three 2-1 games (others: 5-4, 4-3, 6-1, 4-2).

IN THE POLLS – Each team has been ranked in the NSCAA poll in all 15 games of the series (including 2001), five in which each team was ranked among the top-four (10 with each in the top-five) … those rankings dropped off a bit in ’99, as ND was 6th prior to both games (UConn was 8th and 13th, its lowest rankings in the series prior to 2000).

SIGNIFICANT RESULTS – ND is 77-4-2 vs. BIG EAST teams since joining the conference in 1995, with UConn owning two of those wins and both ties … the Irish also are 108-3-2 in their last 113 home games, with UConn handing ND a 5-4 OT loss in ’95).

CT CONNECTIONS – ND junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky is a native of Trumbull, Conn., where she was an All-American at Trumbull HS and twice earned New England player of the year … Pruzinsky led Trumbull to three state titles and a 65-8-3 record in her four-year career … she earned three team MVP awards, finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 79G-59A and was part of a 20-0-0 team during her senior year that did not allow a goal … Pruzinsky helped her Weston Wild Things club team capture the ’98 national title … second-year ND assistant Barb Chura was a student assistant at UConn in ’93, after starring for the Huskies ’89-’92 squads … Chura helped UConn reach the ’90 NCAA title game and finish each of her seasons in the NSCAA top 10 … she was a ’92 team captain and finished her playing days ranked fourth at UConn in career assists … first-year Irish forward Erin Sheehan is a native of Wilton, Conn., and led Wilton HS to the state title as a junior and a senior … she was named Connecticut player of the year by the Hartford Courant and totaled 95 goals, 44 assists in her career (35 goals as a senior) … Sheehan also helped the Weston Wild Things reach the 2000 national tournament.

FRIEND OR FOE?: Several ND and UConn players are former teammates, most notably ND fifth-year defender Monica Gonzalez and UConn senior Lacey Toups-who were teammates at Plano East High School (both hail from Richardson, Texas) … Gonzalez played club soccer with the Dallas Sting while Toups played with the Longhorns (in a younger age group) … Gonzalez and two recent UConn players-Lauren Molinaro and en Carlson-played for the Portland Adidas Summer League in ’99 (shortly after Gonzalez returned from the World Cup, where she played for Mexico) … ND junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) played against several UConn players during her prep days while also playing alongside several UConn players during her ODP and regional team days, with her longest-standing teammate being junior D Lauren Naida (she also was a regional teammate of senior D Kristin Gardiner) … Pruzinsky likewise has played on regional teams with three of UConn’s players from New York: senior D Casey Zimny and junior F Sarah Popper … Pruzinsky and UConn junior D Naima Montacer were teammates during the summer of 2000 with the Westin Wildcats … Irish sophomore F Amy Warner and UConn freshman F Kristen Graczyk were teammates at La Cueva HS in Albuquerque, N.M. … ND freshman F Erin Sheehan and UConn freshman D Kim Noivadhana were teammates at Wilton (Conn.) HS.


0-0 (Oct. 21, 2000, at UConn) – The ever-growing rivalry added another chapter, as the Irish and Huskies played to a scoreless tie in front of 2,494 spirited fans … road-weary ND (16-0-1)-which had spent seven of eight days away from home-failed to tie the Irish record for consecutive wins in a season while seeing its string of consecutive wins over BIG EAST teams end at 25 … UConn held a 16-7 shot edge but was thwarted by Liz Wagner, who made eight saves while smothering several other chances … five ND field players logged the entire 120:00: Mia Sarkesian, Ashley Dryer, Nancy Mikacenic, Vanessa Pruzinsky and Monica Gonzalez … ND continued to play without two of its top players (Amy Warner, Kelly Lindsey, both out due to injury) … the Irish elected to rest Anne Makinen, with Gonzalez-who also played at D and F-filling Makinen’s central M role before Makinen entered late in the 1st half (she played the rest of the way) … UConn’s Jen Carlson nearly scored late in regulation, on a 20-yard shot off the near right post … Carlson launched a 30-yarder from the left flank that Wagner boxed away from the upper right corner with 0:02 left in the first OT … ND managed just three shots on goal, with strong chances in each OT by Meotis Erikson and Gonzalez.

CAREER STATS VS. UCONN – Current ND players have combined to score just two career goals vs. UConn, by fifth-year D (and former F) Monica Gonzalez and junior F Ali Lovelace (’99 BIG EAST title game) … Gonzalez (7 GP/3 GS) and fellow senior D Lindset Jones (6 GP/3 GS) have the most game experience vs. UConn … senior F Liz Wagner played final 5:27 of 4-2 ND win in ’99 BE title game (1 GA, 0 SV), all 120 minutes in 0-0 tie at UConn in 2000 (8 SV) and all 90 minutes in 2000 BIG EAST title game (3 SV) … Wagner’s career vs. UConn: 3 GP/2 GS, 1-0-1, 215:27, 1 GA, 11 SV.

ONE-TOUCH NOTES – Prior to last week’s 11-goal outburst, the Irish were averaging just 2.0 goals per game while needing 8.7 shots per goal … the Irish are 32-1-2 in their last 35 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 7-0-3 in its last 10 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 … ND will be hoping to return this season to Rutgers’ Yurcak Field, site of the 2001 BIG EAST semifinals and championship game (Nov. 9, 11) … the Irish scored just 1-2 goals in 10 of the first 11 games, with six 2-1 wins and two 1-0 wins … ND recently completed a stretch of five games in 10 days, with a challenging six-day span that saw the Irish beat then-No. 3 Nebraska (1-0), win at Pittsburgh (4-0) and beat 19th-ranked West Virginia in OT (2-1) … prior to the games at Rutgers and Seton Hall, the Irish had allowed just one first-half goal (RU scored twice in the first 10 minutes, SHU scored right before halftime) … Randy Waldrum’s first three ND teams have combined for a record of 55-6-3 … former ND players Kate Sobrero, LaKeysia Beene and Kelly Lindsey were named to the 18-player U.S. team that competed in the recent Nike Cup … ND’s all-time record at Alumni Field vs. teams not ranked in the NSCAA poll is 86-1-1, with 76 straight home wins over unranked teams before this season’s Wisconsin game (2-2) … the Irish own a 61-3-2 all-time record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (since ’95), with Rutgers joining UConn and Seton Hall as the only BIG EAST teams ever to beat the Irish … 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 13 career goals have been gamewinners (vs. NU and WVU this season) … promising freshman M/F Mary Boland missed last week’s action 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 – Freshman Candace Chapman – who made a name for herself as a speedy goalscorer with the Canadian national program – has 3G-2A, despite playing mostly D at outside back (a new position for the talented rookie) … Chapman scored her first two goals at Pittsburgh (4-0), blasting a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute before scoring late as a forward, off a cross from Lindsey Jones … Chapman’s quick goal ignited an early 3-0 lead and ranks as ND’s third-quickest goal in the past two seasons (Mia Sarkesian scored at 1:32, last season at Syracuse, while Melissa Tancredi scored at 0:27 this year vs. St. John’s) … Chapman was shifted to F at Seton Hall and used her quickness to shake free for the 2-1 gamewinner, in the 82nd minute.

BIG-GAME RESULTS – The Irish are 17-4-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 teams in the Randy Waldrum era (55-6-3 overall), with three losses vs. UNC (when UNC was ranked 1, 3 and 5) plus a loss at Santa Clara when the Broncos were top ranked … ND is 5-0-0 vs. top-25 teams this season, with wins over #8 Penn State, #25 Hartford, #3 Nebraska, #19 West Virginia and #24 Miami.

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 Rutgers game-a 2-1 loss-riding a 31-game unbeaten streak (29-0-2, now 32-1-2) 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 streak (26-0-1) through the regular season from Oct. 20, 1996 – Sept. 11, 1998.

MIA’S MAGIC – Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian continues to make a name for herself as a big-game goalscorer, after netting gamewinners vs. No. 3 Nebraska (1-0) and No. 19 West Virginia (2-1, OT) … Sarkesian’s 13 career goals at ND include six gamewinners, plus pressure-packed scores vs. top-ranked North Carolina in 1999 (2-1 lead, lost 3-2 in OT) and vs. Boston College in 2000 (ends ND’s only deficit of regular season, win 2-1) … her more noteworthy GWGs also include the lone score in a 1-0 win over Stanford, during third-round action of the 1999 NCAAs.

WHO’S BACK, WHO’S GONE? – ND 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 leading scorers, Anne Makinen (14G-15A) and Meotis Erikson (13G-13A), plus central backs Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker.


* Senior Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) is back in the nets, after leading the nation in 2000 with an 0.39 GAA … 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 yea-returns 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) is back to patrol 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).

* 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.

* Notre Dame has a surplus of forward options, led by its top returning scorers-sophomores Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas, 11G-4A in ’00, 5G-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 also has see contributions from three newcomers: sophomore Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario, 3G-2A)-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 also is a strong midfield option while Chapman has played mostly in the defense, at outside back.

PYRAMID POWER – Notre Dame’s unique 4-3-3 “inverted pyramid” formation returns two of its three central-based midfielders in senior Mia Sarkesian and junior Ashley Dryer while promising sophomore Randi Scheller has filled Anne Makinen’s attacking role at the third midfield spot … Dryer missed the Key Bank Classic while recovering from a bout with mononucleosis but returned to the lineup in the second week (Scheller was out with an injury in the 2-2 tie with Wisconsin).

GAMES IN THE BANK – The Irish return 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, Lindsey Jones and Vanessa Pruzinsky … those three-who each trained previously at forward or midfield-have combined to play in 238 career games at Notre Dame, with 166 starts.

ROAD WARRIORS – Since dropping a 4-2 game at Santa Clara on Oct. 17, 1999, ND headed into the recent Rutgers game with a record of 14-2-2 in its previous 18 games away from Alumni Field (now 16-3-2 in the last 21 outside of Alumni Field) … the Irish put up solid numbers on the road in 2000 (10 games), including a 30-3 scoring edge (11-3 this season).

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 a 55-6-3 combined record (.883), including a 17-4-2 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 238-111-22 (.671) … he owns a 162-55-15 (.731) record in 11-plus seasons as a Division I women’s coach, including 61-36-9 in six years at Tulsa (.580), 46-14-3 in three at Baylor … Waldrum entered the 2001 season ranked 14th among active women’s coaches for career winning percentage (25th in total wins).

THE VETERAN – Left outside back Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) is the battle-tested veteran of the Irish squad, embarking on her fifth year due to a sophomore season lost due to injury … in addition to logging 87 career games (41 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 three weeks at another new position, central defender, with her dominating play in the air helping neutralize Nebraska’s four-player forward unit in that 1-0 Irish win.

STRAIGHT-A SHOOTER – Junior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.)-who had started all 56 games of her Irish career before missing the Georgetown game (she now has started 63 of 64)-earned preseason billing as the BIG EAST’s co-defensive player of the year, a fitting tribute to the central intimidator of the Irish defense whose skills make her a strong All-America candidate … she already has earned first team Academic All-America honors, as a 4.0 chemical engineering major … Pruzinsky-who scored 79 goals as a prep forward-has the power to win most “50-50” balls and the recovery speed to close quickly on forwards who venture into her vicinity.

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” … she added nine saves and one goal allowed in the opening week of 2001 vs. Penn State and Hartford, two saves vs. Nebraska (1-0) and four vs. both West Virginia (2-1) and Miami (4-0)-yielding a total of 61 saves and seven goals allowed in 17 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 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.

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 96-4-3 (.947) all-time record in 10-plus 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 61-3-2 (.939) record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (26-1-1 in last 28), including cross-divisional games and the 2000 tie at UConn (0-0), which was not part of the official BIG EAST schedule … prior to that tie, 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 75-4-2 (.938) in all games vs. BIG EAST opponents (with a 2-0 win over UConn in the ’95 NCAA quarterfinals ad 2-1 loss to UConn in the ’97 NCAA semi’s) … ND’s 81 games vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95 have included better than a 10-to-1 scoring edge ( 388-38, including 60-7 in 15 BIG EAST Tournament games).

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 38 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 63 of 64) … four others have appeared in each of the last 38 games: sophomore F Amanda Guertin (34 GS), senior M Mia Sarkesian (37 GS) and senior D Lindsey Jones (36 GS) … sophomore M Randi Scheller missed the first (and still only) game of her Notre Dame career in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin.

Notre Dame-Connecticut Series Capsules (see PDF)