ND Women’s Soccer: Weber adds spark to Irish offense
Fran Tolan | Thursday, November 1, 2007
After Elise Weber committed to Wisconsin as a senior in high school, Irish coach Randy Waldrum assumed he would not get many opportunities to see the midfielder play again.
“We don’t play Wisconsin regularly – just every three or four years,” Waldrum said. “I kind of lost track of her.”
But Weber transferred to Notre Dame this summer and her play this season has made it extremely difficult for Waldrum – and opposing teams – to lose track of her.
Now a junior defender for the Irish, Weber has become a regular fixture on the Big East weekly honor roll. Waldrum said there are few players at her position that impact a game as much as she does.
“We haven’t seen a better attacking back this season,” Waldrum said. “Not only are her stats great but she’s just so dangerous in the attack.”
Weber has racked up two goals and six assists from her defensive position this season, though she had played a primarily offensive role in her two years with the Badgers.
Weber only played three or four games as a defender at Wisconsin, she said, but when she decided to transfer to Notre Dame, Waldrum knew he could find a spot for her.
“Once she got her release and faxed it over, we were a little surprised, but I knew she was a good player,” Waldrum said.
After moving into her spot on the Irish back line and suffering some early-season growing pains, Weber has helped anchor a defense that surrendered just six goals in its 12 Big East regular season games.
“As a defense, we’ve definitely improved,” Weber said. “We’ve had time to play together now and that allowed us to play some really good games.”
With the defense leading the way, Notre Dame went 11-1 in Big East play and enters the conference tournament as the top seed.
Weber’s offensive pedigree has allowed her to be an impact player on both sides of the field. She is tied for fourth on the team with 10 points, and she stands alone in second place with six assists.
Once she got comfortable on the back line, Weber said she became more apt to get involved in the attack.
“It took a little while to get used to it but I’ve just been aggressive as far as going forward and playing offense,” Weber said.
According to Waldrum, that aggressiveness has paid off for Weber – and the rest of the Irish.
“She might be the best outside attacking back [Notre Dame has] ever had and that’s a long list,” Waldrum said. “As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of her and what she’s done this season.”
Weber isn’t done yet. She and the rest of her teammates will start the Big East postseason tournament this Saturday with a game at Alumni Field.