Women's soccer forward/midfielder Brittany Bock ('09) was one of five Notre Dame student-athletes to earn the 2008-09 BIG EAST Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award in their respective sport, the conference office announced Monday.

#1 Irish Head To Villanova For Sunday Afternoon Contest

Oct. 11, 2008

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2008 ND Women’s Soccer — Game 14
#1/1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-0-0 / 6-0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Villanova Wildcats (11-3-0 / 4-2-0 BIG EAST)

DATE: Oct. 12, 2008
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Villanova, Pa. – Villanova Soccer Stadium (1,000)
SERIES: ND leads 14-1-0
1ST MTG: ND 2-0 (10/19/95)
LAST MTG: ND 5-0 (10/14/07)
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  • Notre Dame has scored at least three goals in its last six games, and eight of its last nine outings.
  • The Irish have not given up an opponent corner kick in the past three-plus games since Cincinnati’s last try at 52:39 on Sept. 28.

No. 1 Irish Head To Villanova For Sunday Afternoon Contest
Another of the BIG EAST’s revitalized programs looms on the horizon for Notre Dame, as the top-ranked Irish travel to Villanova Sunday for a 1 p.m. (ET) matchup with the Wildcats. The game should have additional implications within the BIG EAST’s National Division, with VU currently third in the division standings with 12 points, trailing only Notre Dame (21 points) and No. 21/14 Rutgers (18 points).

The Irish (13-0, 6-0) picked up their fifth win over a ranked opponent this season with a 3-1 victory at No. 17/16 Georgetown on Friday afternoon. Notre Dame scored twice in the first 20 minutes, with the second coming just 89 seconds after the Hoyas had tied the score, and the Irish defense handled things from there, keeping GU without a serious threat during the balance of the second half.

Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks and freshman midfielder Courtney Barg each chalked up a goal and an assist in the victory for Notre Dame.


  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in the latest NSCAA and Soccer America polls.
  • Villanova is not ranked.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
Notre Dame rolls out one of its deepest teams in years, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last season’s squad that went 19-5-2 (11-0-0 in the BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA College Cup semifinals for the ninth time in the past 14 years. The Irish also bring back a powerful offensive punch, with 83.3 percent of their goalscoring (55 of 66) returning.

As if that weren’t enough, Notre Dame welcomes a highly-regarded nine-player freshman class to campus, with three of those incoming players having earned multiple national All-America honors during their prep or club careers.

Leading the way for Notre Dame this season are two of the country’s premier front-line players (and ’07 NSCAA first-team All-Americans) in senior forward Kerri Hanks and senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock.

A three-time All-American and the ’06 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks (13G-4A) continues to blaze new trails through the NCAA and Irish record books, having led the nation in assists the past two seasons, and aiming to become the third Division I player ever to log 70 goals and 70 assists in her career (77G-62A entering Sunday’s game). She has earned national honors from Top Drawer Soccer (Player/Team of the Week) three times and twice from Soccer America (Team of the Week), as well as taking home BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week honors and her second consecutive Offensive MVP award at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic with a school record-tying sixth career hat trick vs. Loyola Marymount.

Bock (3G-3A), one of the Irish co-captains in 2008, emerged as a genuine offensive threat last season, leading the team in goals and finishing second with 36 points (16G-4A). The reigining BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Bock earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Week honor on Sept. 8, as well as a spot on the Soccer America National Team of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 3/2 North Carolina on Sept. 5.

Another key player for the Irish this season is senior center back and co-captain Carrie Dew (0G-1A), the 2006 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year who made a successful recovery from an ACL injury late in the ’06 regular season with a solid ’07 campaign. She is the two-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week and Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week honoree, and a BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection after leading Notre Dame to eight shutouts and a 0.38 GAA, including four consecutive clean sheets to open this season (the first time the Irish have done that since ’95).

A Quick Look At Villanova
It’s been a season of streaks for Villanova (11-3-0, 4-2-0 BIG EAST), which opened with seven consecutive wins, followed by a three-game losing skid, then an active run of four consecutive victories. The Wildcats’ current streak has been augmented by four shutouts in as many games, all under the BIG EAST umbrella, with the last three by identical 3-0 scores.

VU kept up its winning ways on Friday at home against DePaul, with the now-familiar 3-0 blanking of the Blue Demons. Villanova got goals from junior forward Grace Hawkins in the opening and closing minutes of the game, with a score from freshman forward Kaitlin Ryan in between to supplement junior goalkeeper Molly Williams’ fourth consecutive clean sheet.

Although she has started just once this year, Ryan has a share of the team lead in scoring with 20 points (8G-4A), while playmaking senior midfielder Erin Hardiman also has 20 points (4G-12A) and Hawkins is second on the team with seven goals. Williams has seen most of the time in goal for Villanova, sporting a 11-2-0 record with six shutouts and a 1.30 GAA.

John Byford is in his first season as the VU head coach, but has a 59-42-8 (.578) record in his seventh year as a collegiate skipper (including prior stints at Loyola-Md., Saint Joseph’s-Pa., and Delaware Valley College). He will be coaching against Notre Dame for the first time on Sunday afternoon.

The Notre Dame-Villanova Series
Notre Dame holds a 14-1-0 lead in the series with Villanova, including wins in the past five meetings since the Wildcats’ first victory over the Irish in 2002 (1-0). That goal is one of just five for VU in 15 career games against Notre Dame, with two of those five coming in the last series contest at Villanova (a 4-2 Irish win on Oct. 20, 2006).

An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 101 of the 2008 Irish women’s soccer media guide.

The Last Time ND And Villanova Met
Brittany Bock and Rose Augustin each tallied two goals and an assist, pacing No. 17 Notre Dame to a 5-0 win over Villanova on Oct. 14, 2007, at Alumni Field. Elise Weber added two assists from her left back position, as the Irish fashioned the third of four consecutive BIG EAST shutouts midway through the 2007 conference season.

Both of Bock’s goals were via headers, with the first coming at 24:01, when the veteran forward got inside position on a Kerri Hanks’ free kick and snapped a header past charging VU ‘keeper Jillian Loyden. A little more than 13 minutes later, Bock connected again, flicking on a long cross from Weber with the knuckling shot eluding Loyden. The Irish then tacked on three more goals in the final 10 minutes, with Augustin finding Ashley Jones for the first score and converting twice on her own, the second coming with 22 seconds to play.

Notre Dame outshot Villanova, 12-1 in the first half before the teams each logged 12 shots in the second half (the Irish had a 12-4 edge in shots on goal). The teams also combined for 39 fouls in the physical contest, with the Wildcats being whistled for 23 infractions.

Other Notre Dame-Villanova Series Tidbits

  • Notre Dame has scored 14 goals in its last three games against Villanova.
  • Before the 4-2 Irish win in 2006, the previous three series games played at Villanova all had been decided by a single goal.
  • Notre Dame sophomore forward Erica Iantorno and Villanova junior goalkeeper Molly Williams both are natives of Hinsdale, Ill., although Iantorno graduated from Hinsdale High School (2007) and Williams matriculated from St. Ignatius Prep (2006).

Poll Position
Notre Dame took over the No. 1 ranking in all of the major national polls on Sept. 16 (unanimous in this week’s Soccer Times balloting), with the Irish now having earned the top spot in the nation in four of the past five seasons (and five of the 10-year Randy Waldrum era, with Waldrum joining North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance as the only coaches with five top-ranked seasons in this decade).

Notre Dame last was ranked No. 1 in 2006, assuming that post in all the polls by the end of the season’s first month and carrying it through to the NCAA College Cup final, where the Irish fell to North Carolina, 2-1 (one of only two blemishes in a 25-1-1 season).

Notre Dame remains the only team in the country to own the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA poll in four of five years from 2004-08. All-time, the Irish are 81-6-3 (.917) as the nation’s top-ranked squad.

As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign has reappeared atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag now flies outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center (see note on pp. 26 of this year’s media guide).

This year’s women’s soccer ranking marks the ninth consecutive academic year (starting in 2000-01) that Notre Dame has fielded at least one top-ranked team, with women’s basketball, fencing, baseball and ice hockey also reaching the top of their respective polls during that span.

One Tough Slate
Lest anyone think Notre Dame hasn’t earned its place atop the polls, just take a look at the Irish schedule this season.

Notre Dame has five wins over ranked opponents (No. 21/12 Santa Clara, at No. 3/2 North Carolina, vs. No. 12/11 Duke, at No. 17/16 Penn State and at No. 17/16 Georgetown), with the first three in that series coming in succession and the last four all coming away from home.

And it’s not like the Irish have experience playing SCU, UNC and Duke in a row, having last seen those three powerhouses in succession in 1995 (and not at any point in the same regular season, let alone in a row, since 1999).

The 1-0 win at North Carolina on Sept. 5 was even more noteworthy, as it marked just the seventh time the Tar Heels had ever been shut out at home, and only the fifth time by a Division I team. One of those five was a 0-0 tie (Duke), while the other four were 1-0 losses, two at the hands of Notre Dame (the other came in the ’95 NCAA semifinals at Fetzer Field, leading to the first of two Irish national championships).

Beasts Of The BIG EAST
Following Friday’s win at No. 17/16 Georgetown, Notre Dame now owns a school-record 44-game unbeaten streak (42-0-2) against BIG EAST opposition since a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in last year’s BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie).

Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 118-8-4 (.923) all-time in regular-season conference games, 29-2-1 (.922) in the BIG EAST Tournament, and hold a 655-78 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.

What’s more Notre Dame maintains a 13-year, 82-game home unbeaten streak (81-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995).

Numbers Don’t Lie
To get a clearer picture of just how dominating Notre Dame has been through the first 13 games of the season, one need look no further than some of numbers the Irish have put up.

Notre Dame is outscoring its opponents by a staggering 45-5 margin with eight shutouts this year. The Irish also rank fourth in the nation in scoring offense (3.46 goals/game), as well as sixth in goals-against average (0.38) and ninth in shutout percentage (0.625).

The Irish also allowed just 33 opponent shots on goal all year (12 fewer shots on goal than Notre Dame’s goals). By comparison, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks has 34 shots on goal all by herself.

Together, the Irish have registered 141 shots on goal, while their opponents have managed 88 total shots this year. And, Notre Dame has a sizeable 94-27 edge in corner kicks to boot.

Lead, Follow Or Just Get Out Of The Way
With the potency of the Notre Dame offensive attack, most opponents opt for the third option. In fact, the Irish have trailed for a grand total of 1:59 this season (59:06-61:05 vs. Marquette on Oct. 5) and have led for 782:40 of 1,170 minutes this season (66.9% of the elapsed game time). In addition, Notre Dame has been tied in the second half just five times (0-0 at No. 3/2 North Carolina, 0-0 and 1-1 against No. 12/11 Duke, 0-0 at DePaul, 1-1 vs. Marquette) for a combined total of 36:32, taking no more than 22:17 (at DePaul) to break any of the ties and move in front.

The One And Only
At 13-0-0, Notre Dame remains the lone unbeaten and untied team left in Division I women’s soccer and one of only four across all three NCAA divisions.

At Division II, there are two schools that are still perfect through Oct. 11: Grand Valley State (13-0-0) and West Virginia Wesleyan (11-0-0).

At Division III, Williams (9-0-0) is the only team still with an unblemished record.

Getting The Jump On The Competition
Notre Dame’s quick start this season has been fueled by its lightning-fast beginning to either the first or second half.

In eight games (including six home games), the Irish have scored a goal in the first 20 minutes of play, with senior forward Kerri Hanks owning the fastest strike of the season (penalty kick at 2:39 vs. Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29). That marked the 11th-fastest goal of the Randy Waldrum era, and the quickest since Nov. 5, 2006, when Hanks struck 57 seconds into the BIG EAST final against Rutgers (a game the Irish ultimately won, 4-2).

In two of its road games, Notre Dame has been scoreless at halftime, but taken the lead less than five minutes into the second half. Against No. 3/2 UNC, senior forward Brittany Bock scored at 50:21, then against No. 12/11 Duke, Bock fed Hanks for a score only 69 seconds after emerging from the locker room.

Strong Out Of The Blocks
Notre Dame is off to an 13-0-0 start for the fifth time in program history, all in the past 13 seasons. It’s also the fourth time a Randy Waldrum-coached Irish team has started the year with at least 13 consecutive wins.

Spreading The Wealth
In an early example of the incredible depth of this year’s Notre Dame squad, the Irish had seven different players score goals in the season-opening 7-0 whitewash of Michigan (including three who tallied their first career goals). That matched the largest number of goalscorers in one game during the 10-year Randy Waldrum era (since ’99), and the most since the 2005 season opener (an 11-1 rout of New Hampshire on Aug. 26 in the TD Banknorth Classic at Burlington, Vt.).

For the season, 15 different Notre Dame players, representing all four classes, have scored at least one goal, with only four individual multi-goal games thus far (Kerri Hanks’ hat trick against Loyola Marymount on Aug. 29; Melissa Henderson’s two-goal game against SMU on Sept. 12; Henderson’s hat trick on Sept. 28 at Cincinnati, and Brittany Bock’s two-goal day on Oct. 5 against Marquette).

In addition, Notre Dame already has tied the school record with 20 different point scorers this season. Junior defender Haley Ford was the latest to join both clubs with her first collegiate goal and an assist at Cincinnati.

The Notre Dame single-season records for goalscorers (17) and point scorers (20) both were set in 1996 (in a 26-game season).

No Soup For You
For the second time in program history, the first time since 1995 and the first time in the Randy Waldrum era, Notre Dame opened its season with four consecutive shutouts, blanking Michigan (7-0), Loyola Marymount (4-0), No. 21/12 Santa Clara (2-0) and No. 3/2 North Carolina (1-0). The Irish actually put together a string of 419:44 scoreless minutes to begin this season (437:44 dating back to the end of last year), before the run was snapped on Sept. 7 when No. 12/11 Duke scored at 59:19 off a corner kick that deflected in off an Irish defender.

The 1995 squad reeled off eight consecutive shutouts to begin what would be a 21-2-2 season, culminating with the program’s first national championship.

No Shots For You, Either
Notre Dame held South Florida without a single shot in a 3-0 win on Oct. 3. It marked the first time since Oct. 1, 2000 (vs. Rutgers) that the Irish defense didn’t yield a shot.

Hanks = History
With each passing game, senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks reaches more career milestones in the NCAA and Notre Dame record books, continuing to stamp herself as one of the greats in women’s college soccer history.

On Sept. 19 at DePaul, Hanks’ second-half goal was the 70th of her career, making her the fourth D-I player to amass 70 goals and 60 assists (others are North Carolina’s Mia Hamm, Notre Dame’s Jenny Streiffer and UC Santa Barbara’s Carin Jennings).

On Friday at No. 17/16 Georgetown, Hanks converted a penalty kick and dished out an assist for the second consecutive game to move into a tie with former Penn State standout Christie Welsh (1999-2002) for 10th place on the Division I career points list (now with 216 points (77G-62A)). Hanks also has tied North Carolina’s Robin Confer (1994-97) for 22nd place on the NCAA career goals list (77).

The national leader in assists the past two seasons (22 in ’06; 21 in ’07), Hanks also looks ahead to the historic 70G-70A club, a landmark achievement that only two players (Hamm and Streiffer) in the history of Division I women’s soccer have managed to attain (and neither got beyond 72G-72A).

Hanks Sets The Table, Too
Set plays and dead-ball situations now have accounted for 67 (23G-21A) of Kerri Hanks’ 216 career points (77G-62A), representing 31 percent of her points with the Irish. Her 23 goals have come on penalty kicks (12-for-13, including 5-for-6 this year), free kicks (10), or directly on a corner kick (1), while her 21 assists have been via corner-kick (13) or free-kick (8) services.

Bock Stays A-Head Of The Game
Nearly half (21) of the 43 career goals scored by senior forward/midfielder Brittany Bock have come on headers. That includes eight of her last 11 scores, topped by the gamewinning goal on Oct. 5 against Marquette. Bock also has four rare header assists in her career.

Iantorno Is One Super Sub
Despite starting just once this season, sophomore forward Erica Iantorno leads the Irish with six assists and is third on the team with 12 points (3G-6A). All this for a player who came to Notre Dame last year as a walk-on (after reversing her original decision to attend Missouri) and had four points during her entire freshman season (on four assists).

This year, Iantorno has emerged as Notre Dame “microwave” off the bench, heating up the minute she gets into the game. In fact, less than a minute after subbing into the Penn State game on Sept. 21, the Hinsdale, Ill., native already had chalked up an assist, taking a throw-in, driving to the left endline and whipping a cross into the box that junior forward Michele Weissenhofer buried in the back of the net.

Five days later against Louisville, Iantorno posted a three-point night (1G-1A) less than 10 minutes after coming into the game at the 31-minute mark. First, she delivered a sharp cross at the top of the box that Weissenhofer dummied for freshman midfielder Courtney Barg, who scored her first career goal (33:35). Then, senior defender Elise Weber sent a cross into the box that was misplayed by the Louisville goalkeeper and Iantorno was on the doorstep for the easy finish (40:32).

Our Fearless Leader
Tenth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached a career milestone on Sept. 21 at No. 17/16 Penn State. With the 3-1 Irish victory, Waldrum became the eighth active Division I head coach to record 300 career wins — he now has a record of 305-79-20 (.780) in 19 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor).

Game #13 Recap: Georgetown
Senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks and freshman midfielder Courtney Barg each registered a goal and an assist as top-ranked Notre Dame stretched its season-opening winning streak to 13 games with a 3-1 BIG EAST Conference victory over No. 17/16 Georgetown on Friday afternoon at North Kehoe Field in Washington, D.C. The Irish also extended their current streak of three-goal games to six in a row while earning their fifth win over a ranked opponent this year.

Freshman forward Melissa Henderson added her 10th goal of the season, while sophomore defender Julie Scheidler celebrated her 20th birthday in style with an assist on Henderson’s score. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander got the win between the pipes for Notre Dame, turning aside three shots.

Notre Dame (13-0-0, 6-0-0) tallied an 18-6 shot advantage over Georgetown, including a 10-4 margin in shots on goal. The Irish also took all 10 corner kicks in the contest, marking the third consecutive game that Notre Dame did not allow a opponent corner kick. The foul count also was fairly even, with the Irish whistled for nine infractions to six for the hosts.

Notre Dame would be the first to break through in the 13th minute, as senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Brittany Bock was taken down in the penalty area. Hanks stepped up and fired the ensuing penalty kick past Georgetown goalkeeper Jackie DesJardin, who never even moved. Hanks’ goal at 12:29 was her 13th score of the season and moved her current goal-scoring streak to seven games, with Friday marking her third consecutive game with a PK goal.

Boosted by a raucous crowd, Georgetown came right back. Samantha Baker threatened the Irish penalty area throughout the day with her lengthy throw-ins, and it paid dividends for the host team at 16:29, as Baker’s throw sailed to the near post, where Stephanie Zare was camped out and rose above the crowd to nod a shot to the far post.

As was the case five days earlier against Marquette, Notre Dame wasted almost no time in getting that goal back, needing just 89 seconds to regain the lead, this time for good. After a flurry in the box that included a shot by Henderson, the Georgetown defense cleared the ball to the edge of the offensive third, where Scheidler trapped the loose ball and chipped it back into the area. As Henderson raced back on-side, Barg outleaped her defender near the penalty spot and flicked a header to Henderson on the left wing. Henderson quickly settled the flick and snapped off a low shot to the far post from six yards out under a diving DesJardin at 17:58.

Barg iced the win just over five minutes into the second half, taking a precision through-ball from Hanks and driving it low past DesJardin from eight yards out (50:01).

You Stay CLASS-y, Notre Dame
Senior All-America forwards (and Hermann Trophy candidates) Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock are two of the 30 nominees for the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Notre Dame is one of five schools with multiple nominees for this year’s award, joining BYU, Clemson, Duke and USC.

Both Hanks and Bock have exemplified the term “student-athlete” in their career. After enrolling at Notre Dame in the spring of 2005 (due to playing in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships the previous fall, Hanks worked hard to graduate one semester early (with her Class of ’08 teammates), earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology this past May.

Bock earned ESPN The Magazine Third-Team Academic All-America status last year while compiling a 3.365 cumulative GPA as a marketing major. She also garnered dean’s list honors in the spring 2008 term with a 3.70 GPA, and had a sharp 3.834 GPA this past summer.

A national media committee will select the 10 finalists in October, with the official ballot opened for nationwide fan voting on Oct. 9. That fan balloting, coupled with votes from coaches and media, will determine this year’s recipient, who will be announced at the NCAA Women’s College Cup Dec. 5-7 in Cary, N.C.

The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 272-3-1 (.987) record in those games, including a 174-1-0 (.994) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 369-9-15 (.958) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

Most impressively, Notre Dame is 293-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 270 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just one of the past 183 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have failed to even force a tie, something achieved by three opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (Irish won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), and Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2).

You Can Put It On The Board
Notre Dame has scored a goal in 38 consecutive games, dating back to a scoreless draw with Michigan to open last season. The current 38-game goal streak is the third-longest in school history, and it’s the longest since a 49-game run from Oct. 24, 2004-Oct. 8, 2006.

The school record is 55 straight games with a goal from Aug. 29, 1997-Sept. 17, 1999.

A Little Added Face Time
Notre Dame is slated to play on television twice during the 2008 regular season. The Irish made their Big Ten Network debut on Sept. 21, posting a 3-1 win at No. 17/16 Penn State. On Oct. 19, Notre Dame travels to Storrs, Conn., for a BIG EAST matchup with Connecticut which will be shown live on CBS College Sports.

In addition to its commercial TV coverage, Notre Dame enjoys an extensive broadcast footprint on the Internet. All of the Irish regular-season home games are slated to be broadcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), with supplemental live stats information provided by CBS College Sports Online’s GameTracker service.

Fans also can follow the Irish on their cell phones by signing up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system. This free service is available by logging on the women’s soccer page at www.UND.com and scrolling down the right-hand sidebar.

Finally, the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000) remains a reliable resource for all the latest Irish athletics information. Regular updates on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program can be found by calling the Hotline, then selecting option 4 and pressing “2”.

The Golden Girls
Former Notre Dame standouts Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) and Shannon Boxx (’99) helped the United States successfully defend its Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 overtime win over Brazil in the 2008 title game on Aug. 21 in Beijing, China. Both players started and played all 120 minutes in the final on the way to earning their second consecutive gold medal.

The duo join fencer Mariel Zagunis (’10) as Notre Dame Olympians with multiple gold medals. Markgraf also matches Zagunis’ career total of three medals (Markgraf won silver with the USA at the ’00 Sydney Games), a standard also equalled by former track & field great Alex Wilson (’32).

Parking Changes
Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad (including the new Irish soccer stadium tentatively set for completion in June 2009), parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots. Fans may ride the complimentary shuttle bus from the Eck Stadium lot, or walk around the north end of Eck Stadium (behind the left-field wall) before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.

Next Game: Providence
Notre Dame opens the second half of its four-game BIG EAST road trip next Friday with a 3 p.m. (ET) matinee at Providence. The Irish are 12-0-0 all-time against the Friars, outscoring PC, 61-1 in that span.

Providence (5-4-3, 0-3-3) opened the season with four consecutive wins, but has gone winless in seven of its last eight contests (three ties, four losses). The Friars are coming off a 3-0 loss at No. 18 West Virginia on Friday night and will visit Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon before returning home to take on Notre Dame.

— ND —