Notre Dame continues transition under first-year head coach Theresa Romagnolo.
Notre Dame senior midfielder goes in third round to her hometown franchise, FC Kansas City.
Notre Dame midfield shines in 4-1 victory over Iowa.
Notre Dame remains atop ACC table with maximum points after Thursday's last-second win over Syracuse.
Notre Dame winds up opening weekend with visit from Windy City neighbors (3:30 p.m. ET at Alumni Stadium).
Academic All-America Candidate (3.39)
M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List ('06)
Preseason First Team All-BIG EAST ('06)
U.S. Under-21 National Team
Hermann Trophy Final-15 ('05)
Third Team NSCAA All-American ('04, '05)
BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year ('05)
First Team All-BIG EAST ('04, '05)
Academic All-District V. ('04, '05)
Jen Buczkowski - a three-time NSCAA All- American and one of the top midfielders in Notre Dame women's soccer history - will serve as the 2007 team's volunteer assistant coach. A classic playmaker who helped dominate possession throughout her Irish career, Buczkowski remains on the fringe of cracking the U.S. National Team player pool, after previously playing at a high level with various U.S. youth national teams.
Buczkowski never missed a game in her college career while setting the Notre Dame record for career games played (103; sixth-most in the NCAA record book). Her other career stats with the Irish included 77 points (22nd in ND history), 20 goals, 37 assists (13th) and 97 starts (6th).
As part of one of the winningest classes in Division I women's soccer history, Buczkowski played a lead role in Notre Dame's 92-8-3 record (.908) from 2003-06. The only time that the Irish were outshot in her career came in the 2006 NCAA title game, a 2-1 loss to North Carolina that saw Buczkowski battle courageously despite suffering a major leg injury two days earlier. Buczkowski and her fellow 2006 seniors averaged a 23-5 shot margin in their career and were nearly unbeatable at home, going 53-2-1 at Alumni Field.
A starter with the Under-21 National Team that won the prestigious Nordic Cup in the summer of 2005, Buczkowski was one of three U.S. players to log every minute of that tournament. The Americans rolled up a 15-1 scoring edge during the four games played in Sweden, capped by a 4-1 win over Norway in the Nordic Cup final.
Buczkowski joined her Notre Dame teammate Kerri Hanks and two others as the only players among the final-15 candidates for both the 2005 and 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Award (national player of the year).
Noted for her trademark composure on the ball and ability to control the pace, Buczkowski has been training in 2007 with the U.S. Under-21 National Team (which is transitioning to a U-23 squad). She closed her college career by earning 2006 second team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Also a three-time first team all-BIG EAST honoree, she finished as the fifth-leading scorer (15 points) for a 2006 Irish team that spent most of the season ranked number-one, led the nation in scoring margin (85-11) and finished with a 25-1-1 record.
Buczkowski's excellence at Notre Dame also extended to the classroom, as she graduated with a 3.39 cumulative GPA and a degree in marketing.
The NSCAA named Buczkowski a first team Scholar All-American in 2006 while the College Sports Information Directors of America selected her as an Academic All-District V performer in each of her final three seasons.
Buczkowski led the talented 2006 team in minutes played (2,137; 78/gm) and posted nearly half of her 13 assists (6 of 13) during the postseason (leaving her 8th on the ND list for career postseason assists, with 11). She had pair of assists in the BIG EAST title game versus 20th-ranked Rutgers (4-2) before adding assists in the opening two rounds of the NCAAs (vs. Oakland and Wisconsin- Milwaukee), in addition to assisting on the first goal in the 4-0 quarterfinal win over Penn State.
Her top honors as a junior included NSCAA third team All-America and BIG EAST midfielder of the year, en route to finishing sixth on the 2005 team with 21 points (7G-7A). The ninth-leading scorer in the BIG EAST, Buczkowski directed a 2005 offense that led the nation in goals (110; 4.4/gm) and scoring margin (+95) while trailing just three times all season (spanning 153 minutes).
Buczkowski holds the rare distinction of being named both offensive and defensive MVP of the Notre Dame Classic, earning the defensive honor in 2005 after helping hold 11th-ranked Florida (4-1) and #25 Maryland (6-0; 1A) to a single goal and eight total shots (four on goal). Her 1G-1A in a 4-1 win over Gonzaga (4-1) helped land her on the alltournament team at the Santa Clara Classic and her header goal later opened the scoring versus 20th-ranked Michigan (3-0). Buczkowski's 2005 postseason output included 1G-1A in both the BIG EAST quarterfinal win over Georgetown (6-0) and the semifinal at 11th-ranked Marquette (3-0).
Her third-team All-America effort in 2004 contributed to the magical national-title season (25-1- 1) that culminated with a penalty-kick victory over UCLA. She was one of four Irish players to convert in the shootout, as Notre Dame edged the Bruins (4-3; after 1-1 in regulation/OT). Her conversion gave the Irish their first lead in the PKs (2-1), on a rising shot into the right side as the goalkeeper Valerie Henderson shuffled the other way.
The third-leading scoring on the 2004 team (27 points; 8G-11A), Buczkowski finished 18th among the national assist leaders and ranked among the BIG EAST leaders in assists (2nd), points (4th), gamewinning goals (5th, with four) and goals (8). Notre Dame's dominant possession in 2004 saw the Irish goal total (71) nearly equal the number of shots on goal allowed (73). Buczkowski was on the field for most of that domination, ranking third on the team in minutes (2,153; 80/gm) - including 15 games with 90-plus (five in the NCAAs).
Buczkowski - who opened 2004 strong with 1G- 2A in a 7-2 win over Baylor - also opened the scoring five times in 2004, tying for the team lead. One of those opening goals, a header, came in the annual showdown with Santa Clara and she clinched her spot on the ND Classic all-tournament team by assisting on the gamewinner (5-2).
Despite having no gamewinning goals in the first 37 games of her career, Buczkowski posted four GWGs in a seven-game span of 2004 - highlighted by her 90th-minute score at Georgetown (2-1; 89:36, one of four times ND has won in the final minute). She added a late goal to beat Boston College (1-0), scored early at Michigan (4-0) and had another GWG vs. BC (2-0; BIG EAST semifinal).
Buczkowski collected Freshman All-America and BIG EAST all-rookie team honors with a 2003 team that outscored its opponents 73-12. Her 14 points (4G-6A) included 2G-3A in an offensive MVP performance at the Notre Dame Classic (in wins over Arizona State, 3-1, and Oklahoma, 5-1).
A two-year starting defender with the U.S. U-19 National Team, Buczkowski decided to play for the Irish in the fall of 2004 rather than sit out that entire semester for the U-19 World Championship.
She earlier played against teams from Germany and Holland with the U-19s (2003, in Mexico) and played a 2001 international tournament in France with the U-16 National Team.
The three-year prep All-American - ranked by Soccer America as the nation's 6th-best incoming recruit in '03 - joined the Notre Dame program along with her former state ODP and club teammates Jill Krivacek and Kim Lorenzen, who led Illinois ODP to the 2003 national title (current ND junior Brittany Bock also was on that team) after being national runner-up in 2001. Buczkowski's busy 2004 summer included playing with Krivacek and Lorenzen on the Eclipse Select team that came just shy of the USYS under-19 national title game (she also played for the W-League's Chicago Cobras in 2004). The summers of 2005 and '06 saw Buczkowski ('06 all-star) and Krivacek play with the W-League's Chicago Gaels and they previously had been teammates with Lorenzen on the Chicago Sockers club team that played up an age group and won the 2003 u-23 state title.
Named by Gatorade as the 2003 Illinois player of the year, Buczkowski played three seasons at Elk Grove High School before focusing on nationalteam duty. Her 190 career points at EGHS (69G- 52A) included leading the team in scoring each season (20G-25A/21G-15A/28G-12A, from '00-'02). She earned all-state honors in 2002 while serving two seasons as a team captain.