Senior midfielder Rose Augustin

#8/9 Irish Back On Road This Weekend With Visit To New Jersey

Oct. 8, 2009

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2009 ND Women’s Soccer — Games 13 & 14
#8/9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3-1 / 4-0-1 BIG EAST)

vs. #10/12 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9-1-3 / 3-0-2 BIG EAST)
October 9, 2009
TIME: 7:00 p.m. ET
AT: Piscataway, N.J. – Yurcak Field (5,000)
SERIES: ND leads 16-1-2
1ST MTG: Tie 1-1 (9/13/92)
LAST MTG: ND 3-1 (10/24/08)

Seton Hall Pirates (4-7-1 / 0-4-1 BIG EAST as of Oct. 8)
October 11, 2009
TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET
AT: South Orange, N.J. – Owen T. Carroll Field (1,800)
SERIES: ND leads 14-1-0
1ST MTG: ND 5-0 (9/24/95)
LAST MTG: ND 6-0 (10/26/08)


  • Notre Dame will face its third top-10 opponent of the season Friday when it visits No. 10/12 Rutgers.
  • The Fighting Irish will be playing their final two road games of the regular season this weekend.

#8/9 Irish Back On The Road This Weekend With Visit To New Jersey
The top two teams in the BIG EAST Conference’s National Division, not to mention two of the top 10 clubs in the country, will square off Friday when No. 8/9 Notre Dame travels to No. 10/12 Rutgers for a 7 p.m. (ET) matchup at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. That contest is the front end of a weekend swing through the Garden State for the Fighting Irish, who will then take on Seton Hall Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J.

Notre Dame (8-3-1, 4-0-1) is coming off a four-point road trip last weekend to West Virginia (3-2, OT) and Pittsburgh (0-0, 2OT). Junior forward Taylor Knaack scored the gamewinner 41 seconds into overtime at WVU, while the Fighting Irish did everything but score against the Panthers, squeezing off a season-high 25 shots. Junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss registered a career-high four saves en route to her first career solo shutout.


  • Notre Dame is ranked eighth in the NSCAA poll and ninth in the Soccer America poll.
  • Rutgers is ranked 10th by the NSCAA and 12th by Soccer America.
  • Seton Hall 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 Scarlet Knights
Despite a myriad of injuries, Rutgers (ranked 10th in the latest NSCAA poll, the program’s highest placement ever, and 12th in the current Soccer America poll) has emerged as one of the top teams in the BIG EAST this season, owning a 9-1-3 record (3-0-2 in the conference) heading into Friday’s visit by Notre Dame.

The Scarlet Knights are coming off the BIG EAST’s most daunting road swing last weekend, coming away with a 3-1 victory at Marquette, followed by a scoreless draw at South Florida. Julie Lancos had a goal and an assist at Marquette, both off set pieces, while Karla Schacher and April Price also potted goals for RU, which bounced back after surrendering the game’s first score. Erin Guthrie then made five saves in goal at USF to earn the shutout and a four-point weekend.

Ashley Jones has a team-high eight goals and three assists (19 points) for Rutgers this season, tying Villanova’s Katie Ryan for the BIG EAST lead in goals and ranking second behind Ryan in points. Schacher is second on the team with four goals and three assists (11 points), while Stefanee Pace has chipped in three goals and three assists (nine points).

Guthrie has started all but one match for the Scarlet Knights this season, posting a 9-1-2 record with a 0.41 goals-against average and seven shutouts.

Head coach Glenn Crooks is in his 10th season at Rutgers with a 109-71-25 (.593) record at the school, and is in his 17th year as a college head coach (with earlier stops at St. Peter’s and Long Island) with an overall mark of 154-126-33 (.545). He is 1-9-1 lifetime against Notre Dame, all since coming to RU in 2000.

The Notre Dame-Rutgers Series
The Fighting Irish have a 16-1-2 series lead on Rutgers, including a 6-1-0 mark at Yurcak Field, and have a six-game winning streak (nine-game unbeaten streak) entering Friday’s contest. Following non-conference matchups in 1992 and 1994, the teams have met annually ever since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995, with second contests in the conference tournament in 1995 (semifinals), 2006 (final) and 2007 (quarterfinals).

Last season, the Fighting Irish defeated the Scarlet Knights, 3-1, at old Alumni Field, behind a goal and an assist from Kerri Hanks, as well as goals from Melissa Henderson and Brittany Bock. Notre Dame outshot Rutgers, 24-13, including a 9-4 edge in shots on goal, with Kristen Edmonds netting the lone RU tally midway through the second half.

The teams last met in Piscataway on Oct. 28, 2007, with the Fighting Irish posting a 3-1 victory. After Edmonds scored to give Rutgers the lead in the 20th minute, Hanks had a hand in all three Notre Dame scores, potting the first on a penalty kick, then setting up goals by Susan Pinnick and Rebecca Mendoza.

An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 107 of the 2009 Irish women’s soccer media guide.

Scouting The Pirates
Seton Hall comes into this weekend with a 4-7-1 record, including a 0-4-1 mark in BIG EAST play. The Pirates will play host to DePaul on Friday night before welcoming Notre Dame to town on Sunday afternoon.

SHU dropped both ends of its swing to USF and Marquette last weekend, falling to the Bulls on a late goal, 1-0, before dropping a 3-0 decision to the Golden Eagles. Jennifer Pettigrew made three saves at USF and five more at Marquette while playing every minute in the Pirate goal.

Nicki Gross has a team-high four goals and three assists (11 points) for Seton Hall entering this weekend’s action, while Danielle Schulmann is second on the squad with three goals and one assist (seven points). Pettigrew has started 11 matches as a freshman in goal for the Pirates, toting a 3-7-1 record and 1.82 GAA.

Head coach Kazbek Tambi is in the midst of his third season at Seton Hall with a 17-26-5 (.406) record. Also the head coach of the United States U-17 National Team, Tambi is 0-2 all-time against Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame-Seton Hall Series
Notre Dame has a 14-1-0 series record against Seton Hall, including a 5-1-0 mark against the Pirates at Owen T. Carroll Field. The teams had not met prior to the Irish joining the BIG EAST in 1995, but have played annually since then, including a second meeting in the 1999 BIG EAST Championship semifinals.

Last year, Notre Dame closed out a perfect regular season with a 6-0 Senior Day victory over Seton Hall at old Alumni Field. Oft-injured senior Kerry Inglis had one of the more memorable Senior Days in program history, scoring the first two goals of her career against the Pirates. Melissa Henderson also scored twice, while Brittany Bock and Kerri Hanks each tallied a pair of assists for the Fighting Irish, who owned a 27-2 shot advantage (11-0 in shots on goal).

Notre Dame last traveled to South Orange on Oct. 26, 2007, downing Seton Hall, 3-1 on scores by Elise Weber, Susan Pinnick and current junior Lauren Fowlkes. Katie Andreski netted the lone Pirate goal, which halved the margin in the 70th minute before Fowlkes’ clinching score.

An individual game listing for this series can be found on page 107 of the 2009 Irish women’s soccer media guide.

Beasts Of The BIG EAST
With a scoreless tie at Pittsburgh on Oct. 4, Notre Dame now owns an NCAA Division I-record 57-game unbeaten streak (54-0-3) against BIG EAST opposition, dating back to a 4-1 loss at No. 15 Marquette on Sept. 30, 2005. In that time, the only other ties were a 0-0 draw at Connecticut (Oct. 13, 2006) and 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).

Since joining the BIG EAST, the Irish are 127-8-5 (.925) all-time in regular-season conference games, 32-2-1 (.929) in the BIG EAST Championship, and hold a 689-82 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 78-10-4 (.870) that includes three consecutive trips to the NCAA College Cup and appearances in the 2006 and 2008 national title games.

The .870 winning percentage compiled by the Notre Dame seniors is third on the national scene behind North Carolina and UCLA.

Game #11 Recap: West Virginia
Junior forward Taylor Knaack scored her first goal of the season on a goalmouth scramble 41 seconds into overtime, giving No. 10/8 Notre Dame a thrilling 3-2 BIG EAST Conference win at West Virginia before a raucous crowd of 1,382 fans on a rainy Friday night (Oct. 2) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.

The victory extends the Fighting Irish unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 56 consecutive games (54-0-2), breaking North Carolina’s Division I record set during Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play from 1994-2000. Notre Dame began the streak exactly four years ago with a 4-0 victory at South Florida on Oct. 2, 2005.

Sophomore forward Melissa Henderson and senior defender Haley Ford also scored for Notre Dame, while junior midfielder Rose Augustin collected her team-high fourth assist of the season on Henderson’s tally, and had uncredited assists to set up the other two goals.

Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander picked up the victory in the Fighting Irish net, tying her season high with four saves. Notre Dame ended up outshooting West Virginia, 13-11, while shots on goal were even at six apiece. There were only three corner kicks in the contest, with the host Mountaineers earning two.

Game #12 Recap: Pittsburgh
Despite a season-high 25 shots, including eight on goal, and with a stout defense that allowed just three total shots after halftime (none on frame), No. 10/8 Notre Dame wound up finishing in a 0-0 double-overtime tie at Pittsburgh in BIG EAST Conference action on an overcast Sunday afternoon (Oct. 4) at a muddy Founders Field in Indianola, Pa.

The scoreless draw is just the eighth in the 22-year history of the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, and the first since Aug. 31, 2007, when Notre Dame posted similar shot totals (and ultimately a similar result) against Michigan in its season opener at old Alumni Field. Nevertheless, the Fighting Irish moved their NCAA-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 57 games (54-0-3).

Junior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss got the starting nod in the Notre Dame net, making a career-high four saves to record her first career solo shutout. The Fighting Irish outshot Pittsburgh, 25-7 in the contest (15-2 after halftime), including the 8-4 edge in shots on goal (6-0 after halftime). The Panthers earned a slim 5-4 advantage in corner kicks, while Notre Dame was whistled for 15 fouls to nine for Pittsburgh.

Defending Your Life
Notre Dame’s offensive production this season has come from a variety of sources. In fact, of the 20 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 five 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 23 goals (including eight gamewinners) and adding three assists for 49 points in less than two full seasons with the Irish.

In fact, through her first 39 games, Notre Dame is 17-0 when Henderson scores a goal and 19-0 when she picks up a point.

Clean Sheets
In a unique twist, 10 of Notre Dame’s 12 games this season have been decided by shutout (six 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 one solo shutout, 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 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 eight wins this season (all but the Aug. 21 season opener vs. Wisconsin, the 2-1 win at Cincinnati on Sept. 25 and the 1-0 win versus Louisville on Sept. 27), 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.

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 over 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 326-83-21 (.783) in 20 seasons (including six at Tulsa and three at Baylor). His winning percentage ranks fourth among active coaches, while his 326 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 381-9-15 (.959) when holding the opposition to 0-1 goals.

Most impressively, Notre Dame is 307-0-1 all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead and is unbeaten in its past 284 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 went to overtime in both contests last weekend. 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 Shaner released by Los Angeles, while Tancredi was declared a free agent by Saint Louis.

Next Up: Connecticut/Providence
Notre Dame returns home to the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium next weekend for a pair of BIG EAST cross-divisional matchups. On Friday, Oct. 16, the Fighting Irish will play host to No. 24/13 Connecticut (the current American Division leader) at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in a contest that will be webcast live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site,

Then, on Sunday, Oct. 18, the Fighting Irish will welcome Providence to town for a 1 p.m. (ET) match.

— ND —