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ND Women’s Soccer: Back for more

Deirdre Krasula | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Watch any practice or any game and you’re sure to hear Brittany Bock yelling on the field, but she’s not arguing with anyone.

She’s encouraging her teammates to fight their tiredness and keep up their aggression – and that’s why she’s one of the leading offensive players for the Irish, and why she was named co-captain along with fellow senior Carrie Dew.

And after scoring the only goal against then-No. 2 North Carolina, Bock was named the Big East Offensive player of the week. It was the first time Irish coach Randy Waldrum gave her the minutes she was accustomed to playing last season.

Bock suffered a high ankle injury during the preseason and had been resting up for the Carolina Classic – and it was worth the wait. After defeating the Tar Heels, the Irish now stand at No. 2 in the rankings, just behind UCLA.

But Bock says the goal was a team effort.

“Our whole team collectively, from our goalie to our back line, all the way up the front is collective team defense,” Bock said. “And we were pressing and pressing, and we have to play to [Carolina’s] game a little just with aggressiveness.”

Garnering recognition for her aggressive style is nothing new for Bock. The All-American forward was the Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 and is expected to take that honor again. But Bock says she’s not the only one leading the Irish offense.

“I know offensive player of the week is a huge honor, but we have Kerri Hanks coming back, we have Michelle [Weissenhofer], we have many offensive players that have been creating goals and it’s important for us to lead the team not only in our play, but also intensity and finding the goals, because that’s what you need to win,” she said.

But Waldrum knows that when Bock is on the field, there’s something extra special to watch.

“She just has a presence, she’s got such a physical presence. She’s so dominant in the air, and so strong on the ball, and then defensively she adds that ball winning mentality,” Waldrum said. “She’s like Kerri Hanks, in terms of her competitiveness, she’s just highly competitive, they just don’t want to lose, and I think that’s something that carries over to the team and I think our team has that mindset right now.”

Bock has been a presence on the field since she came to Notre Dame in 2005. She was named a Freshman All-American and second team Big East and was named second team Big East again as a sophomore. She played on the U-20 National team and the U-23 National Team. She’s a player Waldrum knows he can put anywhere on the field to get the job done.

Having started out in the midfield when she first came to Notre Dame, she’s likely to rotate back and forth between midfield and forward this season.

“She’s just key for us,” Waldrum said. “The thing is she can do so many things.”