July 27, 2007

Notre Dame women’s soccer players Amanda Cinalli and Michele Weissenhofer recently returned to their respective hometowns in the Midwest, after helping the United States Under-21 National Team win the annual Nordic Cup, the world’s premier women’s soccer youth tournament. Both Irish players factored into a goal during the 4-0 title-game win over Germany, with the win holding extra significance for Cinalli after she had been a member of the U.S. squad that lost the 2006 Nordic Cup final to Germany. For Weissenhofer – one of the youngest members of the Nordic Cup team – the title was just the latest on her soccer resume, which also includes winning two USYS national titles with the Chicago-based Eclipse Select club team.


Michele Weissenhofer (left) and fellow members of the U.S. U-21 Team relax prior to the Nordic Cup gold-medal game.



With their college season just a few weeks away, Cinalli and Weissenhofer currently are enjoying a few weeks at home with family and friends before reporting for preseason camp in mid-August. They filed a final Nordic Cup diary that is included below, along with a couple more photos from the trip:

NORDIC CUP DIARY #3 (July 26, 2007) – submitted by Amanda Cinalli and Michele Weissenhofer

Tuesday, July 24 – “Game day! Today, we had the championship game of the Nordic Cup. We played Germany in our best game of the tournament and beat them, 4-0. Danesha Adams had our first goal off of Ella Masar’s rebound shot off of the post in the first half. Our second goal came in the second half after Amanda got taken down in the box and Angie Woznuk scored the PK. The third goal came from Tina DiMartino, after a great thru-ball by Adams. Our last goal came from Michelle, after she headed in a cross from Huffy (Sarah Huffman).

“It was a really fun game and by far our best performance as a whole for the tournament. After the presentation of the medals and trophies, we headed back to the hotel for the tournament banquet. The food was great but the skits and the dancing afterward were even better. During these skits, each team performs and usually makes fun of all of the other teams (good, wholesome fun). Every team, when making fun of the USA in their skits, wore white t-shirts and usually rapped. They were pretty funny and actually pretty good!

“We are never very prepared for our skits (we say it’s because we are so focused on the tournament all week! haha!), so we did `Guess that tune”, with Ella Masar playing the tunes on the piano. Norway ended up winning the game, with England coming in a close second. After the skits were over, we spent the rest of the night, well into the morning hours, dancing and teaching the English team how to dance! It was so much fun!”


Weissenhofer and Cinalli (in gray shirts, front row) unwind with some of their U.S. teamamtes and members of the England team at the 2007 Nordic Cup banquet.



Thursday, July 26 “This trip was a great experience for the two of us. The competition was good, our teammates worked very hard and we all had a lot of fun. It always is such a blessing to be able to travel to another country and represent your nation playing soccer. When you are caught up in the moment and you are actually there playing, you don’t realize what an honor it really is.

“Playing with the U-21s has prepared the two of us very well for our upcoming season with our Irish sisters. We can’t wait to get back to campus and see everyone! We know that everyone has been working hard this summer and will continue to do so during this preseason and season. With preseason just around the corner, we can’t help but be excited for another opportunity to win a national championship! Yes, that final game is still a couple months away, but we know that everything we work at until that day in December will make us stronger, better, and closer – not only closer to each other, but closer to a national title! Go USA and Go IRISH!

– Amanda and Michele