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Womens Soccer: Wake-up call

Andy Troeger | Thursday, October 30, 2003

The stage was set for the women’s soccer team to complete an undefeated regular season and win coach Randy Waldrum’s 200th game Wednesday night against Michigan.

Instead, the Wolverines snapped Notre Dame’s 10-game shutout streak early in the contest and went on to upset the second-ranked Irish 3-2 at Alumni Field.

The Irish, playing without their No. 2 scorer Mary Boland and defensive leader Melissa Tancredi, struggled from the onset against the physical Wolverines. Michigan took the lead early when Katie Kramer shot over Irish goalkeeper Erika Bohn for the 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.

The Irish, down for only the second time all season, struck back quickly. Senior Amanda Guertin nailed the crossbar off of a set play after a foul and then scored the equalizer only 64 seconds after the Michigan goal. Guertin made a move to get by Michigan goalkeeper Megan Tuura and stuck a low shot to make it 1-1.

Although it appeared the Irish were ready to seize the momentum, the Wolverines were not through as they used their only two corner kicks to build a two-goal lead. The first came late in the first half as Therese Heaton played a kick from Robyn Vince into the net for the 2-1 lead.

The Wolverines further stunned the Irish by scoring on a rebound goal from Stephanie Chavez off of their other corner kick to take a 3-1 lead early in the second half. Bohn was able to stop and deflect the initial header, but the Irish were unable to make the clearance and Chavez deposited the goal.

Upon taking the two-goal lead, Michigan changed their strategy and dropped back into a more defensive game, forcing the Irish to take time in trying to chip away at the lead. After initially struggling to break the mass of Michigan defenders, the Irish cashed in as senior Amy Warner played the ball to Katie Thorlakson who beat a defender and Tuura to get the Irish within 3-2 with 21:37 to go.

Despite having some chances to tie the game in the last twenty minutes, the Irish finally were unable to convert, as the Michigan defense was able to hold on long enough to thwart the Irish offensive effort.

“Everyone on our team is a competitor, so of course we’d have liked to have walked away with a win,” said senior Kim Carpenter. “But we’ve had a great season thus far, and we plan to continue to do well throughout the playoffs.”

The Irish lost despite outshooting Michigan 19-6, including a 10-6 edge in shots on goal. With the win, Michigan improved to 7-6-6 on the season, while the Irish fell to 18-1-1. Tuuara made eight saves for the Wolverines.

Having closed their regular season, the Irish play again at home Sunday when they open the postseason by hosting Miami at 1 p.m. at Alumni Field.