April 26, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
Notre Dame head women's soccer coach Randy Waldrum announced Thursday that two more student-athletes have chosen to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Fighting Irish, declaring their commitment to enroll at Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2012.
Elyse Hight, a 6-0 goalkeeper (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness HS/Oklahoma FC) and Naomi Willett, a 5-7 goalkeeper (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HS/So Cal Blues) have accepted offers of admission to Notre Dame and will be joining the Fighting Irish Class of 2012. Collectively, Top Drawer Soccer has ranked Notre Dame's incoming 10-player class as the No. 1 incoming freshman group in the nation.
"As I said back in February when we announced the majority of our incoming class, this could be one of our best freshman groups ever," Waldrum said. "It's loaded with talent, and talent that is versatile, which we love here in our program due to the way we play. Overall, this is a large class, which is unusual for us, but it's a class that will come in and impact our program right away. I believe the fans are going to love watching this group play!"
Three-time national champion Notre Dame returns eight starters and 11 monogram winners from last year's squad that posted a 10-8-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the 19th consecutive season. Led by Waldrum (who also heads up the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team program), 2011 all-BIG EAST Conference midfielder Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit), 2010 all-conference midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) and 2011 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita), the Fighting Irish are winding down their spring schedule, a slate that has seen Notre Dame go 2-1-1 thus far, picking up home wins over Purdue and Western Michigan, as well as a draw with the reigning NCAA Division II national runner-up Grand Valley State and a last-minute loss to defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion Dayton in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Fighting Irish will play their final two spring matches this weekend, beginning with a 4:30 p.m. (ET) contest on Friday against the Haitian National Team at Alumni Stadium, followed by a noon (ET) matchup on Sunday against Iowa at the Notre Dame Practice Field (located just south of old Alumni Field adjacent to Frank Eck Stadium). Tickets for the Haiti match are $5 (adults) and $3 (youths 21-and-younger/seniors 55-and-older), and may be purchased at the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on the day of the match, while admission is free for Sunday's contest with Iowa.
The Fighting Irish are in the process of finalizing details on the schedule for the program's 25th intercollegiate season, with the full silver anniversary docket for 2012 expected to be released within the next month.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (A href="http://www.twitter.com/ndsoccernews">@NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
A capsule look at the newest additions to the Notre Dame women's soccer program follows:
ELYSE HIGHT, 6-0, Goalkeeper (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness High School/Oklahoma FC)NAOMI WILLETT, 5-7, Goalkeeper (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente High School/So Cal Blues)
Individual Rankings: Earned four-star ranking in the 2012 Top Drawer Soccer national club soccer player ratings ... among top 10 in Top Drawer Soccer South Region club soccer player ratings.
Olympic Development Program (ODP)/Club Team: Starting goalkeeper for Oklahoma ODP squad from 2006-10 ... spent three seasons with Oklahoma Futbal Club program in Edmond, Okla., led by coach Stephen Phillips ... collected 39 shutouts and helped team to a 49-10-8 record while in goal ... led all state clubs in shutouts in 2009 (17) and 2011 (12) ... twice shut out defending national club champion, blanking San Diego Surf in 2010 and Dallas' Solar Red in 2011 ... helped Oklahoma FC to consecutive state titles in 2010 and 2011 ... club also finished in top three at Region III Premier League West (third in 2010, second in 2011) and won three titles at the Beat The Heat tournament (2009-11) ... also spent time with Edmond Soccer Club prior to its merger with the North Oklahoma City Soccer Club (that formed Oklahoma FC), helping Edmond SC to 2008 state title.
High School: On track to graduate from Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, Okla., this spring ... plays for head coach Sally Schmidt ... team currently in season, beginning Class 6A state playoffs on May 1 ... team captain ... has played in seven matches this season (due to other sport commitments and injury), posting four shutouts and helping team to 12-3-0 record to date (5-2 with her in goal) ... has compiled 35 shutouts in her prep career, while team has 48-11 record when she is between the pipes ... led state with 11 shutouts as sophomore in 2010 ... has paced Bishop McGuinness to state finals berth (Class 5A - 2010), and two trips to the state semifinals (Class 4A - 2009; Class 5A - 2011), as well as two district titles (2009, 2010) and a district runner-up finish in 2011 ... three-time all-city (first team in 2011) and all-district selection, with 2012 honors pending ... remarkably-gifted all-around athlete who lettered in four sports during high school career, also garnering recognition in basketball, track & field and volleyball ... two-time Class 5A all-state selection in basketball (2011, 2012) ... averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a senior and team captain in 2012 ... helped team to Class 5A state title in 2011, school's first girls' basketball crown in 34 years (was state tournament MVP) ... three-time all-city selection, earning first-team honors in 2011 and 2012 ... three-time state track & field championship qualifier in the shot put (2009-11) ... won three meet titles in that event during 2011 season ... three-year starter on Bishop McGuinness varsity volleyball team.
Personal Data: Born Dec. 6, 1993, in Oklahoma City, Okla. ... full name is Elyse Christine Hight ... daughter of Nannette and Joe Hight ... has older sister, Elena ... will be the first Oklahoma native to suit up the Fighting Irish, making it the 33rd different state to produce a Notre Dame women's soccer player during the program's 25-year history ... has expressed an early interest in pursuing a business major through Notre Dame's top-ranked Mendoza College of Business.
Did You Know?: Had opportunity to play a fifth sport at Bishop McGuinness High School, having been invited to join the school's football team as a punter/kicker during her sophomore year (2009-10), but overlap with other previous sport commitments did not make that possible ... won't have to make much of an adjustment in terms of her team's nickname -- Bishop McGuinness athletic teams also are known as the Irish ... Bishop McGuinness is no stranger to Notre Dame soccer, having produced Steven Perry ('11), who earned first-team all-BIG EAST and Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player honors as a senior in 2010, and went on to be a 2011 draft pick by Major League Soccer's New England Revolution (he currently plays for the Wilmington (N.C.) Hammerheads in the United Soccer League's Pro Division) ... an accomplished poet, she has earned three honorable mention citations from the National Writers' Workshop Poetry Contest from 2008-11 ... has helped her school to four consecutive top-three finishes and all-state honors in Oklahoma's annual yearbook competition ... four-year member of National Honor Society, serving as its historian in 2011-12 ... four-year member of French Club, serving as president in 2009-10 and treasurer in 2010-11 ... student council representative in 2010-11 ... member of executive board for school's Glee Club in 2011-12 ... four-year member of school's Spirit Club ... dedicated to community service, with more than 200 hours to her credit, including time spent as volunteer coordinator for Kickstart Soccer League for Autistic Children (2010) and founder of the Matt Allen Cancer Drive (that raised $2,700 in a two-week span) ... is a talented musician, playing the electric bass and singing ... has enjoyed family vacations to such places as Australia, Tasmania and Hawai'i.
Waldrum on Hight...
"Elyse is a young lady I saw a couple of years ago while recruiting in Oklahoma. She then attended one of our summer camps so we had a chance to get to know her. She's got great size and athleticism and is very solid in the technical qualities needed to be a top-level goalkeeper. I'm also very impressed with her as a person and think she'll be a great fit for our program. I expect her to come in and compete to play right away."
Member of 2010 Southern California ODP player pool ... played for national powerhouse So Cal Blues club program under head coach Larry Draluck ... helped team to U.S. Youth Soccer National League finals in 2010, and 2009 Nike Manchester United Premier Cup title (only girls' 14 (G14) side not to allow a goal during the tournament, covering six matches) ... team also won 2009 SoCal Coast Soccer League title, as well twice claiming SoCal Surf Cup (2010, 2011) -- did not allow a goal in either Surf Cup title run ... team won 2010 and 2011 So Cal Blues Cup championship ... reached finals for 2011 USA Cup in Minneapolis ... earned G17 Golden Boot award after not allowing a goal for second consecutive year in that event ... spent time during 2011 as guest player with Davis (Calif.) Legacy (same club attended by fellow incoming freshman forward Anna Maria Gilbertson), helping that club reach finals of Presidents' Day Tournament in Phoenix while winning three penalty-kick shootouts.
Poised to graduate from San Clemente High School in San Clemente, Calif., this spring ... played her sophomore year for head coach Stacey Finnerty, before electing to focus on club soccer and step away from high school soccer competition ... in one season at San Clemente (2009), led team to California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division I state finals berth, as well as CIF Southern Section and conference titles ... spent her freshman year at San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., playing varsity soccer that season as a forward.
Born Oct. 5, 1994, in San Clemente, Calif. ... daughter of Debra and David Willett ... has younger brother, Daniel ... will be one of four Californians on the 2012 Notre Dame roster, along with rising senior goalkeeper Maddie Fox
(San Jose), rising sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy
(Mission Viejo) and Gilbertson (Davis) ... second player from So Cal Blues in as many seasons to come to Notre Dame, following path laid out by Bohaboy ... has expressed an early interest in pursuing an architecture major through Notre Dame's College of Architecture.
Did You Know?:
Has spent time for many years as youth soccer official ... avid student of French language and took spring break trip with family to Switzerland and France (would enjoy chance to live in French-speaking country later in life) ... a talented musician who has played the violin for the past nine years while also singing, two areas she intends to continue pursuing at Notre Dame ...participant in student government as a junior in 2010-11, serving as class president and publicity commissioner.
Waldrum on Willett...
"I saw Naomi play for several years ago with the So Cal Blues, and then had a chance to work with her briefly at a college prep camp at TCU a year or so ago. It was there that I was able to see first-hand that she is highly competitive, very good technically, and also has some great leadership qualities. She also plays for one of the top clubs in the nation, so she is use to high-level competition. I expect her to come in and compete to play right away as well. I think she will bring a personality to our team, and especially to our stable of goalkeepers, and will push everyone to become better. Like Elyse, I believe Naomi is going to be a great fit here at Notre Dame."
2012 NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S SOCCER INCOMING FRESHMAN CLASS
NAME POS. HT. HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL/CLUB
Stephanie Campo D 5-7 Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge HS/PDA
Anna Maria Gilbertson F 5-8 Davis, Calif./Davis HS/Davis Legacy
Elyse Hight GK 6-0 Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness HS/Oklahoma FC
Katie Naughton D 5-10 Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove HS/Sockers FC Chicago
Cari Roccaro F/M 5-7 East Islip, N.Y./East Islip HS/Albertson Fury
Mary Schwappach M/F 5-10 Denver, Colo./Mullen HS/Colorado Rush
Crystal Thomas F 5-3 Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy/Sockers FC Chicago
Brittany Von Rueden D 5-11 Mequon, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels HS/FC Milwaukee
Naomi Willett GK 5-7 San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HS/So Cal Blues
Glory Williams M 5-8 Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands HS/Sting Dallas
-- ND --