Sept. 23, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Melissa Tancredi used her potent combination of speed and strength to score Notre Dame’s first goal but fellow sophomore forward Amanda Guertin scored the gamewinner by bending in her leftside corner kick, as the fourth-ranked Irish women’s soccer team remained unbeaten with a 2-1 win over visiting Georgetown, in BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic Division action Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (5-0-1) now focuses on its highly-anticipated matchup with No. 3 Nebraska, set for Tuesday night (Sept. 25) at Alumni Field (7:00).
Tancredi opened the scoring in the 61st minute, with her former Canadian national teammate Candace Chapman setting the play in motion with a pass from the back. Senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian then played a thru-ball up the middle of the field and Tancredi raced into position while using her power to ward off the Georgetown defenders. Goalkeeper Shereena Chang was charging off her line but Tancredi nudged the ball to her right and struck a low shot into the vacated net for the first regular-season goal of her Notre Dame career (60:10).
“Melissa is probably the only player on our team who could have gotten to that ball and fought her way to it, ” said head coach Randy Waldrum, whose first three Irish teams have combined for a 49-5-3 record. “She has the speed to not only get there but also has the strength to hold off those players and push them off to get that goal. She brings another element to the team that we really like and we’re anxious to get her back into a full rhythm.”
Georgetown (3-3-0)-which had been outscored 53-0 in six previous games versus Notre Dame-tied the game 15 minutes later, after Alyson Smith had received a short pass from Karin Ostrander. Smith then served the ball from the left corner and Casey McCann was credited with her second goal of the season-as she was diving forward on the play and the ball glanced off her shoulder and bounced past ‘keeper Liz Wagner (75:36).
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 just three minutes after the equalizer. 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 Notre Dame (six of 13) 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).
Notre Dame now owns a 91-3-3 all-time record in 10-plus years of regular-season conference games, including 56-2-2 in regular-season games vs. BIG EAST teams. The Irish also are 104-3-2 in their last 109 home games and 85-1-1 in games at Alumni Field vs. unranked teams.
MORE RANDY WALDRUM: “The hard part is still trying to figure out our lineup and we tried to rest some people today, so we are as healthy as possible for Tuesday. I was pretty pleased with what we did today, compared to what we did the last few games. We still are giving away goals that we shouldn’t be and still aren’t finishing opportunities that we should. .. We’ve got to figure out how we are going to play defensively but all of these games that have been close have been so because we didn’t finish our opportunities. If you’re up five and then they get the late goal, it doesn’t matter. We have the weapons to do it and we’re creating the opportunities. We’re just not finishing our chances and just need to be more efficient in the offensive third. If we can get that part right, I think it will solve a lot of our problems defensively. … Losing Mary Boland in the Penn State game really hurt us in those next few games. She’s such a key player. You can’t be without players like Boland and Tancredi and not have it affect your team. We still like our depth but those are quality players that we were without. … We still need to get more physical as a team and a little bit tougher. I still think we’ll be a team to reckon with as the season progresses.”
GEORGETOWN (3-3-0) 0 1 – 1
#4 NOTRE DAME (5-0-1) 0 2 – 2
ND 1. Melissa Tancredi 1 (Mia Sarkesian, Candace Chapman) 60:10, GU 1. Casey McCann 2 (Alyson Smith, Karin Ostrander) 75,36, ND 2. Amanda Guertin 2 (-) 78:50.
SHOTS: GU 2-4-6, ND 6-12-18.
SAVES: GU (Shereena Chang) 3-6-9, ND (Liz Wagner) 1-1-2.
CORNER KICKS: GU 1-1-2, ND 2-6-8.
FOULS: GU 13, ND 7.
YELLOW CARD: Jen Carter (GU).