Jan. 15, 2011
Two key contributors to Notre Dame's 2010 NCAA national championship team -- senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) and senior midfielder/forward Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) -- were chosen during the 2011 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) College Draft, which was held Friday afternoon in Baltimore in conjunction with the annual National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) convention. Fowlkes was a first-round selection (fifth overall pick) by the Philadelphia Independence, while Augustin was drafted in the third round (13th overall) by the expansion Western New York Flash.
With Friday's selections of Fowlkes and Augustin, Notre Dame now has had nine players chosen in the WPS College Draft during the league's first three years of existence, and multiple players in the top 13 picks for the second time in three years (also 2008). At No. 5 overall, Fowlkes matches the highest WPS draft pick ever for the Fighting Irish -- two-time All-America midfielder/forward Brittany Bock was taken at that same spot in 2008 by the Los Angeles Sol. Ironically, Bock will join Augustin on the Western New York roster, having signed as a free agent with the Flash after playing last season with the Washington Freedom.
One of the most versatile players in the country, Fowlkes recently completed a stellar career that saw her spend time at all three field positions for Notre Dame. A two-time NSCAA All-American and Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American (just the 13th Fighting Irish student-athlete ever to couple those honors in the same season twice, doing so in 2009 and 2010), Fowlkes started all 25 matches this season, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with four goals and 13 points. She also was third on the squad with five assists, piling up the majority of offensive production during the NCAA Championship, when she tallied three goals and three assists (nine points).
Also, a two-time all-BIG EAST Conference selection, including the 2009 BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Fowlkes did some of her best work on the Fighting Irish back line as a central defender. This season, she teamed with junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller
(Plano, Texas/Plano West) and senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss
(Redding, Conn./Immaculate) to form the core of a Notre Dame defense that allowed 13 goals all season -- including just one in six NCAA Championship matches -- and collected 15 shutouts with a 0.51 goals-against average.
Fowlkes finished her career with 17 goals and 10 assists (44 points) in 95 career matches, starting 82 times. She also was a finalist for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and remains a vital contributor to the United States youth national team programs, having played for her country at both the Under-20 and Under-23 levels, and helping Team USA strike gold at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile.
Meanwhile, Augustin was one of the catalysts for the Fighting Irish offensive attack during her career, playing in both the midfield and up front on the forward line. Arguably the country's top set-piece specialist during the past two seasons, Augustin was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection and second-team NSCAA all-region pick in 2010 after amassing career highs of 11 goals and 10 assists (32) points, becoming one of just 10 players in the country with double-digit goals and assists. She also was the ESPNU Capital One Impact Performer of the Week on Nov. 23 after scoring a goal and dishing out two assists in Notre Dame's landmark 4-1 win at North Carolina in the third round of the NCAA Championship, handing the Tar Heels their worst loss in three decades and their worst home loss ever.
For her career, Augustin piled up 29 goals and 23 assists (81 points) in 103 matches, making 74 starts. She was an NSCAA second-team all-region and second-team all-BIG EAST selection last season.
Together, Fowlkes and Augustin helped Notre Dame to an 87-12-5 (.861) record, the most wins by any senior class in the country in 2010. They also paced the Fighting Irish to four consecutive NCAA College Cup appearances (part of a current string of five in a row), including championship match berths in 2008 and 2010, as well as four BIG EAST Conference divisional titles and two BIG EAST postseason crowns.
Notre Dame alums played a major role in the 2010 WPS campaign, with three former Fighting Irish greats -- midfielder Shannon Boxx ('99) and defenders Candace Chapman ('05) and Carrie Dew ('09) helping FC Gold Pride to the WPS regular-season and postseason championships. That trio joined Jen Buczkowski ('07) and Kerri Hanks ('08) as Notre Dame alums with WPS championships to their credit -- Buczkowski and Hanks helped Sky Blue FC to the inaugural WPS crown in 2009. The five Fighting Irish grads with WPS title rings are the most from any college program in the country.
Buczkowski, who helped Philadelphia reach the WPS championship match in its first year of existence in 2010, now will team up with Fowlkes in the City of Brotherly Love. Meanwhile, Chapman signed with Western New York as a free agent (joining up with fellow Notre Dame alums Bock and Augustin), while Dew signed with Sky Blue FC as a free agent, with both players relocating after FC Gold Pride folded during the offseason. Boxx is currently evaluating her playing options in WPS, while additional Fighting Irish alumnae could sign with WPS teams as free agents in the coming weeks.
Notre Dame won its third NCAA national championship in 2010, posting a 21-2-2 record and rolling to six consecutive wins in the NCAA Championship while outscoring its opponents, 15-1. What's more, the Fighting Irish were handed arguably the most difficult path to a championship in the tournament's history, having to go through five ranked teams and four seeded opponents, including top-seeded North Carolina and Stanford (the latter was unbeaten prior to falling to Notre Dame, 1-0 in the NCAA final). Furthermore, the Fighting Irish had to win consecutive matches on the road (at UNC and Oklahoma State) just to reach the College Cup, marking just the third time in tournament history that a team won back-to-back road matches in the third round and quarterfinal rounds of the Championship.
In addition to following all the latest Fighting Irish women's soccer information through UND.com, fans also can follow the program through its official Twitter news feed (www.twitter.com/NDsoccernews) or by signing up for the Irish ALERT text messaging system through the sidebar on the women's soccer page at UND.com.
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