Oct. 20, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the third time in the past four weeks and a record-setting seventh time in her incomparable career, Notre Dame senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) is the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week, it was announced Monday afternoon by the league office. Hanks’ seventh career BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week award breaks the old mark shared by former Notre Dame All-America forward Katie Thorlakson (2002-05) and Seton Hall’s Kelly Smith (1997-99). In addition, Hanks’ third award this year ties the single-season standard jointly held by Thorlakson (2004 and 2005) and Smith (1999).
Besides her trio of weekly conference plaques this season, Hanks also has been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll three times in 2008. In addition, she has been named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week three times and the Soccer America National Team of the Week twice this year (this week’s awards are slated to be announced on Tuesday).
Monday’s record-setting award came just one day after she struck another mark from the Notre Dame record books, scoring twice in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Connecticut to become the school’s all-time leader with 81 goals, passing Jenny Heft (80 from 1996-99). What’s more, Hanks stretched her goalscoring streak to 10 games, tying Amanda Guertin’s 2001 Irish record and the sixth-longest streak in NCAA Division I history — others with 10-game streaks include current U.S. National Team standouts Abby Wambach (at Florida in 2001) and Christie (Pearce) Rampone (at Monmouth in 1996). The Division I record for most consecutive games with a goal is 17, set by Penn State’s Tiffany Weimer in 2005.
Hanks added a goal and an assist in last Friday’s 5-0 win at Providence, bringing her season totals to a BIG EAST-best 17 goals and 39 points, with both marks also ranking among the top 10 nationally (the latest NCAA statistical update has not yet been released, but it is believed she is tied for second in the nation in total goals, one behind Michigan State’s Laura Heyboer). Hanks also leads the conference with 11 goals and 25 points in league play. All of these numbers are even more amazing when you consider Hanks averages just 64.5 minutes per game; at her current scoring pace, if she played a full 90 minutes, Hanks would have 24 goals, six more than Heyboer.
A three-time All-American and the 2006 Hermann Trophy recipient, Hanks has surged into a tie for eighth in NCAA Division I history with a school-record 225 points (81G-63A), pulling even with former U.S. National Team player and coach April Henrichs (formerly at North Carolina from 1983-86). Additionally, Hanks is tied for 15th all-time with those 81 goals, currently sharing that spot with Texas A&M’s Ashlee Pistorius and William & Mary’s Natalie Neaton. She also is just seven assists away from becoming the third Division I player ever to amass 70 goals and 70 assists in her career, joining former Notre Dame great Jenny Streiffer (70G-71A from 1996-99) and North Carolina/U.S. National Team legend Mia Hamm (103G-72A from 1989-93). In fact, only one other Division I player besides Hanks, Streiffer and Hamm has managed to record 70 goals and 60 assists in her career — UC Santa Barbara’s Carin Jennings notched 102 goals and 60 assists from 1983-86.
Not to be overlooked, freshman defender Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) also was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the first time in her career after playing all 180 minutes in last weekend’s shutouts at Providence (5-0) and Connecticut (2-0). In those two wins, Schuveiller was instrumental in holding those two opponents to a combined three shots on goal, none of which were a serious threat to score, nor did they come from any closer than 25 yards away.
Having clinched its 11th BIG EAST regular-season title in 14 years of conference membership with Sunday’s win at Connecticut, No. 1 Notre Dame (16-0-0, 9-0-0 BIG EAST) returns home Friday for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) conference clash with National Division runner-up (and nationally-ranked) Rutgers at Alumni Field.
Tickets for this, and all remaining Irish home games, as well as the 2008 BIG EAST Championship semifinals and finals (to be played at Notre Dame Nov. 7 & 9), can be purchased by contacting the Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356) or by stopping by the Joyce Center Gate 1 ticket windows on the second floor during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, weekdays). In addition, fans can buy their Irish women’s soccer tickets on-line by going to the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) and clicking on the “tickets” bar on the main page of the site, or by visiting the Alumni Field ticket windows on game night.
— ND —