Two-time national Coach of the Year (and current United States Under-23 Women's National Team Head Coach) Randy Waldrum announced Friday that Notre Dame has received commitments from eight talented student-athletes for the 2012 season, with the Fighting Irish incoming class ranked No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.

NCAA Championship Game Postgame Quotes

Dec. 5, 2010

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Notre Dame Head Coach Randy Waldrum
“We are obviously very excited. I first want to congratulate Stanford. They’re a great institution and a great team. Being here three years in a row, they did a fantastic job and we know we beat a really good team today. The one thing I said on television right after the game was that this [Notre Dame] was the best team in the country, this was not an upset. I know everybody had pre-ordained Stanford as the national champion this year. I would make an argument that once the NCAA Tournament started, the path we took with the way we won games with 14 or 15 goals and one against us in four games, beating Carolina on the road, beating a very good Stanford team, knocking off two No. 1’s and I think two No. 3’s. To me, we’re the best team in the country come NCAA Tournament time. I’m really proud of the girls.”

On strategy late in the game
“We talked about whether we wanted to drop into a 4-5-1 and drop our wingers a little deep, but watching the way they played, they really started to get [Rachel] Quon forward, so we were dropping our wingers back anyway to cover her. I just felt like we didn’t want to sit in the last few minutes and let them come at us. I think when we had the television timeout we said, `Let’s go get the second goal. Let’s not sit in for 20 minutes.’ The real key for us was the fact that Courtney Barg was so good for us today. That’s the calming effect. When we get that kind of Courtney, it allows us to do so many other things. I thought she was fantastic at midfield for us today.”

On the play of the freshmen
“I really can’t say enough about them all year long. Mandy Laddish was phenomenal again and I teased Adriana [Leon] before the game. I said, `I have a feeling you’re going to get the game winner today,’ and she did. I thought she gave us the minutes we needed. That’s why we kept her on. We usually rotate her a little more, but she gave us everything we needed. I thought moving Lauren Fowlkes back into midfield helped us today because Adriana is a different type of player. She can press and her speed can create problems for the defense. That move, putting Lauren back and bringing Adriana in, really paid off for us.”

Junior Forward Melissa Henderson
On setting up the goal
“Basically, I knew we had to get forward and attack. That was our main mindset this whole tournament. If you walk in our locker room you’ll see the word `attack’ 50 times on the wall. Our coaches printed out flyers saying `attack’ and posted them everywhere, so we had that mindset going into it. It’s just about that one turn, you get past the defender and there’s one more to beat, and then you have a spotted pass and it’s going to be wide open.”

On breaking down the defense and Stanford goalkeeper Emily Oliver
“I think it started in the first half. They have a great defensive line and every one of their defenders are great players. There was just a point in the first half we were like `we got this, and we can match up,’ and we did it. I didn’t know [Emily Oliver] was a freshman until today. I think she’s absolutely tremendous. She made so many great saves and I have so much respect for her and everything she did today.”

Freshman Forward Adriana Leon
On scoring the game winning goal
“I left it all on the field and I’m really happy that I scored that goal. When the ball was coming I just anticipated a goal, saw the open net and told myself `this is going in.’ I just saw the open net.”

Stanford Head Coach Paul Ratcliffe
“It’s a disappointing way to end the season. I’m proud of the team. I thought they played well. I give credit to Notre Dame. They are a good team and it was an exciting game, I’m sure, for the fans.”

On today’s game
“I thought we played well. Notre Dame is a good team with good athletes. They’re going to make it tough on you so it’s not going to be an easy game. I think if the shot from Courtney [Verloo] would have went in, in the first half, I think that would have broken the ice for us and boosted the confidence and we could have won today. Without that, at the end we had to stretch ourselves and push forward. They got some chances late in the game because we were pushing forward trying to get the equalizer.”

Freshman Goalkeeper Emily Oliver
On Notre Dame’s goal
“They got inline on us and crossed it back. Our girls were coming in to cover me in the goal. Unfortunately, one of their players was left open. She hit a great shot. It went over my right shoulder.”

On incredible saves
“A couple of times I was in the right place at the right time. Even though there were close shots, our defense was always right there close with them. We were keeping them under pressure. They just got some offensive plays going.”

Senior Forward Christen Press
On the way the season ended
“It’s very bitter. We worked so hard for it but at the end of the day soccer is a crazy a game and I’ve learned over the years this is how it goes.”

On Notre Dame defense
“I had a hard time getting behind [the defense] today. A lot of times when I got the ball they had a whole line of defenders in front, between me and the goal. It was hard to get anything off.”

On her final year at Stanford
“It’s been a lot of fun playing for Stanford. It’s a great team, a great program. Performances like Emily’s today just inspire you. They have a lot in their future.”