Notre Dame soccer captain combines athletic and academic excellence in distinctive fashion
One-year monogram winner ... talented midfielder who came aboard prior to 2012 season ... has strong international soccer background from her experience within the Puerto Rico youth national team program ... determined and agile athlete who offers depth and a veteran voice on Irish roster.
AS A JUNIOR: Appeared in five matches covering 43 minutes ... saw time in shutout wins at Tulsa (2-0) and home vs. East Carolina (5-0) ... played career-high 17 minutes against Cincinnati (7-0) and scored first career goal off assist from Karin Simonian in 87th minute ... also earned handful of minutes at Connecticut (4-0; one shot on goal) and on Senior Night against Seton Hall (5-1).
AS A SOPHOMORE: Made college debut in final four minutes of win over Tulsa (7-1) in Notre Dame adidas Invitational.
PRIOR TO NOTRE DAME: Attended University of Connecticut for 2010-11 academic year, but did not play intercollegiate soccer at the school ... earned dean's list honors in 2010-11 from Connecticut's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
NATIONAL TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: Member of Puerto Rico Under-20 National Team player pool since 2010 ... competed for Puerto Rico in Caribbean Zone second-round qualifying for 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Championships ... started all three matches in January 2012 in Havana, Cuba, as Puerto Rico narrowly missed advancing to tournament's final stage in Panama (1-1-1 record with 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago; however, 1-0 loss to Guyana on last day, coupled with Cuba's 1-1 draw vs. Trinidad & Tobago, sent Cubans through) ... started on Puerto Rico U-17 National Team from 2007-09 ... helped Puerto Rico reach final round of 2008 CONCACAF U-17 Championship (tournament was qualifier for FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup), finishing 1-2 in group play with victory over Jamaica (2-1) ... team advanced to final qualification stage with Caribbean Zone wins over Anguilla (7-0) and Bermuda (2-1).
WPSL/ODP/CLUB HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoyed tremendous success in summer of 2013 with New England Mutiny of of Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL), helping franchise reach WPSL semifinals for third time in its history (first since 2007) ... played in nine matches (starting six) ... had key role in team's playoff run, scoring lone goal in sixth minute of Eastern Conference quarterfinal win over Syracuse Lady Knights (1-0) and assisting on match-winning goal in second minute of Eastern Conference semifinals against Empire Revs WNY (2-0) ... was teammates with Irish freshman Morgan Andrews on New England roster (latter joined squad at end of regular season) ... spent summer of 2010 with WPSL's Connecticut Reds ... played for Connecticut U17 Region I ODP squad in 2008-09 ... spent four seasons (2007-08 through 2010-11) with Oakwood Soccer Club, the last three as a starter and the final two as captain ... helped Oakwood SC to finals of National Elite Showcase in 2010 ... toured Germany with Oakwood U16 club in 2008 ... also played for SoccerPlus CT club (one of her coaches there was 2012 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Tony DiCicco, former coach of U.S. Women's National and U-20 Women's National teams, leading former to 1996 Olympic gold medal and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup title) and Avon SC club.
PREP & PERSONAL: Graduated from The Master's School in West Simsbury, Conn. ... began playing soccer on school's varsity squad as eighth grader in 2005-06 and moved into starting role following season ... compiled 40 goals and 25 assists (105 points) during her prep career ... posted career-high 15 goals and 11 assists as junior, and nearly repeated double-digit goals/assists feat as senior (10 goals, nine assists) ... named to Boston Globe All-Star Team (2009) ...three-year all-star selection by Western New England Prep School Soccer Association (2007-09) ... chosen for 2009 Connecticut Girls Soccer Coaches Association Senior Bowl ... led her high school team to undefeated season in 2009 (18-0), winning Hudson Valley Athletic League (HVAL) regular-season and tournament titles, and advancing to semifinals of New England Prep School Championships (also made quarterfinals of that tournament in 2008) ... three-sport starter in high school, having also excelled in basketball (three-year starter, 2006-07 Connecticut Independent School Athletic Conference champions) and lacrosse (two-year starter) ... accomplished student who was a member of National Honor Society from 2008-10 ... member of high school's student government in 2009-10 ... full name is Nicole Esther Rodriguez ... daughter of Debbie and Alberto Rodriguez ... second of four children, all of whom are first generation in their family to live in the United States (parents born and raised in Puerto Rico) ... seventh Connecticut resident to play for Notre Dame (the most recent was Class of 2011 goalkeeper and Redding native Nikki Weiss) ... also a gifted classical violinist, having played since she was four years old -- has also performed in numerous orchestras (notably Vivace and Opus 98 String Orchestras in Hartford) ... enrolled in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters as a psychology major.