Nov. 10, 2001
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER GAMEDAY NOTES
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP – vs. WEST VIRGINIA
(Sunday, Nov. 11 … Yurcak Field … Piscataway, N.J.)
TITLE ON THE LINE – The sixth-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team (15-2-1) will be aiming at its seventh consecutive BIG EAST Conference title, with the Irish set to face West Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field (noon EST) … the Irish won the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division title (5-1-0) before beating St. John’s 2-0 in the quarterfinal round and topping Boston College in the semifinals (3-0) … WVU (15-3-1) was the Mid-Atlantic runner-up before posting a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Miami and knocking off Connecticut in the semifinals (1-0).
TV OFFERINGS – The BIG EAST Championship game will be broadcast live by two Fox Sports Net affiliates, in addition to six delayed broadcasts … Sunday’s title game (noon EST) will be aired live by the Madison Square Garden Network and the Empire Sports Network … one-hour-delayed broadcasts will be available at Fox Sports Net Chicago (noon CST, 1:00 in South Bend) and Comcast Sports Net Philadelphia (1:00 p.m. EST), with two-hour-delayed broadcasts at Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and Fox Sports Net New England (both 2:00 p.m. EST) … Fox Sports Net Florida and Comcast Sports Net Washington both will air delayed broadcasts at 3:00 p.m. EST.
THE ND-WVU SERIES – Notre Dame has won all seven of its previous games versus West Virginia, with a 35-3 scoring edge … ND posted big wins in the first five meetings (11-0, 3-0, 7-0, 5-0, 5-1) but the last two games have seen the Irish beat the Mountaineers in overtime (both 2-1) … ND beat WVU 5-0 in the 1998 BIG EAST quarterfinals (at ND).
RECAPPING THE LAST ND-WVU GAME (2-1, OT) – Mia Sarkesian added to her legacy of clutch goalscoring, converting on a double-header sequence in the 13th minute of overtime … the gamewinner featured a free-kick cross from Amanda Guertin and a header assist by Mary Boland, who also opened the scoring (via an assist from Sarkesian) … WVU tied the game in the 71st minute, on a header from Chrissy Abbott, and had several other scoring chances during a game that saw much of the play contested in the midfield … the Irish finished with a 14-11 shot edge while WVU attempted three corner kicks to ND’s two … WVU’s Melissa Haire made nine saves but left the game following a collision in the 85th minute … Sarkesian-who scored earlier in the week to beat Nebraska (1-0)-notched her second goal of the season at the 102:05 mark, after sending a header into the right side of the net … Guertin’s 40-yard cross from the right flank found Boland at the far left post and the scrappy rookie redirected her header across the goalmouth … Sarkesian was in position at the opposite post and quickly headed the ball down into the goal to end the game … Sarkesian’s long thru-ball sprung Boland early in the second half, with Boland dribbling into the box before beating the charging Haire with a low shot into the center of the goal (53:53) … WVU netted the equalizer in the 72nd minute, after a free kick from the left side … Katie Barnes sent a low kick into the penalty box and Abbott flicked her header from the left side, with the ball skipping past Liz Wagner for a 1-1 game (71:04).
#19 WEST VIRGINIA 0 1 0 - 1#4 NOTRE DAME 0 1 1 - 2ND 1. Mary Boland 2 (Mia Sarkesian) 53:53WVU 1. Chrissie Abbott 6 (Katie Barnes) 71:04ND 2. Sarkesian 2 (Boland, Amanda Guertin) 102:05.SHOTS: WVU 3-6-2-11, ND 6-7-1-14.CORNER KICKS: WVU 3, ND 2.FOULS: WVU 8, ND 11.SAVES: WVU (Melissa Haire 9, Laura Finley 0) 9, ND (Liz Wagner) 4.OFFSIDES: WVU 3, ND 1.
SERIES STATS – Senior D Lindsey Jones has played five career games vs. WVU (three starts, one assist) while junior D Vanessa Pruzinsky is the only other Irish player with three starts vs. the Mountaineers (senior M Mia Sarkesian has 4 GP/2 GS vs. WVU) … three ND players-Sarkesian, sophomore F Amanda Guertin and freshman M/F Mary Boland-each have 1G-1A in previous games vs. WVU … two of junior M Ashley Dryer’s 12 career assists have come vs. WVU … sophomore F Amy Warner opened the scoring in ND’s 2-1 OT win at WVU last season, making a run into the box and converting a tricky leftfooted volley shot (on a long cross from Nancy Mikacenic).
MISSING HERO – Freshman M/F Mary Boland played a leading role in Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime win over West Virginia on Sept. 30 (see recap above) but the scrappy rookie remains sidelined with an ankle injury suffered late in the Oct. 7 game at Seton Hall (she has missed the seven games but could return to action next week) … Boland’s nose for the goal and strong play in the air could provide an offensive boost for the Irish in the NCAAs.
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 helped beat #19 WVU in overtime (also 2-1) … she then went on to score in OT in the regular-season finale, beating #23 Michigan (2-1) … Guertin 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, vs. Stanford 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-ending the upset bid (just days after ND has ascended to the No. 1 ranking) … in this year’s meeting with WVU, Guertin lofted a 40-yard 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 … vs. Michigan, she picked off a clearing attempt and calmly converted from six yards … 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.
REMATCH HISTORY – Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 35-4-1 when facing a team for a second (or third) time in the same season, with three of those losses coming to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game (5-0 in ’94, 1-0 in ’96, 2-0 in ’99) … the only time that ND has dropped a rematch was a 2-1 loss to Connecticut in the 1997 NCAA semifinals (after beating the Huskies in the ’97 regular season and the BIG EAST Tournament) … ND owns a 127-27 scoring edge in all-time rematch games … 15 of ND’s 17 previous BIG EAST Tournament wins have been rematches from the regular season (all except the 3-0 win over Miami in 2000 and Friday’s 3-0 win over BC), with the Irish owning a 59-7 all-time scoring edge in those 15 BET rematches.
ND-WVU TITLE-GAME HISTORY – Teams from Notre Dame and West Virginia have met just once previously with a BIG EAST championship on the line … that matchup came during both schools’ first season in the conference (1995-96), with the WVU baseball team beating ND in the winner-take-all title game (7-4) at the 1996 BIG EAST championship (at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn.) … the Irish had beaten the Mountaineers earlier that day in the double-elimination format (5-2) while WVU had posted a 10-8 win over ND to open the six-team tournament … the 1988 Notre Dame football team clinched the national title with a 34-21 win over West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.
SEVENTH STRAIGHT TITLE A RARITY – During the history of BIG EAST Conference championship competition, just five previous teams from all sports (and just two from team-oriented sports) have won seven consecutive BIG EAST titles (or more) … the UConn women’s basketball team has won the last eight BIG EAST tournament titles (’94-’01) while Pittsburgh won seven straight BIG EAST volleyball titles (1998-94, with ND winning five of the next six) … Pittsburgh also won 10 straight BIG EAST titles in men’s swimming and diving (1983-92) and nine straight in women’s swimming and diving (’83-’91) while Boston College won eight consecutive BIG EAST men’s tennis titles from 1981-88.
NCAA FIELD ANNOUNCEMENT – The 64-team field for the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship will be announced on Monday, Nov. 12, at 3:00 p.m. EST … the NCAA selection show will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net South, Fox Sports Net Northeast, Fox Sports Net Northwest, Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh and Empire Sports (FSN South also will re-air the selection show at 7:00 p.m. on Monday night) … the selection show will unveil the brackets, first-round pairings, the top eight seeds and the 16 teams who will play host to first and second-round games (seeds 1-8 will clinch home field for the third round while the top four seeds are guaranteed quarterfinal hosts) … the first and second-round format is similar to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, with each of the 16 sites featuring four teams (that will play two first-round games, with a second-round game between the winners).
PLAYING BIG IN BIG GAMES – ND is 17-2-1 during the past two seasons when facing a ranked team and/or playing in the postseason, with a 47-12 scoring edge in those 20 “big games” … senior G Liz Wagner has totaled 67 saves and 11 goals allowed in those 20 games (including Friday’s BC game) while sophomore F Amanda Guertin has racked up 23 points in those big games (9G-5A) … Guertin’s classmate Amy Warner owns eight career goals and one assist in “big games” while junior F Ali Lovelace has 3G-6A during the last 20 games vs. ranked teams and/or in the postseason.
IRISH HOPE FOR FINAL PUSH – Notre Dame heads into the BIG EAST title game looking to make a final impression on the NCAA selection committee, which faces the daunting task of seeding the top teams for the 64-team tournament (aside from top-ranked North Carolina, the rest of the spots in top 10 of the national polls have featured weekly fluctuation all season) … the top four seeds are guaranteed home field through the quarterfinal round while seeds 1-8 will be at home for potential third-round games … Notre Dame made its run to the 2000 NCAA semifinals with home wins over Michigan (3-1), Harvard (2-0) and Santa Clara (2-1, OT), pushing the program’s all-time NCAA Tournament home record to 17-1-0 … the Irish are unbeaten in their last 38 overall home games (37-0-1).
DEFENSIVE DANDIES – An unprecedented three members of the ND women’s soccer defensive unit were recognized with first team all-BIG EAST honors … fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) and freshman Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) earned BIG EAST honors for the first time while junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) rounded out ND’s first-team selections, after earning second-team honors in 2000 … it marked the first time in the seven-year history of the awards that three defenders from the same team have earned first team all-BIG EAST … the trio also matched the number of previous ND defenders who have been BIG EAST first-teamers, with that group including four-time honoree Jen Grubb (’96-’99), Kate Sobrero (’96-’97) and Kelly Lindsey (’00) … Grubb and Sobrero are the only previous defenders from the same team to be named first team all-BIG EAST (in ’96 and ’97).
D-DOMINATORS – Gonzalez, Pruzinsky and Chapman have combined with senior Lindsey Jones (South Bend, Ind.) to form an Irish defensive unit that has developed its cohesiveness during the second half of the season, allowing just 13 goals in 18 total games (with just four first-half goals allowed) … the Irish defenders have combined with senior goalkeeper Liz Wagner to post eight shutouts this season (five in the last seven games), plus seven games with one goal allowed, two with two goals allowed and one three-goal game by the opposition … Gonzalez-who started in the defense at the left back position last season-has settled in at center back, alongside Pruzinsky, while Chapman has made an impressive transition to the right back spot (she played forward prior to her ND career) and Jones has flipped from right to left back … Chapman also has been a potent offensive threat while seeing some time at forward, ranking sixth on the team in scoring with eight points (3G-2A, two assists) … she scored as a defender and forward in the 4-0 win at Pittsburgh before converting the late gamewinner as a forward in the 2-1 win at Seton Hall … Gonzalez has been used at midfield and forward during needed spurts over the past two seasons, with her four 2001 points including the first goal in the 2-2 tie with Wisconsin and an assist on Amy Warner’s overtime goal versus Villanova (2-1) … she has appeared in 92 career games (46 starts), with 17 goals and 17 assists … Pruzinsky-a 2001 national player-of-the-year finalist who has started 68 of 69 games at ND career-registered her first goal with the Irish in the 2-1 loss at Rutgers.
A RARE TRIO – The only other time that a school has produced three BIG EAST first-teamers at the same position came in 1995, when UConn forwards Jana Carabino, Kerry Connors and Christy Rowe were named first team all-BIG EAST.
ALL-BIG EAST NOTES – Two other Notre Dame players-senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.) and sophomore forward Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.)-earned second team All-BIG EAST honors while Chapman earned a spot on the BIG EAST all-rookie team .. four of the five Notre Dame honorees (Vanessa Pruzinsky missed one game due to injury) have started all 18 games this season for the sixth-ranked Irish … Sarkesian-the MVP of the 2000 BIG EAST Championship-ranks second on the Irish squad in scoring with a career-best 17 points (6G-5A), highlighted by gamewinning goals in the same week vs. then-No. 3 Nebraska (1-0) and 19th-ranked West Virginia (2-1, OT) … she also capped the scoring in the 2-0 BIG EAST quarterfinal win over St. John’s … Warner-a first team all-BIG EAST pick in 2000-is tied with Sarkesian at 17 points (8G-1A), with her season highlights including the second goal in the 2-0 win over then-No. 25 Hartford, both goals in the 2-1 overtime win over Villanova and two goals in the 4-0 win at Miami.
ALL-TIME ALL-STARS – Seventeen ND players have combined for 29 first team all-BIG EAST honors since 1995, with that group including six defenders combining 10 first-team awards, three midfielders (nine awards), five forwards (seven awards) and three goalkeepers.
TOP ROOKIES – Candace Chapman joins Amy Warner (2000) as two of seven all-time ND players to earn first team all-BIG EAST honors as a freshman, with Chapman and Jen Grubb (’96) ranking as the only Irish defenders to be BIG EAST first-teamers as a rookie .. the others include midfielder Anne Makinen (’97) and forwards Monica Gerardo (’95), Jenny Streiffer (’96) and Meotis Erikson (’97).
RECAPPING THE 3-0 SEMIFINAL WIN OVER BC – Sophomore forwards Amy Warner, Amanda Guertin and Melissa Tancredi each registered a goal while their teammates dominated the pivotal midfield battle … ND claimed an early lead, as Warner ended her four-game goal drought by scoring on a well-executed set play (2:43) for the third-quickest goal by the Irish in the last 45 games … ND racked up a 20-5 shot edge (13-4 in shots on goal) … Liz Wagner made four saves for the 11th solo shutout of her career and her fifth straight in BIG EAST Tournament play … junior M Ashley Dryer again played a leading role, neutralizing BIG EAST midfielder of the year Sarah Rahko while helping the Irish dictate the flow of the game … sophomore M Randi Scheller was not credited with an assist but passes from the crafty playmaker set up the first two goals … a free kick from 35 yards initiated the first goal, with Scheller rolling a pass towards the top of the box for Guertin, who then sent the ball to the left side … Warner raced onto the pass and banged her first shot off charging ‘keeper Elyse Meredith before knocking home the rebound (2:43) … Guertin gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 63rd minute while extending her goalscoring streak to seven games (two shy of the ND record) … Scheller’s pass from the center of the field led junior F Ali Lovelace down the right side … Lovelace dribbled free and struck a pass from the endline, with Guertin deftly trapping the ball and sending a close-range shot into the right side of the goal (62:42)… a strong individual effort from Tancredi capped the scoring with 13 minutes left to play … Tancredi used a burst of speed and strong dribbling skills to maneuver through the center of the field before drilling a low shot from the top of the box … Meredith deflected the shot but Tancredi raced forward and banged in the rebound (76:37).
ND-BC POSTGAME NOTES – Wagner and the Irish are 17-2-1 during the past two seasons in games vs. ranked teams and/or in the postseason, with the ND ‘keeper totaling 67 saves and allowing just 11 goals in those 20 “big games” … she lowered her career GAA to 0.53, good for seventh in the NCAA record book (third-best since 1995) … Guertin has points in 12 of the last 14 games while scoring six of ND’s last 10 goals … Lovelace’s 25 career points include 14 in the postseason (3G-3A in the BIG EAST Tournament) … ND has outscored its opponents 21-4 in the last seven games (five shutouts), with Friday’s output marking just the fourth time this season that the ND offense has totaled more than two goals … the Irish defense still has allowed just four first-half goals all season (none in the last seven games) and 13 overall … ND improved to 14-2-1 in its last 17 postseason games (42-10 scoring edge) and 19-3-1 in the last 23 (59-14) … the Irish also are 35-2-1 in their last 38 games vs. BIG EAST teams and own a 65-7 all-time scoring edge in 17 BIG EAST Tournament games (14 shutouts).
RANDY WALDRUM ON THE BC GAME – “Overall, we played a very solid game in all phases and the team showed the intensity and focus that you need during postseason play. Our execution was very sharp and our offensive players created some great scoring chances while converting when we needed it. Ashley Dryer is a great unsung player for this team and tonight she was assigned to mark Sarah Rahko and she basically marked her out of the game.”
QUICK-STRIKE OFFENSE – Despite struggling with its quantity of goals this season, the 2001 Notre Dame offense has proved to be very proficient at scoring early goals … ND has scored in the first 20 minutes during eight of 18 games this season, highlighted by five games with a goal in the first 7:00 and three games with goals in the first 3:30 … sophomore F Melissa Tancredi’s goal in the regular season vs. St. John’s (0:27) equaled the second-quickest in ND history while her classmate Amy Warner scored at 2:43 in the BIG EAST semifinals vs. BC (the third-quickest ND goal in the last 45 games) … freshman M/F Mary Boland delivered a diving header for an early lead vs. Penn State in the 2001 opener (6:54) while freshman D Candace Chapman fired in a goal just 6:54 into the 4-0 win at Pittsburgh … other quick goals by the Irish this season have come vs. St. John’s in the BIG EAST quarterfinals (7:17, Amanda Guertin), at Seton Hall (12:42, Mia Sarkesian), versus Nebraska (17:30, Sarkesian) and at Miami (20:02, Warner).
NCAA ALTERS SCHEDULE – The NCAA approved a change in scheduling for the expanded 64-team women’s soccer field, with the change coming after most schedules already had been printed (including schedule cards and media guides) … first-round games will be Friday, Nov. 16 (at 16 campus sites), with the second round on Sunday, Nov. 18.
NOTRE DAME QUICK NOTES
- The Irish are 59-7-3 (.877) in the three-year tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum, including a 48-4-3 mark in the last 55 games (since losing 4-2 at SCU on Oct. 17, 1999).
- The current senior class has helped ND compile a 80-10-4 (.871) record from 1998-2001.
- Only three teams in the top 25-North Carolina, UCLA and Santa Clara-own records of two losses (UCLA, SCU) or better (UNC), with ND among the next group at two losses and one tie.
Inside The Numbers
- ND’s season statistical edges include: 43-14 in scoring (avg. 2.4-0.8), 333-135 in shots (avg. 19-7), 194-64 in shots on goal (avg. 11-3), 103-49 in corner kicks (avg. 6-3).
- ND owns a 21-4 scoring edge in its last seven games.
- The Irish have allowed just four 1st-half goals all season (none in the last seven games).
Schedule and Location Notes
- The BIG EAST title game will mark ND’s eighth road game in the last 12.
- The Irish are 8-1-0 in games at Yurcak Stadium, including five BIG EAST Tournament wins (two each in 1997 and ’99) and a 3-1 record vs. Rutgers.
Postseason and NCAA Notes
- ND is 14-2-1 in its last 17 postseason games (42-10 scoring edge), 19-3-1 in the last 23 (59-14).
- ND is 35-2-1 in its last 38 games vs. BIG EAST teams (77-5-2/.929 since joining in ’95). The Irish own a 17-0-0 all-time record in the BIG EAST Tournament (65-7 scoring edge).
Liz Wagner Notes (second team all-BIG EAST, first team all-region in 2000)
- Has come up big in the big games, totaling 67 saves and just 11 GA in 20 career starts vs. ranked teams and/or in the postseason (with an 18-2-1 record in those games).
- Her 0.53 career GAA is on pace to best the Irish record set by Beene (0.63 career, 0.36 in ’97) and ranks 7th in NCAA history, within range of third (0.47).
- Has started all 42 games the past two seasons, allowing just 23 goals while playing nearly 93% of the minutes and allowing more than one goal in just four games (more than two in just one) … has logged nearly 97% of the team’s minutes in 2001 (1,658 of 1,711).
Other Player Notes
- Six players have started all 18 games this season, including the defensive core of fifth-year player, senior Lindsey Jones and freshman D Candace Chapman (the other D, junior Vanessa Pruzinsky, has 17 starts) … others who have started all 18 games include senior M Mia Sarkesian, sophomore F Amy Warner and senior G Liz Wagner.
- Sophomore F Amanda Guertin takes a seven-game goalscoring streak (4th-best in ND history) into the WVU game and has points in 12 of the last 14 games (she has scored six of ND’s last 10 goals).
- Freshman M/F Mary Boland returned to action vs. Villanova (Sept. 21), after missing five games due to an injury suffered in the final seconds of the opening win over Penn state (2-1) … Boland also missed the last seven games, since suffering an ankle injury late in the Oct. 7 game at Seton Hall.
- 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 (with no conference tournaments for the Irish prior to 1993).
- Notre Dame 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 21-0-0 record in conference tournament action (17-0-0 in the BIG EAST Tournament).
- Since 1995, the Irish own a 61-4-2 (.925) record in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams (26-2-1 in last 29), 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 1995 NCAA title season, a 1-1 tie at UConn in ’98, a 3-2 loss two days later at Seton Hall, and this season’s 2-1 loss at Rutgers.
- Since joining the BIG EAST in ’95, the Irish are 77-5-2 (.929) in all games vs. BIG EAST opponents, with a 2-0 win over UConn in the 1995 NCAA quarterfinals and 2-1 loss to UConn in the ’97 NCAA semifinals.
- Notre Dame’s 84 games vs. BIG EAST teams since 1995 have included nearly a 10-to-1 scoring edge (394-41), including 65-7 in 17 BIG EAST Tournament games (with 14 BET shutouts).
POSTSEASON PRODUCTION – Junior F Ali Lovelace (5G-4A, 14 pts) and senior M Mia Sarkesian (5G-3A, 13) lead Notre Dame in career postseason points … in fact, more than half of Lovelace’s 25 career points (8G-8A) have come in the postseason, including five of eight goals (three in the BIG EAST Tournament), while one-third of Sarkesian’s career goals (5 of 15, three in BET) have come in postseason … the only other ND player with more than 10 career points in the postseason is fifth-year D Monica Gonzalez (3G-5A) … Sarkesian’s postseason heroics include three gamewinning goals, trailing only Monica Gerardo (five postseason GWGs) and Amy Van Laecke (four) in Irish history.
FIRE & ICE – That old clich? aptly applies to the equally-effective styles of sophomore forwards Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas), with Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario) rounding out the promising sophomore trio of forwards (Tancredi missed all of the 2000 season due to injury) … Warner (8G-1A in 2001) burst onto the scene early in 2000, buzzing around the offensive zone and ranking as the team’s second-leading scorer through 10 games (7G-4A) before a knee injury caused her to miss seven games … a first team all-BIG EAST and third team all-region selection in 2000 (2nd team all-BIG EAST in 2001), Warner finished her truncated first season with 9G-4A, including the earliest hat trick ever posted by an ND freshman … the poised and multi-talented Guertin quietly turned in a rookie season that included 11G-4A (her 26 points trailed only seniors Anne Makinen and Meotis Erikson on the Irish scoring charts) while starting 22 games and tying for second on the team with four GWGs, including an OT score to end West Virginia’s upset bid … Guertin leads the 2001 Irish with 28 points (11G-6A).
“GERTY” GETTING GOALS – Sophomore F Amanda Guertin (11G-6A), who leads ND in goals, points (28) and gamewinning goals (5), owns a seven-game goalscoring streak and has registered points in 12 of the last 14 games … Guertin was named BIG EAST player of the week after scoring both Irish goals in the recent 2-0 win at Yale before scoring in overtime to beat #23 Michigan (2-1) … her seven-game goalscoring streak is tied for fourth in ND history and 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 six of ND’s last 10 goals, seven of the last 12 and eight of the last 15 … she has 22 goals in her young Irish career, including nine gamewinners … the ND record for goalscoring streak (9 games) is shared by Amy Van Laecke (1995) and Meotis Erikson (1997) … Heft’s eight-game streak ranks third in ND history while Guertin’s current streak is one of four seven-game goalscoring streaks in ND history, in addition to Anne Makinen in ’97, Heft in ’98 and Streiffer in ’99.
EXPERIENCE IN THE BACK – Fifth-year player Monica Gonzalez (92 games played) and senior Lindsey Jones (93) are just the second pair of Notre Dame defensive teammates to reach 90 career games, lending veteran stability to a defense that includes junior Vanessa Pruzinsky (a three-year starter) and surging freshman Candace Chapman … ND’s only other pair of defensive teammates with 90-plus career GP were Jen Grubb (100) and Kara Brown (99) in 1999 … senior M Mia Sarkesian(88) is on the verge of playing her 90th game … just three previous ND senior classes have included three-plus players with 90 or more GP (1999, ’96 and 2000).
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 23 shots in 14 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 38 saves and allowed just six goals in 11 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), before making three saves in the 2-0 BIG EAST quarterfinal win over St. John’s and four in the semifinal win over BC-yielding a total of 67 saves and 11 goals allowed in 20 career “big games” (with a 17-2-1 record in those 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 0.53 career GAA would rank 7th in NCAA history, just behind former Portland ‘keeper Erin Fahey (0.50, ’91-’95) … Wagner also owns the nation’s 3rd-best career GAA since 1995, behind UNC’s Siri Mullinix (0.28, ’95-’98) and Santa Clara’s Crystal Gordon (0.47, ’97-’00) … Wagner ranks first in ND history for career GAA, 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 finish as high as 3rd on the NCAA career GAA list (a spot currently shared by two players, at 0.47).
GOALS-A-PLENTY – Notre Dame-currently riding a 26-game scoring streak (3rd in ND history)-scored in a record 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’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 96.2 percent of its games (225 of 234) … since 1994, the Irish have scored in 190 of 196 (.969, three shutouts in NCAA title games)-with goals in 144 of 147 regular-season games (.980) during that eight-year stretch.
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 seven games, en route to shutout wins over St. John’s (2), Miami, Yale and BC (UConn scored three 2nd-half goals to beat the Irish while Michigan forced OT with a 2nd-half goal, in a 2-1 ND win) … ND also has allowed just 47 first-half shots this season, for an average of 2.6 opponent shots and 0.22 goals during the first half.
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 (91 GP/45 GS), Lindsey Jones (92 GP, 66 GS) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (67 GP/67 GS)… those three-who each trained previously at forward or midfield-have combined to play in 250 career games at ND with 178 starts.