Jan. 10, 2007
Seven players with connections to the Notre Dame women’s soccer program will be gathering this week at the Home Depot Center in southern California to train with either the United States Women’s National Team or the U.S. Under-21 National Team. Most notably, current sophomores Kerri Hanks and Brittany Bock are among the 28 who have been called in for training with the full national team (Jan. 11-15), affording them the chance to compete alongside former Notre Dame greats Kate Sobrero Markgraf and Shannon Boxx. The 26 players at the U-21 training camp (Jan. 13-20) will include three members of Notre Dame’s 2006 team: senior Jen Buczkowski, junior Amanda Cinalli and freshman Michele Weissenhofer. The U-21s will scrimmage against the national-team training group on Jan. 15, one day before a 20-player U.S. National Team will depart for China to play in the Four Nations Tournament (Jan. 26-30).
(Note: a final wrapup release of the postseason honors for the 2006 soccer season will be posted soon on und.com and will include updated bio. capsules on the Notre Dame honorees).
Brittany Bock will have the chance to showcase her all-around athleticism and strong aerial game at the upcoming U.S. training camp.
Bock played alongside Hanks as a forward for the second half of the 2006 college season but the Chicago-area native is slotted for her natural position of midfield at the upcoming camp. Both of the Irish players have extensive past playing experience with various U.S. Soccer youth national teams but each will be attending her first camp with the full National Team. Notre Dame’s total of seven current/former players that were invited to the pair of training camps are second-most from any women’s soccer program, one behind North Carolina’s total of eight. Santa Clara (5) and Penn State (4) are the only other programs with more than three total players who will be competing in either of this week’s training camps. Notre Dame likely would have matched UNC’s total if not for the knee injury suffered by sophomore center back Carrie Dew in the final regular-season game (Dew has been heralded as one of the world’s top young women’s soccer defenders, following a strong showing at the 2006 Under-20 World Championship).
The national team camp is set to include 12 current collegians, due in part to the absence of several key veterans such as Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, Aly Wagner and Christine Rampone (all of whom will not play in the Four Nations Tournament). Boxx – widely considered the world’s top defensive midfielder in the women’s game – has started 58 games for the USA over the past four years and will be participating at this week’s camp as a non-rostered player, focusing on light and non-contact work as she continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL suffered in July of 2006.
Bock and Hanks will be among the youngest players at the national-team camp, which also includes two UNC freshmen (forward Casey Nogueira and midfielder Tobin Heath), UCLA freshman forward Lauren Cheney, Penn State sophomore defender Sheree Gray and UNC sophomore midfielder Yael Averbuch. The other five invitees who were active during the 2006 college season include UCLA junior goalkeeper Val Henderson, UNC senior forward Heather O’Reilly and three senior defenders: Stanford’s Rachel Buehler, Portland’s Stephanie Lopez (who has one year of college eligibility remaining) and Florida State’s India Trotter.
The young forward contingent at the national-team camp also will include four recent college players: Natasha Kai (Hawaii), Megan Kakadelas (Santa Clara), Lindsay Tarpley (UNC) and Tiffany Weimer (Penn State). The eight midfielders feature more of a veteran presence, with Angela Hucles (a Virginia alum), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers), Joanna Lohman (Penn State), Marci Miller (SMU) and Leslie Osborne (Santa Clara).
The camp’s veteran defenders include Markgraf, Lori Chalupny (UNC alum), Tina Frimpong (Washington), Heather Mitts (Florida) and Cat Reddick Whitehill (UNC) while Henderson will be joined in the nets by University of Washington alum Hope Solo and longtime veteran Briana Scurry (UMass).
Three-Time All-America midfielder Jen Buczkowsi is a longtime veteran of the U.S. soccer system and played with the under-21 team at the 2005 Nordic Cup.
The strength of Midwest soccer can be seen in the fact that nearly one-third of the invitees (9 of 28) to the national-team camp grew up playing soccer within the general vicinity of Notre Dame, including two players each from Illinois (Bock and Miller), Wisconsin (Osborne and Nogueira) and Michigan (Markgraf and Tarpley), plus Cincinnati product Mitts, St. Louis native Chalupny and Indianapolis product Cheney. All three of the Irish players heading to the U-21 camp – Buczkowski (Illinois), Cinalli (Ohio) and Weissenhofer (Illinois) – also are Midwest natives.
The national-team training camp roster includes seven players who were members of the USA’s 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning team while 15 of the invitees (including Hanks and Bock) have played in a FIFA youth world championship for the USA, indicating the strong impact of the U-19/U-20 programs on the senior-level team.
Notre Dame joins UNC (4) and UCLA (2) as the only women’s soccer programs with multiple players from their 2006 squads who have been invited to the national-team camp. Notre Dame and UNC both will feature a total of five players (most from any D-I program) from their 2006 teams at either the national-team or U-21 camps.
Notre Dame and Santa Clara have the most invitees (three each) to the U-21 camp, which will mark the highest call-up of Weissenhofer’s young career. Buczkowski is a longtime member of U.S. youth national teams while Cinalli attended several 2006 training camps with the U-21s and played in the ’06 Nordic Cup. Weissenhofer – who was tabbed by Soccer America as its choice for the 2006 national freshman of the year – will be among the youngest players at the U-21 camp, which is set to include three other freshmen (UNC forward Whitney Engen, Colorado forward Nikki Marshall and Nebraska defender Carly Peetz).
The BIG EAST Conference matched the West Coast and Big 12 conferences in placing five players into the U-21 training camp, with the Irish players to be joined by Connecticut defender Brittany Taylor and midfielder Meghan Schnur. Weissenhofer and Cinalli (who played midfield for the second half of ND’s 2006 season) are listed as forwards for the camp, with other forwards among the invitees including Virginia’s Jess Rostedt, Utah’s Adele Letro and Ella Masar of Illinois (plus Engen and Marshall).
Amanda Cinalli’s versatility makes her a valuable option at forward or in the midfield.
Buczkowski will be joined in the midfield by the likes of UCLA’s Tina DiMartino, Penn State’s Ali Krieger, Santa Clara’s Amanda Poach, Florida State’s Kelly Rowland, Texas A&M’s Allison Martino and the Florida duo of Ameera Abdullah and Stacy Bishop.
The U-21 camp’s six defenders include Peetz, Stanford’s Marisa Abegg, Stephanie Logterman of Texas and two more players from Santa Clara (Jordan Angeli and Marian Dalmy). The roster is rounded out by four goalkeepers: Cori Alexander (Portland), Ashley Holder (Baylor), Kim Bingham (Arizona State) and Joslyn Slovek (Loyola Marymount).
Should they advance to the 20-player roster for the Four Nation’s Tournament, Hanks and Bock would head to southeast China in preparation for that prestigious tournament that will feature four of the top-12 teams in the world (#1 Germany, #2 U.S., #9 China and #12 England). All four of those national teams Â¬- with updated rosters – will return to China from Sept. 10-30, for the 2007 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. games at the Four Nation’s Tournament all will be played in the bustling metropolis of Guangzhou, versus Germany (Jan. 26), England (Jan. 28) and China (Jan. 30).
Hanks received the 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy – recognizing her as the nation’s top collegiate player – after totaling 22 goals and 22 assists for an Irish team that went 25-1-1 and held the nation’s top ranking for most of the season, before losing in the NCAA title game. She joins former UNC great Mia Hamm as the only Division I players ever to lead the nation in scoring and assists during the same season.
Notre Dame was the nation’s only team in 2006 to feature four double-digit goalscorers, led by Hanks and Weissenhofer (18G-17A) – who finished 1-2 atop the national points leaders (with 66 and 53 points, respectively). Bock missed the first four games of the 2006 season (due to the U-20 World Championship) but still finished fourth among BIG EAST Conference scorers with 31 points (12G-7A). Cinalli (11G-4A) was the BIG EAST’s seventh-leading scorer in 2006, with 26 points.
Michele Weissenhofer (18 goals, 17 assists) turned in one of the top all-around offensive seasons ever by a Notre Dame freshman.
Buczkowski’s career-best 13 assists in 2006 ranked seventh in the nation and she ran the show for an Irish offense that outscored its opponents 85-11 while attempting 423 more total shots than the opposition (583-160). The three-time All-American appeared in every game of her career en route to setting a Notre Dame record for games played (103), leading the way for one of the winningest classes in the history of D-I women’s soccer (ND’s 2006 seniors went 92-8-3 in their career, including 53-2-1 at home).
Hanks (1st team) and Buczkowski (2nd) received top 2006 postseason honors, as All-Americans per the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The NSCAA also recognized three Irish players (Hanks, Buczkowski and Dew) as first team all-Great Lakes Region selections, with Bock, Cinalli and senior midfielder Jill Krivacek named NSCAA second team all-region. The Soccer Buzz women’s soccer website tabbed both Hanks and Buczkowski for 2006 first team All-America honors while including Cinalli among its group of third team All-Americans.
Buczkowski also was among the women’s soccer team’s leaders in the classroom during the 2006 fall semester, with a 3.93 grade-point average. Junior defender Ashley Jones lived up to her Academic All-America status by posting the third 4.0 semester of her Notre Dame career, boosting her cumulative GPA to 3.971 (her 24 total classes have included 22 “A” grades and two A-minuses). The NSCAA named three Notre Dame seniors – Buczkowski (who now has a 3.47 cumulative GPA, as a marketing major), Kim Lorenzen (3.50 cumulative GPA, finance) and fellow defender Christie Shaner (3.45, design) – as first team Scholar All-Americans for the 2006 season.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM TRAINING CAMP ROSTER (Jan. 11-15, 2007)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Val Henderson (Orinda, CA; UCLA, Jr.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, MN; UMass alum), Hope Solo (Richland, WA; Washington alum).
Notre Dame alum Kate Sobrero – who recently returned to active play, following the birth of her first child – has been a mainstay in the U.S. defense since the late 1990s.
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, CA; Stanford, Sr.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, MO; UNC alum), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, WA; Washington alum), Sheree Gray (Toms River, NJ; Penn State, So.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, CA; Portland, Sr.), Kate Sobrero Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, MI; Notre Dame alum), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, OH; Florida alum), India Trotter (Plantation, FL; Florida State, Sr.), Cat Reddick Whitehill (Birmingham, AL; UNC alum).
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, NJ; UNC, So.), Brittany Bock (Naperville, IL; Notre Dame, So.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, NJ; UNC, Fr.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, VA; Virginia alum), Carli Lloyd (Delran, NJ; Rutgers alum), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, MD; Penn State alum), Marci Miller (St. Charles, IL; SMU alum), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, WI; Santa Clara alum).
FORWARDS (8): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, IN; UCLA alum), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas; Notre Dame, So.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, HI; Hawaii alum), Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, CA; Santa Clara alum), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, WI; UNC, Fr.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, NJ; UNC, Sr.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, MI; UNC alum), Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, CT; Penn State alum).
Former Notre Dame player Shannon Boxx – now considered the world’s top defensive midfielder – will be on hand at this week’s U.S. training camp, as she continues rehabiliation from her ACL knee injury.
Coaching Staff: Greg Ryan (head coach), Bret Hall, Billy McNicol and Phil Wheddon.
U.S. UNDER-21 WOMEN’S SOCCER TRAINING CAMP ROSTER (Jan. 13-20, 2007)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Cori Alexander (Portland), Ashley Holder (Baylor), Kim Bingham (Arizona State), Joslyn Slovek (Loyola Marymount)
DEFENDERS (6): Marisa Abegg (Stanford), Jordan Angeli (Santa Clara), Marian Dalmy (Santa Clara), Stephanie Logterman (Texas), Carly Peetz (Nebraska), Brittany Taylor (Connecticut)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Ameera Abdullah (Florida), Stacy Bishop (Florida), Jen Buczkowski (Notre Dame), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Ali Krieger (Penn State), Allison Martino (Texas A&M), Amanda Poach (Santa Clara), Kelly Rowland (Florida State), Meghan Schnur (Connecticut)