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



ND Women’s Soccer: Strained at the start

Chris Khorey | Friday, August 25, 2006

The season hasn’t started yet, but Notre Dame has already been bitten by the injury bug.

Already missing sophomores Carrie Dew and Brittany Bock, who are in Moscow competing in the U-20 World Championships, No.5 Notre Dame will be without two other starters and several other players as it opens the regular season Saturday against Iowa State at Alumni Field before traveling to Oxford, Miss. to play No. 24 Ole Miss Sunday.

Irish coach Randy Waldrum said senior defender Kim Lorenzen and sophomore forward Kerri Hanks will be held out of this weekend’s contests due to pulled leg muscles.

“[Their injuries are] just little pulls, but they’re nagging enough that they’re going to be very limited this weekend,” Waldrum said of Lorenzen and Hanks. “We can’t risk them with Santa Clara and USC coming in next week.”

Also out for the Irish are sophomore defender Kerry Inglis, who had foot surgery and will miss the next few weeks, freshman midfielder Courtney Rosen and senior goalkeeper Nikki Westfall.

Westfall was supposed to complete for the starting goalie position left vacant by four-year starter Erika Bohn, but with her sidelined the job has come down to junior Lauren Karas and freshman Kelsey Lysander.

Waldrum said Karas and Lysander will both see significant playing time against the Cyclones and Rebels.

“We’re waiting to see whether one of those two completely separates from the other,” Waldrum said. “It’s great that the competition’s close, but at the same time, after we’ve been going for a few weeks you’d like to see one separate.”

With so many injuries, young players have been forced into starting spots, especially at defense, where Dew, Lorenzen and Inglis will all be significant contributors when they return.

Waldrum said his back wall for this weekend will likely feature junior Ashley Jones and senior Christie Shaner along with two freshmen – Amanda Clark and Haley Ford.

Clark and Ford’s only collegiate experience has been in Notre Dame’s two exhibition games – a 3-0 win over Virginia Aug. 16 and a 5-0 win over Xavier Aug.17.

Waldrum said the upside to young players being thrown in so quickly is they will provide experienced depth when the upperclassmen return.

“It’s time for those kids to step up and hopefully do that job for us,” Waldrum said. “It certainly gives them an opportunity to show us that they should be playing more.”

Iowa State, who will also be playing its first game Saturday, went 11-7-3 last year – the team’s best record in four years under coach Rebecca Hornbacher. The Cyclones’ 6-3-1 conference record was good enough to earn them a tie for second in the Big 12 and the school’s first-ever NCAA tournament berth.

Ole Miss, who opens its season with Sunday’s game against the Irish, finished last season 14-5-2, losing to Pepperdine 1-0 in the first round of the NCAAs.


u This weekend marks the only time during the regular season that the Irish will compete in back-to-back days. Waldrum said the scheduling is worrisome given the number of the Notre Dame injuries and the potential for hot, muggy weather in Oxford.

“I’m really, really concerned about [playing on back to back days],” he said. “It’s difficult. We have to play Saturday and then turn around and fly to Mississippi where it’s going to be about 100 degrees.”

u The Iowa State game will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Alumni Field. The Ole Miss game in Oxford will begin at noon.