Notre Dame controls top seeded Aggies, but late counter sinks Irish NCAA Championship dreams
CAREER HONORS 2014: ACC Player of the Week (September 30) ... TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week (September 9; September 30) ... College Sports Madness ACC Player of the Week (September 30) ... College Sports Madness National Defensive Women's Soccer Player of the Week (September 30) ... ESPNW Women's Soccer Player of the Week Finalist (October 1). 2013: U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team ... Notre Dame Team Most Valuable Freshman.
Vocal and authoritative goalkeeper who commands the penalty area well ... strong reflexes and instincts allow her to cover nearly every inch of goal frame ... handles crosses and high balls with confidence ... distributes intelligently and purposefully out of the back to start counterattack ... steady demeanor who is not rattled by pressure situations or adversity ... with full year of college experience under her belt, will be an even greater asset as cornerstone of Fighting Irish defensive unit.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Started at goalkeeper in all 21 games in which she played during her sophomore season … played a total of 1,940 minutes … played the full 90+ minutes in all games, including three overtime contests … made a total of 72 saves with 12 shutouts … racked up several conference and national accolades throughout the season … named the ACC Player of the Week (September 30, 2014), to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week (September 30, 2014), College Sports Madness ACC Player of the Week (September 30, 2014), College Sports Madness National Defensive Women’s Soccer Player of the Week (September 30) and ESPNW Women’s Soccer Player of the Week Finalist (October 1, 2014) after recording shutouts against No. 2 Virginia Tech (2-0) and Wake Forest (1-0) … also named to the TopDrawSoccer.com Team of the Week for September 9, 2014, after a two-overtime 0-0 draw at No. 4 Stanford.
AS A FRESHMAN: Notre Dame Team Most Valuable Freshman (only third goalkeeper chosen for honor along with Jen Renola in 1993 and Erika Bohn in 2002) ... started all 22 matches as rookie, one of eight ND freshmen since 1999 to start every match as a rookie (first since Mandy Laddish in 2010) -- along with Morgan Andrews, first ND freshman duo to start every match of same rookie year since 1993 (Renola and Cindy Daws) ... third ND goalkeeper to start every match of freshman season along with Renola (1993) and Michelle Lodyga (1989) ... posted 13-8-1 record with 0.89 GAA, .800 save percentage and eight shutouts (six solo, two shared) ... played 98 percent of team's total minutes in goal (2,020:31), second-most in program history behind LaKeysia Beene (100 percent of minutes in 1997) ... ranked second in ACC in total saves (80), tied for third in save percentage, sixth in shutouts and seventh in GAA -- among league freshmen, ranked first in saves and save percentage, second in shutouts and GAA ... earned first career shutout in Notre Dame adidas Invitational opener against Oakland (4-0), going distance while making four saves ... turned aside five shots in 1-0 loss to #2 UCLA at Notre Dame adidas Invitational ... picked up second clean sheet and wasn't asked to make a stop in route-going effort against Detroit (4-0) ... earned win in team's ACC debut at North Carolina State (3-1), with goal being the only one the ND defense allowed in a span of six-plus matches, covering 626:21 from Sept. 1-Oct. 3) ... made five saves to anchor Notre Dame's 1-0 win at #1 North Carolina ... first of four consecutive shutouts (two solo/two shared) and personal stretch of 487:29 without allowing a goal (part of a 521-minute span in which Little and fellow netminder Sarah Voigt held the opposition scoreless, Notre Dame's longest spotless run in goal since Sept. 29-Oct. 20, 2006) ... had two saves in going the full 90 minutes against Syracuse (1-0) and one stop against #21 Maryland in opening 67:15 (5-0) ... wasn't called upon for a save in 79:03 against Pittsburgh (3-0) ... had scoreless streak snapped in double-overtime draw against #11 Wake Forest (1-1) ... made season-high nine saves in double-overtime contest at #1 Virginia, played in driving rainstorm (2-3) ... collected fifth shutout of year at Clemson, making four saves (2-0) ... earned win and recorded one save in NCAA Tournament debut against Iowa (4-1) ... posted first career postseason shutout against Western Michigan in second round of NCAA Championship, thanks to two saves (1-0) ... made seven saves, including one on penalty kick, in NCAA third-round loss at #11 Michigan (0-1) ... continued growth with solid spring 2014 campaign, registering three shutouts and holding opponents to one goal in final 360 minutes as ND gathered wins at Michigan (1-0) and at home in international friendlies against the Haiti National Team (2-0) and Mexico Under-20 National Team (2-0).
NATIONAL TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: Selected for U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team camp in February 2013, competing alongside classmate Morgan Andrews and current Notre Dame juniors Katie Naughton and Cari Roccaro ... joined that same trio at another U-20 National Team camp in July 2013 ... first participated in U.S. Women's National Team Youth Goalkeeping Camp in 2012.
ODP/CLUB HIGHLIGHTS: Member of Region III ODP Team from 2010-12 ... chosen for Region III ODP international touring team that competed in Barcelona, Spain, in spring 2011 ... spent club soccer career with TSC Hurricane, helping squad to semifinals of Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) U-18 National Championship in summer of 2013 in Colorado, a tournament won by Ohio Premier Eagles (a team that included Little's future Irish classmate, Emily Geyer) ... previously helped powerful TSC Hurricane program to three Oklahoma state titles (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), as well as 2010-11 Region III crown and regional runner-up finishes in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12 ... in 2010-11, team finished as USYS National Runner-up and won USYS National League (U-16 Red) ... finished third in USYS National League in 2009-10 ... reached first round of 2011-12 ECNL Nationals ... won 2010-11 Disney Showcase and Sub-Regional Premier League ... between 2010-11 Sub-Regional Premier League, USYS National League and Region III championship, team went combined 23-0 with remarkable plus-82 goal differential, not allowing single goal in Premier League (+40) or regional tournaments (+23) -- Little appeared in 17 of those matches, and recorded 17 shutouts, while finishing the entire 2010-11 club season with 0.41 GAA ... 2011 USYS National Championship and Region III (southern regionals) Golden Glove recipient ... member of 2011 USYS National Championship "Best 11" team ... competed in 2010 and 2011 ODP Thanksgiving Interregional Tournaments ... took part in 2011 ECNL/id2 National Camp ... ranked No. 121 in the 2013 Top Drawer Soccer Girls IMG Academy 150 player ratings (four-star ranking; No. 5 in South Region).
PREP & PERSONAL: Graduated from Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Okla. ... in three years at BKHS (did not play varsity soccer as freshman after transferring), piled up 32 shutouts and allowed just 23 goals in 51 career prep matches while team won three consecutive state titles (first in Class 5A, last two in Class 6A) ... as senior in 2012-13, allowed 13 goals in 18 matches, leading team to 17-0-1 record and second consecutive Class 6A championship (plus regional and district titles) ... as junior in 2011-12, played in all 17 matches, leading team to 17-0 record and Class 6A state title (plus regional and district crowns) -- recorded 12 shutouts with 0.412 goals-against average (seven goals allowed) for BKHS team ranked among top 20 nationally in all major prep polls, including No. 3 spot by ESPN RISE ... as sophomore in 2010-11 (first varsity season), appeared in 16 of 17 matches (missed one due to ODP team commitment), helping Bishop Kelley to 16-1 record and Class 5A state title (along with regional and district championships) -- collected 15 shutouts with miniscule 0.188 GAA (three goals allowed) ... during 2011 Class 5A state tournament, team did not allow a single goal, a first in Oklahoma high school girls' soccer history ... despite sitting out the 2009-10 season as a transfer, was part of Bishop Kelley squad that won Class 5A state, regional and district titles ... 2012 Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year ... two-time NSCAA Oklahoma Player of the Year (2011, 2012) ... two-time NSCAA High School All-America selection (2011, 2012) ... two-time NSCAA High School all-region choice (2011, 2012) ... 2012 Tulsa World All-Metro Player of the Year ... two-time Tulsa World All-Metro Team pick (2011, 2012) ... two-time all-district selection (2011, 2012) ... daughter of Melanie and Richard Little ... has younger brother, David ... one of two Oklahomans (along with junior goalkeeper and Edmond resident Elyse Hight) on 2014 Notre Dame roster, the first two players from the Sooner State ever to suit up for the Fighting Irish ... enrolled in Notre Dame's top-ranked Mendoza College of Business and is pursuing a major in information technology managmenet ... is pursuing a secondary major in psychology through the College of Arts and Letters.