Jan. 12, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Fighting Irish women's soccer player Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) has been invited to the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team Camp, it was announced by U.S. Soccer and head coach Bill Irwin. Joining Fowlkes on the 24-player roster is former Irish defender Elise Weber '09.
The week-long camp opens on Jan. 13 and it will be held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The week will include two games against the senior South Korean Women's National Team, which is training in Southern California for three weeks. Irwin's team will face the Koreans on Saturday, Jan. 16 and on Monday, Jan. 18 with both games scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. (PST) at the Home Depot Center. Players called into the U-23s in 2010 must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1987.
Fowlkes has been listed as a defender on Irwin's roster, but her call into the national camp comes on the heels of having a breakout year helping to lead the Irish offense after moving to the forward line three weeks into the season (a position she initially started at in her college career, before moving to holding midfielder and central defender last season and earlier in 2009). She finished the season tied for second on the team with 24 points on 10 goals (including three game winners) and four assists - all career high marks. She also played in all 26 games for the Irish, including 25 starts.
For her efforts, Fowlkes was named the BIG EAST Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. She went on to garner the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player award after leading the Fighting Irish to their 11th BIG EAST postseason title, scoring the first goal in both the semifinal win over St. John's (2-1 OT) and the championship game victory over Marquette (2-1). What's more, she was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year (second team). She also helped the Irish to their fourth consecutive NCAA College Cup appearance and was named a 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American as a second team selection.
Weber, who currently plays for the St. Louis Athletica of the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league, played for the Irish in 2007 and 2008 after spending her first two seasons at Wisconsin. She started all 53 games during her two years at Notre Dame, notching four goals and 10 assists (18 points). Weber was an all-BIG EAST honorable mention choice as a senior and she also was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team selection in 2008. She was drafted 21st overall by the Athletica in the Inaugural WPS Draft.
Fowlkes is one of 11 college juniors invited to the first camp of 2010, while Weber is one of four WPS players on the roster. Additionally, Fowlkes is one of two current BIG EAST athletes invited to camp, as Marquette's sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Kulla will also be in attendance.
Fowlkes and Weber are part of an extensive list of Notre Dame players who have competed for Team USA at the U-23 level. Most recently, Jessica Schuveiller participated in her first U-23 National Camp on June 12-19, 2009 in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. Two other current Irish players -- senior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) -- are also part of the U-23 player pool. Fowlkes and Henderson both traveled to Portland, Oregon, for a U-23 camp in April of 2009 (featuring exhibition wins over Portland, Oregon State and Washington), with Fowlkes making the final roster for a two-game tour of Ireland in early May. Fowlkes also won a gold medal with the U.S. U-20 National Team at last December's FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Chile.
Meanwhile, Brittany Bock '09 scored a goal for the United States U-23s against a Women's Professional Soccer League (WPSL) Select Team during a 7-1 victory back in January 2009 in Chula Vista, Calif. Due to her recent success in WPS, Bock also has earned consideration by the full United States National Team, with head coach Pia Sundhage calling her into the 18-player squad for the U.S. Women's National Team's Oct. 29 friendly against Germany at Impuls Arena in Augsburg, Germany.
Three other Irish alumnae -- forward/midfielder Amanda Cinalli (Saint Louis Athletica), forward Kerri Hanks (Sky Blue FC) and defender Carrie Dew (FC Gold Pride) - completed recent stints with the United States U-23 squad. All told, 25 Notre Dame women's soccer players have participated in the U.S. U-23 National Team program, as well as its previous incarnations (the U-20 level until 2001, then the U-21 program until 2007).