Aug. 16, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame women's soccer senior tri-captains Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner), Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas/Plano West) and Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) each have earned preseason national award recognition in separate announcements made late Monday and early Tuesday. Henderson is a double honoree, joining Barg on the 45-player watch list for the 2011 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy (presented annually by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to the nation's top Division I player), and also appearing with Schuveiller on the 25-person Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.
Notre Dame is one of eight schools to place two players on this year's Hermann Trophy watch list, with the others being Boston College, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Texas A&M. Henderson was the first runner-up for the 2010 Hermann Trophy (and is the lone returnee from among last year's three finalists), while Barg was a semifinalist for the '09 Hermann Trophy. The BIG EAST Conference had a total of five players named to this year's Hermann Trophy watch list, tying the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences for the second-most selections from one league behind the Atlantic Coast Conference (9).
Notre Dame is one of only two programs to field four or more different recipients of the prestigious Hermann Trophy since its inception in 1988, with Cindy Daws (1996), Anne Makinen (2000) and Kerri Hanks (2006 & 2008) taking home the crystal ball award. The 2011 Hermann Trophy winner will be selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the NSCAA, with the list of 15 semifinalists chosen by a coaches committee, with voting for the award taking place in late November and the three finalists revealed in early December. All three will be invited to a news conference on Jan. 6, 2012, at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, where the winner will be announced, with a presentation banquet to follow.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish also are one of just three teams in the nation with multiple selections to the Soccer America Preseason All-America Team, joining Boston College and Stanford in that select company. The BIG EAST had four honorees on the list, placing second among all conferences behind only the ACC (7).
Henderson, who also was unanimously voted as the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in coaches' balloting announced last week, earned the 2010 Honda Sports Award, was the only women's soccer player nominated for an ESPY Award ("Best Female College Athlete") and was a consensus first-team All-America selection last year, in addition to taking home the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year award and Most Outstanding Offensive Player honor at the 2010 NCAA College Cup after leading Notre Dame to its third national championship.
A year ago, Henderson scored 17 goals and dished out a career-high 11 assists (good for a career-best 45 points) to wind up as one of only 10 players in the country with double-digit goal and assist totals in 2010. The speedy striker also ranked among top 20 in five year-end NCAA statistical categories -- points (4th), goals (6th), points per match (6th - 1.80), goals per match (12th - 0.68) and assists (20th) -- and also led or placed second in the BIG EAST in every major offensive statistical department.
A two-time All-American, Henderson currently stands among the top 15 in Notre Dame history in seven career categories --goals (11th - 52), goals per match (6th - 0.68), points (15th - 122), match-winning goals (2nd - 20), match-winning points (4th - 48), first goals (2nd - 15) and hat tricks (6th - 3). What's more, the Fighting Irish are unbeaten in Henderson's career when she scores a goal (35-0-2) or registers a point (44-0-2).
An NSCAA first-team All-American and Hermann Trophy semifinalist, as well as the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year in 2009, Barg missed the first two months of last season with an injury before coming on to provide major contributions to Notre Dame's title run in the final 11 matches (when she started 10 times). A poised and gifted player, Barg started all six contests for the Fighting Irish in the NCAA Championship, earning a spot on the College Cup All-Tournament Team after expertly controlling the midfield play during her team's 1-0 wins over Ohio State and Stanford in the national semifinals and title match.
Like Henderson, Schuveiller collected an preseason individual honor from the BIG EAST coaches, sharing the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award. She has been a mainstay on Notre Dame's back line throughout her career, starting all 78 Fighting Irish matches and helping Notre Dame earn 68 wins and post 49 shutouts in that span. In addition, she has proven to be a timely offensive threat when the situation calls for it, as all four of her career goals have been match-winners, the latest coming midway through the first half of last year's NCAA Championship third-round win at North Carolina. That set the stage for Schuveiller to be named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2010 NCAA College Cup after leading the Fighting Irish defense to consecutive shutouts over Ohio State and Stanford (part of a run of five clean sheets in six outings during the tournament).
A two-time NSCAA all-region and all-BIG EAST selection, Schuveiller is in her third season as a team captain at Notre Dame, becoming the first player in the 24-year history of the Fighting Irish women's soccer program to be a three-year captain. That honor is particularly noteworthy when one considers that the captaincy is chosen annually by a vote of the players themselves.
Ranked No. 1 in the preseason NSCAA poll and No. 2 in the first Soccer America poll of 2011, Notre Dame will kick off the defense of its latest national championship at 5:30 p.m. (ET) Friday when it plays host to Wisconsin at Alumni Stadium. A free live webcast of that match, as well as live stats and an interactive fan blog, will be available on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, www.UND.com (visit the schedule box on the left side of the main page to find the appropriate links).
Tickets for the 2011 Notre Dame women's soccer season now are on sale, with season tickets costing $40 per adult and $30 for youths (21 & under) and seniors (55 & older). A Fan Pack (four season tickets) also is available for purchase at $100 per pack. In addition, single-match tickets may be bought at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for youths and seniors -- admission for Notre Dame, Saint Mary's and Holy Cross students is free for all regular-season home matches.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the upcoming Fighting Irish soccer season, contact the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office, located inside the Rosenthal Atrium at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The ticket office is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday, and also can be reached by phone at (574) 631-7356. In addition, tickets may be purchased on-line through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web page (UND.com/tickets) -- all major credit cards are accepted and service charges may apply. Fans also may purchase individual tickets on match day by visiting the ticket windows outside Alumni Stadium beginning one hour prior to kickoff. Group discounts are available by contacting the ticket office in advance (ask for Kelsey Edwards).
For all the latest information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (@NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women's soccer page at UND.com.