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ND Women’s Soccer: Cincinnati Kidding

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cincinnati’s season was on the line, and Notre Dame had little to play for.

It didn’t matter.

Sophomores Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock and freshman Michele Weissenhofer each scored goals as the Irish (17-0-1, 10-0-1 Big East) ended the Bearcats’ season with a 3-0 win on the road Tuesday.

“They never were much of a threat to us at all,” Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum said. “We created a ton of good chances.”

Cincinnati (7-9-2, 3-7-1 Big East) came into the game trailing Seton Hall by one point in the National Division and needed a win to pass the Pirates for fourth place to qualify for the conference tournament. No. 1 Notre Dame, which had already clinched a first round bye, was playing for seeding in the NCAA Tournament next month.

“I would rate our effort tonight very high, especially with nothing left in the conference for us to play for,” Waldrum said. “Of course, we do want that top NCAA seed and our kids are hungry for that.”

Bock returned to the Irish lineup Tuesday after missing Sunday’s 1-0 win over Georgetown with a leg injury.

“Having her really makes our offense flow,” Waldrum said. “She makes Hanks better, she makes Weissenhofer better, she makes [junior Amanda] Cinalli and [junior Susan] Pinnick and everyone else we play up front better.”

Bock opened the scoring with a goal 34 minutes into the game off a pass from Hanks. Barely 10 minutes later, Hanks put the Irish up 2-0 with her team-leading 15th score of the year.

Weissenhofer added her 10th of the year in the second half to provide the final margin.

The game was the third contest in five days for Notre Dame and the team’s fifth straight road game. Waldrum said the Irish will not practice Wednesday or Thursday so they can rest before their first Big East tournament game, Sunday at Alumni Field.

“Being on the tail end of being on the road these past few weeks and with midterm exams, mentally, I think they need a day or two away from [soccer] to catch up a little bit,” he said.

Notre Dame will face the winner of St. John’s and Seton Hall, who will play Thursday in Queens, N.Y. On the other side of the bracket, Louisville and Pittsburgh will play Thursday for the right to take on West Virginia.

Rutgers, Connecticut, Villanova and Marquette also earned first round byes. The Huskies and Scarlet Knights will play Friday in Piscataway, N.J., while the Wildcats and Golden Eagles will face off Sunday in Milwaukee.

The winners of this weekend’s game will travel to Storrs, Conn., Nov. 3-5 for the conference semifinals and finals.