Aug. 8, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Five-time defending BIG EAST women's soccer champion Notre Dame has been picked to win the BIG EAST Mid-Atlantic division as voted by the conference coaches. Connecticut was the selection to capture the Northeast division. The Irish went 6-0-0 in 1999 in the Mid-Atlantic in the first year of the divisional format. All-American senior midfielder Anne Makinen, senior forward Meotis Erikson and sophomore defender Vanessa Pruzinsky were named to the preseason all-BIG EAST team. Notre Dame, ranked second in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll after reaching the 1999 NCAA Women's College Cup title game, open their 13th season at 1:00 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 27, at Alumni Field against Detroit.
Prior to the season opener against the Titans, the Irish women's soccer team will make its first foreign trip when it departs for Brazil on Thurs., Aug. 10. Notre Dame will play four games against teams consisting of members of the Brazilian national team in its 10 days on Brazil. The Irish will take on Guarani F.C. on Aug. 13, Portuguesa de Deportes on Aug. 16, Sao Paulo F.C. on Aug. 17 and Juventus F.C. on Aug. 19. Notre Dame also will visit Vila Belmiro and Santos F.C., the famous soccer club of Pele. After a trip to the beaches at Guaruja on Sun., Aug. 20, the Irish depart Brazil that evening and arrive back on campus on Mon., Aug. 21, with classes scheduled start on Tues., Aug. 22.
"One of the reasons we chose to go to Brazil is that after losing six seniors, it's important that we integrate the freshmen into games as quickly as we can," says 1999 BIG EAST coach-of-the-year Randy Waldrum. "The quality of the games and length of training will help us with our young players, since we are going to have a quite a few of them make an impact on the program right away."
Check www.und.com during the Irish adventures in Brazil to read the diary kept by senior captain Kerri Bakker.