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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 16, 1997

    Gerardo's Hat Trick Carries Women's Soccer into NCAA Second Round

    Monica Gerardo
    Monica Gerardo scores a hat trick in Notre Dame's victory. (file photo)

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team used a Monica Gerardo hat trick to advance to the NCAA second round with a 7-1 win over Cincinnati at Alumni Field and now will play host to sixth-ranked Nebraska, a 5-1 winner over Michigan. The Irish and Cornhuskers will meet on Sun., Nov. 23 at Alumni Field at 1:00 p.m. Cincinnati ends its season with a 16-5-3 record while Notre Dame improves to 21-0-1.

    Cincinnati would manage just three shots in the game but the Bearcats took advantage of their first shot, building a 1-0 lead just 3:55 into the contest. Cincinnati's Suzanne Paulette served a ball just past midfield from the center of the field to Tina Matlock who broke free from the Irish defense. She dribbled in on a breakaway to just inside the box and put the ball past Notre Dame goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene who came off line but could not make the save.

    The Bearcats would hold lead for 10:32, the longest Notre Dame has trailed all season and just the second time all year. North Carolina lead 2-1 for 5:32 before the Irish tied the game 2-2. Monica Gerardo would knot the score with her first goal of the game. Kara Brown volleyed a pass to Gerardo from inside the box for a score from 15 yards at 14:27. Brown set up Notre Dame's next goal with a cross from the right endline which landed on the foot of Anne Makinen who volleyed to Shannon Boxx. Boxx in turn volleyed in the game-winning goal from 15 yards at 28:31.

    The Irish then used two unassisted goals to break the game open and build a 4-1 halftime lead. Kelly Lindsey dribbled in from midfield and slashed through the Cincinnati defense to score from eight yards at 36:16. Makinen connected just before halftime when she put in a failed Bearcat clear from just inside the box.

    Gerardo found Meotis Erikson on the left wing for a quick score to open the second half at 47:08. Gerardo closed the scoring for the Irish at 54:00 thanks to a generous pass from Jenny Streiffer. Erikson found Streiffer unmarked in the front of the goal with a pass from the right endline just inside the box. Streiffer then tapped the ball to Gerardo in front of the net for the score. Julie Maund found Gerardo wide open again at 73:27 with a cross from midfield over the back line of Cincinnati for Gerardo's hat trick from 10 yards out on the right wing.

    "It is always tough to play the first NCAA game because for the first time in the season, you are faced with the situation that if you lose the season is over," said Notre Dame head coach Chris Petrucelli. "After we adjusted to this, we were able to control most of the game."

    Beene made just two saves in the contest as the Irish defense the Bearcats without a shot for the final 43:95 of the contest. Notre Dame handed Cincinnati its worst loss since the Irish beat the Bearcats 7-1 on Sept. 25, 1994. Cincinnati is now 0-4 in NCAA championship history following first-round losses in 1983, 1986 and 1994. Notre Dame improves to 12-3, including 8-0 at home, all-time in the NCAA championship. Gerardo's three goals and seven points in the game both match NCAA championship records shared by numerous players.

    #2 Notre Dame 7, Cincinnati 1
    Scoring: UC Tina Matlock (Paulette), 3:55, ND Monica Gerardo (Brown), ND Shannon Boxx (Makinen, Brown) 28:31, ND Kelly Lindsey (unassisted) 36:16, ND Anne Makinen (unassisted), ND 44:44, ND Meotis Erikson (Gerardo) 47:08, ND Monica Gerardo (Streiffer, Erikson) 54:00, ND Monica Gerardo (Maund, Grubb) 73:27.
    Shots: ND 40-3.
    Corner kicks: ND 7-0.
    Saves: UC 12-2.
    Fouls: ND 14-13.

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