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    Three Irish Soccer Players Earn Academic All-District Honors

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior midfielder Lauren Fowlkes ranks second on the team in goals (7) and points (16), while compiling a 3.657 cumulative GPA as a science-business major in Notre Dame's College of Science.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior midfielder Lauren Fowlkes ranks second on the team in goals (7) and points (16), while compiling a 3.657 cumulative GPA as a science-business major in Notre Dame's College of Science.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 29, 2009

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Three Notre Dame soccer players and Kansas City-area natives -- senior midfielder Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), junior forward Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) and sophomore defender Molly Campbell (Mission Hills, Kan./St. Teresa's Academy) -- have been named ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-District V selections, it was announced Thursday afternoon by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

    All three student-athletes are first-time academic all-district honorees and now will advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. The trio was chosen for district honors through voting by CoSIDA members in their district, which encompasses Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution. In addition, nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games at their respective positions.

    Thomas, a two-time team captain, has started all 17 games this season in the central midfield for the Fighting Irish. He has a team-high five assists to go along with five goals, which rank second among all Irish players. Thomas, a three-time BIG EAST Conference Academic All-Star, boasts a 3.445 cumulative grade-point average as a psychology major in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters.

    Last season, Thomas led all BIG EAST midfielders in scoring with 21 points on eight goals and five assists en route to earning second-team all-conference honors. He also garnered second-team all-Great Lakes Region accolades. For his career, Thomas has started 75 of the 77 matches in which he has played. He has compiled 48 points on 18 goals and 12 assists.

     

     

    Fowlkes has blossomed as a primary offensive threat for Notre Dame, appearing in all 18 games and starting 16 times after moving back to the forward line three weeks into the season (a position she initially started at in her college career, before moving to holding midfielder and central defender last season and earlier this year). Enjoying career-high statistical production across the board, she leads the team with 55 shots, ranks second in goals (7) and shots on goal (22), and is tied for second in points (16) and game-winning goals (3).

    Senior midfielder Michael Thomas


    Fowlkes also was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week and was a member of the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week on Sept. 28-29 after netting the game-tying goal in a 2-1 win at Cincinnati and the game-winning score in a 1-0 victory at home over Louisville. She currently is enrolled in the College of Science, where she has compiled a 3.657 cumulative GPA as a science-business major and was named to the dean's list in the fall of 2007 (3.804 semester GPA).

    Campbell is one of the more improved players on the Notre Dame roster this season, having seen time primarily at left back, a position she had almost never played prior to the spring of 2009. Mixed with her stints as an attacking midfielder, she has started all 18 games for the Fighting Irish this year, amassing one goal (an insurance tally vs. Loyola-Chicago on Aug. 28) and two assists, and she ranks fifth on the team in both total shots (24) and shots on goal (15). She also has been an integral part of a Notre Dame defensive unit that has allowed only one goal in its last seven-plus games (a span of 691:50, dating back to an Oct. 2 overtime win at West Virginia) and has recorded six shutouts in that time.

    Campbell is presently studying in the College of Arts and Letters, where she has recorded a 3.667 cumulative GPA as a double major in psychology and American studies.

    Sophomore defender Molly Campbell


    Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 210 Academic All-Americans since the program's inception in 1952. What's more, 84 Fighting Irish student-athletes have earned the Academic All-America distinction during the past decade, tops among any school in the country. The Notre Dame women's soccer program has produced 22 Academic All-Americans in its history (a national-best 14 since women's soccer was separated from the at-large Academic All-America program in 2002), with Brittany Bock (first team) and Elise Weber (second team) copping the honor last year. The Fighting Irish men's soccer program has fielded six Academic All-Americans (three since the sport broke away from the at-large ballot in 2002), with Overland Park, Kan., product (and current member of Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards) Matt Besler most recently collecting first-team plaudits in 2008.

    A full rundown on the history of Notre Dame's Academic All-America success can be found in the Academic All-America almanac at UND.com.

    Unbeaten in its last 12 games, the No. 5/7 Notre Dame women's soccer team (14-3-1, 10-0-1 BIG EAST) will kick off postseason action Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) when it plays host to a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal game at Alumni Stadium, taking on the winner of Thursday night's first-round matchup between DePaul and South Florida in Tampa.

    Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish men's soccer team (9-7-1, 7-3-0) will play host to fifth-ranked Connecticut Saturday at 2 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium in a battle between the top two teams in the BIG EAST's Blue Division.

    Tickets for all remaining Notre Dame soccer games are available through the Fighting Irish Athletics Ticket Office (574-631-7356), by going on-line to www.UND.com/tickets, or by visiting the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on game day.

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