Oct. 11, 2005
Notre Dame junior defender Christie Shaner (Ambler, Pa.) has been named the BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer defensive player of the week, after playing a lead role in Notre Dame’s pair of shutout wins on the road last week versus Rutgers (1-0) and Seton Hall (7-0). Shaner and her Irish teammates allowed just nine shots, one shot on goal and six corner kicks in the weekend action while helping post the team’s eighth and ninth shutouts of the season. Shaner’s strong play has been key to the team’s recent success, with fellow defensive starters Kim Lorenzen, Jill Krivacek and Erika Bohn all recently returning from injury. She ranks third on team in minutes played (1,035; 74 per game) and has helped the Irish post shutouts in seven of past eight games.
Notre Dame joins Marquette as the only teams to produce BIG EAST award winners in all four categories – offensive, defensive, goalkeeper and rookie – this season, with the Irish players combining for seven total awards in 2005 (Marquette is next with four, followed by Connecticut with three). Freshman forward Kerri Hanks (Aug. 29, Sept. 26) and senior forward Katie Thorlakson (Sept. 5, Sept. 19) each have been named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week twice this season. Hanks also was the league rookie of the week on Sept. 5 while sophomore Lauren Karas was named BIG EAST goalkeeper of the week on Sept. 26.
Shaner – who has played in 62 straight games and 64 of 65 in her career (ND is 57-6-2 in that span) – has been a key part of Notre Dame’s season-long statistical domination that not includes a 61-9 scoring edge (avg. 4.36-0.64), plus 302-63 in shots (21.6-4.5), 170-31 in shots on goal (12.1-2.2) and 102-25 in corner kicks (7.3-1.8). The Irish have racked up nearly a 2-to-1 ratio of goals (61) to opponent shots on goal (31), well above the dominant 2004 national championship team that totaled 71 goals with 73 opponent shots on goal (roughly 1-to-1).
Notre Dame continues to lead the nation in scoring (61 goals/4.36 goals per game) and goal margin (+3.71/gm) while ranking third nationally with nine shutouts (the Irish have allowed multiple goals in just two of 14 games). Senior Katie Thorlakson and freshman Kerri Hanks remain the nation’s top-scoring tandem, combining for 29 goals, 23 assists and 81 points.
Hanks currently ranks third in the nation in goals (18) and points (43) while ranking 15th in assists (7). No other freshman in the country entered the week with more than 13 goals.
Thorlakson remains the nation’s top all-around offensive player, as no other owns double-digit goals and double-digit assists at this point of the season. The Canadian national teamer currently leads the nation in assists (16) while ranking fourth in points (38) and 13th in goals (11).
Thorlakson and Hanks lead the nation in combined points (81), with Portland being the only other team with two players who have combined for more than 60 points. Notre Dame is the only team among 300-plus in Division I women’s soccer with two players who each have totaled 30-plus points.
Hanks trails only Portland’s Christine Sinclair (24) and Penn State’s Tiffany Weimer (21) among the nation’s goalscoring leaders, with no other player totaling more than 14 goals this season. Charlotte’s Lindsey Beam (14) currently is second behind Thorlakson on the national assist charts, with no other players totaling more than 12 assists.
Thorlakson (2G-4A vs. New Hampshire) and Hanks (4G vs. Vermont) are two of 10 players in the nation who have posted 8-plus points in a game this season. Hanks also is one of seven who have notched four-plus goals in a game while Thorlakson is one of five to register four-plus assists in a game this season.
Sophomore forward Amanda Cinalli ranks 6th nationally in assists (5G-9A) and combines with Thorlakson and Hanks for a potent forward trio that has racked up 34 goals, 32 assists and an even 100 points.
Notre Dame (12-2-0/.857) trails just eight teams in season winning pct.: PSU (14-0-0), Portland (14-0-0), UTEP (14-0-1), North Carolina (13-1-0), UCLA (11-1-0), BYU (12-1-1), Lehigh (10-1-1) and Pepperdine (10-1-1).
The Irish currently are ranked as high as 6th in the national polls (per Soccer America) and as low as 8th (in the NSCAA coaches poll), also checking in at 7th in the Soccer Buzz women’s soccer website rankings and 7th in the Soccer Times secondary coaches poll.
Notre Dame leads all BIG EAST Conference teams in shots (21.6/gm), scoring (4.36 goals/gm), shutouts (9) and corner kicks (7.3/gm) while ranking 3rd in goals-against avg. (0.64).
Hanks and Thorlakson ranks 1-2 atop the BIG EAST points charts while Cinalli is 4th (19 pts) and freshman midfielder Brittany Bock 7th (6G-4A; 16 pts). Hanks and Thorlakson also are the BIG EAST goal leaders, with Bock checking in at 6th. Thorlakson, Cinalli and Hanks are the league’s top assist leaders, with fifth-year defender Candace Chapman and junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski tied for 5th on that list. Hanks also ranks 2nd in gamewinning goals (4) and is the BIG EAST leader in shots (82), with Thorlakson’s 40 shots ranking 7th (she is scoring once every 3.6 shots).