Aug. 8, 2008
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sporting an impressive combination of skilled veterans and fresh young talent, the Notre Dame women’s soccer team is winding down the opening week of its fall camp for the 2008 season.
The Irish look to have one of their deeper teams in recent memory, with 19 monogram winners (including nine starters) back from last year’s squad which fashioned a 19-5-2 record and charged all the way to the program’s ninth NCAA College Cup semifinals appearance in the past 14 seasons. Notre Dame also welcomes a strong freshman class to campus, with nine rookies taking the pitch for the first time and looking to make their mark on the college level.
“I’ve been very pleased with how our returning players have performed in the first few days of camp,” 10th-year head coach Randy Waldrum said. “Our veterans have come in here fit and hungry to compete, and that’s exciting to see. I’m also encouraged by what I’ve seen from our freshmen so far. All in all, everyone is working hard and we’ve managed to stay pretty healthy to this point, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things progress in the next couple of weeks as we prepare for the start of the season.”
Notre Dame will open its 2008 schedule with a pair of exhibition games, beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m. (ET) against defending Conference USA tournament champion Memphis at Alumni Field (where admission will be free). The Irish also will take on Atlantic Coast Conference stalwart Virginia (an NCAA round-of-16 participant last year) in a preseason matchup next Saturday (Aug. 16) at 2 p.m. (ET) in Traverse City, Mich., at the Keystone Soccer Complex (712 Keystone Rd N, Traverse City, MI 49686-8822). A map of the complex can be found in PDF form here, with the Irish and Cavaliers tentatively scheduled to play on Field #12.
The regular season gets underway Aug. 22, when Notre Dame plays host to Michigan at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field. Please note — this is a last-minute change from some early printed schedules, with the game relocated to South Bend from the UM campus due to ongoing construction at the Wolverines’ home facility. Tickets for this, and all regular-season Irish women’s soccer games, are available on-line at UND.com, by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), or by visiting the Alumni Field ticket booths on game night. Fans also can keep up to date via the Irish ALERT text-messaging service by signing up here or by calling the Notre Dame Sports Hotline (574-631-3000), which will updated for the fall 2008 season in the coming days.
In other news and notes surrounding the Irish women’s soccer program:
- Sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) recently returned from a stint with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, a stretch that included a five-day training camp and a handful of friendlies, including three games in England against top-level English professional teams (the USA went 1-2 with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea Ladies). Fowlkes is being considered for a roster spot with the U.S. U-20 squad that will compete in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile later this year.
- Four Notre Dame alums began their quest for Olympic gold earlier this week, as the women’s soccer competition got underway in China. Three-time Olympic defender Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) and two-time midfield selection Shannon Boxx (’99) both started for Team USA in its Group G opener Wednesday vs. Norway, which the Americans lost by a 2-0 score. The U.S. will face Japan Saturday (5 a.m. ET) and New Zealand Tuesday (7:45 a.m. ET) to wrap up group play. Meanwhile, defender/midfielder Candace Chapman (’05) and forward Melissa Tancredi (’04) had better luck in their opener on Wednesday, as both cracked the starting lineup and helped Canada win its Olympic debut game over Argentina, 2-1. Chapman also made a bit of history, scoring the Maple Leafs’ first-ever Olympic goal on a 30-yard strike in the 27th minute. Canada rounds out Group E play against host China (Saturday, 7:45 a.m. ET) and Sweden (Tuesday, 7:45 a.m. ET). The top two teams in each of the three four-team Olympic groups , as well as the two best third-place squads, will advance to the quarterfinals, which take place Aug. 15.
— ND —