The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Strong start, strong finish

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, October 15, 2004

This Saturday, the No. 1 Irish will face conference-rival Boston College at Alumni Field with one goal in mind – to complete the game with a consistent high level of intensity.

Boston College is ranked No. 20 with an overall record 9-4-0.

This could be a challenge for the Irish, who have struggled offensively the past several games. The team has relied upon late game-winning goals, but is looking to come out and play strong throughout the contest.

“Boston College is a quality team that beat us last year in the Big East Tournament,” junior Annie Schefter said. “Our biggest challenge will be to play a full 90 minutes.”

This goal may prove to be challenging for the Irish who are aware of the strong and physical style of play of the Eagles.

“They like to get out and attack. They beat us last year in the Big East tournament” coach Randy Waldrum said. “They are a very athletic team and are going to match up to us very well.”

Despite the similarities between the teams, the Irish have something that no other Big East team has earned – a freshman player receiving offensive or defensive honors for the Big East players of the week.

Amanda Cinialli achieved this honor this week for the Irish.

“Cinalli has been playing really well. She has gotten some great goals the past two games,” Schefter said. “She has played so well for a freshman and stepped up and been rewarded with great goals and the league has noticed that and given her an honor that she deserves.”

Waldrum said Cinalli has played great soccer since she joined the team this season.

“I’ve been really happy with her since day one. She has looked and played like a veteran since she’s been here,” Waldrum said.

Last Sunday, Cinalli scored a clutch goal for the team to tie the score 1-1 against Georgetown last in the first half before going on to win the contest 2-1.

During the fall break, the Irish also face challenges against two other conference rivals. Waldrum is slightly disappointed that the games are scheduled during the break.

“They are going to be huge for us. I wish they fell on weeks our students were back on campus because they are big games for us,” Waldrum said.

On Oct. 22, the Irish will be competing against Rutgers, currently 9-7.

“This game be key for us,” Waldrum said. “It is going to be huge.”

The players are just as aware of the importance of this contest.

“We are going to have to play a good game. They’ve had great players in the past and we are definitely going to be ready for them,” Schefter said.

The Irish will close out the break on Oct. 24 against Seton Hall (6-5-2). Although its record is barley over .500, the team is not looking past any Big East rival.

“Seton Hall [is] going to throw everything they can at us. We played a close game last year,” Schefter said. “It is an example that if we aren’t on top of our game, each team will play their best.”