Oct. 28, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame sophomore defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) is one of 20 players who have been named to the final roster for the United States Under-20 Women’s National Soccer Team, it was announced late Monday by head coach Tony DiCicco. Fowlkes and her American teammates will head to Chile shortly to compete in the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, slated for Nov. 19-Dec. 7. Fowlkes previously was part of the U.S. U-20 squad that qualified for the World Cup back in June after finishing second at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico.
“We are so proud of Lauren for this tremendous honor and all the hard work she has put in to make this happen,” Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that she will represent her teammates, her school and her country with grace and class, and we’ll be eagerly following her and the rest of the U-20 team as they go for the gold in Chile.”
Because of her national team commitments, Fowlkes is expected to miss the balance of the 2008 season at Notre Dame. She has appeared in 15 games for the Irish this year, starting four times, with her lone goal being the gamewinner in a 3-1 victory over No. 12/11 Duke on Sept. 7 at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. Two nights earlier, Fowlkes got the starting nod against No. 3/2 North Carolina and played a pivotal role for the Irish defense, which handed the Tar Heels a 1-0 loss at Fetzer Field, making Notre Dame the first program ever to blank UNC twice on its home turf (the Irish won the 1995 NCAA national semifinal by that same 1-0 score in Chapel Hill).
Fowlkes will continue a strong tradition of Notre Dame players on the U.S. U-20 World Cup Team (and its predecessors at the U-19 level). Current Irish senior co-captains Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and Carrie Dew (Encinitas, Calif./La Costa Canyon) donned the Stars & Stripes for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship (as it was then called) in Russia, where the United States finished fourth after scoreless ties in both the semifinal against China and the third-place game against Brazil (both went against the U.S. on penalty kicks by identical 6-5 scores).
Another Notre Dame senior, All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen), played for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships, helping the Americans to the title in 2002 (defeating host Canada, 1-0 in overtime in the final) and a third-place finish in 2004 in Thailand. In the ’04 third-place game, Hanks scored the opening goal for the U.S. on a free kick in the 21st minute. That 2004 tournament also was what caused Hanks to defer her enrollment at Notre Dame to the spring 2005 semester — at the time, U.S. Soccer required all team members to forgo an entire semester of classes in order to take part in a residency camp prior to leaving for Thailand. Ironically, it was because of that deferred enrollment that Hanks had a year of eligibility remaining for the current season, a campaign in which she is among the national leaders in goals (18) and points (44) and is a prime contender to become just the fourth multiple recipient of the Hermann Trophy (an honor she first earned in 2006).
No. 1 Notre Dame (18-0-0, 11-0-0 BIG EAST) already has completed the first unbeaten and untied regular season in the program’s 21-year history. The Irish, who won their 11th BIG EAST regular-season title in 14 seasons of league membership, have earned a first-round bye for the BIG EAST Championship and will play host to a tournament quarterfinal game on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field against either Cincinnati or St. John’s.
Tickets for this, and all remaining Irish home games, as well as the 2008 BIG EAST Championship semifinals and finals (to be played at Notre Dame Nov. 7 & 9), can be purchased by contacting the Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356) or by stopping by the Joyce Center Gate 1 ticket windows on the second floor during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, weekdays). In addition, fans can buy their Irish women’s soccer tickets on-line by going to the tickets page of the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com), or by visiting the Alumni Field ticket windows on game night.
— ND —