Oct. 11, 2001
Notre Dame Women’s Soccer 2001 Game Notes – vs. St. John’s (Oct. 12)
The fifth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (9-1-1, 5-1-0 BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division) plays one of its two remaining regular-season home games on Friday, Oct. 12, versus St. John’s (7:00 p.m.) before returning to the road for a Sunday game at 24th-ranked Miami, Fla. (1:00 p.m.) … the first 500 fans at the St. John’s game will receive a Notre Dame women’s soccer trading card sheet … despite last week’s 2-1 loss at Rutgers, the Irish have clinched the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division title, thanks to Villanova’s pair of ties vs. West Virginia (1-1) and Rutgers (0-0) that left both those teams with 4-1-1 records … the Irish will play host to a BIG EAST quarterfinal game on the weekend of Nov. 3-4, versus the No. 4 seed from the Northeast Division (currently Boston College) … ND bounced back from the loss at RU (just the third regular-season loss to a BIG EAST team in the program history) by winning 2-1 at Seton Hall, with Candace Chapman scoring the gamewinner in the 82nd minute … ND played eight of its first nine games at home but is now playing five of the final seven on the road.
RED STORM NOTES – St. John’s (4-6-0, 3-2-0) likely will be one of the four teams to advance from the Northeast to the BIG EAST quarter’s … SJU 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 11 goals in 10 games) but are in the running for a BIG EAST Tournament spot thanks to recent 1-0 wins over BC and Syracuse … Erin Zambelli scored on a breakaway for her fourth goal of the season in the key win over SU.
SERIES NOTES – Notre Dame has won each of its previous five meetings versus St. John’s, since joining the BIG EAST in 1995 … the teams did not meet last year, with ND winning at SJU in 1998 (3-0) and 1999 (4-0) … the Red Storm dropped games to ND at Alumni Field in 1995 (9-0) and 1997 (7-0) … the Irish own a 29-0 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).
ONE-TOUCH NOTES – Despite some close calls at home this season, the Irish are 105-3-2 in their last 110 home games … ND will be looking to boost its scoring, as the Irish are averaging just 2.0 goals per game while needing 8.7 shots per goal (compared to 3.0 and 7.5 last season) … the Irish are 30-1-2 in their last 33 regular-season games (last week’s 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 overtime games … the Irish set a team record on Sept. 7 with its 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 Yurcak Field, site of the 2001 BIG EAST semifinals and championship game (Nov. 9, 11) … the Irish ha score 1-2 goals in 10 of 11 games this season, with six 2-1 wins and two 1-0 wins … ND recently completed a stretch of five games in 10 days, including a challenging six-day span that saw the Irish beat then-No. 3 Nebraska (1-0) and win on the road vs. Pittsburgh before returning home for a 2-1 overtime win over 19th-ranked West Virginia … 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 and SHU scored right before halftime) … ND set a team record on Sept. 7 with its 29th consecutive home win (2-1 in OT vs. Indiana) before seeing that streak (5th in NCAA history) snapped in a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin … Randy Waldrum’s first three ND teams have combined for a record of 53-6-3 … the Irish are 107-3-2 in their last 112 home games … 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 85-1-1, with 76 straight home wins over unranked teams before this season’s Wisconsin game (2-2) … the Irish own a 59-3-2 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.
QUICK PLAYER NOTES – Notre Dame’s big 1-0 win over Nebraska featured a well-executed set play that netted the game’s only goal … sophomore M Randi Scheller played the free kick in to the box from 30 yards out, Amanda Guertin flicked it to the right side and fellow sophomore F Melissa Tancredi provided the service from the right endline (senior M Mia Sarkesian converted for her first goal of the season) … freshman D Candace Chapman scored twice in the 4-0 win over Pitt, as both a forward and defender (Guertin and Tancredi also scored vs. the Panthers) … sophomore D Vanessa Pruzinsky and senior Liz Wagner were named the BIG EAST defensive player and goalkeeper of the week for their opening-week efforts vs. Penn State and Hartford … Pruzinsky-who totaled 79 goals as a prep forward-registered the first goal of her ND career in the loss at Rutgers … Sarkesian was the BIG EAST’s top offensive player and Monica Gonzalez the BIG EAST defensive player of the week, after leading the Irish to three wins in five days (vs. Nebraska, at Pittsburgh and vs. West Virginia) … both also were named to Soccer America’s 11-player national team of the week while Sarkesian and Chapman were named to the “Elite Feet” team by Soccer Buzz) … six of Sarkesian’s 12 career goals have been gamewinners (vs. NU and WVU this season) … freshman M/F Mary Boland returned to action vs. Villanova, after missing five games due to injury (Scheller also returned, after missing the Wisconsin game… freshman D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir missed the Pitt and WVU games while playing in Spain with her native Icelandic national team … Kelly Tulisiak (2G-2A in 2001) has eight career goals on 34 shots (4.3 shots/goal) … Boland’s goal vs. Penn State (at 6:54) was the earliest by an ND freshman in a season opener since ’89.
POLL SITTERS – The BIG EAST includes four teams in the NSCAA national top 25 poll-matching the most of any conference (the ACC and Pac-10 also have four) … the BIG EAST and Pac-10 lead with five total teams receiving votes in this week’s poll (see below) … another BIG EAST team, Syracuse, was ranked for most of the season before losing last week to UConn and St. John’s.
SARKESIAN, GONZALEZ NAMED BIG EAST PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – Two ND players were recognized by the BIG EAST and Soccer America for their contributions to Irish wins over then-No. 3 Nebraska (1-0), Pittsburgh (4-0) and No. 19 West Virginia (2-1) … senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) was named the BIG EAST’s offensive player of the week while fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) was named the conference’s defensive player of the week (both were named to Soccer America’s 11-player national team of the week) … Sarkesian registered a pair of gamewinning goals, including the only goal in the 1-0 battle with NU(after a well-executed free kick sequence that included three crisp passes) … she then assisted on the final Irish goal vs. Pitt before assisting on the first ND goal and scoring the gamewinner in OT vs. WVU, with the clinching goal coming on a double-header combination after another free-kick … Sarkesian’s strong midfield play made up for the limited contributions of injured junior Ashley Dryer (dnp vs. Pitt), with ND owning a 43-22 shot edge for the week … Gonzalez-who has played mostly outside defense the past two seasons-was utilized at one of the central D spots, in part due to the absence of freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (playing in Spain with the Icelandic national team) … Gonzalez ranked as one of NDs most valuable players vs.Nebraska by dominating play in the air and helping shut out NU’s potent formation of four forwards (the Huskers had just four shots on goal) … she then provided a pair of free kicks that set up ND’s second and third goals vs. Pitt before helping limit WVU to one goal … for the week, Gonzalez helped the Irish allow just 22 shots (nine on goal) and 12 corner kicks.
GUERTIN DELIVERS IN OT AGAIN – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin scored the OT gamewinner at West Virginia last season (2-1) before providing this season’s free kick that beat WVU in overtime (also 2-1) … Guertin’s overtime magic is no surprise, as she has scored (1) or assisted (2) on three of the five OT goals scored by the Irish during the past two seasons (a sixth OT game ended with an own goal, beating Stanford 2-1 last season) … in the 2000 game, Guertin emerged with the ball and dribbled down the center of the field before striking a low shot inside the left post … in last week’s game, 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 gamewinning header goal … 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.
MIA’S MAGIC – Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian continues to make a name for herself as a big-game goalscorer, after netting gamewinners last week vs. No. 3 Nebraska (1-0) and No. 19 West Virginia (2-1, OT) … Sarkesian’s 11 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) … Sarkesian’s more noteworthy gamewinners also include the lone score in a 1-0 win over Stanford, during third-round action of the 1999 NCAAs.
SET PIECE EXECUTION – Set plays have let to five of ND’s last 12 goals, including Amanda Guertin’s gamewinner vs. Georgetown (directly from corner kick), the three-pass sequence off a free kick vs. Nebraska (scored by Mia Sarkesian), goals by Guertin and Melissa Tancredi vs. Pittsburgh (both set up by deep free kicks from Monica Gonzalez) and the OT gamewinner vs. West Virginia (double-header sequence from Mary Boland to Sarkesian, via Guertin’s long free kick).
POLL POSITION – Notre Dame has been ranked first, second or third in 65 of the last 94 NSCAA preseason or regular-season polls (69.1 pct.), also ranking in the top five in 79 of the last 94 polls and in the top 10 of 93of the last 94 (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 (last week’s loss at Rutgers dropped ND to 5th, behind Portland and NU) … ND’s spots in the last 94 NSCAA polls include 17 weeks at No. 1, 32 at No. 2, 14 at No. 3, seven at No. 4, nine at No. 5, 11 at No. 6, three at No. 7 and one at No. 12.
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 three goals and two assists this season, despite playing mostly in the defense at outside back (a new position for the talented rookie) … Chapman scored her first two goals of the season in the 4-0 road wins over Pittsburgh, blasting a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute of play (3:30) before scoring late in the game 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 second-quickest goal during the past two seasons (Mia Sarkesian scored at the 1:32 mark, last season at Syracuse) … Chapman was shifted to forward at Seton Hall and used her quickness to shake free for the gamewinning goal, in the 82nd minute (2-1).
50TH WIN ONE TO REMEMBER – Randy Waldrum’s 50th career win at Notre Dame (1-0) certainly will qualify as one of his most memorable, as the fourth-ranked Irish women’s soccer team used precision execution to score in the 18th minute on a three-pass set play before limiting third-ranked Nebraska to just 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, who flicked the ball into an open space on the right side. … fellow sophomore forward Melissa Tancredi beat the Huskers to the ball and continued towards the right endline before serving a low pass to senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian, who one-timed the ball into the net for her timely first goal of the season (17:30) … ND shifted fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez into the central defender 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 10 overtime games (7-0-3). ND already has played four OT games this season, tying the team record for OT games in a season (also 1995, 2000) and tying team record for OT wins in a season (3, also in 2000) … the six OT wins during the past two seasons have featured GWGs from five different players-Amanda Guertin, Meotis Erikson, Kelly Tulisiak, Amy Warner and Mia Sarkesian (the 2000 Stanford game ended on an own goal).
BIG-GAME RESULTS – The Irish are an impressive 16-4-2 vs. NSCAA top-25 teams in the Randy Waldrum era (53-6-3 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 … four of ND’s nine wins this season have come vs. top-25 teams (#8 Penn State, #25 Hartford, #3 Nebraska and #19 West Virginia).
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 35-game unbeaten streak at home (34-0-1) and have not tasted defeat at Alumni Field since a heartbreaking 3-2, double-overtime loss to top-ranked North Carolina in the 1999 season opener … the current home streak includes 13 wins over top-25 nationally-ranked 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 77-2-2 in its last 81 home games, or 96.3 pct.) … the 1992-95 streak included seven wins over top-25 teams (five vs. top-10 teams).
HOMESTANDERS – Since losing to Stanford on Oct. 4, 1992, ND has posted 107 home wins while losing just three times at home in that span, with two ties (107-3-2 or 96.4 pct.) … that 112-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 126-7-2 (.941) 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 85-1-1 (40-6-1 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).
BIG EAST AWARDS TO PRUZINSKY, WAGNER – Junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) and senior Liz Wagner (Spring ,Texas) were honored by the BIG EAST Conference as the league’s defensive player and goalkeeper of the week, after helping the Irish post wins over 8th-ranked Penn State (2-1) and No. 25 Hartford (2-0) … Pruzinsky anchored the defense from her central marking back position, with the Irish trying a variety of players alongside Pruzinsky at the other central spot … Pruzinsky played all 90 minutes in both games while helping keep PSU’s national player-of-the-year candidate Christie Welsh from scoring and holding Hartford All-American Katrina Lardiner without a point … named the Key Bank Classic defensive MVP, Pruzinsky helped limit Hartford to four shots (one in the second half) during a tense battle that saw the Irish forward and midfield units affected by injury … Wagner made six saves vs. PSU-including one in which she charged out to stop Welsh’s breakaway just moments after PSU had scored for a 2-1 game … she totaled nine saves for the weekend, with PSU scoring on a tough redirection shot into the upper left corner … Wagner posted the seventh solo shutout of her career in the Hartford game.
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) 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.
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 currently in season … 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.
GERTY’S GAMEWINNERS – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin-who also scored what proved to be the gamewinner in the season-opening 2-1 win over Penn State-delivered a pinpoint corner kick 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 (six of 14) have been gamewinners, including four that came in 2-1 games: at West Virginia (OT) and at home vs. vs. Boston College, PSU and GU (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).
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 (14 goals-15 assists) 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 goalkeeper Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas) is back in the nets for the Irish, after leading the nation in 2000 with an 0.39 goals-against average … several key defensive regulars also return from a unit that allowed just 10 total goals and 6.4 shots per game last season … Academic All-American Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.)-tabbed the BIG EAST preseason co-defensive player of the year, along with UConn’s Casey Zimmy-returns for her junior season at central D, where she is 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, 3G-4A in 2001) and junior Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2G-5A in ’00, no pts in ’01) provide veteran midfield experience while promising sophomore Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa., 6G-7A in ’00, 1G-2A 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, when she was the first midfielder off the bench.
* Notre Dame has a surplus of forward options in 2001, led by its top returning scorers-sophomores Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas, 11G-4A in ’00, 3G-4A in ’01) and Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M., 10G-4A in ’00, 4G-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, 1A in ’01) and senior Kelly Tulisiak (Medina, Ohio, 4G-1A in ’00, 2G-2A in ’01) add to an experienced forward unit that also could see contributions from three newcomers: sophomore Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario, 2G-1A)-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 received some early looks 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).
KEYS TO THE CITY – Randy Waldrum doesn’t mince words when evaluating one of the key aspects of his 2001 squad: the play of the team’s pair of returning midfield starters, senior co-captain Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) and junior Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah) … “As they go, so will the team go,” says Waldrum. “Mia and Ashley are such key elements but they are more than capable of handling that pressure. Winning the midfield battle is critical in our system and they’ve come into their own as strong all-around players who consistently get the job done.” … Sarkesian and Dryer have yet to gain significant national recognition-due, in large part, to playing in the shadow of 2000 national player of the year Anne Makinen … some attention did come their way late in 2000, with Sarkesian named the BIG EAST Championship MVP while Dryer’s value was magnified in her absence, missing most of the NCAA quarterfinals and all of the NCAA semi’s due to injury … minus Dryer, the Irish went 77 minutes vs. Santa Clara without a shot and switched to a 4-2-4 system (four forwards, two midfielders) in the semifinals.
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 232 career games at Notre Dame, with 160 starts.
THE VETERAN – Left outside back Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) is the battle-tested veteran of the Irish squad, embarking on her fifth year of eligibility due to a sophomore season that was lost due to injury … in addition to logging 85 career games (39 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 the 2001 season 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 two weeks at another new position, central defender, with her dominating play in the air helping neutralize Nebraska’s four-player forward unit.
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 53-6-3 combined record (.879), including a 16-4-2 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 236-111-22 (.669) … he owns a 160-55-15 (.728) record in 11-plus 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 113-3-6 overall (.951) vs. Midwest teams, including last week’s 1-0 win over Nebraska … 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.
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 61 of 62)-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.
THE GREAT UNKNOWN – While the Irish have a known commodity at one central defender spot, Vanessa Pruzinsky’s partner at the marking back position still is unknown heading into the fifth week of the 2001 preseason … candidates include seniors Lindsey Jones and Monica Gonzalez-who have slid in from their outside back spot at times during the first few weeks-in addition to promising freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir … another freshman, Candace Chapman, has played mostly at outside back, allowing Jones and Gonzalez to move inside (while Gunnarsdottir was recovering from a summer injury).
“GUNNA” GET YOU – Freshman Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Seltjarnames, Iceland) is one of the more likely solutions to fill the central marking back spot held by Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker for most of 2000 … a member of Iceland’s up-and-coming national team, the 5-9 “Gunna”-as she is known by teammates-follows Finland native Anne Makinen (’01) as the second European player to join the Notre Dame program … the composed and steady Gunnarsdottir could give the Irish a new look in the back due to her combination of speed, height, ability to read the game well and experience playing internationally against some of the world’s top forwards.
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. West Virginia (2-1)-yielding a total of 57 saves and seven goals allowed in 16 career “big games” … Wagner’s nation-leading 0.39 goals-against average in 2000 included a 700-minute shutout streak (12th-longest in NCAA history) and a pair of prime-time, eight-save efforts at Connecticut (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 … sophomore Lauren Kent (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) again will contend for time in the nets, after playing sparingly as a freshman and recovering fully from offseason knee surgery … Kent has proven effective at reading the game , has excellent command of the penalty box and is very confident in her abilities while making strides in her distribution skills.
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 94-4-3 (.946) 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 59-3-2 (.938) record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (24-1-1 in last 26), 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 last week’s 2-1 loss at Rutgers … since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish are 73-4-2 (.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 79 games vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95 have included a 377-38 scoring edge (60-7 in 15 BIG EAST Tournament games).
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 96.0 percent of its games (218 of 227) … since 1994, the Irish have scored in 183 of 189 (.968, three shutouts in NCAA title games)-with goals in 139 of 142 regular-season games (.979) during that eight-year stretch.
ROAD WARRIORS – Since dropping a 4-2 game at Santa Clara on Oct. 17, 1999, ND headed into this week’s Rutgers game with a record of 14-2-2 in its previous 18 games away from Alumni Field … the Irish put up solid numbers on the road in 2000 (10 games), including a 30-3 scoring edge (before winning 4-0 on the road vs. Pittsburgh last week).
NATIONAL TEAMS x 4 – ND’s 2001 roster includes four players who were active in the summer of 2001 with different national teams, including senior defender Monica Gonzalez (Mexican national team) and three freshmen: forward Candace Chapman (Canadian under-19 team), midfielder Mary Boland (U.S. under-19s) and defender Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (Icelandic national team), who missed last week’s ND 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.
SISTER ACT – Senior Kelly Tulisiak and freshman defender Kate Tulisiak (from Medina, Ohio) are the first set of sisters to play for the Notre Dame women’s soccer program and could become the 18th set of sisters to earn a varsity monogram in the same sport at Notre Dame … the 17 previous sister combinations have come from eight sports … the Tulisiaks could follow be the eighth ND sister combination to letter in the same sport during the same season.
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 Notre Dame women’s soccer in 1988, the program’s players have come from 28 different states and three foreign countries (also Finland). The 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 36 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 61 of 62) … four others have appeared in each of the last 36 games: sophomore F Amanda Guertin (32 GS), senior M Mia Sarkesian (35 GS) and senior D Lindsey Jones (34 GS) … sophomore M Randi Scheller missed the first game of her Notre Dame career in the 2-2 game vs. Wisconsin.