Nov. 4, 2005
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The nation's top scoring tandem of Katie Thorlakson and Kerri Hanks both scored again, Jen Buczkowski added the game's key second goal shortly after halftime and the Irish team defense continued its recent domination as fifth-ranked Notre Dame defeated 11th-ranked Marquette, 3-0, in Friday's night BIG EAST women's soccer semifinal at Valley Fields.
(Note that this recap now includes additional postgame notes and updated team notes, plus quotes, gameday photos and the list of stations airing Sunday's ND-UConn game.)
Notre Dame (18-2-0) - which extended its winning streak to nine games - moves on to Sunday's championship game (11:00 a.m. EST; live on several affiliates/listed below) and will face familiar foe Connecticut, which survived a double-overtime battle with West Virginia (1-0) in the earlier semifinal.
The win avenged one of two Notre Dame defeats this season, a Sept. 30 loss at Marquette that launched the Irish on their current winning streak. Notre Dame now has amassed a 41-1 scoring edge during the nine-game winning streak while allowing just nine shots on goal (1.0 per game) during that five-week span.
Marquette (17-3-1) - again playing with its unique stopper and sweeper lineup - managed its only shot on goal in the eighth minute of the game, a harmless cross into the box that bounced into the hands of senior 'keeper Erika Bohn. The stout Irish defense ultimately allowied just five total shots and no corner kicks. The two games vs. Marquette this season featured a 34-10 combined shot edge for the Irish, plus 20-5 in shots on goals and 14-3 in corners.
"At the end of the day, you want to see how your team is going to be performing at the right time of year and we are excited about our progress as we continued into the postseason," said seventh-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum, whose program will be seeking to win its eighth BIG EAST Tournament title but first since 2001.
"You can't put all you energy into thinking about a revenge game and things like that. We've been in this situation of pressure-packed postseason games so many times before and our players know what it takes to perform at a high level when it matters most. That will continue to be the challenge on Sunday and on into the NCAAs - but we are very pleased with how we are playing right now, in all facets."
The Irish improved to 23-2-0 (.920) all-time in the BIG EAST Tournament, including 8-1-0 in the semifinal round. Notre Dame also has won nearly 80 percent of its games (55-15-3, .774) during the Waldrum era (since '99) when facing an NSCAA top-25 (39-13-3) and/or postseason opponent.
Notre Dame's dominating team defense was boosted by the presence of two players who did not play in the previous game versus Marquette (plus a third who played sparingly). Bohn (ankle) and junior defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek (knee) both missed a month due to their injuries while junior central back Kim Lorenzen also missed a month due to mononucleosis and played in a limited role off the bench in the earlier matchup with the Golden Eagles.
Lorenzen's presence in the starting lineup has provided a huge boost to the Irish this season, as ND now is 13-0-0 with a 68-3 scoring edge in games started by Lorenzen this season. Lorenzen's past 10 starts have produced nine shutouts for the Irish, with a 46-1 scoring margin in those games.
"We didn't talk much last time about the players we were missing but you saw tonight, with Jill and Kim, what great factors they can be in a game Erika didn't have much to do tonight, because we were so good in front of her," said Waldrum.
Notre Dame registered its 14th shutout of 2005 (nine of the past 10) and 30th during the past two seasons.
Freshman Carrie Dew combined with fellow center back Lorenzen and outside backs Candace Chapman and Christie Shaner to thwart a handful of potential goalscoring chances for the home team - while Buczkowski, fellow junior Jill Krivacek, senior Annie Schefter and freshman Brittany Bock took firm control of the midfield.
Thorlakson rocketed in her 16th goal of the season and 53rd of her career in the game's 32nd minute, after playing a short pass to Buczkowski near the left corner. Buczkowski returned the pass to the upper edge of the penalty area and Thorlakson took a short touch into the penalty area before surprising 'keeper Laura Boyer with a low, rising shot. The far-post try was perfectly-placed through a narrow window, eluding several players in the box before smacking into the right sidenetting (31:13) for the 1-0 lead. It proved to be the 17th career gamewinning goal for Thorlakson, who now holds the Irish record for career gamewinning points with 53 (including 19 gamewinning assists).
The senior forward has scored (4) or assisted (9; an ND record) on 13 of Notre Dame's 18 gamewinning goals this season. She entered the night having scored (now 16) or assisted (26) on more goals (now 42) than any other player in the country and briefly claimed the team lead with 58 points, only to be passed by Hanks when the freshman notched an assist and goal in the second half.
"We were very focused on coming out and playing well tonight - we like to win when it matters," said Thorlakson. "We had a very strong night from our back line. We kept the ball out of that end for most of the night and our defenders just dominated, especially in the air."
Thorlakson's goal extended Notre Dame's scoring streak to 31 games, tied for the third-longest in the program's history. The Irish now are 62-2-0 in their past 64 games when scoring first, with one of those failures to hold the lead coming earlier this season in the loss to Marquette.
Buczkowski added her own score early in the second half (she also had scored Notre Dame's lone goal in the earlier meeting with Marquette). Hanks struck a corner kick from the left flag and Buczkowski flicked in a header at the near post for her seventh goal of the season and 18th of her Notre Dame career (59:55). Buczkowski was unmarked as she elevated for the header and Boyer came out to challenge, but Hanks had placed the cross in perfect position and Buczkowski sent a sharp header into the top of the net.
Buczkowski's flick marked the 12th time this season that the Irish have scored on a corner-kick set play. Notre Dame now has won 223 consecutive games when claiming a 2-0 lead, dating back to a 1991 tie with Valparaiso.
Hanks scored her 23rd goal of the season in the 70th minute, converting on a tricky trap-and-volley sequence while moving into a share for third on the Irish single-season goal charts. Chapman set the play in motion after battling to win a loose ball near the top of the box. Chapman knocked the ball to the right flank and junior forward Lizzie Reed then directed a short pass back to Schefter.The veteran midfielder showed her tremendous serving skills by lifting the ball into the heart of the penalty area for Hanks - who then trapped the ball, volleyed it out of the air and sent her shot into the lower right corner of the net (69:26) for an elite-level score from the BIG EAST rookie of the year.
The third goal all but clinched the victory, as the Irish now are 132-1-0 in their past 133 games when scoring three-plus goals (including 46 consecutive wins when scoring at least three goals, dating back to the middle of the '02 season).
Notre Dame now has scored three or more goals in each of the past seven games, one shy of matching the team record of eight straight games with three-plus goals. The Irish have notched three-plus goals in 17 of the 20 games this season, are 17-0-0 in '05 when scoring multiple goals and have posted 17 wins this season by a margin of three-plus goals (all but the 1-0 overtime game at Rutgers).
Jenny Heft (29, in '98) and Cindy Daws (26, in '96) are the only Notre Dame players who have scored more goals in a season than Hanks, who also has tied the Irish record for goals by a freshman (Anne Makinen also scored 23 times as a rookie, in '97).
Hanks (60) and Thorlakson (58) moved closer to becoming just the fourth set of Division-I women's soccer teammates to record 60 points in the same season. They now are one of seven sets of all-time teammates with at least 58 points in a season, a distinction also owned by Makinen and Meotis Erikson (both with 58) from the 1997 season and by three Notre Dame teammates on the 1996 team: Cindy Daws (72), Streiffer (66) and Monica Gerardo (59). Hanks now ranks fifth on the Notre Dame single-season points list, second-best among Irish freshmen behind Jenny Streiffer's 66 points in 1996.
Two more points from Thorlakson's will make Notre Dame's current dynamic duo just the fourth set of D-I teammates to have reached 60 points in the same season (first since the Daws and Streiffer in '96).
Thorlakson pushed her career postseason point total to 40 (13 goals-14 assists), tied for second on that Notre Dame list and three shy of Makinen's record (15G-13A, in postseason action from 1997-2000). She enters Sunday's championship riding a nine-game point streak that includes 27 points (7G-13A) during that span. It marks the third time in Thorlakson's history that she has compiled a point streak of nine games or longer, with an earlier nine-game point streak in '04 and a 12-game point streak from '04-'05 (no other player in ND history has more than one career point streak of nine-plus games).
**See updated team notes - including Sunday's TV affiliates - listed below the statistical summary.**
#5 Notre Dame (18-2-0) 1 2 - 3
#11 Marquette (17-3-1) 0 0 - 0
Shots: ND 4-6 - 10, MARQ 2-3 -5 Corner Kicks: ND 1-5 - 6, MARQ 2-3 - 5
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL TV COVERAGE - The ND-UConn game on Sunday, Nov. 6 (11:00 CST) will be telecast live on four cable affiliates: Comcast Sports Net Chicago, CN8 Sports, Cox Sports Television (New England) and Fox College Sports Central ... CN8 reaches the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ... nine other affiliates - including South Bend's WHME channel 46 (Nov. 7, 5:00 p.m. EST) will show the ND-UConn game on a delayed basis (all times EST): CSTV (Nov. 6, 1:00 p.m.), Cox Sports Television (Nov. 6, 5:00 p.m.), Comcast Local Michigan (Nov. 6, 9:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Nov. 7, 1:00 p.m.), Catch 47 in Tampa (Nov. 7; 9:00 p.m.), Comcast Sports Southeast/CSS (Nov. 8; 1:00 p.m.) and FSN New England (Nov. 9, noon).
NINE-GAME WIN STREAK - The current win streak marks the 12th time in ND history that the Irish have won nine-straight in the regular season ... a win on Sunday's would produce the program's 10th all-time double-digit win streak ... the winning streak ties for fourth-longest in the seven-year Randy Waldrum era (behind win streaks of 6 games in 2000, 15 in '04 and 12 in '03) ... the current nine-game win streak includes a 41-1 scoring edge, plus 225-33 in shots (avg. 25.0-3.7), 124-9 in shots on goal (13.8-1.0) and 70-17 in CKs (7.8-1.9) ... the Irish have dominated the second half during the streak (27-1 scoring edge, 67-4 in SOGs).
SHOOTING FOR THE TOP - Notre Dame's junior class has yet to experience a game in which the Irish have been outshot, a span of 71 games that includes a 63-6-2 record during that '03-'05 span ... ND has held the shot edge in all 20 games this season and in 68 of the past 71, with three teams managing to tie the Irish in shots during that three-year span: UCLA in the '04 NCAA title game (11-1), Boston College in the '03 BIG EAST semifinals (6-6) and Arizona State early in the '03 season (11-11).
DYNAMIC DUO UPDATE - Hanks (60; 23G-13A) and Thorlakson (58; 16G-26A) now have combined for 118 points, 39 goals and 40 assists (with an avg. of 5.90 pts/gm as a tandem) ... the only other sets of D-I teammates on record with 58-plus points in the same season include the following six: SMU's Danielle Garrett (83) and Courtney Linex in '95; ND's Daws (72), Streiffer (66) and Gerardo (59) in '96; UNC's Mia Hamm (97) and Kristine Lilly (65) in '92; UConn's Sara Whalen (64) and Jen Carlson (59) in '97; Florida's Abby Wambach (62) and Sarah Yohe (58) in '99; and ND's Makinen and Erikson (both with 58) in '97 ... Hanks is 5th on the ND single-season points list, one behind Heft's 1998 total ... Thorlakson is 7th on that list, one behind Gerardo' 1996 point total ... Thorlakson's nine gamewinning assists this season gives her another ND record (her 17 gamewinning points in '05 rank 4th in the ND record book) ... she is 4G shy of becoming the first D-I player ever with multiple 20G-20A seasons (23G-24A in '04) ... Thorlakson scored on her only shot in Friday's game and is scoring every 3.8 shots she takes this season (16-for-61) ... Hanks has seven 1st-goals this season (4th in ND history) while Thorlakson has opened the scoring in six games (5th) ... the Irish are 14-0-0 this season when Hanks scores (she has points in 17 of the 20 games) ... Thorlakson and Hanks now have combined to score 23 goals in back-to-back seasons ... Hanks had four shots on Friday and now has 119 for the season (8 shy of Thorlakson's ND record) ... Thorlakson has points in 28 of the past 31 games (17 in '05) and has scored/assisted on 56% of ND's games during the past two seasons (89 of 160) ... she remains 7th on the ND career points list (170, seven behind Holly Manthei) and 9th in goals (53, two behind Rosella Guerrero), also 4th in career GWGs (17, two shy of record) and 4th with 13 first goals ... she is one of 13 D-I players ever to reach 53G-53A in the same season and logged her 90th career game with the Irish (22nd in the ND record book) ... her 40 career postseason points trail only Makinen in the ND record (43) while her 13 postseason goals rank 5th (Makinen and Gerardo share that record, with 15) ... Thorlakson's 22 career points and 8 goals in BIG EAST Tournament play also are 2nd-most in ND history (Makinen holds those records as well, with 23 points and 9G in the BET).
SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY - The Irish will be hoping to extend their Sunday domination this season in the upcoming BIG EAST title-game matchup vs. UConn ... ND is 9-0-0 on Sunday this season, with a 45-2 scoring edge (compared to 9-2-0 and 42-8 in Friday games) ... all but one of the Sunday games this season was the second game of the weekend.
OTHER UPDATED INDIVIDUAL NOTES - Buczkowski posted 1G-1A for the second straight game (after just 1G-0A in the previous six) ... her 19G-24A leave her one goal shy of joining current teammates Thorlakson and Candace Chapman among ND players who have reached 20G-20A in their careers (she would be the 21st all-time) ... Lorenzen's 13 starts also have featured a 319-44 shot edge (avg. 24.5-3.4), plus 185-15 in shots on goal (14.2-1.2) and 94-22 in CKs (7.2-1.7) ... Waldrum's ND teams now have won better than 85% of their games from '99-'05 (137-22-5, .851) ... Buczkowski and Schefter have appeared in all 71 games during the past three seasons, Shaner in 70 of the 71 (68 straight) ... Chapman logged her 87th career game with the Irish, including 47 straight (36 consecutive starts) ... Schefter has 3G-3A in the past six games (after 0G-8A in the previous 29) ... Bohn has faced just two shots on goal since returning from her injury (spanning 401 minutes of game action) ... Bohn now has made 78 career starts, second all-time among ND `keepers behind Jen Renola's 98 ... Bohn's current 0.48 season goals-against avg. would rank 4th in ND history.
UPDATED TEAM NOTES - ND still has trailed in just two games all season for a total of 77 minutes (4.3% of the 1,805 total minutes) ... the Irish posted their 60th all-time victory in postseason play (60-12-1, .829) ... the only ND teams with longer scoring streaks that the current 31-game streak spanned 55 games from '97-'99 and 36 games from '95-'96 ... the Irish also have scored in 45 of the past 46 games ... the ND players have combined to log 1,146 career games played (687 starts) ... the Irish are 121-11-3 (.907) in all games vs. BIG EAST teams since joining the conference in '95 ... ND owns a 48-5 scoring edge in the 2nd half this season (15-1 in 2nd half of past four games) ... the Irish have held 18 teams to 0-1 goals this season (40 of ND's past 43 opponents, and 64 of 71 in the past three seasons, have been kept from scoring multiple goals) ... ND's all-time record now is 337-59-17 (.837).
TEAM STATS IN THE ND RECORD BOOK - The 2005 ND team is poised to take its spot among the tops in the program's storied history ... the current team is on pace to best the best stats of the Waldrum era ('99-'05) in scoring margin (+80), goals/gm (4.50), players with goals (15), players with points (19), goalscoring accuracy (5.2 shots per goal), shots per game, corners per game - and fewest shots (4.1), SOG (1.8) and CKs (1.2) allowed per game, plus the best shot (+19.2), SOG (+10.9) and CK (+5.6) margins of the Waldrum era ... the team's 90 goals (nine more than the opponents' 81 combined shots, 36 of which have been on goal) are most by an ND team since the '99 team had 98 (in Waldrum's first year) ... the current +80 scoring margin (90-10) is best of the Waldrum era and best since the '98 team was +83 ... ND's 4.50 goals per game ranks 3rd in ND history and best since the '97 team (5.45) ... 15 ND players have scored goal in '05 (most since 15 did so in '97) while 19 have registered points (2nd-best in ND history, best since 20 had points in '96) ... Hanks and Thorlakson are the program's first pair of players with 15-plus goals since Heft and Streiffer in '99 ... the team's five players with 20-plus points are the most since '99 (6) ... ND is scoring at a rate of one goal per every 5.2 shots (4th all-time, best since 4.4 in '96) ... the Irish are averaging 23.2 shots per game (4th all-time, best since 26.8 in '98), 12.7 shots-on-goal/gm (3rd, best since 12.8 in '00) and 7.2 corners/gm (best since 10.5 in '97) ... defensively, the Irish own an 0.50 season goals-against avg. (4th-best, best since 0.39 in '00) and are on pace to set ND record for fewest shots allowed (4.1 per game; standing record is 4.0 in '97) and fewest shots on goal allowed (1.8/gm; record is 2.1 in '97) ... ND has allowed just 1.6 CKs per game (2nd-best all-time; 1.2 in '97) ... the team's season stat margins include +19.2 in shots (2nd all-time, behind 20.0 in '98), +10.9 in SOG (on pace to break record of 10.4 in '96) and +5.6 in CKs (2nd all-time, behind 8.4 in '98).