April 15, 2004
* Meredith Simon and Carol Dixon are BIG EAST offensive and defensive players of the week for the week ending April 11.
IRISH AND HOYAS TO BATTLE: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend to face the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday, April 17th. The game will be played at Georgetown’s Kehoe Field with a 1:00 p.m. (EDT) start. The Irish will go into the BIG EAST encounter with a 10-0 overall record and a 3-0 mark in league play. Notre Dame is in the midst of a 14-game winning streak and moved up to second in the country in this week’s IWLCA polls. The Irish are coming off a 14-6 road win at Ohio State last Saturday, April 10. Georgetown comes into the game ranked fifth in the country and is 8-2 overall with a 4-0 mark in the BIG EAST. The Hoyas defeated Boston College, 20-3, in their last game on April 10. Georgetown has a half-game lead on the Irish in the league standings heading into Saturday’s game. Following the Georgetown game, Notre Dame will travel to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern on Tuesday, April 20 in a 4:00 p.m. game.
IRISH VERSUS GEORGETOWN: Notre Dame and Georgetown meet for the fifth time in the all-time series with the Hoyas owning a 4-0 edge. The Hoyas have won twice in Washington and twice at Notre Dame. Last season, the two teams had to go to overtime in South Bend with Georgetown pulling out a 16-15 win in the extra stanza. The Hoyas scored three goals in the final 2:22 of the game to wipe out a 13-10 Irish lead. In overtime, Georgetown scored three quick goals only to see the Irish score twice for the 16-15 final score. The Hoyas have won the BIG EAST title and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in each of the first three seasons that the conference has been in existence. The Irish have finished third (2001, 2003) twice and second (2002) once in that span.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her eighth season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 67-43 (.609) record at Notre Dame and is 181-69 (.725) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 0-4 versus Georgetown. In 2003, she led the Irish to an 8-7 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for third in the league standings. In 2002, Coyne led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid as Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. 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. She led the team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup and will serve as head coach of Team Canada again for the 2005 World Cup.
PULLING RANK: Notre Dame moved into second in both the IWLCA coaches poll and Inside Lacrosse magazine on April 12. That marks the highest any Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has ever been ranked. The Irish started the season with a preseason ranking of 17th and moved to 12th on March 1 after wins at California and Stanford. They remained 12th until March 16th when Notre Dame moved to third after wins versus #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. The Irish remained third until this week when they moved to second behind Princeton after wins versus Ohio University and Ohio State.
SWEEPING OHIO: The Irish won both games on the week with wins over Ohio University (13-8) and Ohio State (14-6). Versus Ohio State on April 10, senior midfielder Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.) paced the Notre Dame offensive attack with six points on three goals and three assists and junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) led the defense with a career-high 14 saves at Columbus, Ohio. The Irish ran out to a 10-0 first-half lead to put the game away early before Ohio State scored late in the opening half for a 10-1 halftime score. Simon got plenty of help on the offensive attack as Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.) had four-point games with three goals and an assist each. Kassen Delano (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) and Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) added two goals each in the game and Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) added a solo goal on the afternoon. On April 6 versus Ohio University, Simon again paced the attack with three goals on the afternoon. Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.), Lauren Fischer and Abby Owen scored two goals each as Notre Dame rolled to a 13-8 win over the Bobcats. For the game, Fischer and Owen each had two goals and an assist for three-point games and Crysti Foote had a goal and an assist to join Murphy with two points on the afternoon. Kassen Delano (Alexandria, Va.), Jackie Bowers and Kerry Van Shura (So., Bel Air, Md.) had single goals for the Irish. Notre Dame led 7-4 at halftime and outscored the Bobcats, 6-4, in the second half for the win. Carol Dixon had 10 stops in goal for the Irish.
VERSUS THE BEST: Georgetown is the fifth nationally ranked team the Irish have faced this season. Through 10 games, Notre Dame is 4-0 against top 20 teams. All-time, Notre Dame is now 13-27 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. Among Notre Dame’s wins this season versus ranked teams are victories over #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. Those two wins came against the highest-ranked teams the Irish have ever beaten. The previous highest-ranked team Notre Dame beat was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and in 2002, they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse. In 2003, the Irish were 3-7 versus teams ranked in the top 20.
ON A TEAR: Senior midfielder Meredith Simon continued her red-hot play this season versus Ohio State as she recorded her fourth game with six or more points in the 14-6 win. Simon had three goals and three assists to go with a three-goal game versus Ohio University on April 6. She now has career highs in goals (33), assists (14) and points (47) in just 10 games this year. As of April 12, Simon is eighth in the country with 4.70 points per game and is tied for 10th with 3.30 goals per game. At Notre Dame she has 96 goals (third all-time), 35 assists (fourth all-time) for 131 career points (fourth-best all-time). Only two other players – Danielle Shearer (130) and Lael O’Shaughnessy (122) have reached the 100-goal plateau in their Notre Dame careers. Simon needs just four goals to become the third.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: After being held off the scoresheet for two consecutive games earlier this season, sophomore midfielder Crysti Foote has found her scoring touch over the last five games. During the five-game run, Foote has 11 goals and five assists for 16 points. On the season, Foote is fourth in scoring with 15 goals and eight assists for 23 points on the year. As a freshman in 2003, she finished third on the team in scoring with 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Foote played in all 15 games, starting the final six of the season. In those six games, she racked up 18 goals and eight assists for 26 points. She ended the year with an eight-game scoring streak with 22 goals and nine assists for 31 points. During her streak, Foote had six-point games versus Georgetown (4g, 2a) and Davidson (3g, 3a). She also had a four-goal game versus Vanderbilt to close the year. Following the season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic region team.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON: Notre Dame can look back on the end of the 2003 season as a jump start for the 2004 campaign. The Irish ended the season with four straight wins to improve from 4-7 on the year to 8-7 overall. With 10 wins to start the 2004 season, the Irish have now won 14 straight going into the game at Georgetown. The previous longest winning streak for the Irish was six games from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.
IRISH ON THE NATIONAL SCENE: Notre Dame figures prominently in the national statistics this week (through games of April 12):
Points per game: Meredith Simon, 8th, 4.70 ppg
Goals per game: Meredith Simon, t10th, 3.30 gpg
GAVG: Carol Dixon, 9th, 7.92 GAVG
Save Pct: Carol Dixon, 17th, .532 save pct.
Goals per game: 2nd, 14.40 gpg
Team Defense: 9th, 7.90 opponent gpg
Margin of Victory: 4th, +6.50 gpg
Ground Balls: t9th, 27.00
Draw Controls: 8th, 12.80
Caused Turnovers: 6th, 11.90
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: For the second time this season, Notre Dame women’s lacrosse players were named the BIG EAST offensive and defensive players of the week, this time for the week ending April 11. The previous time occured on March 29 when Meredith Simon and defender Andrea Kinnik (Sr., West Chester, Pa.) took league honors on the same week. This week, Simon was named the league’s offensive player of the week as she recorded six goals and three assists for nine points. Those totals give her a career-high 33 goals and 14 assists for 47 points on the year in just 10 games. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon backstopped the Irish to a pair of wins on the week to take co-defensive player of the week honors. Dixon made 24 saves in two wins to run her record to 10-0 in her first season as the Irish starting goalkeeper. In the April 6 win over Ohio University, Dixon made 10 saves while giving up four goals in each half to the Bobcats. At Ohio State, Dixon turned in a career-high 14-save performance as the Irish downed the Buckeyes, 14-6. For the season, Dixon is 10-0 with a 7.82 goals-against average and a .554 save percentage. Both totals are in the top three in the BIG EAST and among the top 15 in the nation. Simon was named BIG EAST offensive player of the week for March 8 and March 29th. Dixon’s previous honor was on March 1 after opening the season with two wins in California.
SCORING STREAKS: Meredith Simon continued her scoring streak versus Ohio State that has now reached 21 games. Abby Owen has an 11 game streak that started last season and Lauren Fischer has scored in every game this season. Here are the current Irish scoring streaks going into the Ohio State game.
Meredith Simon – 21 games (55g, 21a, 76 pts)
Abby Owen – 11 games (26g, 9a, 35 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 10 games (20g, 8a, 28 pts)
Kassen Delano – 9 games (13g, 4a, 17 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 6 games (9g, 3a, 12 pts)
Crysti Foote – 5 games (11g, 5a, 16 pts)
CAREER YEAR: You thought that midfielder Abby Owen had a breakout season in 2003 when she had 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points??? Well, in 2004, through the first 10 games of the year, Owen has already scored 25 goals with seven assists for 32 points (a new career high). She has four games this season with four points and four games with three points on the year. She had a career-high four-goal game versus Stanford on Feb. 29. She was named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29 and BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending March 14. DELANO DELIGHTS: Senior midfielder Kassen Delano turned in a season-best four-point game (three goals and one assist) in the win over Connecticut. The three-goal game was the third of her career and the four-point game was the second. Delano’s other four-point game came versus Connecticut on April 8, 2001. On the season, Delano has 11 goals and four assists for 15 points. Her career highs are 15 goals and five assists for 20 points, marks set as a freshman in 2001.
HIGH-SCORING IRISH: Notre Dame is second in the nation in scoring with 14.40 goals per game through the first 10 games of the season. The Irish trail Maryland as the Terrapins are averaging 14.77 goals per game in 13 contests this season. Notre Dame’s mark of 14.40 is the all-time best scoring mark for the Irish. The previous best is 13.56 goals per game and that came during the 1997 season, the first year that the program existed.
IRISH HONORS: The following Notre Dame players have been honored during 2004.
Carol Dixon – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (April 12).
BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29)
Andrea Kinnik – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (March 29)
Abby Owen – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 14)
Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week (Feb. 29)
Meredith Simon – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (April 12)
BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 29)
BIG EAST co-offensive player of the week (March 8)
FIVE FOR BOWERS: Just when you thought that the Irish didn’t have enough goal scorers in the lineup, Jackie Bowers joined the attack versus Virginia Tech (March 26). All the junior attack player did was rack up a career-best five goals in the win. For the weekend versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Bowers had six goals and one assist for seven points. On the year, Bowers has 10 goals and five assists for 15 points. All are career highs. Bowers had three goals and one assist for four points in limited action last season.
SCORIN’ LAUREN: Senior attacker Lauren Fischer continued her strong senior season with three goals and an assist in the win at Ohio State (April 10). Through 10 games, Fischer has career highs in goals (20), assists (8) and points (24). Fischer’s three-assist game on March 28 versus Boston College is a career high. Her four-point versus Ohio State was her second of the season (March 7 vs. Cornell) and the third of her career and is a career high. The three-goal game versus Ohio State was the third of the season and fifth of her career. Fischer’s previous career highs in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) were established last season.
KINNIK FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior Andrea Kinnik had a breakout season in 2003 for the Irish. She led the team with 44 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers while tying for fifth with 20 draw controls. Her defensive skills were recognized in the postseason when she was named first-team Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic Region and third-team All-America by womenslacrosse.com. She already has scored four goals this season and leads the team with 35 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: When the Irish opened the 2004 season at Cal-Berkeley, Carol Dixon became the first goalkeeper to start a game for the Irish besides Jen White (’03) since the final game of the 2000 season. White started 48 consecutive games for Notre Dame, between 2001-2003. Dixon served as White’s backup the previous two seasons and saw action in five games last year, playing 121 minutes with a 8.93 goals-against average and a .571 save percentage. She was 0-0 on the year. This season, Dixon has acquitted herself quite well as she has a 10-game winning streak to start the season with a 7.92 goals-against average and a .554 save percentage. She ranks second in the BIG EAST in goals-against average and is fourth in save percentage. Nationally, her goals against ranks ninth and her save percentage is 17th. Twice this season, Dixon has been named the BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29 and April 12).
SLAMMING THE DOOR: Through 10 games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 79 goals for an 7.90 goals-against average. The best goals against in the program’s previous seven seasons was 7.49 and that came during the 2002 campaign. Only Duke and Virginia Tech, with 11 goals, has scored in double figures versus the Irish this season.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has even joined in on the goal scoring this season. The Irish defense had a goal and an assist in the 13-8 win over Ohio University on April 6. Andrea Kinnik set up one goal and sophomore Kerry Van Shura (Bel Air, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in the contest. In nine games this season, Irish defenders have 12 goals and three assists on the year. Kristen Gaudreau (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) leads the defense with six goals and an assist for seven points. Andrea Kinnik has four goals and two assists while Van Shura and Jess Mikula (Jr., Chester, Md.) have one goal each.
THE CAPTAINS: Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik and Meredith Simon. For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.
NEW KIDS: Freshman midfielder Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first 10 games of the season. Murphy had a career-high three goals and four points in the win over Cornell (Mar. 7), just her third game in an Irish uniform. For the season she has nine goals and one assist for 10 points and is seventh on the team in scoring. Fellow freshman defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made her first career start versus Connecticut and has seen action in all eight games on defense. Sophomore Brittany Fox (So., Annapolis, Md.) scored her first career goal in the win over Cornell in her second career game. Junior midfielder Maura Costello (Manhasset, N.Y.) and sophomore defender Katie Killeen (Manhasset, N.Y.) both saw their first action for the Irish women’s lacrosse team versus Cornell. Kristin Hopson (Fr., Rosemont, Pa.) saw her first action versus Virginia Tech while Megan O’Shaughnessy (Fr., Englewood, Colo.) and Kaki Orr (Fr., Darien, Conn.) saw their first career action versus Boston College.
THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s overtime win versus California was the seventh overtime game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 3-4 in games that go beyond regulation. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) as the two team’s battled for 72 minutes (60 regulation minutes and four three-minute overtime stanzas). The previous long game came in 2003 versus Duke as the Irish played 71:45 before losing a 10-9 decision. That game ended in sudden-death as the winning goal was scored with just 15 seconds left in the fourth three-minute overtime.
CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 12-11 overtime win on Feb. 27 was the 15th one-goal game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 7-8 in those games. During the 2003 season, Notre Dame was 1-3 in one-goal games with two of the losses coming in back-to-back overtime contests.
GREAT GOALS: Notre Dame ended the 2003 season by setting a school record for goals in an away game when the Irish scored 22 at #15 Vanderbilt (22-11) in the season finale. The 22-goal outburst broke the previous road mark of 20 set at Gannon (20-10) and equaled the school record of 22 set in a 2000 home win over Ohio University (22-3). The 22 goals were the most scored versus a ranked team, surpassing the mark of 15 set earlier in the season versus Connecticut and Georgetown (ot).
FUTURE IRISH: In November’s early-signing period, head coach Tracy Coyne announced that five high school lacrosse standouts signed letters of intent to attend Notre Dame for the 2004-05 school year.
PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: The Irish were picked in BIG EAST coaches voting to finish third in the BIG EAST this coming season behind Georgetown and Syracuse. The coaches also named Meredith Simon and Andrea Kinnik to their preseason all-BIG EAST team. Inside Lacrosse Magazine ranks the Irish 16th in the nation in their preseason poll.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and two others have ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) got to play two seasons with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. The duo gave Notre Dame its second set of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Freshman midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Senior Meredith Simon follows in her brother Eric’s footsteps. A 2003 graduate, Eric served as one of the captains of the 2003 men’s lacrosse team while Meredith is a co-captain of the women’s team in 2003. Senior defender Bridget Higgins (Wilton, Conn.) older brother, Kevin, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and served as team captain for the 2000 season. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.