Nov. 23, 2002
STANFORD, Calif. - Marcia Wallis converted a 16-yard crossing shot with nine minutes left to play as top-ranked Stanford emerged with a 1-0 victory over 19th-ranked Notre Dame, in Saturday night's NCAA third-round action - with a record-setting crowd of 2,629 on hand to watch the entertaining action at Maloney Field.
Notre Dame (13-8-0) saw its injury-plagued season come to an end, with yet another major injury to the Irish defense midway through the first half. Sophomore left back and All-America candidate Candace Chapman - already the only healthy defender remaining from the four probable starters heading into 2002 - joined those players on the bench midway through the first half, after suffering a serious knee injury that possibly would have sidelined her for a potential quarterfinal game next week.
"Candace is a very special player who adds so much of a different dimension and is deadly getting down the flanks. When she went out of the game, that was a big blow for us," said Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum, who responded by shifting sophomore Mary Boland from the midfield to right back, with junior Kim Carpenter flipping over to Chapman's left back spot while freshman forward Maggie Manning entered the game in the midfield.
"Moving Mary back to the defense put her out of her comfort zone and we got a great effort out of Maggie in the midfield, but she really is a forward. We were just piecemealing the group together at the end and the depth just caught up with us.
"You are playing a team that is very experienced in Stanford, with six seniors, and we are very young, with only one senior and several freshmen playing out there tonight."
Stanford (21-1-0) - which has allowed just four goals all season, with 12 shutouts in its current 14-game winning streak - finished with a 19-6 edge in total shots but the teams were nearly equal in shots on goal (6-5 Stanford edge) while the Cardinal held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks (4-0 in the second half).
Notre Dame altered its customary 4-3-3 formation in the second half, dropping one of the three forwards back into the midfield to bolster possession while making up for the absence of Chapman.
"It we could have kept playing with three up front, we felt like we could throw something at them that they weren't used to seeing," said Waldrum.
"We were having difficulty possessing the ball in the first half. Their outside backs were getting forward and they were finding some players in some seams. We had a much better handle on things in the second half and knew we were going to be more of a counterattack team at that point."
The game's only scoring came on quick attack after an Irish goalkick. Senior midfielder Callie Withers sent a pass to Wallis at the upper left corner of the box, with Wallis then able to make a turn before striking a low 16-yard shot into the far sidenetting.
"We held it tight and they weren't able to turn as much and, even if they did get shots, they were from pretty far out," said junior defender Melissa Tancredi, who converted to the defense at the start of the season-ending 6-2-0 run. "That was our gameplan, but one slip cost us."
Notre Dame freshman goalkeeper Erika Bohn picked a perfect time for her best all-around game of the season, with her five saves including several that foiled strong scoring chances. Bohn closed the season by allowing seven goals in the final eight games (one on a PK), with just one goal allowed in each of the three NCAA games.
Junior midfielder Randi Scheller - who again was held out of training all week, due to a nagging groin injury - turned in another gutsy effort before having to leave the game in the closing minutes.
Notre Dame wore special green jerseys, for just the fourth time in the program's history and first time since the 1999 College Cup semifinals.
ND COACH RANDY WALDRUM: "Stanford has a great team that is capable of winning it all. ... I am extremely proud of our kids. We have gone through an incredible year with as many as six or seven key people out. Even as far as a month ago, Tancredi has been playing forward for us. We just really scrambled in terms of finding healthy bodies to play. For us to make a run at the end of the year like we did, I'm really proud of our kids. They have been incredible. ... We got some good looks but hit them right at their 'keeper. In these tight games, you've got to put one of those chances away."
STANFORD CO-COACH PAUL SAPSFORD: "They battled tremendously and made it very difficult for us. They compressed the field and tackled us very hard, but very fairly. We did not have a lot of time on the ball. Their goalkeeper had a tremendous game. ... We played against a very good group of forwards tonight. Warner is very dangerous."
#19 NOTRE DAME (13-8-0) 0 0 - 0
#1 STANFORD (21-1-0) 0 1 - 1
STAN 1. Marcia Wallis 13 (Callie Withers) 80:58.
Shots: ND 2-4-6, STAN 8-11-19.
Corner Kicks: ND 4-0-4, STAN 3-4-7.
Saves: ND (Erika Bohn) 5, STAN (Nicole Barnhart) 5.
Fouls: ND 12, STAN 14.