Oct. 13, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For only the ninth time in school history, Notre Dame has a three-time team captain as graduate student Barbara Sullivan is among a quartet of women’s lacrosse captains for the 2016 season.
Sullivan is joined by seniors Brie Custis, Stephanie Peragallo and Stephanie Toy in leading her peers for a 2016 season in which the Irish hope to charge deep into the NCAA championship under fifth-year head coach Christine Halfpenny.
Returning 11 of 12 starters from last year’s ACC semifinalist squad, the Irish will not lack for leadership in Sullivan, a 2015 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist and the national defensive player of the year. She set a Notre Dame record with 85 draw controls in 2015 while causing 36 turnovers and collecting 42 ground balls.
Sullivan (Garden City, N.Y. / Garden City H.S.) stands in the company of only eight others as a three-time Notre Dame captain. Others achieving this feat include: women’s golf’s Ashley Armstrong (2012-15), men’s basketball’s Eric Atkins (2011-14), volleyball’s Mary Jo Hensler (1982-84), women’s lacrosse’s Kathryn Lam (2000-02), men’s soccer’s Greg Martin (2001-03), volleyball’s Josie Maternowski (1982-84), football’s Jack Mullen (1897-99) and women’s soccer’s Katie Naughton (2013-15).
“Barbara has the expertise on the field, outstanding urgency ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” which the team feeds off, and strong communication skills,” Halfpenny said. “She may be one of the most passionate individuals on our team and is a huge motivator on the field. She is respected by her peers and coaches due to her strong work ethic and ‘never give up’ attitude. She has the ability to speak up and hold her teammates accountable to their goals and also a healthy life balance which is a great example for our younger players.”
Custis (Salisbury, Md. / Parkside H.S.), a rangy midfielder, made an impact all over the field as a junior in 2015. Not only one of a school-record nine players to record at least 20 points on the season (six goals and 15 assists for 21 points), but she also scooped up 22 ground balls, caused 17 turnovers and controlled 11 draws. Custis’ array of skills were evident on March 21 when she had career highs with three assists and four ground balls in a 13-5 win over No. 15 Ohio State.
“Brie is a glue player for our team at midfield and has built strong relationships with every member of the team,” Halfpenny said. “Over the last three years I have watched Brie grow on and off the field. She is warm, but tough on her teammates and has a blue-collar mentality. She is not afraid of doing the work which is necessary and has a true passion for this sport. Brie also has an outstanding ability to be fair and honest with herself and her teammates.”
Peragallo (Hauppauge, N.Y. / Hauppauge H.S.) earned second-team all-region accolades for her tenacious defensive play in 2015. Peragallo started all 20 games and caused 25 turnovers, third-most on the team, while scooping up 23 ground balls. She was an integral part of a defense that held 10 Notre Dame foes to nine goals or less ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” the program’s most single-digit defensive efforts since 2004.
“Steph has been a fixture of our team defense since her freshman year,” Halfpenny said. “She has earned the respect of both her peers and coaches over the course of her three years on campus as a member of our team. She is hard working and leads not only by example on the field, but also off the field where she is trusted by her teammates and coaches to put the team first. She is a person of strong character who is goal-oriented and focused on the task at hand.”
Toy (Moorestown, N.J. / Moorestown H.S.) plays more of an attacking midfield role for Notre Dame and started all 20 games in 2015. She scored 20 goals to rank fourth on the Irish while also picking up five assists for 25 points on the season. Toy’s 23 ground balls tied for fourth on Notre Dame a year ago while she also caused 19 turnovers ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” one shy of being the sixth player to cause 20 last spring.
“Stephanie was not only a top player last year but also showed the urgency and ‘never give up’ attitude that helped our team to victories on multiple occasions,” Halfpenny said. “She has a strong voice and shows strength in her personal relationships with her teammates and coaches. Steph is a very good listener who can separate the extraneous with ease. She has high expectations for this team and herself and is excited to utilize her knowledge from last year to be an even better leader this year.”
Three-Time Captains at Notre Dame
Ashley Armstrong, women’s golf, 2012-15
Eric Atkins, men’s basketball, 2011-14
Mary Jo Hensler, volleyball, 1982-84
Kathryn Lam, women’s lacrosse, 2000-02
Greg Martin, men’s soccer, 2001-03
Josie Maternowski, volleyball, 1982-84
Jack Mullen, football, 1897-99
Katie Naughton, women’s soccer, 2013-15
Barbara Sullivan, women’s lacrosse 2014-16