Junior forward Melissa Henderson (pictured) and senior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes were among 25 players named preseason All-Americans by Soccer America, the publication announced Thursday.

Fowlkes, Henderson Named Soccer America Preseason All-Americans

Aug. 19, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame senior defender/midfielder and co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) and junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) are among a group of 25 players who have been named preseason All-Americans by Soccer America, the publication announced Thursday. The Fighting Irish are one of six schools in the country to feature multiple preseason All-America selections on the Soccer America list, joining Boston College, North Carolina, Portland, Stanford and UCLA in that elite company.

In addition, Fowlkes has been chosen as one of 30 candidates for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top senior player based on her dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. The 30-candidate classe will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the award’s recipient, to be announced Dec. 3-5 at this year’s NCAA Women’s College Cup in Cary, N.C.

Fowlkes will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of Kerri Hanks, who was the 2008 recipient of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. For more information on the award, including a rundown of the 30 candidates for this year’s honor, please visit the Lowe’s Senior Class Award web site.

These selections are just the latest in a series of early-season honors for the talented Fighting Irish duo, with both players earning a place on the 45-player Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy watch list (along with junior midfielder Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas/Plano West)), as well as preseason individual honors from the BIG EAST Conference — Fowlkes is the BIG EAST Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year with Notre Dame junior defender and fellow co-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West), while Henderson was tapped as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Fowlkes, Henderson, Barg and Schuveiller also were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.

Fowlkes earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) third-team All-America honors and ESPN The Magazine second-team Academic All-America accolades last season after piling up career highs of 10 goals and four assists (24 points) following an early-season move to forward due to various injuries on the Notre Dame roster. Fowlkes also was named the BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player, as well as a NSCAA first-team all-region and first-team all-conference selection, and she could become the first player in BIG EAST history (since league play started in 1995) to collect both the conference’s offensive and defensive player-of-the-year awards during her career.

What’s more, Fowlkes also is in the unique position of possibly being just the 13th student-athlete in Notre Dame athletics history (and the third Fighting Irish women’s soccer player) to couple All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same season on two different occasions. The 1996 NSCAA Player of the Year, goalkeeper Jen Renola, was the first to pull off that feat in 1995 and 1996, and more recently, midfielder/forward Brittany Bock (now with the Washington Freedom of Women’s Professional Soccer) matched that double in 2007 and 2008.

Henderson, who also was one of four Fighting Irish players selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team, rang up 18 goals and five assists (41 points) last year, leading the conference in both goals and points, as well as gamewinning goals (a school-record nine). She collected first-team MVP honors (equivalent to All-America status) from Soccer America, as well as first-team NSCAA all-Northeast Region and second-team all-BIG EAST accolades, and she was dominant in the 2009 postseason, registering 10 goals (including two hat tricks, a Notre Dame first in postseason play) and dishing out three assists as the Fighting Irish reeled off seven consecutive wins en route to the BIG EAST tournament title and the NCAA College Cup semifinals.

Notre Dame kicks off the 2010 season at 5:30 p.m. (ET) Friday against Minnesota at Alumni Stadium. Season and single-game tickets for the 2010 Notre Dame soccer campaign are available by contacting the Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the new Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET). Fans also can purchase tickets on-line through the tickets page of the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com/tickets) or by visiting the ticket windows at Alumni Stadium on game night.

For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women’s soccer news Twitter page (www.twitter.com/NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women’s soccer page at UND.com.

— ND —