Dec. 14, 2002
Two Notre Dame women’s soccer players have received top postseason honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, as sophomore defender Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) was named to the NSCAA Division I second team All-America squad while senior midfielder Ashley Dryer (Salt Lake City, Utah) was named to the prestigious NSCAA Scholar All-America team. Junior forward Amy Warner (Albuquerque) was named to the NSCAA all-Great Lakes Region team for the third time in her career (as a second-team selection), with Chapman repeating as a first team all-region pick.
Notre Dame also was one of several teams honored by the NSCAA with its annual College Team Academic Awards, recognizing programs that posted a team GPA of 3.0-plus during the 2001-02 academic year – with Notre Dame posting a 3.31 team GPA in 2001-02. Among schools listed in the Nov. 11 NSCAA top-25 poll, only five – Portland, West Virginia, Penn State, California and Dartmouth – posted a higher team GPA in 2001-02 than Notre Dame’s 3.31.
The Irish were one of 10 schools to produce both an NSCAA All-American and Scholar All-American in 2002, with the others including Clemson, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Marquette, Nebraska, Penn State, St. Louis, Stanford and West Virginia.
Notre Dame has produced NSCAA women’s soccer All-Americans for each of the past 10 seasons (29 total) while the Irish total of 26 NSCAA All-Americans since 1994 trails only North Carolina (30) in all of Division I women’s soccer (Portland and Santa Clara are tied for a distant third on the list of 1994-2002 All-Americans, with 16 each).
Chapman was one of five players from BIG EAST Conference schools who were listed on one of the NSCAA’s three 12-player All-America teams – matching the West Coast Conference for the most from any conference. Four BIG EAST teams produced 2002 NSCAA All-Americans, the most from any conference (the Big 12 and Conference USA were next, with three schools each).
Chapman – one of the top young players on the Canadian National Team and a leading candidate to play with Canada in the 2003 World Cup – earlier was named the 2002 BIG EAST defensive player of the year, after making starts at right, left and one of the central back spots (plus midfield and forward) as the Irish juggled their lineup in the wake of injuries. Chapman was the leader of an Irish defense that finished strong in 2002, allowing more than one goal just once in the final eight games – but she tragically joined the injured list when she suffered a knee injury early in the season-ending loss at top-ranked Stanford (1-0), in the NCAA round of 16.
Her season totals included three goals and five assists in 19 games played, earning defensive MVP honors at the Notre Dame Classic and the Maryland Classic. Chapman’s goal after shifting to the midfield sparked a 5-2 comeback at #25 Maryland while she also scored versus Pittsburgh (in her first college start at forward), added an assist in the 3-1 win over #9 Connecticut and scored versus BYU.
Chapman is Notre Dame’s fourth defender to earn NSCAA All-America honors, joining Kate Sobrero (’95-’97), Jen Grubb (’96-’99) and Monica Gonzalez (’01) in that distinction. She also joins an illustrious group of seven other Notre Dame players who have earned NSCAA All-America honors as sophomores: first-teamers Cindy Daws (M, ’94), Jen Renola (G, ’94t), Holly Manthei (Mt, ’95), LaKesyia Beene (G, ’97) and Grubb (’97), second-team midfielder Anne Makinen (M, ’98) and third-teamer Sobrero (’95).
Dryer – considered one of the nation’s premier defensive midfielders – was the only active senior on Notre Dame’s 2002 squad but had to overcome her own midseason ankle and knee injuries before helping fuel Notre Dame’s lateseason surge. With Dryer back in the lineup, Notre Dame won six of seven games before the loss at No. 1 Stanford. Named to the Dean’s List in four of her first six semesters, she carries a 3.52 cumulative GPA and is on pace to graduate in May as a psychology and sociology major.
Warner – who also was named third team NSCAA all-region in 2000 and ’01 – was Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer in 2002, with nine goals and eight assists and a spot on the all-BIG EAST first team. Her three gamewinning goals included clutch scores versus Hartford (2-1) and Rutgers (1-0, double-OT) while she also netted her second career hat trick in the 4-3 loss at Georgetown. Warner provided the pass that set up Amanda Guertin’s overtime goal at Boston College (1-0) and assisted on scores by Katie Thorlakson and Guertin in the 3-1 NCAA win over Ohio State.
See www.nscaa.com for complete details on the NSCAA postseason award recipients.