ND WOMEN’S SOCCER: Irish beat UCLA for second ever national championship
Dan Tapetillo | Friday, May 13, 2005
This was a celebration. This was a mission. This was a game that needed double overtime and penalty kicks to pull out the win.
But for the Irish, the NCAA championship victory was the highlight of an impressive 24-1-1 record this year.
The team got off to a strong start early in the season, with a 7-2 victory over Baylor on August 27. Forward Katie Thorlakson had a stellar performance, as she was a part of all seven points, tying a Notre Dame record. Other notable performances in the win included forward Amanda Cinalli, who scored the first two goals of the contest, and Candace Chapman, who also scored two goals for the team.
Despite the victory, Irish coach Randy Waldrum still expected more from the team.
“I didn’t think we were sharp the whole night,” Waldrum said to und.com after the win. “Now, we scored some fantastic goals, but I didn’t feel like we ever controlled the tempo of the game like I expected us to against them.”
However, when it came down to critical Big East matchups such as Connecticut on Sept. 17, the team allowed little room for error. In the close 1-0 win, the team looked upon senior defender Kate Tulisiak to make an assist to Cinalli for the goal. This was Tulisiak’s first point for the Irish, a player who missed last season because of nagging injuries. The victory impressed Waldrum because of how well the team performed as a unit.
“Kate made a great read to intercept the ball, and we all are so happy for her. She has been such a hard worker and really has come on during the last six months,” Waldrum said to und.com after the win. “Our depth was a key tonight because of the tempo of the game. We felt comfortable with putting so many players into the game, and that can make all the difference.”
Another consistent and key performer for the Irish this season was midfielder Jen Buczkowski. On Oct. 16, Buczkowski made her second last-minute goal to pull out the 1-0 win for the Irish over No. 20 Boston College, the first coming against Georgetown on Oct. 10. The assist came from defender Kim Lorenzen off of a pass from midfielder Ashley Jones. However, the strong performances from defenders Melissa Tancredi, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, Christie Shaner and Lorenzen, were not only key in this match but throughout the entire season. This win extended the team’s victory total to 53 games against Big East opponents at home and claimed the Big East regular season title for Notre Dame
The only loss this season came during the Big East championship game against Connecticut on Nov. 7. The only goal for the Irish in the 2-1 defeat came from Jones, the first of her career.
Despite the loss late in the season, it did not stop the Irish from making a run in the NCAA championships as the No. 4 seed in the tournament. The Irish defeated Eastern Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Portland and Santa Clara to reach the championship game against UCLA on Dec. 5 in Cary, NC.
After trailing 1-0 in the second half, surviving a penalty kick off a save from goalie Erika Bohn and getting through double overtime, Notre Dame still managed to get the 1-1, 4-3 penalty-kick victory over the Bruins.
After Thorlakson missed the first of seven penalty kick attempts by the Irish, goals from Sarah Kalpenny, Buczkowski, Annie Schefter and Jill Krivacek and a miss by the Bruin’s Lindsay Greco clinched the win for Notre Dame.