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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer

Former Irish defender Kate Markgraf inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame

A high school title, an NCAA Division I championship, CONCACAF titles, two Olympic golds and one World Cup win. 

Kate Markgraf has earned a title at every level of her soccer career. Now, as the first head of Women’s Soccer and general manager of the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), Markgraf will add National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee to her already stellar resume. 

Markgraf appeared at halftime on the ESPN broadcast of the NCAA Women’s College Cup final. There, former USWNT teammate Julie Foudy — who was commentating the match — told her the news. 

“I’m overwhelmed,” Markgraf said. “There are so many more women that should be in this. And so I hope that the laws and the rules change. I’m very proud of this, but this is for everybody else that came before me, for all of the players that built this.”

Markgraf rounds out the 1999 World Cup starters inducted into the Hall of Fame. As a member of the Class of 2023, Markgraf joins former USWNT coach Jill Ellis and World Cup winner Lauren Cheney Holiday. Markgraf was elected on the veteran ballot for the Hall of Fame.

In addition to her National Soccer induction, Markgraf was awarded the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award this week. Six former NCAA athletes receive the award on the 25th anniversary of the end of their collegiate careers. Basketball players Allison Feaster and surgeon Marsha Harris, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, Texas kicker Phil Dawson and USC swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg join Markgraf as this year's recipients.

In her time with the Irish, Markgraf (née Sobrero) was a three-time NSCAA All-American and a three-time All-Big East selection. Specific to her position, she won the 1997 Big East defensive player of the year and defensive MVP of the NCAA Final Four in 1995. That year, Markgraf and the Irish won the NCAA women’s soccer championship. 

Upon graduation, Markgraf made the Dean's List and was accepted to Northwestern Law School in Chicago and Northeastern Law School in Boston. She deferred in order to continue her soccer career, playing club from 2001-2010.

A year after college, Markgraf won the World Cup in Pasadena with the USWNT. She played with the team from 1998 to 2010, starting in all three of her World Cup appearances. Additionally, Markgraf switched from right to left back in her senior year with Notre Dame. That versatility, she said, made her a greater asset for the USWNT, as they could place her anywhere on the back line. Markgraf also played for the USWNT in three Olympics. The stars and stripes took home the silver medal in 2000 and the gold in 2004 and 2008.  

Now, in addition to her role with U.S. Soccer, Markgraf serves as president of the Monogram Club, Notre Dame’s student-athlete alumni community. She has been a member of the Monogram Club Board since 2009 and began a two-year term as president in April of 2022. 

Already in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame since 2018, Markgraf's National Soccer Hall of Fame induction will be on May 6, 2023. The induction will take place in Frisco, Texas.

Contact Mannion McGinley at