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ND Women’s Soccer: No. 1 remains unblemished

Chris Khorey | Monday, September 18, 2006

Unbeaten, unscored upon and unsatisfied.

No. 1 Notre Dame (8-0) was not at its best this weekend, but managed to win road contests 5-0 over DePaul Friday and 2-0 over Michigan Sunday.

Irish coach Randy Waldrum said he was happy with the squad’s effort against the Blue Demons, but he said the team was “lethargic” against the Wolverines.

“Michigan played hard and was very organized, but we weren’t real sharp,” he said.

Waldrum said he hoped his team, which has not allowed a goal since Sept. 3 against Santa Clara, learned a lesson from the relatively sub-par performance against the Wolverines.

“These kids have to understand that every game is going to be a battle,” he said. “That’s what happens when you have the No. 1 target on your back.”

The two teams played an even first half Sunday, with Michigan having the best chance to score on a shot by junior forward Melissa Dobbyn which sailed just wide of the net.

In the second half, Notre Dame shook off the cobwebs and found the back of the net in the 57th minute. Freshman forward Michele Weissenhofer took a pass from junior Susan Pinnick and beat Wolverine keeper Madison Gates.

Gates was in the game after an early injury to regular starter senior Megan Tuura.

The Irish struck again in the 84th minute with a goal by junior forward Amanda Cinalli. Cinalli redirected a cross from Weissenhofer, giving the freshman her NCAA-leading 10th assist of the year.

Waldrum said he was glad his team woke up in time to get the victory.

“We came on the road and got a win, so I can’t complain too much,” he said.

Notre Dame 5, DePaul 0

Waldrum said Friday’ performance against the Blue Demons in Notre Dame’s first Big East conference game of the year was one of the most complete Irish wins of the season.

“DePaul was probably the first game that we’ve put together 70-80 good minutes,” he said.

Playing on the Blue Demons’ new artificial FieldTurf, the Irish played well early, outshooting DePaul 18-1 in the first half.

The Irish spent one practice inside the Loftus Center this week to get ready for the artificial surface

“We played pretty well with [the surface],” Waldrum said. “It didn’t seem to have too big of an effect. The field wasn’t too much of a problem.”

Notre Dame first got on the scoreboard with a goal by sophomore Brittany Bock, her second since returning to action last week. Bock, along with sophomore defender Carrie Dew, had been playing for Team USA in the U-20 World Championships in Russia.

The teams went into the locker room with the score 1-0, but the Irish exploded with four goals in the second half – two by Weissenhofer, one by sophomore forward Kerri Hanks and one by senior midfielder Lizzie Reed.

Notes:

-After the Notre Dame football team’s loss to Michigan on Saturday, Waldrum said he was anticipating a very hostile reception in Ann Arbor. While Sunday afternoon’s crowd was relatively mild, Waldrum said he and the team were not greeted warmly when they arrived in town Saturday night.

“We went to TGI Friday’s [in Ann Arbor Saturday] night,” Waldrum said. “When we got to the restaurant there were some people [who] had some not-so-nice things to say about Notre Dame.”

-The Irish continue Big East conference play next week with a road trip to Cincinnati Friday and a home game against Louisville Sunday.

The Bearcats are 4-3-1 this year while, the Cardinals are 5-0.