Nov. 30, 2000
Comments to follow from Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum, senior forward Meotis Erikson (Kennewick, Wash.), senior defender Kelly Lindsey (Omaha, Neb.), senior midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland) and junior goalkeeper Liz Wagner (Spring, Texas).
We are really excited to be back and want to be back and the hospitality has been great from the NCAA and the people from San Jose State."
"Talk about Liz Wagner's progress and her play this year."
"Liz came highly-recruited to Notre Dame but she came in behind another good goalkeeper LaKeysia
Beene, who had a great career for us at Notre Dame. What's different for Liz has been the opportunity now
to get playing time. She realizes that this year is now her time ... I've said this all year to anyone who
asked or who would listen: I think she is the best goalkeeper in the country, bar none. In all of our big
games, Liz has been a big key.... She has a very strong group in front of her so she may not get the shots
against opportunities that some other goalkeepers will. But for us, I don't think there's any player that has
participated more in our team winning. She has literally won games for us this year and that's what you
want your goalkeeper to do. Be consistent and also be there to be able to win a few games."
"...Like coach said, my team doesn't give me many opportunities to do much because they are so good.
But when the time comes, I try to make the big save because that's my job."
"How does it feel to get another crack at Carolina?
"For me, personally, I was injured last time we played them. ... Being healthier is going to help a lot
... and play the way I want to play against one of the best teams in the country."
"Obviously, Carolina is a great team but for us that is exciting. We want to win the national
championship. We aren't looking at it so much as a rivalry between us and Carolina. They are a team we
have to beat to get to (the championship game)."
"We're here. We have two games left to win a national championship and that's been our goal all season.
They are just another team in our way and everyone in the country respects them a lot. They have always
been there. ... But it's just another game in our path."
Does the narrow field at Spartan Stadium present problems for you?
"As a soccer purist, you'd like to be on that 75' by 115-120' if you could. But we all have to play on it
so I don't know that it's going to have a big effect on anybody at this point in the season.
Anne, can you talk about your career at Notre Dame?
"...I got a good feeling when I went on my visit to Notre Dame. Everybody was nice and I liked the coach
and the players. ... Its been a good four years for me."
Meotis, talk about how Anne gets you the ball when and where you want it?
"With Anne, there are so many things that so many people miss. She can put the perfect touch on the
ball and, if you're running, she can bend it right into your path. You don't have to slow down to get the ball.
She's also very good at making eye contact, so often I know that she wants to serve it to me and where she
is going to serve it-just by her body language. She is very good at communicating non-verbally to players,
which I think is key. So many times, when she is playing with younger players and they don't know where
to run, she can tell them where to go and already is serving the ball there. It's the mental aspect of her
game-obviously her skills are amazing, too-but that's what really sets her apart."
Kelly, how hard was it for you to sit out with the leg injury?
Obviously, it was hard to sit out but I think it was a great opportunity for our team to get stronger
because I'm a very vocal leader on the field and it was good for me to be out of those games and help other
people step up and be the leader. I think that's what really helped us get this far. So maybe it was just God's
will to sit me out and injure me. I'm used to injuries so it really doesn't bother me to fight back >from it. So
I think it really helped the team."
"(Kelly) is very good at organizing and very vocal. We had Kerri Bakker who came in and has played
awesome this season. She stepped up and became a leader in the back. We had Nancy Mikacenic, who came
in and did well for a couple of games back there. As much as we love having (Kelly) back there, it really
helped the team with her not there become more organized in the back."
Talk about getting back here after you lost so many players from last year.
"We lost some great talent and some great kids from last year. ... This team really has been a special
group, for a lot of reasons. It's not just because we've gone on a great run. There's more to it, because this
group has-more than any other team I've been around in a number of years-has really and truly enjoyed
each other. The unity with the group has just been amazing. There's so many different stories within our
team. ... Certainly we are blessed with talent, but it's not just about that.
What are some of the keys to getting the win?
Carolina historically has been so good at pinning you in your end and just pressing like crazy. The key
is that we have to find a way to offset that a little bit. They are very good on the flanks ... and Meredith
Florance is having a great year up front. ... We just have to figure out a way to keep that pressure
Talk about the freshman class.
"Its been an interesting group. ... On paper, when people looked at our freshman class this year, I
don't think we were rated real high. And, yet, I think the freshman class was exactly the type of class we
needed for our team. We brought some more athleticism and some more speed to our team. In addition to
that is the type of personalities that those kids have. ... I had a conversation to Anne about ... being so much
older and not feeling a part of the team. And its been interesting because Anne has probably been one of
our closer players to players like Amy Warner and Randi Scheller, who are two freshmen on the team.
They are the type of freshman class that is naive to some things, but in a good way where they are not
afraid to go and say and do anything. So they brought a kind of freshness to the team and that's been a
great blend for our group. Obviously they have all contributed to our success.