Sept. 25, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kerri Hanks remained among the national scoring leaders with a goal and an assist and the Notre Dame defense posted its fourth straight shutout, as the fifth-ranked Notre Dame women's soccer team improved to 9-1-0 with Sunday's 3-0 win at Louisville.
Notre Dame - off to a 3-0-0 start in BIG EAST Conference play - has outscored the opposition 20-1 in the past five games, rebounding from its only loss of the season. The Irish now own a +99 victory margin vs. BIG EAST teams since joining the conference in 1995, with a 109-10-3 record (.903) in those games.
Louisville (7-3-0, 2-1-0) played direct for most of the game, trying to exploit the speed of preseason all-BIG EAST forward Jamie Craft by sending long balls for counter-attack chances. Notre Dame finished with a 17-10 edge in total shots and 9-7 in shots on goal, with many of those Louisville chances coming from long range that yielded routine stops for sophomore Lauren Karas. The Irish also owned a 7-2 edge in corner kicks and now have allowed just 12 corners in 10 games played this season.
Notre Dame's dominance during the 2003-05 seasons now includes a 46-2-2 record in the past 50 regular-season games. The Irish continued to play minus three starters - goalkeeper Erika Bohn, central defender Kim Lorenzen and defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek - while also playing with freshman Kerry Inglis and sophomore Jannica Tjeder, who have been out all season due to injury.
Notre Dame has scored three-plus goals in nine of 10 games this season, reaching four-plus goals in seven of those games (including three 6-0 victories and the season-opening 11-1 win over New Hampshire).
The game appeared headed for a scoreless halftime break before the visitors claimed a 2-0 lead, with the goals coming in a span of 44 seconds. Senior forward Katie Thorlakson set up the first goal with a corner kick from the rightside flag. Freshman midfielder Brittany Bock tracked the service beyond the far-left post and sent a sharp header back across the goalmouth. The ball then was redirected off a Louisville player for the first goal of the game (43:33).
The Irish - now 53-1-0 in their past 54 games when scoring first - added a second goal less than a minute later. Hanks set up for a direct free kick from 30 yards out, offset to the left side of the field. The second-semester freshman sent a rising shot over Louisville's wall and into the left side of the net, for her 16th goal in just 10 games played this season (44:17).
The goal produced the margin that has signaled victory in all but one game during Notre Dame's 17-year history, as the Irish now have won 215 consecutive games when claiming a 2-0 lead (238-0-1 all-time).
Hanks already ranks 18th on the Notre Dame single-season goals list and has tied Cindy Daws (in '93) for the fifth-most goals ever by a Notre Dame freshman, seven shy of the freshman record (23) set by Anne Makinen in 1997. Jenny Heft holds the program's overall record for goals in a season, with 28 as a junior in 1998.
Thorlakson and Hanks combined for the third goal early in the second half. Sophomore forward Susan Pinnick collected a loose ball in the middle third and battled down the left side before playing a pass to Thorlakson. The Canadian national teamer then slid past the Louisville pursuit and pushed a pass into the penalty area for Hanks, who was unable to connect on the running tie. The ball kicked back to Thorlakson on the left side of the box and she quickly sent a low shot inside the near post for her ninth goal of the season and 46th of her career (49:45).
The score marked another traditional clincher for Notre Dame women's soccer, as the Irish now are 121-1-0 since mid-1995 when scoring 3-plus goals (219-3-1/.984 all-time).
Hanks (16G-5A) and Thorlakson (9G-13A) now have combined for 68 points, averaging nearly seven points per game as a tandem in the 2005 season.
The second-half goal pushed Thorlakson's career point total to 143, passing Rosella Guerrero (142; '92-'95) into ninth place on the Irish career scoring list (next up Guerrero's classmate Michelle McCarthy, who totaled 156 career points). Thorlakson's 46 career goals remain 10th in Notre Dame history (two behind her former teammate Amanda Guertin) while she also remains seventh in Irish history with 51 assists. She enters the second half of the season four goals shy of becoming the 17th player in Division I history to reach 50 goals and 50 assists.
Hanks entered the week ranked second in the nation in goals and third in points, adding an eight-point weekend (3G-2A) that pushes her season totals to 37 points on 16 goals and five assists.
NOTES - The Irish arrived via bus on Saturday afternoon and had a classic team-bonding outing later that night, at the Lucky Strike bowling facility in downtown Louisville ... sophomores Amanda Cinalli and Ashley Jones put up some impressive numbers on the lanes (as did senior Jenny Walz) while Thorlakson and athletic trainer Kelli Fitzgerald waged a 1-on-1 battle that saw Fitzgerald post a win over the competitive senior ... the Lucky Strike, modeled after a similar high-end bowling alley in Hollywood, provides miles-per-hour data on the screens and the Irish contingent cheered as Fitzgerald topped 20 mph with several of her booming rolls ... the top freshman goal totals in ND history include Makinen's 23 and Meotis Erikson's 22 in '97, Jenny Streiffer's 22 in '96 and Monica Gerardo's 20 in '95 ... Hanks is on pace for 29 goals in the 18-game regular season, which would best Heft's ND record ... she also is on track for 67 points in the regular season, which would rank 3rd all-time (before any postseason points) behind totals posted by Daws in '96 (72) and Thorlakson in '04 (70) ... no Division I women's soccer freshman has reached 30 goals since 1996, with the top freshman goalscoring seasons belonging to SMU's Lisa Cole (37, in 1987), Baylor's Molly Cameron (32, in 1996) and Washington State's Kim Lynass (30, in 1990) ... Cameron - who played for current ND head coach Randy Waldrum when he was the founding coach of the Baylor program - is the only freshman in the previous 14 seasons to reach 30 goals ... Thorlakson has points in 19 of her past 21 games with the Irish ... Thorlakson (80), senior M Annie Schefter (61) and junior M Jen Buczkowski (61) have played in every game of their ND career while junior D Christie Shaner has appeared in 58 straight and 60 of 61 ... Thorlakson is the 35th player in ND history (17th in the Waldrum era) to log 80-plus games ... Karas has started five straight games and now is 11-0-0 in her Notre Dame career, with a 0.19 season goals-against avg. in 2005 while stopping 12 of 13 shots ... ND's updated season stats include the 48-5 scoring edge (avg. of 4.8-0.5), plus 215-43 in shots (21.5-4.3), 116-23 in shots on goal (11.6-2.3) and 65-12 in corner kicks (6.5-1.2) ... ND's current players have combined to play 945 career games, with 577 starts ... the Irish have held 31 of their past 33 opponents to 0-1 goals ... ND has allowed just 28 first-half goals in the past five seasons (103 GP; 4 in '04, 2 in '05) ... ND leads the series with Louisville 3-1-0 (Sunday was the first meeting in the series since '91) ... since a 3-2 loss to BYU on Oct. 19, 2002, ND has trailed in just 12 of 65 games for 283:06 (4.9% of 5,774:11), going 57-6-2 in that stretch ... the Irish have scored goals in 200 of 208 regular-season games (.962) during the past 12 seasons ('94-'06) ... ND has owned the corner-kick edge in 19 of the past 22 games.
#5 Notre Dame (9-1-0, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) 2 1 - 3
Louisville (7-3-0, 2-1-0 BIG EAST) 0 0 - 0
Shots: ND 7-10 - 17, LOU 1-9 - 10
Corner Kicks: ND 4-3 - 7, LOU 0-2 - 2
Saves: ND 7 (Lauren Karas), LOU 6 (Deana Waintraub)
Fouls: ND 9, LOU 11
Offsides: ND 2, LOU 1
Yellow Cards: Monique Gjini (LOU) 32:54; Amy Seng (LOU) 44:17