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Women’s Soccer: Irish face rivals USC, Santa Clara

Chris Khorey | Friday, September 1, 2006

Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 in the Soccer Times Coaches Poll after wins over Iowa State and Ole Miss last weekend, will face Santa Clara, ranked No. 1 in the Soccer Buzz poll, as part of the Inn at Saint Mary’s Notre Dame Classic at 1 p.m. on Alumni Field Sunday.”Santa Clara is always a great rivalry,” Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum said. “It’s a series that [Broncos head coach] Jerry Smith and myself have decided to continue year in and year out. It’s great not only for our two programs, but for all of women’s soccer because two top teams play each other early every year.”Notre Dame’s first game of the Classic will be tonight at 7:30 against USC. Despite Notre Dame’s intense football rivalry with the Trojans, the two women’s soccer teams have not played a regular season game during Waldrum’s tenure.”Certainly, the two institutions have a lot of competition with each other, but the only time we’ve played them while I’ve been here was in a spring [exhibition] game,” Waldrum said. “I’m hopeful that after getting them here this year, this is a relationship we can continue after this year.”The Broncos and Irish, on the other hand, have played several hard-fought games over the last few seasons. In 2003, Notre Dame won 2-1 in Santa Clara on a goal by then-sophomore Katie Thorlakson. In 2004 the Irish beat the Broncos twice – once by a score of 5-2 in the regular season and then 1-0 in the national semifinal.Last season, Santa Clara ended its losing streak, beating the Notre Dame 1-0 at the Broncos’ home field.The Broncos are generally known for the explosive offense, but have only scored two goals in their first two games – a pair of 1-0 victories over Wake Forest and Utah. Irish defender and senior captain Kim Lorenzen said Notre Dame still has to respect Santa Clara’s forwards.”Santa Clara is a challenge for us because they’re very technical and creative where they’re on the attack,” Lorenzen said. “They’re one of the best attacking teams in the NCAA.”The Irish back wall will be once again without sophomore defender Carrie Dew who, along with sophomore forward Brittany Bock, is competing in the U-20 World Championships in Russia. Freshmen Amanda Clark and Haley Ford have alternated in Dew’s spot and will be called upon to help slow down the powerful Bronco attack.”[Clark and Ford] have really stepped up,” Lorenzen said. “We haven’t missed a beat with Carrie gone, but at the same time we’re really excited to have her back starting next week.”As for the Trojans, they come into tonight’s contest 1-0-1, with a 4-1 win over UC-Santa Barbara and a scoreless tie with UC-Irvine last weekend. While the two teams haven’t played in a while, Lorenzen said the Irish have been focusing on USC this week and trying not to look ahead to Sunday against the Broncos.”We haven’t played [USC] since I’ve been here,” Lorenzen said. “I don’t know anyone personally on their team, but most California schools are really good programs. We’re not looking past them at all.”

Notes:u Lorenzen, sophomore forward Kerri Hanks, and freshman midfielder Courtney Rosen saw reduced playing time last week due to muscle pulls in their legs, but Waldrum said all three are healthy for this weekend.u Waldrum said he has not decided which goalie – freshman Kelsey Lysander or junior Lauren Karas – will start against USC tonight. Lysander started last Saturday against Iowa State, while Karas started last Sunday against Ole Miss.”We’ll make a decision of who we start on Friday and then maybe we’ll decide to [start the other one on Sunday] again, or not,” Waldrum said. u USC and Santa Clara will both play Harvard this weekend as part of the Inn at Saint Mary’s Notre Dame Classic, but the Irish will not face the Crimson, nor will the Broncos and Trojans play.u Waldrum said he expects big crowds for the two home games, especially tonight.”I’m hoping that we get a really good crowd,” he said. “I’m sure the students want to do something the night before football season gets started.”