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Irish update: Women’s soccer stays unbeaten against Mountaineers in driving rain

Chris Khorey | Saturday, September 30, 2006

Notre Dame’s shutout streak ended Friday night. But its winning streak didn’t.

Sophomore forward Kerri Hanks’ header with 16:47 left broke a 1-1 tie for the winning goal and senior forward Amanda Cinalli added an insurance score with four minutes left to give No. 1 Notre Dame (10-0, 3-0 Big East) a 3-1 win over No. 6 West Virginia (9-1-2, 2-1-1 Big East) in a soaking rain night at Alumni Field.

“It all started when [senior defender Kim Lorenzen] won a ball at midfield,” Hanks said of the go-ahead goal. “Then [midfielder Jen Buczkowski] made a nice pass and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Hanks’ goal was her team-leading seventh of the season.

The Mountaineers controlled most of the first half and scored first, ending Notre Dame’s five game shutout streak on a shot from just outside the Irish box by midfielder Amanda Cicchini in the 17th minute of the first half. The ball was drilled high and to the left side of the net, just out of Irish keeper Lauren Karas’ reach.

“We made a mistake and left [Cicchini] unmarked,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said of the goal.

The Mountaineers had several other first half chances, but couldn’t convert.

“The defense saved our butts in the first half,” freshman forward Michele Weissenhofer said.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Waldrum knew he had to make some changes.

“We didn’t have patience,” Waldrum said. “We weren’t holding it long enough for the forwards to get free. In the second half, we tried to get to ball to [forward] Brittany [Bock] and let her turn and distribute.”

Waldrum said the offensive adjustment was a play the Irish had practiced during the week.

“[Bock] did a great job in that spot for us tonight,” he said.

Four minutes into the second half, the Irish used Bock’s distribution to even the score. Weissnehofer took a pass from Bock on the right side of the West Virginia penalty area the freshman’s career.

The Irish also hit the back of the net in the 17th minute of the second half, but the goal was disallowed on a foul call on Notre Dame.

The game featured five yellow cards and several other hard fouls. Waldrum said the quality of the two teams and the importance of the game caused the physical play.

“There was a lot at stake and two good teams going at it out there,” he said.

A crowd of 3,046 people, the second largest home audience in Notre Dame history, watched the contest despite the rain and cold. A large student section, comprised mainly of residents of Stanford and O’Neill Halls, stood behind the Mountaineer net the whole game and heckled Bannerman.

“I can’t thank them enough,” Waldrum said of the fans. “That was huge. You could tell they had [the keeper] rattled. It lifted the whole atmosphere of the stadium.”