Sept. 27, 2005
Freshman forward Kerri Hanks and sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Karas – former teammates with the Dallas Texans club program – have continued Notre Dame’s dominance of the 2005 weekly BIG EAST awards, after playing lead roles in the wins over Cincinnati (4-0) and at Louisville (3-0) during the weekend of Sept. 23-25. Hanks was tabbed the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the second time this season (marking her third overall BIG EAST award of 2005) while Karas received the league’s weekly goalkeeper award.
Hanks remained among the national scoring leaders with an eight-point weekend that included two goals vs. Cincinnati and one at Louisville, plus an assist in each of the wins. Karas continued to play strong in place of injured senior Erika Bohn, improving to 5-0-0 for the season and 11-0-0 in her career with the pair of BIG EAST wins. Her highlights included a career-high seven saves in the game at Louisville, helping register Notre Dame’s fourth straight shutout.
Notre Dame freshman Carrie Dew was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll for the second time in the 2005 season, after helping fortify the injury-depleted Irish defense with her solid play in the central defender position. The 5-foot-9 Dew also scored her second goal of the season in the win over Cincinnati, opening the scoring in that 4-0 game.
Hanks (also on Aug. 29) and Notre Dame senior forward Katie Thorlakson each have received two BIG EAST offensive player-of-the-week awards in 2005, combining for all but one of those awards this season. They each are one shy of tying the BIG EAST record for most weekly offensive awards in a season (3), first set by Seton Hall’s Kelly Smith in 1999 and matched by Thorlakson in 2004.
In addition to her pair of offensive awards, Hanks was the BIG EAST rookie of the week on Sept. 5 – giving Notre Dame six total BIG EAST weekly awards in the 2005 season. No other team has totaled more than two BIG EAST awards thus far in the ’05 season. Two other Irish players – junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski and junior defender Christie Shaner – have not received BIG EAST weekly honors in 2005 but they were named to Soccer America‘s national team of the week (respectively on Sept. 6 and Sept. 30). Hanks earlier was the SA national player of the week after her big debut effort in late August while Hanks (week-1) and Thorlakson (week-2) also have been named to the Soccer Buzz national “elite team of the week.”
Hanks currently ranks second in the nation in points (37) and goals (16), plus 20th in assists (5). Her 16 goals stand 18th in the Notre Dame single-season record book and are 5th-best ever by an Irish freshman (most since Anne Makinen’s ND freshman-record 23 goals in ’97). The second-semester freshman is averaging 1.60 goals per game but is averaging better than 2.0 goals per 90 minutes played – putting the ball in the net once per every 43 minutes she is on the field as Notre Dame continues to utilize its tremendous attacking depth during games this season.
Kerri Hanks has scored 16 goals in 10 games, putting her on pace for one of the top seasons ever by a freshman in Division I women’s soccer history (photo, and those below, by Pete LaFleur).
No Division I women’s soccer freshman has reached 30 goals since 1996, with Hanks on pace for 32 goals by the end of the 18-game regular season (she then could play as many as nine more games in the postseason). The top freshman goalscoring seasons belong to SMU’s Lisa Cole (37, in 1987), Baylor’s Molly Cameron (32, in 1996) and Washington State’s Kim Lynass (30, in 1990). Cameron – who played for current Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum when he was the founding coach of the Baylor program – is the only freshman in the previous 14 seasons to reach 30 goals.
The strong play from Hanks helped Notre Dame total a 7-0 scoring edge and 44-12 shot margin in the weekend action (plus 17-7 in shots on goal and 15-4 in corner kicks). She showed her strong ability on set plays with a free-kick assist on fellow freshman Brittany Bock’s diving header vs. Cincinnati before scoring directly off a free kick at Louisville. Hanks also scored on a header and rebound vs. the Bearcats (for her fifth multiple-goal game of the season), adding an assist on Thorlakson’s goal that capped the win at Louisville.
Hanks becomes the 25th player in BIG EAST history to earn the offensive award multiple times in the same season. It marks the seventh time that a Notre Dame player has been a multiple honoreee, with the previous Irish players to do so including Thorlakson (3 in ’04, 2 in ’05), Michelle McCarthy (2 in ’95), Jenny Streiffer (2 in ’97), Monica Gerardo (2 in ’98) and Jenny Heft (2 in ’98).
Karas has won Notre Dame’s past five games as starting `keeper, helping shut down Cincinnati with strong control of the penalty-box area before registering her career-high seven saves in win at Louisville. Those saves vs. the Cardinals included a couple of tough stops vs. preseason all-BIG EAST forward Jamie Craft. Karas – whose five starts in ’05 have included three solo shutouts and a shared shutout – currently ranks third in the nation with a 0.18 goals-against average, allowing just one goal in 499 minutes of action (BYU’s Erika Woodbury is first at 0.10, followed by Boston College’s Arianna Criscione at 0.12). Karas also ranks sixth nationally with a .923 season save percentage, having stopped 12 of the 13 shots she has faced in 2005.
Carrie Dew’s steady play in the back has helped Notre Dame rank once again among the nation’s top defensive teams.
Dew scored Notre Dame’s first goal of the weekend, in the 4-0 win over Cincinnati, while continuing her strong play as a starting central back. She was a key member of the Irish defense that posted the team’s third and fourth straight shutouts, allowing just 12 shots, 7 shots on goal and 4 corner kicks in the weekend action. Dew’s steady play helped overcome the continued absence of three top defensive players (Bohn, junior central D Kim Lorenzen and junior defensive M Jill Krivacek). She is one of four Irish players to start all 10 games this season while leading team with 869 minutes played (87 per game).
The BIG EAST weekly awards now have seen 16 Notre Dame players combine for the offensive player-of-the-week honor 38 times, led by Thorlakson (5; Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 of 2004, and Sept. 5 and 19 of 2005) and three four-time honorees: Gerardo (95-96-98-98), Streiffer (96-97-97-99) and Heft (97-98-98-99). Two others – Anne Makinen (97-99-00) and Amy Warner (01-02-03) – have been three-time honorees. Notre Dame’s 37 all-time BIG EAST offensive player-of-the-week honors are well ahead of the second team on that list (Connecticut, with 27), followed distantly by West Virginia (12), Seton Hall (8) and Villanova (8).
Notre Dame remains fifth in the majority of the national polls and continues to lead the nation in scoring with 4.80 goals per game (48 total). The Irish also have surged to 17th on the season goals-against charts (0.50) and joins three others – North Carolina (2nd/4.20; 5th/0.30), Oklahoma State (6th/3.50; 4th/0.28) and Portland (8th/3.33; 9th/0.33) – as the only teams currently among the nation’s top-20 in both scoring and GAA.
Notre Dame’s six shutouts rank eighth in the nation while the team’s .900 win pct. is bested by just eight teams (out of 300-plus in Division I): UTEP (11-0-0), UNC (10-0-0), Penn State (10-0-0), Portland (9-0-0), Cornell (6-0-0), BYU (9-0-1), Pepperdine (8-0-1) and BC (7-0-1).
Katie Thorlakson remains the nation’s top all-around offensive player, with 9 goals and 13 assists this season.
In addition to the Hanks and Karas numbers listed above, two other Notre Dame players remain among the national stat leaders. Thorlakson (13A in ’05) has been the national assist leader throughout the past two seasons, also currently ranking fifth in points (31) and 11th in goals (9). She is the only player in the nation with 7-plus goals and 7-plus assists.
Hanks and Thorlakson are running away with the distinction as the nation’s top-scoring tandem, combining for 68 points, 25 goals and 18 assists in just 10 games played. Portland is the only other team that features two players (Christine Sinclair with 49 and Megan Rapinoe with 16) who have combined for more than 44 points this season while Notre Dame holds the distinction of being the nation’s only team with multiple players who each have surpassed 20 points (no other team is close to having two 30-point players).
Sophomore forward Amanda Cinalli ranks seventh in the nation with seven assists to go along with four goals for 15 total points that would be leading many teams in the nation midway through the season.
In the BIG EAST stat rankings, Notre Dame stands first in goals (48), shots (215), GAA (0.50) and shutouts (6) while ranking second with 65 corner kicks (Villanova has 69 CKs, with one more game played).
Hanks ranks first among BIG EAST players in goals (16), points (37) and shots (68; on pace to challenge Thorlakson’s ND record of 127 set in ’04) while also ranking fourth in assists (5). Hanks, Thorlakson (31) and Cinalli (15) rank 1-2-3 atop the BIG EAST points chart while Hanks and Thorlakson (9) are 1-2 in goals (Cinalli and freshman Brittany Bock are tied for 6th, with 4G) and Hanks and Cinalli are 1-2 in assists, followed by Hanks in fourth, Buczkowski and senior midfielder Annie Schefter tied for fifth (4A) and fifth-year D/F Candace Chapman in ninth (3A).
Buczkowski and Hanks are tied for fifth among BIG EAST leaders in gamewinning goals (2). On an individual game basis, Hanks (8, vs. UVm) and Thorlakson (8, vs. UNH) are tied for the most points by a BIG EAST player in a 2005 game, with Hanks owning the third game-total on that list (7, vs. UNH) while Thorlakson and Hanks both had 2G-2A (6 points) vs. DePaul. Hanks also owns the top goalscoring games by a BIG EAST player this season (4 vs. UVm, 3 vs. UNH) while Thorlakson’s 4A vs. UNH are the runaway leader among ’05 BIG EAST players (no others have posted even 3A in a game). Hanks also owns the top-three shot totals by a BIG EAST player in ’05, with 12 vs. Maryland and Cincinnati and 10 vs. DePaul.