Dec. 5, 1997
Notre Dame Falls to Connecticut in NCAA Semifinal
|Jenny Streiffer scored the Irish's lone goal in semifinal loss. (file photo)|
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Two goals by senior forward Sara Whalen lifted the Connecticut Huskies to a 2-1 win over previously-unbeaten Notre Dame in an NCAA women's soccer semifinal match Friday at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Notre Dame (23-1-1) outshot the Huskies (23-3-0) 28-6 and registered 10 corner kicks to zero, but the Fighting Irish were unable to capitalize on the offensive opportunities.
Whalen is a two-time All-American pick as a defender; however, this season she has played offense for the Huskies. The two goals in Friday's match give her a team-high 64 points (21 goals, 22 assists) on the season.
Notre Dame outshot the Huskies 12-1 and recorded eight corner kicks in the first half, but the Irish had no goals to show for it.
The first half's only goals came on Connecticut's only shot of the first segment.
Whalen raced up the left side and blased a shot past a diving LaKeysia Beene for the Connecticut lead at the 41:01 mark.
What proved to be the game-winning goal came at the 64:37 mark as Whalen went one-on-one with Beene, the Irish goal keeper. Whalen dribbled around the right side of Beene as the sophomore came out to the 18-yard mark. Whalen then fired the shot into the empty net.
Notre Dame peppered both the post and the crossbar on several occasions in the contest. The Irish's only goal came at 76:01 as Jenny Streiffer headed a pass from Holly Manthei into the net.
With the victory, the Huskies established a new school record for number of wins in a season at 23. The win also stopped a streak of six-straight victories by the Irish over Connecticut. The meeting was the third of the season by the two squads, with Notre Dame securing the earlier encounters 1-0 and 6-1.
The game marked just the second time this season the Irish have allowed two goals, with the first coming in a 2-2 tie to North Carolina. North Carolina advanced to the finals with a 2-1 win over Santa Clara earlier Friday afternoon.
The final will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. at UNCG Soccer Stadium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
SCORING 1 2 F Connecticut 1 1 2 Notre Dame 0 1 1 GOALS: Connecticut - Sara Whalen (41:01), Whalen (64:37). Notre Dame - Jenny Streiffer (76:01). ASSISTS: Connecticut - Jen Carlson (41:01), Jennifer Tietjen (64:37). Notre Dame - Holly Manthei (76:01). SHOTS: Connecticut 6, Notre Dame 28. CORNER KICKS: Connecticut 0, Notre Dame 10. GOALIE SAVES: Connecticut (Heather Stone) 9, Notre Dame (LaKeysia Beene) 1. FOULS: Connecticut 19, Notre Dame 11 ATTENDANCE: 9,025.