Junior goalie Ellie Hilling appears all over the NCAA and BIG EAST leader boards in several categories.

Irish Battle No.1 Ranked Northwestern On The Road On Tuesday

March 29, 2010

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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– The Game: #14/#13 Notre Dame (5-2/1-0) at #1/#1 Northwestern (7-0/1-0 in ALC)

– Date/Time/Site: Tues., March 30, 2010 – 6:00 p.m. (CT) – Lakeside Field – Evanston, Ill.

– Internet: Fans can follow the Notre Dame-Northwestern game on March 30 via Game Tracker at the Notre Dame website – und.com or on the Northwestern site at NUsports.com. Live, streamed video also is available on BigTenNetwork.com at a cost of $2.99. The game will be re-aired on the Big 10 Network on Wed., March 31 at 4:00 p.m. (CT) and on Thur., April 1 at 11:00 a.m. (CT).

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team takes to the road for three consecutive games beginning on Tues., March 30. The Irish open with a visit to Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill., where they will face the top-ranked team in the nation, the Northwestern Wildcats in a 6:00 p.m. (CT) start. From there, the Irish travel to Washington, D.C., on Sat., April 3 to face Georgetown in a 1:00 p.m. contest. The trip then concludes on Monday, April 5 when Notre Dame will be in Baltimore to face the Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds in a 12:00 p.m. start. The Irish will visit Northwestern with a 5-2 overall mark and a 1-0 record in BIG EAST play after defeating Louisville on Sat., March 27, 11-9, at Arlotta Stadium. Northwestern is 7-0 on the season and opened the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) schedule last weekend with a 17-10 win over Ohio State. The Wildcats enter the week ranked first in both the IWLCA coaches’ poll and the Inside Lacrosse polls. The Irish are 14th in the coaches poll and 13th by Inside Lacrosse. The IWLCA rankings are from March 22 with the new ones coming out on Tuesday while the Inside Lacrosse rankings are for the week of March 29.

IRISH VERSUS THE WILDCATS: Notre Dame and Northwestern have met 10 times in the all-time series with the Wildcats holding an 8-2 advantage. After winning the first two meetings between the two schools (2002 and 2003), the Irish have lost eight straight to Northwestern, including a pair of losses in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (2004, 2008). At Evanston, Ill., Notre Dame is 1-5 against the Wildcats while at Notre Dame, the Irish trail in the series with a 1-3 record. Last season, the two teams met in the Loftus Center with Northwestern handing Notre Dame a 21-5 loss.

A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS: Northwestern has won five consecutive national championships since the 2005 season and continues to put up the offensive and defensive number that have the Wildcats on the path to number six. Through the first seven games of the season, Northwestern is out scoring teams by a 121-53 margin (17.29 to 7.57 goals-per game). Northwestern has three players with 20 or more goals already this season led by senior Katrina Dowd who has 25 goals and eight assists for 33 points. She is tied with sophomore Shannon Smith who checks in with 23 markers and 10 assists for her 33 points. Senior Danielle Spencer is third with 24 goals and five assists for 29 points. Leading the stingy defense is sophomore goalkeeper Brianne LoManto who is 7-0 with a 7.51 goals-against average and a .527 save percentage.

THE IRISH ALL-TIME: In this the 14th season of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program, Notre Dame brings a 131-84 all-time record (.609) into Saturday’s game versus Louisville. That record includes a 53-46 road record (.535). At home, the Irish are 64-31 (.674) with a 14-7 all-time ledger on neutral fields.

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: For the second week in a row, Notre Dame freshman goalkeeper Ellie Hilling (Rochester, N.Y.) has been named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week. During the week that ended on March 28, Hilling made 18 saves in two games, including 12 in the 11-9 win over Louisville. The 12 saves were a career best for Hilling. In the two games, she was 1-1 with a 9.50 goals-against average and a .486 save percentage. On the season, Hilling is now 5-2 with 9.74 goals-against average and a .413 save percentage.

BIG EAST OPENERS: With the 11-9 win over Louisville on March 27, Notre Dame is now 7-3 all-time in BIG EAST season openers.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 14th season at Notre Dame and her 23rd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 245-110 (.690) career record into this week’s games. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 131-84 (.609) and has guided the Irish to five NCAA tournaments (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009) where her teams have advanced to the Final Four once (2006) and the quarterfinals twice (2002, 2009). The Irish have been in all three BIG EAST Tournaments to date, beginning in 2007 and they recorded their first BIG EAST title last season with wins over Syracuse (16-10) and Georgetown (12-10). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 131-84 in this, her 14th season at Notre Dame. 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. Coyne also has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team from 1999-2005. In June of 2005, she led Team Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 World Cup, her second, fourth-place finish (2001) as Canada’s field boss. Coyne is 2-8 in her coaching career against Northwestern.

A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK: The Irish opened a two-game home stand on Wed., March 24 with a visit from Vanderbilt. The Commodores would rally from a four-goal deficit in the second half to defeat Notre Dame, 10-9, at Arlotta Stadium. The Irish jumped out to a 7-4 lead at halftime paced by Kailene Abt’s three goals and single goals from Ansley Stewart, Shaylyn Blaney, Megan Sullivan and Gina Scioscia. The lead would go to 8-4 when Stewart opened the second half with her second goal of the game. From there, Vanderbilt out scored Notre Dame, 6-1, on the way to the one-goal win. Katherine Denkler had two of her game-high four goals in the Commodores’ rally. Sarah Downing, Ally Carey, Carter Foote and Hannah Clark had single goals in the comeback. The Irish out shot Vanderbilt, 25-20, in the game. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Wills had 11 saves, while Ellie Hilling had six for Notre Dame.

March 27 – vs. Louisville: The Irish opened the BIG EAST schedule with an 11-9 home win over Louisville on Saturday. Sophomores Maggie Tamasitis and Megan Sullivan paced the Notre Dame attack. Both players had career best performances as Tamasitis had five points on two goals and three assists while Sullivan scored a career-high four goals in the game. Shaylyn Blaney added a goal and an assist as did Kaitlin Keena. Gina Scioscia, Ansley Stewart and Maggie Zentgraf added single goals in the win. Freshman goalkeeper Ellie Hilling had a career high 12 saves in the game, including eight in the first half as Notre Dame protected a 5-3 lead. Bergan Foley had four goals for the Cardinals while Emily Dashiell followed with three goals in the game. With Louisville leading, 3-2, with 22:57 left in the opening half, Notre Dame ran off six goals over a 26-minute span into the second half to make it 8-3. From there Hilling and the Irish kept the Cardinals at bay as they never got closer than two goals down with 18:17 left in the game. Sullivan’s fourth goal of the game proved to be the game winner with 16:00 minutes left in the 11-9 win.

AN ARLOTTA FIRST: Notre Dame’s 11-9 win over Louisville marked the first Irish win at their new Arlotta Stadium. They are now 1-2 in the new stadium after opening with losses (12-8) to Dartmouth and (10-9) to Vanderbilt. The opening game of the season was a 15-10 win over Duquesne in a game played at the Loftus Sports Center.

CAREER DAY: Sophomore Megan Sullivan’s four-goal game on March 27 in the 11-9 win over Louisville was a career best for the midfielder from Winchester, Mass. She doubled her goal out put in one game as she had four to start the year. She now has eight goals and two assists for 10 points this season. For her career, Sullivan had four goals and one assist to start the year.

HELPING HAND: With three assists in back-to-back games against Vanderbilt and Louisville, sophomore attack Maggie Tamasitis now has 5 games this season with two or more assists in a game, including a career-best, four-assist game on Feb. 27 versus Duquesne. For the season, she now has 14 assists on the year and in just 27 career games, already has 34 career assists to move into the 10th spot on Notre Dame’s all-time assist list. Tamasitis currently leads the Irish in scoring with eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points.

CLOSE ONES: The 10-9 loss to Vanderbilt on Wednesday afternoon, March 24 was the third, one-goal game of the season and first one-goal loss for the Irish as they fall to 2-1 in close games. All-time, Notre Dame has been involved in 35 one-goal games in 14 seasons and is 17-18 overall. In 2006, the Irish played in six, one-goal games, going 4-2 in that season.

COMMANDING COMMODORES: Vanderbilt has had Notre Dame’s number in recent seasons as the Irish have now lost four consecutive regular-season games to the Commodores. The streak started in 2007 and includes two losses at home and two in Nashville. The lone win in that span came on May 10, 2009, a 19-13 Irish win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Since the last win in 2006, the Irish are 1-4 against Vanderbilt and are now 5-10 all-time.

COAST-TO-COAST WINNING STREAK: Prior to the loss to Vanderbilt, Notre Dame had a two-game winning streak that got its start in Berkeley, Calif., and continued to Boston, Mass., on March 20th as the Irish won consecutive overtime games. On March 13, Notre Dame rallied from a 10-7 deficit versus California to tie, 10-10, in regulation before moving on to the 14-12 victory. Last Saturday in Boston, the Irish again rallied from a three-goal, second-half deficit to tie in regulation and win it in the third overtime. Notre Dame led 2-1 at halftime on goals by Maggie Tamasitis (So., Boyertown, Pa.) and freshman Jenny Granger (East Setauket, N.Y.). The Terriers ran off the first four goals of the second period to take a 5-2 lead.With 10:03 left in the game, Shaylyn Blaney scored a free-position goal and Kailene Abt scored 21 seconds later to make it 5-4. Traci Landy made it 6-4 for BU with 3:57 left before Blaney and Tamasitis scored in a 27-second span to make it 6-6 with 2:15 left on the clock. The teams would play 71:22 before Gina Scioscia got the game winner with 38 seconds left in the third overtime. Freshman goalkeeper made eight saves in goal for the Irish.

HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: Junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney is the seventh player in the program’s history to score over 100 goals in her career. Blaney leads the Irish with 16 goals and is third in scoring with 17 points. Her two goals at Boston University on March 20 gave her 100 for her career. She now ranks seventh all-time with 103 career goals for the Irish.

STREAKING IRISH: With a pair of goals versus Vanderbilt, Gina Scioscia extended her point streak to 25 games. Here are the current Irish scoring streaks:

Gina Scioscia - 26 games (61g, 42a, 103 pts)Maggie Tamasitis - 7 games (8g, 14a, 22 pts)Shaylyn Blaney - 4 games (8g, 1a, 9 pts)Megan Sullivan - 2 games (5g, 0a, 5 pts)Ansley Stewart - 2 games (3g, 1a, 4 pts)

Junior Kailene Abt had her 21-game point streak snapped in the 11-9 win over Louisville as she was held scoreless. In her 21-game streak, she had 46 goals and 13 assists for 59 points.

IRISH AND OVERTIME: Notre Dame has now played two overtime games this season and is 2-0 in those contests. In the 14-year history of the program, the Irish have played overtime 16 time

s and are now 8-8 in those games.

WORTH THE WAIT: Notre Dame’s 7-6 overtime win against Boston University is the second longest game ever played by Notre Dame. The 7-6 victory lasted 71:22 and trails only the April 13, 2003 game at home against Stanford. The Irish lost the game, 14-13, and played a full 72 minutes. <>ON THE DEFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has risen to the occasion several times this season in limiting scoring chances. Against Boston University, the Irish held the Terriers to just six shots in the first half, resulting in just one goal. Boston University had 17 shots in the game, scoring just six goals. Junior Jackie Doherty has been a guiding force for the Irish. Through seven games, she has 21 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers. She is currently tied for 16th nationally with 3.00 ground balls per game and is fourth in caused turnovers with 2.71 per contest. ROAD WARRIORS: With the win at Boston University on March 20, Notre Dame is now 3-0 on the road this season. Last year, the Irish were 6-3 away from home with the six road wins equaling the most the Irish have ever won on the road in the program’s 14-year history. In 2008, Notre Dame was 6-3 in nine road games. For the last two-plus seasons, the Irish are 15-6 on the road for a .714 winning percentage away from South Bend. Last season, the three road losses came at Syracuse (14-13) and at Vanderbilt (18-11) in the regular season and at North Carolina (16-10) in the NCAA Tournament.

ARLOTTA STADIUM OPENER: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team played its first-ever game at Arlotta Stadium on Sunday, March 7 and the final results weren’t quite what the Irish were looking for as they dropped a 12-8 decision to No. 20 Dartmouth. The state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. He and his wife, Bobbie, pledged the lead gift toward the stadium. The Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – also have pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project. In addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the men’s and women’s lacrosse programs have made significant contributions. The stadium was dedicated on Oct. 17, 2009. The previous afternoon, the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team defeated the Iroquois National Team, 14-8, in the first game played at Arlotta Stadium. The stadium features over 2,000 permanent seats, lights, an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, team lounges, restrooms and concession areas.

A WINNING LEGACY: Notre Dame’s 16 wins in 2009 are the most in a single season for the Irish, surpassing the mark of 15-4 set in 2006. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 59-24 (.711).

TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Two members of the Notre Dame roster have been selected among a group of 52 players to the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy Watch Lists. The duo – junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney and senior Gina Scioscia – are two of eight players from the BIG EAST to be named to the Watch List. Blaney was selected to the Watch List last season while this is the first time for Scioscia. Both players were second team IWLCA All-Americans last year. Both were preseason all-BIG EAST selections for 2010 while Scioscia was named by the conference coaches as the preseason offensive player of the year.

VERSUS THE BEST: The Irish face three games this week versus nationally ranked teams. Northwestern is ranked first in the nation in both national polls. Georgetown comes into the week ranked 15th in the IWLCA poll and 16th in the Inside Lacrosse poll. Loyola (Md.) starts this week ranked 13th in the IWLCA poll and 15th by Inside Lacrosse. On the season, Notre Dame is now 2-2 on the year versus ranked teams. During the 2009 season, the Irish were 8-5 a year ago against ranked teams.

LOW-SCORING AFFAIR: Notre Dame’s 7-6 overtime win against Boston University marked the fewest goals scored by both teams in a game since April 10, 2005, when the Irish dropped a 6-5 decision at home to Stanford. Notre Dame led 2-1 at halftime of the BU game. The last time that Notre Dame gave up one goal or less in the first half of a game came on April 18, 2009 when the Irish held Connecticut scoreless in the first half (10-0 lead) on the way to a 20-5 win.

NORTH OF THE BORDER: Irish assistant coach Kateri Linville will serve as an assistant coach for Canada’s Under-19 team that will compete in the World Cup in Hannover, Germany in August of 2011. She was named to the position in January. She will serve as an assistant to Canisius head coach Scott Teter. A 2003 graduate of the University of Delaware, Linville is in her fifth season as an assistant at Notre Dame.

VERSUS THE RANKED: As of March 29, eight teams that are on the 2010 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse schedule are ranked in the IWLCA coaches’ poll’s top 20. This season, the Irish will face: No. 1-ranked Northwestern followed by No. 8 Syracuse and No. 9 Dartmouth. That group is followed by No. 10 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Loyola, No. 15 Georgetown, No. 18 Boston University and No. 19 Hofstra. Ohio State and Rutgers enter the week receiving votes. A year ago, Notre Dame played 13 games versus ranked teams and was 8-5 on the season. F