Women to play big game this weekend
Andy Troeger | Friday, October 3, 2003
For their first seven years in the Big East, the women’s soccer team was utterly dominant. The Irish seldom lost at all, and even if they did, they always managed to be there at the end – winning the Big East Tournament in their first seven years in the conference.
Last year things changed. The Irish went only 3-3 in divisional games and did not even qualify for the Big East Tournament. Two of those three losses came against the two teams the Irish face this weekend – No. 5 West Virginia and Villanova.
The Irish have been impressive through 10 games this season. They have scored 40 goals thus far, and have only allowed the opponents to take 26 shots on goal.
In addition, no team has scored more than one goal against the Irish this season, while the Irish are averaging four goals per game.
Still, the Irish know that West Virginia and Villanova beat them last year, and they expect difficult games this season as well.
“West Virginia is very good and very athletic,” said Irish coach Randy Waldrum. “They’re close to matching us athletically, and like Stanford they are very organized and very difficult to break down defensively.
Villanova, while not as highly regarded nationally as West Virginia, is also a very solid team.
“Villanova is very blue collar and hardworking,” said Waldrum. “They don’t really have any stars, but they’re all solid. They beat us at their place last year and have a quality program.”
Heading into the conference season, the Irish appear to have the scheduling advantage by playing their toughest opponents at Alumni Field.
Either way, the winner of this weekend’s contest will have a huge advantage in the conference standings.
With that thought in mind, the Irish will be looking to get off to a good start as they look to re-establish themselves as the team to beat in the Big East and continue their march toward attaining one of the all-important top four seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
“Every game is important for the NCAA seeding,” said senior forward Amy Warner. “Plus these games are really important for the Big East. These games are important because ultimately we want to get one of the top four seeds so that we can host all the way until the Final Four.”
The Irish have only trailed once all season, for seven minutes against Arizona State. The Irish eventually won 3-1.
The Irish are undefeated after 10 games for the seventh time in program history, despite the program being less than 20 years old.
Irish goalkeeper Erika Bohn is 18-1-1 in her last twenty games.
Senior Amanda Guertin’s goal against Indiana State moved her into the top ten in Irish history in career goals (43).