June 1, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. – The postseason accolades continued for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team as senior Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) and head coach Tracy Coyne (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were selected by Inside Lacrosse Magazine as its attack player of the year and coach of the year respectively for the 2006 season.
Foote was also named a first team Inside Lacrosse All-American while teammates Jillian Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) were selected third team All-Americans.
This marks the first time in the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program’s 10-year history that the Irish have had a player recognized as a national player of the year and a coach selected as coach of the year. Foote also becomes the first Notre Dame player selected first team All-American by Inside Lacrosse.
The Irish experienced the best season in the program’s history in 2006, going 15-4 on the year while advancing to the NCAA semifinals for the first time.
Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer, Foote is also a finalist for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy. She racked up and incredible 74 goals and 40 assists this season for 114 points, leading the nation in goals and points for the 2006 campaign. Earlier this spring, she was chosen as the BIG EAST Conference’s attack player of the year. Foote set Notre Dame single-season records for goals, assists, points and draw controls this season and was a unanimous all-BIG EAST selection. In the NCAA rankings, she was second in points-per-game (3.86) and second in points-per-game (6.00). An NCAA all-tournament selection, Foote finished her Notre Dame career as the all-time leader in goals (161), assists (76) and points (237). She opened the year by setting Irish records for goals (9) and points (11) in a game in a 23-11 win at California and never looked back. Foote led the team with 44 ground balls, was fourth with 31 ground balls and fifth in caused turnovers with 17. Earlier this week, she was named a first team IWLCA All-American and is a four-time all-regional selection.
Coyne, the only coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, led the Irish to the biggest turnaround in NCAA history in 2006. After going 3-12 in 2005, the Irish experienced a 10-game improvement with their 15-4 mark. The previous best turnaround in NCAA history was seven games. This marks the second time that Coyne has received national accolades as she was selected the NCAA Division III coach of the year in 1990 while at Roanoke. The veteran coach, who won her 200th career game in Notre Dame’s NCAA tournament win over Cornell on May 14 was also named the BIG EAST coach of the year in 2006, the second time (2004) she has been honored by the conference in her career.
Inside Lacrosse Magazine has named Jillian Byers as a third team All-American, joining teammates Caitlin McKinney (third team) and Crysti Foote (first team).
Byers joins Foote on the Inside Lacrosse All-American team as a third team selection after a break out season as a freshman in 2006. She came into her first year at Notre Dame recognized as one of the top freshman in the country and did not disappoint. Byers finished her rookie season with 54 goals and 24 assists for 78 points, the second highest single-season point total in Irish history, behind Foote’s 114 this season. All three totals set Notre Dame rookie records with the 78 points almost doubling the previous freshman record of 41 points. The talented attack player led the Irish with four game-winning goals, including a game winner in sudden death overtime in a 12-11 victory against Stanford on Feb. 26 and a winner with 18 seconds left in an 11-10 win against Vanderbilt. Byers also chipped in 23 ground balls, 30 draw controls and 15 caused turnovers in her first season with the Fighting Irish. She was a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection and was a first team IWLCA West/Midwest Region choice.
Caitlin McKinney picked up her second third-team All-American honor when she was selected to Inside Lacrosse’s squad.
McKinney rounds out Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio and takes third team Inside Lacrosse All-American honors for the first time in her career. The fleet-footed attack standout had a career year in her second season with the Irish and became the youngest player in the program’s history to reach the 100-point plateau, doing it in 33 games. For the year, McKinney finished third in scoring with 42 goals and 22 assists for 64 points. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection, McKinney was a first team all-region choice in 2006 and a third team IWLCA All-American. In 34 games at Notre Dame, the speedster has 70 goals and 34 assists for 104 career points. That ranks her seventh all-time in goals, sixth in assists and seventh in points.
The trio of Foote, Byers and McKinney finished the year as the top-scoring trio in one season for the seventh-ranked Irish. In 19 games, the threesome recorded 170 goals to go with 86 assists for a whopping 256 points.