Kate Markgraf graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1998 after a stellar four-year career for the Fighting Irish women's soccer team and embarked on a professional soccer career that would distinguish her as one of the best and most successful defenders in the history of the U.S. Women's National Team.
Markgraf was a member of the USA's historic 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Team that won the tournament in front of more than 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. It is still the largest crowd ever to watch a women's sporting event anywhere in the world. More than 40 million more watched the game on television in the United States in what was surely a watershed moment for women's athletics.
Markgraf would go on to play major roles for the USA in three Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in 2000 and gold medals in 2004 and 2008. She also started for the USA in two more Women's World Cup tournaments, in 2003 and 2007. She finished her international career at the end of 2010 having played 201 games for her country, the seventh best all-time in U.S. history. She started a remarkable 185 of those matches. At the end of her international career, Markgraf was the co-captain of the U.S. team.
The Bloomfield Hills, Mich. native who attended Detroit Country Day High School, was a four-year impact player for the Irish, starting all 96 games in her career and was a three-time All-American, earning First-Team honors twice. Her play during her sophomore year was instrumental in the Fighting Irish winning the 1995 NCAA championship, its first in women's soccer, and she was named the Defensive MVP of the Final Four. She was a three-time All-Big East selection and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. She also represented the USA at the youth international level while at Notre Dame.
She played three seasons of professional club soccer for the Boston Breakers in the WUSA and sat out the inaugural season of the USA's new women's professional soccer league (WPS) in 2009 to have her twins. She was the captain of the Chicago Red Stars of WPS in 2010 where she also was voted to the All-Star team. During the summer of 2011, Markgraf will serve as a play-by-play analyst for ESPN during the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Markgraf is a mother of three, giving birth to twins, a girl Carson and a boy Xavier, in the summer of 2009. Her first child, son Keegan, was born on July 18, 2006. Markgraf came back from both pregnancies to resume her playing career.
Formerly Kate Sobrero, Markgraf married former Providence College soccer player Chris Markgraf on Oct. 31, 2003 and started playing under her married name in 2004. In 2005, Markgraf was accepted into Northwestern Law School in Chicago and Northeastern Law School in Boston, but deferred due to her soccer career. She earned a degree in Science Business at Notre Dame and was a member of the Dean's List. Markgraf is currently involved in many charities around the country.
Among the many on and off the field accolades she has earned during her career, Markgraf's image is depicted in a mural at the Detroit Airport honoring accomplished people from the state of Michigan.