Dec. 3, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame freshman forward/midfielder/defender Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) capped off a stellar rookie season for the Fighting Irish by earning third-team All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in voting by the NSCAA coaches that was completed recently and announced late Friday.
Roccaro (pronounced row-CAH-row) is the eighth Notre Dame freshman to receive NSCAA All-America recognition, and the second in the past 15 seasons. Two-time Hermann Trophy recipient and high-scoring forward Kerri Hanks ('08) was the last Fighting Irish rookie chosen as an NSCAA All-American during her freshman campaign, doing so in 2005 to kick off a run of four consecutive NSCAA All-America seasons.
Roccaro also is the 24th Notre Dame player to earn NSCAA All-America status, with those 24 players accounting for a combined total of 51 NSCAA All-America citations during their respective careers. What's more, the Fighting Irish have had at least one player chosen as an NSCAA All-American in each of the past 21 seasons (1992-2012), including 14 years when Notre Dame fielded multiple NSCAA All-Americans.
Roccaro actually got a late start to her freshman season at Notre Dame, missing the first seven matches of the year while helping the United States win the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup title in Japan. Yet despite the truncated season, she proved to be a valuable addition to the Fighting Irish roster in 2012, starting all 16 matches she played in and ranking third on the team in goals (6), points (13), total shots (41) and shots on goal (21) while earning three BIG EAST Conference honors -- BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, All-BIG EAST First Team and All-BIG EAST Rookie Team.
Upon her return from Japan, Roccaro immediately stepped in the starting lineup, beginning with Notre Dame's 2-1 win over Louisville on Sept. 14, and helped the Fighting Irish go unbeaten in 14 of their final 17 matches while playing all three field positions (forward, midfielder and defender) at various times. Roccaro's arrival also helped Notre Dame surge to a 16-6-2 final record, a share of the BIG EAST National Division title (8-1-1 record), and a berth in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals for the 15th time in program history.
Roccaro also played a pivotal role in her team's postseason success, scoring the match-winning goal for the Fighting Irish in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals against Syracuse (a 1-0 victory on Oct. 28 at Alumni Stadium) and netting the tying goal early in the second half of Notre Dame's 2-1 comeback win over No. 10/12 Wake Forest in an NCAA Championship second-round match on Nov. 16 in Gainesville, Fla.
Roccaro will be one of 10 starters and 22 veterans returning for the Fighting Irish next season. Collectively, this returning group accounted for all 46 goals and 126 of a possible 127 points scored by Notre Dame during the 2012 season.
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