2. PROFILE: Frosh Weissenhofer powers ND attack

After three weeks, No. 2 Notre Dame's Michele Weissenhofer has emerged as the nation's top women's freshman.

She added to her nation-leading assist total with passes that led to second-half header goals by Jill Krivacek and Brittany Bock in the Irish's 2-0 victory at TCU on Friday night.

Weissenhofer, who has eight assists in six games for the 6-0-0 Irish, entered Notre Dame with a reputation for a long flip throw-in, but its her service, from the run of play and on set pieces, with her left foot that's been phenomenal.

She had five assists in Notre Dame's first three games, then played a critical role in its 3-1 victory over No. 3 Santa Clara on Sept. 3. Weissenhofer ran on to a throw-in on the edge of the penalty area and struck a line drive to the far post, where unmarked Amanda Cinalli directed the ball into the empty net for the game-winner.

Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum was full of praise for his freshman.

"Michele created so many opportunities for us," he said after the Santa Clara game, "and you could see her gaining confidence."

Weissenhofer, who enrolled at Notre Dame last summer in its early-entry program, continues a long line of Chicago area stars to play for the Irish. Weissenhofer, who helped Eclipse Select win back-to-back national titles in 2004 and 2005, played alongside Bock on various teams stretching back to third grade.

Her name is familiar to Irish sports fans. Her uncle Ron Weissenhofer was a top linebacker with the Notre Dame football team in the mid-1980s.

8 Shavon Knight, Old Dominion, Soph.
8 Megan Rapinoe, Portland, Soph.
8 Katherine Watson, Old Dominion, Jr.
8 Tameka Sumter, UTEP, Fr.
7 Brittany Bisnott, Niagara, Jr.
7 Lindsay Bauer, South Florida, Jr.
7 Deana Everrett, West Virginia, Soph.
7 Nikki Marshall, Colorado, Fr.
7 Shoko Mikami, Memphis, Sr.
7 Kari Lennon, Belmont, Jr.
7 Nikki Mabery, Villanova, Jr.
(Games through Sept. 10.)

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