Sept. 24, 2002
2002 NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER NOTES
at Villanova (Sept. 27) and Georgetown (Sept. 29)
MORE MID-ATLANTIC BATTLES: The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (6-2-0) – ranked ninth in this week’s NSCAA coaches’ poll – embarks on its final two-game road trip of the 2002 regular season, with BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic Division matchups at Villanova (Friday, Sept. 27, 4:00 p.m.) and Georgetown (Sunday, Sept. 29, 12:30 p.m.) … the Irish opened divisional play at home last week with a pair of 1-0 wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall, after impressive comeback victories over Hartford (2-1) and #25 Maryland (5-2) at the Maryland Fila Classic … three of ND’s top defensive players – senior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (ankle), senior midfielder Ashley Dryer (ankle/knee) and sophomore central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (foot) – could miss this weekend’s action due to injury … Notre Dame – which has won every BIG EAST regular-season title (7) since joining the conference, has won seven BIG EAST tournament titles and has lost just four games vs. BIG EAST teams since ’95 – was picked to repeat as Mid-Atlantic Division champs (UConn was picked to repeat in the Northeast Division) … the Irish – who returned seven starters and 12 letterwinners from the 2001 team (17-3-1) – staged comebacks in both wins at the Fila Classic, including a five-goal fluty in the final 25 minutes vs. Maryland (after staring at a 2-0 deficit) … those wins put ND back on the winning track, after suffering rare shutout losses versus perennial national powers Santa Clara (4-0) and Portland (1-0) in the Notre Dame Classic.
WEBSITES: For in-depth information on this week’s opponents, please consult their official websites: www.villanova.com and www.guhoyas.com.
ND SPORTS HOTLINE: For schedule and result information on all 26 Notre Dame varsity sports, call (574) 631-3000 (press “4” for soccer information and then ‘2″ for women’s soccer results).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS: Villanova enters the week with a 5-1-2 record (1-1-0 Mid-Atlantic Division), after splitting road games at Pittsburgh (2-1, OT) and West Virginia (0-1) … the Wildcats returned six starters and 14 of 23 letterwinners from their 2001 team that went 13-6-3, finished fourth in the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic (2-2-2) and advanced to the second round of the NCAAs (0-3 loss to Penn State) … VU has totaled just 10 goals in eight games but sophomore Chrissy Dolan leads the BIG EAST in goals-against average (0.46) …sophomore F Laura Johnson (3G-3A) and freshman M/D Kelly Breslin (3G) lead the Wildcats in scoring … VU also owns wins over George Mason (3-1), Lehigh (2-0), La Salle (1-0, OT) and Towson (1-0) , plus a 1-1 tie in a cross-divisional game at UConn.
ND-VU SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame has won all nine previous games vs. Villanova, with a 42-2 scoring edge in those games … ND posted BIG EAST semifinal wins over VU in 1996 and ’97 (both 7-0) …Amy Warner scored both goals in ND’s 2-1 OT win over VU last season … Warner’s first goal came in the 77th minute, via an Amanda Guertin pass after a failed clearance (Warner curled at 18-yard shot inside the far right post) … VU’s Quinn Sellers then slid in a shot from close range with 3:05 left in regulation … Monica Gonzalez send a lead pass down the left side to set up the winning goal, with Randi Scheller cutting the ball back into the box and Warner scoring from close range (ND finished with a 22-10 shot edge, 10-0 in corner kicks).
THREE IRISH PLAYERS EARN BIG EAST WEEKLY HONORS: Three ND players were honored by the BIG EAST for their roles in the wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall … junior F Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) was named BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the second time in her career, sophomore Mary Boland (Hudson, Ohio) was named defensive player of the week and freshman Erika Bohn (Brookfield, Conn.) earned goalkeeper-of-the-week honors … Warner’s goal ended the Rutgers game with 9:17 left in the second and final OT, as the team tri-captain ran onto a thru-ball from Maggie Manning and arched a crossing shot into the upper left corner of the net … two days later, Warner’s leftside cross initiated a double-header sequence, with Boland scoring on the diving header vs. SHU … the versatile Boland started at left back, limiting RU and SHU to a total of seven shots on net during the weekend action … she shifted into the midfield in the second half of the Rutgers game, filling in for injured senior Ashley Dryer (the team’s top defensive midfielder) … Boland picked up where Dryer left off, as the Irish limited RU’s top player Carli Lloyd to just one shot for the entire game … Boland continued to show her versatility in the SHU game, running onto the play and diving low to redirect Katie Thorlakson’s header midway through the first half … Bohn – the first freshman to start in the nets for the Irish since Jen Renola in 1993 – made six saves and stopped several other RU scoring chances before helping foil several potential chances in the SHU game … she dropped her season goals-against average to 0.66, good for second in the BIG EAST, behind Villanova sophomore Chrissy Dolan (0.46) … Bohn’s six starts include three shutouts (two solo), two games with one goal allowed (vs. Portland and Hartford) and two goals allowed vs. Maryland … Warner also was named BIG EAST player of the week on Oct. 8, 2001, after totaling 3G in action vs. St. John’s and Miami … Boland is ND’s second player to earn BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-week honors in 2002, as her classmate Gudrun Gunnarsdottir was so honored after the opening wins over Providence (3-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0).
SCOUTING THE HOYAS: Georgetown – which plays Sept. 27 vs. Pittsburgh – enters the week with a 7-3-0 record (1-0-0 BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic), after a 3-0 home win over Seton Hall and a 4-0 win at Elon … GU returned four starters and 17 of 25 letterwinners from its 2001 team that went 11-7-1 and finished sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Division (1-4-1) … the Hoyas top scorers include junior F Jessie Beers-Altman (7G-3A), sophomore F Casey McCann (5G-3A) and junior F/M Courtney Shaub (3G-1A) while junior Alexis George has played most of the minutes in the nets (1.75 GAA, 32 saves) … GU also owns wins over George Washington (3-1), Howard (9-5), James Madison (3-0), Furman (3-0) and Wofford (5-1), plus losses to William & Mary (0-1), Dayton (1-3) and Ohio State (1-5).
ND-GU SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame has won all seven previous games vs. Georgetown, with a 55-1 scoring edge in those games … Amanda Guertin scored directly on a 79th-minute corner kick (from the left side) for the GWG in last year’s 2-1 win over GU … Candace Chapman’s pass from the back set up the first goal, with Mia Sarkesian playing a thru-ball and Melissa Tancredi then striking a low shot into the right side of the net (60:10) … GU’s first-ever goal vs. ND came in the 76th minute, when Alyson Smith served the ball from the left corner (the cross glanced off the shoulder of a diving Casey McCann and went into the goal) … ND finished with an 18-6 shot edge (8-2 in CKs).
GOING THE DISTANCE: Notre Dame is unbeaten in its last 12 overtime games (9-0-3), dating back to the 3-2, double -OT loss to North Carolina in the 1999 opener … that 1999 team went on to post a 2-1, double-OT win at UConn and played to a 1-1 tie at Nebraska in the NCAA quarterfinals (ND advanced on PKs) … the 2000 team registered three OT wins – over Stanford, at West Virginia and vs. Santa Clara in the NCAA quarterfinals (all 2-1) – while also playing to a scoreless tie at UConn … the 2001 season featured an unprecedented five OT games, with four 2-1 wins (vs. Indiana, Villanova, WVU and Michigan) and a 2-2 tie with Wisconsin … the OT unbeaten streak continued with last week’s 1-0 win over Rutgers.
OVERTIME MASTERS: Junior forwards Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin share the ND record for career goals scored in overtime (2), with 1996 national player of the year Cindy Daws also scoring two OT goals in her career (including the gamewinner vs. Portland in the 1995 NCAA title game) … 11 other former ND players each scored one OT goal … Guertin holds the ND record for overtime points (6; 2G-2A; see quality and quantity note below), followed by Warner and Daws with five each … in addition to her double-OT goal last week Rutgers (1-0), Warner also scored in OT as a sophomore vs. Villanova and had the primary assist on Kelly Tulisiak’s OT goal in the 2001 win over Indiana (both 2-1) … she also had the cross that produced an overtime own-goal to beat Stanford in 2000), thus playing a key role in four of ND’s last two OT goals (Guertin has scored or assisted on four of the last seven).
TOP-10 DUO: Notre Dame currently holds the distinction of being one of three schools in the nation with its men’s and women’s soccer teams both ranked in the top 10 of the NSCAA national top-25 poll … the Irish women (6-2-0) are ranked 9th in this week’s NSCAA poll while the ND men (4-1-2) are 10th … Stanford (1st in men’s poll, 2nd in women’s) and Wake Forest (8th men’s, 7th women’s) are the only other schools currently ranked in the top 10 of both polls … both ND teams have four regular-season games remaining vs. teams currently in the NSCAA top-25, with the Irish women having showdowns with current No. 10 West Virginia, 19th-ranked Purdue, BIG EAST rival UConn (12th) and No. 14 Michigan.
INJURY WOES CONTINUE FOR DEFENSE: The ND defense continues to cope with injury problems to several key regulars … senior All-America candidate Vanessa Pruzinsky – whose versatile skills allow her to play outside or centrally with equal effectiveness – remains day-to-day as she battles back from an ankle injury … Pruzinsky played the first 47 minutes of the Santa Clara game (at left back), helping shut out SCU in that span, and then logged 60 minutes off the bench in last week’s 1-0 OT win over Rutgers (at left and central back) … sophomore Gudrun Gunnarsdottir – named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week after the opening wins over Providence and Virginia Tech – has missed the last four games due to a stress fracture in her foot … Gunnarsdottir had been the anchor of the Irish defense in the absence of Pruzinsky, playing centrally alongside freshman Cat Sigler … senior captain Ashley Dryer – one of the nation’s premier defensive midfielders – missed the final 50 minutes of last week’s Rutgers game and all of the SHU game due to an ankle injury … ND’s many options in the back also include sophomore Mary Boland (she has started at forward and midfield), junior Kim Carpenter (she has shifted back from the midfield in the past) and two others who have started at outside back in the early parts of the 2002 season: sophomore Kate Tulisiak and freshman Miranda Ford … sophomore Candace Chapman has started at both right and central back in recent weeks, after returning from the Under-19 World Championship … the defensive third already was ND’s area of least experience, following the graduation of central back Monica Gonzalez (a two-year starter), left back Lindsey Jones (a three-year starter) and two-year starting ‘keeper Liz Wagner – plus the loss of freshman Annie Schefter to a preseason ACL injury (she was being considered for a shift from midfield to outside back).
EXPERIENCED FRONTRUNNERS: Notre Dame’s experience clearly lies in the offensive third, with junior forwards Amanda Guertin (28G-13A), Amy Warner (22G-8A) and Melissa Tancredi (6G-4A) combining for 124 games played (106 starts), 56 goals and 25 assists (Tancredi did not play in ’99 due to an ACL injury) … add in junior midfielder Randi Scheller (14G-15A) and senior M Ashley Dryer (3G-12A) and the Irish have five veteran forwards/midfielders that have combined for 250 games played (198 starts), 73 goals and 52 assists.
NOTRE DAME CAREER STATS (veterans)
Amanda Guertin (Jr., F) … 54 GP/50 GS, 28G-13A, 69 pts (12 GWG)
Amy Warner (Jr., F) … 47 GP/40 GS, 22G-8A, 52 pts (9 GWG)
Randi Scheller (Jr., M) … 53 GP/33 GS, 14G-15A, 43 pts (1 GWG)
Ashley Dryer (Sr., M) … 73 GP/59 GS, 3G-12A, 18 pts
Melissa Tancredi (Jr., F) … 23 GP/15 GS, 6G-4A, 16 pts (1 GWG; injured in ’00)
Vanessa Pruzinsky (Sr., D) … 73 GP/72 GS, 2G-6A, 10 pts
Mary Boland (So., F/D) … 18 GP/12 GS, 5G-2A, 12 pts (1 GWG)
Candace Chapman (So., D) … 27 GP/26 GS, 4G-2A, 10 pts (2 GWG)
Kim Carpenter (Jr., M) … 32 GP/7 GS, 2G-1A, 5 pts
Gudrun Gunnarsdottir (So., D) … 21 GP/7 GS, 0G-0A
Kate Tulisiak (So., D) … 12 GP/3 GS, 0G-0A
Molly Tate (Jr., D/M) … 11 GP/1 GS, 0G-0A
Lauren Kent (Jr., G) … 11 GP/2 GS, 334:00, 4 GA, 12 SV, 1.08 GAA, 1-1-0
PRIME-TIME FLURRY: ND’s offensive outburst in the 5-2 win at #25 Maryland represents the most goals ever scored by the Irish vs. an NSCAA top-25 opponent that was playing on its home field … it also matched the sixth-highest goalscoring day ever for the Irish in any game vs. a top-25 opponent (second-most since the high-powered 1997 offense) and tied ND’s second-highest goal output ever in a regular-season game vs. a top-25 opponent … ND’s top all-time scoring games vs. top-25 teams include 1997 postseason wins over UConn (6-1, BIG EAST title game), Nebraska (6-0, NCAA second round) and UCLA (8-0, NCAA quarterfinal) – plus the 8-1 win over Indiana in the 1996 NCAA first round and the 6-1 win over Santa Clara in 2000 … the Irish have scored five goals vs. top-25 teams in six other games (all 5-0): vs. Duke in ’94, vs. Wisconsin in the ’95 and ’96 NCAA second rounds, vs. Duke and Michigan in ’97, and vs. Washington in 2000.
JUNIOR JAMBOREE: Five players from ND’s seven-member junior class played key roles in the wins over Hartford and Maryland, with the juniors scoring six of the team’s seven goals and registering three of the four official assists (for 15 of 18 total points) … Melissa Tancredi scored a pair of classic header goals to spark the comeback vs. Maryland (both via corner-kick serves from fellow junior F Amanda Guertin) … Tancredi also set up the GWG vs. Maryland with her thru-ball to classmate Amy Warner, with Guertin sending home the rebound for her 28th career goal and 12th GWG … M Randi Scheller started the comeback vs. Hartford with her free-kick goal and capped the scoring in the win over the Terps … Kim Carpenter played key roles in both wins, as both a midfielder and right back (where she played for the entire Maryland game).
FACING THE ELEMENTS: Notre Dame’s potent trio of junior forwards could be due for a breakout stretch, after using their combination of diverse skills to play leading roles in the wins over Hartford and Maryland … Amy Warner and Amanda Guertin a.k.a. “Fire and Ice” due to their unique playing styles – have been joined by bruising classmate Melissa Tancredi (who could be dubbed “Earthquake” due to her combination of power and speed) to form one of the nation’s top groups of forwards … Warner appears to have regained the speed that made her a constant threat as a freshman (prior to a knee injury) while Guertin’s calm presence and deadly accuracy continue to be on display in her pinpoint corner kicks and well-placed shots from any angle … Tancredi’s physical play and ability in the air (she headed in two Guertin CKs vs. Maryland) played a key part in the win over the Terps.
DRYER DOES IT AGAIN: Lost amidst the disappointment of ND’s 4-0 loss to Santa Clara was another stellar defensive effort from Notre Dame senior M Ashley Dryer, who essentially neutralized SCU’s star midfielder Aly Wagner (she did not factor into any of the SCU goals before scoring twice in the Broncos’ 4-2 win over Clemson) … she also was named to the Maryland Fila Classic all-tournament team, after playing a lead role in the key midfield battle (while fighting off illness) and combined with sophomore Mary Boland to hold Rutgers All-American Carli Lloyd (one shot) in check during last week’s 1-0 OT win (Dryer left the game early in the second half, with an ankle injury) … Dryer’s status as one of the nation’s premier defensive midfielders was reinforced at the 2001 BIG EAST Tournament, when she shut down BIG EAST midfielder of the year Sarah Rahko in the semifinal win over Boston College before holding another top midfielder (Lisa Stoia) in check to help beat West Virginia in the BIG EAST title game.
A BORN WINNER: Junior Amanda Guertin (Grapevine, Texas) continues to add clutch goals and assists to her career totals (28G-13A, in 52 games) – with her 12 career gamewinning goals already ranking eighth on the ND all-time list (one behind former teammate Meotis Erikson and three ahead of classmate Amy Warner) … nearly half of Guertin’s career goals (12 of 28, or 42.9 percent) have been gamewinners – well ahead of the seven players above her on the GWG list (next is Michelle McCarthy, at 30.5%) … here is the exclusive company that Guertin finds herself amidst on the Irish career GWG charts:
Name (pos., years) … GWG/Gls (Pct. GWGs)
1. Jenny Heft (F, 1996-99) … 19/80 (23.8%)
2. Michelle McCarthy (F, 1992-95) … 18/59 (30.5%)
3. Rosella Guerrero (F, 1992-95) … 16/55 (29.1%)
Monica Gerardo (F, 1995-98) … 16/73 (21.9%)
Anne Makinen (M, 1997-2000) … 16/65 (24.6%)
6. Jenny Streiffer (F, 1996-99) … 15/70 (21.4%)
7. Meotis Erikson (F, 1997-2000) … 13/59 (22.0%)
8. Amanda Guertin (F, 2000- ) … 12/28 (42.9%)
9. Amy Warner (F, 2000) … 9/22 (40.9%)
QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Amanda Guertin’s gamewinning goals have come with both frequency and in countless clutch situations … here’s a look at some of the top moments in her career:
* Unassisted goal in overtime to hold off upstart West Virginia and maintain #1 ranking (2-1, 2000)
* GWG vs. Boston College (2-1) to end ND’s only deficit of 2000 (prior to NCAA semifinals)
* GWG in 2000 NCAA second-round win over Michigan (3-1)
* Pass that initiated Meotis Erikson’s OT goal vs. Santa Clara (2-1), sending ND to 2000 NCAA College Cup semifinals
* GWG vs. Penn State in 2001 Key Bank Classic (2-1)
* Direct score via corner kick for GWG vs. Georgetown (2-1, 2001)
* Flick pass as part of set play for only scoring in 1-0 win over Nebraska (2001)
* Free-kick cross that led to double-header goal, beating WVU in another OT game (2-1, 2001)
* Scored both goals in 2001 win at Yale (2-0)
* Cashed in a shanked clearance to beat Michigan in OT (2-1, 2001)
* Scored again directly on corner kick to open scoring vs. St. John’s in 2001 BIG EAST quarterfinal (2-0)
* Set up Amy Warner rebound goal, then scored for 2-0 lead in 3-0 win over BC (2001 BIG EAST semi’s)
* Scored and provided corner kick that led to GWG vs. WVU in 2001 BIG EAST title game (2-1)
* Netted both goals in 2001 NCAA first-round win over Eastern Illinois (2-0)
* Provided pair of corner-kick assists and scored GWG in 5-2 comeback at #25 Maryland (2002)
MARYLAND FILA CLASSIC HONORS: Sophomore D Candace Chapman (Ajax, Ontario) was named defensive MVP of the Notre Dame Classic (Sept. 6-8) before repeating the honor at the Maryland Fila Classic … Chapman – who made plays all over the field in the ND Classic battles with Santa Clara and Portland – opened the UP game at central defense, with strong marking of her Canadian national teammate Christine Sinclair (before shifting to her customary right back position) … she then played both defensive positions vs. Hartford and started centrally vs. #25 Maryland, before shifting into the midfield and sparking the 5-2 comeback by scoring the first Irish goal (her top defensive moments vs. the Terps included clearing a shot off the goalline late in the first half). … another Canadian native also was honored at the Fila Classic, as ND junior F Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario) was named the tournament’s offensive MVP … Tancredi actually was an emergency starter at central defense in the Hartford game and was hampered by a nagging Achilles injury throughout the weekend (she came off the bench in the first and second half vs. Maryland) … Tancredi’s undying hustle and physical presence changed the tenor of the Maryland game, with her pair of header goals providing the tying and 4-2 goals … ND’s all-tournament selections at the Fila Classic also included junior F Amy Warner (gamewinning goal vs. Hartford, rebound shot to set up GWG vs. Maryland, followed by an official assist on last ND goal), senior M Ashley Dryer — who turned in a gutsy effort while battling through illness — and freshman G Erika Bohn, who registered a variety of big plays including a breakaway stop with the Hartford game tied up and a lunging tip over the crossbar with the Irish still trailing the Terps, 2-1 in the 75th minute.
RESULT NOTES: With the opening 5-0 win at Providence, ND now is 13-2-0 in all-time season openers (9-1-0 in the last 10, with a 3-2 OT loss to UNC in 1999) … the 4-0 loss to Santa Clara represented ND’s largest margin of defeat ever at home (the Irish had not been shut out at home since 1992) … ND suffered consecutive shutout losses (0-1 vs. Portland) for the first time since 1989 … following the 5-2 win at Maryland, the Irish have not lost to an ACC team other than UNC since a 2-1 loss to Duke on Sept. 25, 1992 (8-0-1 vs. ACC teams, other than UNC, since that game).
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RETURN: Notre Dame recently welcomed back two players who competed in the recent Under-19 World Championship, held in three Canadian cities … the exciting tournament was capped by a 1-0 U.S. win over Canada in the title game, with 47,000 fans in attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium … Portland’s Christine Sinclair earned the “golden boot” award as the tournament’s top scorer (10 goals, in six games with Canada) and formed a potent offensive tandem with Notre Dame freshman Katie Thorlakson (who plays mostly as an attacking midfielder with Canada) … ND sophomore Candace Chapman also was a starter with Canada, playing mostly right back while also shifting into the central midfield … Irish freshman M Annie Schefter was on track to be a starter for the U.S. team but was sidelined with a season-ending ACL knee injury in late July.
PLAYING THE BEST: Notre Dame consistently has played some of its best soccer in recent years when facing a ranked opponent, with a 19-7-2 record vs. ranked teams during the Randy Waldrum era (since ’99) … that trend held true in 2001, when the Irish went 5-1 vs. ranked teams (2-1 vs. Penn State, 2-0 vs. Hartford, 2-1 vs. West Virginia, 3-0 vs. Miami, 0-3 at UConn and 2-1 vs. Michigan) … the Irish lost to a pair of ranked teams (Santa Clara and Portland) in the recent Notre Dame Classic before winning at #25 Maryland on Sept. 15 (5-2).
GERTY’S GOALS: Junior forward Amanda Guertin scored a goal in each of the final 10 games of the 2001 season – good for the third-longest goalscoring streak in Division I women’s soccer history (Brandi Chastain had a 15-game streak while playing for Santa Clara in 1990, with Hartford’s Maria Kun compiling an 11-game streak in 1997) … Guertin also scored in six of seven games during the 2002 spring season, in one of the two fall exhibitions and in 2002 games vs. Virginia Tech and Maryland.
CONFERENCE COMMAND: Notre Dame’s all-time record in regular-season conference games now stands at 82-4-2 (.943), including 63-4-2 (.928) in BIG EAST games (since ’95) … the Irish also own a 45-1 record in all-time home games vs. BIG EAST opponents, with 41 straight home wins vs. BIG EAST teams (since a 5-4 OT loss to UConn in ’95) … the current 41-game home winning streak vs. BIG EAST teams includes a 211-15 scoring edge, 28 shutouts and 12 games with one goal allowed
HOME, SWEET HOME: Notre Dame’s all-time overall record at Alumni Field is 132-10-2 (.924), including 108-6-2 in the last 116 … the Irish own a 40-3-1 record in their last 44 home games, with a 2-2 tie vs. Wisconsin and the 3-2 NCAA loss to Cincinnati (both in 2001) prior to the losses to SCU and Portland.
SCORING STREAK ENDS AT 31: Notre Dame carried a 31-game scoring streak into the Sept. 6 Santa Clara game (third-best in ND history, behind a 55-game streak from 1997-99 and a 36-game streak from ’95-’96), with the streak ending in a 4-0 loss to SCU (followed by a 1-0 loss to Portland) … the previous time that the Irish had failed to score was the 0-0 tie at UConn on Oct. 22, 2000 … since 1994, ND now has scored in 148 of 153 (.967) regular-season games (also an 0-0 tie vs. UNC in ’94 and a 2-0 loss to UNC in ’95) and 49 of 52 postseason games, with three shutout losses to UNC in NCAA title games.
4.0 FOCUS: Notre Dame co-captain Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.)headed into her senior season as one of the nation’s premier Academic All-Americans (in any sport) … the hard-nosed defender twice has been named a first team CoSIDA Academic All-American (one of two all-time ND student-athletes ever to be so honored) and recently was in the mix for a spot on the U.S. Under-21 National Team … she was a finalist for the 2000 Missouri Athletic Club player-of-the-year award and was named the BIG EAST Conference preseason defensive player of the year for 2002 … what truly sets Pruzinsky apart is her perfect 4.0 GPA as a chemical engineering major … just two previous Notre Dame chemical engineering majors ever have graduated with a 4.0 (the last doing so in the early 1970s) and Pruzinsky remains the only female student ever to earn an “A” grade in the Notre Dame’s challenging introduction to chemical engineering course.