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Women’s Soccer: Bock aids Irish for two wins

Ken Fowler | Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New season, same results.

That’s been the story of the top-ranked and defending national champion Notre Dame women’s soccer team in the last 10 days, as freshmen Brittany Bock and Kerri Hanks and senior Katie Thorlakson propelled the Irish to two wins in exhibition matchups.

Though Hanks said the team was a little out of sync, the Irish topped Butler and Virginia in the team’s two pre-season games.

“It all came down team effort,” she said. “And the coaches prepared us very well.”

Notre Dame 8, Butler 1

In the first contest, Notre Dame routed the Bulldogs in Indianapolis, 8-1, scoring eight goals on 26 shots. Bock made a tremendous first impression, scoring two goals and adding an assist.

Senior forward Katie Thorlakson started the Irish on the right foot, netting her goal just 90 seconds after kickoff. Junior defender Kim Lorenzen assisted on the goal.

Butler’s Meredith Buemi evened the score at 1-1 15 minutes later, but that proved to be the only offense the Bulldogs could mount.

The Irish played exceptional defense, surrendering just three shots on goal in 90 minutes of action.

The Irish retook the lead in the second period, as sophomore Susan Pinnick marked a goal in the lower left corner.

Hanks finished the scoring at 89:30 with a rebound goal off Bock’s final shot.

Although the margin of victory was great, Hanks felt that the team could have played better.

“It wasn’t the best game all of us played,” she said, “but it was good to get out there and get a game under our belts.”

Notre Dame 2, Virginia 0

In the IPFW Showcase in Fort Wayne, Ind., Katie Thorlakson once again gave the Irish an early lead against No.4-ranked Virginia.

Kerri Hanks served a pass to the right side of the box, where Thorlakson received and shot to the lower left corner.

The Irish defense helped the offense kept the lead, allowing just seven shots all game. Goalkeeper Erika Bohn delivered a solid performance, saving all three Cavalier shots on goal. It was a strong outing for the Irish defense, after stifling the Butler offense four days earlier.

Hanks was happy with the team’s performance as well as her own. She said the offense was crisper and working better together.

“I’m glad we got to play Virginia because I think that was the best exhibition game there was all year,” she said.

And they played up to the competition.

“We were much better than we were against Butler,” Hanks said.

Now, though, Hanks, Thorlakson, Bock and the rest of the Irish have to hone their skills for the first regular-season match of the year.

On Friday, the Irish travel to Vermont to face New Hampshire to begin their quest of a repeat.

While “it’s on our minds – we want to repeat,” Hanks said, the team “cannot [look] at the big picture.” They just take it “one game at a time.”

For the first two, so far so good.