Jan. 24, 2002
Four Notre Dame women’s soccer players were named to the Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District V team, advancing them to the 88-player Academic All-America ballot (33 will earn Academic All-America status, to be announced on Feb. 5). The Academic All-District selections included fifth-year senior defender Monica Gonzalez (Richardson, Texas), senior midfielder Mia Sarkesian (Canton, Mich.), junior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) and sophomore forward Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas).
Notre Dame joined Nebraska (4) as the only schools to place more than two players on the Academic All-America ballot. Notre Dame was one of 13 teams from the final NSCAA top-25 coaches poll that advanced players for Academic All-America consideration, with ND, Nebraska, Florida (2), Penn State (2) and SMU (2) representing the only top-25 teams with multiple Academic All-America candidates.
Pruzinsky-a first team Academic All-American as a sophomore-was one of eight women’s soccer Academic All-District selections nationwide who own a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average (list below). She added to her stellar career as a student-athlete by posting her fifth consecutive 4.0 semester grade-point average during the 2001 fall semester, as a chemical engineering major. A second team NSCAA all-region and first team all-BIG EAST Conference selection, Pruzinsky was a 2001 Missouri Athletic Club national player-of-the-year finalist. She has started 71 of 72 games during her ND career and registered her first goal at Notre Dame in the 2-1 loss at Rutgers before scoring again in the NCAA loss to Cincinnati.
Gonzalez capper her career with NSCAA second team All-America honors before posting a 3.62 semester GPA (her fifth Dean’s List semester) and graduating with a 3.39 cumulative GPA, as a double major in management information systems and Spanish. She joined Pruzinsky as a central defender in 2001, when she started all 21 games while scoring once and adding two assists. Gonzalez totaled 17 goals and 17 assists in 95 career games played, with 49 starts. A founding member of Mexico’s women’s national team, she is expected to be a high draft choice in the second-year Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA).
Gonzalez and Pruzinsky combined with freshman Candace Chapman as just the second trio of Notre Dame defenders to be named NSCAA all-region in the same season (they also earlier became the first three defenders from the same team to be named first team all-BIG EAST). The 2001 Irish defense allowed just 18 goals in 21 games, including nine shutouts and eight others games with one goal allowed.
Sarkesian has posted two consecutive Dean’s List semesters, including a 3.50 during the fall of 2001. A second team all-BIG EAST selection in 2001, after earning MVP honors at the 2000 BIG EAST Tournament, she served as team co-captain and ranked second on the 2001 Irish squad with 18 points (6 goals, 6 assists), including gamewinning goals versus fifth-ranked Nebraska and No. 19 West Virginia. Sarkesian helped Notre Dame compile an 82-8-4 record from 1998-2001 while appearing in 91 career games (62 starts) and scoring 15 goals, six of which were gamewinners.
Guertin-who posted a 3.39 GPA during her freshman year-closed the 2001 season as one of the hottest scorers in the nation, earning BIG EAST Tournament MVP honors while scoring a goal in each of the final 10 games to set a Notre Dame record (good for third in NCAA history). The sophomore sensation led the 2001 Irish with 21 points (15 goals, 6 assists) while ranking 16th in the nation with 0.71 goals per game. Her six gamewinning goals in 2001 included overtime scores versus 19th-ranked West Virginia and No. 23 Michigan, plus the second goal in a 2-1 win over eighth-ranked Penn State (she also had an assist in the 1-0 win over No. 5 Nebraska). Guertin has totaled 26 goals (10 gamewinners) and 10 assists in 46 career games.
* In addition to Pruzinsky, the other eight Academic All-America candidates with 4.0 GPAs include Alabama senior Kim Zarzour (communicative disorders major) and three juniors: Hartford’s Katharina Lindner (communications), Lisa Nowoslawski of Alabama-Birmingham (biology) and Utah’s Maren Harper (political science) … four sophomore Academic All-America hopefuls also own 4.0s: Charlotte’s Lindsay Duncan (English), Lindsay Haywood of Arkansas (psychology), Weber State’s Chelsea Brandt (undeclared) and Katie Klass of Northern Illinois (nursing).
* The other seven players on the Academic All-District V team included two players from Northern Illinois (Klass and senior marketing major Megan Anderson) and Butler (junior biology major Kristin Drogell and junior pre-med major Amy Morrison), plus Eastern Illinois senior Devon Bissell (speech communications), Purdue senior Elizabeth Boldt (exercise and fitness) and Northwestern senior Susie McCreery (psychology).