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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 29, 1997

    Notre Dame Advances to Fourth NCAA Semifinal with 8-0 Win over UCLA

    Shannon Boxx
    Shannon Boxx was one of six players with goals for Notre Dame. (file photo)

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team used a Jenny Heft hat trick to advance to its fourth straight NCAA national semifinal with an 8-0 win over UCLA at Alumni Field on Saturday. Notre Dame will take on the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal between third-seeded Connecticut and William & Mary in the semifinals on Fri., Dec. 5, at North Carolina-Greensboro. UCLA closed the season with a 19-3-0 record while Notre Dame stays unbeaten at 23-0-1.

    The Irish used six goals in the second half to break open a 2-0 halftime game. Heft, starting in place of Irish leading scorer Jenny Streiffer who sat out with an injury, scored on her first three shots to build at 3-0 lead for Notre Dame. The hat trick was the second of Heft's career and the second in an NCAA championship game. She scored her first hat trick in the 1996 NCAA first round against Indiana. The three goals match a single-game NCAA record as Heft joins Mia Hamm as the only players to score two hat tricks in NCAA games.

    "The big key for us in the game, especially in the second half, was that we were able to finish our scoring chances," said Irish head coach Chris Petrucelli. "We created a lot of chances and were very good in the attacking third of the field. We wanted to come out and take the game over early and I think we did that."

    Holly Manthei, who entered the game as the leader in career NCAA championship game assists with 11 and finished with 14, sparked the Irish almost immediately with a hard shot from the top left corner of the box. The ball slipped out Bruin goalkeeper Lindsay Culp's hands where Heft pounced on the loose ball from three yards for a 1-0 just 1:29 into the game. Heft made 2-0 at 22:38 when she stripped the ball from a Bruin defender from about 16 yards. Culp had come off her line to cut off the feed that came from Meotis Erikson, allowing Heft to punch the ball into the open net.

    The Irish erupted in the second half, bombarding the net with 11 shots and three goals in the first nine minutes of the second half. Heft booted in a rebound at 46:25 from a Monica Gerardo shot that hit the crossbar. Gerardo made it 4-0 at 49:50 with a header from a Manthei cross. Shannon Boxx took a cross from Erikson and blasted a shot into the lower right corner at 53:56 for a 5-0 lead.

    "The goal that made a big difference was the one at the beginning of the second half," said Petrucelli. "At 2-0, they were still in the game but the third goal came so early that they never really had a chance to get going in the second half."

    Kara Brown scored from the right wing at 66:17, Anne Makinen scored on a breakaway at 69:24, and Monica Gonzalez stripped a defender of the ball inside the box to close out the scoring at 83:43. Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene faced just four shots and made three saves to record her school-record 18th shutout of the season. Notre Dame out shot UCLA 32-4 in the contest, scoring on eight of its 32 shots.

    The Irish have won their first three NCAA championship games by a combined score of 21-1 (Cincinnati 7-1, Nebraska 6-0), the most goals ever scored in three games in NCAA championship history, breaking the 19 scored by North Carolina in three games in the 1992 championship. Notre Dame is just one short of the record 22 goals scored by North Carolina in five games in the 1996 NCAA championship.

    #2 Notre Dame 8, #16 UCLA 0
    Scoring: ND Jenny Heft (Manthei) 1:29, ND Jenny Heft (unassisted) 22:38, ND Jenny Heft (Gerardo) 46:25, ND Monica Gerardo (Manthei, Makinen) 49:50, ND Shannon Boxx (Erikson, Lindsey) 53:56, ND Kara Brown (Boxx, Manthei) 66:17, ND Anne Makinen (unassisted) 69:24, ND Monica Gonzalez (unassisted) 83:43.

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