Oct. 16, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Katie Thorlakson had a goal and three assists - becoming just the 17th player (fifth from Notre Dame) in 24 seasons of Division I women's soccer to reach 50 goals and 50 assists in her career - as the sixth-ranked Irish women's soccer team posted its fifth straight shutout, 6-0 over Providence, in Sunday afternoon action at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (14-2-0, 8-1-0 BIG EAST) has clinched at least a share of its BIG EAST Conference divisional title and will play host to a BIG EAST quarterfinal game on Oct. 29 or 30.
Six different Notre Dame players combined on the six goals, with Candace Chapman, Annie Schefter, Maggie Manning, Lizzie Reed and Kerri Hanks joining Thorlakson in finding the net. Hanks - who scored for the 19th time this season - tacked on two assists while Schefter and Chapman added assists in the high-scoring game.
The Irish extended their home unbeaten streak versus BIG EAST teams to 63 games (62-0-1, dating back to '95) and now are unbeaten in 22 consecutive overall games played at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame's pressuring attack and stout defensive group helped rack up a 34-3 edge in total shots during Sunday's game while the Irish had all 21 shots on goal and five of the six corner kicks. It marked the second time in the past three games that Notre Dame has not surrendered a shot on goal.
The Irish utilized 25 of their 26 healthy players during Sunday's game, gaining quality minutes for many of the reserves while pacing the starters in anticipation of the upcoming postseason.
Notre Dame has dominated the opposition during the past five games, since suffering a rare BIG EAST loss at Marquette (after failing to close out an early 1-0 lead in that game). The team's current shutout streak spans 480:03 and includes a 22-0 scoring edge, plus a 136-21 shot margin, 82-5 in shots on goal and 47-15 in corner kicks.
The past three games have been even more dominating, as the Irish have totaled a 17-0 scoring edge while allowing just one shot on goal (50-1, also 78-9 in total shots and 25-9 in CKs) spanning wins over Seton Hall (7-0), #10 Connecticut (4-0) and Providence. Since an early scoring chance for Rutgers on Oct. 7, Notre Dame has allowed just one shot on goal in the past 347 minutes of game action.
The Irish have been the nation's top-scoring team all season (now 4.44 goals per game) and now have amassed 71 goals, actually totaling two more goals than its opponents combined shots (69) this season. Notre Dame's season goal total also has surpassed that of the 2004 national championship team that totaled 70 goals in 27 games played.
The Notre Dame opponents have combined for just 32 shots on goal all season, putting the Irish on pace for a team record with 2.00 shots on goal allowed per game (the '97 team allowed 2.12 SOG/gm). Notre Dame's 11 shutouts rank second in the nation and the Irish have held 14 of 16 opponents to 0-1 goals this season.
Thorlakson has been the unrivaled top all-around offensive player in Division I women's soccer during the past two seasons, racking up 36 goals and 45 assists (117 points) in 43 games played during that two-year stretch. Her 159 career points (now 8th in the ND record book) include 50 goals and 59 assists, joining four previous Notre Dame players and 12 others among the elite 50-50 club.
Since 1999, just eight players have reached the 50-50 milestone - but three of them have been Notre Dame players (no other school has more than one 50-50 player in that seven-year span). Former Notre Dame standout Jenny Streiffer had 70 goals and 71 assists from 1996-99 (she and former UNC great Mia Hamm remain the only 70-70 players) while Anne Makinen's national player-of-the-year season in 2000 saw her cap her career with 65 goals and 56 assists.
All but five of the 17 all-time members of the 50-50 club have played for Notre Dame (5) or North Carolina (7).
Thorlakson's 59 assists - including a nation-leading 21 in '05 - suddenly rank 4th in Notre Dame history and 9th in the NCAA record book. She also becomes the third player in NCAA history to reach 20 assists in multiple seasons (24 in '04), joining former Irish great Holly Manthei (30 in '94, 21 in '95, 44 in '96, 34 in '97) and another player from a BIG EAST school (UConn's Jen Tietjen, 23 in '97, 22 in '97) in that distinction.
Thorlakson (13G-21A) and Hanks (19G-9A) fittingly share the team lead in points (47), entering the final week of the regular season. The pair entered the week ranked third (Hanks, 43) and fourth (Thorlakson, 38) among the national scoring leaders, with no other team featuring multiple players with even 30 points each.
Hanks set the first goal in motion in the 12th minute, after chasing down the ball near the left corner and dumping a pass back to the flank. Schefter then showed her tremendous ability on deep crosses, as the senior midfielder stepped into the pass with her left foot and sent the ball into the goal area. Thorlakson was all alone with 'keeper Ashley Fedshyn in the center of the box and the senior forward displayed her diverse scoring touch, going low to nudge a tricky header that carried into the far-right sidenetting for her 13th goal of the season and the historic 50th of her career (11:23).
Thorlakson now has 16 gamewinning goals to go along with 18 gamewinning assists, with her 50 career gamewinning points ranking just one behind Streiffer's record total in Notre Dame history (Streiffer had a hand in 36 career GWGs, two more than Thorlakson's current total).
Less than two minutes later, Thorlakson threaded a thru-ball to Chapman and her fellow Canadian National Team member buried a shot inside the left post for the quick 2-0 lead (13:17). It marked the first goal of the season for the fifth-year veteran, who made the start at forward (where she played for most of '04) rather than at her usual defensive spot at right back.
Notre Dame completed its three-goal blitz in a span of six minutes, after Schefter collected her own first goal of the season. Thorlakson again sent the ball into the center of the box for Chapman, who tapped the ball to her left while avoiding the charging Fedshyn. Chapman could have kept the ball close for her own shot but instead pushed it toward the far left post - with Schefter angling into the play and blasting her shot high into the right-sidenetting (17:28). It marked the 10th career goal for Schefter, with each of them coming in the friendly confines of Alumni Field.
Notre Dame now is 58-2-0 in its past 60 games when scoring first, has won 219 straight when claiming a 2-0 lead (242-0-1 all-time) and is 130-1-0 in its past 131 games when scoring three-plus goals (226-3-1 all-time).
The Irish added another goal midway through the opening half, as Manning took a feed from Hanks and ripped a 16-yard shot past the 'keeper (29:11). Manning's impressive final season includes six goals on just 14 shots (10 on goal), nearly matching her goal total (7) from the previous three seasons combined.
Reed scored shortly before halftime for a 5-0 lead at the intermission. Sophomore Amanda Cinalli - who started at midfield and later shifted to forward - started the sequence with a pass from the lower right corner of the box. Junior forward Molly Iarocci then sent the ball on to the far side of the box and Reed was in position, placing her shot back into the right-sidenetting (42:11) for her second goal of the season (she also scored last Sunday in the win over Seton Hall).
The hosts capped the scoring early in the second half, as the nation's top-ranked scoring tandem combined on a goal for the 13th time this season. Thorlakson nearly lost possession of the ball in the top left corner of the box but quickly changed direction and drove for the endline before angling towards the near post. The reigning BIG EAST offensive player of the year then quickly slid a pass across the goalmouth and Hanks sent home her 19th goal of the season from close range (58:11).
Additional Updated Thorlakson Notes - since the loss at Marquette, she has scored (2) or assisted (3) on each of ND's past five GWGs ... she has 3 GWGs and 8 GWAs for the season, yielding 14 GW points (after an ND record 23 in '04, with 8 GWGs and 7 GWAs) ... her 8 GWAs this season are tied for the ND record (also Manthei in '95 and '96, Streiffer in '97) ... players ahead of her on the NCAA career assists list include Manthei (129), Hamm (72; '89-'93), Streiffer (71), Alyssa Ramsey (71; UNC, '00--'03), Marit Foss (70; Jacksonville, '97-'00), former ND great Cindy Daws (67; ND, '93-'96), Mandy Clemens (65; Santa Clara; '96-'99), Tietjin (64; '95-'98) and Carin Jennings (60; UCSB, '83-'86) ... her 159 points passed Michelle McCarthy ('93-'96) into 8th on that ND chart (next up is Meotis Erikson, with 164) ... Sunday marked her 10th career game with 5-plus points ... she now ranks 3rd in the ND record book with 18 career GWAs and 5th with 16 GWGs ... moved past Makinen (56) and current U.S. National Team standout Shannon Boxx (57) into 4th on the ND career assists list ... remains 9th on ND career goals list (Rosella Guerrero is next, with 55) ... has totaled 118 points in 43 GP during the past two seasons (36G-46A, 118 pts; 2.8 ppg) ... has points in 24 of ND's past 27 games while scoring or assisting on 58 of ND's past 100 goals ... has racked up 50 points in her past 12 home games (15G-20A), with 77 points at home in the past two seasons (21 GP) and 97 points at home from '03-'05 (31G-33A, 10 GWG in 37 GP).
Dynamic Duo - Thorlakson and Hanks (32 combined goals, 30 assists) are on the verge of becoming the third set of ND teammates to post 50-plus points in a season (each needs 3 pts) ... in 1996, four ND players had 50-plus (Daws 72, Streiffer 66, Monica Gerardo 59 and Manthei 54) while the '97 team saw Makinen (58), Streiffer (58) and Erikson (56) all top 56 ... the top points totals by ND players in the past six season ('00-'05) belong to Thorlakson (70 in '04, 47 in '05) and Hanks (47 in '05) ... their 47 points are tied for 19th in the ND record book ... in addition to remaining 5th on the ND list for goals by a freshman, Hanks now ranks 7th all-time among ND freshmen in points behind Streiffer (66), Makinen (58), Erikson (58), Daws (52), Gerardo (51) and Manthei (48) ... Hanks has goals in 11 games this season and points in 13 (as does Thorlakson) ... Thorlakson (23 in '04), Hanks (19 in '04) and Jenny Heft (19 in '99) are the only players to score 19-plus goals in the seven-year Randy Waldrum era ... Hanks are Thorlakson are on pace for 80 points if ND were to play another 27-game season (Daws holds the ND record with 72 points in '96) ... Hanks now stands 14th on the ND single-season goals chart and would earn a share of 9th place by scoring her next goal.
Additional Team Notes - The Irish scored six-plus goals for the sixth time this season and have scored four-plus in 11 games this season ... ND is 51-3-2 in its past 56 regular-season games ... Thorlakson (86, Schefter (67) and junior M Jen Buczkowski (67) have played in every game of their career while junior D Christie Shaner has played in 66 of 67 (64 straight) ... despite losing twice this season, ND's win pct. (.875) trails just seven teams among 300-plus in Div. I: Penn State (15-0-0), Portland (14-0-1), UTEP (14-1-1), UNC (14-1-0), UCLA (13-1-0), BYU (13-1-1) and Lehigh (10-1-1) ... Chapman (19G-22A) now ranks 23rd on the ND career points list and needs one goal to become the 21st ND player with 20G-20A ... Cinalli had assists in both games this weekend, giving her 11 for the season (she entered the week ranked 6th in the nation in assists) ...ND has held 36 of its past 39 opponents to 0-1 goals.
Providence 0 0 - 0
ND 1. Katie Thorlakson 13 (Annie Schefter, Kerri Hanks) 11:23; ND 2. Candace Chapman 1 (Thorlakson) 13:17; ND 3. Annie Schefter 2 (Chapman, Thorlakson); ND 4. Maggie Manning 6 (Hanks) 29:11; ND 5. Lizzie Reed 2 (Molly Iarocci, Amanda Cinalli) 42:11; ND 6. Hanks 19 (Thorlakson) 58:11.
Shots: PC 1-2 - 3, ND 21-13 - 34