Aug. 11, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner), junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) and senior midfielder Courtney Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) have been named to the 45-player watch list for the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, it was announced Tuesday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA).
The Hermann Trophy is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I women’s soccer player, with Notre Dame’s Kerri Hanks earning the prestigious crystal ball trophy last year. In the process, Hanks became the fourth Fighting Irish player to collect the award, not to mention just the fourth two-time Hermann Trophy honoree since the award debuted in 1988, as well as the first two-time national player of the year (in any sport) in the 122-year history of Notre Dame athletics.
Notre Dame was one of only six schools (along with North Carolina, Penn State, Portland, Stanford and UCLA) to place three players on this year’s Hermann Trophy watch list, with Henderson being one of 11 sophomores to make the preseason chart.
Henderson, who also was named the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous preseason all-BIG EAST selection earlier on Tuesday, rang up 17 goals and two assists (36 points) as a rookie last year, ranking second in the conference in both goals and points. She collected first-team Freshman All-America honors from Soccer America, as well as second-team all-Great Lakes Region and first-team all-BIG EAST accolades. In addition, she was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and was voted as the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player after scoring the “golden goal” in overtime of Notre Dame’s 1-0 title-match win over Connecticut.
Fowlkes, who joined Henderson on the preseason all-conference team on Tuesday, had one goal and one assist (three points) in 18 matches last season. However, she made her biggest impact with the United States Under-20 National Team, starting on the American backline and helping the Stars & Stripes earn a gold medal at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile last December.
Rosen, also a preseason all-BIG EAST selection earlier on Tuesday, was a first-team all-Great Lakes Region and second-team all-conference choice last season after registering three goals and five assists (11 points), with all three marks winding up as new career highs.
Notre Dame is one of only two programs to field four or more different recipients of the prestigious Hermann Trophy, with Cindy Daws (1996) and Anne Makinen (2000) joining Hanks (2006 & 2008) in this elite sorority. The 2009 Hermann Trophy winner will be selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the NSCAA. The list of 15 semifinalists will be chosen by a coaches committee in November, with the three finalists revealed in early December. All three will be invited to a news conference on Jan. 8, 2010, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, where the winner will be announced, with a presentation banquet to follow.
Ranked third in the preseason NSCAA poll released late Tuesday afternoon, Notre Dame will kick off its two-match exhibition slate Tuesday at 7 p.m. (ET) when it squares off with the Republic of Ireland National Team at Kuntz Stadium in Indianapolis. Following their second preseason contest on Friday (1 p.m. ET vs. ninth-ranked Virginia in Traverse City, Mich.), the Fighting Irish will open their 2009 regular-season schedule on Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) against Wisconsin at Alumni Field (the former home of Notre Dame soccer, which will play host to the first two Notre Dame home matches while construction is completed on the state-of-the-art Alumni Stadium that will debut in September).
— ND —