Katie Thorlakson (left) and Melissa Tancredi - pictured with Irish head coach Randy Waldrum at the BIG EAST awards banquet - have been named to the list of final 15 candidates for the 2004 MAC Hermann Trophy.

Thorlakson, Tancredi And Waldrum Receive Top BIG EAST Awards

Nov. 4, 2004

VERNON, Conn. – Notre Dame became the first team in nine years to sweep the three major awards at the BIG EAST women’s soccer banquet, with fifth-year central defender Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.) repeating as defensive player of the year, junior forward Katie Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) collecting offensive player of the year and Randy Waldrum receiving an unprecedented fourth BIG EAST coach-of-the-year award.

Sophomore midfielder Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove, Ill.) and freshman forward Amanda Cinalli (Maple Heights, Ohio) joined Tancredi and Thorlakson as first team all-BIG EAST selections while three other Notre Dame players – senior forward Candace Chapman, sophomore left back Christie Shaner (Ambler, Pa.) and sophomore defensive midfielder Jill Krivacek (Geneva, Ill.) – collected third team all-BIG EAST honors.

Notre Dame’s seven all-BIG EAST selections were nearly double the highest total from any other team (four schools each had four honorees).

Junior goalkeeper Erika Bohn – despite ranking 4th in the nation with a BIG EAST-leading 0.36 goals-against average – again was overlooked for the BIG EAST awards (she was an NSCAA 2nd team all-region pick in ’03 but was not named all-BIG EAST).

Tancredi is the third player ever to repeat as BIG EAST defensive player of the year, joining former Notre Dame great Jen Grubb (’98, ’99) and Connecticut’s Kerry Connors (’95, ’96) in that distinction.

Thorlakson amazingly is the first Notre Dame player ever named the BIG EAST offensive player of the year, despite the fact that former midfielders Cindy Daws (’96) and Anne Makinen (’00) earned the Hermann Trophy national player-of-the-year award while others such as four-time All-American Holly Manthei (the NCAA all-time assists leader) and forward Jenny Streiffer (who joined Mia Hamm as the only women’s soccer players ever to reach 70 career goals and 70 assists) likewise could have preceded Thorlakson as BIG EAST offensive player-of-the-year recipients.

Thorlakson followed Tancredi’s 2003 lead as the only players ever to receive a major BIG EAST women’s soccer award after not being an all-BIG EAST selection previously in her career.

Chapman holds the unique distinction of earning all-BIG EAST honors at multiple positions during her career, after being a first-team selection as a freshman and sophomore at right back (she also was the 2002 BIG EAST defensive player of the year).

Buczkowski follows in the footsteps of three all-time greats – Daws (`95, ’96), Makinen (`97-’00) and Manthei (`95-’97) – as the fourth Notre Dame midfielder to earn first team all-BIG EAST honors.

The 2004 BIG EAST awards mark the first season with the third-team designation while the all-rookie team no longer is part of the annual awards.

Thorlakson, Cinalli and Chapman are the fourth trio of forwards from the same team to earn all-BIG EAST honors, including Streiffer, Monica Gerardo (both 1st team) and Amy Van Laecke (2nd team) in 1996 followed by Jenny Heft, Gerardo (both 1st team) and Streiffer (2nd team) in ’98. Connecticut also produced three 1st-team forwards in 1995 (Jana Carabino, Kerry Connors and Christy Rowe).

Thorlakson and Tancredi pulled off the offensive/defensive double that had been achieved just twice previously in the 10-year history of the BIG EAST women’s soccer awards, by Connors and defender Sara Whalen with the 1995 and ’96 UConn teams. Len Tsintaris also was the 1995 coach of the year, the only previous time that a BIG EAST team produced the offensive, defensive and coaches awards in the same season.

Shaner has, in the words of Waldrum, been Notre Dame’s “most consistent defender” in 2004 but she failed to improve on her second team all-BIG EAST from 2003, instead slipping to the third team.

The s004 first team all-BIG EAST selections included seven forwards, two midfielders and just one defender (Tancredi).

Irish players now have combined to win six of the last eight BIG EAST defensive player-of-the-year awards. Notre Dame’s previous recipients include former greats Kate Sobrero (’97) and Grubb (’98, ’99), plus Chapman in ’01 and Tancredi in ’03.


Notre Dame’s 2004 all-BIG EAST women’s soccer selections (from left): Christie Shaner, Amanda Cinalli, Jill Krivacek, Candace Chapman, Jen Buczkowski, Katie Thorlakson and Melissa Tancredi.



Cinalli is Notre Dame’s eighth freshman ever to be a first-team all-BIG EAST selection, with the others including Gerardo (’95), Streiffer (’96), Grubb (’96), Makinen (’97), forwards Meotis Erikson (`97) and Amy Warner (’00), and Chapman (’01). Two others – midfielder Shannon Boxx (’95) and Shaner – were 2nd team all-BIGE AST picks as freshmen.

Notre Dame produced a pair of 1st-team forwards for the second consecutive season (Warner and Mary Boland in ’03), with no other BIG EAST team including two 1st-team forwards since 1999 (when Streiffer and Heft were so honored).

Additional BIG EAST Award Notes:

• 22 Notre Dame players now have combined for 38 first team all-BIG EAST honors since ’95, with that group including 7 defenders combining 13 first-team awards, 4 midfielders (10 awards), 8 forwards (12 awards) and 3 goalkeepers.

• Thorlakson entered week ranked 1st in the nation in assists (17), 2nd in points (53) and 4th in goals (18) and has tied the Notre Dame record for gamewinning goals in a season (8) … she is on the verge of becoming the third 3rd ND player ever to reach 20G-20A in a season and currently is one of just 4 players in the nation with double-digit goals and assists (no others reached have 14G-14A) … her breakout season has helped overcome loss of several top offensive players due to graduation, injuries and national-team duty … her 53 points ranks 9th in ND history and are more than double the team’s 2nd-leading scorer (Chapman, with 25) … she set the ND record with 10 points in a game (4G-2A vs. St. John’s, in BIG EAST quarterfinal), also tying the ND record for goals in a game (most since ’97) … has totaled 19 points (12G-5A) in last 3 games (1G-1A vs. Seton Hall, 2G-2A vs. Michigan, 4G-2A vs. St. John’s), after rare 4-game “slump” without a point … has played role in nearly 70% of team’s goals in ’04 (37 of 55, two “unofficial assists”), with many other goals coming with her on the bench cheering the reserves … first ND player ever to score or assist on team’s first five goals in a game (in ’04 opener vs. Baylor and again vs. #4 Santa Clara) … went one better by having a hand in each of first six scores vs. St. John’s, yielding even more impressive streak of 12 straight Irish goals in which she scored or assisted (dating back to second goal in 3-1 win over SHU) … owns .194 shot pct. and is averaging 5.2 shots per goal (rest of team is just .112/8.9) … also converting 1G every 3 shots on goal (18 of 53; 2.9) … averaging 2.80 pts/gm in ’04 and would total 78 points over full season of 28 games (ND record is 72 points by ’96 national player-of-the-year Cindy Daws) … has totaled 12 pts (4G-4A) in five ’04 games vs. top-25 teams, including 3G-2A vs. #4 Santa Clara (only player in nation with 8-plus points vs. top-25 team) .. has posted games with 10 pts (4G-2A , SJU), 8 pts (3G-2A, SCU), 7 pts (2G-3A, Baylor) and 6 pts (2G-2A, Michigan), with 5 multi-goal games.

• Tancredi and Shaner have led an ’04 defense that has allowed just 10 goals (0.52 GAA), 110 total shots (5.8/gm), 55 shots on goal (2.9/gm) and 33 corner kicks (1.7/gm) with just four deficits (85 min.) … the four backline starters, also senior central back Gudrun Gunnarsdottir and sophomore right back Kim Lorenzen – have combined for 217 career games played at ND (174 starts) … Tancredi (1,607; 85/gm) and Shaner (1,580/83) lead the ’04 team in minutes played while Lorenzen is 5th (1,330), with Gunnarsdottir logging 1,134 (dnp 3 gms/minor inj.) … Tancredi has 2G-2A this season, including the GWG at Arizona State, while Shaner has knocked in header goals vs. #20 West Virginia and St. John’s.

• Waldrum has positioned the Irish for another run at the national title and owns a 112-19-5 record in six full seasons with the Irish. He previously was BIG coach of the year in 1999, ’00 and ’03.

• Buczkowski ranks 2nd in the BIG EAST and 19th in the nation with 10 assists, also ranking 5th in the BIG EAST with 24 points and 12th with 7 goals … she has registered 3 gamewinning goals in recent weeks, including a last-minute goal in the 2-1 game at Georgetown and an 80th-minute goal to beat BC (1-0) … she has led the Irish from the midfield as ND has rolled up a 55-10 scoring edge, plus a 22-6 average margin in shots per game (6-2 avg. corner-kick margin).

• Cinalli ranks 12th among BIG EAST players with 7 goals, plus 5 assists … she was named BIG EAST player of the week after scoring goals in wins at Georgetown and Villanova, earlier picking up the BIG EAST rookie-of-the-week award after a late GWG at UConn and a score in the 2-1 win at Syracuse.

• Chapman ranks 4th among BIG EAST players in goals (9) and points (25), plus 5th in assists (7) … her top games include 2G vs. Baylor and 2G-1A vs. Seton Hall, also scoring in the 5-2 win over #4 Santa Clara and sending home the tying goal at Arizona State (2-1).

• Krivacek’s honor fittingly recognizes one of several ND players (such as Lorenzen, Gunnarsdottir and junior M Annie Schefter) who might be among the top players on other BIG EAST teams … Krivacek’s defensive shutdown skills have helped ND total more goals (55) than opponent shots on goal (52) this season, with the Irish also allowing just 33 corner kicks all season (6 of the last 11 opponents have been held without a CK).