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Women's Soccer Signee Class Headlined By Three Prep All-Americans, Four Other Top ODP Performers

Feb. 6, 2003

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The Notre Dame women’s soccer team has signed seven highly-regarded players to national letters of intent, head coach Randy Waldrum announced today. The signees include central defender Christie Shaner (Ambler, Pa./Germantown Academy), outside back Kari Kennedy (Plano, Texas/Plano West HS), midfielder/defender Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove, Ill./Elk Grove HS), midfielders Jill Krivacek (Geneva, Ill./Rosary HS) and Lizzie Reed (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Ramapo Regional HS), forward Becky Tweneboah (North Lauderdale, Fla./Aquinas High School) and versatile threat Kim Lorenzen (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North HS).

Buczkowski, Reed and Shaner each received have received All-America honors and combine with Lorenzen in competing with their respective Olympic Development Program regional teams (the other three signees have been leading players on the state ODP level). Shaner also is a member of the U.S. under-21 national team player pool while Buczkowski has played for the U.S. under-16/17 and under-19 national teams.

“This class is one of the best in the country and each of the players comes from successful club teams. They all are competitive, intelligent, and extremely driven to win,” says Waldrum, whose 2003 squad is slated to return sophomore-to-be goalkeeper Erika Bohn and every field player except four-year starting midfielder Ashley Dryer.

“With this group added to our returning core, we have the chance to have tremendous depth and a team capable of playing at a very high level.”

Buczkowski, Krivacek and Lorenzen each star for the Chicago Sockers club team while Shaner has competed with FC Parkwood and the Spirit United Tornadoes. Kennedy is a product of the Dallas Texans club program while Reed has starred with the Torpedoes and World Class club teams and Tweneboah with the Boca Blaze.

Shaner has made a name for herself as a tenacious competitor and highly-skilled player all over the field, with an unending will to win.

“We were fortunate to have Christie commit to us last spring and she truly is a special player,” says Waldrum. “She has a tremendous understanding of the game, great leadership qualities and is very good on the ball. Christie is so strong in the air and loves 1-on-1 tackling situations, so she likely will play central defense, but she also has the clever play, creative footwork and crisp passing skills to excel as an attacking midfielder.”

Buczkowski – who totaled 69 goals and 52 assists in her first three prep seasons – will be competing with the U.S. under-19 team in an upcoming trip to Mexico and will not play with the Elk Grove High School team this spring in order to focus on her national-team training in hopes of ultimately making the 2004 under-19 World Championship team.

“Jennifer has great technical ability and can change the tempo of the game. Her versatility to play anywhere on the field will be a huge plus,” says Waldrum.

Reed has been on the fringe of qualifying for various national-team player pools and has proven equally dangerous as a playmaking central midfielder and consistent goalscorer (her 126 career goals were second-most in Ramapo Regional High School history).

“Lizzie has a great understanding of soccer tactics and is a very skilled and crafty player,” says Waldrum. “She is great on the ball, is very competitive and can play wide or in the middle.”

Lorenzen’s all-around athleticism and versatility could land her at several positions with the Irish. “Kim has played forward and outside midfield but she also played very well in the back at the ESP national camp,” says Waldrum. “We likely will try her at outside back because of her competitive edge, high fitness level and ability to run past players.”

Kennedy has starred as an outside back in the Dallas Texans system that is similar to that utilized by the Irish. “Kari is a very disciplined player who knows how to play at a high level in this system. She rarely makes mistakes and will be an important member of our defense,” says Waldrum.

The 5-10 Krivacek is known for her unique combination of size, strength and composure – plus a lead scoring role (she totaled 64 goals and 50 assists in her first three high school seasons). “Jill is deceptively quick for her size and is very good in the air, to go along with great field vision and distribution skills,” says Waldrum.

Tweneboah currently is the third-leading scorer (9 goals, 11 assists) for the nationally No. 8-ranked Saint Thomas Aquinas team that has dominated its opponents in 2002-03, with a 177-10 scoring edge and 26-2 record. “Becky has great scoring ability and that tremendous drive and flair for the quick strike – she should add a dynamic new dimension to our attack,” says Waldrum.

Player Position Ht. Hometown High School Club
Jen Buczkowski Midfielder 5-7 Elk Grove, IL Elk Grove Chicago Sockers
Kari Kennedy Defender 5-6 Plano, TX Plano West Dallas Texans
Jill Krivacek Midfielder 5-10 Geneva, IL Rosary Chicago Sockers
Kim Lorenzen Forward/Def. 5-8 Naperville, IL Naperville North Chicago Sockers
Lizzie Reed Midfielder 5-7 Franklin Lakes, NJ Ramapo Regional World Class
Christie Shaner Defender 5-8 Ambler, PA Germantown Acad. FC Parkwood
Becky Tweneboah Forward 5-6 North Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas Team Boca

BUCZKOWSKI NOTES: Current member of U.S. Under-19 National Team who will not play with Elk Grove HS in ’03 in order to focus on training with U.S. program (including upcoming trip to Mexico) … member of ODP state and region teams since ’98 … also member of 2001 under-16 national team and ’02 under-16/17 national team … helped Illinois team place second at ’01 ODP nationals … 2001 ESP elite camp participant … named NSCAA All-American in ’01 and ’02 (also ’02 NSCAA All-Academic Team selection) … played at international tournaments with under-16 national team (France, March ’01) and ODP regional team (Italy and England, March ’02) … led Elk Grove to first league title as a freshman, followed by two more league titles (first team in league ever to win three consecutive titles) … three times all-conference (all-state in ’02) after leading team in scoring as a freshman (20G-25A), sophomore (21G-15A) and junior (28G-12A) … led team to first-ever sectional final (’02) before leaving to travel to France with national team … helped FC Chicago Sockers club team win 2000 Presidents Cup (Phoenix) and WAGS (Washington D.C.) tournaments, plus ’01 state runner-up showing, 2002 State Cup title and Regional Cup semifinalist finish … played basketball as a freshman … Illinois State Scholar and member of National Junior Honor Society … brother Chris Buczkowski plays for ODP state under-16 soccer team … father Gary Buczkowski coached Jen and Chris in park district travel soccer teams … daughter of Gary and Lisa Buczkowski … began playing soccer at Elk Grove Amateur Soccer Association, with the Association’s president Glen Villano being a Notre Dame graduate … current ND cross country runner Loryn King was her teammate on state and region ODP teams … born April 4, 1985.

BUCZKOWSKI ON HER DECISION: “Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me. I loved every minute of my visit and my decision became easier after learning everything that Notre Dame had to offer. I was looking for a college that would provide a great education and a great competitive soccer team that would become my second family. This is exactly what I found at Notre Dame. On my visit I stayed with Miranda Ford. She, along with the rest of the team, made my visit the best. I can’t wait to join the team and I’m willing to play anywhere that I could to help the team and to also improve my game.”

KENNEDY NOTES: Will be competing with North Texas team in Region III ODP Championships, with chance to advance to ODP nationals in her hometown of Plano … invited to ’01 ODP regional camp but unable to attend … key member of nationally-ranked Plano West HS and World Class club teams … Plano West captain as a senior while leading team to three state titles (in first three years of school’s existence) … was eight-year starter for nation’s No. 1-ranked Dallas Texans club team that was four-time North Texas state champs, two-time regional champs, two-time San Diego Surf Cup champs, Disney Soccer Showcase champs, Alamo National Cup champs and Lake Highlands Girls Classic League grand champions … member of North Texas all-state team every year since ’97 … her club coach Kenneth Medina formerly was coached by Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum … four-year honor roll student and member of National Honor Society … her father Dean Kennedy is in the Augsburg Wrestling Hall of Fame and was a national finalist in wrestling … her younger sister Tracie Kennedy plays for Dallas Texans … daughter of Dean and Terry Kennedy … born Oct. 3, 1984

KENNEDY ON HER DECISION: “I hope to be an impact player on the ND soccer team and I am honored to be given the opportunity to play with a team of this caliber. I also hope to become stronger in my faith and major in pre-med to start a life in the medical field when my soccer career is over.”

KRIVACEK NOTES: Member of state ODP team and regional ODP player pool since ’98, helping team finish second at ’01 ODP nationals … team captain at Rosary HS, totaling 64G-50A in her first three seasons … named all-area and all-sectional in ’00-’02 … has played as center midfielder and stopper with FC Chicago Sockers club team that won ’01 Presidents Cup and WAGS tournament (also State Cup runner-up and semifinalists at Surf Cup and Disney Showcase) before winning ’02 State Cup, reaching region II semifinals and finishing as runner-up at Score at the Shore … slated to compete at upcoming Presidents Cup and ODP nationals … helped team win ’99 Best of Midwest before taking second at 2000 State Cup and Best of the Midwest, third at Surf Cup, WAGS and Raleigh Shootout … basketball team captain and twice all-area and all-conference, earning conference MVP in ’02 while setting school records for career scoring and rebounding (1,100 and 900, respectively, as of Feb. 6) … member of Honor Society … daughter of Barry and Karen Krivacek … born May 30, 1985.

KRIVACEK ON HER DECISION: “I hope to be a midfielder on a Notre Dame team that wins the national championship. It has been my dream to attend Notre Dame and play soccer there. I believe it is the finest Catholic University in the country. Notre Dame has the reputation of excellence in academics and athletics. I feel the academic administration and coaching staff truly care about the development of me as a student, an athlete, and a person. I know I will leave Notre Dame with an incredible degree.”

LORENZEN NOTES: Two-year member of Region II ODP team and five-year member of state ODP team … will be competing at ODP national championships in March (Plano, Texas) as a result of winning regional tournament (July ’02) … member of runner-up team at ’02 ODP nationals (behind Region IV)… traveled with regional ODP team to Italy and England (March ’02) to compete against professional teams from four European cities … participated in ESP national camp (August ’02) … four-year starter at Naperville North HS, helping team win sectional title as a freshman followed by third-place state finish her sophomore season, sectional runner-up as a junior … two-time all-conference selection, all-sectional as a junior … an academic all-conference pick … will be playing in Presidents Day tournament (Phoenix; Feb. ’03) … played for Naperville Soccer Association from 1994-2000 … played varsity basketball as a sophomore … currently coaches an under-8 club soccer team … an Illinois State Scholar and distinguished honor-roll student all semesters of her high school career … her club basketball coach was Glenn Earl, Sr., father of current ND football safety Glenn Earl, Jr. … daughter of Michael and Carol Lorenzen … born May 4, 1985.

LORENZEN ON HER DECISION: “Notre Dame has everything I was looking for: a team that was tightly knit, yet extremely friendly and welcoming, a widely respected academic institution, and one of the elite soccer environments for personal development. When I went on my visit, I stayed with Maggie Manning, and she, as well as the rest of the team, made me feel like I belonged. I knew that I wanted to play at the highest level with the best players in the nation. I went to watch Notre Dame play the Mexican National Team and the speed of the game was the fastest I had ever seen. I knew at that point that I wanted to be a member of the Irish soccer program.”

REED NOTES: Earned NSCAA All-America and state player-of-the-year honors as a senior at Ramapo HS … member of ODP state team since ’98 (regional champs from ’00-’02) … member of Region I ODP team since ’99 and in national team training pool from ’99-’02 … named to ODP Regional I European Select Team in ’01-’02 … member of national ODP under-16 player pool in ’01 … led Ramapo in scoring all four seasons while finishing as school’s second all-time goalscorer (126; 26G-12A as a senior) … played nine years with Torpedoes club team before playing for World Class club in ’02-’03 … trained with World Class vs. men’s teams (including former Virginia player Alecko Eskandarian, the No. 1 draft pick by Major League Soccer) … helped World Class win Orange Classic during 2002 Christmas holidays, beating state cup champs from Florida and Georgia and finalists from Massachusetts and Texas South … helped Torpedoes win seven State Cup titles (’95-’98, ’00-’02), ’97 and ’98 regional titles … scored both goals in ’02 State Cup final … member of under-16 national team and an NSCAA under-16 All-American (’01) … competed in ’01 Adidas ESP elite camp … selected to play in McDonald’s All-America Classic in Charleston, S.C. (summer ’03) … helped Ramapo win ’99 state title and ’01 county title, plus four league and area titles … four-year all-state selection (first team from ’00-’02) … scored twice to lead ODP state team to 3-0 win over Maryland team in ’03 regional finals … attended fourth straight ODP interregional event in Nov. ’02, with her Regional I team going undefeated in games vs. the under-17 National Team, the Region IV team and the Region III team … slated to compete with World Class this spring at Jefferson Cup and Columbia Invitational … has competed in hurdles and sprints with Ramapo track team … brother Greg is starting center back with Haverford College soccer team … member of National Honor Society and Academic Decathlon State Team … daughter of William and Katherine Reed … born April 13, 1985.

REED ON HER DECISION: “I was looking for a university with great athletics and academics. I wanted a coach who could lead a championship program and impact my game. When I visited Notre Dame and met Randy, I knew this was the school for me. Notre Dame is everything I wanted. The team made me feel welcome and part of the Notre Dame family as soon as I met them. This was very important to me.”

SHANER NOTES: Emerging force in U.S. national-team program who could have joined current ND freshman Annie Schefter on U.S. under-19 national team if not for back (Oct. ’01) and ankle (March ’02) injuries … member of ODP Region I team since ’98 (state ODP since ’94) … has earned All-America honors from Parade (’01) and NSCAA (’02) … five-year starter at Germantown Academy, helping team post 83-12-6 record … named southeastern Pennsylvania player of the year (’02) … key turning point in her career was switching to FC Parkwood Challenge Club Team in ’95, coached by Ed Leigh (his daughter Kimmy plays in the BIG EAST, at Seton Hall) … switched from defense to midfield as a junior at GA, sparking team to 18-4 record .. scored 15 goals as senior on 15-3-2 team … played in under-16 ODP international event in England, Scotland and Ireland (March ’01), under-19 event in Italy, Monaco and France (March ’02) and invited to April ’03 event in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France … five-time all-league pick while helping GA extend streak to 12 consecutive league titles … team captain and MVP as a senior … Parkwood Challenge team captain in ’01 (second of three straight state titles) and ’02 (regional runner-up, losing to Bethesda, Md.) … scored on two headers to give team 2-0 win in 2000 State Cup final (yielding first-ever regional trip) … earned State Cup Fair Play Award … led state ODP squad to ’01 regional title, ’02 national title … won 2000 Adidas Cup in Houston with USYSA under-17 all-star team … member of USYSA under-18 All-America team in ’01, playing in Adidas Cup and Europe Tour … part of national player pool since ’98 … played in 2000 and ’01 ESP Elite camps … named NSCAA Youth All-American in ’00 (under-16) and ’01 (u-17) … started playing soccer at the age of five … a talented swimmer (200 freestyle) before focusing on soccer in 8th grade … serves as winter-track team captain at GA, setting school record in ’02 as member of 4×400 relay … plans to pursue senior project in Brazil, staying with a family in Rio and compiling photo-journal of the famous Fluminense men’s soccer team … volunteers to teach Spanish to preschool classes … served as senior class president … her sister Julie was a midfielder at the University of Pennsylvania (’00-’01) while her sister Laurie is a senior diver and water-polo player at Wesleyan University (she was a prep goalkeeper at Gwynned-Mercy Academy) … hails from same high school as former ND lacrosse player Alissa Moser and current swimmers Matt Hyde and Marie Labosky … daughter of David and Susan Shaner … born Sept. 7, 1984.

SHANER ON HER DECISION: “With the strength of the returning players, I hope I will play a role in making Notre Dame the best defense in the nation and I will have many great role models to learn from. I love to play the ball out of the air and hope my role will include being an offensive threat. I know that Randy is one of the best coaches I could play for and I expect to become a stronger player each year. A lot of my choice was based on the personalities of the players I already knew and had played with or against in the past (Mary Boland, Candace Chapman, Annie Schefter, Randi Scheller). I liked all the players at ND and was so impressed by their team spirit and honest camaraderie. I also believe that the coaching staff will bring out the best in me, on and off the playing field.”

TWENEBOAH NOTES: Five-year member of Florida ODP team … has led Boca Blaze club to seven straight State Cup titles, earning State Cup MVP in ’01 and ’02 … scored on strong individual effort with eight minutes left to play vs. Hillsboro United in ’02 State Cup final (for 2-1 win) … recently helped Blaze reach final of Orange Classic national tournament, scoring four goals in first two games … currently third-leading scorer on ’03 Aquinas HS team (9G-11A; two hat tricks), with her production limited due to nagging knee injury and team’s dominating play (177-10 scoring edge, 21 shutouts in 28 games) that leads to significant minutes for reserve players … part of Aquinas program that has totaled 471-44-9 record in 21 seasons (105-8-3 in last four years), outscoring its opponents 2,874-184 with eight state titles (last in ’99), 17 conference and district titles, 14 regional titles and four seasons with nation’s No. 1 ranking (last in ’98) … all-state as a junior (13G-10A), with team losing 1-0 state-title game vs. Satellite Beach … competed in Europe with Aquinas during preseason training, with team taking third at Renaissance Cup in Italy (4-1 record) … also has played defense with ODP team due to her speed … ran second leg of state champion 4×400 relay team during her sophomore year (time of 3:54.65), along with Symone Whitaker, Katie Traster and Sanya Richards (an Olympic-caliber runner now at the University of Texas) … her father Kwame played soccer in his native Ghana before coming to the U.S. while her mother Sharon competed in track in her native Jamaica … her 15-year-old brother Jonathan is a soccer and basketball player while her 10-year-old sister Sarah is a dancer … born June 18, 1985 … intends to major in business.

TWENEBOAH ON HER DECISION: “Notre Dame has a great name and reputation, but it was not until I actually visited and got a taste of it myself did I realize what an amazing place it was and how great the coaching staff and the girls on the team were. I could not see myself anywhere else!”