Oct. 6, 2003
Notre Dame senior central back Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ontario) has been named the BIG EAST Conference women’s soccer defensive player of the week after continuing her All-America-level play during a string of three shutouts in last week’s action – with Tancredi and the Irish holding Indiana State (3-0), #5 West Virginia (2-0) and Villanova (1-0) to 12 combined shots, three shots on goal and six total corner kicks.
Tancredi has been a steady presence for the Irish defense that continues to cope with the absence of injured junior All-America right back Candace Chapman (out for the year with an ACL knee injury) and the limited contributions of junior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir, who missed four games after an early-season broken arm and has returned to play sparingly in the past two weeks.
All seven of Tancredi’s points this season (2 goals, 3 assists) have come in last four games, including assists in both goals versus WVU. Her long service assisted on junior forward Mary Boland’s volley for Notre Dame’s quickest goal of ’03 (1:24) and she later deflected a corner kick to senior midfielder Kim Carpenter for another volley goal to produce an insurance goal versus the Mountaineers. Tancredi also played a lead role in shutting down WVU’s top scorer and 2002 All-American Chrissy Abbott, who was limited to a pair of shots and just a handful of touches all game.
A dominating presence in the air who wins virtually every heading duel, Tancredi is a converted forward who serves as an added offensive threat by making tough runs up the center of the field and filling a key role as a top target player on set pieces
Five Notre Dame players already have received BIG EAST weekly awards this season, including player of the week Boland (Sept. 1), rookie of the week Jen Buczkowski (Sept. 8) and defensive player of the week Vanessa Pruzinsky (Sept. 15) and rookie of the week Christie Shaner (Sept. 22) – making Notre Dame the BIG EAST’s only team to receive at least five awards (WVU is next with four). Notre Dame also remains the only team to feature both an offensive and defensive player-of-the-week selection and is the only squad with multiple rookie-of-the-week recipients or multiple defensive player-of-the-week recipients.