Dec. 12, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second consecutive season, Notre Dame senior forward/tri-captain Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) has earned All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), garnering third-team status in voting by the NSCAA coaches that was completed recently and announced late last week.
Henderson, who was a first-team All-American in 2010, is the 15th Fighting Irish women's soccer to receive NSCAA All-America recognition twice in her career, with the most recent two-time honorees including Brittany Bock ('07-'08) and Lauren Fowlkes ('09-'10). In actuality, Henderson is a three-time All-America selection, having earned Soccer America First Team MVP status (equivalent to All-America honors) in both 2009 and 2010, with this year's results pending.
Henderson currently is taking part in the United States Women's National Team Camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., earning her first call-up to the full national team. She is one of five collegians currently in the USWNT camp, which is being used as part of head coach Pia Sundhage's evaluation process for determining the United States roster for next month's CONCACAF Olympic qualifying matches in Vancouver, British Columbia, and eventually the American roster for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Henderson recently concluded her brilliant (and remarkably consistent) Notre Dame career with a career-high-tying 18 goals and eight assists in 2011, finishing among the BIG EAST Conference and NCAA leaders in goals and total points (44). For her career, Henderson registered 70 goals (including 24 match-winners) and 26 assists (166 points), tying for fourth in school history for career goals (with two-time All-American Jenny Streiffer) and goals per match (0.72, tying 2000 Hermann Trophy recipient Anne Makinen), and ranking ninth in Fighting Irish history for career points and 10th in points per match (1.71). What's more, Henderson holds the Notre Dame record for career match-winning goals, one more than 2006 & 2008 Hermann Trophy recipient Kerri Hanks, and ranks among the top 10 in numerous single-match, single-season and postseason record lists for the Fighting Irish, including sharing records for goals in a match (4), hat tricks in one season (3) and career hat tricks (6), achieving each of those marks earlier this season.
The 2010 Honda Sports Award recipient as the nation's top women's soccer player and the first runner-up for the Hermann Trophy, Henderson was a four-time all-BIG EAST selection and the 2010 BIG EAST Most Outstanding Offensive Player, repeating the latter honor on the national stage at the NCAA Women's College Cup, where she led Notre Dame to its third national championship and fifth consecutive College Cup appearance.
In addition to her All-America citation, Henderson was a first-team NSCAA All-Northeast Region choice for the third consecutive year (in addition to being a second-team choice in 2008), one of three Notre Dame players to be selected to this year's all-region squad. Senior midfielder/tri-captain Courtney Barg (Plano, Texas/Plano West) and senior defender-midfielder/tri-captain Jessica Schuveiller (Plano, Texas/Plano West) both were named to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region Third Team, with Schuveiller copping all-region honors for the third time (she was a second-team pick in 2009 and 2010), while Barg is on the all-region team for the second time (she earned first-team accolades in 2009).
Although hampered by injuries for the second half of her career, Barg still was a significant contributor to Notre Dame's fortunes throughout her tenure, finishing with five goals and seven assists while appearing in 79 matches (64 starts) and playing the critical holding midfielder position in the Fighting Irish formation. Schuveiller was the ironwoman in the Notre Dame lineup, starting all 99 matches the Fighting Irish played during her career (tying for fifth in school history) while playing in more than 95 percent of the team's minutes over that four-year stretch. Schuveiller posted 10 goals and eight assists in her career, including a career-high six goals as a senior in 2011, when she moved up from her usual center back spot into the midfield to bolster an injury-riddled Notre Dame lineup.
Along with completing work on their undergraduate degrees, all three Fighting Irish honorees are eligible to be selected in the 2012 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft, which is scheduled to take place during the NSCAA Convention Jan. 11-15 in Kansas City. In that league's first three seasons of existence, 14 Notre Dame players have either been drafted by WPS clubs or signed as free agents, with a record-setting six going on to help their teams win a WPS title (most recently Bock and Candace Chapman ('05) with the 2010 league champion, Western New York Flash).
For more 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 "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.