June 10, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame sophomore defender Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) is among a group of 24 women's soccer players who have been invited to compete at the United States Under-23 Women's National Team Training Camp June 12-19 in suburban Cleveland. The camp, which will be held at Premier Soccer Academies (a facility developed by former U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Brad Friedel) in Lorain, Ohio, features numerous collegiate players, as well as a handful of players already competing in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS).
During its week-long training session, the American U-23 squad will play two exhibition matches against the Cleveland Internationals of the United Soccer League's (USL) W-League. Two current Notre Dame women's soccer players are on the Internationals roster, with senior midfielder Courtney Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) and junior midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) both spending part of their summer with the squad. United States head coach Bill Irwin is using the camp as an evaluation platform for selecting the 18-player American squad that will travel to England for a pair of matches next month.
Schuveiller (last name pronounced SHOE-vy-ler) started all 27 matches as a freshman for the Irish last season, ranking third on team (and second among non-goalkeepers) with 2,171 minutes played while earning second-team Freshman All-America honors and Great Lakes Region All-Freshman Team accolades from Soccer Buzz. She picked an opportune time for her first career goal, heading home a corner kick in the 19th minute of Notre Dame's 2-0 win over sixth-ranked Florida State in the 2008 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals at Alumni Field. She also collected her first career assist in the season-opening 7-0 victory over Michigan, feeding Augustin for the second goal of the night.
However, Schuveiller's biggest contributions came on the defensive end, where she helped anchor a Notre Dame back line that posted 18 shutouts and a 0.44 goals-against average (GAA) for the season. The Irish defense also limited its opponents to 74 shots on goal all season (an average of 2.74 per match) and kept Notre Dame either in front or tied for all but four minutes during the entire 2008 campaign, as the top-ranked Irish rolled to a 26-1 record and their seventh NCAA national championship match appearance (third in five seasons).
"I'm so proud of Jessica for earning this invitation to train with the U-23s," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "It's a well-deserved honor for someone who has already shown herself to be an invaluable part of our program. She has worked so hard from the day she set foot on campus to make herself and her teammates better and I think that showed in her play last season and on into this spring. I have no doubt she will come into camp ready to give nothing less than her absolute best, and I'm confident that no matter the result, she's going to gain some tremendous international experience that will benefit her and our program during the upcoming season."
Schuveiller will be making her first appearance at a U.S. National Team training camp, having joined a extensive list of Notre Dame players who have competed for Team USA at the U-23 level. Most recently, three current Irish players -- senior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), junior defender/midfielder Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) -- are part of the U-23 player pool, along with two recent Notre Dame graduates and current WPS players in forward/midfielder Brittany Bock (now with the Los Angeles Sol) and defender Elise Weber (competing for Saint Louis Athletica). Fowlkes and Henderson both traveled to Portland, Oregon, for a U-23 camp in April (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, Bock 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 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 camp for the second time in her career prior to the Americans' 4-0 win over Canada on May 25 in Toronto.
Three other Irish alumnae -- forward/midfielder Amanda Cinalli (Saint Louis Athletica), forward Kerri Hanks (Saint Louis Athletica) and defender Carrie Dew (FC Gold Pride) -- just completed stints with the United States U-23 squad, with Cinalli scoring a goal in the Americans' 3-0 win over England at a tournament in La Manga, Spain, back in February. 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).
Schuveiller is among seven starters and 23 monogram recipients who will be returning for the Irish in 2009. Notre Dame is putting the finishing touches on its schedule for the upcoming season, and is expected to make that docket public in the next few weeks.