Aug. 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The fifth-ranked Notre Dame women's soccer team got its 2008 season off to a flying start with a 7-0 win over Michigan on Friday night before a crowd of 1,201 fans at Alumni Field. Seven different Irish players scored goals in the victory, as Notre Dame improved to 18-2-1 all-time in season openers and posted their fifth consecutive shutout over the Wolverines, dating back to the 2004 national championship season.
Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) and sophomore forward Erica Iantorno (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale) each picked up a goal and an assist, while junior midfielder Courtney Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) dished out two assists for Notre Dame. Three other players -- sophomore forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin), freshman forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) and freshman midfielder Ellen Jantsch (Kansas City, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) -- scored their first career goals on Friday night, while freshman center back Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) notched her first career assist.
Notre Dame (1-0) dominated the Wolverines statistically, outshooting UM by a 34-4 margin, including an 18-1 edge in shots on goal. The Irish also owned an 8-2 edge in corner kicks, with all eight coming in the second half. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) started a season opener for the third consecutive year and was not tested in the first half. Sophomore netminder Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn./Immaculate) came on at the break and finished off the shutout for the Irish, making one save.
In all, 26 of the 29 players on the Notre Dame roster got into the game, including eight of the nine freshmen. In fact, at one point in the second half, the Irish had five rookies on the field at one time, offering tremendous hope for the future of the Notre Dame program.
It didn't take very long for the Irish to get on the board, scoring on their first shot with 6:19 gone (the sixth-fastest season-opening goal in school history). Hanks switched the point of attack with a cross-field pass to the top right corner of the box, where junior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) gathered in the ball, cut back across the area and blasted a left-footed shot from 15 yards out low into the right-side netting. It was Hanks' 59th career assist, putting her just one helper away from becoming the sixth player in NCAA Division I history (and third from Notre Dame) to amass 60 goals and 60 assists in her career.
The Irish put the game on ice with a three-goal flurry in a span of less than nine minutes midway through the first half. Sophomore midfielder/forward Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) started the spree at 29:30, as Schuveiller looped a ball over the Michigan backline, where Augustin went solo with Wolverine goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer and won the battle with a gorgeous chip from the top of the box over a charging Kopmeyer. Just before the 33-minute mark, Notre Dame struck again, as Rosen rifled a shot off the crossbar, with the ball richocheting directly onto Henderson's foot and the Irish rookie volleyed in the rebound. Iantorno capped the outburst at 37:18, taking Rosen's cross-field pass on the right side, cutting to the center of the box and tagging a left-footed shot that grazed a UM defender before finding the back of the net.
Michigan (0-1) made a goalkeeper change at halftime, putting Madison Gates between the pipes. However, that switch did nothing to curb the Notre Dame offensive surge, as Knaack rudely greeted Gates with a goal 31 seconds into the second half on a curling shot from the top right of the box. Less than six minutes later, Hanks and Iantorno hooked up for a score, as Iantorno drove to the left endline before serving a ball back for a crashing Hanks, who potted her first goal of the campaign (and 65th of her illustrious career). The Irish completed the scoring in the 86th minute, as Jantsch nodded home a cross from the right endline by junior defender Rachel VanderGenugten (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central), who picked up her second career assist.
Notre Dame will return to action next Friday, Aug. 29, when it plays host to the Inn at Saint Mary's Soccer Classic at Alumni Field. The Irish will take on Loyola Marymount in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. (ET), with 12th-ranked West Virginia and #22 Santa Clara slated to tangle in the opener at 5 p.m. (ET). Tickets for these, and all Notre Dame home games this season, are available through the Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), on-line at the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets), and at the Alumni Field ticket windows on game night.
POST GAME NOTES: In addition to its 18-2-1 (.881) record in season openers, Notre Dame is 11-1-1 (.885) when kicking off the season at home (10-1-1, .875, at Alumni Field) ... the Irish posted their largest win in 16 career games against Michigan (previous a 5-0 win over Oct. 31, 1997, at Alumni Field) and improved to 13-2-1 all-time in the series ... Notre Dame has shut out the Wolverines in the past five-plus series games, covering a total of 518:22 since Nov. 16, 2003, when UM's Stephanie Chavez scored at 51:38 to provide the only scoring in a 1-0 Michigan win in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Alumni Field ... Notre Dame's seven different goalscorers tied for the most in the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (1999-present), with the Irish spreading the wealth to seven players on three other occasions (most recently on Aug. 26, 2005, in an 11-1 season-opening rout of New Hampshire at Burlington, Vt.) ... Notre Dame's seven goals also matched the sixth-highest offensive output in a season opener, and the fourth time in five seasons the Irish have scored seven or more goals in their first regular-season contests (7-2 vs. Baylor in 2004; 11-1 vs. New Hampshire in 2005; 9-0 vs. Iowa State in 2006) ... Knaack's goal 31 seconds into the second half was only 19 seconds off the school record for the fastest second-half scorer (45:12 by Amy VanLaecke vs. Wisconsin on Nov. 24, 1996, in the second round of the NCAA Championship) ... with her goal and assist against Michigan, Hanks moved into a tie for third place on the Notre Dame career points list with 189 (65G-59A), catching Cindy Daws (1993-96) and Jenny Heft (1996-99), and breaking her previous tie with Anne Makinen (186 points from 1997-2000) ... Hanks' 65th career goal pulls her even with Makinen for fourth in school history, with Jenny Streiffer next on the list (70 from 1996-99) ... Hanks also was credited with 19th career game-winning assist, giving her sole possession of fourth place on the Irish all-time list (Daws had 18 from 1993-96; Streiffer is next with 21) ... Hanks now has 53 career game-winning points, only three behind former teammate Katie Thorlakson (56 from 2002-05) for the school record.