Oct. 4, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s soccer junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) and freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) both added more honors to their ever-growing trophy cases on Monday, earning accolades on the BIG EAST Conference and national level for their play last week.
Henderson was a double award recipient, coupling her selection as the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week with her second consecutive citation as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week. Meanwhile, Tucker joined Henderson in garnering recognition from the conference office, as she was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week for the second time this season (with both citations coming in the past three weeks).
Henderson is the first two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week this season, and the first Notre Dame player to receive that award twice in one year since Kerri Hanks was a four-time honoree in 2008. Henderson also earned the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week award for the second time in her career, having previously collected that honor on Nov. 16, 2009, after scoring a combined six goals in the first two rounds of last year’s NCAA Championship (including a school-record four goals in a second-round win over Central Michigan at Alumni Stadium).
Like Henderson, Tucker is the first two-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week this year. She also is the first Fighting Irish player to receive that award more than once since Henderson twice took home the hardware in 2008.
This past weekend, Henderson turned in a strong offensive performance by scoring four goals and adding an assist in Notre Dame’s BIG EAST wins over Syracuse (3-0) and St. John’s (4-1) at Alumni Stadium. Henderson netted two goals in each match, and set up Tucker’s game-winning score in the first half against St. John’s while becoming the first Fighting Irish player with three consecutive multi-goal matches (she previously had two goals on Sept. 26 at No. 24/18 Louisville) since Monica Gerardo pulled off that feat from Oct. 4-11, 1998, in wins over Georgetown, Boston College and Providence.
Henderson’s efforts last week vaulted her to the top of the BIG EAST statistical charts in virtually every offensive category — goals (10), goals per match (0.83), points (26), points per match (2.17) and game-winning goals (tied-4). She also is second is assists (tied-6) and assists per match (0.50). During conference play, she leads the BIG EAST in goals (6), goals per match (1.20), points (15), points per game (3.00), and she is tied for second in both assists (3) and assists per match (0.60).
Tucker tallied five points last weekend, scoring both game-winning goals in the victories over Syracuse and St. John’s, while assisting on Henderson’s second goal in the latter match. For the season, Tucker now has four game-winning goals, tying Henderson for the team lead and putting her just three away from the Notre Dame freshman record set by Jenny Streiffer in 1996.
What’s more, Tucker is tied for second on the team with six goals and is third on the squad with 14 points, while ranking among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in four offensive categories — goals (tied-5th; second among conference freshmen), points (tied-10th), goals per match (tied-6th at 0.50) and points per match (tied-9th at 1.17). In conference matches, she leads the BIG EAST with three game-winning goals, while ranking second (or tying for second) in the loop for goals (4), goals per match (0.80), points (10) and points per match (2.00).
No. 5/7 Notre Dame (11-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) plays its final two home matches of the regular season this weekend, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when it plays host to Seton Hall in a BIG EAST match at Alumni Stadium — a free live audio broadcast and in-game blog of that contest, along with live statistics will be available through the official Notre Dame athletics web site, www.UND.com. The Fighting Irish then will welcome Rutgers to town at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday for another conference match that will be televised live to a national cable audience by ESPNU. Prior to that match, Notre Dame also will honor its six senior players and senior student manager.
Tickets for all 2010 Notre Dame soccer matches are available by contacting the Murnane Family Ticket Office by phone (574-631-7356) or in person (Gate 9 in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Fans also can purchase tickets on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (www.UND.com/tickets) or by visiting the ticket windows at Alumni Stadium beginning one hour before the match.
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 —