Oct. 19, 2005
Soccer America magazine has named Notre Dame’s Katie Thorlakson as the national women’s soccer player of the week, after the senior forward totaled two goals and a pair of assists in wins over 10th-ranked Connecticut (4-0) and Providence (6-0) in action on Oct. 14 and 16. The Soccer Buzz women’s soccer website also named Notre Dame fifth-year defender/forward Candace Chapman to its national team of the week. Chapman – a teammate of Thorlakson’s on the Canadian National Team – had a goal and two assists in the weekend action while helping the Irish total a 37-1 margin in shots on goal during the games vs. the Huskies and Friars.
Thorlakson – who joins freshman forward Kerri Hanks as Notre Dame’s second national player of the week this season – also was named to the Top Drawer Soccer website’s national team of the week, giving her a total of seven national team-of-the -week honors this season while six Irish players have combined for 15 national team-of-the-week awards in the 2005 season. Thorlakson first was named to the SA and TDS teams for week-2 (Aug. 29 -Sept. 4), after totaling 3G-3A in wins over #11 Florida and #25 Maryland. She then appeared on three of the next four TDS teams of the week, after totaling 1G-2A vs. Gonzaga (Sept. 11), registering another 3G-3A weekend (vs. DePaul and Michigan, on Sept. 16-18), and posting 2G-AA in the 4-1 win at South Florida on Oct. 2.
Hanks was named the Soccer America national player of the week after an impressive debut to her college career, erupting for 3G-1A vs. New Hampshire and then scoring four times at Vermont (Aug. 26-28), also earning a spot on the SB and TDS national teams of the week (SB does not name a top player of the week). Junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski picked up defensive MVP honors at the ND Classic (Sept. 2-4) and earned a spot on the SB national team of the week (she assisted on the gamewinning goal vs. Maryland and helped the Irish compile a 46-18 shot edge in the tournament).
Junior defender Christie Shaner’s midseason shift to central defense helped the Irish overcome the absence of three injured defensive standouts and earned her a spot on the SA and TDS national teams of the week following wins over DePaul and Michigan on Sept. 16-18 (she helped ND amass a 48-5 shot edge and 14-1 corner-kick margin in those games). Freshman M/F Brittany Bock twice has been named to the TDS national team of the week: after the opening week in Vermont (2G vs. UNH, G vs. UVm) and following the Oct. 7-9 road wins over Rutgers (assist on overtime goal) and Seton Hall (1G-1A).
Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) and Hanks currently are tied for second in the nation with 47 points, trailing Thorlakson’s longtime Canadian national teammate Christine Sinclair (61) of the University of Portland. Thorlakson’s 21 assists are five more than any other player in the nation while also ranking 9th in goals (13). Her goal versus Providence made her the 17th player in the 24-year history of Division I women’s soccer to reach 50 goals (50) and 50 assists (59) in her career.
Thorlakson has scored or assisted on 34 goals this season (matching Sinclair as the national leaders for “goals factored into”), with Hanks third in that category after posting a goal/assist on 28 goals in ’05.
Hanks (19G-9A) and Thorlakson are two of just four players in all of Division I women’s soccer – spanning more than 300 teams – who have totaled 9-plus goals and 9-plus assists – and no other scoring duo in the nation has more than 35 points each. The other two players with at least 9G-9A include UNC’s Heather O’Reilly (14G-9A) and Jacksonville’s Keri Zwikker (13G-10A).
Thorlakson was involved in seven of Notre Dame’s 10 goals during the wins over UConn and PC. She opened the weekend with the low service that led to Annie Schefter’s far-post goal for the early lead on the Huskies. Thorlakson later launched a rightside corner kick and took the return pass from Chapman before driving a right-endline pass to Jen Buczkowski for a near-post goal from close range. She gave the Irish a 3-0 lead after running onto Brittany Bock’s thru ball and sending a shot from the right side of the box that carried into the lower left corner.
Two days later, Thorlakson converted a tricky header for another early lead in the game with the Friars. She then threaded a ball to Chapman (who scored on a low shot inside the left post) and moments later flicked the ball into the box for Chapman, who sidestepped the ‘keeper and tapped the ball to Schefter for a goal at the left post – as the Irish suddenly had compiled a 3-0 lead in a six-minute span. Thorlakson helped cap the scoring after driving to the left endline and sending a pass to Hanks for a near-post goal and the 6-0 final.
Thorlakson – who is averaging one goal for every 3.5 shots she takes this season – registered her 10th career game with 5-plus points and third with 3-plus assists (both vs. PC). She assisted on the gamewinning goal vs. UConn and then scored the GWG vs. the Friars, giving her 50 career gamewinning points (16 GWG-18 GWAs) to rank just one shy of Jenny Streiffer’s ND record. Thorlakson heads into the final two regular-season games of her Notre Dame career having registered points in 24 of the team’s past 27 games.
The only player in the nation with at least 12 goals and 12 assists, Thorlakson also is one of just 12 players to post 8-plus points in a game this season (2G-4A vs. UNH) and is one of only six who have registered 4-plus assists in one game. Thorlakson (3A vs. PC) and Southeast Missouri’s Alaina Lacopo are the only players in the nation with 3-plus assists in two games this season.
The current BIG EAST stat charts feature Thorlakson in the top spots for points (47) and assists (21), plus 2nd in goals (13), 5th in GWGs (3) and 7th in shots (46).
The past seven seasons have seen just eight players reach the 50G-50A milestone and three have been from Notre Dame (no other school has more than one 50-50 player in that span): Jenny Streiffer in ’99 (70G-71A), Anne Makinen in ’00 (65G-45A) and Thorlakson (50G-59A), who needs five more goals to become the 10th to reach 55-55 and is 10 goals shy of joining the elite 60-60 club that includes just five previous players in the 24-year history of Division I women’s soccer. All but two of the players to reach 55G-55A have been products of the ND (3) or UNC (4) programs while the five current members of the 60-60 club include Streiffer and former ND standout Cindy Daws (61G-67A).
Thorlakson enters the final week of the 2005 regular season ranked 9th on the ND career scoring charts with 159 points, as the program’s top scorer since 100 (next on that list is Meotis Erikson, with 164, and then Holly Manthei with 177). She also ranks 6th in ND history with 1.85 points per game for her career and has risen to 4th on the Irish career assists list (59), eight behind Daws. Her 50 career goals remain 9th in ND history (Rosella Guerrero is 8th, with 55) while her 50 career gamewinning points now are just one shy of Streiffer’s record (51; 15 GWG-21 GWA). Thorlakson also ranks 3rd in career GWA (18, three behind Streiffer) and 5th in GWGs (16), three shy of the record shared by Jenny Heft and Michelle McCarthy).
Nearly half (34, or 48%) of Notre Dame’s nation-leading 71 goals in the 2005 season have featured a goal (13) or assist (21) from Thorlakson. The past two seasons have seen Thorlakson total 117 points in 43 games (36G-45A) while factoring into nearly 60% of her team’s goals in that two-year stretch (81 of 141; 57.5%). She has points in 13 of 16 games this season and in 24 of her past 27 games with the Irish while logging 86 consecutive games with the Notre Dame program, after returning from the Under-19 World Championship at the start of the ’02 season.
Chapman (Ajax, Ont.) – who ranks 4th among BIG EAST players with seven assists this season (trailing only her teammates Thorlakson, Amanda Cinalli and Hanks) – showed her tremendous versatility last weekend while playing at both right back and forward. She assisted on the Buczkowski goal for the early 2-0 lead vs. UConn and then scored the second goal vs. PC, assisting moments later on Schefter’s score for the quick 3-0 cushion. The fifth-year veteran helped ND dominate the run of play with a 37-1 edge in shots on goal during the weekend (15-0 scoring edge, 60-6 in total shots, 14-5 in corner kicks), helping the Irish complete a stretch in which they did not allow a shot on goal for 250 minutes.
Chapman has pushed her career point total to 60 (19G-22A), good for 23rd in the ND record book despite playing most of her career in the defense. She needs one goal to become the 21st ND player with 20G-20A in her career and has helped the 2005 Irish squad amass more goals (71) than its opponents’ combined shot total (69).