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    Media Day At The 2009 College Cup

    FIGHTING IRISH Head coach Randy Waldrum is pictured at Thursday's press conference.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Head coach Randy Waldrum is pictured at Thursday's press conference.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 3, 2009

    GALLERY

    Notre Dame Press Conference Quotes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

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    Practice Report - Dec. 2

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Irish had an eventful day at Texas A&M as they met the media and had their final practice before tomorrow night's NCAA Championship semifinal match with North Carolina. Notre Dame will be playing in the NCAA College Cup for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth time in the past six years.

    Head coach Randy Waldrum as well as student-athletes Lauren Fowlkes (Lee's Summit, Mo./St. Teresa's Acad.), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) and Jessica Schuveiller took part in the day's initial press conference and answered questions from local and national media members, including Graham Hays of espn.com.

    "On behalf of Notre Dame we're happy to be back," opened Waldrum. "As a Texan, I'm glad to be back home."

    After the opening press conference, Waldrum, Fowlkes, Henderson, Schuveiller, Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and Courtney Barg (Palno, Texas/Plano West) met with the ESPN broadcast crew, including play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and color analyst Cat Whitehill. The group talked about the forthcoming game versus North Carolina, while Waldrum, Fowlkes and Weissenhofer also took part in a video shoot to be used during tomorrow's broadcast.

    Once their media obligations were fulfilled, the Irish met up with the rest of the team for practice at the Aggie Soccer Stadium, where the College Cup will be contested. With additional temporary stands brought in for the weekend, the stadium can hold up to 9,000 fans. Texas A&M previously played host College Cups in 2005 and 2007.

    The 2009 College Cup begins tomorrow, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. (EST) when Stanford and UCLA meet in the first semifinal match. Then, in a repeat of last season's title game, the Irish and Tar Heels game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. Game one will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPNU, while Notre Dame's contest will air live on ESPNU and espn360.com.

    Press Conference Quotes

    Head Coach Randy Waldrum

    opening statement...
    "On behalf of Notre Dame we're happy to be back. As a Texan, I'm glad to be back home."

    on what was said to team after North Carolina game earlier this season...
    "I said let's get ready for Wisconsin on Sunday. You forget those kinds of games and just move on. I think the thing that we really felt strongly about was that we had enough talent to make it back. I think we were still finding a way early in the year, deciding where we were going to play some players, and that was due mainly because we lost some key players in our preseason to some injuries. It was one of those things, as a coach, you're trying to find your best lineup. Unfortunately we caught a couple of good teams while we kind of figured that out. Some seasons you can do it quicker than others. You're trying to find that chemistry that's going to work. I think it probably took a little longer due to the injuries; we had to get through that stretch of figuring it out. The approach we've tried to take is that that game is unimportant and not a factor at where we are now. We're taking the approach that North Carolina happens to be the next team on our schedule. It wouldn't matter if that was Carolina, UCLA or Stanford. That's the approach we've taken all year."

    on when the team solidified a game lineup...
    "We felt like we had to make the move with Lauren [Fowlkes] up front. We needed somebody that could hold the ball for us. That was a move pretty early on that we felt like we had to do. We moved Courtney Barg back from more of an attacking midfield player to a holding midfield player. That position for us in the formation we play is kind of the quarterback of our team. When we made that move things really started to take off for us. She did such a great job of orchestrating and organizing our team. When I realized that we were back and that this was the game we really needed and that we showed some character in was the Cincinnati game on the road. We had won some games after those early losses, but we hadn't played particularly well. We went down 1-0 with about 10 minutes left in the game and came back and scored two to win it. That game seemed to kind of turn us and the team started to believe that we were good."

    on having Haley Ford back from injury in the center of the Irish defense...
    "It's been a big plus. We've had four or five players who've really done a good job of carrying the load for us through some of these injuries. To have that experienced center back back in there has been great. We do have to give a lot of credit to Ellen Bartindale, who stepped in there when Haley was injured. Ellen went from really not playing in any meaningful games to starting for us against Connecticut and in games we had to win. She did a great job for us in five or six games before we really got Haley back."

    on getting past North Carolina...
    "What a lot of people may not realize is since 2006 when they beat us in the championship game - and we've played them five or six times - I think we're 2-2-1 against them. We've probably been as good with Carolina as anybody in the country, so it's not like Carolina is at a level we're not. I don't think we have that kind of a perception of them."

    on the weather, as it is going to be cold and may snow in College Station, Texas...
    "Bring on the snow, just hound us tomorrow! We're okay with that. We went down and played at Florida State last weekend and we saw the sun for the first time in a while. We're ready for a good snow."

    on the same teams in college cup...
    "It's like in any other sport you learn how to win and you learn how to maneuver in the tournament. You learn how to go on the road and win big games. Tournament time is a different time and you gain some experience along the way. It's not an easy thing."

    Junior Forward/Midfielder/Defender Lauren Fowlkes

    on changing positions on the field...
    "I've definitely enjoyed playing in different places on the field. Just getting used to it at times was a bit of a challenge, but I've played all of those positions before growing up, so it's just whatever the team needs I'm willing to do. I got out there early to work on some stuff and coach was patient with me getting used to different positions."

    on team and how they're playing...
    As the seasons continues to progress, we've gotten better as a team and we've gotten better individually. I'm sure excited about the way we're playing right now.

    on getting past North Carolina...
    "This is another game that we have to get to to reach our goal and another game that we have to win. There's always an excitement when you play Carolina, but it's not hard to get up for a game like this."

    on having many players from the National team in one setting...
    "It's like seeing old friends. It's always great to see someone you haven't seen in a long time, but the focus is the College Cup. It's an added plus but nothing that's on your mind when you're getting ready to play the game. It's exciting to be back in this setting at the College Cup."

    Sophomore Forward Melissa Henderson

    on having Lauren Fowlkes as a forward...
    "I really enjoy playing with her because, as you know, she's a goal scorer and she makes plays happen all the time. It definitely takes a lot off having her there and supporting me and taking things on."

    on getting past North Carolina...
    "I'm honestly probably going to go into the game not really thinking about who we're playing against, but just worrying about getting my game right and getting my preparation to where it needs to be."

    on being in Texas...
    "I have my family and so many of my friends coming and I'm just excited to be able to play in front of them."

    Junior Defender Jessica Schuveiller

    On having Haley Ford back...
    "I look up to her. She's a senior and she's a leader and just a great player. Having her back just gives the whole team confidence and we play better as a group. She's a great 1v1 defender and great in the air, so it's awesome having her back."

    On Casey Nogueira and the challenges she poses to the defense...
    "She's an awesome player and it's extremely tough to play against her. The main thing with her is to deny the shot. I can say more than anyone as I was involved in that last goal in the last two minutes of the game [last year] and I've replayed that one a lot. Denying the shot and not letting the ball get to her feet is the key."

    on getting past North Carolina...
    "When you get to the College Cup, all teams are going to be the top teams in the nation. I think of it more that this is the national semifinal to get to the national championship game and that's the mentality and focus you need to have when you're going in."

    About being in Texas...
    "It's nice to be at a place that you recognize and know really well. It's almost like being home again. It's really nice and I have friends and family coming too, so it will be good support."

    --ND--
     

     

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