Cortney Fortunato was named Inside Lacrosse's No. 1 incoming freshman in the country recently.

Inside Lacrosse Ranks Irish Recruiting Among Tops In Country

Aug 21, 2013

Inside Lacrosse – Top 10 Classes

Inside Lacrosse – Top 25 Rising Freshmen and Watchlist

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Inside Lacrosse magazine dished out high praise to the University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program recently as it ranked Notre Dame’s incoming class No. 5 in the country after three Irish newcomers earned top-25 rankings in the magazine’s rising freshmen list.

Topping the list is three-time high school All-American and No. 1 overall recruit Cortney Fortunato (Northport, N.Y.). The magazine has heaped praise on Fortunato for the better part of three years now as she dominated the high school competition as she scored 388 goals and dished out 171 assists for 559 points. The attacker earned game MVP honors at the Under Armour Senior All-American game back in July to close out her high school career.

“Cortney and I have been talking about how exciting it is that the beginning of her career also matches the beginning of Notre Dame’s presence in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said head coach Christine Halfpenny. “I know she has been looking forward to this new challenge of transitioning her game to the collegiate level. Her goal has been to play at the highest level and she is incredibly self-motivated to continue to improve her game and prove herself amongst her peers. Coming to Notre Dame will be no different. She has been preparing for this for a long time.”

Since the magazine began ranking incoming freshmen in 2006, Fortunato is the second Irish commit to receive the No. 1 spot, joining former Irish great Shaylyn Blaney in 2007. Notre Dame is the only school in the country to have two players earn the magazine’s top honor.

Joining Fortunato on the list were No. 22 Casey Pearsall (Wilton, Conn.) and No. 25 Alexandra Dalton (Needham, Mass.). Teammate Heidi Annaheim (Kinnelon, N.J.) also earned recognition as she was placed on the watch list.

“I think these honors are a true testament to the hard work all of our incoming student-athletes put in during their high school careers,” said Halfpenny. “I couldn’t be more pleased that Notre Dame is the right fit academically, athletically and socially.”

All four standouts join an Irish squad that is moving to the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2014 season. Notre Dame’s No. 5 ranking would have placed them No. 1 in its old conference – the BIG EAST, but puts it No. 4 in the ACC behind defending national champion North Carolina (No. 1), national runner-up Maryland (No. 2) and NCAA Championship qualifier Virginia (No. 3). Florida brings up the No. 4 spot followed by the Irish. Notre Dame finished ahead of ACC foe Duke (No. 6) and common opponents Vanderbilt (No. 8) and Stanford (No. 9).

Since the magazine began ranking classes in 2005, Notre Dame has been in the top 10 five times. These include a No. 1 ranking in 2005 followed by No. 4 in 2007, No. 4 in 2010, No. 7 in 2012 and No. 5 this year.

“It is quite incredible to be ranked fifth in the country, but only fourth in the ACC,” said Halfpenny. “The rankings show the caliber of competition we are heading into and this is just another gauge that shows what a great fit we are with the ACC. Without a doubt this move to the ACC will keep us incredibly competitive on the recruiting trail.”

Notre Dame was one of just four schools that had three or more representatives on the top 25 rising freshmen list, ranking behind North Carolina and Virginia, who had four each, and tying Maryland

“It’s great to be recognized as having one of the top recruiting classes in the country at the beginning of the season,” said Halfpenny. “However, I’m more interested in developing this group of new comers and returners to be one of the best teams in the country at the end of the season. I’m excited for these 10 to get to campus and integrate with the veterans to start working towards our goals for the 2014 season.”

Follow Notre Dame women’s lacrosse through, Facebook ( and on Twitter (@NDwomenslax).

Inside Lacrosse Top 10 Recruiting Classes

1. North Carolina

2. Maryland

3. Virginia

4. Florida

5. Notre Dame

6. Duke

7. Harvard

8. Vanderbilt

9. Stanford

10. USC

Inside Lacrosse Top 25 Rising Freshmen and Watchlist

1. Cortney Fortunato | A | Northport (N.Y.) | Notre Dame

2. Maggie Bill | M| St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) | North Carolina

3. Zoe Stukenberg | MMarriotts Ridge (Md.) | Maryland

4. Carly Reed | ASt. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) | North Carolina

5. Sydney Holman | MEast Chapel Hill (N.C.) | North Carolina

6. Taylor Poplawski | MCBA-Syracuse (N.Y.) | Syracuse

ââ’‰ۡ7. Marisa Romeoââ’‰ۡ | A/MCBA-Syracuse (N.Y.) | Harvard

8. Maggie Auslander | DGreen Hope (N.C.) | North Carolina

9. Samantha Burgess | AMcDonogh (Md.) | Florida

10. Caroline Fitzgerald | MMount Sinai (N.Y.) | Florida

11. Colleen Lovett | AWantagh (N.Y.) | Georgetown

12. Morgan Torggler | MSeverna Park (Md.) | Maryland

13. Besser Dyson | ASt. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) | Virginia

14. Caroline Federico | GMaryvale (Md.) | Johns Hopkins

15. Wyatt Whitley | DSt. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) | Virginia

16. Kelly Reese | MSevern (Md.) | Virginia

17. Tess McEvoy | MGeorgetown Visitation (DC) | Yale

18. Maggie Preas | DMcDonogh (Md.) | Virginia

19. Alex McKay | DMarriotts Ridge (Md.) | Maryland

20. Maura Schwitter | MImmaculate Heart (N.J.) | Duke

21. Kelsey Youmell | DJordan Elbridge (N.Y.) | Syracuse

22. Casey Pearsall | M | Wilton (CT) | Notre Dame

23. Caroline Peters | MGood Counsel (Md.) | Vanderbilt

24. Alex Moore | MAllentown (N.J.) | USC

25. Alex Dalton | A | Notre Dame Academy (Mass.) Notre Dame


Heidi Annaheim | Midfield | Kinnelon (N.J.) | Notre Dame

Linda Attanasio | Defense | Garden City (N.Y.) | Dartmouth

Lindsay Biondi | Midfield | Ithaca (N.Y.) | Maryland

Casey Black | Attack | McDonogh (Md.) | Duke

Haley Bordner | Midfield | Century (Md.) | Florida

Marina Burke | Midfield | Westwood (Mass.) | Harvard

Taylor Bresnahan | Midfield | South River (Md.) | Florida

Samantha Brookhart | Midfield | Mount Hebron (Md.) | Towson

Lydia Cassada | Attack/Midfield | Milton (Ga.) | Northwestern

Elizabeth Cusick | Midfield | Westfield (N.J.) | Stanford

Taryn Deck | Midfield | Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) | Dartmouth

Jillian Doherty | Midfield | Brooks School (Mass.) | Vanderbilt

Meagh Graham | Goalie | Good Counsel (Md.) | Virginia Tech

Nadine Hadnagy | Attack | Farmingdale (N.Y.) | Maryland

Olivia Hompe | Midfield | New Canaan (N.H.) | Princeton

Stuart Humphrey | Midfield | Summit (N.J.) | Duke

Erin Jeffrey | Attack | Carondelet (Calif.) | Hofstra

Megan Kelly | Defense | Moorestown (N.J.) | Penn

Callahan Kent | Goalie | Thayer Academy (Mass.) | Vanderbilt

Emily Kift | Goalie | Foothill (Calif.) | Maryland

Stephanie Lazo | Attack | St. Mary’s (Md.) | Penn State

Maeve McMahon | Midfield | Groton School (Mass.) | Harvard

Michaela Michael | Midfield | Menlo School (Calif.) | USC

Deb Milani | Midfield | Catonsville (Md.) | Maryland

Isabelle Montagne | Midfield | Lake Forest (Ill.) | Duke

Shannon Nugent | Midfield | Shawnee (N.J.) | USC

Mary Kate O’Neill | Midfield | Chatham (N.J.) | Boston College

Alex Poplawski | Midfield | Springfield-Delco (Pa.) | Stanford

Bairre Reilly | Attack | Locust Valley (N.Y.) | Maryland

Annie Ruland | Attack | Milton (Ga.) | USC

Lily Schmitt | Defense | Garden City (N.Y.) | Johns Hopkins

Natalie Schmitt | Midfield | Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) | Penn State

Abby Smucker | Midfield | C. Milton Wright (Md.) | Penn State

Kate Snouffer | Midfield | Bryn Mawr (Md.) | Georgetown

Sydney Trentzsch | Midfield | Winters Mill (Md.) | Vanderbilt

Posey Valis | Midfield | McDonogh (Md.) | Virginia

Courtney Weisse | Attack | Westfield (N.J.) | Dartmouth