Sept. 23, 2003
Notre Dame freshman defender Christie Shaner (Ambler, Pa.) has been named the BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer rookie of the week, after playing a lead role in last week’s pair of strong showings versus 16th-ranked Stanford (0-0) and No. 10 Santa Clara (2-1) at the SCU Adidas Classic.
Shaner started both games at central back, alongside senior Melissa Tancredi, as the Irish continued to cope with the absence of injured All-American Candace Chapman while another defensive starter, Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, played just a handful of minutes off the bench in last week’s action. Shaner and her defensive counterparts responded to the challenge in dominating fashion by holding Stanford and Santa Clara to just three combined shots on goal (12 total) and three combined corner kicks in 200 minutes of play.
Four Notre Dame players already have received BIG EAST weekly awards this season, including player of the week Mary Boland (Sept. 1), rookie of the week Jen Buczkowski (Sept. 8) and defensive player of the week Vanessa Pruzinsky (Sept. 15) – making Notre Dame the BIG EAST’s only team to receive at least one award in each of the four weeks this season. Notre Dame also has produced the most BIG EAST weekly award winners thus far in 2003 (4), is the only team to feature both an offensive and defensive player-of-the-week selection and is the only squad with multiple rookie-of-the-week recipients.
Shaner was rated by Soccer America as the nation’s No. 22 incoming recruit for the 2003 season (Buczkowski was No. 6 on that list) after a stellar prep career at Germantown Academy. She also has been active in various U.S. National Team programs and nearly guided her FC Bucks Challenge club team to the 2003 USYA national-title game.
Notre Dame (7-0-1) remains No. 2 in the NSCAA coaches poll and the Soccer Times and Soccer Buzz polls while Soccer America now lists the Irish third behind North Carolina and Florida.
Notre Dame is one of 10 undefeated teams remaining in all of Division I soccer, with that group including five teams that have no losses and no ties (UNC, Florida, Boston College, Cal Poly and Oklahoma State), three that join the Irish with one tie (Navy, Ohio State and Princeton) and twice-tied Pennsylvania.
Despite seeing its goal production drop off last week, Notre Dame ranks ninth in the nation for goals per game (3.62, also second in the BIG EAST behind BC’s 4.88) and has moved up to 16th in the nation with a BIG EAST-leading 0.49 season goals-against average.