Oct. 19, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a weekend performance that was the best of her career, Notre Dame women’s soccer junior forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) added another career first to her resume on Monday, when she was selected as the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week. She is the second Fighting Irish player to receive the honor this season, with classmate and fellow frontliner Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) taking that award on Sept. 28.
As it turns out, Knaack followed in Fowlkes’ footsteps even further, also earning a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week on Monday. Fowlkes also made the TDS national squad after copping the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week hardware late last month.
Knaack played a major role in Notre Dame’s home wins over Connecticut (6-1) and Providence (2-0) last weekend, factoring into five of the eight goals scored by the Fighting Irish. On Friday against UConn, Knaack scored a pair of goals and added an assist for a career-high five-point night. That doesn’t even take into account that she came within an eyelash of her first career hat trick (her second-half shot from distance hit the crossbar and the Husky goalkeeper before being cleared off the goal line), or that she helped set up the second of Notre Dame’s season-high six goals, drawing a foul near the top of the penalty area that resulted in a free kick goal by junior midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit).
Two days later against Providence, Knaack got the Fighting Irish on the board in the 11th minute, notching her second game winning goal of the season.
For the weekend, Knaack finished with seven points (3G-1A) and took seven shots, four of which ended up on goal (three of which found the back of the net, while the aforementioned fourth shot hit the crossbar). The weekend torrent is the latest in a sparkling October run for the speedy Texan, who has scored all five of her goals (including two game winners) and registered 11 of her 14 points this season in the past six games, beginning with the overtime score at 90:41 on Oct. 2 at West Virginia.
Knaack now is tied for the team lead with four assists this season, is tied for second with 14 points, and shares third with both five goals and two game winning scores.
Unbeaten in its last 10 games, No. 7 Notre Dame (12-3-1, 8-0-1 BIG EAST) will close out the regular season this weekend, beginning Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET) when it plays host to Villanova in game three of a four-game BIG EAST homestand. Tickets for this, and all remaining Fighting Irish soccer games, are available through the Notre Dame Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), by going on-line to www.UND.com/tickets, or by visiting the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on game day.
— ND —