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#15 Irish Face Busy Weekend At #3 Duke And At Home Versus #16 Stanford

April 10, 2003

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THE DUKE GAME: Notre Dame returns to the road on Friday, April 11 when the Irish travel to Durham, N.C., to face the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils. That game will be played at Koskinen Stadium at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The Irish go into the Duke game ranked 15th in the most recent IWLCA Poll with a 4-4 overall record and are coming off a 15-7 BIG EAST win over Connecticut (4/5). The Irish have won two of their last three games (both BIG EAST contests). Duke is 10-2 on the season, having won seven of their last eight games and are ranked third in the nation. The Blue Devils are coming off a 12-7 win versus Virginia on April 6. Following Friday’s game at Duke, the Irish return home to face #16 Stanford on Sunday, April 13. Game time versus the Cardinal at Moose Krause Stadium is set for 12:00 noon (EST). The Irish will play five of their final six games at home.

STANFORD START: Just a reminder, the start of the Stanford game is set for 12:00 noon in South Bend on Sunday, April 13. Some early schedules list it as a 1:00 p.m. starting time at Moose Krause Stadium.

IRISH VERSUS BLUE DEVILS: The Notre Dame-Duke series has been one-sided as the Blue Devils have won the first five meetings. At Durham, N.C., the Irish are 0-2. Last season, the two teams met at Notre Dame in what became the longest game in Irish women’s lacrosse history as Duke took a 10-9 triple-overtime win at Moose Krause Stadium on April 12, 2002. The total playing time was 71:45 as the Blue Devils got the winning goal with 15 seconds left in the third overtime period. In that game, the Irish trailed 8-6, before goals from Maureen Henwood and Meredith Simon (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) in the final 1:40 sent the game to overtime. Simon’s goal came with 19 seconds left. Jen White (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) made 15 saves in the game for the Irish. Lauren Gallagher and Meghan Miller combined for five goals and four assists for Duke.

HEAD COACH TRACY COYNE: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her seventh season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 53-40 (.570) record at Notre Dame and is 167-66 (.717) in her 16-year coaching career. She led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 2002 and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. She is still looking for her first win versus Duke as she is 0-5 versus the Blue Devils. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native led Denison (1988) and Roanoke (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996) to the NCAA Division III tournament during stops at those schools. A 1983 graduate of Ohio University, Coyne has coached on the international level leading the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup in England.

CONNECTICUT RECAP: The Irish bounced back from a 9-6 loss at Syracuse with an impressive 15-7 win over the #19 Connecticut Huskies on April 5th at the Loftus Center. Danielle Shearer (Sr., Hampstead, Md.) led the Irish with a goal and four assists while Crysti Foote (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) and Meredith Simon each scored three goals in the win. Notre Dame jumped out to a 7-1 lead after one half before outscoring the Huskies by an 8-6 margin in the final 30 minutes. Midfielder Eleanor Weille (Sr., Garden City, N.Y.) had a career-high four assists in the game. Nine other Irish players scored single goals. Jen White made five saves in the game while giving up three goals in just over 42 minutes of play. Sophomore Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) played the final 17:30 of the game giving up four goals while making two saves.

VERSUS THE BEST: Friday afternoon’s game at #3 Duke will be the sixth game this season that the Irish have played against a ranked team. They will also face #16 Stanford on Sunday at home this week. For the season, the Irish are 1-4 versus ranked teams after picking up their first win on April 5 versus #19 Connecticut. The four losses have come to #8 Syracuse (9-6), #16 Ohio State (12-9), #13 Yale (7-6) and #9 Cornell (13-5). All-time versus ranked teams, Notre Dame is 7-24 versus top 20 teams after going 4-5 last season. The highest ranked team the Irish have ever beaten was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and last season at home when they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse (April 3, 12-7).

TEWAARTON TROPHY CANDIDATE: Senior all-American candidate Danielle Shearer is one of 21 nominees for the Tewaarton Trophy that goes annually to the top player in men and women’s lacrosse. She becomes the first Notre Dame women’s player ever nominated for the award. She currently leads the Irish in scoring with 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points in eight games. She was the team’s top scorer as a junior with 39 goals and 20 assists for 59 points.

BIG EAST SCORING: Danielle Shearer, Meredith Simon and Eleanor Weille rank 2-3-4 in BIG EAST scoring after four games this season. Shearer, who leads the Irish in BIG EAST games with nine goals and 11 assists for 20 points, is just four points behind league leader Leigh Anne Zimmer of Syracuse who has 18 goals and six assists for 24 points in six games. Simon is third with 11 goasl and two assists for 13 points and Weille is fourth with six goals and six assists for 12 points. Junior Abby Owen (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) is sixth in the league with five goals and five assists for 10 points.

ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: Freshman Crysti Foote recorded her second career hat trick with three goals versus Connecticut in the April 5th, 15-7 win over the Huskies. Her first three-goal game came on March 11th when she scored three times in the 19-4 win over Ohio University.

WILY WEILLE: Senior midfielder Eleanor Weille has had a great deal of success this season in BIG EAST games. On April 5, she collected a career-high four assists in the win over Connecticut. She also has two three-goal games this season versus BIG EAST teams. She has scored three goals this season versus Virginia Tech and Boston College (three goals and two assists for career-high five-point game). Only Syracuse has held her off the scoreboard, shutting her out on April 2 in a 9-6 loss. In four BIG EAST games this season, Weille has six goals and six assists for 12 points to rank fourth in the league in scoring. On the year, she already has equaled her career-high with eight goals and has seven assists for 15 points.

SHEAR(ER) SCORER: Senior Danielle Shearer has been a tough player to stop during her Notre Dame lacrosse career. She comes into Friday’s game with Duke as the owner of a 29-game scoring streak that began on April 25, 2001 during her sophomore year. In the 29-game streak, Shearer has scored 67 goals with 41 assists for 108 points. With three goals versus Syracuse, Shearer now has scored at least two or more points in 19 straight games dating back to last season. She currently ranks second all-time in goals (112), third in assists (56) and second in points (168). The school records in each category are held by 2001 graduate Lael O’Shaughnessy who had 122 goals and 68 assists for 190 career points.

CENTURY MARK: With her third goal of the game versus Ohio University (3/11), Danielle Shearer became just the second player in Notre Dame history to reach 100 goals in her career.

BIG EAST CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Danielle Shearer has been selected BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Week twice this season. She was honored by the conference office on March 17 and March 31 for her offensive exploits with the Irish.

SIMON SAYS: Junior Meredith Simon collected three or more goals in a game for the fourth time this season when she scored three times in Notre Dame’s 15-7 win over Connecticut. She also has three-goal games versus Syracuse (4/2) and Ohio University (3/11). She scored a career-high four goals and two assists in Notre Dame’s 16-13 win at Virginia Tech (March 29). For the junior, the six-point game was her second this season with six or more points as she turned in a seven-point game (three goals and four assists) in the 19-4 win at Ohio University. Her previous best coming into this season was a five-point game (3 goals, 2 assists) in Notre Dame’s NCAA first round win over Ohio State (11-7) in May of 2003. A clutch scorer late in games a year ago, Simon is second on the Irish in scoring with 16 goals and nine assists for 25 points through the first eight games.

SCORING STREAKS: Two Irish players are in the midst of scoring streaks going into the game versus Connecticut:

Danielle Shearer -29 games (67g, 41a, 108 pts)
Meredith Simon – 4 games (11g, 3a, 14 pts)

SCORING MACHINE: Junior midfielder Abby Owen continues to be a key in the Irish lineup this season. After playing in just two games in her first two seasons at Notre Dame, Owen has made her presence felt in 2003. After being held scoreless in her first game this season, Owen has been one of Notre Dame’s top scorers with 10 goals and six assists for 16 points over the last seven contests. That ranks her third on the Irish in scoring this season. She equaled a career-best versus Virginia Tech with two goals and two assists for four points. She did the same thing in Notre Dame’s 13-12 win over Boston College. Owen picked up her first career hat trick in the 7-6 loss to Yale (3/18).

TOO MANY GOALS: Through the first eight games this season, the Irish have given up 12 or more goals four times (Cornell, Boston College, Ohio State and Virginia Tech). Last season, the Irish allowed 12 or more goals twice in 18 games – 12 to Ohio State and 17 to Georgetown.

NOTRE DAME IN NATIONAL STATS: As a team, the Irish are among the top teams in several categories in the NCAA statistics.

Team Offense – 20th, 11.13 goals per game
Draw Controls – tie for 13th, 11.75 per game

Individually, senior All-American candidate Danielle Shearer is second in the nation in assists per game (2.00) and ranks 10th in the nation with 4.13 points per game.

THE GREAT WHITE WALL: Notre Dame goalkeeper Jen White has given up just 12 goals over the last two games (nine at Syracuse and three versus Connecticut in 42:31) while making 17 saves in those two games. That gives her a 6.92 goals-against average and a .586 save percentage over those two games. Earlier this season, White had a career-high 16 saves in Notre Dame’s 13-5 loss at Cornell on March 2nd. Her previous best was a 15-save performance in a 10-9 Irish loss to Duke last season (April 12, 2002). In the Cornell game, White became Notre Dame’s all-time save leader with 314 passing Carrie Marshall (’98-’01) who had 309 in her Irish career. White now has 370 saves in her Notre Dame career. She is also the school’s all-time leader in games played (46) and goals-against average (8.57). As a junior, White was 13-5 with a 7.49 goals against average and gave Notre Dame the seventh-best defense in the nation. A first-team all-BIG EAST selection, White led the Conference in goals-against average and save percentage. She set a BIG EAST record when she limited Rutgers to just two goals in Notre Dame’s 9-2 win on April 28.

FISCHER ON THE ATTACK: Junior attack standout Lauren Fischer (Pittsburgh, Pa.) has picked up where she left off last season in the goal scoring department. Through her first eight games this sesaon, Fischer has recorded nine goals on 21 shots for the Irish for a .409 shooting percentage. Her two goals versus Ohio State (3/25) give her three two-goal games this season and seven in her career with two or more goals. She now has nine goals and one assist for 10 points in the first eight games.

ONE GOAL LOSSES: Notre Dame’s loss to Yale was its first one-goal loss of the season and makes the Irish 1-1 on the year in tight games after beating Boston College 13-12. A year ago, the Irish were 1-3 in one-goal games including a 12-11 loss at Ohio State. All-time, the Irish are 6-6 in one-goal games.

OPENING DAY LOSSES: Notre Dame’s 13-5 loss to Cornell on March 2, marked the first season-opening loss for the Irish in the seven-year history of the program. The game was also the first season opener for Notre Dame versus a nationally ranked team. The Irish are now 6-1 in season openers.

MULTIPLE POINTS: Several Irish players had multiple-point games in the win over Ohio University. Freshman Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) scored three goals while Anne Riley (Sr., Marblehead, Mass.) had a two-goal game. Senior attack Angela Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) added a goal and and two assists in the game while sophomore Jackie Bowers (Springfield, Pa.) scored the first goal and the first assist of her career for two points in the win.

IRISH FIRSTS: Several Notre Dame players recorded “firsts” in the Irish victory at Ohio University. Besides Crysti Foote (3 goals) and Jackie Bowers (1g, 1a), midfielder Abby Owen scored her first collegiate goal. Sophomore Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) played in her first collegiate game and picked up her first assist. And, freshman Corey Samperton (Bethesda, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in her first game for the Irish. Goalkeeper Carol Dixon (So., Pennsauken, N.J.) also saw her first collegiate action playing the final 17 minutes of the game.

2003 SCHEDULE: Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule features nine games versus teams ranked in the IWLCA poll. They are: Duke (#3), Georgetown (#6), Cornell (#7), Syracuse (#8), Ohio State (#11), Yale (#14), Stanford (#16), Vanderbilt (#17) and Northwestern (#20). The Irish came into the season ranked in the top 10, as they were picked seventh in the IWLCA poll and fifth by Inside Lacrosse Magazine.

A LOOK AT THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns seven starters and 11 monogram winners from its 2002 team. The Irish must replace five four-year starters including their top three defenders in Tina Fedarcyk, Maureen Henwood and Kathryn Lam and midfielders Natalie Loftus and Alissa Moser. Among Notre Dame’s top returnees are senior midfielder Danielle Shearer, who is the team’s top returning scorer after a 39-goal, 20-assist campaign last season. Seniors Kelly McCardell (West Chester, Pa.) and Elizabeth Knight (Baltimore, Md.) are the leaders of the defense while Angela Dixon and Lauren Fischer are the top returnees at attack. All-American candidate Jen White played all 18 games last season and set school records for wins (13), goals-against average (7.49) and save percentage (.545).

RECORD SETTING SEASON: The 2002 women’s lacrosse season will go down as the finest season in the program’s six-year history. Going into the NCAA quarterfinals at Princeton, the Irish have set program-bests for wins (13), for BIG EAST wins (5) and for the highest ranking (7th) that the program has ever achieved. The Irish have also set records for lowest goals against (7.49), save percentage (.545) and ground balls (516). Notre Dame also won its first game at home versus a ranked team when the Irish defeated 7th-ranked Syracuse, 12-7, on April 3. The Irish also won their first-ever NCAA tournament game when they defeated Ohio State on May 9 by an 11-7 score.

NOT WASTING ANY TIME: Freshman Mary McGrath (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) wasted little time getting on the scoresheet for the Irish as she scored her first collegiate goals versus Cornell with 12:57 left in the first half to tie the game at 2-2. She scored again in Notre Dame’s 19-4 win at Ohio University.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Two members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program have been selected to Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason all-American teams. Midfielder Danielle Shearer was a first-team selection while goalkeeper Jen White was chosen to the second team. Shearer, along with graduated defender Kathryn Lam were the first two all-Americans in Notre Dame history last season as both were chosen to the second team. Shearer was the BIG EAST midfielder of the year as she led Notre Dame with 39 goals and 20 assists for 59 points. White was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection as she set school records for wins (13), goals-against average (7.49) and save percentage (.545) in her junior year.

THE CAPTAINS: The Irish will have three new players serving as captains this season. Seniors Elizabeth Knight (Baltimore, Md.), Kelly McCardell (West Chester, Pa.) and Danielle Shearer will serve as the team’s captains this season.

NEW ASSISTANTS: Irish head coach Tracy Coyne added two new assistants to her staff during the summer. Brooke Crawford, a 1999 graduate of North Carolina where she was a three-time all-American on defense. She served as an assistant last season at George Mason and prior to that was at the University of Connecticut for two seasons. Jen Newitt, a 2002 graduate of Dartmouth where she led the Big Green in scoring with 39 goals and 18 assists on the way to all-American honors. Crawford will work with the defense while Newitt handles the offense.

MORE NEW FACES: Notre Dame added 11 new faces to its roster with one of its biggest recruiting classes ever.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Lacrosse runs in the Simon family as junior Meredith Simon is joined at Notre Dame by brother, Eric, who is a member of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program. The senior is one of three team captains in the 2003 season. The women’s team also includes one set of sisters as senior attack player Angela Dixon and sophomore goalkeeper Carol Dixon are the second set of sisters to play for the Irish. They join Amy and Mara Grace who were team members in the first year of the program (1997-98).

THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s heartbreaking 10-9 loss to 7th-ranked Duke (April 12) in three overtimes goes down as the longest game in the history of the women’s lacrosse program. The total time for the game was 71:45 as Duke got the winning goal with 15 seconds left in the third overtime period. In that game the Irish trailed 8-6 and got goals from Maureen Henwood and Meredith Simon with 1:40 left to send the game to overtime. Simon’s goal came with 19 seconds left in the game. The Irish have played three overtime games in their history and are 2-1 in those games.

TEAM USA: Notre Dame is represented on the U.S. National Developmental Team by four players. Current Irish standout Danielle Shearer is the only active team member on the squad. She is joined by defender Kathryn Lam (’02) who is a two-year member of the team. Current Irish assistant coaches, Brooke Crawford and Jen Newitt, are also team members.