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ND WOMEN’S SOCCER: Hanks’ late goal helps Irish tie Mexican team

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, April 25, 2005

The reigning NCAA champions looked deserving of their title after controlling the pace of the game throughout most of the contest. The one roadblock the team faced was struggling to score.In front of a crowd of more than 3,000 fans at Alumni Field Friday, the Irish needed to rely upon a last-second goal from freshman Kerri Hanks to even the score at 2-2 against the Mexican Women’s National Team.Heading into the match, Notre Dame went in with a disadvantage against Mexico after losing senior defenders Melissa Tan-credi and Gundrun Gunn-arsdottir and playing without junior forward Katie Thorlakson, who is currently playing in Europe with the Canadian National Team.To fill their vacancies, the Irish looked to freshmen, including starting forwards Susan Pinnick and Amanda Cinalli, defender Ashley Jones and midfielder Jannica Tjeder. One other notable difference by the Irish was the move of All-American Candace Chapman from the forward position to defense.Despite the loss of three key starters and moving of Chapman to defense, the Irish were still able to outshoot Mexico 15-7, including 6-4 shots on goal, proving their ability to maintain control of game. However, it was their opponent that was able to take advantage of their key shots and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half. The first came from former Notre Dame All-American Monica Gonzalez who scored off a penalty kick during the 19th minute of play, after a penalty was called on Candace Chapman. The second was scored by Mexico midfielder Patricia Perez off an assist by Monica Vergara in the closing minutes of the first half.”I was a little disappointed,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said. “We were a little disorganized and the second goal was clearly a breakdown. Credit to [Mexico] because they took advantage of it and that is what they do.”Despite the early setback, Waldrum remained confident with his lineup changes, especially with his movement of Chapman.”We lost [Tanc-redi] and [Gunnar-sdottir] to graduation and [defense] is one area we are thin this spring,” Waldrum said. “[Chapman] was an All-American defender for us a few years back and in this kind of game we needed her experience back there.”It was not until the 56th minute in the second half where the Irish finally began their comeback. Junior midfielder Annie Schefter scored off a penalty kick to make the score 2-1. The tying goal came during the final 10 seconds left in the four minutes of stoppage time. Chapman chased down a throw-in from Jones and sent it to the left side of the field for Hanks, who headed the ball into the net past Mexico goalie Jennifer Molina.”Kerri missed the whole season with the Youth World Cup and I think the crowd got a glimpse of what she is going to give us after scoring the game-winner,” Waldrum said.