Nov. 9, 2003
Two Notre Dame women’s soccer players – forward Amy Warner (Albuquerque, N.M.) and central defender Melissa Tancredi (Ancaster, Ont.) – have been selected as final candidates for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America player-of-the-year award for Division I players. The 15 candidates were selected by a nominating committee of Division I college coaches.
Top-ranked North Carolina has three players on the list – senior defender Cat Reddick and sophomore midfielders Lori Chalupny and Lindsay Tarpley – while Penn State is the only other school with multiple candidates: senior midfielder Joanna Lohman and sophomore forward Tiffany Weimer.
The other candidates include: senior forwards Chrissie Abbott (West Virginia) and Veronica Zepeda (Santa Clara); BYU senior midfielder Aleshia Rose; UCLA senior defender Nandi Pryce; Texas junior forward Kelly Wilson; Tennessee junior defender Keely Dowling; Stanford junior goalkeeper Nicole Barnhardt; and Kansas sophomore forwards Caroline Smith.
Tancredi – who can apply for a fifth year of eligibility – would be considered one of the favorites for the 2004 award, with five others from the above list set to return in ’04 (Wilson, Dowling, Barnhardt, Smith and Weimer).
Melissa Tancredi was named the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
The winners will be determined in voting by Division I coachesand three finalists will be announced at the NCAA Women’s College Cup. The finalists will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club for a Jan. 9 news conference announcing the winner (a banquet that evening will include the formal presentation of the prestigious crystal soccer ball trophy).
Notre Dame has played against three of the candidates this season, defeating Zepeda’s SCU squad and Abbott’s WVU team while playing to a tie against Barnhardt and Stanford.
Tancredi – the 2003 BIG EAST Conference Defensive Player of the Year – and four-time all-BIG EAST selection Warner have played central roles for the 2003 team that is ranked third in the nation while standing one win shy of the program’s eighth 20-win season (19-2-1). The Irish rank near the top of the national leaders in scoring (3.09 goals per game) and goals-against average (0.49; which would rank third in ND history) while trailing in just three of 22 games this season.
Here are bio. updates on Notre Dame’s MAC/Hermann Trophy candidates:
Tancredi – known for her wide array of skills, including dominating play in the air and the ability to quickly join the attack … shifted to forward after ND fell behind 2-0 vs. Boston College in the BIG EAST semifinals and promptly sent home a header for her fourth goal of the season (to go along with five assists) … forms the core of a defense that has allowed just 11 goals in 22 games, highlighted by a 10-game shutout streak that ranks fifth in NCAA history … leads ND defenders with 13 points (4G-5A), starting 19 games (three missed due to injury) with one GWG … her absence has been significant, with the Irish losing to Michigan (3-2) while struggling in 1-0 wins at Pittsburgh and Seton Hall (just a 4-3 scoring edge in those games, compared to 64-8 in games she has played) … leads dominating defensive effort that has included: just 51 opponent shots on goal (2.4 per game); a 0.49 team GAA that ranks near the top of the national leaders; a team-record span of 16 games without a deficit; tying another team record by going 24 consecutive games without allowing multiple goals; and allowing just two ’03 opponents to come back and tie the Irish (Santa Clara and Miami, in the BE quarterfinal) … first field player ever to earn a top BIG EAST honor despite having no previous all-BIG EAST recognition … ND’s fifth recipient of the BIG EAST defensive player of the year award in the last seven years … a converted forward who missed all of the 2000 season due to injury and played at forward in ’01 before shifting to the defense in the middle of the ’02 season.
Warner – speedy frontrunner who ranks ninth nationally with 12 assists (plus 10G and 2 GWG) … her absence due to an ankle injury played a key role in BC’s 2-1 win over the Irish in the BIG EAST quarterfinals … that marked her first game missed in three years (70 games) and ended her streak of 64 consecutive games started … ranks 12th in ND history with 37 career goals and 14th with 99 points, plus 9th with 11 game-winning goals … sixth player ever named all-BIG EAST in each of her four seasons, also becoming the 11th to be named first team all-BIG EAST in three-plus seasons (’00, ’02, ’03; plus 2nd team in ’01) … her season highlights include 1G-1A in the early 3-0 win over Wake Forest and the goal that capped the scoring in the 3-1 comeback win over Arizona State. … named all-tournament at the 2003 UConn, ND and SCU Classics … joined junior Mary Boland as the first pair of forwards from the same team to be named first team all-BIG EAST since 1999, when Streiffer and Jenny Heft – still the top goalscorers in the ND record book – were so honored.