#14 Notre Dame Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
Notre Dame Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Notre Dame Team Page


By Notre Dame standards the 2011 campaign was a little disappointing. Their eight losses tied for the most since Coach Randy Waldrum took over the program in 1999 and their ten wins was the lowest during that span. But the Irish still made the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the first round at Illinois. There is some reloading to be done, but once again Notre Dame has a great recruiting class headed to South Bend, Indiana and the Irish will look to regain their spot atop the Big East standings.

2011 Record: 10-8-3, 6-3-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Randy Waldrum

There are a dozen incoming freshmen and seven of them are ranked in the top 55 of the College Sports Madness women’s soccer recruiting list. Cari Roccaro is the best of the bunch and the versatile midfielder and striker should make an immediate impact. Anna Maria Gilbertson, Crystal Thomas and Glory Williams are also midfielders and forwards who will be looking for quality playing time right away. A trio of defenders could make a big splash as freshmen as well. Katie Naughton is 5-10 and Brittany Von Rueden is 5-11. Those two will be superb center backs soon, if not in 2012. Stephanie Campo is a more versatile back who can get up and down the wing. But it is not like the Irish will have to throw 11 freshmen out on the pitch, although it would be a pretty good team if they did. Lauren Bohaboy is coming off of a strong freshman campaign in which she scored six goals. The midfield returns a couple key players in Mandy Laddish and Elizabeth Tucker. Laddish is the playmaker in the middle of the pitch and dished out seven assists, while Tucker added five. Those two will create plenty of opportunities for Bohaboy and the rest of the scoring threats. Maddie Fox is back in goal after starting 16 games last season. The agile keeper rarely played as an underclassman, but improved dramatically as the 2011 season progressed. If she keeps improving, the Irish should boast a much better defense in 2012.

While there are plenty of scoring threats on the roster, Notre Dame lost all but one player who scored more than one goal last season. That is a lot of offensive firepower to replace. Melissa Henderson led the Irish with 18 goals and eight assists. Fellow forward Adriana Leon netted six goals and defender Jessica Schuveiller also scored six goals. There is a long list of potential, but Bohaboy, who is just a sophomore, is the only proven goal scorer on the team. Notre Dame will get their goals, but it will have to come from some inexperienced players. Meanwhile, the defense needs to step up and help out the offense. Last year the Irish could outscore most of their opponents, but that may not be the case anymore.

Final Projection:
Notre Dame is one of the more interesting teams in the world of women’s college soccer. Their talent cannot be understated, but they also lose a slew of talent from a team that underachieved. Coach Waldrum has seen it all before, but the pieces still have to come together. Was the 2011 campaign just a bad year where nothing went right or is it the beginning of a major slide down the Big East pecking order? The 2012 campaign will not completely answer that question, but it will provide a great deal of information on where this program is headed. As long as the freshmen can gel with the returning talent and the defense can help pick up the slack for what will almost certainly be a less potent offense, this is a Notre Dame team that can do more than just make it back to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Lauren Bohaboy, Sophomore, F, 6
Assists: Mandy Laddish, Junior, M, 7
Shots: Mandy Laddish, Junior, M, 59
Saves: Maddie Fox, Senior, GK, 63

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#2 Cari Roccaro
#7 Katie Naughton
#17 Brittany Von Rueden
#21 Glory Williams
#40 Stephanie Campo
#45 Anna Maria Gilbertson
#54 Crystal Thomas