#6 Melissa Henderson
Four-year monogram winner … exceptionally-gifted attacker who was among nation[apos]s top offensive threats throughout her college career …twice nominated for ESPY Award, once in high school and again as college junior (2010) … among the premier goal scorers in the land due to her great speed, athleticism and creativity … speed made it risky for any defense to try to employ an offsides trap against the Irish … great at reading the game and being able to switch the point of attack on the dribble … great first touch that allowed her to see the field and beat defenders before they could get settled … skilled technical player whose finishing skills were virtually unmatched … scoring abilities drew added attention from defenses, and she worked hard to sharpen her playmaking skills, opening up numerous opportunities for her teammates … incredibly reliable predictor of team success, with Irish going 42-3-3 in her career when she scored a goal (53-4-3 when she notched a point) … worked hard to add value to her game by tracking back defensively … had a fierce competitiveness and great focus … was not satisfied with success, showing improvement and greater diversity to her game each season …was selected in first round (second overall) of 2012 Women[apos]s Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft by Sky Blue FC … currently playing professionally for Boston Breakers of Women[apos]s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite Division.
IN THE ND RECORD BOOK: At time of graduation, ranks among the top 10 in school history in eight career categories — goals (t-4th – 70), goals per match (t-4th – 0.72), points (9th – 166), points per match (10th – 1.71), match-winning goals (1st – 24), match-winning points (2nd – 58), first goals (2nd – 24) and hat tricks (t-1st – 6) … one of 27 players in school history with at least 20 goals and 20 assists in her career … set single-season school records in 2009 for match-winning goals (9) and first goals (10), and tied single-season mark for hat tricks (3) in 2011 … matched school record with four goals in 2009 win over Central Michigan and 2011 Senior Night victory over DePaul … one of two players in school history (Monica Gerardo is the other) with two four-goal matches in her career … her eight points in those matches tied for third-most in program annals …one of four Irish players ever to have multiple eight-point matches in their careers (others are Gerardo, Jenny Streiffer and Katie Thorlakson, the latter of whom had three) … only player in school history to score three goals in the first half of a match (2009 vs. South Florida and Central Michigan) … only Irish player to log multiple hat tricks in the same postseason (2009) … in 2009, set ND single-postseason records for goals (10), match-winning goals (4), match-winning points (10) and first goals (4) … also in [apos]09, set school NCAA Championship records for goals (4) and points (8) in a single match, goals (7) and match-winning goals (4) in a single tournament (7). … ranks among top five on all of program[apos]s meaningful career postseason record lists (combined/BIG EAST/NCAA championship performances).
AS A SENIOR: Team tri-captain … NSCAA third-team All-America and first-team all-Northeast Region selection … first-team all-BIG EAST choice … appeared in all 21 matches, starting 20 times (lone exception was at Seton Hall, when she was returning from West Coast after participating in U.S. Women[apos]s National Team camp and arrived at halftime) … led team in goals (career high-tying 18), assists (8), points (44), shots (75), shots on goal (47) and match-winning goals (4) … ranked among top 11 in the nation in goals (8th), goals per match (8th – 0.86), points per match (10th – 2.10) and points (11th) … led BIG EAST in goals, goals per match, points and points per match, while ranking among top five in shots (3rd), shots per match (4th – 3.57), assists and assists per match (5th – 0.38) … during conference play, led BIG EAST in points (24) and points per match (2.18), while also appearing in top five for goals (2nd – 10), goals per match (2nd – 0.91) and shots (3rd – 37) … had school record-tying three hat tricks, two during BIG EAST play … posted 12 multi-point matches … had a hand in both goals during season-opening win vs. Wisconsin (2-0), setting up Adriana Leon[apos]s first score three minutes before halftime, then netting an insurance tally in the 61st minute — marked fourth consecutive season opener in which Henderson scored a goal (came on season-high tying six shots on frame) … after two-match dry spell, returning to scoring column in big way at Notre Dame adidas Invitational … had four-point night (1G-2A) in win over Tulsa (7-1), followed by her first hat trick of the year on season-high 10 shots against Indiana (4-1) … gave Irish second-half lead at #2 Stanford (1-2), heading home a cross from classmate Courtney Barg in 67th minute … tallied goal for fourth consecutive match, potting equalizer at #17 Santa Clara (1-1) off a loose ball in the penalty area at 62:17 … registered second hat trick of season at Cincinnati (4-1) with a natural triple after UC jumped in front early; was second career hat trick for Henderson on Bearcats[apos] home pitch (also as rookie in [apos]08) … found back of net at #14 Marquette (2-3, ot), scoring first of two tying goals by Irish in second half of regulation off an assist from Rebecca Twining at 62:49 … wore playmaker hat against Connecticut (3-0) with assists on a pair of goals by linemate Lauren Bohaboy … set up Bohaboy again for first-half goal that ignited win over Providence (3-0) … helped erase early two-goal deficit against Georgetown (2-3), scoring in 13th minute then assisting on Barg[apos]s tying marker 20 minutes later … scored match-winning goal against Villanova (3-1) with 5:34 remaining off passes from Bohaboy and Elizabeth Tucker … erupted for career high (and school record)-tying four goals on Senior Night against DePaul (5-1), including a natural hat trick to open the scoring, the final two goals coming 58 seconds apart midway through the second half … scored the lone goal in BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal win at #5 Marquette (1-0), with ninth-minute tally standing up as the decider and the landmark 70th goal of her career (fifth player in school history to reach that milestone) … credited with assist on Leon[apos]s second-half goal in BIG EAST Championship semifinal against Louisville (1-2).
AS A JUNIOR: Honda Sports Award recipient (second in school history, first since Cindy Daws in 1996) … first runner-up for Hermann Trophy … ESPY Award nominee for ‘Best College Female Athlete’, the only women[apos]s soccer player (college, pro, domestic or international) nominated among the award[apos]s 18 individual athlete categories … consensus first-team All-American and all-region choice … BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year … earned Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors at the NCAA College Cup after leading Notre Dame to its third national championship … started all 25 matches for the Irish, chalking up 17 goals (six match-winners) and a career-high 11 assists for career-best 45 points … one of 10 players in country to log double-digit goals and assists … ranked among top 20 in the nation in five categories — points (4th), goals (6th), points per match (6th – 1.80), goals per match (12th – 0.68) and assists (20th) … led BIG EAST (overall) in goals, goals per match, match-winning goals and points, and was second in assists and total shots (career-high 81) … opened her account with the only score in season opener against Minnesota (1-0) … set up Rose Augustin[apos]s decider in fourth minute against #8 Santa Clara (1-0) … ignited ND[apos]s two-goal flurry in 47 seconds vs. Texas Tech, scoring in 24th minute … potted match-winner just 1:11 into the contest at Loyola Marymount (1-0) … first multi-point match of season came at Northwestern (2-1), assisting on Elizabeth Tucker[apos]s fifth-minute score, then converting penalty kick in 21st minute after being pulled down in box by NU keeper … blitzed #24 Louisville with five points (2G-1A) in 5-0 victory … had second two-goal match in as many outings with pair of braces against Syracuse (3-0) … made it three consecutive two-goal matches with a double against St. John[apos]s (4-1), adding an assist for good measure … posted fourth consecutive multi-point contest with goal and assist vs. Seton Hall (2-1) … put Irish up for good with 65th-minute goal against Rutgers (3-2) … broke ice in 78th minute at Connecticut, and 74th minute at Georgetown, both matches ending in 1-1 draws … had team-high 10 points (3G-4A) in six NCAA Championship matches … scored first goal against New Mexico (3-0) on penalty kick at 20:24 … had goal and assist in second half against #22 USC (4-0) … repeated that feat in third round at #3 North Carolina (4-1), including huge insurance goal for Irish just 3:27 into second half … set up Tucker[apos]s clincher with 20 seconds left in quarterfinal at #6 Oklahoma State (2-0) … carved up defense of #1 Stanford (1-0) in NCAA final, eventually assisting on Adriana Leon[apos]s championship-winning goal in 63rd minute (left-side run to the byline and cut back a pass to penalty spot that Leon finished).
AS A SOPHOMORE: Named a first team MVP (equivalent to All-America status) by Soccer America … also a first team all-region and second team all-BIG EAST selection … got off to a slow start while recovering from off-season leg surgery which saw her at less than 100 percent for the first six weeks of the season … still appeared in 24 matches (starting 22 times) … posted career-high 18 goals, five assists, 41 points, 66 shots (41 on goal) and set school records with nine match-winning goals and 10 first goals … led BIG EAST (for all matches) in goals, points and match-winning goals … ranked 14th in the nation in goals per match (0.75) and 21st in points per match (1.71) … paired with All-American Lauren Fowlkes to form one of the top five goalscoring combinations in the nation with 28 goals (Henderson 18, Fowlkes 10) … capped season with one of the finest postseason performances in Notre Dame women[apos]s soccer history, scoring 23 points (10G-3A) in eight matches between the BIG EAST and NCAA tournaments … opening the scoring ledger in season opener against Wisconsin (3-0) and added first goal in second match against Loyola-Chicago (2-0), setting up Molly Campbell[apos]s 48th-minute clincher in the latter contest … scored for the third time in four matches to open the season with a two-goal outburst in the first 14 minutes against Wisconsin-Milwaukee (3-0) … iced BIG EAST opener against DePaul (4-0) on goal with two minutes to play … ended rare three-match scoring drought with early strike at West Virginia (3-2, ot) … had a hand in both goals at Seton Hall (2-0), finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute and creating Taylor Knaack[apos]s insurance tally with less than five minutes left … after two-match injury absence, returned to the pitch in a reserve role against Villanova (2-0), breaking a scoreless deadlock with a 54th-minute goal … announced her return to full health in emphatic fashion against South Florida in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals, scoring a natural hat trick (on all three of her shots on goal) in the opening 28:03 of a 5-0 Irish win; it was the first postseason three-goal match for a Notre Dame player since Michele Weissenhofer[apos]s hat trick in the 2006 NCAA quarterfinals against #8 Penn State, and the first by an Irish player in the BIG EAST tournament since 2004 when Katie Thorlakson scored four times in a quarterfinal win over St. John[apos]s … assisted on both Irish goals in the BIG EAST final against #rv/10 Marquette (2-1), setting up Fowlkes[apos] opening score and passing to Erica Iantorno who crossed to Amanda Clark for the match-winner at 70:13 as Notre Dame claimed its 11th BIG EAST tourney crown (second in a row) … scored twice in NCAA Championship first-round win over IUPUI (5-0) … turned in finest individual NCAA tourney performance in Notre Dame history, singlehandedly dispatching Central Michigan (6-1) with a school record-tying four goals (on five shots on goal) including another natural hat trick in the first 33:04 of the match; the four goals also were an Irish record in NCAA Championship play … scintillating 1-v-1 effort set up Rose Augustin for night[apos]s only score at 61:35 of third-round victory over Oregon State … scored off a loose ball in the area at #6 Florida State in NCAA quarterfinal, sparking a two-goal flurry in 51 seconds that carried Notre Dame to a 2-0 win and its fourth consecutive College Cup appearance.
AS A FRESHMAN: Combined with Hermann Trophy winner Kerri Hanks to form the nation[apos]s second-best goalscoring tandem, as the duo combined for 37 goals (Hanks 20, Henderson 17) … earned BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and first team Freshman All-America honors … first team all-BIG EAST selection … also named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team and took home Most Outstanding Offensive Player honors at the BIG EAST Championship (only second freshman to earn that award after ND[apos]s future Hermann Trophy recipient Anne Makinen in 1997) … played in all 27 matches for the Irish, starting 20 times … scored 17 goals and added two assists for 36 points … was the team[apos]s second-leading scorer behind Hanks … five of her goals proved to be match-winners … made her collegiate debut in Notre Dame[apos]s 7-0 season-opening win versus Michigan … came off the bench to net her first goal in that match, putting the Irish up 3-0 … also gave the Irish a 3-0 lead in their next outing, a 4-0 win over Loyola Marymount … had her first two-goal match versus SMU, propelling ND to a 5-0 win … opened the scoring in Notre Dame[apos]s 3-1 win at #17 Penn State … scored her first career hat trick to lead Notre Dame to a 6-0 win at Cincinnati, becoming the 17th Irish freshman to register a hat trick … followed with a goal in Notre Dame[apos]s next match , a 3-0 defeat of South Florida … scored the match-winning goal as the Irish downed #17 Georgetown (3-1) … scored two goals, including the match-winner at Providence (5-0) in just over 60 minutes of action … added a goal versus Rutgers (3-1) … recorded her fourth and final multi-goal match with two strikes versus Seton Hall (6-0), helping to finish off an undefeated regular season for the Irish … notched her first career assist in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals when she made a run down the left flank and crossed the ball to the top of the six-yard box for Weissenhofer[apos]s match-winner … clinched the BIG EAST tournament title in a dramatic 1-0 overtime win versus Connecticut when she knocked home Weissenhofer[apos]s rebound at 6:58 of the first extra session … went on to start all six NCAA Championship matches … gave Notre Dame a 4-1 lead versus Toledo in first-round action (5-1) … added her second career assist in 1-0 national semifinal win over #5 Stanford; controlled a tricky throw-in just outside the box, dribbled around a defender and sent the ball back across the top of the box to classmate Courtney Barg, who netted what proved to be the game-winning strike in the 15th minute … for the year, she was one of 10 Notre Dame players to net a match-winner and one of a record-setting 19 Irish players to score.
NATIONAL TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: One of the rising stars in U.S. Soccer[apos]s national team program … earned invitation to train with full U.S. Women[apos]s National Team in October/December 2011 as team prepared for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, B.C. … member of the U.S. Under-23 National Team player pool from 2009-12 … seven-year member of various youth national teams … has played soccer on four different continents: with the U-16 National Team in Asia (Japan); with the U-17s in South America (Argentina) and North America (Canada); with the U-20s in Europe (England), North America (Mexico) and South America (Chile); and with the U-23s in Europe (England, Germany, Spain and Sweden) … had five goals and an assist for U-23 team during its 2011 cycle … played in three-match set for USA in Sweden in June 2011 (loss to Norway and win/draw vs. Sweden), starting twice, and logging assist in 4-0 win over Sweden… scored twice for U-23s in scrimmages with southern California club sides and U-20s during April 2011 camp at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. … joined Fowlkes on U-23 side that competed in Four Nations Tournament (February/March 2011) … played in all three matches, starting twice and scoring three goals as USA won title … netted pair of goals in win over Sweden (4-2) and also scored in final match against Norway (3-2) … selected along with Fowlkes for USA U-23 squads that competed in friendlies in Germany (May 2010) and the Four Nations Tournament in England (July 2010); fellow Irish senior Jessica Schuveiller also was chosen to join Henderson and Fowlkes for the Americans[apos] trip to England … started five of six matches during those two trips … scored twice on German tour, finding the net just before halftime whistle to start the USA rally against the German U-23s (2-2) … came back three days later and scoring opening goal in 2-2 friendly with South Korean U-20 side … started two of three matches at the Four Nations Tournament … credited with assist on match-winning goal in tournament final against Sweden (1-0), giving U.S. the crown … competed in Chile with the U-20s at 2008 Four Nations Tournament, starting vs. England (1-0) and coming on in second half vs. Norway (2-1) … one of two prep players named to the U.S. U-20 roster for the 2007 Pan Am Games in Brazil (DNP due to injury) … earlier had scored twice in U-20[apos]s win over the Leeds Ladies (in England; May `07).
ODP/CLUB HIGHLIGHTS: Helped Dallas Texans reach 2007 USYS club nationals final, held in nearby Frisco, Texas … scored three goals in 4-0 win over the Michigan Hawks, during round-robin stage at `07 nationals (she also scored both Texans goals in the 3-2 title-match loss to California power Eagles SC) … also advanced with the Texans to nationals in 2005, after winning Region III title … scored all the goals in 2007 state-cup win over the Sting (3-0) … helped Texans win the Disney Showcase in `05-[apos]06 and `06-[apos]07 seasons (she had four goals in five matches at the Showcase as a sophomore) … switched to Sting Dallas `90 (along with former Texans teammates/current Notre Dame classmates/childhood friends Barg and Schuveiller, and former Texans coach Kenny Medina) for 2007-08 season (`90s; U-18) … helped Sting Dallas `90 squad to 2008 Region III and state cup titles, and finished as USYS national runner-up (at North Little Rock, Ark.) … team also won 2007 Premier League and LHGCL titles.
PREP & PERSONAL: First junior women[apos]s soccer player ever named Gatorade National High School Player of the Year (2006-07 season); only six other juniors (from any sport) had ever received the Gatorade national honor at the time … 2007 NSCAA/adidas Youth Player of the Year … two-time NSCAA youth All- American (2006 and 2007) … named a Parade All-American following her sophomore and junior seasons at Berkner High School (in Richardson, Texas) … her dominant three seasons at Berkner HS included 66 goals and 45 assists (177 points) in 47 career matches (DNP her senior season due to national-team commitments) … her three-year prep scoring barrage included 4G-15A as a freshman, 38G-18A as a sophomore and 24G-12A as a junior (despite helping fill in as a defensive sweeper and missing six matches due to national-team duty) … set school record for career goals (66) and ranks second in assists (45) in only three seasons … a two-time all-district performer at BHS (also district MVP and all-area) … invited to ESPN ‘ESPYs’ event in 2007, after earning the Gatorade player-of-the-year award (Hanks attended `07 ESPYs as one of five finalists for 2006-07 college female athlete of the year) … began playing soccer as a four-year old … developed a love for soccer from her brother Jason, who is five years older … part-time member of the basketball and track teams at Berkner HS … carried a 3.6 GPA in high school … three-year member of the National Honor Society … also involved in student council and served as student council senior class secretary … helped coach younger soccer players and was a member of Young Life … daughter of Kelly and Kathy Henderson … full name is Melissa Henderson … graduated in May 2012 from College of Arts and Letters with bachelor[apos]s degree in psychology … completed a production internship in the sports department at WSBT-TV (South Bend[apos]s CBS affiliate) in summer 2011.
Henderson[apos]s Career Statistics
Henderson In the Post Season