Senior co-captain Lauren Fowlkes has helped her team get off to a 5-1 start this season.

#7/8 Irish Kick Off Four-Game Homestand This Weekend

Oct. 15, 2009

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2009 ND Women’s Soccer — Games 15 & 16
#7/8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-3-1 / 6-0-1 BIG EAST)

vs. Connecticut Huskies (9-5-0 / 4-3-0 BIG EAST)
October 16, 2009
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Stadium (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 19-4-3
1ST MTG: UConn 5-4, OT (10/6/95)
LAST MTG: ND 1-0, OT (11/9/08)

Providence Friars (7-5-3 / 2-3-2 BIG EAST as of Oct. 16)
October 18, 2009
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: Notre Dame, Ind. – Alumni Stadium (2,500)
SERIES: ND leads 13-0-0
1ST MTG: ND 2-0 (10/22/91)
LAST MTG: ND 5-0 (10/17/08)


  • Notre Dame plays its first home game in three weeks and first back-to-back games at Alumni Stadium in nearly a month.
  • The Fighting Irish are unbeaten in their last eight games (7-0-1) with a 15-3 scoring margin and six shutouts in that span.

#7/8 Irish Kick Off Four-Game Homestand This Weekend
After a largely-successful four-game road trip, No. 7/8 Notre Dame returns home for its last four games of the regular season, beginning this weekend with matchups against Connecticut (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET) and Providence (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET) at Alumni Stadium. The UConn game will be webcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site,

The Fighting Irish (10-3-1, 6-0-1) maintained their perch atop the BIG EAST National Division with a 1-0 victory over their closest pursuer (No. 10/12 Rutgers) on Oct. 9, followed by a 2-0 whitewash of Seton Hall on Oct. 11. Junior forward Lauren Fowlkes scored the gamewinner with six minutes left at RU, while sophomore forward Melissa Henderson netted a goal and an assist in the victory over the Pirates.

Junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss went the distance in both shutouts, and she also recorded a career-high six saves at Rutgers.


  • Notre Dame is ranked seventh in the NSCAA poll and eighth in the Soccer America poll.
  • Connecticut is receiving two votes in the NSCAA poll.
  • Providence is not ranked.

A Quick Look At The Fighting Irish
After driving all the way to the doorstep of history in 2008 with a magical 26-1-0 season that culminated just short of a national championship, Notre Dame returns many of the same players that helped propel the Fighting Irish to the top of the college soccer world for much of last year.

Not only does Notre Dame bring back 19 monogram winners and seven starters, but of those 19 returnees, 15 of them have starting experience under their belt. What’s more, the Fighting Irish have more than 60 percent of their goalscoring (52 of 83) back in the fold, along with many of the defenders that were responsible for registering 18 shutouts and a 0.44 goals-against average (both among the top five marks in school history).

Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (17G-2A in 2008) was tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and is one of 45 preseason candidates for the Hermann Trophy after a stellar rookie campaign that included five gamewinning goals, the last coming in overtime of the BIG EAST Championship game against Connecticut.

Junior midfielders Rose Augustin (6G-2A) and Erica Iantorno (5G-7A) also likely will factor in Notre Dame’s offensive attack this season. Meanwhile, junior holding midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (1G), another preseason Hermann Trophy choice, and sophomore defender Jessica Schuveiller (1G-1A) will anchor the Fighting Irish backline.

They will be supported by senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander, who set a single-season school record with 26 victories last season (and shared another record with 18 total shutouts). Lysander also ranked sixth in the nation last season with a 0.44 GAA and was named to the ’08 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team.

Scouting The Huskies
Connecticut enters Friday night’s contest with a 9-5-0 overall record and a 4-3-0 mark in BIG EAST play. Last weekend, the Huskies lost a pair of one-goal games on the road at Marquette (3-2 in 2OT) and South Florida (2-1).

At Marquette, UConn got out to a two-goal lead early in the first half, but before halftime, the Golden Eagles were able to tie the game. Neither team scored in the second half or the first overtime period, and with four minutes remaining in double-overtime, Marquette got the golden goal and the 3-2 victory.

At USF, UConn put itself on the board first, scoring the first goal of the game for the fifth straight game. But in the second half, the Bulls recorded two unanswered goals for the win.

On the year, the Connecticut offense has been paced by sophomore forward Melissa Busque, who has scored six goals (including four game winners) and added six assists for a team-best 18 points. Her six goals are tied for the team lead with freshman midfielder Linda Ruutu, who, in addition to her six goals, also has four assists for 16 points. Senior Brittany Taylor has chipped in with five assists.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Dulski has played the majority of the minutes in the Husky net, posting an 8-5-0 record. She has made 68 saves and recorded a 1.06 goals-against average as well.

Head coach Len Tsantiris is in his 29th year at the helm of the Connecticut program. He led the Huskies to 26 consecutive NCAA tournaments from 1982-2007, including four visits to the national championship game (1984, 1990, 1997 and 2003). To date, Tsantiris carries a 472-142-41 record at UConn.

The Notre Dame-Connecticut Series
Notre Dame holds an all-time series lead of 19-4-3 versus Connecticut (including an 11-1 advantage at home), but the Irish clashes with the Huskies have developed into one of the biggest rivalries in the BIG EAST. The two teams have combined to win 12 of the league’s 16 tournament championships and have met to decide the tournament championship on nine occasions. In last season’s BIG EAST Championship final (the teams’ last meeting), the Irish earned a 1-0 win to capture the league crown on the strength of a Melissa Henderson golden goal, scored at 96:58. Michele Weissenhofer assisted on the tally and Kelsey Lysander made two saves to earn the shutout.

The teams first met in 1995 when the Irish dropped a 5-4 overtime decision at home in regular season action. But as the ’95 season progressed, the Irish notched BIG EAST and NCAA tournament wins over the Huskies to begin asserting their dominance in the series. Notre Dame currently holds a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) and 16-1 scoring margin in that span against Connecticut, dating back to the 2004 BIG EAST final, won by the Huskies, 2-1, in Storrs (the only loss in Notre Dame’s 25-1-1 national championship season).

In addition to meeting with nine BIG EAST titles on the line (ND 8-1 in those matches), the Irish have faced the Huskies in NCAA tournament play three times (ND 2-1 in those matches). Additionally, Notre Dame holds a 54-23 scoring edge in the series. For a complete match-by-match breakdown of the Connecticut-Notre Dame series, please refer to page 104 in the 2009 Notre Dame women’s soccer media guide.

Scouting The Friars
Providence comes into the weekend with a 7-5-3 overall record and a 2-3-2 mark in BIG EAST play. Before clashing with the Irish, PC will play at DePaul on Friday, Oct. 16.

Most recently, the Friars earned a 1-0 win at USF on Oct. 9 and followed with a 0-0 draw at Marquette on Oct. 11. Against USF, Providence scored off of a corner kick when freshman Alyssa Gillespie crossed a ball into the box that ended up in the back of the net. Then, against Marquette, PC goalkeeper Jill Schott turned aside all 10 shots she faced (Marquette took 24 total shots) to preserve the tie.

On the season, senior forward Jill Camburn has led the Friar offense with seven goals and three assists for 17 points, all team-high totals. Sophomore midfielder Courtney Collins is next on the team with two goals and two assists for six points.

In the Friar net, Schott, Catlin Walker and Ashley Lewis have all played significant minutes, with Schott playing every minute of the past five games. On the season, Schott has posted a 2-3-2 record to go along with a 0.91 GAA and 40 saves. Schott, the reigning BIG EAST goalkeeper of the week, also has three shutouts on the year.

Providence is coached by Jim McGirr, who is in his fifth season leading the Friar program. To date, McGirr carries a 25-46-14 record with Providence.

The Notre Dame-Providence Series
The Irish carry an unblemished record versus the Friars, leading the all-time series 13-0-0, including a 7-0-0 mark at home. In addition, Notre Dame holds a 71-1 series scoring edge.

Notre Dame and Providence first met in 1991 when the Irish made the trek to Providence, earning a 2-0 win on that day. Last year, the Irish beat the Friars on Oct. 17 by a score of 5-0 in Providence, R.I. Melissa Henderson scored twice and senior All-America forward Brittany Bock delivered a goal and two assists to help No. 1 Notre Dame down the Friars. Kerri Hanks added a goal and an assist and Erica Iantorno tallied a late goal to cap the scoring. Goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander was credited with one save in the first 77 minutes of action, while Nikki Weiss wrapped up the team’s ninth shutout of the season, stopping one shot during the final 13 minutes.

Beasts Of The BIG EAST
With a weekend sweep of Rutgers and Seton Hall on Oct. 9 and 11, Notre Dame now owns an NCAA Division I-record 59-game unbeaten streak (56-0-3) against BIG EAST opposition, dating back to 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), a 1-1 deadlock at No. 12 West Virginia in the 2007 BIG EAST final on Nov. 11 (WVU won 5-3 on PKs, but the game is recorded as a tie) and a 0-0 tie at Pittsburgh on Oct. 4, 2009.

Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 129-8-5 (.926) all-time in regular-season conference games, 32-2-1 (.929) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 692-82 scoring edge dating back to that first league season in ’95.

What’s more, Notre Dame maintains a 14-year, 89-game home unbeaten streak (88-0-1) versus BIG EAST teams, with Connecticut the lone conference team ever to defeat the Irish at home (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995 at old Alumni Field).

Senior Moments
The 2009 Irish senior class ranks as the second-most successful group in the country on the basis of wins, with a four-year record to date of 80-10-4 (.872) that includes three consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup and appearances in the 2006 and 2008 national title games.

The .872 winning percentage compiled by the Notre Dame seniors is third on the national scene behind North Carolina and UCLA.

Game #13 Recap: Rutgers
The No. 8/9 ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team outlasted the No. 10/12 ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a physical battle of BIG EAST National Division rivals Friday night at Yurcak Field on the strength of a Lauren Fowlkes strike in the 84th minute and Nikki Weiss’ second consecutive shutout. The win marked Weiss’ second consecutive solo shutout and she added a career-high six saves.

After Weiss’ goal kick, the Irish were able to push forward with possession, eventually working the ball to freshman Jazmin Hall on the left flank. Hall then chipped a ball into the Rutgers box that Fowlkes ran under and volleyed into the top corner of the net for what proved to be the decisive strike at 83:55. The assist marked Hall’s first career point with the Irish.

Guthrie ended the night with five saves in the RU net, as each team had six shots on net. The Scarlet Knights took a total of 12 shots to Notre Dame’s nine, while RU also held the advantage in corner kicks, 4-2.

Game #14 Recap: Seton Hall
The No. 8/9 Notre Dame women’s soccer team used goals from Melissa Henderson and Taylor Knaack en route to defeating Seton Hall, 2-0, Sunday afternoon at Carroll Field. The Irish dominated possession and also got a third consecutive shutout from junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss on the way to recording their 10th win of the season.

The Irish finished the game with a 19-2 advantage in shots, including a 10-0 advantage in shots on goal. Notre Dame also earned seven corner kicks to Seton Hall’s two. Seton Hall goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew finished with eight saves, while Weiss pushed her scoreless streak to an impressive 311:08, dating back to Notre Dame’s game at Santa Clara on Sept. 11.

The Irish were then rewarded at 22:51 when Jessica Schuveiller blasted a shot from 20 yards out that Pettigrew saved, but a lurking Henderson deposited the rebound into the net for her team-best seventh goal of the season and a 1-0 lead. Schuveiller earned her second assist of the season on the play.

Then, at 85:13, the Irish found the two-goal lead they were searching for. Fowlkes received a pass in the box and one-touched it to Henderson, who nudged it to a streaking Knaack on the far side of the box. Knaack received the pass in stride and slid her shot past Pettigrew, just inside the near post for her second goal of the

Defending Your Life
Notre Dame’s offensive production this season has come from a variety of sources. In fact, of the 23 goals scored by the Fighting Irish so far, three have come from full-time defenders (right back Julie Scheidler vs. Northwestern, center back Jessica Schuveiller at Cincinnati and center back Haley Ford at West Virginia), while part-time left back Molly Campbell also found the net against Loyola-Chicago.

Those four goals are in addition to the six other tallies scored by Lauren Fowlkes, who began the season as both a center back and holding midfielder before moving up to the front line on Sept. 18 vs. DePaul.

The Henderson Effect
Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson has made quite an impact on the Notre Dame offense since arriving on campus last fall, netting 24 goals (including nine gamewinners) and adding four assists for 52 points in less than two full seasons with the Irish.

In fact, through her first 41 games, Notre Dame is 18-0 when Henderson scores a goal and 20-0 when she picks up a point.

Clean Sheets
In a unique twist, 12 of Notre Dame’s 14 games this season have been decided by shutout (eight for the Fighting Irish, three for the opposition and one scoreless draw). Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander has had a hand in five of those Notre Dame whitewashes, earning solo shutouts against Loyola-Chicago (Aug. 28), Northwestern (Sept. 20) and Louisville (Sept. 27).

Meanwhile, junior netminder Nikki Weiss has posted three consecutive solo shutouts, and she and freshman goalkeeper Maddie Fox each have split two shutouts. Weiss earned her first career solo clean sheet on Oct. 4 at Pittsburgh (a 0-0 double-overtime tie), and followed with shutouts at No. 10/12 Rutgers and Seton Hall last weekend. She also shared the Aug. 21 blanking of Wisconsin, and the Sept. 6 shutout vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Fox closed out the UWM contest and also backstopped Lysander to finish up the Sept. 18 BIG EAST opener vs. DePaul.

Off And Running
In five of Notre Dame’s 10 wins this season, the Fighting Irish have scored their first goal in the opening 20 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson has the fastest opening goal for Notre Dame this season, scoring 4:24 into the Oct. 2 overtime victory at West Virginia.

Last season, the Fighting Irish found the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes during 16 of their 27 games, including the NCAA College Cup final vs. North Carolina, when Kerri Hanks scored 16 seconds into the title game, the earliest goal in College Cup history.

Fighting Irish Debuts
In Notre Dame’s season-opening victory over Wisconsin on Aug. 21 at old Alumni Field, four of the five active Fighting Irish freshmen made their collegiate debuts. Lindsay Brown, Leah Fisher, Jazmin Hall and Tereza Stastny all saw time on the pitch as Notre Dame blanked the Badgers, 3-0. A week later, Stastny made her first career start in the 2-0 win over Loyola-Chicago, also at Alumni Field.

Then in Notre Dame’s 3-0 conquest of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sept. 6 at new Alumni Stadium, goalkeeper Maddie Fox made her Irish debut, playing the final 14:44 to share the shutout with Nikki Weiss. Fox also made two impressive saves in her first collegiate action to help preserve Notre Dame’s clean sheet.

The UW-Milwaukee game was notable for another Irish rookie as Stastny registered the first two points of her career by setting up both of Melissa Henderson’s first-half goals. Most recently, Hall registered her first career point in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win versus Rutgers, as she assisted on Lauren Fowlkes’ game winner.

Pick Three For The Hermann Watch
Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson, junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and senior midfielder Courtney Rosen have been named to the 45-player watch list for the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, it was announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

The Hermann Trophy is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I women’s soccer player, with Notre Dame’s Kerri Hanks earning the prestigious crystal ball trophy last year. In the process, Hanks became the fourth Fighting Irish player to collect the award, not to mention just the fourth two-time Hermann Trophy honoree since the award debuted in 1988, as well as the first two-time national player of the year (in any sport) in the 122-year history of Notre Dame athletics.

Your 2009 Captains
The 2009 Notre Dame squad features three first-time captains, with seniors Michele Weissenhofer and Courtney Rosen and sophomore Jessica Schuveiller all selected via a vote of their teammates.

Schuveiller’s selection is noteworthy, in that she is the first non-senior to serve as a team captain since Amy Warner was one of Notre Dame’s three captains in 2002 (her junior season). This year’s triumvirate also marks the first time since 2004 (Mary Boland, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and Melissa Tancredi) that the Irish have named three captains.

Schuveiller Goes To Camp
Sophomore defender Jessica Schuveiller was among a group of 24 players invited by head coach Bill Irwin to compete at the United States Under-23 Women’s National Team Training Camp in suburban Cleveland this past summer (June 12-19).

Schuveiller made her first appearance at a U.S. National Team training camp, joining an extensive list of Notre Dame players who have competed for Team USA at the U-23 level. Most recently, three current Irish players — senior forward Michele Weissenhofer, junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson — were part of the U-23 player pool, along with two recent Notre Dame graduates and current WPS players Brittany Bock (now with the Los Angeles Sol) and defender Elise Weber (competing for Saint Louis Athletica). Fowlkes also struck gold with the U.S. U-20 National Team at last December’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.

Our Fearless Leader
Eleventh-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum reached another milestone with Notre Dame’s 2-1 win at Cincinnati on Sept. 25, recording the 400th win of his NCAA Div. I coaching career (counting his stints with both men’s and women’s college teams during the past 28 seasons).

Waldrum is also one of eight active women’s Division I head coaches to record 300 career wins. He now has a record of 328-83-21 (.784) in 20 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor). His winning percentage ranks fourth among active coaches, while his 328 wins are fifth on the NCAA Division I career list.

Three … Is The Magic Number
Scoring three goals has meant virtually an automatic win in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, with a 282-3-1 (.988) record in those games, including a 184-1-0 (.995) mark since Oct. 6, 1995. The Irish also are 383-9-15 (.959) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

Most impressively, Notre Dame is 308-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 285 contests when going ahead 2-0 (dating back to a 3-3 tie with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). In fact, just two of the past 192 Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have forced a tie, something achieved by four 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), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at Alumni Field (Irish won 3-2), and most recently, Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (Irish won 3-2 in OT).

Golden Domers Golden In OT
Overtime has usually been the right time for Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are 19-3-9 (.758) all-time in the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) when going to an extra period or two, including a current seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) dating back to the 2007 season.

Notre Dame has gone to overtime twice this season. On Oct. 2 at West Virginia, Taylor Knaack scored 41 seconds into the first extra period to give the Fighting Irish a 3-2 victory over the Mountaineers. It was the fastest OT goal in the 11-year tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum, and it’s believed to be the quickest overtime score in the program’s 22-year history (further research pending).

Two days later, Notre Dame went to double overtime at Pittsburgh and wound up finishing in a 0-0 tie. It was only the eighth scoreless draw in school history and the first since Aug. 31, 2007 vs. Michigan at old Alumni Field. It also was the first time the Fighting Irish played a 0-0 contest in BIG EAST play since Oct. 13, 2006 at Connecticut.

Rosen Sidelined
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Courtney Rosen is out indefinitely after breaking her left foot during preseason training. Rosen underwent successful corrective surgery on Aug. 13 and is in the midst of rehabilitating her injury.

Media Guide Correction
On page 53 of the 2009 Notre Dame women’s soccer media guide, the last name of senior defender/midfielder Amanda Clark’s grandfather (Joe Kopnisky) and uncle (Jack Kopnisky) was misspelled. The Notre Dame Sports Information Office regrets the error.

Our New Digs
Located just east of the Joyce Center and approximately 500 yards west of its predecessor, Alumni Stadium is the new home for Notre Dame soccer, having opened its doors Sept. 4 to an overflow crowd of 3,007 for its debut match against top-ranked North Carolina (the Irish men played three nights earlier, blanking Michigan, 5-0).

A state-of-the-art facility built at a cost of $5.7 million, Alumni Stadium has a permanent seating capacity of approximately 2,500 fans, along with grass berm seating on the east end of the grounds. The stadium also offers upgraded and expanded restroom and concession areas, elevator access to the main concourse level, as well as numerous amenities for both Fighting Irish soccer programs (expansive locker rooms with custom-made wood lockers, spacious team lounges with flat-screen plasma TVs and high-speed Internet access, and a fully-equipped athletic training center).

What’s more, Alumni Stadium features an LED scoreboard (installed by industry leader Daktronics), enhanced lighting structures and top-of-the-line sod for the pitch (cultivated in Fort Morgan, Colo., at Graff’s Turf Farms, which also has provided the turf for numerous facilities including Notre Dame Stadium, Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium and the new MLS grounds outside Denver and Salt Lake City).

In addition, media members will enjoy the spacious new air-conditioned press box, which includes power and high-speed Internet portals at every seat (along with wireless Internet capability), three individually-wired broadcast booths and an expansive, unblocked midfield vantage point, all of which make Alumni Stadium unlike any other on-campus facility in college soccer.

The construction of Alumni Stadium was made possible because of numerous generous donations, including those by lead benefactors Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder, both former Fighting Irish men’s soccer players.

Crotty was a three-year monogram winner from 1977-79, earning team MVP honors in 1979 before graduating the following spring with a degree in finance. He currently is general partner at Battery Ventures LP in Wellesley, Mass., while he and his wife, Shari, live in Southborough, Mass.

Snyder earned two monograms from 1980-83, piling up 23 goals and 22 assists (the latter figure ranking seventh in school history). He also potted a team-high 12 goals in 1981. A 1984 graduate of Notre Dame, Snyder went on to become founder and CEO of Stream Energy in Dallas, Texas.

Taking It To The Next Level
Notre Dame had 10 players appearing on opening-day rosters for the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) in 2009, ranking second among all colleges in that category. Four of those 10 (all members of the ’08 Fighting Irish NCAA runner-up squad) were selected in the league’s first-ever college draft back in January — Brittany Bock (first round, fifth overall, Los Angeles Sol), Kerri Hanks (first round, sixth overall, Saint Louis Athletica), Carrie Dew (second round, 12th overall, FC Gold Pride) and Elise Weber (third round, 21st overall, Saint Louis Athletica).

That quartet was joined by: Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Jen Buczkowski and Christie Shaner (Sky Blue FC), Candace Chapman (Boston Breakers), and Amanda Cinalli and Melissa Tancredi (Saint Louis Athletica).

In addition, Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf was assigned to the Chicago Red Stars as part of the U.S. National Team draft, but sat out the ’09 season while on maternity leave (she gave birth to twins in June). Kelly Lindsey began the season as an assistant coach at Sky Blue FC, then took over as interim head coach at midseason before resigning late in the year.

Midseason trades saw Hanks sent to Sky Blue FC, while Shaner went out to Los Angeles. Shaner subsequently was sidelined for the season with a broken leg.

Of the 10 active Notre Dame alums in WPS, eight saw their teams advance to the league playoffs (all but Chapman and Dew). Led by arguably the world’s top defensive midfielder in Boxx and one of WPS’ top rookies in Bock (who played center back after never playing that position at Notre Dame), Los Angeles won the regular season title and the right to host the first-ever WPS Championship Game.

In the end, five Fighting Irish alums (tying North Carolina for the most representatives from one college) worked their way into the WPS final — Bock, Boxx and Shaner for L.A., along with Hanks and Buczkowski for Sky Blue FC. The New Jersey-based club then capped an amazing string of three playoff road wins in eight days with a 1-0 upset of Los Angeles to win the inaugural WPS Championship.

Boxx was subsequently named a starter for the first WPS All-Star Game, which took place at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in suburban St. Louis on Aug. 30.

On Sept. 16, Buczkowski was chosen by the Philadelphia Independence with the third overall pick in the 2009 WPS Expansion Draft, with Cinalli going one selection later to the Atlanta Beat.

Offseason personnel moves at the end of September have seen Chapman released by Boston (and subsequently signed by FC Gold Pride) and Shaner released by Los Angeles, while Tancredi was declared a free agent by Saint Louis.

Up Next: Villanova/Georgetown
Notre Dame wraps up the regular season next weekend with two more home games, welcoming Villanova to town on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET) before Georgetown comes to Alumni Stadium on Sunday for a 6 p.m. (ET) contest. The latter game will be televised on a tape-delayed basis to a national cable audience by Fox Soccer Channel as the NSCAA Game of the Week.

— ND —