Dec. 10, 2004
The #1 sign atop Grace Hall has returned to the night sky on the northeast corner of the Notre Dame campus and the #1 flag once again flaps proudly in front of the Joyce Center, in commemoration of the Irish women's soccer program claiming the 2004 NCAA Championship following last weekend's wins over Santa Clara in the NCAA semifinals (1-0) and UCLA in the title game (1-1, 4-3 on penalty kicks) ... here's a quick update on the record-setting season and be sure to check back to und.com in upcoming days for more season recap features.
IRISH CLAIM SECOND TITLE - The win over UCLA made Notre Dame the second program ever to win multiple NCAA Division I women's soccer titles (North Carolina owns 17 titles) ... the 1995 Irish team had become just the third program ever to win the NCAA title (that team won the title at UNC's Fetzer Field, with 1-0 wins over the Tar Heels in the semifinal and Portland in the final) ... Santa Clara, Portland, George Mason and Florida each own one NCAA title.
WIN TOTAL HITS 25 - The NCAA officially recorded the game vs. UCLA as a win for Notre Dame, yielding a team-record win total for the Irish (25-1-1) that ties for the 4th-most wins in the 23-year history of Division I women's soccer ... only three teams - UNC in '97 and '03 (27) and Florida in '98 (26) - ever have totaled more than 25 wins in a season ... the previous ND record for wins in a season was posted by the 24-2-0 NCAA runner-up team in 1996.
ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE - The past five academic years (since '00-'01) have seen three different Notre Dame women's teams win NCAA titles: women's basketball ('01), women's fencing ('03, combined title with the men) and women's soccer ('04) ... during that five-year stretch, only two schools have claimed NCAA titles in more than three different women's sports: six by UCLA (indoor track and field, gymnastics, water polo, softball, golf, outdoor track and field) and four by Stanford (cross country, volleyball, water polo, tennis) ... Southern California also owns titles in three women's sports during the past five years (volleyball, golf, outdoor track and field) while only three other teams have won NCAA titles in two sports since '00-'01: Nebraska (volleyball, bowling), Georgia (swimming and diving, golf) and LSU (indoor track and field, outdoor track and field) ... the past five years have seen 31 other Division I schools win the NCAA title in one sport: Alabama, Alaska-Fairbanks, Arizona, Auburn, Brown, BYU, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Denver, Duke, Florida, Harvard, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio State, Old Dominion, Penn State, Portland, Princeton, Santa Clara, South Carolina, St. John's , Utah, Virginia, Wake Forest and Washington.
MULTIPLE TITLES - The past 10 years in Division I women' athletics have seen 43 different women's teams win multiple NCAA titles (spanning 20 sports), including the Notre Dame women's soccer program ... of those 43, only 18 have come in team-based sports (the others are from sports where individual results accumulate points) ... the most NCAA women's team-based titles in the past decade include six by Maryland lacrosse, five by UNC soccer, four by both UConn basketball and Brown rowing, and three each by Tennessee basketball, Stanford volleyball, Arizona softball, UCLA softball, Wake Forest field hockey, UNC field hockey, Minnesota-Duluth hockey and Washington rowing ... the above 12 are the only team-based programs that have won more NCAA titles in the past decade than the ND women's soccer team ... other top NCAA title streaks in the past decade (from the individual-based sports) include: six by Penn State fencing and Alaska-Fairbanks rifle (both combined titles with the men); five by LSU indoor track and field, Stanford tennis and UCLA gymnastics; and four by BYU cross country and LSU outdoor track and field.
NEW FACES - Notre Dame now has played 12 all-time games in the NCAA semifinals (7) and final (5) and the UCLA game represented just the third time that one of those games was not a rematch from the regular season ... the others were the 1995 title-game win over Portland (1-0) and the 2000 semifinal loss to UNC (1-2) - but ND had faced Portland in the '94 NCAA semifinal and opened its '99 season vs. UNC (as opposed to a six-year gap from the previous game vs. UCLA, in '98).
BOUNCEBACK GAMES - Notre Dame compiled a 20-2-0 record in '03 and '04 (10-1-0 both seasons) when playing two days after a previous game (52-11 scoring edge).
FOUR YEARS, FOUR CHAMPS - The ND-UCLA matchup ensured that there would be a fourth different NCAA champion in the past four years (also Santa Clara in '01, Portland in '02 and UNC in '03) ... no previous four-year stretch in the tournament's history has featured more than three different champions.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY - ND now owns a 58-12-1 all-time record in postseason play (.824), including 32-10-1 in the NCAAs (.756, 2nd-best all-time) ... since 1994, ND (5) and UNC (8) remain the only teams to make more than two appearances in the NCAA finals during that 11-year stretch.
ND ATHLETICS ALL-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - Notre Dame athletic teams have combined to win 24 national championships (not including two Helms Foundation national championships awarded to the 1927 and '36 men's basketball teams, as part of that retroactive program) ... the ND teams that have won national titles include 11 in football (1924, '29, '30, '44, '46, '47, '49, '66, '73, '77, '88), six in fencing (men in '77, '78 and '86, women in '87, combined titles in '94 and '03), two in men's tennis ('44, '59) and women's soccer ('95, '04), and one each in men's golf ('44), men's cross country ('57), women's soccer ('95) and women's basketball ('01) ... women's soccer is the fourth sport at ND to win multiple NCAA titles (joining football, fencing and men's tennis).
CHAMPIONSHIP COACHES - Randy Waldrum is Notre Dame's 15th all-time national championship coach, guiding the Irish to the title in his sixth season ... ND's previous NCAA women's soccer title came during the program's sixth season under Chris Petrucelli ... here are the ND national championships, with head coaches noted:
Year - Sport, Coach (# of seasons at ND before first title)
Notes: Randy Waldrum joined Knute Rockne and Chris Petrucelli in winning his first national title in his 6th season at ND ... eight others have helped guide ND to the title in their 1st-5th seasons: Janusz Bednarski (1st), Yves Auriol (2nd), Frank Leahy (3rd), Tom Fallon (3rd), Ara Parseghian (3rd), Dan Devine (3rd), Lou Holtz (3rd) and Walt Langford (5th).
BLAME IT ON RIO? - Notre Dame's 2004 odyssey started four months ago on Aug. 10, when the team departed for their eight-day training trip in Brazil that included six games vs. top semi-pro teams in the Sao Paulo area ... 118 days after boarding the bus to embark on the Brazil trip, the Irish returned home to a heroes' welcome at the Notre Dame main circle (on the night of Dec. 6).
FINAL TEAM STATS - ND posted a 12-2 scoring edge in the NCAAs (6 GP) to go along with dominant edges in total shots (76-32; avg. 13-5), shots on goal (44-13; avg. 7-2) and corner kicks (38-14; avg. 5-2) ... ND's overall '04 postseason (9 GP) included a 22-4 scoring edge, 152-47 in shots (avg. 17-5), 71-13 in shots on goal (8-1.4), 54-15 in CKs (6-1.7) ... ND's overall season stats included a 70-14 scoring edge (2.59 gpg; 0.51 GAA), plus 557-155 in shots (avg. 21-6), 274-71 in shots on goal (avg. 10-2.6), 158-48 in CKs (avg. 5.9-1.8) ... ND finished 4th in the nation with a 0.51 season GAA, behind Stanford (0.43), Penn State (0.47) and Princeton (0.49),... the Irish finished with one fewer goal (70) than opp. shots on goal (71) and held 24 of 27 opponents to 0-1 goals (including 22 of the final 23) ... the Irish also led the nation with 16 shutouts, tied for 3rd in the ND record book (behind 18 in '95 and '97).
AWESOME ALUMS - Several former ND women's soccer players were on hand to cheer the Irish at the College Cup ... those on hand included the inseparable LaKeysia Beene and Kelly "Boof" Lindsey (former stars of the WUSA's Bay Area Cyber Rays), former goalscoring machine Monica Gerardo and 2000 national player of the year Anne Makinen, plus other loyal supporters such as Kelly Tulisiak (cheering on her sister Kate) and recent graduate Kimberly Carpenter ... former ND assistant coach Sue-Moy Chin also was on hand to join in the frivolity (she now is the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh and Gerardo is the Panthers assistant coach).
HALPENNY STEPS UP TO CHALLENGE - Senior midfielder Sarah Halpenny joined the ND women's soccer program in 2002, after playing at UC Irvine as a freshman ... prior to the NCAA final vs. UCLA, Halpenny had appeared in just 22 games during three seasons with the Irish - including only 5 GP in 2004 (with 108 minutes of game time and only one shot attempted in the entire '04 season) ... but when it came time to select 10 shooters for a potential penalty-kick shootout, the ND coaching staff dubbed the surefooted Halpenny to be among that group ... and when the players then were given the task of slotting themselves 1-10, Halpenny jumped into the pressure-packed spot of taking ND's second kick (the coaches and players decisions were made earlier in the week) ... the unthinkable happened in the first round of the PKs vs. UCLA, as Katie Thorlakson's try went straight at the `keeper while UCLA converted for the quick 1-0 lead ... a miss by Halpenny likely would have doomed the Irish title chances but she calmly sent a rising shot into the left side of the net and UCLA freshman Brynn McGrath (who also had yet to see the field) then flared her shot wide right, suddenly reversing the fortunes for a 1-1 score (ND went on to win 4-3 on the 6th kick).
KICK-BY-KICK - Here's a breakdown of the penalty-kick shootout in the NCAA title game:
SMART SELECTIONS - The 10 Notre Dame players who had been pre-selected for the potential NCAA title-game shootout included three reserves and seven starters ... the three reserves selected were junior M Maggie Manning, sophomore defensive M Claire Gallerano and senior M Sarah Halpenny (none of the three had played in the UCLA game and only Manning had seen time in the semifinal vs. Santa Clara) ... Manning scored two goals early in the '04 season (vs. Texas Tech) but had totaled just 10 shots all season while logging 258 minutes in 13 games played - with Gallerano (13 GP/1 GS, 343 minutes, 0 goals, 5 shots) and Halpenny (5 GP, 108 min., 0 goals, 1 shot) also owning minimal offensive stats ... the Irish coaches and players (who selected the order) clearly knew what they were doing as Halpenny converted a huge shot in the 2nd round of the shootout, with three other midfielders (sophomores Jen Buczkowski and Jill Krivacek and junior Annie Schefter) also scoring to round out the 4-3 win (junior F Katie Thorlakson and sophomore D Christie Shaner missed) ... senior F Candace Chapman and sophomore D Kim Lorenzen were among ND's four remaining kickers (along with Manning and Gallerano) when the shootout ended.
PK PREMONITION - The ND women's soccer program's 17-year history includes one other postseason game that was decided in penalty kicks, during the first season of the Randy Waldrum era ('99) ... ND also advanced that day in the NCAA quarterfinal round at Nebraska, in a similar 1-1 game that ended 4-3 on the sixth PK ... three of the key participants in that '99 shootout - LaKeysia Beene, Kelly Lindsey and Anne Makinen - were on hand to watch the drama unfold last weekend ... like the '04 shootout, the '99 PKs included two saves by the ND `keeper (Beene), a miss by ND's top player (Makinen), a shot by the opponent that missed the frame entirely, a final go-ahead shot by an unliklely goalscorer (Lindsey) and a clinching save by the ND `keeper ... those roles were reprised in the '04 shootout by `keeper Erika Bohn, national player-of-the-year frontrunner Katie Thorlakson (her leadoff PK was saved) and sophomore M Jill Krivacek (took ND's sixth PK) ... in the '99 shootout, ND claimed the early lead when Jenny Streiffer converted to the lower-left and Beene saved Kelly Rheem's shot to the lower-right corner ... ND stayed ahead in '99 after Jenny Heft (upper-left) and Meghan Anderson (lower-right) converted for a 2-1 score but Makinen then banged her try off the left post while Christine Latham skimmed her shot off the left post for a 2-2 deadlock ... Nebraska suddenly seized the advantage when Karina LeBlanc saved a Monica Gonzalez show (lower-left) but Sharolta Nonen then took a running start and sent the ball over the crossbar to give the Irish life ... Jen Gubb converted in round-5 (upper-right), as did Jenny Benson (lower-right) ... Lindsey was the second straight ND defender to shoot and send home a low-right shot before Beene dived to the same spot, saving Amy Walsh's try for the 4-3 win.
QUICK HITS - The Irish are 45-4-2 over the past two seasons (.902) ... ND players have combined to miss 284 games to injury in the past 4 seasons (109 in '04) ... ND allowed just 4 first-half goals all season (26 in past 4 years/91 games) ... ND's first-half dominance in the '04 NCAAs included 4-0 in goals, 53-9 in shots, 28-4 in shots on goal, 19-5 in corners ... ND has not allowed a 1st-half goal in the last 10 games ... ND has totaled nearly a +100 win-to-loss margin in the 6-year Randy Waldrum era (119-20-5), with the Irish winning nearly 85% of their games in the Waldrum era (.844) ... Waldrum has compiled a 302-125-24 record (.696) in 23 total seasons as a college head coach ... ND has won nearly 80% of its "big games" during the Waldrum era, posting a 49-13-3 record (.777) when facing an NSCAA top-25 or postseason opponent (30-11-3/.716 vs. top-25 teams) ... stretching from '92-'04, the Irish have scored in 94.8% of their games (294 of 310) ... since a 3-2 loss to BYU (10/19/02), ND has trailed in just 11 of its last 55 games for 283:06 (5.6% of 5,029:29), going 48-5-2 in that 55-game stretch ... 6 of ND's 11 deficits in that span have been 14 minutes or shorter (including for 13:40 vs. UCLA) while only three teams have led the Irish more than 40 minutes over that 55-game stretch ... ND followed up its 0.49 team GAA in 2003 with a 0.51 in '04, holding 46 of 51 teams to 0-1 goals in that two-year stretch (the Irish have not allowed more than two goals in their last 29 games) ... ND has turned in an impressive 18-2-1 record outside of Alumni Field during the past two seasons (27-2-1 at home) ... three of the top-four team GAA in ND history have come during the Waldrum era (0.39 in '00, 0.49 in '03, 0.51 in '04, with the record of 0.36 set in '97).
POSTSEASON POWER - The '04 ND team compiled one of the most dominating postseason in the program's history ... ND's +105 shot margin in the '04 postseason (152-47) ranks 2nd only to the 1997 Irish squad (+157, 192-35) while the team's +19 postseason scoring margin (23-4) ranks 3rd behind the '97 (+31) and '96 (+22) teams ... the Irish featured 9 different goalscorers in the '04 postseason (record is 10, in '94, '96, '97) also posted 6 shutouts to tie the record set in '95 ... when looking at just the NCAAs, the '04 team owns the 2nd-best shot margin (+64, 96-32; behind +101/124-23 in `97) and tied that shutout record as well (also 4 in '95).
THORLAKSON CLOSES PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR SEASON - Notre Dame junior F Katie Thorlakson already has collected one national player-of-the-year honor (from Sports Illustrated on Campus) and now awaits word on another awards, most notably the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy (TBA on Jan. 7) ... Thorlakson (70 points; 23 goals-24 assists) ended two points shy of tying the ND record for points in a season (72, by Cindy Daws in '96) ... she led the nation in points and goals while her 23 goals were 2nd to Penn State's Tiffany Weimer (26) ...the most famous player in women's soccer history, former UNC great Mia Hamm (32G-33A, in '92), is the only player ever to total more goals and more assists in a season than Thorlakson ... her 70 points rank 17th in NCAA history while her 24 assists are 11th ... since '99, two current members of the U.S. National Team - Abby Wambach (76, at Florida in '01) and Lindsay Tarpley (73, at UNC in '03) - are the only Division I players to total more points in a season than Thorlakson ... she also joined Hamm , Tarpley (23-27, '03) and former Santa Clara great Mandy Clemens (24-23, '99) as the only players to reach 23G-23A in the same season (Hamm remains the only 24-24 player) ... Thorlakson will take an 11-game point streak into the 2005 season, with that streak ranking one shy of the ND record set by Anne Makinen in '99 ... she has 36 pts (12G-11A; 3 GWG, 5 GWA) in her current 11-game point streak ... others ND players who have fashioned 11-game point streaks include Jenny Streiffer and Holly Manthei in '96, Meotis Erikson in '97 ... Tholakson scored or assisted on ND's final six goals of '04 (3G-3A) and had a G/A on 24 of ND's final 28 goals (12G-12A) dating back to the Oct. 24 Seton Hall game (she was on the bench for one of those rare goals that she was not involved in) ... she scored or assisted on nearly 70% of ND's total goals in `04 (47 of 70) and totaled 23 points (8G-7A) in '04 games vs. top-25 teams (10 GP) ... she scored or assisted on 15 gamewinning goals in `04 (8 GWG, 7 GWA) for a team-leading 25 gamewinning points (35% of the team's GWP) ... Jenny Heft (28, in '98) and Daws (26, in '96) are the only ND players to total more goals in a season than Thorlakson while her 24A rank 4th on that list behind three of the season totals from NCAA all-time assist leader Holly Manthei ... she will enter '05 ranked 13th on the ND career scoring list with 112 points (37G-38A), nine points behind former teammate Amanda Guertin (she also ranks 8th with 14 career gamewinning goals, including 8 in '04 to tie that ND record) ... with just 3G-2A in '05, she will become the 35th Div. I player ever to reach 40G-40A (16 have reached 50G-50A and just five have posted 60G-60A) ... set ND records for points (27), goals (9), assists (9) and gamewinning assists (4) in one postseason, also setting Irish records for points (14), assists (6) and GWAs (4) in one NCAA Tournament ... she also ranks 2nd among ND players in career NCAA tournament assists (8, behind Manthei's 15), plus 2nd in NCAA career GWAs (4, to Manthei's 6), 3rd in GW points (10, 3G-4A) and 5th in points (33; 11G-11A) ... was 4-for-4 on penalty kicks in '04 - including the gametying goal vs. UCLA - before missing to open the shootout ... her 70 points in '04 were more than double ND's second-leading scorer (Candace Chapman, with 32).
IRON WOMEN -11 players on the 2004 ND team logged 27 games, besting the team record of 26 set by 16 players from the '96 and '99 teams ... the record-setters include F Katie Thorlakson, Amanda Cinalli and Candace Chapman, M Jen Buczkowski, Annie Schefter and Jill Krivacek, D Christie Shaner, Kim Lorenzen and Melissa Tancredi, and top offensive subs Ashley Jones and Lizzie Reed ... Tancredi also set an ND record by starting 27 games (13 previously had 26 GS) ... ... backline starters Tancredi, Shaner, Lorenzen and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir ended the '04 season having combined to play 249 games at ND (204 starts) ... Thorlakson has played 70 straight games with the Irish (her entire career, since returning from the '02 Under-19 World Championship) while Buczkowski and Schefter (missed '02 to injury) also have logged every game of their two-year careers (51) ... four other sophomores have missed just one game in two seasons with the Irish: Shaner (48 straight GP), Lorenzen (41), Reed (40) and Krivacek (35) ... Tancredi totaled 82 games played in her ND career (73 GS).
TWO-YEAR TEAR - Notre Dame's two-year record of 45-4-2 (.902) in the '03 and '04 seasons represents the second-most wins over a two-years stretch in the program's history, behind the 47-3-1 run in '96 and '97 (.931) ... two other two-year stretches in ND women's soccer history have included a slightly better combined win pct. than the '03 and '04 teams (.902): in '94-'95 (.910, 44-3-3) and '93-'94 (.904, 42-4-1).
ODE TO OVERTIME - Notre Dame remains unbeaten in its last 18 overtime games (13-0-5), since the 3-2, double-OT loss to UNC in the '99 opener ... prior to the '04 NCAA title game vs. UCLA, the Irish had played to overtime just once in the previous 29 games (0-0 vs. Rutgers, late in the '04 regular season).
BOHN GETS IT DONE - Erika Bohn entered the NCAA title game having faced just 43 shots all season in 24 games played, with ND's stellar team defense causing Bohn to face an average of just two shots on goal per game played (90 minutes) ... that ratio was even lower in the first five games of the NCAAs, when she faced only six total shots on goal ... Bohn proved she was far from rusty in the showdown with UCLA, totaling six saves (including three in penalty-kick situations) to equal the shot total she had faced in the previous five games ... one of those PK saves came with 5:09 left in regulation, as Bohn made a strong leap to her left to push senior D Kendall Billingsley's shot around the post ... the response of Bohn and the rest of the Irish team was all the more noteworthy as the team had to overcome a deflating own-goal in the 60th minute, after a miscommunication between senior D Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Bohn (on a routine pass-back) ... Bohn credited her PK success to second-year assistant coach Dawn Greathouse, a former standout `keeper at Baylor who played three seasons in the WUSA ... Bohn ended up leading the nation with a 0.41 goals-against average (3rd in ND history, just behind LaKeysia Beene's 0.36 in '97 and Liz Wagner's 0.39 in '00) ... Bohn's 0.69 career GAA also ranks 3rd in ND history (behind Wagner's 0.57 and Beene's 0.62) ... she is 51-5-2 in her last 58 overall decisions with the Irish (since 3-2 loss to BYU on 10/19/02), allowing just 28 goals in that 58-game stretch (34 with 0 GA, 18 with 1 GA) ... her 64 official starts at ND (in fall games) include 37 in which she has not allowed a goal, 17 with one goal allowed, 4 with two goals allowed and just 5 with 3-plus goals ... since the BYU game, Bohn has limited the opponent to 0-1 goals in 49 of her last 53 fall games (36 with 0 GA, 13 with 1 GA, 2-1 loss to BC, 3-2 loss to UM, 5-2 win over Santa Clara, 2-1 loss at UConn).