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Dew expected to have big year at full strength

Fran Tolan | Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last season, Notre Dame defender Carrie Dew – who was then a junior – anchored a back line that was a key to the team’s run to the national semifinals. Imagine what she could have done playing on two good legs.

Now that Dew has fully recovered from the ACL surgery that cut her sophomore season short, Irish fans should get to see what she can do when she is healthy.

“She’s definitely her old self again,” Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said of his central defender. “I mean, last season she played the whole year coming off surgery and we made it to the College Cup, so who knows what she can do when she’s a hundred percent.”

Dew, who has shed the bulky knee brace she wore last season, was named a team co-captain in the preseason.

“She has taken that role on really well,” Waldrum said. “She has such leadership skills and understands our system so well.”

Dew has immediately taken charge on the field, leading an Irish defense that held Michigan to just one shot-on- goal in a 7-0 Notre Dame rout to open the season last Friday.

Notre Dame out shot the Wolverines 34-4 in a statement game for the 2008 season. Dew and company have not surrendered a goal to Michigan at any point in their collective careers. The five-game streak of shutouts dates back to 2004.

“She has shown that she is definitely, completely back,” Waldrum said.

Dew was named Big East defensive player of the week Tuesday for her performance against the Wolverines.

It is the third time in her career the senior has earned that honor and she also adds the accolade to her 2006 Big East defensive player of the year award.

Still, Waldrum said that Dew is an underappreciated player for No. 5 Notre Dame. The Irish have some of the best strikers in the country and consistently finish as one of the top-scoring squads in the NCAA.

“If you play on the defensive side of the ball on this team, you definitely feel underappreciated,” Waldrum said. “People who know soccer understand how important it is to have a terrific central defender like [Dew].”

Waldrum said that last season’s team did not reach its full potential because Dew was not fully healthy. But despite her injury, the California native notched one of Notre Dame’s two goals in its College Cup semifinal loss to Florida State.

Now, Waldrum said he expects her to thrive in her final season.

“She has such a calm mannerism and way of going about things,” Waldrum said. “She’s the perfect player to have in the back of the defense.”