Aug. 30, 2008
16th annual Inn at Saint Mary's Soccer Classic
#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0-0 / 0-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. #21 Santa Clara Broncos (2-0-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
DATE: August 31, 2008
#4 Irish Tangle With #21 Santa Clara Sunday For Inn At Saint Mary's Classic Title
For the second consecutive game, the Irish (2-0) got off to a quick start, scoring twice in the first 12 minutes and rolling to a 4-0 win over Loyola Marymount during Friday's opening night action at the Inn at Saint Mary's Classic. Senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks was a one-woman wrecking crew against the Lions, ringing up her school-record sixth career hat trick for Notre Dame.
The Irish defense also was stout against LMU, fueling a 23-4 shot advantage (11-2 in shots on goal). Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander made two saves in the first 75 minutes, before sophomore Nikki Weiss came on to complete the shutout.
A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
As if that weren't enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.
Leading the way for Notre Dame this season will be two of the country's premier front-line players (and '07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior midfielder/forward Brittany Bock.
Hanks (14G-21A in 2007) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, having led the nation in assists the past two seasons, and aiming to become the third Division I player ever to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (68G-59A entering Sunday's action). Among the nation's most gifted players, she also can become the 23rd Division I player ever to collect four All-America citations, and she remains a prime candidate for the Hermann Trophy, an award she claimed as a sophomore in 2006.
Bock (16G-4A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points. The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock could see time at either forward (where she has spent much of the past two seasons) or midfield (her natural position) depending on other personnel moves.
Another key player for the Irish this season will be senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (2G-3A), the 2006 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year who made a successful recovery from an ACL injury late in the '06 regular season with a solid '07 campaign. She also anchored a Notre Dame back line that allowed only 10 goals and less than three shots per game during a 17-game unbeaten string in the final two months of the season.
A Quick Look At Santa Clara
A perennial power on the national soccer scene, Santa Clara has 12 letterwinners and seven starters back in the fold this season following a 12-6-3 campaign in 2007 (4-3 in the West Coast Conference, tying fellow '08 Inn at Saint Mary's Classic participant Loyola Marymount for third place) that ended in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Junior forward (and Hermann Trophy candidate) Kiki Bosio is SCU's top returning scorer (7G-6A in 2007), while junior defender Courtney Lewis proved to be an offensive threat from the backline with four goals a season ago. Senior goalkeeper Meagan McCray posted a 1.03 goals-against average last season and is expected to backstop the Broncos again this year.
Santa Clara (2-0) has opened this season with wins at San Jose State (3-0) and vs. No. 11 West Virginia (2-1, 2ot), with the latter victory coming Friday on the opening night of the Inn at Saint Mary's Classic. Sophomore midfielder Kendra Perry scored both Bronco goals in the win over WVU, the latter coming 1:33 into the second overtime. Classmate Anessa Patton has looked sharp as well, assisting on Perry's game-winner Friday night after scoring her first career goal to cap the SJSU triumph. McCray has backstopped both SCU wins this year.
Head coach Jerry Smith is in his 22nd season at Santa Clara, sporting a 340-90-30 (.772) career record. In terms of winning percentage, he is the sixth-winningest coach in NCAA Division I history and fifth among active D-I coaches (Notre Dame's Randy Waldrum is fourth all-time and third among active skippers with a .774 (294-79-20) success rate).
The Notre Dame-Santa Clara Series
Notre Dame is 3-0 against SCU in NCAA Championship play, including 1-0 national semifinal wins in 1999 (at San Jose's Spartan Stadium) and 2004 (at the SAS Soccer Complex in Cary, N.C.), with the latter victory paving the way for a second Irish national title.
The teams have met annually in the regular season since 2002, with the series split 3-3 in that span. Last year, third-ranked Santa Clara defeared No. 2 Notre Dame, 7-1, at the Santa Clara/adidas Classic, posting the highest goal total by either side in the series. The Irish and Broncos have played four times during the Inn at Saint Mary's Classic, with Notre Dame winning three of those encounters (6-1 in '00; 5-2 in '04; 3-1 in '06), while SCU's only win over the Irish at Alumni Field came in '02 (4-0).
The Last Time Notre Dame And SCU Met
Michele Weissenhofer scored the lone Irish goal at 23:11, taking a pass from Kerri Hanks to get Notre Dame within 2-1. However, Meagan Snell scored just 89 seconds later to give the Broncos a two-goal halftime cushion. Notre Dame changed to a 3-3-4 formation in the second half in an attempt to rally, but the hosts countered by going over the top of the pressing Irish offense, scoring four times to take the deceptively easy win.
Lauren Karas started in goal for Notre Dame and made two saves while allowing three goals in the first half, before giving way to Kelsey Lysander, who turned aside one shot and yielded the four second-half tallies.
Spreading The Wealth
Game #2 Recap: Loyola Marymount
Hanks scored twice on penalty kicks in the first 12 minutes of the contest, before capping off her record-setting night by delivering a highlight-reel goal with 37 seconds to play. Hanks' sixth hat trick tops the old school record of five, jointly held by Rosella Guerrero (1992-95), Monica Gerardo (1995-98) and Jenny Heft (1996-99).
Freshman forward Melissa Henderson also continues to be a stealth weapon for the Irish early on this season, coming off the bench to collect her second goal of the year in the 67th minute with an assist from senior defender Elise Weber.
The Irish (2-0) held a sizeable statistical advantage across the board against Loyola Marymount (0-1-1), which was making its first-ever visit to Alumni Field. Notre Dame outshot the Lions, 23-4, with an 11-2 edge in shots on goal. The Irish also took nine corner kicks to just one for LMU, and Notre Dame once again was able to go deep into its bench, with 22 different players seeing action on Friday.
Gone In 60 Seconds
The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in '06; 21 in '07), Hanks could blow right by the 60-60 milestone and head straight for 70-70, a landmark achievement that only two players in the history of Division I women's soccer have managed to attain.
Dew Named BIG EAST Defensive Player Of The Week
This marks the third time in her career that Dew has earned the award, following selections on Sept. 25, 2006, and Oct. 1, 2007. Dew also went on to be named the '06 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, in addition to collecting first-team all-conference and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) first-team all-Great Lakes Region honors.
On Aug. 22, Dew played an important role in Notre Dame's 7-0 season-opening win over Michigan at Alumni Field. The Irish center back helped anchor a defensive unit that allowed the Wolverines just four total shots, including only one shot on goal. Notre Dame also posted its fifth consecutive shutout over UM and extended its string of consecutive scoreless minutes against Michigan to 518:22. Dew has been a part of the past four Irish shutouts against the Wolverines, starting three times.
Bock, Hanks On Hermann Trophy Watch List
A three-time All-American (twice on the first team) and the 2006 Hermann Trophy recipient (the first sophomore to garner the honor), Hanks is poised to become only the fourth multiple winner of the award, and the first to do so in non-consecutive years.
Bock emerged as one of the nation's top offensive threats last season, earning first-team All-America honors and joining Hanks and recently-graduated forward (and current volunteer assistant coach) Amanda Cinalli on the Hermann Trophy final-15 (semifinalists) list.
Notre Dame is one of only two programs to field three or more different recipients of the prestigious Hermann Trophy, with Cindy Daws (1996) and Anne Makinen (2000) joining Hanks in this elite sorority. The 2008 Hermann Trophy winner will be announced during a news conference on Jan. 9, 2009, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
ND Picked To Win BIG EAST National Division
Notre Dame went 11-0-0 in the BIG EAST a year ago, and will head into the 2008 season with a 38-game unbeaten streak against conference opponents (36-0-2 since October 2005), the longest run in school history and tied for the fourth-longest in NCAA Division I history.
Bock Voted BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player Of The Year
Fellow senior forward Kerri Hanks also was a unanimous choice on the preseason all-conference team following a 2007 campaign that saw her lead the nation in assists (21) for the second consecutive year and set the BIG EAST pace in points (49) while earning NSCAA first-team All-America honors for the second time. Hanks had been the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year the past two seasons and earned the league's postseason Offensive Player of the Year honor in 2006.
The Golden Girls
The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis ('10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis' career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the '00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson ('32).
A Little Added Face Time
In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games are slated to be broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online's GameTracker service.
Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women's soccer page at www.UND.com and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.
Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women's soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing "2".
Next Game: North Carolina
North Carolina (2-0) brings back 24 letterwinners, including eight starters, from that round-of-16 squad. The Tar Heels have opened this season with wins over Charlotte (5-1) and 13th-ranked Texas A&M (3-2), and are slated to face No. 14 Tennessee Sunday at noon (ET) on the final day of TAMU's Weekend Invitational before returning home to await Notre Dame.