Notre Dame fans can vote online until June 8 for ESPY candidate Katie Thorlakson.

Katie Thorlakson Named BIG EAST Player Of The Week; Irish No. 2 In National Polls

Aug. 31, 2004

Notre Dame junior forward Katie Thorlakson has been named the BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer player of the week, after playing a role in eight of Notre Dame’s 10 goals during wins over Baylor (7-2) and Eastern Illinois (3-0). Her seven points in the first half of the Baylor game ranks as one of the top performances in Notre Dame’s storied history. (Note: Soccer America and Soccer Buzz had yet to release their respective national teams of the week but Thorlakson likely is a top candidate for that weekly honor). In other news, Notre Dame (2-0-0) remains second in the Soccer Buzz national rankings and also has moved up to second in the Soccer America poll and the Soccer Times coaches poll (the NSCAA coaches poll will not be updated this week). Notre Dame’s upcoming Adidas Classic (Sept. 3 and 5, at Alumni Field) again promises to be one of the nation’s elite tournaments, with Santa Clara currently No. 4 in the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz polls while the tournament’s other two teams – Stanford (SA #13, SB #19) and Southern Methodist (SB #23) – also currently are listed in the national rankings. Thorlakson tied a Notre Dame with seven points (three goals, two assists) in the first half of the Baylor game while becoming the first Notre Dame women’s soccer player ever to score or assist on the team’s first five goals in a game. She then set up all three goals in the win over Eastern Illinois, including the primary assist on the game’s first goal. A standout with Canada’s Under-19 National Team, Thorlakson earlier totaled a team-best six assists during Notre Dame’s preseason training trip to Brazil.


Katie Thorlakson carved up the Baylor and Eastern Illinois defense, showcasing her diverse offensive skills while having a hand in eight Irish goals.



Her seven points vs. Baylor are tied for most by a Notre Dame player during the six-year Randy Waldrum era. Just two other Waldrum-era players have totaled seven points in a game (both with 3G-1A): Jenny Streiffer vs. Miami on Oct. 24, 1999, and current senior forward Mary Boland in the 2003 season opener vs. Hartford (Aug. 29, at the UConn Classic). The last time a Notre Dame player totaled more than seven points in a game was Anne Makinen’s eight-point effort vs. Syracuse (3G-2A) on Nov. 1, 1998. Streiffer holds the Irish record for points in a game (9; 2G-5A), at Providence on Aug. 31, 1996. Thorlakson also is the first Notre Dame player to score or assist on five-plus goals during a game in six years, dating back to Makinen’s eight-point game vs. Syracuse in ’98. In between, the Irish had played 123 straight games without seeing an ND player factor into five-plus goals in the same game. Freshman forward Amanda Cinalli opened the scoring vs. Baylor with goals in the 13th and 22nd minutes, via primary assists from Thorlakson. The early moments of the game saw Thorlakson battle into the top of the box and deflect a shot off charging goalkeeper Ashley Holder. The deflection went to Holder’s left and Cinalli was in position to drive a 16-yard shot into the vaceted net. Minutes later, Thorlakson ran onto Kim Lorenzen’s long crossing pass and sent a pass into the box from the left endline, with Cinalli sliding into the play for a shot that kicked off the far right post and into the net for the 2-0 lead. A three-minute stretch late in the opening half then saw three more goals, as Thorlakson and sophomore midfielder Jen Buczkowski took turns setting up each other’s goals before Thorlakson scored again on a strong individual effort. Buczkowski’s long lead pass sprung Thorlakson for a well-timed shot from 16 yards that skipped past the ‘keeper in the 39th minute. Less than two minutes later, Thorlakson returned the favor after running onto junior midfielder Annie Schefter’s touch pass. Thorlakson gained space on the right endline and cut the ball back to Buczkowski, who roofed a shot off Holder’s gloves and into the top-netting for the 4-0 cushion. Thorlakson scored exactly one minute later to cap her record-tying half and gain a well-deserved rest over the final 45 minutes. Her second goal of the night fittingly was of the unassisted variety, showcasing her tough 1-on-1 skills as she rumbled into the top of the box, beat her defender and quickly reversed her angle for a leftfooted shot that sailed into the left side of the goal.


Katie Thorlakson’s hard-nosed two-way play continues to bolster Notre Dame’s defensive domination.



It had been six years since a Notre Dame player racked up seven points in a half, as current University of Pittsburgh assistant coach Monica Gerardo (who was on campus this summer as an instructor at the ND Soccer Camps) scored goals 2-4 and assisted on the fifth (by Jenny Heft) as part of the 6-0 halftime lead at Providence on Oct. 11, 1998 (8-0). Eight years earlier, Tasha Strawbridge had collected her seven points during the second half of a 12-1 win over Valparaiso (Sept. 14, 1990). Strawbridge scored the first goal of the half for a 7-1 lead, later assisting on the ninth goal (by Denise Chabot) before adding goals 10 and 11. No previous Notre Dame player had registered a point on the first five goals in a game before Thorlakson’s dizzying display on Friday night. In fact, it had been five years since an ND player even had opened a game with points on the team’s first four goals. Eight times previously, a Notre Dame player has scored or assisted on the first four goals of a game: Suzie Zilvitis vs. Alma on Oct. 13, 1989 (goal-goal-assist-assist; 6-0 final); Lester at Indiana on Sept. 14, 1993 (G-G-A-A for 4-0 lead; 5-1 final); Guerrero one week later (Sept. 17, 1993) versus Michigan State (A-A-G-G; 6-0); Lester again that season at Ohio State on Oct. 23, 1993 (G-G-A-G; 6-0); Michlelle McCarthy with the eventual NCAA championship squad vs. St. John’s on Sept. 3, 1995 (A-G-A-G; 9-0); Holly Manthei vs. Ohio State on Nov. 1, 1996 (A-A-G-A; 7-0), and again at Villanova on Sept. 28, 1997 (A-A-A-A; 4-0); and most recently Meotis Erikson vs. Seton Hall, in the BIG EAST semifinals at Rutgers on Nov. 5, 1999 (A-G-G-A; 5-0). Two days later, Thorlakson set up each Notre Dame goal in the 3-0 win over Eastern Illinois. Thorlakson officially was credited with only one assist but she also played a key role in the second and third Notre Dame goals – meaning she essentially played a leading role in all eight goals that were scored when she was on the field during the weekend action. Thorlakson assisted on the first goal in the fifth minute of play, with a short corner-kick tap from the left flag. Schefter received the ball and worked towards the box before arching a 20-yard shot that ripped into the far-right sidenetting. The second Irish goal also started off the foot of Thorlakson, who played a short pass into the right side of the box. Cinalli ran onto the ball and battled past her defender before chipping a cross from the right endline. Buczkowski was in position and sent her header into the right side of the goal for the 2-0 lead. Thorlakson set up the third score with a well-placed corner kick from the right side. Senior forward Candace Chapman elevated at the far post and snapped a header but goalkeeper Tiffany Groene went low for the save, with Chapman then slamming home the rebound to cap the scoring. This week’s Soccer America poll is led by North Carolina and Notre Dame, followed by Florida State, Santa Clara and Clemson (the Soccer Buzz poll includes the same top four, with Florida in the No. 5 spot). In addition to Santa Clara and Stanford, other Notre Dame opponents in this week’s national polls include Connecticut (SA #12, SB #7), Arizona State (SA #17, SB #11), West Virginia (SA #21, #17 SB) and Michigan (SB #25). Links and polls follow below: SOCCER AMERICA COLLEGE WOMEN’S TOP 25 (Aug. 31; record and preseason ranking)
1. North Carolina (2-0-0; 1)
2. Notre Dame (2-0-0; 2)
3. Florida State (2-0-0; 5)
4. Santa Clara (0-0-1; 4)
5. Clemson (2-0-0; 12)
6. Virginia (2-0-0; 7)
7. Texas (1-1-0; 4)
8. Tennessee (1-0-0; 8)
9. UCLA (2-0-0; 10)
10. Penn State (1-1-0; 9)
11. Portland (1-1-0; 6)
12. Connecticut (1-0-0; 13)
13. Stanford (1-0-0; 14)
14. Florida (2-0-0; 16)
15. Washington (2-0-0; NR)
16. Kansas (2-0-0; NR)
17. Arizona State (1-1-0; 20)
18. Texas A&M (1-1-0; 11)
19. Pepperdine (2-0-0; 22)
20. Auburn (2-0-0; 23)
21. West Virginia (2-0-0; 24)
22. Nebraska (1-1-0; 25)
23. Illinois (1-0-0; NR)
24. Cal Poly (1-0-1; NR)
25. Duke (1-1-0; NR)
Soccer Times Coaches Poll (Aug. 31)
Rank, School (Record; Pts; Previous Poll)
1. North Carolina (2-0-0; 400; 1)
2. Notre Dame (2-0-0; 364; 3)
3. Florida State (2-0-0; 348; 6)
4. UCLA (2-0-0; 314; 8)
5. Virginia (2-0-0; 303; 9)
6. Santa Clara (0-0-1; 295; 2)
7. Clemson (2-0-0; 285; 21)
8. Connecticut (1-0-0; 279; 7)
9. Portland (1-1-0; 277; 4)
10. Florida (2-0-0; 265; 11)
11. Penn State (1-1-0; 263; 5)
12. Tennessee (1-0-0; 237; 12)
13. Washington (2-0-0; 206; nr)
14. West Virginia (2-0-0; 193; 14)
15. Texas A&M (1-1-0; 173; 10)
16. Texas (1-1-0; 149; 13)
17. Stanford (1-0-0; 139; nr)
18. Duke (1-1-0; 112; 15)
19. Arizona State (1-1-0; 103; 15)
20. Illinois (1-0-0; 100; 22)
21. Pepperdine (2-0-0; 83; 23)
22. Kansas (2-0-0; 81; 18)
23. Colorado (1-0-1; 61; 17)
24. Nebraska (1-1-0; 38; 25)
25. Michigan (0-2-0; 32; 25)
Others receiving votes: California Poly 26, Villanova 23, Auburn 16, Southern California 13, Utah 11, Arizona 7, California 7, Ohio State 6, Mississippi 2, James Madison 1. Soccer Buzz National Top 30
1. North Carolina
2. Notre Dame
3. Florida State
4. Santa Clara
5. Florida
6. Virginia
7. Connecticut
8. Clemson
9. Kansas
10. Texas
11. Arizona State
12. UCLA
13. Texas A&M
14. Penn State
15. Portland
16. Illinois
17. West Virginia
18. Tennessee
19. Stanford
20. Auburn
21. Pepperdine
22. Washington
23. SMU
24. Cal Poly
25. Michigan
26. Colorado
27. Duke
28. Wisconsin
29. Villanova
30. Utah
Receiving votes (alpha order): Indiana (2-0), Nebraska (1-1), Ohio State (0-2), Princeton (0-0)