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)
ODP/Club Team: 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.
High School: 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.
Personal Data: 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