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Womens Soccer: Bouncing back

Andy Troeger | Friday, October 31, 2003

Coming off of their first loss of the season, the Irish will look to rebound by getting the postseason off to a good start against Miami on Sunday.

The Irish will again be looking for coach Randy Waldrum’s 200th Division I soccer win, and will be trying to earn a trip to the Big East semifinals at Rutgers next weekend.

One of the major keys for the Irish will be seeing how they respond to their first loss of the season.

“They knew they didn’t perform the way they should have,” Waldrum said of the game against Michigan. “I think the key in talking to them after the game was to try to make sure they don’t let that ruin Sunday’s game. We’re starting the second season now, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”

As in the game against Michigan, Waldrum is prepared to play against Miami without two of his top players that are battling injury in senior defender Melissa Tancredi and junior Mary Boland. It is possible that either player could play, but unlikely. Waldrum believes that Tancredi would be available next week if the Irish advance past the Hurricanes.

“There’s no question it hurts not having them, they are two quality players that have been a big part in what we’ve done this year,” Waldrum said. “But we certainly are a good enough team to have gotten past Michigan without those players. We’re deep enough to get by with it.”

The game will be a rematch of a game played just three weeks ago at Alumni Field, when the Irish earned a 3-0 win on the strength of goals by Boland, Amanda Guertin and Katie Thorlakson.

“It’s a mix [playing Miami for a second time],” Waldrum said. “We beat them fairly comfortably at home which is a good thing from a confidence standpoint. The bad thing is having beat them before you don’t want the kids going in like we did Wednesday night, mentally unprepared to play.”

The last time the two teams played, the Irish were coming to the end of a grueling stretch of seven games in fifteen days. The schedule has not gotten much easier for the Irish, who have continued to play a lot of games.

“With all the mid-week games in the last three weeks we really haven’t had many good practice days,” Waldrum said. “We play a game, recover the next day, then play again. So we’ll get back into the basic things we were doing at the beginning of the year.”

Despite failing to complete the fourth unbeaten regular season in team history, the Irish are excited to play Miami again and to enter the postseason.

“I don’t think when we played them here that we played very well, and we beat them 3-0,” Waldrum said. I think we need to be a little more prepared to play them since it is going to have a playoff atmosphere to it.”

Notes

– The Irish have an 18-0-0 record all-time in Big East Tournament competition, winning the tournament the seven previous times they have competed.

– The Irish outscored their Big East opponents 22-0 on the season.

– Before the game against Michigan, the Irish had outscored their opposition 36-1 since giving up a goal in a 2-1 game against Santa Clara.