Nov. 4, 1999

Notre Dame women?s soccer senior All-American Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) has been named the 1999 BIG EAST Conference defensive player of the year, and freshman defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) has been named the 1999 BIG EAST Conference rookie of the year. The awards were announced at the annual BIG EAST women?s soccer banquet. The semifinals of championship will be played on Friday at Rutgers, with sixth-ranked Notre Dame playing Seton Hall at 6:00 p.m., and Connecticut playing Boston College in the second game.

Grubb also was named defensive player of the year as a junior in 1998. The award marks the third consecutive year that an Irish defender has won the award after Kate Sobrero was named the first BIG EAST defensive player of the year in 1997. Grubb, who is fifth on the team in scoring with nine goals and six assists, also was voted to the all-BIG EAST first team for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the first four-time first team all-BIG EAST women?s soccer player.

Pruzinsky, the 1998 National Soccer Coaches Association of America high school player of the year, has started all 19 games at defense for the Irish. She has helped the Notre Dame defense limit the opposition to a 0.92 goals against average with eight shutouts. Pruzinsky also has assisted on four of Notre Dame?s goals. She becomes the third Irish freshman to win rookie-of-the-year award in Notre Dame?s five years in the BIG EAST Conference. Monica Gerardo won the award in 1995, while senior Jenny Streiffer (Baton Rouge, La.) was the 1996 recipient.

Irish head coach Randy Waldrum has been voted the 1999 BIG EAST coach of the year in his first year at Notre Dame. Waldrum led the 1999 Irish to the inaugural BIG EAST Conference Mid-Atlantic division title with a 6-0-0 record against divisional opponents and a 3-0-0 record in cross-divisional games. The award marks the second consecutive conference coach-of-the-year honor for Waldrum, who was voted the 1998 Big 12 coach of the year after leading Baylor to the ?98 regular season title. He will be looking for his 200th career coaching win against Seton Hall with a career record that currently stands at 199-108-19 after the win over Miami.

Led by four-time selection Grubb, six of Notre Dame?s 11 starters have earned all-BIG EAST honors. Joining Grubb on the all-BIG EAST first team are senior forwards Jenny Heft (Germantown, Wis.) and Streiffer and junior midfielder Anne Makinen (Helsinki, Finland). Makinen joins 1999 BIG EAST offensive player of the year Kelly Smith of Seton Hall as the only unanimous first-team selections. Senior goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (Gold River, Calif.) and senior defender Kara Brown (Avon, Conn.) were voted to the second team. Freshmen Nancy Mikacenic (Seattle, Wash.) and Pruzinsky were named to the BIG EAST all-rookie team. Pruzinsky was the only unanimous selection to the all-rookie team. Notre Dame?s six all-BIG EAST selections and four first-team selections lead all conference schools.

1999 BIG EAST WOMEN?S SOCCER REGULAR SEASON AWARDS Defensive Player of the Year: Jen Grubb, Sr., Notre Dame Offensive Player of the Year: Kelly Smith, Sr., F, Seton Hall Goalkeeper of the Year: Janel Schillig, So., Villanova Rookie of the Year: Vanessa Pruzinsky, Fr., D, Notre Dame Coach of the Year: Randy Waldrum, Notre Dame

All-BIG EAST First Team GK – Janel Schillig, Villanova Uchenna Bright, Rutgers Jen Carlson, Connecticut Carey Dorn, Connecticut Jen Grubb, Notre Dame Jenny Heft, Notre Dame * Anne Makinen, Notre Dame Mary-Frances Monroe, Connecticut Sarah Powell, Boston College * Kelly Smith, Seton Hall Jenny Streiffer, Notre Dame

All-BIG EAST Second Team GK – LaKeysia Beene, Notre Dame Katie Barnes, West Virginia Deidre Bass, Miami Kara Brown, Notre Dame Trisha Burch, Syracuse Liz Delgado, Georgetown Frauke Dittel, Seton Hall Lisa Gomez, Miami Mary Guarino, Boston College Lauren Molinaro, Connecticut Erin O?Grady, Syracuse

BIG EAST All-Rookie Team Kristin Dunst, Villanova Kirstin Gellatly, Pittsburgh Lisa Gomez, Miami Katie Karlander, Syracuse Leena Kovanen, Connecticut Rachel Kruze, West Virginia Kyle McAuley, Providence Nancy Mikacenic, Notre Dame Karin Ostrander, Georgetown Sarah Popper, Connecticut * Vanessa Pruzinsky, Notre Dame * unanimous selection