March 26, 2003
Michiana-area soccer fans will be treated to an elite display of international women’s soccer talent, during next week’s Women’s Soccer International Showcase. The three-day schedule (April 2, 4 and 5) of games, to be hosted by the University of Notre Dame at Alumni Field, has been altered on the final day, with those matches moved from Sunday the 6th to Saturday the 5th.
The showcase will feature five games, highlighted by a Wednesday-night matchup between the Mexican Women’s National Team and the Canadian Under-18 National Team (April 2, 7:00 p.m.). Action continues on Friday night, April 4, with the University of Michigan facing Canada at 5:30 followed by the renewal of the Notre Dame-Mexico rivalry (the Irish posted hard-fought wins over Mexico in the springs of 2001 and ’02).
The event now will conclude on Saturday, April 5, with a Michigan-Mexico game at 5:00 p.m. and the Notre Dame-Canada matchup to follow at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Adult ticket prices range from $5 for single sessions to $12 for a five-game Showcase Pass while youth/student/senior tickets range from $3 – $6 (see complete ticket information below).
Area soccer fans also are invited to attend Canada and Mexico’s training sessions at the Junior Irish Soccer club Airport Fields (see schedule below) while both teams will participate in a youth clinic with the Junior Irish Soccer Club on Thursday, April 3.
“These games will provide a unique opportunity for Michiana soccer fans to see international soccer played at a very high level,” said fourth-year Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum, whose previous teams have posted narrow wins over Mexico in the springs of 2001 (2-1, at South Bend’s School Field) and ’02 (3-2, at Alumni Field) – with some 2,000 raucous fans on hand for both events.
“Mexico has enjoyed its previous experiences coming to Notre Dame for training and this is something we hope to make into an annual event, with the possible inclusion of men’s international teams as well. We anticipate this being a great event for soccer fans in this community and look forward to the challenge of facing such a high level of competition.”
The Mexican and Canadian teams will be arriving in South Bend in late March and will train throughout the week at local soccer facilities. A youth clinic tentatively has been planned with members of the Junior Irish Soccer Club.
The Mexican Women’s National Team, which was founded in 1998, steadily has grown into a contender on the international soccer scene. Originally founded on a core of U.S. college players who held Mexican ancestry (including former Notre Dame players Monica Gonzalez and Monica Gerardo), the team has begun to develop a homegrown base of players who are considered some of the more dynamic competitors among the world’s young players (Gonzalez and Gerardo will not participate in the Showcase, due to WUSA commitments). The team’s current top players include forwards Iris Mora (now at UCLA) and Lisa Gomez (who plays at the University of Miami). Star forward Maribel Dominguez will not be making the return trip to South Bend, due to her commitments with the WUSA’s Atlanta Beat.
Canada’s Under-18 National Team stands with the United States as the world’s premier teams for that age group, with the U.S. edging Canada at the 2003 Under-18 World Championship (1-0 in overtime) with nearly 50,000 fans in attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. Top players expected to participate in the Showcase with Canada include Kara Lang – one of the world’s emerging forward talents – and Brittany Timko (who has signed to play at Nebraska next season).
Notre Dame is slated to return the bulk of its 2002 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament round of 16, with most of those players expected to compete in the early-April Showcase games. Sophomore defender Candace Chapman – the 2002 BIG EAST defensive player of the year – currently remains sidelined with the knee injury that forced her from the NCAA round-of-16 loss to top-ranked Stanford but she could return to action in time for the Showcase. Three others who missed large portions of the 2002 season due to injuries – senior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (who has the chance to be granted a fifth year of eligibility), sophomore defender Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and freshman midfielder Annie Schefter – also could compete in the Showcase.
Schefter was slated to play for the U.S. in the Under-18 World Championship before suffering an ACL knee injury in late July. Another current Irish freshman, midfielder/forward Katie Thorlakson, played for Canada at the Under-18s but is expected to play for the Irish at the Showcase (Chapman also played with Canada’s Under-18s and is one of the top young players on the full national team).
Notre Dame also has 2003 spring exhibition games scheduled vs. DePaul (March 14, 2-0 win), Western Michigan (March 29, 9:00 a.m.), Ball State (March 29, 5:00 p.m.), Purdue (April 12, 6:00 p.m.), Missouri (April 26, 9:00 a.m.) and Iowa State (April 26, 4:00 p.m.). Each of those games is slated for Alumni Field and open to the public, free of charge.
Tickets On Sale For Women’s Soccer International Spring Showcase
The Notre Dame women’s soccer team will play host to an International Spring Competition. The national teams from Canada and Mexico, as well as the University of Michigan’s women’s soccer team will participate in the April event. All games will take place at Alumni Field on the Notre Dame campus from April 2-6. Tickets range in price $3-$12 for the competition. To purchase tickets or for more information please call the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356.
Notre Dame Women’s Soccer – International Spring Showcase
April 2, 4 and 6, 2003 … Alumni Field
April 2, 2003 – Canada vs. Mexico – 7:00 p.m.; Adult – $5; Youth/Students/Seniors – $3
April 4, 2003 – Michigan vs. Canada – 5:30 p.m., Notre Dame vs. Mexico – 7:30 p.m.; Adult – $5; Youth/Students/Seniors $3 (one ticket for both games)
April 5, 2003 – Michigan vs. Mexico – 5:00 p.m., Notre Dame vs. Canada – 7:00 p.m.; Adult – $5; Youth/Students/Seniors – $3 (one ticket for both games)
Tournament Package: Adult – $12 ALL GAMES; Youth/Students/Seniors – $6 ALL GAMES
This is a general-admission event. Youth ages three and under are admitted free of charge. Notre Dame Students are free with their ID. Notre Dame Faculty / Staff are free with their ID. The gates will open one hour prior to the start of the day’s first game. All seating is general admission. Parking: no charge.
CANADA AND MEXICO TRAINING SESSIONS
Sessions are open to the public and are held at the Junior Irish Airport Fields noted (directions below), unless noted
Canada Training Sessions
Sat., March 29 – 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Sun., March 30 – exhibition game vs. Nebraska (10:00 a.m.), training from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Mon., March 31 – 9:30-11:00 a.m., 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Tues., April 1 – 9:30-11:00 a.m., 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Wed., April 2 – 9:00-10:30 a.m., game vs. Mexico (7:00 p.m., at ND’s Alumni field)
Thur., April 3 – 9:30-11:00 a.m., 4:00-5:00 p.m.; Jr. Irish youth clinic from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Fri., April 4 – 9:00-10:30 a.m., game vs. Michigan (5:30 p.m., at ND’s Alumni Field)
Sat., April 5 – 9:30-11:00 a.m., game vs. Notre Dame (7:00 p.m., Alumni Field)
Sun., April 6 – 8:30-10:00 a.m., depart for Canada
Mexico Training Sessions
Tues., April 1 – 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Wed., April 2 – game vs. Canada (7:00 p.m., at ND’s Alumni Field)
Thur., April 3 – 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jr. Irish youth clinic from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Fri., April 4 – game vs. Notre Dame (7:30 p.m., at Alumni Field)
Sat., April 5 – game vs. Michigan (5:00 p.m., ND’s Alumni Field)
Directions to Junior Irish Soccer Club Airport Field (also see field maps at www.jririshsoccer.org): Take Cleveland Road west to Bendix. Take a left on Bendix. Take first right on to Nimtz Parkway and then take a left at first stopsign on to Moreau Court, which leads to the fields.