Aug. 18, 2004

ATHENS, Greece – Three former Notre Dame soccer teammates – Kate Sobrero Markgraf, Shannon Boxx and Monica Gonzalez – have advanced with their teams to the quartefinal round of the 2004 Olympic Games. Sobrero (who now goes by her married name of Markgraf) has been a starting defender with the United States since 1998 while Boxx has been an amazing story for the U.S. during the past year as what many consider to be the top defensive midfielder in the world. Gonzalez is the defensive leader and team captain of Mexico’s surging national team squad that has existed only since 1998 (when Gonzalez was a founding member). The quartefinal matchups are set for Friday, Aug. 20, in four different Greek cities. The U.S. will face the tournament darkhorse Japan in a game that kicks off at 6:00 p.m. in Thessaloniki (that translates to 11:00 a.m. in New York and 10:00 in South Bend, with live coverage on MSNBC and Telemundo). Japan and the U.S. have played to ties in their past three meetings and the winner of Friday’s showdown will advance to the semifinals (Aug. 23) versus most likely the 2003 World Cup champions Germany squad (barring a huge upset from Nigeria). Mexico is set for a quarterfinal challenge versus Brazil (9:00 p.m., in Heralko), with the winner moving on to face the Sweden/Australia winner. Mexico qualified for the Olympics earlier this year after an historic 2-1 win over a Canadian squad that featured current Notre Dame fifth-year player Melissa Tancredi starting as a central defender. The U.S. won its four-team group in pool play after victories over Greece (3-0) and Brazil (2-0) and a 1-1 draw with Australia. Mexico played in a three-team group and finished second, after tying China (1-1) and dropping a 2-0 game to Germany. Sobrero Markgraf helped the U.S. allow just one goal in the three pool-play games while Boxx continued to show her scoring punch with a goal in the win over Greece. Regognized for her tenacious defenses, ball-winning skills and smooth distribution, Boxx last fall became the first U.S. Women’s National Team player ever to score in her first three games with the team and later was named to the prestigious 11-player All-World Cup Team (in ’03). Check back to over the next few days for more updates on the Notre Dame soccer Olympians, as our focus shifts from the current team’s training tour in Brazil to the approaching medal round. The link to an earlier release about the 10 Olympians with ties to Notre Dame is included below (it includes pre-Olympic biographical data on each of the above players, plus the other seven competitors): An additional link with full information on the Notre Dame Olympians, is located at: