Sept. 7, 1997
Gerardo Lifts No. 2 Notre Dame Over No. 3 Portland 1-0
-- Notre Dame's second-ranked women's soccer team used a header by Monica Gerardo at 52:09 to beat third-ranked Portland 1-0 to end the Pilots' 42-game unbeaten streak in front of a sellout crowd of 5,041 at Merlo Field. The Irish outshot the Pilots 22-3 in the contest but could get just the one goal past Portland goalkeeper Angela Harrison, who made 11 saves. The Irish remain perfect at 4-0-0 while Portland falls to 2-1-0.
Notre Dame's Jenny Heft and Monica Gonzalez had two of the best Irish scoring opportunities in a scoreless first half as the Irish outshot the Pilots 10-2. Heft hit the crossbar with her header from 10 yards out and Gonzalez collected the ball from a scramble in front of the net and shot from five yards by was stopped on the line by a Pilot defender.
The second half saw the Irish continue their offensive pressure, while the defense held Portland to one shot. Kate Sobrero played the ball to Jenny Streiffer down the left sideline who then crossed to Gerardo at the far post. The header from five yards sailed into the upper right corner for the score.
Gerardo entered the 1997 season after scoring 43 goals in her two years at the Notre Dame, the highest two year total in Irish history. The junior had yet to find the net in 1997 in the three previous Notre Dame wins over St. John's, Michigan State and Washington. Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene recorded her third shutout of the season as she made two saves in the win.
The win for Notre Dame was the fourth for the Irish over the Pilots in the last 54 games for Portland, its only fourth losses in that time. The loss also snapped Portland's 25-game home unbeaten streak at Merlo Field, dating back to the 1994 season. The Notre Dame-Portland series has now been played since times since 1992, all one-goal games, with the Irish winning the last five meetings. Notre Dame won its first 1-0 game since beating Portland in sudden-death overtime 1-0 in the 1995 NCAA championship game.
Notre Dame returns to action with a pair of BIG EAST road games this weekend at Pittsburgh on Fri., Sept. 12 and at West Virginia on Sun., Sept. 14, before playing host to top-ranked North Carolina at Alumni Field in the adidas/Lady Footlocker Classic on Fri., Sept. 19.
#2 Notre Dame 1, #3 Portland 0
ND Monica Gerardo (Streiffer, Sobrero) 52:09