Oct. 1, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame sophomore forward Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) capped off her first week as an attacking force for the Fighting Irish by being named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division I National Player of the Week, the governing body announced Tuesday.
Roccaro, who also was chosen as the College Soccer 360 Co-Primetime Player of the Week and appears on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, in addition to being nominated for Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week honors, scored four goals and added two assists last week as Notre Dame remained unbeaten in ACC play with victories over No. 21/22 Maryland (5-0) and Pittsburgh (3-0) at Alumni Stadium.
Prior to last Thursday’s win over Maryland, Roccaro moved from her previous starting role in the midfield up to the forward line and wound up with a hat trick against the Terrapins, the first three-goal match for a Fighting Irish player against a ranked opponent since 2006. She then contributed to all three of Notre Dame’s goals against Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon, scoring once and dishing out a career-high two assists in the victory.
“I can’t think of anyone else in the conference that made a positional change, with not much practice in the new position that could come in and score four goals and two assists in two games like Cari did Maryland and Pitt,” Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “She is extremely versatile, with her future probably being in the center of the U.S. (Women’s National Team) defense someday, but she is also very capable of running the show from midfield. We did play Cari some last year as a forward when we needed her, and she did the same things for us there as well.
“It’s rare to get a player that can impact your team in so many different roles,” he added. “Cari is just so physically dominant, so creative, so confident, and so competitive that she is very difficult to contain, wherever she plays.”
Roccaro is the first Notre Dame player to earn national player of the week accolades from any major outlet since Sept. 17, 2012, when current Fighting Irish sophomore forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy) was chosen as the NCAA.com Co-National Player of the Week.
“I’m very grateful and honored to be chosen as the NSCAA National Player of the Week,” Roccaro said. “Really, this is a team award because if it weren’t for my teammates setting me up, those goals may not have happened. Even if they did, it takes a great defense to win games, and our defense has been playing well right now. So we’re all going to share this award and remember that we’re only as good as our next game — we’ve got a really strong Wake Forest team coming in on Thursday, and we’ll have to be focused and prepared.”
For the season, Roccaro is third on the Fighting Irish squad with the four goals and 10 points she accumulated last week.
Notre Dame (9-1, 5-0 ACC), which moved up to No. 4 in the latest NSCAA rankings and remained No. 3 in the newest Soccer America poll, wraps up a four-match ACC homestand at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it takes on No. 13/11 Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium. The match will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
Season and single-match tickets for Notre Dame women’s soccer may be purchased through the University’s Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET). Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets. Groups wishing to attend Fighting Irish soccer matches also can receive a discounted ticket rate — contact Rita Baxter in the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office to learn more.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDsoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director