Brown leads Irish into start of three-game stretch
By MIKE CONNOLLY
The Notre Dame women's soccer team hosts the Butler Bulldogs tonight at Alumni Field without junior captain Kelly Lindsey.
She has yet to recover from a knee injury she suffered against North Carolina two weeks ago.
Even without their top defender, the Irish defense has remained strong giving up just one goal to Duke and shutting out St. John's. A big reason for the continued strong play of the Irish defense has been senior Kara Brown.
Brown is a four-year starter for Notre Dame and was named Big East defensive player of the week for her play against St. John's.
Brown's award-winning play in Lindsey's absence does not surprise Lindsey.
"Kara Brown is a great defensive player," she said. "She plays great whether I am there or not so I don't think my absense effected her one bit."
While Lindsey has not seen Brown change her play since injury, she has noticed Brown become a better leader. Brown entered the 1999 season as the only senior on the Irish backfield.
In addition to Lindsey and Brown, the Irish defense features two starting freshmen Venessa Prusinsky and Nancy Mikacenic.
"She took on more of a leadership role in the back being the senior but she always plays a great game," she said.
With Lindsey still sidelined, the Irish face three games in five days.
After Butler, Notre Dame travels to Houston, Texas, to take on Texas A&M and Southern Methodist University. The three games will test the fitness of the Irish.
"Coach [Randy Waldrum] has really stressed that we have three games this week," Lindsey said. "Three games in five days is going to be really difficult physically. I think we really want to go out against Butler and try to establish a good rhythm in the game early so we can rest a few players for this weekend."
In addition to the physical tests, the Irish will also be tested mentally this week. With three games this week, Notre Dame has less time to prepare for each opponent.
"[The schedule] makes a difference because usually we have a whole week to focus on two teams," Lindsey said. "With the game this past weekend, we only had Monday to focus on three teams. I think basically coach is just going to stress that we go out and play our own game and don't worry about our opponent."
All Sports Stories for Wednesday, September 15, 1999