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Womens Soccer: Irish try to remain unbeaten

Andy Troeger | Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Of all the impressive stats recorded by the women’s soccer team in the last few years, one of the most impressive is this – in their last 15 games that have gone into overtime, the Irish have not lost. Over that span, going back to 1999, the Irish have four ties and 11 wins, including a 1-0 decision over Villanova Sunday.

Coming off of that overtime decision, the Irish will look to remain undefeated as they play host to Butler tonight at Alumni Field at 7 p.m.

The Irish now are one of only three undefeated teams remaining in Division I women’s soccer, joining No. 1 North Carolina and Oklahoma State, who is not even ranked in the NSCAA poll.

The Irish are also ranked fourth in goals-against average in the nation, allowing only 0.41 goals per game. The Irish have been especially dominant in their last nine games, allowing only 12 shots on goal in that span. Senior Melissa Tancredi was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week last week for her play as the Irish shut out three consecutive opponents.

Between the strong play and the positive results, the Irish are playing with a lot of confidence.

“The players feel like they are going to win every time they step on the field,” said Irish coach Randy Waldrum. “Sometimes as a coach that worries me, but some things have gone our way as in 2000.

“The one big difference we had a few more seniors then than in this group, so some of the mistakes that team made didn’t get us exposed as much as this team has. But I think we’ll get better, I think we’re deeper with this team so it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.”

The Irish game against Butler is the fourth in a series of seven games in 15 days at home for the Irish, who have three games this week for the second time in a row.

“We’re in that period where we’re playing three games within six or seven games and we’re doing it twice in a row,” said Waldrum. “Half of that is over and now we have to do it one more time. It is one of those challenges to see how we deal with it.”

The Irish will take a break from Big East competition tonight by hosting Butler. The Bulldogs come in having blanked Youngstown State 4-0 in their last outing to move to 5-5-2 on the season.