Notre Dame women's soccer coach Randy Waldrum is a superstitious sort: He hasn't watched a penalty kick involving his team since 1999. That's a shame because most of the action in Sunday's Women's College Cup final between the Irish and UCLA happened at the penalty spot. Junior Katie Thorlakson leveled the game at 1--1 with a PK in the 74th minute, and junior goalkeeper Erika Bohn turned aside a penalty with four minutes left to preserve the tie. That sent the game to a penalty-kick shootout, which meant Waldrum had his back to the pitch when Bohn stopped three more shots, giving the Irish a 4--3 victory and their second national title.
While he missed out on Bohn's heroics, Waldrum saw plenty from Thorlakson, who used the College Cup to cement her claim to the Herman Trophy, the sport's Heisman. The 5'3" dynamo set up the only goal in Notre Dame's semifinal win over Santa Clara and drew the foul that led to her game-tying penalty kick in the final. She finished the year with 23 goals and 24 assists and either scored or assisted on 24 of the Irish's last 28 goals. "She's a 90-minute player," says Waldrum. "She's small in stature, but she's so strong and explosive. This year has been a special run."