Honors and Awards
Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2004)
Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll (Fall: 2003, 2004, 2006; Spring: 2005, 2006)
Vern Fitzgerald added her efforts in 19 of the Husker's game her senior year. Her lone goal of the season came via a header against Oral Roberts, but she contributed assists against Big 12 foes Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
The Lincoln native capped her season with her first selection to the academic All-Big 12 first team.
A knee injury slowed Fitzgerald's start to the season, but she returned to start the Huskers' final 17 games.
Against Oklahoma State on Oct. 22, Fitzgerald scored her first goal of the season after finding the back of the net three times in 2003. Her goal against the Cowgirls also proved to be the game winner. She recorded her first assist of the season on Sept. 21 against Creighton and assisted on a goal against Iowa State on Sept. 26 to finish the year with one goal and two assists.
Off the field, Fitzgerald garnered second-team academic All-Big 12 accolades while being named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in both the fall and spring semesters.
Fitzgerald made a significant improvement from her freshman to her sophomore season. She started 20 of Nebraska’s 22 games in the midfield after only playing in 10 contests as a freshman.
The Lincoln, Neb., native contributed eight points on three goals and two assists in 2003.
Her best production of the season came against Iowa State, where she notched two goals in a 5-1 Nebraska win. Fitzgerald started the action at the 4:24 mark when she scored on a header off a Kari Hogan cross. Fitzgerald then provided the game-winning assist on a goal by freshman Ashley Carter at the 26:36 mark. Fitzgerald wasn’t finished, as she added the Huskers’ fourth goal from a short distance at the 75:35 mark.
She also provided a game-winning assist in the opening game of the season against DePaul, a 1-0 Husker win.
Against Michigan, Fitzgerald scored the Huskers’ only goal of the game to give NU the lead, before the Wolverines came back 15 minutes later to tie the score at 1-1.2002 Season
Fitzgerald saw action in 10 games in 2002 and scored her first collegiate goal against Belmont on Sept. 6. She added her first career assist against the Bruins, as all three of her points on the season came against Belmont.
Fitzgerald attempted three shots on the season for a .333 shooting percentage. She had a great start, scoring on her first shot of the season against Belmont. She also took shots against Memphis and Colorado.
Fitzgerald saw playing time in the postseason, contributing to Nebraska's wins against Texas and Texas A&M in the Big 12 Tournament on the way to the Big 12 Tournament championship.
During the spring, Fitzgerald took her game up a notch, scoring the Huskers’ game-winning goal against the USC Trojans in Hawaii. She also scored in the first game of the spring season, putting in the Huskers’ second goal off a Jenna Cooper corner kick to seal the win for Nebraska over Arizona.
Playing both the forward and defender positions in high school, Fitzgerald garnered several accolades throughout her four years at Lincoln East. As a junior and senior, she was named first-team all-state, while her freshman and sophomore years she was named honorable-mention all-state. She was named all-conference in each of her four seasons as a varsity starter.
Fitzgerald was impressive in the classroom as well as on the field, with a 3.8 grade-point average and a membership in the National Honor Society.
She also made a mark on the hardwood, earning all-conference and honorable-mention all-state awards on the basketball court in her sophomore through senior years. She was also involved in DECA, Difference Makers, Campus Life and yearbook.
Fitzgerald played all over the field in her club experience. She played for the Capital Soccer Association and the Select Under-18 team.
The daughter of Joan and Kent Fitzgerald, Vern has one sister, Erica, 29, and one brother, J.O., 26. Vern was born on Nov. 27, 1983, in Lincoln, Neb. She is majoring in special education.