Sophomore Heather Ferguson scored twice in Notre Dame's 13-6 win at Ohio State. She has career highs in goals (10), assists (9) and points (19) this season.

#17 Irish Open Four-Game Homestand Versus Ohio University On March 2 At The Loftus Center

March 2, 2006

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #17 Notre Dame (2-0/0-0) vs. Ohio University (1-2/0-0)

• Date/Site/Time: Thur., March 2, 2006 – 4:30 p.m. – Loftus Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

• The Game: #17 Notre Dame (2-0/0-0) vs. #18 Cornell (1-0/0-0)

• Date/Site/Time: Sun., March 5, 2006 – 12:00 noon – Loftus Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

IRISH OPEN HOME SCHEDULE VERSUS OHIO UNIVERSITY: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team returns to action on Thursday, March 2 in their home opener when the Irish play host to the Ohio University Bobcats. Game time at the Loftus Center is set for 4:30 p.m. For the Irish, the contest with Ohio is the first of four straight home games after starting the season on the road with wins at California and Stanford. The Irish will face their first-ranked team of the season on Sunday when they play host to No. 18 (IWLCA coaches’ poll) Cornell at the Loftus Center. That game will start at 12:00 noon. Ohio visits Notre Dame fresh off its first win of the season, a 16-4 home win over Howard University. The Bobcats are 1-2 on the season. Cornell won its season opener on Wed., March 1, a 15-8 win over Colgate. Notre Dame comes into the week with a 2-0 record and is ranked 17th in the IWLCA poll.

IRISH VERSUS OHIO: Notre Dame and Ohio University have met six times in the all-time series with the Irish winning all six contests. Notre Dame is 3-0 at home against the Bobcats and 3-0 on the road at Athens, Ohio. The Irish opened the 2005 season at Ohio and took a 16-10 win. Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) led the way with five goals and three assists for eight points in that game. Meghan Murphy (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) each scored four goals in the game. McKinney’s four goals set an Irish freshman record for most goals by a player in her first game.

NOTRE DAME VERSUS CORNELL: The Irish and the Big Red have met four times in the series with Cornell holding a 3-1 edge in the games played. The Irish are 0-2 in Ithaca, N.Y. and 1-1 in South Bend versus the Big Red. Notre Dame’s lone win came on March 7, 2004, a 20-7 victory at the Loftus Center. Last season, the Irish dropped an 11-8 game at Cornell on March 6. Kaki Orr (Jr., Darien, Conn.) led the Irish with two goals and Mary McGrath and Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) each had a goal and an assist in the loss. Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made nine saves.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her 10th season as the head coach of the Irish and is the only coach in the program’s Division I history. Coyne owns a 74-60 (.552) record at Notre Dame and is 188-86 (.686) in her 19-year coaching career. Last season, Coyne’s squad was 3-12 on the year and 1-4 in BIG EAST play. The Irish lost seven games by three goals or less, including four, one-goal decisions. The year before, 2004, Coyne led the Irish to a 12-5 overall record and second place in the BIG EAST with a 4-2 record. She was selected the 2004 BIG EAST coach of the year. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in the program’s history, dropping a 10-8 decision at Northwestern. 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 as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team since 1999. Last year, she led Team Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 World Cup, her second fourth-place finish (2001) as Canada’s field boss. Coyne is 6-0 all-time versus her alma mater and 1-3 against Cornell.

BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior captain Crysti Foote was named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for her play in Notre Dame’s two wins in California on the opening weekend. Foote scored 12 goals and added three assists for 15 points in the two contests. In the 23-11 win over California, Foote set a Notre Dame single-game record with nine goals and 11 points. The previous record for goals in a game was seven and the school’s previous point mark was nine. She followed that performance with three goals and one assist in Notre Dame’s come-from-behind 12-11 overtime win versus Stanford.

NOT A BAD START: Freshman Jill Byers (Northport, N.Y.) was selected by as both that website’s player of the week and rookie of the week for Feb. 26. Byers scored five goals in each game versus California and Stanford and added three assists for 13 points on the weekend. She scored the game-tying goal with 4:49 left in regulation and then the game-winning goal versus Stanford at 1:24 of the third overtime period.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN: Notre Dame scored 23 goals in its season opener at California on Feb. 24, downing the Bears by a 23-11 margin. Senior Crysti Foote led the way with nine goals and two assists for an 11-point afternoon. Freshman Jill Byers set a freshman mark with five goals and two assists for seven points in her first collegiate game. Caitlin McKinney had three goals and three assists for six points. Kaki Orr added two goals while Meghan Murphy, Alicia Billings (Fr., Potomac, Md.), Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.) and Jane Stoeckert (Fr., Mendham, N.J.) each had one goal. Carol Dixon made six saves in the win.

NAILBITER: The Irish closed out their weekend in California with a come-from-behind, 12-11, triple-overtime thriller versus Stanford. The Cardinal twice built five-goal leads (5-0 and 9-4) only to see the Irish roar back. Jill Byers paced the attack with five goals and an assist. Among her five goals were the game-tying tally in regulation to make it 9-9 and the game winner at 1:24 of sudden-death overtime. Crysti Foote had three goals and an assist in the game while Caitlin McKinney added two goals and three helpers. Meghan Murphy added one as did Mary Carpenter (So., Rochester, N.Y.). Carpenter’s goal tied the game at 11-11 with 12 seconds left in the second overtime. Carol Dixon equaled a career high with 15 saves in the game.

IRISH GOAL MARK: Notre Dame’s 23-goal outburst versus California on Feb. 24, set a school record for goals in a game for the Irish. The previous mark was 22 and was done twice in the past. On March 10, 2000, the Irish scored 22 goals in a 22-3 home win versus Ohio University. They followed that with a 22-11 win on May 1, 2003 at Vanderbilt.

TERRIFIC TRIUMVIRATE: Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio of Crysti Foote, Jill Byers and Caitlin McKinney got the 2006 season off to a fast start versus California and Stanford. The trio combined for 27 goals and 12 assists for 39 points on the weekend. Foote had 12 goals and three assists for 15 points. Byers, playing in her first two collegiate games had 10 goals and three assists for 13 points and McKinney had five goals and six assists for 11 points in the two games. Foote picked up the game-winning goal versus California and Byers had the sudden-death game winner against Stanford.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: With 12 goals on the opening weekend, senior Crysti Foote now has 99 for her career. One more goal will make her just the fourth player in the 10-year history of the program to score 100 goals in her career. She is currently fourth in goals (99), fifth in assists (39) and fifth in points (138) in her Notre Dame career.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Notre Dame’s freshman class had a strong opening weekend. Jill Byers led the way with five goals in each game. Her five goal-two assist game set Notre Dame marks for goals and points by a freshman in their first game with the Irish. Jane Stoeckert had a goal and an assist with the assist coming on Byers’ game-winning goal in overtime versus Stanford. Alicia Billings also scored her first career goal in the win over California.

THE CAPTAINS: Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) and senior Crysti Foote were named team captains by coach Tracy Coyne prior to the start of the season in California. For Dixon, it marks the second year that she has served as one of Notre Dame’s team captains. For Foote, it’s her first season in that leadership role.

FOR OPENERS: Notre Dame is now 8-2 all-time in season openers after defeating California on Feb. 24. The Irish are 8-2 in road openers and 5-4 in home openers after the dropping last season’s home opener to Northwestern.

BEST IN THE NATION: Notre Dame’s freshman class has been rated No. 1 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse magazine in its November, 2005 issue. The story had this to say about the 10-player class: “Coming off a disappointing 3-12 season, the Fighting Irish have high hopes for 2006 with Jill Byers (Northport, N.Y.) leading a powerful class that includes immediate contributors Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.), Mary Veith (Silver Springs, Md.) and Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.). Goalie Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) adds strength for the future.” As part of the story, the magazine’s list of “Blue Chip” recruits listed Jill Byers and Jane Stoeckert among its top 10 incoming freshmen. The top 10 classes were: 1. Notre Dame; 2. Princeton; 3. Penn State; 4. Duke; 5. Virginia; 6. Northewestern; 7. Maryland; 8. North Carolina; 9. Georgetown; 10. James Madison.

OVERTIME NUMBERS: The Irish wasted little time this season in getting an overtime game under their belt. In this the 10th season of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program, the Irish played their 10th overtime game on Feb. 26, a 12-11 triple overtime game at Stanford. The win improves the Irish to 4-6 all-time in overtime. Last season, they were 0-2 with a pair of 10-9 losses to Vanderbilt and Boston College. Five of the 10 overtime contests have ended with 10-9 scores.

PRESEASON HONORS: Three Notre Dame players were selected by the BIG EAST coaches as preseason all-BIG EAST team members. Making the list were seniors Crysti Foote and Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) and sophomore Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.). Foote and McKinney were unanimous choices. All three were all-BIG EAST selections in 2005. Foote was a first-team choice after scoring 34 goals with 16 assists for 50 points, finishing sixth in overall scoring in the conference. Zentgraf had a break out season for the Irish in 2005. She finished fourth in team scoring with 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points. She also added 27 ground balls (tied for fourth), 12 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers on the year. McKinney was the lone freshman selected to either of the BIG EAST all-star teams and the first Notre Dame freshman ever selected all-BIG EAST. She joined the Irish starting lineup in game one and went on to score 26 goals with 14 assists for 40 points to rank 11th among BIG EAST scorers.

SISTER ACTS: Notre Dame has seven sets of sisters in the program’s history and has an eighth on the way next season. Currently, the Irish have three sets of sisters on this year’s team. Heading the group are twin sisters, sophomores Heather and Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.). They are joined by senior Crysti Foote and sophomore Julie Foote and senior Meghan deMello and her sister freshman, Lauren. Three other members of this year’s team have had sisters play at Notre Dame. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon played two seasons (`01-’03) with her sister, Angela (`03). Freshmen Annemarie McGrath (Radnor, Pa.) and Kelly Gaudreau (Annapolis, Md.) were preceded by sisters Mary McGrath (`06) and Kristen Gaudreau (`04). Gaudreau also served as a volunteer assistant coach in 2005. Joining the sister act next season will be the Zentgrafs. Lena Zentgraf, currently a senior at Notre Dame with one more year of eligibility, could see action with her sister, Maggie Zentgraf, who signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Notre Dame in the fall of 2006. The sisters that started the tradition are Amy (`98) and Mara (`98) Grace. They each played in the first two seasons of the program. CLOSE ONES: In a 2005 season the Irish would like to forget, Notre Dame lost seven games by a total of three goals or fewer. Four of those games were one-goal losses and two came in overtime. Notre Dame lost a pair of 10-9 overtime games at Vanderbilt and Boston College. The third 10-9 loss came at Johns Hopkins where the Jays scored with three seconds left. The fourth one-goal loss was by a 6-5 margin to Stanford. Three of the team’s other losses came by three goals – 11-8 at Cornell, 13-10 to Connecticut and 11-8 to Duke. In seven of the 12 losses, the Irish lost by a combined 13 goals (1.86 goals per game) and in the 12 losses for the season, they were out scored by a total of 42 goals (3.50 per loss).

SLAMMING THE DOOR: Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon took over as Notre Dame’s top goalkeeper in 2004 and has now started 34 consecutive games between the pipes for the Irish. In those 34 games, she has ver the last two seasons, she has played 2,052:04 of a possible 2,065:24 minutes, missing just 13:20 of playing time. Last season, Dixon was 3-12 with an 11.04 goals-against average and a .447 save percentage. For her career, Dixon has played in 39 games and is 17-17 with a 9.89 goals-against average and a .480 save percentage. Last season, she led the team with 38 ground balls and added eight caused turnovers.