Nov. 4, 2010
SOMERSET, N.J. - For the seventh consecutive season, the Notre Dame women's soccer team has fielded the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Year, with junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) earning this year's award as part of the BIG EAST's annual awards banquet that was held Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Somerset, N.J.
Henderson also was one of six Fighting Irish players who received individual conference accolades this season, joining senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) as Notre Dame's first-team all-BIG EAST selections in 2010. The two Fighting Irish center backs and co-captains, senior Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Academy) and junior Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West), garnered second-team all-conference citations, while freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) was a third-team all-BIG EAST honoree. In addition, Tucker and midfielder Mandy Laddish (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) were chosen for this year's BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
A three-time all-conference choice, and a first-team pick for the second time in three seasons, Henderson led the BIG EAST in goals (10) and points (24) during league play. She also has registered a BIG EAST-best 14 goals, 35 points and five game-winning goals for the entire season, ranking among the top 10 in the country in points (6th), points per match (7th - 1.84), goals (9th) and goals per match (9th - 0.74). A member of the preseason Hermann Trophy Watch List and a two-time selection on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week (including National Player of the Week honors on Oct. 4), Henderson is tied for 16th in school history with 112 career points (49G-14A) and is poised to become the 11th Fighting Irish player to score 50 career goals.
Augustin picked up her second all-BIG EAST certificate on Thursday, making the first team this year after a second-team citation a season ago. The veteran striker ranked among the top five in the conference in assists (tied-1st - 7), points (3rd - 17) and goals (tied-5th - 5) during BIG EAST regular-season play. She held similar positions on the overall conference statistical charts, tying for second in points (26), fourth in assists (8) and fifth in goals (9), while ranking 50th in the nation with 0.42 assists per match.
Fowlkes nabbed her second all-league honor after being named the BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Year last season when she filled in as a forward before returning to her natural central defender spot this year. A finalist for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, ESPN first-team academic all-district choice and preseason Hermann Trophy Watch List selection, Fowlkes scored the game-winning goal in Notre Dame's 3-1 win on Oct. 17 at Providence, a victory that helped the Fighting Irish clinch their sixth consecutive BIG EAST National Division title (and 13th regular-season crown in their 16-year conference affiliation). She also added a pair of assists in a Sept. 24 win over Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium, joining Augustin as the only Fighting Irish players to record multiple assists in a single match this season.
Schuveiller now is a two-time all-BIG EAST honoree, having received first-team plaudits last year. The two-year Notre Dame team captain has dished out a career-high three assists this season while starting all 19 matches, extending her career run of consecutive starts to 72 matches. She also has been a key member of a Fighting Irish defense that has allowed only 12 goals all season, posting 10 shutouts and a 0.62 goals-against average (GAA) along the way.
Tucker is the first Notre Dame freshman to make one of the three all-conference teams since Henderson was a first-team selection in 2008. One of the most unsung rookies in not only the BIG EAST, but also in the nation, the gritty young midfielder led all conference freshmen and was the only league rookie ranked among the top six in the league in game-winning goals (1st - 3), goals (tied-5th - 5) and points (tied-6th - 13) during BIG EAST regular-season matches. She also is tied for ninth in the conference (and tops among BIG EAST freshmen) with seven goals overall.
Laddish joins Tucker as Notre Dame's first BIG EAST All-Rookie Team selections since 2003, when future Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) players Jen Buczkowski and Christie Shaner received that distinction. Laddish spent the first two months of the season as a holding midfielder, taking over that role while injured junior teammate Courtney Barg healed. She has started all 19 matches this year, ranking third among Fighting Irish field players with 1,634 minutes on the pitch, and she also scored her first career goal during the Sept. 24 win over Cincinnati at Alumni Stadium.
No. 8/9 Notre Dame (15-2-2) is awaiting the announcement of the 64-team 2010 NCAA Championship field at approximately 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday live on ESPNU. The first four rounds of the tournament are played at campus sites, beginning with first and second round matches on Nov. 12 & 14, and continuing with third-round contests (Nov. 19-21) and quarterfinal matches (Nov. 27-29). This year's NCAA Women's College Cup to be played Dec. 3 & 5 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
For more information on the Notre Dame women's soccer program, join the Fighting Irish women's soccer news Twitter page (www.twitter.com/NDsoccernews) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the sidebar on the women's soccer page at UND.com.