Sept. 19, 1997
Lightning Halts Battle Between UNC and Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- In front of a record, sellout crowd of 3,300 fans at Notre Dame's Alumni Field, top-ranked North Carolina and second-ranked Notre Dame played to a 2-2 tie after lightning halted play at 71:16 at the adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic. Play was suspended just three minutes after Notre Dame sophomore Jenny Heft tied the score at 2-2. Both teams fall to 6-0-1 on the season. The tie also marks the first ever tie for the Irish at Alumni Field and snaps a 22-game winning streak for Notre Dame at home. The Irish are now 47-1-1 in the last 49 home games and 70-5-1 all-time at Alumni Field.
The matchup unfolded into yet another classic meeting between Notre Dame and North Carolina as even shots were knotted at 11 for each team. The three previous meetings had been one-goal games, the last two in overtime, and Friday's game seem headed for another one-goal squeaker. The Irish are now 2-1-1 in their last four meetings with the Tar Heels, who lead the overall series 4-2-2. It is the first tie in the series since Notre Dame snapped North Carolina's 92-game winning streak in 1994 with a 0-0 tie.
"I thought we played really well," said Notre Dame head coach Chris Petrucelli. "I was excited with the way we came back after falling behind 2-1. It would have been easy for us to pack it in but we didn't. It is unfortunate that we didn't get to play out the game but safety-wise, is was a good call. We still have some motivation against North Carolina because we didn't win the game tonight."
In 1996, the Irish defeated the Tar Heels 2-1 in overtime only to lose 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA title game. After not scoring in the 120-minute overtime final in 1996, Notre Dame got on the board quickly Friday, when freshman midfielder Anne Makinen perfectly placed a free kick from 25 yards into the lower left corner of the net.
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, North Carolina's Cindy Parlow sparked the Tar Heels in the second half when she battled through the Notre Dame defense down the sidelines to set up two nearly identical goals. At 52:15, Raven McDonald volleyed in a Parlow cross that came from the right wing to knot the score at 1-1. Ten minutes later at 62:38, Robin Confer volleyed in a cross from Parlow from the left wing from about six yards out, nearly same spot McDonald connected.
With the Irish now down 2-1, the sky opened in a downpour but Notre Dame fought through the heavy rain to tie the game at 68:10. Once again, Makinen shined for the Irish. From 25 yards out, she fed Heft a ball that deftly looped over the North Carolina defense and landed unto the foot of Heft who flicked the ball past Tar Heel goalkeeper Gretchen Overgaard to knot the game.
However, with the drama of the game building, lightning forced play to be suspended at 71:16, and the game was called shortly thereafter.
In the first game of the adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic, sixth-ranked Portland outshot fifth-rank Duke 17-5, including 8-1 in the second half, and cruised to a 3-0 win in a game that was delayed for 20 minutes in the first half by lightning. Justi Baumgardt had a goal and an assist for the Pilots, who improved to 3-0-0 all-time at Alumni Field and 4-2-0 overall in 1997. The Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season at 5-1-0. On Sunday, Portland will face North Carolina at 11:00 a.m., while Duke will play host Notre Dame at 1:00 p.m.
1997 adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic