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    #1 Irish Back Home Friday To Face Louisville

    FIGHTING IRISH Freshman forward Melissa Henderson (left) and senior forward Kerri Hanks (right) have formed a powerful offensive punch on the Irish front line, combining for 12 goals (Hanks - 7, Henderson - 5) in the first eight games of the season.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Freshman forward Melissa Henderson (left) and senior forward Kerri Hanks (right) have formed a powerful offensive punch on the Irish front line, combining for 12 goals (Hanks - 7, Henderson - 5) in the first eight games of the season.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Sept. 25, 2008

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    2008 ND Women's Soccer -- Game 9
    #1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-0-0 / 1-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Louisville Cardinals (3-3-1 / 1-0-0 BIG EAST)

    DATE: Sept. 26, 2008
    TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
    AT: Notre Dame, Ind. - Alumni Field (2,500)
    SERIES: ND leads 5-1-0
    1ST MTG: UofL 1-0 (9/24/89)
    LAST MTG: ND 1-0 (9/28/07)
    WEBCAST: UND.com (live) (Tom Staudt, p-b-p / Drew Spada, color)
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    Storylines

  • Notre Dame has won the past five series games against Louisville, outscoring the Cardinals, 13-1 in that time.
  • The Irish have scored at least one goal in the first 20 minutes in five of their eight games this season (including all four home games).
  • #1 Irish Back Home Friday To Face Louisville
    Knowing that the BIG EAST Conference presents its own unique set of challenges, top-ranked Notre Dame dives into the heart of league play Friday with a 7:30 p.m. (ET) game against Louisville at Alumni Field. The Irish and Cardinals were picked to repeat last year's 1-2 finish in the BIG EAST National Division, according to the preseason coaches' poll.

    Notre Dame (8-0) remains one of only four Division I teams in the nation to be unbeaten and untied after a 3-1 victory at No. 17/16 Penn State last Sunday afternoon. The Irish scored three times in the first 33 minutes of play, including twice in a span of 2:03, to avenge a one-goal loss to the Nittany Lions in South Bend last season. It also was Notre Dame's fourth win over a ranked foe this season, as well as the 300th career win for head coach Randy Waldrum.

    Freshman forward Melissa Henderson, senior forward Kerri Hanks, and junior forward Michele Weissenhofer scored the goals for the Irish at PSU, while junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander made three saves to preserve the win.

    Rankings

  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
  • Louisville is not ranked.
  • A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
    Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season's squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.

    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 are two of the country's premier front-line players (and '07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.

    A three-time All-American and the '06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (7G-2A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish 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 (71G-60A entering Friday's game). She twice has earned national honors from Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) and once from Soccer America (Team of the Week) after earning her second consecutive Offensive MVP award at the Inn at Saint Mary's Classic with a school record-tying sixth career hat trick vs. Loyola Marymount.

    Bock (1G-1A), 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 (16G-4A). The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock earned the league's Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5.

    Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew, 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 is the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week honoree, after leading Notre Dame to four consecutive shutouts to open this year (the first time the Irish have done that since '95).

    A Quick Look At Louisville
    Louisville comes into Friday's game with a 3-3-1 record (1-0-0 in the BIG EAST Conference). The Cardinals, who finished as the BIG EAST National Division runner-up behind Notre Dame last season, were tapped for that same spot in this year's preseason coaches' poll.

    UofL last played on Sunday afternoon, dropping a tough 2-1 overtime decision at Ohio State. The Cardinals took the lead on a second-half goal from senior forward Shannon Smyth (63:11), but OSU tied the game with less than nine minutes remaining and won it at 8:49 of overtime.

    Junior midfielder/forward Lindsay Boling leads the Cardinals in goals (4) and points (8), while sophomore forward Caitlin Rehder is second in points (6) and tops in assists (4). Smyth is one of three Louisville players with two goals this season, second to Boling.

    Freshman goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer has played every minute between the pipes for UofL, posting a 1.20 goals-against average, including a 3-0 shutout of Cincinnati in the Cardinals' BIG EAST opener on Sept. 19.

    Head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes is in her ninth season at Louisville with a 69-78-13 (.4720 record at the school. She is 0-3 all-time against Notre Dame.

    The Notre Dame-Louisville Series
    The Irish are 5-1-0 all-time against Louisville, including a 3-0 record since the Cardinals joined the BIG EAST in 2005. In fact, after UofL won the first series meeting (1-0 on Sept. 24, 1989, at Alumni Field), Notre Dame has won the past five series games by a combined score of 13-1 (6-0 in BIG EAST play).

    An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 99 of the 2008 Irish women's soccer media guide.

    The Last Time Notre Dame And Louisville Met
    Amanda Cinalli's 34th career goal held up as the game's only score, as No. 24 Notre Dame edged No. 25 Louisville, 1-0 on Sept. 28, 2007, in Louisville.

    The Irish controlled the run of play with a 12-5 shot edge (5-1 in shots on goal) and a 4-1 corner kick margin. The Cardinals' lone shot on goal came in the 85th minute, a harmless try from long distance.

    Kerri Hanks was not credited with an assist on Cinalli's goal, but her shot from the right side of the box led directly to the score. Cinalli gathered in the deflection off a Louisville player and quickly sent a 12-yard shot into the lower left corner of the net (23:27).

    Notre Dame had a couple of chances to double its lead in the second half, first when Rose Augustin was taken down hard in the box (no penalty kick was awarded). Then, Hanks sprang Augustin with a thru-ball, but UofL 'keeper Joanna Haig charged out to cut down the angle and Augustin's shot sailed just wide of the left post.

    Other Notre Dame-Louisville Series Tidbits

  • Louisville sophomore forward Erin Davis is a South Bend native and a 2007 graduate of Mishawaka Marian High School. She also played for the Junior Irish club team from 1998-2005 before spending two seasons with the Indiana Invaders.
  • Notre Dame junior midfielder Amanda Clark and junior forward Michele Weissenhofer were teammates with Louisville sophomore midfielder Caley Egan at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Ill., in 2005-06.
  • Notre Dame freshman defender Brynn Gerstle and Louisville freshman midfielder Jennifer Jones were teammates at Assumption High School in Louisville from 2004-07.
  • Poll Position
    Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls last week, with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina's Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).

    Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season's first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).

    Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 76-6-3 (.912) as the nation's top-ranked squad.

    As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year's media guide).

    This year's women's soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women's basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span.

    Beasts Of The BIG EAST
    Following last week's win at DePaul, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 39-game unbeaten streak (37-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition since a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year's BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie).

    Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 113-8-4 (.920) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 636-75 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in '95.

    What's more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 79-game home unbeaten streak (78-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).

    Hanks=History
    In the past two games, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has reached six career milestones in both the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in the history of women's college soccer.

    On Sept. 12 against SMU, Hanks assisted on a second-half goal by freshman forward Melissa Henderson to become the sixth NCAA Division I player ever to amass 60 goals and 60 assists in her career. The helper also moved Hanks into a tie for 10th place on the NCAA D-I career assists chart, passing former North Carolina standout and current U.S. National Team member Lindsay Tarpley (59 from 2002-05), and pulling even with former UC Santa Barbara great Carin Jennings (60 from 1983-86).

    Last week at DePaul, Hanks reached four more milestones in one fell swoop, thanks to her second-half goal. It was her 70th career goal, making her the fourth D-I player to amass 70 goals and 60 assists (others are North Carolina's Mia Hamm, Notre Dame's Jenny Streiffer and Jennings), and it gave the talented striker 200 career points, making her the 18th player in Division I history to reach that landmark.

    What's more, she collected the 19th gamewinning goal of her career, tying the Notre Dame record held by Jenny Heft (1996-99) and Michelle McCarthy (1992-95). The score also gave Hanks 57 career gamewinning points (19G-19A), breaking the Irish record set by Katie Thorlakson (2002-05).

    Two days later at Penn State, Hanks took over the gamewinning goals record at Notre Dame, potting her 20th career tally and raising her career gamewinning point total to 59. She now has 71 goals and 60 assists in 86 games, tying for 17th place in D-I history with 202 points (Missy Wycinsky of William & Mary from 1996-99).

    The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in '06; 21 in '07), Hanks now looks ahead to the historic 70G-70A club, a landmark achievement that only two players (Hamm and Streiffer) in the history of Division I women's soccer have managed to attain (and neither got beyond 72G-72A).

    Setting The Table
    Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 61 (20G-21A) of Kerri Hanks' 202 career points (71G-60A), representing nearly one-third (30.1%) of her points with the Irish. Her 20 goals have come on free kicks (10), penalty kicks (9-for-9, including 2-for-2 this year), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 21 assists have been via corner-kick (13) or free-kick (8) services.

    Staying A-Head Of The Game
    Nearly half (20) of the 41 career goals scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers, including eight last season (seven of her final eight scores came via headers). Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.

    Our Fearless Leader
    Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone this past Sunday at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum now has a record of 300-79-20 (.777) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor), becoming the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins.

    For a complete list of the active members of the Division I 300-victory club, see the accompanying chart in the PDF version of these notes.

    Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way
    With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have not trailed at any point this season and have led for 481:59 of 720 minutes this season (66.9% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half just four times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul) for a combined total of 35:06, taking no more than 22:17 (at DePaul) to break any of the four ties and move in front.

    Four Of A Kind
    Notre Dame is one of only four Division I teams that still are unbeaten and untied through the first month of the season. The others are: LSU (6-0), Minnesota (10-0) and Oklahoma State (8-0).

    Getting The Jump On The Competition
    Notre Dame's quick start this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to either the first or second half.

    In five games (including all four home games), the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play, with senior forward Kerri Hanks owning the fastest strike of the season (penalty kick at 2:39 vs. Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29). That marked the 11th-fastest goal of the Randy Waldrum era, and the quickest since Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).

    In two of its road games, Notre Dame has been scoreless at halftime, but taken the lead less than five minutes into the second half. Against No. 3/2 UNC, senior forward Brittany Bock scored at 50:21, then against No. 12/11 Duke, Bock fed Hanks for a score only 69 seconds after emerging from the locker room.

    No Soup For You
    For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.

    The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program's first national championship.

    Spreading The Wealth
    In an early example of the incredible depth of this year's Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since '99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).

    For the season, 13 different Notre Dame players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal, with only two individual multi-goal games thus far (Kerri Hanks' hat trick against Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29; Melissa Henderson's two-goal game against SMU on Sept. 12). In addition, 17 different players have registered at least one point this season, with sophomore defender Julie Scheidler the latest to join that club with a helper in the win at Penn State last weekend. The school single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996.

    Game #8 Recap: Penn State
    Freshman forward Melissa Henderson and senior All-America forward Kerri Hanks scored 2:03 apart and junior forward Michele Weissenhofer added a third goal in the first half, helping top-ranked Notre Dame remain undefeated this season with a 3-1 win over No. 17/16 Penn State on Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa. It's the fourth win over a ranked opponent for the 8-0 Irish this season, with three of those victories coming away from home.

    Although Penn State held a 15-11 edge in total shots, Notre Dame owned the advantage in shots on goal (9-4). The Nittany Lions did record a 5-1 margin in corner kicks, the first time all season the Irish did not lead in that department. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander tied her season high with three saves to pick up the win.

    Hanks Adds To Her Trophy Case
    For the second time this season senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks was tapped for a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, following her choice as National Player of the Week on Sept. 1. She also was named to the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll for the third time this season on Monday.

    Hanks scored the gamewinning goals in both Notre Dame victories last week, tallying the lone score in the 78th minute of the conference opener at DePaul, then adding a 20th-minute goal at Penn State to cap off a two-goal strike in a 123-second span.

    You Stay CLASS-y, Notre Dame
    Senior All-America forwards (and Hermann Trophy candidates) Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock are two of the 30 nominees for the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Notre Dame is one of five schools with multiple nominees for this year's award, joining BYU, Clemson, Duke and USC.

    Both Hanks and Bock have exemplified the term "student-athlete" in their career. After enrolling at Notre Dame in the spring of 2005 (due to playing in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships the previous fall, Hanks worked hard to graduate one semester early (with her Class of '08 teammates), earning her bachelor's degree in sociology this past May.

    Bock earned ESPN The Magazine Third-Team Academic All-America status last year while compiling a 3.365 cumulative GPA as a marketing major. She also garnered dean's list honors in the spring 2008 term with a 3.70 GPA, and had a sharp 3.834 GPA this past summer.

    A national media committee will select the 10 finalists in October, with the official ballot opened for nationwide fan voting on Oct. 9. That fan balloting, coupled with votes from coaches and media, will determine this year's recipient, who will be announced at the NCAA Women's College Cup Dec. 5-7 in Cary, N.C.

    The Magic Number
    Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women's soccer history, with a 267-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 169-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 364-9-15 (.957) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

    Most impressively, Notre Dame is 290-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 267 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just one of the past 180 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force a tie, something achieved by three opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), and Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2).

    You Can Put It On The Board
    Notre Dame has scored a goal in 33 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 33-game goal streak is the fourth-longest in school history, and it's the longest since a 49-game run from Oct. 24, 2004-Oct. 8, 2006.

    The school record is 55 straight games with a goal from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999, while the next streak ahead of the current Irish run is a 36-game string from Oct. 19, 1995-Dec. 6, 1996.

    A Little Added Face Time
    Notre Dame is slated to play on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Oct. 19, Notre Dame travels to Storrs, Conn., for a BIG EAST matchup with Connecticut which will be shown live on CBS College Sports.

    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".

    The Golden Girls
    Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf ('98) and Shannon Boxx ('99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal.

    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).

    Parking Changes
    Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad (including the new Irish soccer stadium tentatively set for completion in June 2009), parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans may ride the complimentary shuttle bus from the Eck Stadium lot, or walk around the north end of Eck Stadium (behind the left-field wall) before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.

    Next Game: Cincinnati
    The Irish will have little time to rest, as they hit the road for a Sunday matinee at BIG EAST foe Cincinnati. Notre Dame makes its first visit back to the Queen City since 2006, when their initial matchup with the Bearcats was suspended due to lightning and ultimately was replayed at the end of the regular season.

    UC is 4-4 this season (0-1 in the BIG EAST), having alternated wins and losses thus far. The Bearcats last played on Sept. 19 when they fell at Louisville, 3-0. Cincinnati travels to DePaul Friday afternoon before opening a three-game homestand Sunday against the Irish.

    -- ND --
     

     

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