Oct. 19, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Kerri Hanks converted a first-half penalty kick while Becca Mendoza's pair of goals highlighted another strong second half from Notre Dame, as the 15th-ranked Irish women's soccer team rolled to its seventh straight win, 4-0 over Providence, in Friday-night action at Alumn Field. With three regular-season games still remaining, Notre Dame (10-4-1, 8-0-0 BIG EAST) has all but locked up the BIG EAST National Division title - as second-place Louisville (5-2-1) now is eight points behind the Irish.
Notre Dame extended its home unbeaten streak versus BIG EAST teams to 77 games (76-0-1; dating back to 1995) and is unbeaten in 32 straight overall games against conference opponents (since mid-2005). The Irish have outscored their opponents 26-2 in the winning streak, including six straight games with three-plus goals and six straight wins by a margin of three or more goals. Notre Dame has allowed only 12 shots on goal (1.7/gm) and 10 corner kicks (1.4/gm) in the winnign streak. Friday night's game included a 27-3 edge for the Irish in total shots, plus 14-1 in shots on goal and 8-2 in corner kicks.
Providence goalkeeper Laura Elfers committed a hard foul on Hanks to set up the first goal, with Hanks then placing the penalty kick into the right side of the net for her ninth goal of the season and 59th of her career (33:51).
Despite scoring just once in the first half, the Irish turned things up in the second 45 minutes. Notre Dame now has totaled nearly twice as many goals in the second half (26) as in the first half (14) this season.
Mendoza showed good hustle to score twice in the first eight minutes of the
second half, doubling her career goal total in three seasons with the Irish. Senior Susan Pinnick then capped the scoring in the 86th minute, her third goal of the season and 12th in her three active seasons at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame's 20 seasons of women's soccer now have produced 23 different winnings streaks spanning seven or more games, including 10 win streaks of seven games or longer in the nine-year Randy Waldrum era.
The Irish again played minus two injured starters - senior F/M Amanda Cinalli (missed fourth game in the past five) and sophomore center back Haley Ford (has not played for 11 straight games) - who have been sidelined with hamstring injuries. With sophomore forward Michele Weissenhofer also still returning to form after an earlier ankle injury, the timely production from Mendoza continues a recent trend of clutch efforts that also includes freshman forward Rose Augustin's 2G-1A in the win over Villanova and a five-game point streak from senior midfielder Ashley Jones.
Mendoza showed deft ability on the ball to score her first goal of the season and second of her career, after collecting the ball on the left side of the box and working around a defender before depositing a far-post shot into the right side of the net (46:32).
The Irish now have won 254 consecutive games when claiming a 2-0 lead, dating back to the 1991 season.
Just seven minutes later, a rightside corner kick from Hanks led to the game's third goal. The ball glanced off several players' heads, including junior center back Carrie Dew. Mendoza again was in position and lofted a 16-yard shot into the far-right sidenetting (53:50). Notre Dame now has posted 74 straight wins when scoring three-plus goals in a game.
Sophomore defender Rachel VanderGenutgen - who won a national title in the summer of 2007 with her Carmel Cyclones club team but has been slowed this fall by a nagging foot injury - made the most of her first game action by clearing the zone to set up the final goal. Sophomore midfielder Micaela Alvarez raced down the left flank and provided a perfect lead cross to Pinnick, who took a couple touches before burying her far-post shot into the left side of the net (85:34).
NOTES - Alvarez has totaled three assists in 67 minutes of action this season (six games played) ... senior goalkeeper Lauren Karas now owns a 45-4-1 career record ... Hanks has 3G-4A in three career games vs. PC ... Hanks (9G-9A) is approaching double-digits in goals and assists for the third straight season ... Hanks now is tied with Meotis Erikson and Michelle McCarthy for sixth on the ND career goals list (59), trailing only Jenny Heft (80), Monica Gerardo (73), Jenny Streiffer (70), Anne Makinen (65) and Cindy Daws (61) ... Hanks also is tied with Erikson for eighth on the ND career points list (164), 13 back of Holly Manthei ... the PK produced the fourth gamewinning goal this season for Hanks while giving her 16 career GWGs, tied with Makinen and Rosella Guerrero for sixth on that ND list (three shy of the record, shared by McCarthy and Jenny Heft) ... Hanks owns 45 career game-winning points (16 GWG-13 GWA), tied with Makinen and Heft for fifth in ND history (behind Thorlakson's 56, Streiffer's 51, Amanda Guertin's 47 and McCarthy's 46) ... Jones had played in all 94 games of her ND career, the seventh-longest streak of consective games played in the Irish record book (behind Jen Buczkowski's 103, Erikson's 101, Shannon Boxx's 101, Kate Fisher and Jen Renola's 98, and Thorlakson's 95) ... Jones is tied with Cindy Daws for 20th on the ND list of career games played, one behind three of her former teammates (Thorlakson, Kim Lorenzen and Jill Krivacek) and Monica Gonzalez (Buczkowski owns the GP record, with 103).
Providence (3-11-1, 2-6-0 BIG EAST) 0 0 - 0
#15 Notre Dame (10-4-1, 8-0-0 BIG EAST) 1 3 - 4
ND 1. Kerri Hanks 9th of season/59th of career (PK) 33:51; ND 2. Becca Mendoza 1/2 (-) 46:32; ND 3. Mendoza 2/3 (Carrie Dew) 53:50; ND 4. Susan Pinnick 3/12 (Micaela Alvarez, Rachel VanderGenutgen) 85:34.
Shots: PC 2-1 - 3, ND 16-11 - 27
Corner Kicks: PC 1-1 - 2 , ND 5-3 - 8
Saves: PC 10 (Lauren Elfers); ND 1 (Lauren Karas 1 in 59:34; Kelsey Lysander 0 in 30:26)
Fouls: PC 7, ND 13
Offside: PC 0, ND 2
Yellow Cards: Elfers (PC) 33:53; Dew (ND) 76:01