Women's Soccer News: Boston Breakers Add Notre Dame Star Melissa Henderson to WPSL Elite Roster
Two-time All-American adds depth to the attack
The Boston Breakers have signed two-time All-America forward Melissa Henderson for the 2012 Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League season. Henderson helped lead the University of Notre Dame to the 2010 NCAA Division 1 championship. For her career at Notre Dame, she racked up 70 goals (24 game-winners) and 26 assists for 166 points. As a senior, Henderson led the Fighting Irish in 2011 with 18 goals and is tied for fourth in school history in career goals.
The WPSL Elite League, which will begin action in May, includes three teams with Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) experience: Boston Breakers, 2011 WPS Champion Western New York Flash and 2011 WPSL runner up Chicago Red Stars. Making up the remainder of the eight-team league are WPSL sides ASA Chesapeake Charge, Aztec MA, FC Indiana and New England Mutiny and newly formed Philadelphia Fever.
Henderson is no stranger to several of her Boston teammates, having played for the U.S. U-23 Women's National Team alongside Bianca D'Agostino, Amanda DaCosta, and Katie Schoepfer. She finished the 2011 U-23 season as one of the team's top scorers, and has also played for the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team. In December 2011, Henderson was called up to the full U.S. Women's National Team camp by U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage.
Henderson starred at Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas, before playing at Notre Dame in 2008. As a junior at Berkner in 2007, Henderson was named the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Previous honorees of this prestigious award have included current U.S. Women's National Team players Lauren Cheney, Amy Rodriguez, Ashlyn Harris, and Heather O'Reilly.
Henderson will join a Boston Breakers roster that features midfielders Leslie Osborne, DaCosta, D’Agostino, and Australian international Tameka Butt, defenders Cat Whitehill and Taryn Hemmings, and forwards Schoepfer, Courtney Jones, and Australian international Kyah Simon. The 2012 WPSL Elite League season is expected to begin in May. Breakers players report to camp in early April.
About the Boston Breakers: The Breakers are one of eight teams in the inaugural WPSL Elite League in 2012. They are joined by Aztec MA, ASA Chesapeake Charge, Chicago Red Stars, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, Philadelphia Fever, and the Western New York Flash. The longest-running professional women’s soccer team in U.S. history, the Breakers have roots dating back more than a decade. The franchise was originally founded in 2000 as a charter member of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). The Boston Breakers were one of eight teams in the first U.S.-based women’s professional soccer league that played three seasons (2001-03) before the WUSA suspended operations in September 2003.When Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) was formed in the fall of 2007, the Breakers joined the league and began play when WPS officially launched its first season in 2009. The Breakers played three seasons in WPS (2009-2011) before the league suspended operations in 2012.
Related Article: Boston Breakers Sign DaCosta and Hemmings