May 27, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A former University of Notre Dame women’s soccer player will make history this summer when she becomes the first woman analyst to work a top-tier international men’s soccer competition on American television.
Former Irish and U.S. Women’s National Team defender Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf (’98) will serve as a color commentator for ESPN during the UEFA European Football Championship 2016. The month-long event will kick off in France on June 10 and run through July 10.
Markgraf, who played in 201 matches for the USWNT, appeared in three Olympics (two gold medals, one silver) and three FIFA Women’s World Cups and was a member of the 1999 U.S. Women’s World Cup Championship team. After retiring from soccer in 2010, Markgraf joined ESPN for its coverage of the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. She also joined NBC for coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
Markgraf was a three-time All-American with the Irish, starting all 97 games of her career. She helped the Irish to their first NCAA Championship in 1995, earning the nod as the tournament’s Defensive MVP as a sophomore. As a junior and senior, she was a national player of the year finalist.
The ESPN family of networks will combine to carry more than 200 hours of live coverage of UEFA EURO 2016, including all 51 matches live on ESPN and ESPN2 and 45 on ESPN Deportes.
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.