Feb. 12, 2007
The Notre Dame women's soccer program has added seven highly-regarded players who will comprise the bulk of the team's 2007 freshman class, head coach Randy Waldrum announced today. Those players include six who formally signed national letter-of-intents and another - midfielder Brittany Johnson (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.) - who has been accepted for early admission to Notre Dame and recently confirmed her acceptance. The signees include a pair of 5-foot-11 players - midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Kansas City, Mo.) and goalkeeper Nikki Weiss (Redding, Conn.) - plus forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas), F/M Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio) and the defender duo of Stephanie Sohn (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) and Julie Scheidler (Indianapolis, Ind.). The seven players all hail from different states and are set to be part of a 2007 Notre Dame team that will feature players from coast-to-coast, spanning 12 different states.
Four of the players listed above - Fowlkes, Weiss, Augustin and Scheidler - have received high school All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) while Fowlkes and Weiss have been active with the U.S. Under-17 and U-15 national teams (respectively). Five of the players (see chart below) have been members of their respective Olympic Development Program regional teams and each of the seven players has competed for some of the nation's top club programs - with Fowlkes and Johnson both leading their club teams to recent national titles (Sohn also was part of the Eastern New York team that won an ODP national title). Four of the players have been members of high school state championship teams, with Weiss playing on four straight title teams while Fowlkes and Augustin are two-time state champs on the high school level (Johnson has one high school title on her soccer resume).
NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S SOCCER ADDITIONS FOR 2007 SEASON
|Player||Position ||Ht. ||Hometown ||High School
|Rose Augustin ||F/M ||5-5 ||Silver Lake, OH ||Walsh Jesuit ||Cleveland Internationals |
|Lauren Fowlkes ||Midfielder ||5-11 ||Kansas City, MO ||St. Teresa's ||K.C. Dynamos; U.S. U-17s; ODP Region II |
|Brittany Johnson* ||Midfielder||5-9 ||Pleasant Prairie, WI ||Christian Life ||Eclipse Select |
|Taylor Knaack ||Forward||5-4 ||Arlington, TX ||Martin ||Dallas Texans; ODP Region III |
|Julie Scheidler ||Defender ||5-5 ||Indianapolis, IN ||Bishop Chatard ||Carmel Crossfire; ODP Region II |
|Stephanie Sohn ||Defender ||5-6 ||Ronkonkoma, NY ||Sachem East ||ISA Magic; ODP Region I |
|Nikki Weiss ||Goalkeeper ||5-11 ||Redding, CT ||Immaculate ||CFC Wolves; U.S. U-15s; ODP Region I |
* Note: All of the above are official letter-of-intent signees except Johnson, who has been accepted for early admission to Notre Dame and has confirmed her acceptance (Johnson played one season of high school soccer, at St. Viator's Academy in Chicago)
Notre Dame is set to return seven starters and six top reserves from the 2006 team that went 25-1-1, spent most of the season ranked number-one and reached the NCAA title game. The program's eight departing seniors include three-year All-America midfielder Jen Buczkowski, a pair of four-year starting defenders - Christie Shaner and 2006 team captain Kim Lorenzen - and defensive midfield standout Jill Krivacek.
"Overall, this 2007 signing class looks to be a very solid group of players," says Waldrum, whose .773 career win percentage ranks fourth among all active Division I women's soccer coaches and includes an .862 win pct. (166-24-6) in his first eight seasons at Notre Dame (the team's 72-5-2 marl in the past three seasons is the most wins in the nation during that span).
"We again placed a priority in finding not only great players, but players who could fit into our philosophy and style of play. We also have continued to find those players who are highly competitive and that simply know how to win. Most all of our recruits have either won or played in national championships, played for their respective national teams, and/or have played for some of the top clubs in the country. Though we surely will miss our departing seniors, I believe this class has the potential to be every bit as successful as that group was during their great career."
Notre Dame still could add additional players to this class, later in the 2007 spring semester (such additions will be posted on und.com, when approved and official).
(A brief synopsis of each player follows below, as do more detailed player bio. capsules, plus full quotes from Waldrum and each player.)
Fowlkes - who likely will be the highest-rated member of the recruiting class - is a former member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team player pool and received NSCAA youth All-America honors in 2005. Despite being slowed by a knee injury in 2006, Fowlkes was a member of the ODP Region II team from 2002-06 (playing up an age group, with the '88s) and is leading member of the elite KC Metro Dynamos club team. She currently plays with the Dynamos 1989 birthday group but earlier played several seasons with older teammates, helping the Dynamos '87s win the USYS 2001 under-14 national title, in addition to a regional title in 2006 and three regional runner-up seasons. Due her proximity to the state border, Fowlkes has been able to play with multiple club programs over the years - including the Alliance Pumas '88s team that won the 2004 Kansas state title and the JB Marine Soccer Club '88s that was the 2005 Missouri state champs. She also led St. Teresa's Academy to state titles in her sophomore and junior seasons and will serve as team captain in the upcoming 2007 season.
"Lauren is a very technical player with great size and ability, very similar to Carrie Dew, our Under-20 National Team center back," said Waldrum of Fowlkes, whose gamewinning goal in 2001 made the Dynamos the first soccer club from Kansas ever to win a national championship."
"She can play multiple positions, with excellent knowledge of the game, great field vision and the ability to make those around her better. Lauren can take a game over individually - yet she is the ultimate team player, with great leadership qualities. She is one of the best midfielders in the country, very calm and composed with the ball, and her playmaking will be a great fit for our style. Lauren's national-team experience also will help prepare her for the rigors of the college game."
Weiss was a 2006 NSCAA high school All-American while also previously playing for the U.S. Under-15 National Team and being a two-year member of U-16 National Team player pool. A six-year member of the ODP Region I team, the 5-foot-11 goalkeeper led Immaculate High School to four state titles, was named MVP of the 2006 state tournament and did not allow a single goal during 2005 and '06 postseason play. The four-time all-state performer also has earned all-state basketball honors at Immaculate and led the CFC Wolves soccer club to 2005 and '06 state titles.
"Nikki great size and athleticism make her one of the nation's top goalkeepers and she will add to our legacy of great 'keepers at Notre Dame," says Waldrum. "Nikki dominates the penalty area, has a great presence and is a very imposing player. Her technical abilities are very sound and her national-team experience is invaluable. Nikki reads the game very well and will adjust very quickly to the college game. Her competitiveness and drive will no doubt make her very successful."
Knaack will continue the Notre Dame women's soccer program's deep ties to the elite Dallas Texans club, with current players Kerri Hanks, Lauren Karas and Haley Ford also being products of the Texans club system. A former member of the ODP Region III team, Knaack has starred for Texans since 2001 and played a lead role in her teams reaching the USYS national semifinals in 2004 and '06. She received the Texans "outstanding attacker" award and also was Martin High School's leading scorer in each of the past three seasons while setting a school record with 26 assists.
"Taylor is an athletic forward, very mobile and quick, who also is a tireless worker who can get in behind defenses to score goals," says Waldrum. "She has the versatility to play multiple positions and plays for Texans coach Kenny Medina, one of the best in the business, so she knows how to win championships and handle pressure. Taylor's personality and flair will add to our long tradition of great attacking players and she will be prepared to play right away, as a great addition to our brand of attacking soccer."
Augustin is yet another 2006 NSCAA high school All-American and played against college-level talent in each of the past two summers, with the W-League's Cleveland Internationals (her teammates on that team included current Irish players Amanda Cinalli and Courtney Rosen). She ranked among the top-25 scorers in the expansive W-League during the 2006 summer, with seven goals and an assist, while her other playing experience includes three years on the Ohio North state ODP squad and three state championship seasons with the Cleveland Internationals youth club program. The third all-time leading scorer in the history of the women's soccer program at Walsh Jesuit High School, Augustin was named the 2006 Ohio player of the year, after leading Walsh to its second state title during her career.
"Rose is one of the nation's premier forwards, with great flair and strong all-around ability with the ball ,: says Waldrum. "She is comfortable when under pressure and that poised nature is enhanced by her experience of playing at an extremely high level. Her club coach Zdravko Popovic is one of the best out there and he thinks she may be one of the best he's ever coached. Rose seems to score goals wherever she plays and can be utilized in multiple ways on the offensive end. Her attacking dimension will impact our program right away."
Sohn as in the U.S. Under-17 National Team player pool during 2006 and also was a four-year member of the ODP Region I player pool. She was a four-year captain and starting center back for the Eastern New York state ODP squad that won two Region I titles and the 2005 ODP national title. Currently a member of the Albertson Fury club team, she previously anchored the defense for the Long Island-based ISA Magic club team that was the 2005 Region I runner-up (with nine straight postseason shutouts) and annually was ranked among national top-10. Sohn also was an all-county performer for the 2006 Sachem High School East team that went 19-1 en route to reaching the state semifinals, with the team allowing just five goals all season (she was on the field for just one of those scores.
"Stephanie is a very athletic defender, with the ability to play very simple - within the limits of not only her own skills but within the parameters of her team's system," says Waldrum. "She is a very smart player with great tracking ability and tremendous field vision that causes her to rarely get caught out of position. Steph shows strong discipline to maintain her defensive shape - which will be a great addition to our style of defending. She has a great upside, due to her extremely coachable personality and the confidence she has gained from being in the national-team pool."
Scheidler received 2006 NSCAA high school All-America honors, also earning the NSCAA player-of-the-year award for the state of Indiana while collecting NSCAA Scholar All-America honors. A former member of the ODP Region II player pool and an Indiana ODP participant since 2003, she currently is in her fifth year as captain of the Carmel United Crossfire club team that has won four of the past five state titles and won the 2002 Region II title. Scheidler also is the career points leader (183) at Bishop Chatard High School, after totaling 73 goals and 37 assists.
"Julie has a tremendous amount of heart and competitiveness, to go along with very good athleticism," says Waldrum. "She will make big strides in an environment like Notre Dame and has been well-coached on her club, where she has been part of a great winning tradition. Her commitment to attack, as well as defend, makes Julie a great candidate to play outside back with us. She is a very technical player and true student of the game whose constant drive will make her successful here at Notre Dame."
Johnson follows current players Brittany Bock, Michele Weissenhofer and Amanda Clark as products of the elite Eclipse Select club program who recently have opted to play for Notre Dame. Currently residing in Wisconsin, Johnson has made a regular commute to Chicago in order to continue playing with the Eclipse. The 5-foot-9 central midfielder captained the 2006 team that won the USYS national title ('89s) - after reaching the national semifinals in '03 - and she earlier scored the game-winning goal in the 2005 Illinois state championship game, as part of her 78-point season (24 goals, 30 assists) at St. Viator's Academy.
"Brittany has great technical ability and very good size while also being good at keeping possession and showing great ability to find players with her passing - all of which reminds us of Jill Krivacek, who became one of our best players during her tenure here," says Waldrum. "Brittany is a prototypical playmaker with great leadership qualities and a strong competitive streak, which she developed while playing for a very highly-regarded club coach in Rory Dames. Brittany has competed at the highest level and we expect her to be very successful at Notre Dame."
COAST-TO-COAST - Notre Dame's 2007 team is set to feature players from 12 different home states, the seven listed above (Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin) plus California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania ... Scheidler would be the second Indianapolis native to play for the Irish women's soccer program, which includes 20 previous in-state players - among them current junior F Susan Pinnick (South Bend/Adams HS), sophomore M/D Kerri Inglis (Ft. Wayne/Snider) and freshman D Rachel VanderGenugten (Schereville/Lake Central), plus former players such as F Amy VanLaecke (Granger/Adams) and D Lindsey Jones (South Bend/Adams) ... midfielder Sarah Esterline (Pike HS) is the only previous Indianapolis native to play for the Irish, in 1989 ... Knaack would be the 18th Texan to play for the ND women's soccer player, joining five current players - junior F Kerri Hanks (Allen HS), junior G Lauren Karas (Flower Mound HS), sophomore M Becca Mendoza (North Garland HS) and the freshman defender duo of Haley Ford (Midland HS) and Ashley Galovic (Plano East HS) - with several top former ND players also hailing from the Lone Star State, among them F Stephanie Porter (Spring/Klein HS), M Tiffany Thompson (Houston/Cypress Creek ), D Monica Gonzalez (Richardson/Plano East), G Liz Wagner (Spring/Klein) and Amanda Guertin (Grapevine HS) ... Johnson is a product of the Illinois soccer system that has sent 14 players on to Notre Dame, most notably All-Americans such as F Alison Lester (Schaumburg HS), D Jen Grubb (Hoffman Estates/Conant HS) and M Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove HS), plus Buczkowski's fellow 2006 seniors, M Jill Krivacek (Geneva/Rosary HS) and D Kim Lorenzen (Naperville North HS) ... Augustin will have the chance to play at ND with two former W-League teammates, current junior F Amanda Cinalli (Maple Hts/Laurel HS) and freshman M Courtney Rosen (Brecksville/Hathaway Brown), with the program's 10 former players from Ohio including two other Walsh Jesuit players (the sister duo of F Kelly and D Kate Tulisiak), plus others of note such as M Margaret Jarc (Bay Village/Magnificent HS), D Kate Fisher (Cincinnati/Ursuline Academy), D Julie Vogel (Cincinnati/Anderson) and F Mary Boland (Hudson HS) ... Sohn would be the program's 10th player from New York and first since M Kim Carpenter (Webster/Lady of Mercy HS) wrapped up her career in 2003 ... Weiss is set to be just the sixth Irish women's soccer player from Connecticut but three of her predecessors have been top players, including fellow `keeper Erika Bohn (Brookfield HS; '02-'05), plus M/D Kara Brown (Avon/Westminster Prep) and Vanessa Pruzinsky (Trumbull HS) ... Fowlkes could lead a resurgence of ND players from Missouri, which also produced two of the top forwards from the early years of the program: St. Louis natives Mimi Suba and Michelle McCarthy (who both played at Visitation High School).
AUGUSTIN BIO NOTES - Named a 2006 high school All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America ... played alongside her future Notre Dame teammates Cinalli and Rosen, as a member of the W-League's Cleveland Internationals, during the summers of 2005 and '06 ... despite playing in just five games, she ranked 2nd on the 2006 CI team in goals (7) and points (15; 21st among all W-League players), trailing only Jess Rostedt (9G-2A, 24 pts) ... scored three goals in 12 games played during 2006 W-League season ... named as an alternate to the 1987 Under-16 National Tournament Team ... also named to the 2005 ODP/Super Y National Camp Select Team ... played for the ODP Ohio North state team from 2003-05 ... helped lead Cleveland Internationals youth club team to three straight state titles (2003-05) ... served as co-captain for Walsh Jesuit High School team that was ranked number-one in the nation and was crowned national champs by the NSCAA ... finished her career as third all-time leading scorer in Walsh Jesuit history ... named 2006 state player of the year by the NSCAA and by the state coaches association (OHSSA "Miss Soccer"), after leading team to second state title in span of three years (also 2004) ... first team all-state as a senior, third team as a junior ... named conference player of the year and member of Cleveland Plain Dealer's "Best of the Best" team in each of her final two seasons ... former ND student-athletes who were products of Walsh Jesuit include recent soccer players Kelly and Kate Tulisiak, baseball player Matt Bok (the DH for the 2002 College World Series team) and the father-son football duo of Tom Lopienski Sr. and Jr.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON AUGUSTIN - "Rose is one of the premier forwards this year. She and Taylor Knaack gives us two more quality players who can score goals. Her flair makes her special and her all-around ability with the ball is extremely high. Rose is comfortable with and without pressure and she has played at an extremely high level. She was one of the top players for her W-League team as a young high school player, and has played with top players like Amanda Cinalli and Courtney Rosen. Her club, the Internationals, is one of the best in Ohio and her coach - Zdravko Popovic, who is one of the best out there - thinks she may be one of the best he's ever coached. She will impact our program right away and certainly will add another attacking dimension. Rose seems to score goals wherever she plays and can be utilized in multiple ways as an attacking player."
AUGUSTIN ON HER DECISION - "I am very excited to attend Notre Dame. It has been my dream to attend and play at ND. I chose Notre Dame because I love the many aspects of the school. I am amazed by the history of Notre Dame academically and athletically. I know that I will be receiving an excellent education and I immediately felt comfortable with the coaches and the team. Having good friends and teammates Amanda Cinalli and Courtney Rosen on the team makes it even better. I am excited and honored to be part of the great tradition of the Fighting Irish."
FOWLKES BIO NOTES - A 2005 NSCAA youth All-American who served as top center back and team captain for 2005 Adidas Under-17 all-star team that toured Scotland, Germany and Holland ... helped that team post 1-0 win over Scotland U-18 National Team and tie the full Dutch National Team (1-1) ... part of the U.S. Under-17 National Team player pool in 2004 ... member of ODP Region II team from 2002-06, playing up a year with the 1988 birthday group ... played center back with Region II team at Houston Showcase, in 1-1 tie with Canada's U-18 team ... attended 2004 ODP National Camp (in Seattle) and competed in Germany, Holland and Austria on Region II tour of Europe ('04) ... three-year participant ('02-'04) at the Boca Raton Interregional event, helping Region II win the tournament in 2003 (also '04 captain) ... attended 2003 ESP National Camp with Region II, scoring team's only goal in the camp in 1-0 win over Region I ... attended 2002 Nike National Camp, in Deerfield, Mass. ... five-year member of Missouri state ODP team (2001-05) ... currently plays club soccer for the KC Metro Dynamos '89s (she was slowed in 2006 by a knee injury) ... won under-14 national title in 2001, with the KC Dynamos '87s while playing up two age groups ... scored game-winning goal in the 2001 national-title game (1-0 vs. the Chantilly Inter Milan team from Virginia), as the Dynamos became the first soccer club from Kansas ever to win a national championship ... helped Dynamos win the Region II title twice (2001, over team from Chicago, and '06), reaching the regional final three other times (2000, '02 and '03) while winning six state titles (1999-2003, '06) ... later played with the KCFC Alliance Pumas '88s (2004 Kansas state champs) and the JB Marine Soccer Club '88s (2005 Missouri state champs) ... four-year varsity player at St. Teresa's Academy, leading team to state title in her sophomore and junior seasons ... has been selected as captain for her senior season (spring of '07) ... member of 2006 team that knocked off nation's #1-ranked team (St. Joseph's Academy) in state semifinals (3-00 before beating Fort Zumwaly in 4-0 final game ... earlier helped beat Incarnate Word Academy (2-1) in 2005 state-title game ... scored gamewinning goal in overtime of the 2005 state quarterfinals ... named first team all-district and second team all-state in each of her first three seasons at St. Teresa's ... played varsity basketball as a sophomore ... an honors student (4.6 GPA) and member of the National Honor Society ... received 2006 Presidential Service Award.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON FOWLKES - "Lauren is a very technical player with great size and ability, very similar to Carrie Dew, our Under-20 National Team center back. Lauren can play multiple positions and likely will be a fixture for us centrally somewhere. Her knowledge of the game is great, she sees the field very well and she has an ability to make others around her better. Lauren has the ability to take a game over individually, yet she is the ultimate team player with great leadership qualities. We felt that she was one of the best midfielders in the country and her playmaking abilities will be a great fit for our style. She is very calm and composed with the ball and will be prepared to play right away. Lauren's national-team experience certainly will prepare her for the rigors of the college game."
FOWLKES ON HER DECISION - "Growing up, I always dreamed of playing soccer at one of the nation's top universities. My grandfather continually asked, `What about Notre Dame, it is such a great school?' I didn't know much about the university at the time, but I always kept it in mind. After visiting in my sophomore year, I realized that Notre Dame was the perfect fit. The coaches and players were enjoyable and sincere on each of my visits. The atmosphere at Notre Dame is also unparalleled with its rich tradition, unique spirit, challenging academics and beautiful campus. I look forward to spending my college years at Notre Dame and I cannot wait to wear the Irish jersey."
JOHNSON BIO NOTES - Captain of Eclipse Select club team that won 2006 national title, after advancing to the 2003 national semifinals ... two-time regional champion with the Eclipse ('03 and '06, also 2005 regional runner-up) ... member of four straight state championship teams with the Eclipse (2003-06) ... earlier reached 2002 regional finals with FC Milwaukee team that won 2001 and '02 state titles ... helped Eclipse win the 2003 Disney Showcase ... has regularly commuted to Chicago in recent years, in order to train with the Eclipse (she currently attends Christian Life High School in Kenosha, Wis.) ... played one season of high school soccer, leading St. Viator to the 2005 state title as a sophomore ... scored game-winning goal in that state-title game, as part of her 78-point season (24 goals, 30 assists) ... named all-section, all-area, all-conference and St. Viator rookie of the year ... tabbed by School Sports Magazine as one of the top-10 recruits in the Chicago area ... was a starting point guard for the St. Viator basketball team as a freshman ... three-year member of student council ... also involved in campus ministry ... member of the National Honor Society and National French Honor Society ... an honor-roll student and principal academic honors student throughout her high school career.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON JOHNSON - "Brittany is another central midfielder who has great technical ability and very good size. She reminds me of Jill Krivacek, who became one of our best players during her tenure here. Like Jill, Brittany is very good at keeping possession and has great ability to find players with her passing. She is a prototypical playmaker, especially the way we play midfield at Notre Dame. She has great leadership qualities and possesses that competitive quality that's so hard to find. Brittany comes from the highly successful Eclipse program out of the Chicago area and is another in what's becoming a long line of great players from this club. Their coach, Rory Dames, is very highly-regarded and another one of the best in the country. Brittany has competed at the highest level while winning a national championship and she will be very successful here at Notre Dame."
JOHNSON ON HER DECISION - "For as long as I can remember, it has been my academic and athletic goal to be able to attend the University of Notre Dame. When I first visited the campus, I knew that I needed to focus on realizing that dream. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to go to one of the most prestigious Catholic universities in the country, and to represent their women's soccer team. The incredible opportunity now awaits me to push myself even further toward achieving the ultimate goal at the next level: winning a collegiate national championship."
KNAACK BIO NOTES - Member of ODP Region III team in 2003, also playing for ODP North Texas program from 2002-04 ... invited to 2003 National Team Camp, in Austin, Texas ... key member of the Dallas Texans from 2001-2007, helping team advance to the USYS national semifinals in 2004 and '06 ... led Texans to three straight North Texas titles and a spot in the USYS Region III tournament (2004-06) ... helped Texans win 2006 State Cup title ... scored winning goal in final game of the 2005 Disney Showcase (the Texans also won that event in 2005) ... received the Texans "outstanding attacker" award ... played for the Tejanos club team from 1999-2001 ... entering her fourth season as a member of the varsity soccer team at Martin High School ... led MHS in scoring each of her first three seasons, earning first team all-district honors each season (also named all-region as a sophomore and junior) ... named Martin's "attacker of the year" in 2004, when she was the only freshman on the varsity squad ... set MHS record for most assists (26) ... named one of three "players to watch" by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ... received all-tournament honors at the 2004 Plano Invitational ... recent Notre Dame baseball pitcher Tyler Jones also attended Martin HS.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON KNAACK - "Taylor is an athletic forward who is very mobile and quick. She is a tireless worker and has that ability to get in behind defenses to score goals. She is versatile and can play multiple positions, which makes her very attractive to our style of play. Taylor plays for the Dallas Texans and coach Kenny Medina, who is one of the best in the business, so she knows how to win championships and how to handle pressure. Her personality and flair will add to our long tradition of producing great attacking players. She'll clearly come into our season prepared to play right away and should be a great addition to our commitment to attacking soccer."
KNAACK ON HER DECISION - "I knew the first time I set foot on the Notre Dame campus that it was exactly where I wanted to be. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country. I am very fortunate to be playing under the leadership of Randy Waldrum and the coaching staff. On my visit, I was amazed at how tight-knit and determined to win the girls were and how the traditions were so evident in every student at Notre Dame. Not only am I privileged to be a part of such a great soccer program, but I also realize that Notre Dame will help me establish my future."
SCHEIDLER BIO NOTES - Three-year member of ODP Region II (2005-07) who was named a 2006 NSCAA high school All-American, also earning the NSCAA player-of-the-year award for the state of Indiana while collecting NSCAA Scholar All-America honors ... played with Region II team at 2007 inter-regional event, in Ventura, Calif. ... also toured Costa Rica with Region II (spring 2006) and played in 2005 inter-regional event (Boca Raton, Fla.) ... member of ODP Indiana state team since 2003 (Region II player pool in '03) ... fifth-year captain of the Carmel United Crossfire club team (2003-07), leading team to four of the past five state titles ('02, '03, '05, '06) ... founding member of the Carmel Crossfire, in 1996 ... member of Crossfire team that was the 2002 Region II runner-up (also regional semifinalist in 2004 and '05) ... helped Crossfire win league titles in 2004, '05 and '06 ... set Bishop Chatard High School record for career points (183), after totaling 73 goals and 37 assists ... helped lead Chatard to top-20 state rankings in all four of her seasons, with only one class/division in the entire state (BCHS never had been previously ranked in the history of the women's soccer program) ... served as team captain as a junior and senior ... named first team all-district and first team all-city in each of her final three seasons ... tabbed the states' player of the year as a senior in 2006, per the coaches association and the Indianapolis Star ... her other 2006 honors also included first team all-state, city player of the year, team MVP and the "heart of the team" award ... named first team all-state as a junior and a second-team pick during her sophomore season ... a first team academic all-state pick in her final two seasons ... owns a 4.42 GPA ... former Notre Dame baseball pitcher Mike Harmon and current senior baseball captain Mike Dury (a lefthanded pitcher and first baseman) also attended Bishop Chatard, with Harmon going on to coach the baseball team at his high school alma mater.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON SCHEIDLER - "Julie is another player from Indiana, to go along with Kerri Inglis, Susan Pinnick, and Rachel VanderGenugten, that we are excited about. She has a tremendous amount of heart and competitiveness, to go along with very good athleticism. We believe that she will only get better once she is in an environment like Notre Dame. She comes from a very good Carmel Crossfire team, a club that is clearly one of the best in the state, so we know she has been well-coached and knows how to win. We see her playing outside back for us and we like her commitment and willingness to attack, as well as defend. Julie plays within her abilities, is a very technical player and is a real student of the game. Her competitiveness and desire to always be trying to learn more will make her successful here at Notre Dame."
SCHEIDLER ON HER DECISION - "Notre Dame is one of those places that whenever I'm there, I get this feeling unlike anything I've ever experienced. There is really no way to describe it, but it's like you know you were meant to be there. Notre Dame has been in my family for three generations, from my grandfather to my older brother, and it has always been my dream to follow in their footsteps. Being given the opportunity not only to attend an extraordinary school academically, but also be apart of one of the most prestigious soccer programs in the country, is truly a dream come true. From the beautiful campus to the timeless traditions Notre Dame holds, it really is one of a kind. I am so excited to not only play soccer with some of the top players in the nation, but to be coached by some of the finest as well. These next four years at ND will undoubtedly be some of the most memorable times of my life and I can't wait to get started!"
SOHN BIO NOTES - Member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team player pool in 2006 ... also in ODP Region I player pool from 2002-05 and participated in ODP national-team camp (July 2004, in Seattle) ... led Eastern New York team to the ODP Region I title during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, in addition to winning the 2005 ODP national title - with a 1-0 win over Washington state ODP in the final game (March '05; in Plano, Texas) ... four-year captain and four-year starter at center back for that talented team (2001-05) ... current member of the Albertson Fury `88s club team ... previously played three seasons as leading member of Long Island-based ISA (Intense Soccer Academy) Magic club team that won two state cups ('04, '05) and annually was ranked among national top-10 ... helped ISA reach 2005 USYS regional-title game, losing heartbreaker to rival PDA team from New Jersey (played in Virginia City) ... anchored a defense that posted nine straight shutouts in state cup and regional play, prior to the loss to PDA (the lone goal came on a controversial penalty kick) ... helped ISA Magic win three major premier tournaments: WAGS in 2003, PDA in 2004 and the Disney Showcase in 2004-2005 ... led defense that shut out nation's #3-ranked team, the Eclipse Select, in the Disney final ... earlier played for Sachem Apaches club team that won 1999 Eastern New York state cup title ... played one season at Sachem High School and then a final season at Sachem High School East, following two-year transition in which the school was split into two units ... senior leader of 2006 SHSE team that went 19-1, won county and Long Island titles, and advance to state semifinals ... central defender on that 2006 team that allowed just five goals in the 20-game season (she was on the field for just one of those goals allowed), earning all-league, all-conference, all-county and all-county academic honors (also named to the Newsday all-Long Island team) ... helped Sachem HS win share of the 2003 county title, while starting at sweeper during that freshman season ... a talented three-sport athlete as a youth who had to give up volleyball and lacrosse when she entered high school ... named team MVP in all three of her sports as an 8th-grader (2002-03), when she led those teams to a 34-2 combined record ... served as setter for 2002 volleyball team that went 12-0 ... member of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society ... named to the Scholar-Athlete Team ... received numerous other academic and art awards at Sachem.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON SOHN - "Stephanie is a very athletic central defender. The thing we really liked about Stephanie was her ability to play very simple and within not only herself, but within the system her team plays. She has a tremendous upside and one that we feel will only get better in our training environment. Stephanie has great tracking ability and is a very smart player. She reads the game extremely well and is rarely caught out of position. Her discipline to keep her defensive shape is very strong and will be a great addition to our style of play, especially the way we defend. She has a great personality, is extremely coachable and we expect her to come in and help our program right away. Stephanie has been a part of the national team pool, which will enhance her confidence as she comes to Notre Dame."
SOHN ON HER DECISION - "I didn't think finding the perfect team, the right coach, a nice campus and
a good education all in one place was possible - until I visited Notre Dame. With an amazingly beautiful campus and a legacy of tradition unparalleled by any other school, it was impossible not to fall in love with ND after the first five minutes of my unofficial visit. Meeting the coaching staff only gave me more comfort, and with one of the most esteemed educational programs in the nation, there was little to dissuade me of my decision to commit. It wasn't until I met the team that I became 100% positive that Notre Dame was the school for me. I strongly believe that team chemistry is the most important key to success, and after seeing that the girls were more like a family than a team, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part it. I am unbelievably excited about the years to be spent at Notre Dame. I have no doubt that the skill and competitiveness of the team ,plus the education provided, will leave me with one of the best experiences of my life."
WEISS BIO NOTES - Named a 2006 NSCAA high school All-American (also an NSCAA all-region pick in 2005 and '06) ... former member of the U.S. Under-15 National Team, also a member of the U-16 player pool in 2004 and '05 ... played with Adidas U-17 All-Star team that toured Europe, also a member of the Region I team that competed in the U-19 Adidas Cup ('87s) ... played for ODP Region I team from 2001-06, also a member of her state ODP team from 2000-06 ... 5-foot-11 standout in the goal who helped Immaculate High School win four state titles, earning MVP honors in for the 2006 state tournament ... did not allow a goal during 2005 and '06 state tournament play ... named all-state and first team all-conference in each of her four seasons (two conference titles) ... captained IHS team her final two seasons ... will have her #23 jersey retired by Immaculate High School ... helped lead CFC Wolves club team to 2005 and '06 state titles ... played varsity basketball during her first three seasons at IHS, helping team reach state semifinals in her sophomore season earning second team all-state honors as a junior (when she also served as team captain) ... member of the National Honor Society and a HOBY Leadership Representative.
WALDRUM COMMENTS ON WEISS - "Nikki is one of the top goalkeepers in the country. She has great size and athleticism and will bring a combination of these traits to our legacy of great goalkeepers at Notre Dame. Nikki dominates the penalty area, has a great presence about her and is a very imposing player in goal. Her technical abilities are very sound and her experience with the national team will be invaluable. She reads the game very well and will make the adjustments to the college game very quickly. We're excited to have a goalkeeper of Nikki's quality come to Notre Dame and she will challenge right away for a place in goal for 2007. We knew right away that Nikki was the goalkeeper we wanted and her competitiveness and drive will no doubt make her very successful within our program."
WEISS ON HER DECISION - "From the moment I first stepped foot on campus, there was no doubt that Notre Dame was the school for me. The combination of academics, athletics and an unbelievable atmosphere was like nothing I had ever experienced. Obviously, the women's soccer program has been incredibly successful on the field. But the even greater attraction for me was the chemistry of the girls on the team and with the coaches. At Notre Dame, I know I will be challenged to reach my potential, both in the classroom and on the field. Attending Notre Dame is the chance of a lifetime for any student. And having the chance to play soccer for the Irish is even more amazing. I can't wait to get there!"