AS A SENIOR: Received preseason billing as the BIG EAST Conference defensive player of the year before seeing her season limited to just two games played, due to nagging ankle injury that stretched back to the 2002 spring season ? played first 47 minutes in third game of the season versus defending NCAA champion Santa Clara, helping shut out the Broncos before leaving game early in the second half (SCU then went on to a 4-0 win) ? missed next three games before playing 60 minutes off the bench as key factor in 1-0 overtime win over Rutgers (she entered in the 37th minute and left late in the first 10-minute OT) ? made midseason decision to sit our remainder of 2002, thus preserving option for fifth year of eligibility in 2003.
AS A JUNIOR: Repeated as first team Academic All-American and second team NSCAA all-region selection, joining Candace Chapman and Monica Gonzalez as first trio of defenders from same squad to be first team all-BIG EAST ? started 20 games, missing Georgetown game (Sept. 23) due to injury ? scored first two goals of college career ? started alongside several teammates at central defense, including Lindsey Jones during first three weeks and Gonzalez for final 15-game stretch ? helped Irish post 0.82 goals-against average ? Key Bank Classic defensive MVP, playing lead role in wins over Penn State (2-1) and Hartford (2-0) ? combined with Gonzalez to dominate the middle in 1-0 win over Nebraska, limiting Huskers to two shots on goal ? closed to stop Katie Barnes breakaway in overtime of 2-1 win over West Virginia ? dribbled down center of field and surprised Rutgers ?keeper with strong shot from the top of the box, into far left corner of the net ? shifted to forward in second half of NCAA game vs. Cincinnati, dribbling in from 45 yards and unleashing a rising shot into far left side.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Earned NSCAA second team all-region and second team all-BIG EAST honors ? 11th Notre Dame student-athlete named Academic All-America as a sophomore (freshmen are not eligible) and fourth Irish sophomore named first team, joining Jenny Streiffer (?97, soccer), Joe Heap (?52, football) and Arnzen (?67) ? recognized through the former women?s fall/winter "at-large" program, honoring 46 student-athletes from nine sports (she and Irish forward Meotis Erikson were two of 10 women?s soccer players, with Pruzinsky one of two first-teamers) ? key member of defense that posted 16 shutouts, led nation in GAA (0.39), allowed only 161 shots (6.4/gm) and trailed just twice (35 minutes) ? started all 25 games (12 central, 13 outside back) ? her starts at central back ? six each alongside Kelly Lindsey and Kerri Bakker ? came early in the season and in all seven postseason games ? her outlet pass assisted Amanda Guertin goal vs. Rutgers (2-0) ? opened Yale game at left back, moved to right back and played some forward in second half, as Irish tried to jumpstart offense (late flurry yielded 4-0 win) ?. did solid job marking speedy forward Maribel in 2001 spring exhibition win over Mexican National Team.
AS A FRESHMAN: BIG EAST rookie of the year and unanimous selection to BIG EAST all-rookie team ? major part of success converting to four-back system ? only freshman to start all 26 games ? recorded her first point with assist vs. Butler ? saved shot off goal line in first half of NCAA third-round win over Stanford (1-0) ? assisted on Anne Makinen goal against Seton Hall, Jenny Heft?s gamewinner vs. Georgetown and goals vs. Miami and Seton Hall in BIG EAST semifinals.
PREP & PERSONAL: NSCAA national high school player of the year ? two-time NSCAA Youth All-American ? New England regional player of the year in ?97 and ?98 ? four-year veteran of Olympic Development Region I team ? led Weston Wild Things to 1998 national title and Trumbull High School to three state titles (65-8-3 four-year record) ?. her senior year team (20-0) did not allow a goal ? two-time captain, three-time MVP ? finished prep career as school?s all-time leading scorer (79G-59A) ? member of National Honor Society ? father Ken Pruzinsky played football at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ?. daughter of Ken and Phyllis Pruzinsky ? full name is Vanessa Marie Pruzinsky ? born Dec. 11, 1981, in Bridgeport, Conn. ? graduated in May, 2003, with a 4.0 cumulative GPA as a chemical engineering major.
Pruzinsky's Career Statistics
In the Postseason