Three Student-Athletes Selected To Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Teams
Women’s soccer standouts Vanessa Pruzinsky and Meotis Erickson named to women’s team while hockey’s Dan Carlson is selected to men’s squad..

April 20, 2001

Notre Dame, Ind. – Three Notre Dame student-athletes – women’s soccer players Vanessa Pruzinsky (So., Trumbull, Conn.) and Meotis Erikson (Sr., Kennewick, Wash.), along with hockey’s Dan Carlson (Sr., Edina, Minn.) – have been selected to the Verizon/CoSida Academic All-America At-Large Teams for fall and winter sports.

Pruzinsky was named to the women’s first team and is just the 11th Notre Dame student-athlete ever to earn Academic All-America honors as a sophomore and is the fourth Irish sophomore ever to receive first team honors.

Erikson was a third team choice to the women’s at-large team while Carlson was a third team selection to the men’s at-large squad.

Carlson’s selection to the men’s team gives Notre Dame the only Division I hockey program to have a player selected to the team in each of the past five seasons. He joins former Irish hockey standouts, Steve Noble (second team `96-’97, first team `97-’98), Forrest Karr (second team `98-’99) and Andy Jurkowski (third team `99-’00) as past selections to the team.

Notre Dame ranks second all-time among Division I schools with 126 Academic All-American selections, with those recipients coming from 22 different sports. In the last two-plus academic years alone, Notre Dame has totaled 20 Academic All-Americans from 13 different sports.

The Academic All-America Fall-Winter At-Large teams are chosen from student-athletes participating in nine fall and winter sports (cross country, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, ice hockey, rifle, skiing, soccer and swimming). The team is selected in voting by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Pruzinsky has posted a 4.0 grade-point average in each of her three semesters at Notre Dame while pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. She earned second team all-BIG EAST Conference and second team all-region honors after helping the 2000 Irish squad lead the nation with an 0.39 season goals-against average (10 total goals allowed, 16 shutouts). A starter in all 51 games of her Notre Dame career, Pruzinsky helped the Irish hold their 2000 season opponents to an average of three shots on goal per game, with the team trailing just twice all season for a total of 35 minutes.

Erikson – who owns a 3.57 cumulative GPA as a film, television and theatre major – also earned second team all-BIG EAST Conference and second team all-region honors after ranking as Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer in the 2000 season (13 goals-13 assists), behind national player of the year Anne Makinen. Erikson – who currently is embarking on a professional career as a member of the WUSA’s Boston Breakers – tied the Notre Dame record for career games played (101) and ranks seventh on the Irish career scoring list with 164 points (59G-46A), including points in 10 of her final 12 games. She helped Notre Dame compile an 88-9-4 record (.891) from 1997-2000 and scored the overtime game-winner vs. Santa Clara in the 2000 NCAA quarterfinals before being named to the NCAA all-tournament team.

Carlson owns a 3.49 grade point average with a double major in finance and computer applications. He has been named to the Dean’s List in five consecutive semesters at Notre Dame. He is also a member of the prestigious Academic Honors Program at Notre Dame that pairs top student-athletes with faculty mentors. On the ice, Carlson led the Notre Dame hockey team in scoring with 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points which ranked him ninth among all scorers in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The senior left wing owns the school record for games played (158) and finished his Notre Dame career ranked 20th on the all-time scoring list with 52 goals and 80 assists for 132 points. Carlson was an honorable mention all-CCHA selection and was named to the league’s eight-man all-academic team.

The men’s at-large team consisted of 15 players on the first team and 16 on both the second and third teams. Along with Carlson, eight other Division I hockey players were named to the at-large team including the Verizon Academic All-America of the Year, North Dakota goaltender Karl Goehring.

Notre Dame women’s soccer players have combined for eight Academic All-America honors during the past seven seasons. Classmates Jen Renola and Amy Van Laecke earned second-team honors following their junior season (1995) and were first-team selections as seniors, with Renola named the Academic All-American of the Year. Jenny Streiffer then earned first-team honors (as a sophomore) after the 1997 season and was a second-team pick as a junior.

Notre Dame was one of eight schools to place multiple student-athletes on the 2000-01 women’s fall and winter at-large teams, which includes 15 honorees on both the first and second team and 16 on the third team. Pruzinsky and Erikson were two of 10 women’s soccer players to earn Academic All-America honors, with Eastern Michigan senior Tracy Deeter joining Pruzinsky as the only first-teamers.

Notre Dame joined Penn State and Virginia as the only teams from the final 2000 women’s soccer national top-25 coaches poll to place players on the Academic All-America teams.

Pruzinsky and Kansas State cross country runner Amy Mortiner were the only sophomores on the entire list of 46 women’s Academic All-Americans for the 2000-01 fall and winter at-large program.