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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 12, 1997

    #2 Notre Dame Wins Third Big East Championship

    Faces Cincinnati in Fifth Straight NCAA Championship Appearance

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team won its third straight BIG EAST championship with a 7-0 win over Villanova in the semifinals and a 6-1 win over fourth-ranked Connecticut in the finals at Yurcak Field at Rutgers. The win gave the Irish an automatic bid into their fifth straight NCAA women's soccer championship where Notre Dame will play host to Cincinnati at Alumni Field on Sun., Nov. 16 at 1:00 p.m.

    BIG EAST Championship Review: Freshman midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) scored a hat trick to lead Notre Dame to its third straight BIG EAST championship with a 6-1 win over fourth-ranked and second-seeded Connecticut at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. The Irish took control of the championship game early, scoring just 2:27 into the contest when Monica Gerardo (Simi Valley, Calif.) blasted a shot from 10 yards that bounced out of the hands of Connecticut goalkeeper Jen Traw. Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) pounced on the loose ball, scoring from eight yards into the upper right corner of the net. Gerardo set up the next Notre Dame goal when she was fouled in the box on a drive to the goal. Makinen converted on a penalty kick to put the Irish up 2-0 just 6:40 into the contest. Makinen made it 3-0 when she volleyed in a failed clear from 20 yards that blasted into the upper center of the net. Streiffer split the Connecticut defense with a pass from the top of the box to Shannon Boxx (Torrance, Calif.) who dribbled in from the left wing and scored into the upper right corner of the net at 39:51. Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas) capped the first half for Notre Dame when she intercepted a goal kick and fired a low shot into the right corner of the net from 20 yards at 44:37. Connecticut scored its only goal of the game at 54:35 when Sarah Barnes headed in a pass from the top of the box from Jen Tietjen over the head of Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.). Makinen capped off her hat trick when she scored Notre Dame's only goal of the second half at 85:52. Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.) split the Huskie defenders with a feed just past midfield for a Makinen breakaway that she converted just inside the box into the right corner of the net past the extended Connecticut goalkeeper. Against Villanova in the semifinals, the Irish used two goals each from Erikson and Streiffer for a 7-0 win over the fourth-seeded Wildcats. Erikson scored what would be the game-winning goal at 5:46 from five yards when she one-timed a pass from the top of the box from Gerardo. Streiffer made it 2-0 just 19 seconds later when she headed in a cross from Kara Brown (Avon, Conn.). Notre Dame outshot Villanova 38-3 in the contest.

    Makinen "Outstanding" In BIG EAST Championship: Anne Makinen scored a tournament-record four goals, including a hat trick in the championship game, and was named BIG EAST championship most outstanding player, joining Amy VanLaecke in 1995 and Cindy Daws in 1996 as other Notre Dame players to win the award. Makinen was at her best in the championship game, dominating play in the midfield. Her three goals in the championship game were the most scored by an individual in a championship game and her four goals were the most scored in a championship.

    Cincinnati Preview: With a record of 16-4-3, Cincinnati won the Conference USA crown and beat Trans America Athletic Conference champion Georgia State 2-1 in overtime in a play-in game to earn its spot into the 32-team NCAA field. The Bearcats are led by Tina Matlock who scored both goals in the win over Georgia State. She has scored 13 goals and recorded 10 assists to lead Cincinnati. Goalkeeper Christy Hoffman has allowed just 0.95 goals per game while making 88 saves and registering nine shutouts. The Bearcats are coached by Meridy Glenn, one of eight members of the NCAA Division I women's soccer committee which selected the 32-team bracket. She also serves as chair of the Great Lakes NCAA advisory committee. The Irish and Bearcats have met four times with the last meeting coming in 1995, a 2-2 tie in Cincinnati. Notre Dame won the first three meetings 4-0 in 1991, 3-0 in 1992 and 7-1 in 1994. The Irish and Bearcats have two common opponents in 1997. Notre Dame beat Indiana 8-0 and Michigan State 7-0 while Cincinnati lost to Indiana 2-1 and beat Michigan State 2-1 in overtime.

    Irish In NCAA Championship: Notre Dame is making its fifth straight appearance in the NCAA championship, the eighth-best current streak. The Irish are 11-3 all-time in the NCAA championships for a .786 winning percentage, second best among all participants, and have advanced to each of the last three NCAA title games. Only George Mason (1993 first round) and North Carolina (1994 and 1996 finals) have beaten the Irish in the NCAA championships. Notre Dame's best results came in 1995 when the Irish beat top-seed North Carolina in the semifinals and undefeated Portland in finals, both by 1-0 scores, to win their first NCAA championship.

    Sobrero Voted BIG EAST Defensive Player Of The Year: Three-time All-American Kate Sobrero (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) was honored by the BIG EAST at the championship banquet as the Conference defensive player of the year, the first time a Notre Dame player has won the award in its three years in the league. She was also a first team all-BIG EAST selection for the second consecutive year. Sobrero has anchored a Notre Dame defense that has held the opposition to just 78 shots while the Irish have scored 113 goals. Notre Dame is outshooting its opponents by an average of 30-4 per game and outscoring them 5.43-0.29. In the 14 wins since the North Carolina tie, Notre Dame has outscored the opposition 86-2 and outshot them 428-46.

    Irish Draw Loaded: For Notre Dame to make its fourth straight NCAA semifinal appearance, the Irish would have to beat Cincinnati in the first round and then beat two of the other six ranked opponents in their quarter of the draw, with three of those six teams ranked among the top eight teams in the country by Soccer America and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). A possible second-round opponent for the Irish would be sixth-ranked Nebraska or 18th-ranked Michigan. A possible third-round opponent could be fourth-ranked Texas A&M or eighth-ranked Portland. Of the 20 teams ranked by Soccer America, seven were placed in Notre Dame's eight-team quarter of the draw with the other three quarters containing five, four and four ranked teams each. Of the 25 teams ranked by the NSCAA, seven are in both Notre Dame's and top-seeded North Carolina's quarters.

    Notre Dame Against NCAA Field: The Irish have played five of the 32 teams in the NCAA championship, recording a 5-0-1 record against these teams. Notre Dame has two wins over third-seeded Connecticut and wins over fifth-seeded Duke, seventh-seeded Portland and Michigan. The Irish tied the Tar Heels 2-2.

    Irish Tough At Home: Notre Dame has been unbeatable at home during the NCAA championships, building a 7-0-0 record at home and a 6-0-0 record at Alumni Field (Notre Dame played Maryland in the 1996 third round at Saint Mary's). The Irish have outscored the opposition 27-3 in those contests with first home NCAA game coming in 1994 in a 3-1 win against George Mason. The Irish are 53-1-1 in their last 55 home games and 76-5-1 (.933) all-time at Alumni Field.

    Notre Dame Schedule Seventh Toughest Among Top 25: According to Jeff Sagarin's latest college women's soccer power ratings, Notre Dame's 1997 schedule is the seventh toughest among teams ranked in this week's NSCAA Top 25 and 11th toughest of all teams. Only Maryland, North Carolina, Portland, Duke, Santa Clara and Virginia were computed to have harder schedules among the top 25. Of Notre Dame's 1997 opponents, six play schedules ranked among the 10 toughest, according to Sagarin.

    Irish In Conference Championships: The Irish have played in five conference championships beginning in 1993 and have left with the title in each of those five tournaments. Notre Dame won Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles in 1993 and 1994 and has three BIG EAST titles since joining the conference in 1995.

    beene
    LayKesia Beene

    Beene Continues To Lead Nation, Earns BIG EAST Honors: For the sixth straight week, sophomore goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) owns the lowest goals against average in the country at 0.29. She has allowed just six goals in 1871 minutes of action. Beene earned first team all-BIG EAST honors after recording a 0.18 goals against average in BIG EAST games and a BIG EAST record nine shutouts in conference 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 21 games in 1997 season, Beene has shut out 16 opponents, including three top 10 opponents, third-ranked Portland, fourth-ranked Connecticut and fifth-ranked Duke.

    Head Coach Chris Petrucelli: Chris Petrucelli is in his eighth season as head coach of Notre Dame's women's soccer team and has guided the Irish to their fifth straight NCAA appearance. 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 151-18-9 record with an .874 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 
    (20-0-1, 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 #         W, 7-0
        Sun.    9   vs. #4 Connecticut #    W, 6-1
        Sun.    16  Cincinnati $            1:00 p.m.
    $ NCAA first round
    # BIG EAST Championship, Piscataway, N.J.
    * BIG EAST Conference game  All times are local
    Bold CAPS home games played at Alumni Field
    BIG EAST Standings (Final)
            Team            BIG EAST    Overall
        1.  Notre Dame      11-0-0      20-0-1
        2.  Connecticut     10-1-0      19-3-0
        3.  Seton Hall      9-2-0       14-5-0
        4.  Villanova       6-4-1        8-8-2
        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
    6T.     Jenny Streiffer 55      
    18T.    Meotis Erikson  48
    20T.    Anne Makinen    47
    Assists 
    1.      Holly Manthei   29
    8T.     Jenny Streiffer 17
    10T.    Shannon Boxx    16
    Goals Against Average
        1.  LaKeysia Beene  0.29
    Team Scoring Average
        1.  Notre Dame      5.38
    Attendance
        5.  Notre Dame      1,320
        
    Soccer America Final Top 20 (11/10)
            Team                Record  Last Week
        1.  North Carolina *    22-0-1  1
        2.  Notre Dame          20-0-1  2
        3.  Santa Clara         17-2-1  4
        4.  Texas A&M           18-2-0  6
        5.  Connecticut *       19-3-0  5
        6.  Nebraska            17-3-0  7
        7.  Florida             19-2-1  8
        8.  Portland *          14-4-0  3
        9.  William & Mary      18-4-0  12
        10. Clemson             13-6-0  14
        11. Hartford            18-1-1  13
        12. Virginia            13-4-2  9
        13. Maryland            12-8-2  15
        14. Duke *              14-5-1  10
        15. SMU                 16-4-1  16
        16. UCLA                17-2-0  17
        17. Minnesota           17-2-2  11
        18. Michigan *          18-3-1  20
        19. Harvard             11-3-2  NR
        20. Georgia             15-5-1  19
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
        
    NSCAA Final Top 25 (11/10)
            Team                Record  Points
        1.  North Carolina *    22-0-1  300
        2.  Notre Dame          20-0-1  288
        3.  Santa Clara         17-2-1  268
        4.  Texas A&M           18-2-0  262
        5.  Connecticut *       19-3-0  260
        6.  Portland *          14-4-0  222
        7T. Nebraska            17-3-0  216
        7T. William & Mary      18-4-0  216
        9.  Florida             19-2-1  214
        10. Hartford            18-1-1  198
        11. Minnesota           18-2-2  184
        12. Duke *              14-5-0  172
        13. Virginia            13-4-2  150
        14. Clemson             13-6-0  146
        15. Michigan *          18-3-1  136
        16. Maryland            12-8-2  120
        17. Harvard             11-3-2  106
        18T.SMU                 16-4-1  98
        18T.UCLA                17-2-0  98
        20. Massachusetts       17-4-0  62
        21. Penn State          15-6-1  46
        22. Vanderbilt          14-7-0  42
        23. BYU                 19-3-0  36
        24. Georgia             15-5-1  32
        25. George Mason        13-5-4  18
        * indicates 1997 Notre Dame opponents
    

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