April 25, 2003
THE NORTHWESTERN GAME: The Irish close out their five-game homestand with a pair of weekend games at Moose Krause Stadium. On Sat., April 26, the Irish face the Northwestern Wildcats in an 11:00 a.m. contest. Notre Dame then closes out the 2003 home and BIG EAST schedule on Sunday, April 27 versus the 20th-ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Irish go into the weekend with a 5-7 overall record and a 3-2 record in the BIG EAST and are ranked 18th in the most recent IWLCA poll. Northwestern comes into Saturday’s game with a 7-6 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the American Lacrosse Conference. Rutgers is ranked 20th on the season and is 12-3 overall and 3-2 in BIG EAST play. Sunday’s game with the Scarlet Knights will break the tie for third place in the BIG EAST. Following this weekend’s games, the Irish close out the regular season on Friday, May 2nd when they travel to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt. That game will start at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).
IRISH VERSUS WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northwestern meet for just the second time since the Wildcats revived their program last season. The Irish won the first meeting in Evanston, Ill., with an 11-3 win. Danielle Shearer (Sr., Hampstead, Md.) led the Irish with three goals and an assist and Meredith Simon (Jr., Flemington, N.J.) and Anne Riley (Sr., Marblehead, Mass.) each scored twice in the win. Goalkeeper Jen White (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) made three saves in the victory.
IRISH VERSUS SCARLET KNIGHTS: Notre Dame and Rutgers meet for the fourth time in the all-time series and the third time in BIG EAST play. The Irish hold a 2-1 edge in the first three meetings, going 1-0 in South Bend and 1-1 in Piscataway, N.J. Last season, the Irish won 9-2 at Rutgers, setting a BIG EAST record for the fewest goals allowed in a game (2). Jen White was the goalkeeper in that contest and she came up with 11 saves in the game. Danielle Shearer led the Irish with two goals and two assists while Alissa Moser had three goals and Natalie Loftus two in the BIG EAST win. Both teams come into Sunday’s game with 3-2 records in the BIG EAST and are tied for third place. Notre Dame has never finished lower than third place in the BIG EAST.
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 54-43 (.557) record at Notre Dame and is 168-69 (.709) 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. Coyne is 1-0 in her coaching career versus Northwestern and 2-1 versus Rutgers. 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.
ANOTHER GROUP OF WILDCATS: The Irish got their streak of consecutive games versus teams with the nickname Wildcats off to a good start with an 18-6 win over the Davidson Wildcats on Tuesday, April 22 at Moose Krause Stadium. Freshman Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) turned in her second consecutive six-point game, getting three goals and three assists for the Irish. Danielle Shearer scored three goals with an assist in the game. Other multiple goal scorers for the Irish were: Meredith Simon (2), Corey Samperton (Fr., Bethesda, Md.) with two and Lauren Fischer (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) with two goals. Jen White played the first half in goal giving up four goals while making three saves. Sophomore Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) gave up two second-half goals while making five saves in the game. The Irish outshot Davidson by a 41-16 margin.
SHEAR(ER) SCORER: Senior Danielle Shearer needs just two goals in her final three games to become Notre Dame’s all-time goal scoring leader. The All-American candidate comes into this weekend’s games with 121 career goals, just one behind former Irish great Lael O’Shaughnessy (’01) who scored 122 in her career. Shearer also has a shot at O’Shaughnessy’s all-time records for assists (68) and career points (190). The Tewaarton Award candidate starts the weekend with 121 goals and 61 assists for 182 career points. She needs eight assists and nine points to become Notre Dame’s all-time leader in all three categories.
THANKS SENIORS: Notre Dame’s Class of 2003 plays its final home games this weekend at Moose Krause Stadium. The seniors will be honored prior to Sunday’s final home game with Rutgers. The group includes All-American candidates Danielle Shearer and Jen White, standout defenders Kelly McCardell (West Chester, Pa.) and Elizabeth Knight (Baltimore, Md.), attack standout Angela Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) and midfielders Eleanor Weille (Garden City, N.Y.) and Anne Riley (Marblehead, Mass.). The eighth member of the group is senior manager Jon Conte (Scarsdale, N.Y.).
VERSUS THE BEST: Sunday’s game with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be the ninth game this season that Notre Dame will play versus a nationally ranked team. Coming into the weekend, the Irish are 1-7 versus ranked teams following the April 19, 16-15 overtime loss to #5 Georgetown. The Irish went 1-4 in a recent run of five consecutive games versus ranked teams that ended with the Georgetown loss. All-time versus ranked teams, Notre Dame is 7-27 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).
LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s double-overtime loss to Stanford becomes the longest game in Notre Dame history as the team’s played a total of 72 minutes (60 regulation minutes and four three-minute overtime stanzas). The previous longest game came last season versus Duke as the Irish played 71:45 before losing a 10-9 decision. That game ended in sudden-death with the winning goal coming with just 15 seconds left in the fourth three-minute overtime. Notre Dame is now 2-2 all-time in overtime games.
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 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points in 12 games. She was the team’s top scorer as a junior with 39 goals and 20 assists for 59 points.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: Freshman Crysti Foote continued her torrid scoring pace over the last five games with a three-goal, three-assist performance versus Davidson. In her last two games, Foote has seven goals and five assists for 12 points. In her current five-game scoring streak, Foote has 13 goals and six assists for 19 points. On the year, she is third on the Irish in scoring with 18 goals and seven assists for 25 points. She moved into the starting lineup on April 13 versus Stanford.
BIG EAST SCORING: The Irish have four players among the top eight in scoring in the BIG EAST. Senior Danielle Shearer leads the league in BIG EAST games with 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists. She is followed by Meredith Simon, who is tied for fourth with 15 points (12 goals, three assists). Eleanor Weille is tied for sixth with 14 point on seven goals and seven assists and Abby Owen (Jr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) is eighth with six goals and seven assists for 13 points.
ONE STOPPED, ONE STILL GOING: Notre Dame’s leading scorer, Danielle Shearer, was held to just one goal in the 10-7 Irish loss at Duke on April 11. That snapped a streak of 19 straight games that Shearer had scored two or more points going back to last season. She got back on track with a four-point game versus Stanford. Her point scoring streak has now reached 33 games. The streak began on April 25, 2001 during her sophomore year. During the streak, Shearer has scored 76 goals, added 46 assists and has 122 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.
SCORING STREAKS: Several Irish players take scoring streaks into the weekend with Northwestern and Rutgers.
Danielle Shearer -33 games (76g, 46a, 122 pts)
Meredith Simon – 8 games (19g, 5a, 24 pts)
Crysti Foote – 5 games (13 g, 6a, 19 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 5 games (7g, 4a, 11 pts)
Angela Dixon – 3 games (6g, 4a, 10 pts)
Mary McGrath – 3 games (2g, 2a, 4pts)
Eleanor Weille – 2 games (2g, 2a, 4 pts)
SIMON SAYS: Junior Meredith Simon continues her strong play this season as she in the midst of an eight-game scoring streak that has seen her net 19 goals and five assists for 24 points. She has collected three or more goals in a game four times this season. She owns three goal games versus Connecticut (4/6), 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 team in goals (24), assists (11) and points (35).
COREY’S THE STORY: Freshman Corey Samperton turned in the first multiple goal game of her young career when she scored a pair of goals in the 18-6 win over Davidson. Samperton has three goals on the season in limited playing time.
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 five BIG EAST games this season, Weille has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points and is tied for sixth in league scoring. On the year, she has career-highs in goals (10) and points (19). Her nine assists equal her career-high set last season.
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.
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 13 goals and eight assists for 21 points over the last 10 contests. That ranks her fourth 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 12 games this season, the Irish have given up 10 or more goals seven times (Cornell, Boston College, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Duke, Stanford and Georgetown). Last season, the Irish allowed 10 or more goals five times in 18 games.
NOTRE DAME IN NATIONAL STATS: Notre Dame goes into the Georgetown game ranked in one team national category while All-American Danielle Shearer is among the national leaders in two categories. As a team, the Irish are ninth in draw controls (12.27 per game). Shearer is 15th in points per game (3.91) and sixth in assists (1.82) per game.
ONE GOAL LOSSES: The Irish have played in four one-goal games this season and are 1-3 in those contests. Notre Dame suffered back-to-back overtime losses to Stanford (14-13 in 2ot) and Georgetown (16-15 in ot). The other one-goal loss came at Yale early in the season. The Irish defeated Boston College 13-12 earlier this season for a one-goal win. A year ago, the Irish were 1-3 in one-goal games. All-time, the Irish are 6-8 in one-goal games.
KINNIK FOR THE DEFENSE: Junior Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.) has become a key player on the Irish defense this season. She recorded a career-high six ground balls in the loss at Duke (April 11). For the year, she leads the Irish with 29 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers. She has also come up with 12 draw controls this season.
THE GREAT WHITE WALL: Notre Dame goalkeeper Jen White recorded a career-best 19 saves in the 16-15 overtime loss to Georgetown on April 19. Earlier this season, White had a then, 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 406 saves in her Notre Dame career. She is also the school’s all-time leader in games played (50) and goals-against average (8.82). 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 12 games this season, Fischer has recorded 15 goals on 35 shots for the Irish for a .429 shooting percentage. Her two goals versus Davidson (4/22) give her five two-goal games this season and nine in her career with two or more goals. She now has 15 goals and four assists for 19 points in the 12 games. The four assists are a career high and the 19 points equal her career-high from last season.
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 (#4), Georgetown (#5), Ohio State (#10), Syracuse (#11), Yale (#12), Cornell (#13), Stanford (#15), Vanderbilt (#16) and Rutgers (#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.
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.
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).
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.