Nov. 7, 2002
VERNON, Conn. – Notre Dame sophomore Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) has been named the 2002 BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer defensive player of the year, with Irish junior forward Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) joining Chapman on the first team all-BIG EAST squad. Junior midfielder Randi Scheller (Kutztown, Pa.) was named second team all-BIG EAST while freshman defender Cat Sigler (Windsor, Calif.) was named to the BIG EAST all-rookie team.
Chapman – currently playing with the Canadian National Team at the Gold Cup, as a starting outside midfielder – follows former Notre Dame greats Kate Sobrero (’97) and Jen Grubb (’98, ’99) as the third Irish player ever named BIG EAST defensive player of the year (since ’95). She is Notre Dame’s youngest player (by class) ever to receive any player-of-the-year honor from the BIG EAST.
Chapman has made starts in 2002 at right, left and one of the central back spots (plus midfield and forward) as the Irish have juggled their lineup in the wake of injuries that sidelined starting defenders Vanessa Pruzinsky and Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, plus highly-touted freshman Annie Schefter (a probable starter in the back). After missing the first two games of 2002 while playing at the Under-19 World Championship, Chapman started the final 16 games of the regular season while totaling three goals and five assists and earning defensive MVP honors at the Notre Dame Classic and the Maryland Classic. Her 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.
Warner – who also was named first team all-BIG EAST as a freshman (2000) – leads Notre Dame in goals (9) while sharing the team points lead (24) with classmate Amanda Guertin. 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’s six assists include the pass that set up Guertin’s overtime goal at Boston College (1-0). She becomes the ninth Notre Dame player ever named first team all-BIG EAST in multiple seasons, joining two-time honorees Jenny Heft (’98, ’99) and Jenny Streiffer (’96, ’99) as the only forwards among those nine repeaters.
Scheller – who joined Warner, Sigler and Guertin as the only Irish players to start all 18 games – is tied with Guertin as the team’s second-leading goalscorer (7), plus one assist. After splitting time during 2002 in the offensive and defensive midfielder roles, Scheller’s season highlights include the gametying goal vs. Hartford, the final goal vs. Maryland, the gamewinner vs. UConn and a two-goal game vs. Syracuse.
Sigler started all season at one of the central back spots, combining with Chapman and the other defensive players to post eight shutouts and a 1.32 goals-against average. She headed in a Guertin corner kick for an early score in the 4-0 win over Pittsburgh.