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ND set to lock horns with BC in Big East semis

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, November 5, 2004

The Irish will be looking for redemption in today’s match against Boston College in the semi-finals of the Big East tournament. The last time these two teams met in the postseason was in last year’s Big East tournament where Notre Dame fell 2-1 to the Eagles.Despite already defeating the Eagles 1-0 on Oct. 16, they are not anticipating an easy victory this afternoon. Notre Dame is expecting the same amount of intensity from Boston College they came across one month ago. Additionally, several key starters will be returning from last season’s loss, including last year’s Big East goalkeeper of the year, Kate Taylor.”Last season Kate Taylor had a couple of saves that kept the game really close,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said. “They are definitely not an easy team to breakdown.”Despite the difficulties Boston College presents, the Irish blame themselves for last year’s loss. “We stopped ourselves. We had three or four missed opportunities,” Waldrum said. “We were scrambling to find things offensively by the time we got to Boston College.”But these mistakes and lost opportunities are what Waldrum is hoping will drive the team to victory. Missed opportunities have also remained a key focus for the program this week because of the strengths Boston College possesses defensively.”We want to be more efficient around the goal,” Waldrum said. “[Boston College is] too good of a team defensively to miss those key opportunities. At this point of the season, everybody is so good and fully capable of beating us.”Although the Irish are focusing on struggles they’ve encountered throughout the season, it does not take away from their confidence entering today’s match. Notre Dame is coming off a 7-0 victory over St. John’s and is looking to present the same number of problems for Boston College.”I think the team has been pretty confident throughout the season, but the win over St. John’s gives us that extra energy and is keeping us focused on scoring goals,” Waldrum said. “All season long we’ve done a good job at waiting for the next opponent. We have just been more focused.”Additionally, the Irish are expecting their defense to give another strong performance, similar to the match in October. It was clear Boston College struggled offensively as the team had only one shot at the goal throughout the entire match.”It is rare that we haven’t been solid and consistent in the back,” Waldrum said. “But I hope they can continue it because this is the stretch of the season where you have to be good.”Another part of the team Waldrum is expecting to play well during this last stretch of the season is the substitutions. One player in particular that has remained a constant force for Notre Dame is Claire Gallerano. “Clare may not have the stats like other players, but the times she has come in, she has done very well and played vital minutes for us,” Waldrum said. “She and other players like her are really key in making the chemistry of the team work. It gives us opportunities to be flexible.”Waldrum attributes the team’s flexibility to how deep in talent the Irish have been this season. “They all know if you’re not making an impact for 20 minutes, we’ve got somebody else waiting,” Waldrum said. “This creates a more competitive training environment, and it shows because every time we step on the field, we compete.”