(from left) Katie Thorlakson, Candace Chapman and Jen Buczkowski - pictured during the 2004 NCAA title season - each collected NSCAA All-America honors for the second time in their careers while joining freshman Kerri Hanks to form a group of four Irish players on the 2005 NSCAA All-America teams.

Three Irish Players On Preseason Watch List For 2005 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy

Aug. 24, 2005

The preseason honors continue to roll in for the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, highlighted by three Irish players being among the 25 on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy watch list (matching the most from any team). Versatile fifth-year veteran Candace Chapman and senior forward Katie Thorlakson are joined by junior midfielder Jen Buczkowski among the 2005 Hermann Trophy player-of-the-year watch list.

Thorlakson also was named a preseason All-American by Soccer America (as was Chapman) and Soccer Buzz, placing her on a short list of six players who are on the Hermann watch list and also were tabbed as SA and SB preseason All-Americans. Others include three UNC players (listed below), Portland senior F Christine Sinclair and Ohio State sophomore M Lara Dickenmann.

Here’s a rundown of the preseason honors and rankings:

* HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST – Notre Dame joined North Carolina and Penn State as teams with the most players on the watch list … UNC’s players on the list include senior M Lindsay Tarpley, junior F Heather O’Reilly and senior M Lori Chalupny while PSU’s are three seniors (F Tiffany Weimer, D Natalie Jacobs and G Erin McLeod) … four teams had two players on the list: Portland seniors Sinclair and Lindsey Huie (M), UCLA seniors Iris Mora (F) and Jill Oakes (M), Kansas senior F Caroline Smith and junior D Holly Gault, and Ohio State’s Dickenmann and senior D Melissa Miller … others on the list include Auburn junior D Ronda Brooks, Virginia senior M Sarah Huffman, Stanford senior D Hayley Hunt, Princeton sophomore M Diana Matheson, Colorado senior M Fran Munnelly, Florida State junior D Kelly Rowland, Texas A&M senior G Kati Jo Spisak and Nebraska junior M Brittany Timko … Thorlakson (Langley, B.C.) is one of eight players on the 2005 watch list who also were among the final-15 candidates for the 2004 Hermann Trophy (others include the three UNC players, Sinclair and Huie, Timko and Weimer) … Buczkowski (Elk Grove, Ill.) is one of eight non-seniors on the list, as are fellow juniors O’Reilly, Gault, Brooks, Rowland and Timko plus sophomores Dickenmann and Matheson … Thorlakson, Chapman (Ajax, Ont.), Sinclair and Timko are teammates on the Canadian National Team while Buczkowski just played on the U.S. Under-21 National Team that won the Nordic Cup, alongside the three UNC players and Oakes … Huffman and her UVa teammates just faced ND last week at the IPFW Showcase (the Irish won, 2-0) … Smith and Gault played in the summer of ’05 on the WPSL champion F.C. Indiana squad that include four current ND players (Christie Shaner, Nikki Westfall, Brittany Bock and Kerry Inglis) … ND had two players among the final-15 Hermann Trophy candidates in 2003 (F Amy Warner, D Melissa Tancredi) and ’04 (Tancredi and Thorlakson), with Chapman (’02) and former ND defender Vanessa Pruzinsky previously among the final-15 for the Hermann or M.A.C. awards (which merged in ’03) … Chapman was on the 2003 preseason Hermann watch list but missed the entire season due to a late-summer injury while training with Canada.

* SOCCER AMERICA PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS – Chapman and Thorlakson were included on this elite 11-player team (ND and UNC were the only teams with multiple players on the SA preseason list) … Thorlakson was the Soccer America 2004 national player of the year and an All-American … others on the SA 2005 preseason All-America team include McLeod, Gault, Chalupny, Dickenmann, O’Reilly, Sinclair, Tarpley, Virginia junior D Becky Sauerbrunn and UCLA freshman F Kara Lang.

* SOCCER BUZZ PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS – The Soccer Buzz women’s soccer website, which also tabbed Thorlakson as its 2004 national player of the year, has listed Thorlakson among its 12-player 2005 preseason All-America team … others include Chalupny, Dickenmann, Matheson, Oakes, O’Reilly, Sauerbrunn, Sinclair, Tarpley and Weimer, plus Portland sophomore D Stephanie Lopez and Santa Clara junior G Julie Ryder.

* BIG EAST PRESEASON HONORS – The BIG EAST coaches have picked Thorlakson to repeat as the conference’s offensive player of the year, also tabbing ND senior Erika Bohn as the BIG EAST’s ’05 preseason goalkeeper of the year … ND players made up one-third of the 2005 preseason all-BIG EAST team, with Thorlakson and Bohn joined by Chapman and Buczkowski on the team … Bohn was overlooked entirely on the 2004 all-BIG EAST team (1st, 2nd and 3rd team) and likewise was not an all-BIG EAST pick in 2003 (when she was named NSCAA 2nd team all-Great Lakes Region) … Shaner was one of three returning defenders who were all-BIG EAST picks in ’04 but was left off the preseason all-BIG EAST team (she was 2nd team in 03 and 3rd team in ’04) … ND sophomore F Amanda Cinalli was a 1st team all-BIG EAST pick in ’04 but failed to earn a spot on the ’05 preseason all-BIG EAST team.

* NATIONAL POLLS – The NSCAA coaches poll has picked Notre Dame No. 1 in its preseason poll for the first time while Soccer America and Soccer Buzz both have the Irish No. 2, behind North Carolina … ND previously was No. 2 in the NSCAA preseason poll five times (1995-98 and ’00) … see nscaa.com, socceramerica.com and soccerbuzz.com for the complete preseason polls.