Freshman forward Melissa Henderson (left) and senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (right) are part of the most productive front line in college soccer, with Hanks leading the BIG EAST in goals (15) and Henderson right behind her in second place (12).

Pair Of National Weekly Honors For Hanks And Henderson

Sept. 30, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – One day after collecting top weekly honors in the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame senior All-America forward and Hermann Trophy candidate Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) and freshman forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) each garnered a pair of national weekly awards from various media outlets on Tuesday afternoon.

Hanks earned recognition on the Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer national teams of the week, adding to Monday’s selection as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week. A two-time Soccer America and three-time TDS national team pick this season, Hanks scored three goals in two Irish victories last week, extending her goal-scoring streak to four games. This season, Hanks leads the BIG EAST in goals (10) and points (22) for all games, as well as during conference play (4 goals, 8 points). She also ranks eighth in the nation in goals per game (1.0) and 14th in points per game (2.2).

For her career, the three-time All-American Hanks is 17th in NCAA Division I history with 208 points (74G-60A), standing as one of only four players ever to post 70 goals and 60 assists, and she also ranks second in the Notre Dame record books for career goals and points. The 2006 Hermann Trophy recipient needs three points to catch Jenny Streiffer (1996-99) for the school record in that category, as well as six goals to tie Jenny Heft (1996-99) for the Irish record in that department.

The reigning BIG EAST Rookie of the Week award, Henderson also joined Hanks on the TDS squad (her second selection to that team this year), while adding her first career citation with the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week. Henderson registered her first career hat trick in last Sunday’s win at Cincinnati, scoring her three goals in only 46 minutes of action as a reserve. She also became the 17th Irish freshman ever to record a hat trick (total of 21 times in 21 seasons), but the third to do so in the past eight years, joining current junior Michele Weissenhofer (2006 against Penn State in the NCAA quarterfinals) and Hanks (2005 in first two collegiate games against New Hampshire and at Vermont, the latter a four-goal day).

For the season, Henderson is tied for second in the BIG EAST in goals (8) and third in points (16) for all games, while holding those same rankings in league play (3 goals, 6 points). What’s more, she and Hanks are the only BIG EAST players to tally a hat trick this season, with Notre Dame having multiple players with three-goal games for the third consecutive season. In addition, Henderson ranks 24th in the nation in goals per game (0.8).

No. 1 Notre Dame (10-0-0, 3-0-0 BIG EAST) returns to the pitch Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) when South Florida makes its first-ever visit to Alumni Field for a BIG EAST cross-divisional match. At halftime of the USF match, Notre Dame will hold a special ceremony to welcome back all returning women’s soccer alumnae as part of the program’s 20th anniversary celebration this weekend. Tickets for this, and all remaining Irish regular-season home matches, may be purchased through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356; located on the second floor of the Joyce Center via Gate 1), on-line through the official Irish athletics web site (www.UND.com) or at the Alumni Field ticket windows on game night.

— ND —