No.2 Notre Dame Wins Big East Regular-Season Title With Wins Over Seton Hall, No.5 Connecticut, Closes Out Regular Season Against No.12 Michigan, Providence
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team won its second consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title with a 7-1 win over Seton Hall and a 1-0 win over fifth-ranked Connecticut. The Irish close out the 1997 regular season with a pair of home games against 13th-ranked Michigan and Providence.
Week in Review: Freshman forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) scored her second consecutive hat trick and added two assists as the Notre Dame downed Seton Hall 7-1, outshooting the Pirates 38-3. Erikson got the Irish on the board quickly as she scored on her first two shots of the game to put Notre Dame up 2-0 early in the contest.
Notre Dame won its second consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title with a 1-0 win over fifth-ranked Connecticut. Erikson scored at 15:29 to lift the Irish to the win. A driving rain in the first half with high winds throughout the game made playing difficult as temperatures hovered in the mid 30s throughout. Freshman midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) won the ball at midfield and passed to freshman defender Kelly Lindsey (Omaha, Neb.) on the right wing. Lindsey penetrated to 25 yards out on the right wing and served a ball that curved left and past diving Connecticut goalkeeper Jen Traw who knocked the ball down but was unable to catch the ball. Erikson and Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) quickly converged on the ball with Erikson reaching the ball first and booting it into the open net from five yards out.
Irish Claim BIG EAST Title, Top Seed: Notre Dame entered the weekend tied with Seton Hall and Connecticut atop the BIG EAST standings with identical 8-0-0 records and ended the weekend with its second consecutive BIG EAST regular season title. A 7-1 win over the Pirates on Friday and Sunday's 1-0 win over the Huskies clinched the title for the Irish at 10-0-0. Notre Dame has a one-game lead over both Seton Hall and Connecticut should Providence beat the Irish in the regular-season finale on Sun., Nov. 2. Connecticut travels to Seton Hall on Fri., Oct. 31, in a battle for second place and a preview of a BIG EAST championship semifinal.
Top-seeded Notre Dame will face fourth-seeded Villanova in the other BIG EAST semifinal. The Irish and Wildcats met in the 1996 BIG EAST semifinals, a 7-0 Notre Dame win. Rutgers will be the host of the BIG EAST championship from Nov. 7-9. Notre Dame and Villanova will play on Friday at 6:00 p.m. while Seton Hall and Connecticut will play at 8:00 p.m. The winners will meet on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Notre Dame has won the last two BIG EAST championships, beating Connecticut in both finals.
This Week For The Irish: After three straight BIG EAST wins, Notre Dame steps out of conference to play host to 12th-ranked Michigan. The Wolverines enter with a record of 15-2-1 and have won six consecutive games. Sophomore forward Amber Berendowsky leads Michigan with 16 goals and 16 assists. Notre Dame and Michigan have met once before in 1989 when the Irish beat the Wolverines 4-3 before they were a varsity sport. Notre Dame has played three Big Ten teams so far in 1997, beating Michigan State, Indiana and Wisconsin by a combined 24-0.
The Irish close out their 1997 regular season against Providence on Sunday. The Friars have struggled this season with a 4-10-2 record and have played in five overtime games. Providence will travel to Loyola (Chicago) prior to coming to Notre Dame. Freshman Melissa Crowley leads the team in scoring. Goalkeeper Shayna Ross has played every minute in goal this season and has 1.78 goals against average.
Irish Schedule Fifth Toughest Among Top 25: According to Jeff Sagarin's latest college women's soccer power ratings, Notre Dame's 1997 schedule is the fifth toughest among teams ranked in this week's NSCAA Top 25 and 10th toughest of all teams. Only Portland, North Carolina, Santa Clara and Maryland were computed to have harder schedules among the top 25. Of Notre Dame's 1997 opponents, eight play schedules ranked in the top 20 while five opponents have schedules in the top 10, including Portland with the toughest schedule in the country, according to Sagarin. Among Sagarin's power ratings top 30 teams, the BIG EAST Conference had three teams ranked, behind only the ACC (five) and the Pacific 10 (four).
Irish Go For 31 Straight Vs. Big Ten: Notre Dame puts its 30-game winning streak against Big Ten team on the line against Michigan this week. The Irish have gone 30-0-0 against the Big Ten over a nine-year span since a 3-0 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 22, 1989. Notre Dame head coach Chris Petrucelli is a perfect 28-0-0 since taking over as head coach in 1990. The 12th-ranked Wolverines will be the highest ranked Big Ten team the Irish have faced since beating eighth-ranked Wisconsin 2-0 on Oct. 9, 1994.
Sobrero Leads Stingy Defense: Anchored by three-time All-American defender Kate Sobrero (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Notre Dame's defense has held the opposition to just 62 shots while the Irish have scored 88 goals. Notre Dame is outshooting its opponents by an average of 28-4 per game and outscoring them 5.24-0.30. In the seven wins since the North Carolina game, Notre Dame has outscored the opposition 61-1 and outshot them 276-30.
Spreading The Wealth: Perhaps nowhere has Notre Dame's depth been more apparent than in the scoring column. The Irish have distributed their scoring evenly in 1997, with two 42-point scorers on the team and three with at least 30 points. Of the 15 top scorers in the BIG EAST, almost half are from Notre Dame. Seven Irish players are in the top 15, with three from Connecticut, two from Seton Hall and one each from Rutgers, Syracuse and Villanova.
Manthei Leads Top Offenses: Senior All-American midfielder Holly Manthei (Burnsville, Minn.) continues to spark Notre Dame offensively, helping the Irish average 5.24 goals per game, the highest-scoring offense in the country. Manthei's play in the left midfield has been as dominant as ever. She leads the nation assists with 26 and has had seven multiple-assist games, including two four-assist games and one with five assists.
Beene Continues To Lead Nation, BIG EAST: For the fourth straight week, sophomore goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) owns the lowest goals against average in the country at 0.30. She has allowed just five goals in 1511 minutes of action. She has been even tougher against her BIG EAST opponents, allowing just two goals in 900 minutes for a 0.20 goals against average.
After establishing a BIG EAST record for single-season shutouts against Syracuse, Beene upped the record against Connecticut, shutting out the Huskies for her eighth BIG EAST shutout in 10 games. Beene also has matched former Irish All-American Jen Renola's school record for shutouts in a season. In 1995, Renola blanked 13 opponents in 25 games. Just 17 games into the 1997 season, Beene also has shut out 13 opponents, including two top 10 opponents, third-ranked Portland and fifth-ranked Duke. Only North Carolina, Washington, Rutgers and Seton Hall have scored against Beene. Beene tied the Irish record for consecutive shutouts set in 1989 when Michelle Lodyga blanked six straight opponents. Beene had shut out Villanova, Indiana, Boston College, Georgetown, Wisconsin and Syracuse before Seton Hall snapped the streak on Fri., Oct. 24.
Streiffer Fastest To 100: Of the seven 100-point scorers in Notre Dame women's soccer history, sophomore forward Jenny Streiffer has become the fastest Notre Dame player in school history to reach the 100-point plateau in her career, taking just 40 games to reach the milestone. She scored 66 points in 26 games as a freshman and then scored her 34th point in 1997 against Wisconsin, the 14th game of the season. Junior forward Monica Gerardo (Simi Valley, Calif.) reached 100 points in 44 games, the previous mark.
Erikson Nets Second Hat Trick, Earns BIG EAST Honors: Freshman forward Meotis Erikson recorded her second consecutive hat trick against Seton Hall. After scoring three goals against Syracuse on Oct. 19, the 1997 NSCAA high school player of the year turned in an even better outing with three goals and two assists for eight points against Seton Hall, the second-highest single-game point total in Irish history. For the third time in four weeks, Erikson has been honored by the BIG EAST. She was named offensive player of the week after being named rookie of the week on Oct. 7 and 20.
Erikson has scored a goal in each of the last nine games, a streak that began over month ago on Sept. 26 against Rutgers. The streak matches the Irish record set by Amy VanLaecke, who also scored in nine straight game in 1995. Erikson has scored at least one point in each of the last 10 games, one game short of the record of 11 held by both Jenny Streiffer and Holly Manthei. Erikson leads the team with seven goals and is seventh in the country in most goals scored. She is tied for first on the team in scoring with 42 points.
Head Coach Chris Petrucelli: 1996 BIG EAST coach of the year Chris Petrucelli is in his eighth season as head coach of Notre Dame's women's soccer team after leading the Irish to their third straight NCAA championship game. Petrucelli was named NSCAA coach of the year for the second consecutive year after guiding Notre Dame to its first NCAA women's soccer title in 1995, becoming the first coach to win the honor two straight years. The Orange, N.J., native owns a 147-18-9 record with an .871 winning percentage that is second best among NCAA Division I women's soccer coaches. During his seven seasons as head coach, Petrucelli has coached his players to 17 NSCAA All-America selections, including 14 since 1994, the most in the country during that span.
Four Nominated for MAC Award: Four Notre Dame players have been selected as finalists for the 1997 Missouri Athletic Club Sports Foundation Collegiate Player of the Year which will be awarded on Jan. 9, 1998. Sophomore defender Jen Grubb, senior midfielder Holly Manthei, senior defender Kate Sobrero (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and sophomore forward Jenny Streiffer are Notre Dame's four of the 15 finalists. Manthei collected the most votes for the 1996 Missouri Athletic Club player of the year award of any returning midfielder in the country. Former Notre Dame All-American midfielder Cindy Daws was the recipient of last year's award.
Team BIG EAST Overall 1. Notre Dame 10-0-0 16-0-1 2. Connecticut 9-1-0 16-2-0 Seton Hall 9-1-0 14-3-0 4. Villanova 6-3-1 8-6-2 5. Syracuse 6-5-0 13-5-0 6. Boston College 5-6-0 8-6-2 7. West Virginia 4-6-1 10-6-2 8. Rutgers 4-6-0 7-12-0 9. St. John's 4-7-0 8-8-0 10. Georgetown 2-8-0 6-8-0 11. Pittsburgh 1-8-1 2-11-3 12. Providence 0-9-1 4-10-2 Statistical Leaders Scoring 13T. Meotis Erikson 42 13T. Jenny Streiffer 42 Goals 7. Meotis Erikson 17 Assists 1. Holly Manthei 26 8T. Shannon Boxx 14 8T. Jenny Streiffer 14 Goals Against Average 1. LaKeysia Beene 0.30 Team Scoring Average 1. Notre Dame 5.18 Attendance 4. Notre Dame 1,443 1997 Schedule/Results August Fri. 29 St. John's * W, 7-0 Sun. 31 Michigan State W, 6-0 September Fri. 5 at Washington W, 3-1 Sun. 7 at #3 Portland W, 1-0 Fri. 12 at Pittsburgh * W, 5-0 Sun. 14 at West Virginia * W, 3-0 Fri. 19 #1 North Carolina T, 2-2 Sun. 21 #5 Duke W, 5-0 Fri. 26 at Rutgers * W, 7-1 Sun. 28 at Villanova * W, 4-0 Tues. 30 at Indiana W, 8-0 October Sun. 5 Boston College * W, 2-0 Sat. 11 at Georgetown * W, 9-0 Tues. 14 at Wisconsin W, 10-0 Sun. 19 at Syracuse * W, 8-0 Fri. 24 Seton Hall * W, 7-1 Sun. 26 #5 Connecticut * W, 1-0 Fri. 31 #12 Michigan 7:30 p.m. November Sun. 2 Providence * 1:00 p.m. Fri.. 7 vs. Villanova # 6:00 p.m. # BIG EAST Championship, Piscataway, N.J. * BIG EAST Conference match All times are local Bold CAPS denotes home match All home matches played at Alumni Field Soccer America Top 20 (10/27) Team Record Last Week 1. North Carolina * 17-0-1 1 2. NOTRE DAME 16-0-1 2 3. Santa Clara 14-1-1 3 4. Portland * 11-3-0 4 5. Connecticut * 16-2-0 5 6. Texas A&M 15-2-0 8 7. Nebraska 15-2-0 10 8. Florida 14-2-1 9 9. Virginia 12-2-2 6 10. Minnesota 16-1-1 11 11. Duke * 13-3-0 7 12. William & Mary 13-4-0 12 13. Hartford 13-1-1 13 14. SMU 13-4-0 14 15. Massachusetts 15-2-0 15 16. Maryland 9-5-2 16 17. Clemson 11-5-0 17 18. UCLA 13-2-0 20 19. Penn State 13-4-1 NR 20. Michigan * 15-2-1 NR * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents NSCAA Top 25 (10/27) Team Record Points 1. North Carolina * 17-0-1 298 2. NOTRE DAME 16-0-1 290 3. Portland * 11-3-0 276 4. Connecticut * 16-2-0 256 Santa Clara 14-1-1 256 6. Texas A&M 15-2-0 250 7. Nebraska 15-2-0 224 8. Virginia 12-2-2 214 9. Duke * 13-3-0 204 10. Minnesota 15-1-1 192 11. Hartford 13-1-1 170 12. Michigan * 15-2-1 154 13. Florida 14-2-1 152 14. William & Mary 13-4-0 148 15. Clemson 11-5-0 144 16. Massachusetts 15-2-0 126 17. SMU 13-4-0 114 18. Maryland 9-5-2 110 19. BYU 16-1-0 80 20. Harvard 9-3-2 50 21. Penn State 13-4-1 48 22. UCLA 13-2-0 46 23. George Mason 10-3-4 44 24. Vanderbilt 11-6-0 36 25. UNC-Greensboro 14-5-0 16 * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents