June 24, 2005
Notre Dame women’s soccer player Katie Thorlakson (Langley, British Columbia) has been named one of five finalists for “best female college athlete” (for the 2004-05 academic year) in the ESPN-sponsored ESPY Awards program. The winners are determined by online voting at ESPN.com (a direct link also will be posted at und.com). Voting will run from June 24 to July 8, with the ESPY’s to be taped in Hollywood on July 13 before airing on ESPN the night of July 17 (9:00 p.m. EDT, 8:00 in South Bend). Thorlakson is expected to attend the ceremony along with the other noteworthy nominees for the various ESPY Awards.
Thorlakson – who will enter her senior season in the fall of 2005 – was a near-consensus national player-of-the-year selection in 2004, after leading the nation in points (70) and assists (24) while ranking second in goals (23). Only one player in the history of Division I women’s soccer – former North Carolina great Mia Hamm (32G-33A, in ’92) – ever has totaled more goals and more assists in a season than Thorlakson’s 2004 production.
Here is the link where Notre Dame fans can cast their ESPY votes for Thorlakson:
The 5-foot-3 forward’s many impressive numbers from the ’04 season included scoring or assisting on 24 of Notre Dame’s final 28 goals (each of the final six) and closing the season with an 11-game point streak that featured 12 goals and 11 assists (plus three gamewinning goals and five gamewinning assists) as the ’04 team claimed the program’s second national title.
Thorlakson’s 70 points in ’04 ended up two shy of the Notre Dame record (setby Cindy Daws, in’96) but she blew away the Irish record for points in one postseason with 27 (9G-9A, also both ND postseason records), including team records for points (14), assists (6) and gamewinning assists (4) in one NCAA Tournament.
Thorlakson – who again is playing this summer with the W-League’s Vancouver Whitecaps – will be one of five players with Notre Dame connections showcased on ESPN2’s upcoming Sunday-afternoon telecast of the June 26th “friendly” game between the United States and Canadian women’s soccer national teams, to be shown live from Virginia Beach, Va., at 3:00 p.m. EDT (2:00 in South Bend).
Two former Notre Dame standouts – defender Kate Sobrero Markgraf and midfielder Shannon Boxx – are starting for the U.S. and were key members of the 2004 Olympic gold medal team. The 20-year-old Thorlakson is the youngest member of the Canadian national team, which also includes current player Candace Chapman (who will be a fifth-year senior in the fall of ’05) and former Irish star player Melissa Tancredi as members of the Canadian back line.
Thorlakson – whose 70 points in ’04 were more than double Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer (Chapman, with 32) – received 2004 national player-of-the-year honors from Soccer America, Sports Illustrated on Campus and Soccer Buzz while ESPN ostensibly has recognized her as the top women’s soccer player from ’04-’05, as the other four nominees come from other sports (LSU basketball player Seimone Augustus, Harvard hockey player Nicole Corriero, UCLA gymnast Kristen Maloney and Texas softball pitcher Cat Osterman).
Since 1999, two current members of the U.S. National Team – Abby Wambach (76, at Florida in ’01) and Lindsay Tarpley (73, at UNC in ’03) – are the only Division I players to total more points in a season than Thorlakson’s 70 (which rank 17th in NCAA history). Her 24 assists stand 11th in the NCAA record book while Penn State’s Tiffany Weimer (26) was the nation’s only player with more goals in ’04 than Thorlakson’s 23.
Thorlakson also joined Hamm, Tarpley (23G-27A, ’03) and former Santa Clara great Mandy Clemens (24G-23A, ’99) as the only players to reach 23G-23A in the same season (Hamm remains the only 24-24 player). She will enter the ’05 season with an 11-game point streak that ranks one shy of the ND record set by Anne Makinen in ’99 (others ND players who have fashioned 11-game point streaks include Jenny Streiffer and Holly Manthei in ’96 and Meotis Erikson in ’97).
In addition to scoring or assisting on nearly 70% of Notre Dame’s total goals in ’04 (47 of 70), Thorlakson totaled 23 points (8G-7A) in ’04 games vs. top-25 teams (10 GP). She scored or assisted on 15 gamewinning goals in ’04 (8 GWG, 7 GWA) for a team-leading 25 gamewinning points, with her 8 GWGs tying that Irish record.
Jenny Heft (28, in ’98) and Daws (26, in ’96) are the only Notre Dame players to total more goals in a season than Thorlakson while her 24 assists rank 4th on that list behind three of the season totals from NCAA all-time assist leader Holly Manthei.
Thorlakson will enter ’05 ranked 13th on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 112 points (37G-38A), nine points behind former teammate Amanda Guertin. With just 3G-2A in ’05, she will become the 35th Division I player ever to reach 40G-40A (16 have reached 50G-50A and just five have posted 60G-60A).