April 5, 2004
IRISH HOST OHIO UNIVERSITY:
The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will put its 8-0 mark and school-record 12-game winning streak on the line on Tuesday, April 6 when the Irish play host to the Ohio University Bobcats. That game will be played at Notre Dame’s Moose Krause Stadium beginning at 3:00 p.m. Notre Dame is coming off a 14-8 win at Connecticut on Saturday night that improved the Irish to 8-0 on the year and 3-0 in BIG EAST Conference play, good for a share of the league lead with Georgetown. Ohio University, members of the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC), is coming off a 16-7 home win versus Davidson on April 2. The Bobcats will bring a 5-3 overall record into Tuesday’s game with Notre Dame. Following the Ohio University game, the Irish return to action on Saturday, April 10 when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. That game will be played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with a 1:00 p.m. (EDT) start.
IRISH VERSUS OHIO:
Notre Dame and Ohio University have met four times over the last four seasons with the Irish winning all four games. Notre Dame is 2-0 at home versus the Bobcats and 2-0 in Athens, Ohio. The two teams met last March 11 at Peggy Pruitt Field with the Irish taking a 19-4 win in their second game of the season. The last time the two schools played at Notre Dame, the Irish won at the Loftus Sports Center by a 15-3 margin. Ohio University is the alma mater of Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne, who graduated in 1983.
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 65-43 (.602) record at Notre Dame and is 179-69 (.722) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 4-0 versus Ohio University in her coaching career. 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.
Meredith Simon (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) and Kassen Delano (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) combined for seven goals and two assists to lead Notre Dame to a 14-8 win over the Connecticut Huskies on April 3 at Storrs, Conn. Playing on a cold, windy night, the two teams played to a 5-5 tie at half time as UConn’s Tracy Mullaney scored three goals, including one with 47 seconds left in the half to tie the game. Notre Dame got two goals from Simon and single goals from Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.), Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and Andrea Kinnik (Sr., West Chester, Pa.) for its five first-half tallies. The Irish offense came to life in the second half as they scored nine times. Notre Dame built an 8-5 lead just over six minutes into the half on a free-position goal by Delano and goals 15 seconds apart by Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) and Simon at 6:11 and 6:26. UConn’s Jacqui Hamilton halted that run to make it 8-6 before goals by Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.) and Kristen Gaudreau (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) made it 10-6. The Huskies cut the lead to 10-7 with 13:39 left in the game, but that was as close as they would get. Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored with 2:44 left and Delano added a pair (with 1:59 and 1:28 left on the clock). Simon closed the scoring with her fourth goal of the game with 10 seconds left in the 14-8 win. The Irish outshot the Huskies, 32-22. Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made eight saves in picking up her eighth win of the season for Notre Dame.
ON A TEAR:
Senior midfielder Meredith Simon continued her torrid scoring pace with a five-point game (four goals, one assist) in the win at Connecticut. Through eight games this season, Simon leads the Irish in scoring with 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. The 27 goals equals her entire output from last season and is one off her career mark of 28 set in 2002. Her career highs for assists are 14 and points are 41, with both marks set last season. As of March 29, she was eighth in the country with 4.71 points per game. At Notre Dame she has 90 goals (third all-time), 32 assists (fifth all-time) for 122 career points (fourth-best all-time).
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 eight wins to start the 2004 season, the Irish have now won 12 straight going into this week’s action. 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 March 29):
Points per game: Meredith Simon, 8th, 4.71 ppg
Goals per game: Meredith Simon, 11th, 3.29 gpg
GAVG: Carol Dixon, 15th, 8.03 GAVG
Save Pct: Carol Dixon, 20th, .537 save pct.
Goals per game: 1st, 14.71 gpg
Team Defense: 14th, 8.14 opponent gpg
Margin of Victory: 5th, +6.57 gpg
Ground Balls: 17th, 26.29
Draw Controls: 5th, 13.57
Caused Turnovers: 10th, 11.43
Meredith Simon continued her scoring streak versus Connecticut that has now reached 19 games. Abby Owen and Lauren Fischer have scored in every game this season. Here are the current Irish scoring streaks going into the Ohio University game.
Meredith Simon – 19 games (49g, 18a, 67 pts)
Abby Owen – 8 games (21g, 6a, 27 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 8 games (15g, 6a, 21 pts)
Kassen Delano – 7 games (10g, 4a, 14 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 5 games (7g, 3a, 10 pts)
Crysti Foote – 3 games (7g, 3a, 10 pts)
Kristen Gaudreau – 3 games (3g, 1a, 4 pts)
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 eight games of the season, Owen has already scored 21 goals with six assists for 27 points (a new career high). She has four games this season with four points and three 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.
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 10 goals and four assists for 14 points. Her career highs are 15 goals and five assists for 20 points, marks set as a freshman in 2001.
Notre Dame leads the nation in scoring with 14.63 goals per game through the first eight games of the season. That’s 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.
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 eight goals and five assists for 13 points. All are career highs. Bowers had three goals and one assist for four points in limited action last season.
SIMON AND KINNIK NAMED BIG EAST PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
For the second time this season, senior midfielder Meredith Simon has been named BIG EAST offensive player of the week (for the week ending March 28). Simon was named co-offensive player of the week for the week ending March 8. In two wins last week versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Simor recorded eight goals and three assists for 11 points. She also had six ground balls and eight draw controls in the two wins. Versus Virginia Tech, Simon had her second seven-point game of the year (four goals and three assists) with six ground balls and three draw controls. Versus Boston College, she added four goals and five draw controls in the win. Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.), a senior defender, was selected as the league’s co-defensive player of the week (March 28) for the first time as she recorded six ground balls, three draw controls and caused three turnovers in the wins versus Virginia Tech and Boston College. Kinnik also set up Notre Dame’s first goal of the game in the 17-7 win over Boston College. She leads Notre Dame with 25 ground balls on the year and is third with 12 draw controls.
Senior attacker Lauren Fischer has started her final season with the Irish on an offensive roll. Through eight games, Fischer has 15 goals and six assists for 21 points to rank third in team scoring. Fischer’s three-assist game on March 28 versus Boston College is a career high. Her four-point game versus Cornell (Mar. 7) was the second of her career and is a career high. She picked up her second three-goal game of the season when she scored three times in the win over James Madison. She has had three-goal games four times in her career. She is well on her way to passing her career-bests in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) that 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 25 ground balls, is third with 12 draw controls and is second with 12 caused turnovers.
VERSUS THE BEST:
Through eight games this season, Notre Dame has faced teams ranked in the top 20 in four of them and has won them all. 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.
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 an eight-game winning streak to start the season and has an 8.02 goals against average and a .532 save percentage. She ranks second in the BIG EAST with the 8.02 goals-against average and is third with the .532 save percentage. As of March 28, Her goals against is the 15th best in the nation and the save percentage is tied for 20th. Dixon was named the BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending February 29.
SLAMMING THE DOOR:
Through eight games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 65 goals for an 8.13 goals-against average. The best goals against in the program’s previous seven seasons was 7.49 and that came during Notre Dame’s best season ever, 2002, when the Irish went 13-5 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE:
Notre Dame’s defense has even joined in on the goal scoring this season. The Irish defense scored twice in the game with Connecticut as both Kristen Gaudreau and Andrea Kinnik picked up goals in the win. In eight games this season, Irish defenders have 11 goals and two assists on the year. Kristen Gaudreau leads the defense with six goals and an assist for seven points. Andrea Kinnik has four goals and an assist on the year and Jess Mikula (Jr., Chester, Md.) has one goal.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE:
After being held off the scoresheet for two consecutive games, sophomore midfielder Crysti Foote has gotten her scoring touch back over the last three games. Over the three games, Foote has seven goals and three assists for 10 points. On the season, Foote is fourth in scoring with 11 goals and six assists for 17 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.
Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.) and Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.). For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.
Freshman midfielder Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first eight 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 seven goals and one assist for eight 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 time. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) that became the longest game in Notre Dame history 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.
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.
Notre Dame ended the 2003 season on the right note 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).
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.
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.