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ND Women’s Soccer: Into the history books

Fran Tolan | Monday, September 15, 2008

Freshman forward Melissa Henderson scored twice in No. 2 Notre Dame’s 5-0 home win over SMU Friday, but it was senior Kerri Hanks’ night.

Hanks notched her 60th career assist when her cross into the box found Henderson, who put it home in the 54th minute to make Hanks just the sixth player in NCAA history to have 60 goals and 60 assists in a career.

“We’re so proud of everything Kerri has been able to accomplish in her career and what she’s meant to our program,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said to und.com. “Her initials are all over the school and NCAA record books, and we were absolutely ecstatic that she was able to hit this milestone in front of our home fans.”

Hanks joins two Irish players – Jenny Streiffer (70 goals, 71 assists from 1996-99) and Cindy Daws (61 goals, 67 assists from 1993-96) – in the exclusive 60-60 club.

“It was good that [Hanks] got the assist and got it off her back,” Waldrum said. “I’m sure now she’ll be aiming for 70-70 … It also says a lot that the assist that put Kerri over the top went to Melissa Henderson, who has a really bright future in her own right.”

Henderson’s second goal may not have been as historic as her first, but it wasn’t any less impressive. Just six minutes after her first tally, Henderson sent a rocket off the crossbar and into the goal to seal a game that highlighted the depth on the Irish roster.

“The two goals didn’t have anything to do with me,” a humble Henderson said. “Both times my teammates made great plays and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Waldrum, however, didn’t hesitate to praise one of his program’s rising stars.

“She had a great night tonight and she’s going to be a star here, there’s no question about it,” Waldrum said. “But she hasn’t even found her place here completely yet.”

Notre Dame dominated every aspect of the contest, taking 14 corner kicks to SMU’s one and not allowing a shot for the entire first half. The first shot for the Texans was a harmless effort that was saved by Irish goalie Kelsey Lysander when the result of the game was no longer in doubt.

“We’ve really been trying to minimize the shot total and scoring chances of our opponents …” Waldrum said. “Tonight I was really pleased with our ability to do that. We didn’t give them any opportunities until we made some [substitutions].”

Waldrum praised junior Haley Ford and sophomore Stephanie Sohn as defenders who played a big part in the shutout.

Junior midfielder Courtney Rosen opened the scoring 19:59 into the contest when she sent a rebound into the back of the net with her left foot. Freshman Molly Campbell, who did not even start for the loaded Irish, notched her first career goal to give Notre Dame a two-goal lead at the end of the first half.

Henderson’s first goal followed a cross from Hanks, who raised her arms in celebration after reaching the 60-60 milestone.

Junior midfielder Amanda Clark put an exclamation point on the Irish win with a chip into the right corner of the net from 45 yards away.

On a rainy night at Alumni Field, 1,412 fans braved the weather to watch the Notre Dame win.