Dec. 10, 2010
NEW YORK – Less than a week after winning its third NCAA national championship, the Notre Dame women’s soccer team remains firmly in the spotlight, appearing in a place they’ve never been before — the “Crossroads of the World,” also known as New York’s famed Times Square.
Beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend, a series of congratulatory messages honoring the 2010 national champions will be appearing in a rotation on the massive video screens in Times Square, courtesy of the BIG EAST Conference and one of its corporate partners, American Eagle Outfitters. The messages also display a photo of the Fighting Irish players and coaches with the NCAA championship trophy, taken on the pitch a few moments after winning the title.
Notre Dame capped a magical run to its third NCAA national championship this past Sunday with a 1-0 victory over top-ranked and previously-unbeaten Stanford at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Freshman forward Adriana Leon (Maple, Ontario/The Country Day School) scored the lone goal in the 63rd minute off an assist from junior first-team All-America forward (and NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player) Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) to give the crown to the Fighting Irish, who defeated five ranked teams and four higher-seeded opponents (including two No. 1 seeds) to become the lowest seeded team (No. 4 in their quadrant) ever to win a national championship.
With the victory, Notre Dame became just the second school in the 29-year history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship to win three titles, adding to their previous championships in 1995 and 2004. Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum also became just the second Division I women’s soccer coach to lead his team to multiple national championships, having also piloted Notre Dame to the 2004 title, and he’s just the seventh Fighting Irish coach (in any sport) to win multiple NCAA championships, a list that includes:
Frank Leahy (4) Football 1944, ’46, ’47, `49
Mike DeCicco (4) Fencing 1977, ’78, ’86, ’94 (first three men, ’94 was M/W combined)
Knute Rockne (3) Football 1924, ’29, ’30
Ara Parseghian (2) Football 1966, ’73
Janusz Bednarski (2) Fencing 2003, ’05 (M/W combined)
Yves Auriol (2) Fencing 1987 (women), ’94 (M/W combined)
Randy Waldrum (2) Women’s Soccer 2004, ’10
NOTES: Of these seven, only two – Bednarski (3rd season) and Leahy (4th season) – have guided their teams to a pair of titles in fewer than five years … Auriol’s second title came in his ninth season, Parseghian’s in his 10th, Rockne’s in his 11th, Waldrum’s in his 12th, and DeCicco’s in his 17th.
— ND —