Nov. 1, 2001
Notre Dame women’s soccer junior defender Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.) has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2001 Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Player of the Year Award. Prunzinsky-a 2000 first team Academic All-American and the 2001 preseason BIG EAST defensive player of the year-is one of just three defenders on the 15-player list and one of seven non-seniors among the 15 finalists.
Pruzinsky has missed just one game in her Notre Dame career while starting all 66 games that she has played for the Irish. A chemical engineering major with a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average, she became just the fourth Notre Dame sophomore (in any sport) to earn first team Academic All-America honors.
A hard-nosed central defender with the speed to match her physical play, Pruzinsky played a leading role on the 2000 Irish defense that led the nation with an 0.39 goals-against average. She is the cornerstone of a veteran 2001 Notre Dame defense that has allowed just four first-half goals this season (13 overall).
The other defenders on the MAC finalist list include North Carolina senior Danielle Borgman and Santa Clara senior Danielle Slaton. The other six juniors on the 15-player finalist list include Penn State forward Christie Welsh (the 2000 runner-up), BYU midfielder Aleisha Cramer, Nebraska forward Christine Latham, California forward Laura Schott and Washington goalkeeper Hope Solo (Clemson forward Lindsay Browne is the only sophomore on the list).
The eight senior candidates include Borgman and Slayton, plus forwards Mary-Frances Monroe (UCLA) and Abby Wambach (Florida) and midfielders Meghan Anderson (Nebraska), Jena Kluegel (North Carolina), Lori Lindsey (Virginia) and Aly Wagner (Santa Clara).
The MAC award is the official National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas Player of the Year award. The winner will be determined in voting by Division I coaches and will be announced in early December.
Notre Dame and North Carolina are the only women’s soccer programs to produce multiple winners of the MAC Player of The Year Award in its 10-year history, with the Irish recipients including midfielders Cindy Daws (1996) and Anne Makinen (2000).
2001 MISSOURI ATHLETIC CLUB PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Meghan Anderson (Sr., M, Nebraska)
Danielle Borgman (Sr., D, North Carolina)
Lindsay Browne (So., F, Clemson)
Aleisha Cramer (Jr., M, BYU)
Jena Kluegel (Sr., M, North Carolina)
Christine Latham (Jr., F, Nebraska)
Lori Lindsay (Sr., M, Virginia)
Mary-Frances Monroe (Sr., F, UCLA)
Vanessa Pruzinsky (Jr., D, Notre Dame)
Laura Schott (Jr., F, California)
Hope Solo (Jr., G, Washington)
Danielle Slaton (Sr., D, Santa Clara)
Aly Wagner (Sr., M, Santa Clara)
Abby Wambach (Sr., F, Florida)
Christie Welsh (Jr., F, Penn State)