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Outstanding Senior Athletes: Lorenzen’s versatility, leadership key to team’s success

Chris Khorey | Friday, May 18, 2007

Kim Lorenzen knew her senior year would be different than her first three at Notre Dame – but she had no idea how different.

After playing three seasons at outside back for the Irish, Lorenzen moved to center back before the 2006 season.

Then, just as Lorenzen was settling into the new position, fellow defender Carrie Dew went down with an injury, and Lorenzen found herself anchoring a back wall that most of the time included freshmen Haley Ford and Amanda Clark.

“I was an outside back for most of my career, so even though I was a senior and I was supposed to show these freshmen what was going on, I didn’t really know what I was doing either,” Lorenzen said.

But the senior quickly figured out the game from her new perspective. With Lorenzen sweeping away opponents’ scoring chances, Notre Dame allowed just 0.40 goals per game and went 25-1-1 on the year, falling to North Carolina 2-1 in the National Championship game.

And by the end of the year, Lorenzen’s freshman protégés had grown up.

“I felt like Haley and Amanda weren’t really freshmen anymore [by the end of the season],” Lorenzen said.

Lorenzen was part of a senior class that went 92-8-2 in its four years in South Bend and won a national championship in 2004.

But the senior said her best memory is a single game along the road to that national title – a 3-1 win over Portland in the quarterfinals that was played in a driving rainstorm.

“The weather was absolutely terrible, but it was the best game I feel like we played that year,” Lorenzen said. “I really felt the excitement of winning after the game.”

Lorenzen arrived at Notre Dame fresh off another national title – this one by her club team, which also included future Irish players Jill Krivacek, Jill Buczkowski and Brittany Bock.

She found herself in the starting lineup quickly at Notre Dame, appearing in 23 games her freshman season and contributing to a unit that allowed only 53 shots on goal all season.

The next year, Lorenzen was a defensive fixture for the national title squad and scored three goals, including the game winner in a conference road matchup with West Virginia.

Lorenzen’s junior year got off to a rough start. She missed six games due to illness early, and her season ended in frustration as a squad that Irish coach Randy Waldrum called “better than when we one the national title” fell in a quarterfinal rematch with the Pilots.

For her senior year, Lorenzen switched positions and found herself teaching the ropes to the players on either side of her as the Irish rolled into the championship game undefeated before losing to North Carolina.

Lorenzen said the loss to the Tar Heels did not reflect the way her team played all year.

“We didn’t show the country how good we were,” she said. “We didn’t play how we had played in the tournament up to that point.”

Lorenzen, a finance major, has a job lined up with J.P. Morgan in Chicago after graduation, but she said soccer will still be a part of her life.

“I’m sure there will be co-rec leagues to play in, and it’s a good escape from the real world,” she said.