Notre Dame women's soccer defender is one of three Division I student-athletes in contention for top honor.
Women's soccer defender is only second Notre Dame student-athlete to be honoree for prestigious award.
Notre Dame continues transition under first-year head coach Theresa Romagnolo.
Harrison Shipp and Patrick Hodan from the men's team along with Elizabeth Tucker from the women's squad receive honors.
Notre Dame forward/midfielder/defender one of just three sophomores on preseason rundown for Player of the Year honor.
A native of Los Gatos, Calif., Jen Renola is one of the most celebrated athletes in Notre Dame's history. She started all 98 games of her career as a student-athlete, and allowed just 62 goals during her four seasons as a goalkeeper on the Fighting Irish women's soccer squad. Renola posted 62 shutouts (32 of which were solo) and led the Irish to an 87-8-3 record from 1993-96. She had a 0.69 career goals-against average, including shutouts in all six postseason matches (four NCAA, two BIG EAST) in 1995, leading Notre Dame to the first of its three NCAA national championships.
In that 1995 season, Renola helped shut out North Carolina in the NCAA semifinals (1-0), snapping the Tar Heels' eight-year run as national champions and avenging Notre Dame's loss from the previous year's NCAA title match. Renola was named to the NCAA Championship all-tournament teams in 1994, 1995 and 1996, the latter coming after she led the Fighting Irish back to the national championship match. She also counts among her career highlights a brilliant 11-save performance during a 1994 scoreless tie versus North Carolina, ending the Tar Heels' NCAA-record 92-match winning streak.
To this day, Renola still ranks fourth in NCAA history with 8,111 career minutes played. She is one of only nine Notre Dame players to start every match of her career, and she holds school goalkeeping records for career victories, win percentage (.903), and total shutouts. Her career save percentage of .812 is third-best in the University's record book, while her career GAA is tied for fourth in school history.
Renola graduated from Notre Dame in 1997 with bachelor's degrees in English and computer applications after compiling a 3.67 cumulative grade-point average. She was recognized during her time at Notre Dame as the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year (for all sports) in 1996-97, and that same year, she garnered GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year honors for the fall and winter at-large program.