Tracy Coyne (left) was named BIG EAST coach of the year while Caitlin McKinney (right) was the conference's midfielder of the year.

Caitlin McKinney And Tracy Coyne Take Major BIG EAST Postseason Awards

April 24, 2008

South Bend, Ind. – Notre Dame senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and head coach Tracy Coyne headlined the list of major award winners announced Thursday night at the BIG EAST Conference postseason banquet at the South Bend Marriott. McKinney was named the conference’s midfielder of the year while Coyne was selected BIG EAST coach of the year. They were joined by Syracuse attack standout Katie Rowan as the BIG EAST attack player of the year and teammate Lindsay Rogers who was named the conference defensive player of the year.

McKinney becomes the third Notre Dame player to be named midfielder of the year, joining Abby Owen `04 in 2004 and Danielle Shearer `03 who won the award in 2002. The speedy midfielder also was one of six unanimous selections to the 2008 BIG EAST first team and has been a unanimous first team choice for three consecutive years. She goes into this weekend’s BIG EAST championship ranked second on the Irish with 56 points on 35 goals and 21 assists and is third on the team with 25 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers. A two-time All-American, McKinney became the second player in the program’s history to go over 200 points in her career and is second all-time with 225 points. One of the team’s captains in 2008, she had a 51-game point scoring streak that started in her freshman season snapped on April 9 and has scored in 15 of the team’s 16 games this season. She is also one of 18 Division I players to be nominated for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy that goes each year to college lacrosse’s top player.

Coyne was selected as the BIG EAST coach of the year for the third time in the last five years as she also won the honor in 2004 and 2006. This season she guided the Irish to an 11-5 regular-season mark and a 4-1 record in the conference, good for second place. The only coach in the program’s 12-year history, Coyne recorded her 100th win at Notre Dame on February 17 and is now 109-75 (.592) guiding the Irish. Her teams are 29-15 (.659) in BIG EAST play since the conference began play in 2001. She will face Georgetown in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on Friday, April 25. In 21 years as a head coach, Coyne’s teams have recorded a 224-101 (.689) all-time record.

McKinney was joined by four teammates who were also selected to the all-BIG EAST teams. Joining her on the first team as another unanimous first team selection was junior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.). Named to the second team were midfielder Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) and defenders Shannon Burke (Jr., Baltimore, Md.) and Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.).

Byers makes her third unanimous first team all-BIG EAST appearance. The high-scoring attacker leads Notre Dame with 61 goals and 12 assists for 73 points. Her 61 goals is tops among BIG EAST players and she ranks second in points with 4.56 per game. Her 61 goals make her just the second player in Notre Dame history to score 60 or more goals in a season and she now has scored 70 or more points twice in her career, also a first at Notre Dame. She is also second on the team with 42 draw controls. Earlier this season, she became Notre Dame’s all-time goal-scoring leader, passing Crysti Foote’s record of 161. Byers has 173 career goals in just three seasons. She ranks third all-time at Notre Dame with 217 career points. She joins teammate Caitlin McKinney as one of 18 Division I players selected as a nominee for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy.

Blaney has had an outstanding rookie season for the Irish, scoring 35 goals with eight assists for 43 points. That ranks her second on the team in goals and fourth in points. Her 35 goals are the third-best total for a Notre Dame freshman and the 43 points are second all-time among Irish rookies. She also has 24 ground balls, 34 draw controls and 20 caused turnovers in the midfield. Blaney has points in 14 of 16 games this season and has eight games with three or more goals this season. She is among the BIG EAST leaders with four game-winning goals this season.

Burke has become a force in the defensive midfield for Notre Dame while also contributing at the offensive end of the field. The junior scored her first career goal this season and has seven on the year with one assist for eight points. She leads Notre Dame with 46 draw controls with that total being the second highest single-season mark for the Irish. She trails only Kaki Orr’s `07 record of 51 set last season. Burke is second on the team with ground balls (29) and leads the team with 29 caused turnovers, a career high. She was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week for April 20.

Ranck rounds out Notre Dame’s all-BIG EAST contingent. A team captain as a senior, Ranck anchors the Irish defense. A tough, tenacious player, she owns 25 ground balls and 25 caused turnovers on the year. As the leader of the Notre Dame back line, Ranck usually draws the assignment of shutting down the opposition’s top scorer and has helped the Irish hold seven teams to single-goal totals this season.

2008 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Awards
Midfielder of the Year Caitlin McKinney, M, Sr., Notre Dame

Attack Player of the Year Katie Rowan, Jr., A, Syracuse
Defensive Player of the Year Lindsay Rogers, So., D, Syracuse
Coach of the Year Tracy Coyne, Notre Dame
All-BIG EAST First Team All-BIG EAST Second Team*Jillian Byers, Jr., A, Notre Dame Shaylyn Blaney, Fr., M, Notre Dame Brooke Cantwell, So., A, Rutgers Kristin Brady, Sr., A, Syracuse*Christina Dove, So., M, Syracuse Shannon Burke, Jr., D, Notre Dame Molly Ford, So., A, Georgetown Mary Cryan, So., M, Rutgers*Ashby Kaestner, So., M, Georgetown Jessica Davis, So., M, Rutgers*Caitlin McKinney, Sr., M, Notre Dame Kate Filippelli, Sr., M, Loyola (Md.)*Halley Quillinan, So., M, Syracuse Caitlin Formby, So., GK, Georgetown Lindsey Rogers, So., D, Syracuse Grace Gavin, Fr., M, Loyola (Md.)*Katie Rowan, Jr., A, Syracuse Christina Gibson, Sr., D, Syracuse Kristen Stone, Sr., D, Loyola (Md.) Jordy Kirr, Fr., A, Georgetown Jordan Trautman, Jr., D, Georgetown Whitney Michele, Jr., M, Connecticut Liz Hogan, Fr., GK, Syracuse Becky Ranck, Sr., D, Notre Dame
*denotes unanimous selection