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    Fighting Irish
    Nov. 5, 1997

    #2 Notre Dame Finishes Regular Season Unbeaten

    Takes on Villanova in bid for third Big East Championship

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team finished with an unbeaten regular season for the first time since 1994 with shutout wins over Michigan and Providence. The Irish will look for their third BIG EAST championship when they travel to Rutgers to take on Villanova in the BIG EAST semifinals on Fri., Nov. 7.

    Week in Review: Notre Dame wrapped up a four-game homestand with two shutout wins over Michigan and Providence. Against the 12th-ranked Wolverines, Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) came off the bench to score two goals, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-0 win. The Irish outshot the Wolverines 21-0 in the first half but led just 1-0 heading into halftime. Notre Dame then scored three times in a five-minute span to break the game open. Notre Dame closed out the regular season with a 7-0 win over Providence. Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) and Jenny Heft each scored two goals and an assist for the Irish, who built a 7-0 lead at halftime.

    Irish Go For Third Straight BIG EAST Title: Two-time defending champion Notre Dame will aim for its third straight title this weekend at Rutgers. The top-seeded Irish will face fourth-seeded Villanova in the semifinals for the second consecutive year. Notre Dame advanced to the final in 1996 with a 7-0 win over the Wildcats. Notre Dame beat Villanova 4-0 in their first meeting earlier in the season. Connecticut and Seton Hall will play in the other semifinal. The winners will meet on Sun., Nov. 9, at 12:00 p.m. with the winner claiming the BIG EAST Conference's automatic bid to the 32-team field of the NCAA women's soccer championship.

    Notre Dame Vs. The Field: The Irish have never lost to their semifinal opponent, beating Villanova in each of their four meetings. Earlier in the season, Notre Dame won 4-0 at Villanova in their first meeting of the season. Holly Manthei (Burnsville, Minn.) had assists on all four goals and Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) scored twice as the Irish outshot the Wildcats 31-2. Notre Dame is 3-0-0 all-time against Seton Hall, including a 7-1 in 1997. The Irish lost their first-ever meeting with Connecticut in 1995, but have won the last five meetings for a 5-1-0 edge in the series.

    Manthei Leads Top Offenses: Senior All-American midfielder Holly Manthei continues to spark Notre Dame offensively, helping the Irish average 5.32 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 28 and has had seven multiple-assist games, including two four-assist games and one with five assists.

    Notre Dame Claims Second BIG EAST Regular Season Title: With the win against Providence, the Irish completed their BIG EAST schedule with a perfect 11-0-0 record, their second consecutive perfect regular season. Notre Dame went 8-0-0 in 1996 on their way to the title. Since a 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut in 1995, the Irish are 27-0-0 against BIG EAST teams in both regular season and post-season contests.

    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).

    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 66 shots while the Irish have scored 100 goals. Notre Dame is outshooting its opponents by an average of 30-4 per game and outscoring them 5.32-0.27. In the nine wins since the North Carolina game, Notre Dame has outscored the opposition 73-1 and outshot them 360-34.

    Notre Dame In Conference Championships: The Irish have played in four conference championships beginning in 1993 and have left with the title in each of those four tournaments:

    1993 MCC Championship
    SF: Notre Dame 5, Butler 1  F: Notre Dame 4, Xavier 0
    1994 MCC Championship
    QF: Notre Dame 7, Wright State 0    SF: Notre Dame 10, Xavier 0 F: Notre Dame 5, Butler 1
    1995 BIG EAST Championship
    SF: Notre Dame 3, Rutgers 0 F: Notre Dame 1, Connecticut 0
    1996 BIG EAST Championship
    SF: Notre Dame 7, Villanova 0   F: Notre Dame 4, Connecticut 3
    

    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 40-point scorers on the team and four others with at least 30 points. Of the top 10 scorers in the BIG EAST, six are from Notre Dame, with three from Connecticut and one from Seton Hall.

    Beene Continues To Lead Nation, Earns BIG EAST Honors: For the fifth straight week, sophomore goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) owns the lowest goals against average in the country at 0.27. She has allowed just five goals in 1691 minutes of action. She has been even tougher against her BIG EAST opponents, allowing just two goals in 990 minutes for a 0.18 goals against average. Beene was named BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the first time in her career for her two shutout wins against Michigan and Providence. After establishing a BIG EAST record for single-season shutouts earlier in the season, Beene upped the record against Providence, shutting out the Friars for her ninth BIG EAST shutout in 11 games. Beene also has bettered former Irish All-American Jen Renola's school record for shutouts in a season. In 1995, Renola blanked 13 opponents in 25 games. In just 19 games in 1997 season, Beene has shut out 15 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. Streiffer leads the team with 48 points.

    Erikson Matches Streak Records: Freshman forward Meotis Erikson saw her streaks of consecutive games with a goal and a point snapped this weekend but not before she tied the previous long streaks. Against Michigan, Erikson failed to score a goal for the first time in nine games, a span of five weeks. Amy VanLaecke also scored in nine straight games in 1995. Erikson did record an assist against the Wolverines, extending her streak of consecutive games with a point to 11, matching Jenny Streiffer and Holly Manthei, who each scored a point in 11 consecutive games in 1996. Against Providence, Erikson failed to score or record an assist and fell just of setting a record once again. Before her streaks, which began on Sept. 21 and Sept. 26, Erikson was fifth on the team with just six points through seven games. During the streaks she scored 15 goals, including two consecutive hat tricks, and seven assists for 37 points. She is now second on the team with 43 points and leads the Irish in BIG EAST scoring with 33 points in 11 games. During her streaks she was named to Soccer America's team of the week, named College Soccer Weekly's player of the week, named BIG EAST offensive player of the week and twice named BIG EAST rookie of the week.

    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 149-18-9 record with an .872 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 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.

    1997 Notre Dame Women's Soccer 
    (18-0-1, 11-0-0)
    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        W, 5-0
    November
        Sun.    2   Providence *        W, 7-0
        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
    BIG EAST Standings (Final)
            Team            BIG EAST    Overall
        1.  Notre Dame      11-0-0      18-0-1
        2.  Connecticut     10-1-0      18-2-0
        3.  Seton Hall      9-2-0       14-4-0
        4.  Villanova       6-4-1       8-7-2
        5.  Syracuse        6-5-0       14-5-0
        6.  Boston College  5-6-0       9-6-2
        7.  Rutgers         5-6-0       8-12-0
        8.  West Virginia   4-6-1       11-6-2
        9.  St. John's      4-7-0       10-8-0
        10. Pittsburgh      2-8-1       3-12-3
        11. Georgetown      2-9-0       7-9-0
        12. Providence      0-10-1      5-11-2
        
    Irish Among National Statistical Leaders
        
    Scoring
        11. Jenny Streiffer 48      
        19. Meotis Erikson  43
    Assists 
        1.  Holly Manthei   28
        6T. Shannon Boxx    16
        6T. Jenny Streiffer 16
    Goals Against Average
        1.  LaKeysia Beene  0.27
    Team Scoring Average
        1.  Notre Dame      5.26
    Attendance
        5.  Notre Dame      1,320
        
    1997 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship
    Yurcak Field                  Piscataway, N.J.
    Semifinals, Fri., Nov. 7
    No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Villanova    6:00 p.m.
    No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 3 Seton Hall  8:00 p.m. 
    Championship, Sun., Nov. 9 (televised by SportsChannel/Fox SportsNet)
    Semifinal Winners   12:00 p.m.
        
         Soccer America Top 20 (11/3)
            Team                Record  Last Week
        1.  North Carolina *    19-0-1  1
        2.  NOTRE DAME          18-0-1  2
        3.  Portland *          13-3-0  4
        4.  Santa Clara         14-2-1  3
        5.  Connecticut *       18-2-0  5
        6.  Texas A&M           16-2-0  6
        7.  Nebraska            16-2-0  7
        8.  Florida             16-2-1  8
        9.  Virginia            13-3-2  9
        10. Duke *              14-4-0  11
        11. Minnesota           16-2-1  10
        12. William & Mary      15-4-0  12
        13. Hartford            16-1-1  13
        14. Clemson             12-5-0  17
        15. Maryland            10-7-2  16
        16. SMU                 13-4-1  14
        17. UCLA                15-2-0  18
        18. Penn State          14-5-1  19
        19. Georgia             14-4-1  NR
        20. Michigan *          15-3-1  20
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
        
        NSCAA Top 25 (11/3)
                Team            Record  Points
        1.  North Carolina *    19-0-1  300
        2.  NOTRE DAME          18-0-1  288
        3.  Portland *          13-3-0  276
        4.  Connecticut *       18-2-0  262
        5.  Texas A&M           16-2-0  248
        6.  Santa Clara         14-0-1  242
        7.  Nebraska            16-2-0  230
        8T. Duke *              14-4-0  210
        8T. Virginia            13-3-2  210
        10. Minnesota           16-2-1  194
        11. Hartford            16-1-1  180
        12T.Clemson             12-5-0  156
        12T.William & Mary      15-4-0  156
        14. Michigan *          15-3-1  152
        15. Florida             16-2-1  132
        16. Harvard             10-3-2  118
        17. SMU                 13-4-1  110
        18. Maryland            10-7-2  96
        19. UCLA                15-2-0  94
        20. Massachusetts       15-4-0  60
        21. BYU                 17-2-0  52
        22. Penn State          14-5-1  40
        23T.    Georgia         14-4-1  34
        23T.    Vanderbilt      12-6-0  34
        25. George Mason        11-4-4  14
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
        
        Soccer America Top 20 (10/20)
                Team            Record  Last Week
        1.  North Carolina *    12-0-1  1
        2.  NOTRE DAME          12-0-1  2
        3.  Santa Clara         11-0-1  6
        4.  Portland *           8-3-0  4
        5.  Connecticut *       12-1-0  7
        6.  Virginia            10-1-2  5
        7.  Duke *              10-2-0  8
        8.  Texas A&M           12-2-0  3
        9.  Florida             10-2-1  10
        10. Nebraska            12-2-0  11
        11. Minnesota           12-1-1  12
        12. Clemson              9-3-0  9
        13. William & Mary       9-4-0  13
        14. Hartford            10-1-1  15
        15. SMU                  9-4-0  16
        16. Maryland             7-4-2  19
        17. Massachusetts       11-2-0  18
        18. Wake Forest          8-4-1  14
        19. Baylor              10-3-0  NR
        20. UCLA                10-2-0  NR
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
        
        
        NSCAA Top 25 (10/20)
                Team            Record  Points
        1.  North Carolina *    15-0-1  300
        2.  NOTRE DAME          14-0-1  288
        3.  Portland *           9-3-0  274
        4.  Duke *              12-2-0  254
        5.  Virginia            12-1-2  250
        6.  Santa Clara         12-1-1  238
        7.  Texas A&M           13-2-0  234
        8.  Connecticut *       14-1-0  226
        9.  Nebraska            12-2-0  198
        10. Minnesota           14-1-1  188
        11. Hartford            12-1-1  178
        12. George Mason         9-2-4  160
        13. Michigan *          13-2-1  152
        14. Florida             12-2-1  148
        15. Massachusetts       13-2-0  134
        16. William & Mary      11-4-0  124
        17. SMU                 11-4-0  118
        18. USC                 13-1-1  88
        19. Maryland             7-5-2  84
        20. Clemson             10-4-0  70
        21. BYU                 14-1-0  52
        22. Harvard              8-3-2  48
        23. Vanderbilt           9-6-0  40
        24. UNC-Greensboro      13-4-0  20
        25. Penn State          11-4-1  16
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
    

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