Soccer Heading to South Bend
BOULDER - The University of Colorado women's soccer team, a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Soccer Championship Tournament, will travel to South Bend, Ind., to take on the No. 1 seed University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, this Friday, Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m. MST at Alumni Field.
The Buffaloes, who are in the Sweet 16 of the tournament for the first time, are in after beating Colorado College 2-1 on Nov. 10 in the first round and then defeating Denver 2-1 on Nov. 12 in Boulder. They have a record of 14-5-4 on the season, the second-highest win total in school history.
Notre Dame advanced to the round of 16 for the 12th time in the last 14 years with wins over Oakland (4-0) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1-0). The Fighting Irish are the only undefeated team left in Division I women's soccer with a record of 22-0-1.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams, and CU's first-ever soccer game in the state of Indiana. It will be CU's third game against a team from the Big East Conference; the Buffs beat Pitt 1-0 a year ago and beat Seton Hall 1-0 in 2003. The teams had one common opponent this year in Iowa State, who Notre Dame beat 9-0 and the Buffs beat 1-0.
Colorado is led offensively by Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Nikki Marshall, who has 17 goals and three assists on the season. Marshall has gotten a lot of help lately from senior Katie Griffin, who has three goals in the last two games and is CU's all time leading scorer with 32 goals and 14 assists.
Defensively the Buffs are led by senior defender Laura Munnelly, arguably the most underrated player in college soccer, who has logged 8,043 minutes in her career (out of a 8,063 possible) and is CU's career leader in games played and started with 90 to her name. She is backed by sophomore goalkeeper Kirstin Radlinski, who has a 0.97 goals against average and eight wins this season.
They will face a formidable opponent in the form of the Fighting Irish, who are the top ranked team in college soccer and were the 2004 National Champions. They are led by Hermann Trophy nominee Kerri Hanks, who has 21 goals and 16 assists for 58 points on the season. She too has help, primarily coming in the form of freshman Michele Weissenhofer, who has 15 goals and 17 assists on the year. In net is Lauren Karas, who has allowed just seven goals this season and has been forced into just 33 saves. There are four Hermann Trophy nominees on the team; Hanks, senior defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek, sophomore defender Carrie Dew and senior midfielder Jen Buczkowski.
Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum went to South Bend from Baylor University, where he compiled a record of 1-2 against the Buffaloes. CU coach Bill Hempen coached against UND 10 times in his Duke career, with a record of 3-6-1.