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    Notre Dame Nearing Start Of Program's 20th Women's Soccer Season (preseason roundup)

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior midfielder Brittany Bock is one of five Notre Dame players who have been tabbed for 2007 preseason all-BIG EAST honors.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior midfielder Brittany Bock is one of five Notre Dame players who have been tabbed for 2007 preseason all-BIG EAST honors.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Aug. 16, 2007

    With the start of the 20th season of Notre Dame women's soccer just around the corner, various preseason honors and national polls have been announced in the past few days. Most notably, two Notre Dame veterans - junior forward Kerri Hanks and senior F/M Amanda Cinalli - have been included on the Hermann Trophy preseason watch list while nearly half of the preseason all-BIG EAST Conference team features Irish players: Hanks (the 2006 Hermann Trophy recipient), Cinalli, junior midfielder Brittany Bock, junior defender Carrie Dew and sophomore forward Michele Weissenhofer (with Hanks and Dew picked to repeat as the league's respective offensive and defensive players of the year). Two preseason national polls have been released, with Notre Dame listed second per the National Soccer Coaches Associate and third according to the Soccer Buzz women's soccer website (other preseason polls are TBA).

    (Note that more than 1,000 advance tickets already have been sold for the upcoming exhibition game at Alumni Field, as ND will face UNC in a rematch of the 2006 NCAA title game; tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth/seniors, with ND/SMC/HC students, faculty and staff admitted free; half-price tickets are available for tickets of 20 or more; call 574-631-7356 for advance tickets or go to http://und.cstv.com/tickets/nd-tickets.html to purchase online).

    A large crowd is expected for the upcoming exhibition game versus North Carolina (Sunday, Aug. 19; 1:00, at Alumni Field) - as the Irish and Tar Heels will meet in a rematch of the 2006 NCAA title game.


    The Notre Dame women's soccer guide recently was completed, meaning that the focus now can shift to providing plenty of preseason information on und.com over the next few days. Look for the following offerings during the preseason, leading up to the regular-season opener on Aug. 31 versus Michigan:

    • Updated player and coaching staff biographies - to be added to und.com, along with headshots for all of the newcomers

    • Complete season preview - featuring quotes from head coach Randy Waldrum

    Randy Waldrum video interview - a video interview with Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum has been posted, prior to the exhibition with UNC (all video content at und.com is free-of-charge);
    Watch The Coach Waldrum Interview from Aug. 16 Now!

    note that video interviews with three ND players (Hanks, Bock and junior M Becca Mendoza) now are available via the und.com women's soccer "Video View" main-page tab

    • Preseason exhibition previews, game program PDF, audio feed and game recaps - the Irish will be facing a pair of top teams during the preseason, on Aug. 19 versus North Carolina (1:00 p.m. EDT, at ND's Alumni Field) and then Aug. 23 against Virginia (new start time of 4:30, at Ft. Wayne Sport Club-note this is a new venue this year; possible audio feed); live internet audio of the ND-UNC game (and ND-UVa game, if available) will be streamed free-of-charge on und.com

    • Summer soccer recap - several veterans and incoming ND players were active on elite teams in recent months; most notably, Cinalli and Weissenhofer helped the U.S. U-21 National Team win the annual Nordic Cup while sophomore D Rachel VanderGenutgen and her Carmel Cyclones club team won the USYS U-19 national title (another sophomore D, Ashley Galovic, advance to the U-18 national final-four weekend with her Dallas-based Solar club)

    • Final 2006 season review - a look back at one of the most successful season in Notre Dame women's soccer history

    • Academic excellence - a story detailing the ongoing success in the classroom for the ND women's soccer program

    • Meet the newcomers - on overview of the team's 10 newcomers, a group which includes a rare transfer (Elise Weber) and walk-on Jennie Bireley

    • ND women's soccer A-to-Z - get geared up for the 2006 season with the annual A-Z glossary of Notre Dame women's soccer, featuring the unique "Where Are They Now" section that includes career updates for all of the program's former players

    • 20 Questions - get a quick look on various Irish players

    • Captains corner - a short feature on the 2007 ND team captains (TBA)

    • World Cup preview - several Notre Dame alums (with the U.S. and Canadian national teams) are preparing for next month's Women's World Cup, to be held in China

    • 20-Year retrospectives - historical features will be posted on und.com throughout the fall, in commemoration of the program's 20th season

    ND alums in the coaching ranks - updates on several former Notre Dame players who are active in collegiate coaching this season (among them Kelly Lindsey, Monica Gerardo, Lindsey Jones, Erika Bohn and Jen Buczkowski)

    Senior accounting major Ashley Jones posted a 4.0 GPA during both semesters of her junior year and now owns a 3.975 cumulative GPA (with four 4.0 terms, 26 total A grades and two A-minuses).


    Here's a rundown of other preseason news items (including notes on the Hermann Trophy and BIG EAST preseason honors):

    Start time changes/venue clarification - note that there have been three start time adjustments from the original 2007 schedule, for games vs. Virginia (now are 4:30 EDT), Penn State (12:30) and Connecticut (11:30) ... also, fans are advised of the venue change from previous years for the soccer games in Ft. Wayne (which will be held at the Ft. Wayne Sport Club - look for more details forthcoming on und.com) ... always be sure to check und.com for changes to original start times

    Alumni Field parking changes - due to the recent groundbreaking of Melissa Cook Stadium (located south of Eck Baseball Stadium), a new soccer practice field has been constructed south of Alumni Field ... due to this change, the traditional parking area for Notre Dame soccer games no longer will be in that area south of the field ... instead, fans will be directed to enter campus off Edison, on the Leahy Drive road that runs west of the soccer practice fields (and west of Eck Stadium) ... parking then will be in the Gold Lot that is utilized for baseball games (proceed from lot to access road and go east towards Alumni Field)

    Television coverage - several early-season ND women's soccer games will be televised (full details TBA and will be passed on at und.com) ... those games include ND-Michigan on Aug. 31 (Comcast Local), ND-Florida on Sept. 2 (Sunshine Network) and ND-Penn State on Sept. 23 (ESPN-U)

    BIG EAST preseason notes - Cinalli will be attempting to become the fifth ND player ever named all-BIG EAST four times (others include 1996-99 defender Jen Grubb, 1997-2000 midfielder Anne Makinen, 2001-05 D/F Candace Chapman and 2003-06 defender Christie Shaner) ... Hanks could join Grubb and Makinen as the only ND players to be named first team all-BIG EAST as a freshman, sophomore and junior ... three others were all-BIG EAST three times in their careers: midfielder Holly Manthei (1995-97; ND did not play in the BIG EAST her freshman season), Chapman ('01, '02, '05) and forward Amy Warner (2000, '02, '03) ... Hanks was one of two unanimous picks to the preseason all-BIG EAST teams ... aside from Notre Dame, no team had more than two players among the 13 preseason all-BIG EAST picks ... Notre Dame was a unanimous pick to repeat as the BIG EAST National Division champions, followed by Rutgers, Villanova, Louisville, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Cincinnati and DePaul ... West Virginia (10 first-place votes) was tabbed first in the preseason polling for the BIG EAST American Division, followed by Connecticut (six first-place votes), Marquette, St. John's, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse and Providence ... the Irish already have won 10 regular-season titles and nine tournament titles, in 12 previous BIG EAST seasons ... ND has won nearly 92% of its all-time BIG EAST regular-season games (106-8-4) and is 27-2-0 in BIG EAST Tournament play ... the Irish head into 2007 riding a 12-year, 72-game unbeaten streak at home in games vs. BIG EAST opponents (71-0-1) ... ND also carries an active 24-game unbeaten streak in all games vs. BIG EAST teams (23-0-1, since mid-2005) ... see the following link for the preseason BIG EAST awards and poll:

    http://www.bigeast.org/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/080807aae.html

    Hermann Trophy watch list - Notre Dame was one of 14 schools with multiple players (Hanks and Cinalli) among the 45 who are on the 2007 Hermann Trophy preseason watch list ... the BIG EAST has the second-most players from any one conference on the list, with others including WVU midfielder Amanda Cicchini, Villanova goalkeeper Jillian Loyden and the UConn duo of midfielder Meghan Schnur and defender Brittany Taylor ... no conference has more schools represented on the watch list than the BIG EAST (5) ... ND's 2007 non-conference opponents include 15 players on the watch list: UNC midfielder Yael Avervuch, Tobin Heath and Allie Long (a Penn State transfer), UNC defender Jessica Maxwell, two from Virginia (D Nikki Kryzsik, F Jeff Rostedt), three from Florida (M Ameera Abdullah, F Stacy Bishop, D Lauren Hyde), Santa Clara forward Meagan Snell, two from Stanford (D Rachel Buehler, F Kelley O'Hara), Oklahoma State midfielder Yolanda Odenyo and two from PSU (M Sheree Grady and D Denay Riley) ... Cinalli becomes at least the 11th different ND player to be named to a Hermann Trophy watch list during the current decade, with others including the impressive grouping of midfielders Anne Makinen, Jen Buczkowski and Jill Krivacek, defenders Vanessa Pruzinsky, Candace Chapman, Melissa Tancredi and Carrie Dew, and forwards Amy Warner, Katie Thorlakson and Hanks ... see the following link for the complete 2007 watch list:

    http://www.nscaa.com/articles/20070808113254200.php

    Preseason polls - when including the preseason exhibitions vs. UNC and Virginia, the Irish are set to face as many as 12 different teams that are ranked (or received votes) in the NSCAA and/or Soccer Buzz preseason polls ... Stanford is ranked as high as 6th in the two polls that have been released, Florida and Penn State both as high as 7th, Santa Clara as high as 8th, Connecticut as high as 10th, UVa as high as 11th and Rutgers as high as 12th (that's six in the top-10 and eight in the top-12) ... ND's challenging start to the season includes the pair of tough exhibitions and then four top-10 opponents (Florida, SCU, Stanford and Penn State) in the first eight games ... other teams on ND's 2007 schedule that already have been mentioned in the preseason polls include Villanova and Oklahoma State, plus potential BIG EAST postseason opponents West Virginia and Marquette (ND will not face WVU or MU in the 2007 regular season) ... Washington State, which will compete in the ND Inn at Saint Mary's Classic (but will not face the Irish) also has received preseason mention in the national polls ... see the following links for the two preseason polls that have been released:

    http://www.soccerbuzz.com/2007rankings/rankings2007.htm

    http://www.nscaa.com/seniorRes.php?it=321

     

     

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