September 21, 2003

Women's Soccer Falls 2-1 to No. 2 Notre Dame

Sept. 21, 2003

Box Score| Photo Gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 10th-ranked Santa Clara University women's soccer team fell 2-1to second-ranked Notre Dame to close the eighth annual Santa Clara adidas Classic, presented by Marriott, this afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. It marked the first loss for the Broncos in their own tournament, which also saw the Fighting Irish win the team Classic title.

Santa Clara, now 3-2-3 on the season, was 15-0 in the adidas Classic, heading into today's match, which was played in 95-degree heat. Notre Dame became only the second team other than SCU to win the Classic team championship, following Stanford in last year's tournament. The Fighting Irish remain undefeated at 7-0-1. ND now leads the SCU series 5-3-0.

Georgia earned a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Stanford in the earlier game.

"I was very surprised at the lack of attention to detail and the lack of energy, in addition to the unwillingness of each player to take responsibility in the first half," Bronco head coach Jerry Smith said. "However, I was pleased with how we played in the second half. It shows that we have the ability to play with the best teams in the country, but we just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half."

Notre Dame's Mary Boland scored six minutes into the game and added the shot that led to Katie Thorlakson's game-winning rebound goal. The Irish put steady pressure on Santa Clara while racking up a 14-5 overall shot edge, including an 8-1 advantage in a dominant first half while SCU converted its only shot on goal (in the second half).

Thorlakson lofted a 30-yard pass from the left sideline to set up the first goal, with the cross kicking through the box and Boland in place to sweep the ball into the far right side of the net.

The Notre Dame coaching staff made a key tactical decision by making timely substitutions throughout lineup, capitalizing on the team's tremendous depth (despite having five players out with injuries) while also minimizing the effect of the brutal heat on the blue-clad Irish squad.

That strategy paid dividends in the second half, as the Irish answered SCU's equalizer in the 63rd minute by scoring with a fresh group of players on the field. Amy Warner-who was one of four Irish players to re-enter the game in the 65th minute-chased down a ball in the right corner and continued to harass the Bronco defenders before regaining possession near the right side of the box.

Warner then played a short pass to Boland, who took the pass with her back to the goal before turning to her left to shake free of a SCU player. Boland then struck a low shot to the far left side of the goal. Bronco keeper Julie Ryder was able to make the save, but Thorlakson pounced on the deflection for the game-winner.

Santa Clara converted its only shot on goal in the game, as senior Veronica Zepeda's pass found freshman Marian Dalmy open near the top of the box, with Dalmy drilling a shot into the upper right corner for her fourth goal of the season, ending Notre Dame's shutout streak at 418 minutes and marking just the fourth goal allowed by the Irish all season. It also was the first time the Irish have allowed a second-half goal in 2003.

In the earlier match, Georgia's Jessica Winton recorded the only goal on a header into the left of the net from Ashley King in the 72nd minute. The Bulldogs' Ashley Lindley tallied seven saves. Stanford posted a 15-10 shot advantage.

Notre Dame's Katie Thorlakson was named the Classic's Offensive MVP, and teammate Christie Shaner received the Defensive MVP award. Other members of the All-Classic Team are: Mary Boland and Amy Warner from Notre Dame; Jessica Ballweg, Marian Dalmy and Leslie Osborne from Santa Clara; Georgia's Jessica Winton and Andrea Velasco; and Stanford's Nicole Barnhart and Allyson Marquand.

Santa Clara remains at home and will host two matches at Buck Shaw next weekend. The Broncos will host USC on Friday at 7 p.m. and Cal Poly on Sunday at 3 p.m.