July 6, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It was a historic month of soccer throughout various provinces in Canada, culminating with the United States Women’s National Team winning a record third FIFA Women’s World Cup championship after a 5-2 victory over Japan on Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver.
Two University of Notre Dame women’s soccer greats were along for the World Cup ride with their respective countries, as longtime U.S. WNT standout Shannon Boxx (’99) and Canadian star Melissa Tancredi (’04) represented the Fighting Irish on the game’s grandest stage from June 6 through the final contest.
Boxx was a member of the 23-woman U.S. roster that secured FIFA Women’s Cup gold for the first time since 1999, entering in the 74th minute to close out a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the final match of Group D on June 16 in Vancouver. It was Boxx’s fourth career World Cup appearance dating back to the 2003 tournament, with the U.S. WNT placing third in 2003 and 2007 before finishing as event runner-up to Japan in 2011.
Boxx joined three-time All-American and current Notre Dame Monogram Club Board member Kate Sobrero Markgraf (’98) as Fighting Irish World Cup champions. Markgraf started five of six matches as a defender for the U.S. WNT at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which concluded with a thrilling 0-0 draw and a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over China in the championship match on July 10, 1999 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Tancredi capped her third career FIFA World Cup tenure with Canada during her home country’s first time hosting the event. Team Canada reached the knockout stage for just the second time in seven World Cup starts, falling 2-1 to England in a quarterfinal match in front of 54,027 fans on June 27 in Vancouver.
Tancredi played in all five of Canada’s 2015 World Cup matches, earning starts against China (June 6), New Zealand (June 11), Switzerland (June 21) and England. She logged 336 total minutes of match time, totaling five shots (two on-goal) during the tournament.
The next crop of Notre Dame women’s soccer international stars resides on the active Fighting Irish roster, with six players currently seeing extended time at various levels for their home countries. Senior tri-captains Cari Roccaro and Katie Naughton are members of the U.S. WNT Under 23 player pool, while sophomore Sabrina Flores and freshman Natalie Jacobs have competed with the U.S. U-20 squad in 2015. Sophomore Monica Flores made her debut with the Mexico U-20 National Team during June’s NTC Invitational in Carson, California, and junior Rilka Noel has earned caps with the Haiti National Team in various events during the calendar year.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDSoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.