Oct. 13, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The top-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team faced its first deficit of the season but battled back behind an opportunistic first goal of the season from junior midfielder Mia Sarkesian before freshman forward Amanda Guertin netted the game-winner early in the second half, as the Irish remained unbeaten with a 2-1 victory over visiting Boston College, in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional action Friday night at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (14-0-0) was forced to play without two of its top starters, as senior defender Kelly Lindsey and freshman forward Amy Warner both missed the game due to injuries. The Irish still managed to set the team record for best start to a season (the ’96 team won its first 13 games) while again holding a decisive shot edge, at 21-5.
Boston College (11-5) opened the scoring on a counterattack in the game’s 10th minute, when junior forward Megan Moore skirted the top of the penalty box before ripping a low crossing shot that tucked inside the left post. The goal ended Notre Dame’s shutout streak at 493 minutes, spanning five complete games and parts of two others.
Late in the opening half, Sarkesian redisplayed the flare for the dramatic that characterized her sophomore season, when her three 1999 goals all came in big games (versus top-ranked North Carolina in the ’99 opener, Seton Hall in the BIG EAST semifinals and Stanford in a 1-0 NCAA third-round game).
Senior forward Meotis Erikson dropped the ball a few yards outside the top of the box, with Sarkesian making a run onto the ball and finding some space while sliding to her right before lofting an arcing shot toward the upper left corner of the net-with the shot coming from 20 yards out while rising high into the night before tumbling toward the far corner.
BC senior Courtney South-who had 11 saves in the game-made a leaping stab at the ball but the shot settled into the net for Sarkesian’s first goal of the season and fifth of her career (37:57).
“Mia seems to pick the right time to score her goals and she couldn’t have picked a better time tonight, because defensively BC is a tough team to break down,” said a relieved Irish head coach Randy Waldrum, whose first two Irish teams have posted a combined 35-4-1 record-including 24-1-1 in the last 26 games and 18 straight wins in the regular season (tying the ND record set from 1995-96).
The Irish shifted to a four-midfielder formation to open the second half and quickly began to dominate play, after owning just a 5-2 shot edge in the first 45 minutes. Guertin netted her eighth goal of the season and second game-winner in as many weeks, after picking off a clearing attempt and quickly shooting inside the near right post (52:40).
SARKESIAN: “I just figured that I needed to take this shot and try to get one in. We needed a goal. I’d love to have scored more this season but this was a great game to score in since it was so close.”
WALDRUM: “This was one game where you just kind of had those bad feelings, because you are banged up and injured and changing your lineup a little bit. But I though overall that we still pretty much controlled the game but they scored a great goal to get the lead and then all of a sudden you’re in trouble. But I was very proud to see how we responded and come back the way we did. … Mia is not necessarily a goalscorer, although she is capable of it. Her strengths are winning head balls in the middle defensively and distributing the ball. She is so skillful and composed when she is under pressure. She is more of a schemer and playmaker for us.”
NOTES: The Irish have tied the second-best single-season winning streak in ND history (the ’97 team won 17 in a row) … Friday marked ND’s third-lowest shot total (21) of the season, behind the Portland (12) and Washington (16) games, and was the fourth-smallest shot margin (+16), behind the Portland (+1), Washington (+11) and Santa Clara (+13) games-plus the fewest corner kicks (2) by the Irish this season (ND had 3 CKs vs. Stanford and Washington) … ND has allowed 0-3 corner kicks in 13 of 14 games this season (BC had 1) … BC’s five shots included just three on goal (ND now has allowed 0-3 shots on goal in 11 of 14 games) … the Eagles had two shots in the first 15 minutes but then went without a shot for the next 40 minutes of game time … ND equaled its first-half shot total (5) in the first 10 minutes of the second half, en route to a 16-3 shot edge over the closing half … Friday was ND’s only home game in a 27-day stretch … ND and BC could meet again in the Nov. 3 BIG EAST semi-final round, which will be held at Alumni Field (ND will host Miami in an Oct. 29 quarterfinal while BC will host Rutgers, Seton Hall or Georgetown) … ND improved to 53-2-1 in six years of BIG EAST regular-season play and has won its last 24 overall games vs. BIG EAST teams (the Irish are 66-3-1 in all games vs. BIG EAST teams, since joining the league in 1995) … Friday’s pregame ceremonies including an unusually early senior night, which paid tribute to student manager Kevin Murphy and the squad’s five departing seniors (Erikson, Lindsey, D Kerri Bakker and Ms Anne Makinen and Carolina Marino) … ND (10-0-0) has turned in a perfect regular-season record at home for the fifth time in the last 10 seasons (also in ’91, ’93, ’94, ’96 and ’98-with all those teams except the ’98 squad also winning every on of their home games in the postseason) … ND’s 11-year record at Alumni Field is 112-7-1, including 88-3-1 in the last 92 games and 77-1-0 overall (70 straight wins) vs. teams not ranked in the NSCAA coaches poll … ND is 27-3-0 all-time when playing as the top-ranked team (16-1-0 in the regular season).
BOSTON COLLEGE (11-5-0) 1 0 – 1
NOTRE DAME (14-0-0) 1 1 – 2
BC 1. Meghan Moore 8 (?) 9:59, ND 1. Mia Sarkesian 1 (Meotis Erikson) 37:57, ND 2. Amanda Guertin 8 (?) 52:40.
Shots: BC 5, ND 21. Corner Kicks: BC 1, ND 2.
Saves: BC 11 (Courtney Schaeffer), ND 2 (Liz Wagner).
Fouls: BC 13, ND 13. Offsides: BC 0, ND 0. Yellow Card: Nancy Mikacenic (ND, 1st of season).