April 13, 2005
IRISH CLOSE OUT HOMESTAND WITH GEORGETOWN:
Notre Dame’s five-game homestand that started on April 1 comes to an end this Saturday afternoon (April 16) when the Irish battle No. 3 ranked Georgetown in a BIG EAST game. Game time at Moose Krause Stadium is set for 1:00 p.m. Notre Dame enters the week coming off a pair of tough losses to No. 2 Duke, 11-8, on Friday, April 8 and a 6-5 loss to Stanford on Sunday, April 10. The Irish are 3-8 overall and 1-2 in BIG EAST play. Georgetown comes into the week with an 8-3 overall record and a 3-0 mark in BIG EAST contests. The Hoyas opened the week on Monday with a 10-8 loss at Boston University. In five seasons of BIG EAST play, Georgetown has never lost a league game and will bring a 27-0 record in BIG EAST contests into Saturday’s game. Following the Georgetown game, the Irish take to the road on Sunday, April 24 when they travel to Baltimore, Md., to face the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in a 1:00 p.m. game.
IRISH VERSUS GEORGETOWN:
Notre Dame and Georgetown have played five times in the all-time series with the Hoyas recording wins in all five games. The Irish are 0-2 at Moose Krause Stadium versus the Hoyas and 0-3 in games played in Washington, D.C. Last season, Georgetown edged Notre Dame by a 9-7 score at GU’s North Kehoe Field. The teams were tied 4-4 at halftime with the Hoyas outscoring the Irish, 5-3 in the second half for the win. Mary McGrath (Jr., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) had two goals for Notre Dame while Megan Murphy (So., Centennial, Colo.), Jackie Bowers (Sr., Springfield, Pa.) and Crysti Foote (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) each had a goal and an assist in the game. The closest the Irish came to defeating Georgetown came in the 2003 season when they lost 16-15 in overtime. In that game, Georgetown scored three times in the last 2:22 of the game to tie the score at 13-13. The Hoyas then scored the first three goals of overtime before Meredith Simon and Foote scored 19 seconds apart in the final 1:30 to cut the lead to 16-15. Notre Dame controlled the final draw, but could not score in the final 1:11 to lose by a goal.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne:
Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her ninth season as the head coach of the Irish and is the only coach in the program’s Division I history. Coyne owns a 72-56 (.563) record at Notre Dame and is 186-82 (.694) in her 18-year coaching career. In 2004, she led the Irish to a 12-5 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for second in the league standings. Coyne also was selected as the 2004 BIG EAST coach of the year. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in the last three years where the Irish lost to Northwestern, 10-8, in a first-round tournament game. 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. A 1983 graduate of Ohio University, Coyne has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team. She led the team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup and will serve as head coach of Team Canada again for the 2005 World Cup. Coyne is 0-5 all-time versus Georgetown.
The Irish opened the weekend by dropping an 11-8 decision to No. 2 Duke at Moose Krause Stadium. Notre Dame was led offensively by Caitlin McKinney (Fr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) who had a career-high five-point game, picking up three goals and two assists. Brittany Fox (Jr., Annapolis, Md.) added two goals and an assist and Crysti Foote chipped in a goal and two assists on the afternoon. Kaki Orr (So., Darien, Conn.) and Lena Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) had single goals for the Irish. Duke led 5-2 at halftime and built the lead to 7-2 before the Irish made a comeback. Notre Dame would cut the lead to 10-7 with 3:56 left in the second half, but that was as close as the Irish would get. Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) equaled a season high in saves with 12, including nine in the first half as she kept the Irish in the game. Duke out shot Notre Dame, 28-23 in the game.
Notre Dame dropped its third one-goal game of the year, this time to Stanford on April 10 when Nina Pantano scored with 18 seconds left for the 6-5 Cardinal win. Crysti Foote paced the Notre Dame attack with two goals and two assists in the game. Brittany Fox, Jackie Bowers (Sr., Springfield, Pa.) and Kaki Orr also scored for the Irish. Stanford took a 4-3 lead at halftime behind the goalkeeping of Laura Shane as she made eight of her 14 saves in the second half. Orr’s goal at 9:11 of the second half tied the game at 4-4. Megan McClain gave Stanford a 5-4 lead over 11 minutes later and Foote’s second goal of the game with 7:50 left, tied the game at 5-5. The Irish out shot the Cardinal, 26-19, in the game. Carol Dixon had seven saves in the Irish goal.
LOW SCORING AFFAIR:
When Notre Dame and Stanford combined for 11 goals in their April 10th game, it tied the Irish record for fewest goals combined in a game. On April 28, 2002, the Irish combined with Rutgers to score 11 goals (a 9-2 Notre Dame win).
VERSUS THE BEST:
When the Irish tangle with No. 3 Georgetown on April 16, it will mark the fourth time this season that Notre Dame will face a nationally ranked team. In the first three games, the Irish are 0-3 after losing 11-8 to No. 2 Duke on April 8. All-time versus ranked teams, the Irish are 15-35 after going 6-4 last season. Based on this week’s IWLCA poll, the Irish will face ranked teams in each of their last four games – No. 3 Georgetown, No. 11 Johns Hopkins, No. 12 Syracuse and No. 20 Ohio State. By the end of the week, the Irish will have played the teams ranked No. 1 (Northwestern), No. 2 (Duke) and No. 3 (Georgetown) in this week’s poll.
The one-goal loss (6-5) to Stanford marked the third one-goal loss of the season for the Irish. The others were 10-9 losses in overtime to Vanderbilt and Boston College. In five of Notre Dame’s losses, the Irish have lost by three goals or less. In their eight losses, the Irish have lost by a combined 24 goals (3.0 per game). In the nine-year history of the program, Notre Dame is 7-12 in one-goal games.
Junior Crysti Foote comes into the Georgetown game leading the Irish in scoring with 23 goals and 13 assists for 36 points. She needs just three points to surpass her career-high of 38 points (27g, 11a) set as a freshman in 2003. Her 13 assists this season are a career best for the attack standout from Suffern, N.Y. With three goals and four assists last weekend, she moved into a tie for fifth on Notre Dame’s goals, assists and points list with Natalie Loftus (1998-02). Both have 76 goals, 33 assists and 109 points for their careers. Foote needs eight more goals (Kerry Callahan – 83), 17 assists (Meredith Simon – 49) and 38 points (Kerry Callahan – 146) to move into fourth in each of those categories.
With three goals and three assists in two games last week, Caitlin McKinney ranks second on the Irish in scoring with 20 goals and 11 assists for 31 points. With four games left in the season, she currently is tied for the fourth-best points total for a Notre Dame freshman. She trails, Lael O’Shaughnessy and Courtney Calabrese who each had 41 points as freshmen in 1998 and Crysti Foote who recorded 38 points as a freshman in 2003. She is tied with Danielle Shearer, who had 31 points as a rookie in 2000.
Freshman Scoring Leaders:
1. Courtney Calabrese (1998) 38-3-41
Lael O’Shaughnessy (1998) 27-14-41
3. Crysti Foote (2003) 27-11-38
4. Danielle Shearer (2000) 21-10-31
Caitlin McKinney (2005) 20-11-31
OUT OF ACTION:
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) will be sidelined for the remainder of the season after injuring her right knee on March 6 at Cornell. Murphy had six goals and one assist for seven points in the three games she played this season.
Freshman Caitlin McKinney has the longest scoring streak for the Irish this season as she has now scored in 11 straight games (20-11-31). Other Notre Dame scoring streaks include:
Brittany Fox – 9 games (15-4-19)
Crysti Foote – 6 games (15-9-24)
Lena Zentgraf – 6 games (7-2-9)
Meghan Murphy – 3 games (6-1-7)
Kaki Orr – 2 games (2-0-2)
Junior attack Brittany Fox continues to provide a spark to the Notre Dame attack off the bench this season. In the last nine games she’s played in, Fox has scored 15 goals with four assists for 19 points. Included are two three-point games and a pair of games with three goals and one assist. Fox ranks third on the Irish in scoring with her 19 points.
Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf turned in the best offensive game of her career versus Rutgers on April 3 when she scored a career-high three goals and one assist for four points in the 12-9 win over Rutgers. She extended her point-scoring streak to six games with a goal versus Duke and an assist versus Stanford in last week’s games. Coming into the season (she sat out her sophomore year), Zentgraf had not scored a point. This year she ranks fifth in scoring with eight goals and five assists for 13 points.
Freshman attack Caitlin McKinney continued her fast start for the Irish last week with three goals and three assists for six points versus Duke and Stanford. The speedster had a career-best five-point game (3g, 2a) in the loss to Duke and then added an assist versus Stanford in a game that she only played in the first half due to a red card (with 2:09 left in 1st half). She is second in scoring to Crysti Foote with 20 goals and 11 assists and now has at least two points in eight of the 11 games that she has played in this year.
Senior captain Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) paced the Notre Dame offensive attack in the 10-5 loss at James Madison on March 13 when she turned in the first two-goal game of her career. Shaffer, who came into the season with no goals in 19 career games, has already scored five goals and one assist this season on 12 shots.
SLAMMING THE DOOR:
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon took over as Notre Dame’s top goalkeeper in 2004 and has now started 28 consecutive games between the pipes for the Irish. Last season she was 12-5 with an 8.57 goals-against average and a .505 save percentage while playing all but 3:28 minutes on the year. This year, Dixon has played all but 6:56 (versus Connecticut) and is 3-8 with a 10.28 goals against and a .467 save percentage. For her career, Dixon is now 15-13 with a 9.22 goals-against average and a .495 save percentage. She is second in games played (33), third in saves (273) and third in wins (15). Three times this season, Dixon has recorded a season-high 12 saves in a game (Vanderbilt, Boston College and Duke).
The Irish have now lost two overtime games this season by a 10-9 score. On March 9, they fell at Vanderbilt by a 10-9 verdict and on March 26, Boston College took the win by the same score. In the nine-year history of the program, Notre Dame has now played nine overtime games, going 3-6 in those games. Remarkably, five of those nine overtime contests have ended with 10-9 scores.
HUSKIES SNAP STREAK:
Connecticut’s 13-10 win over the Irish marked the first time the Huskies had ever won in four tries at Notre Dame. The win was just the second for Connecticut in seven meetings with the Irish.
Notre Dame’s 10-9 overtime loss at Boston College marked the first time in seven all-time meetings that the Irish lost to the Eagles. Notre Dame is 6-1 all-time versus BC. The loss also marked the first time in five BIG EAST seasons that the Irish started the conference schedule with an 0-1 record.
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon currently leads Notre Dame and the BIG EAST in ground balls with 32 on the season. In goal, she has a 10.28 goals-against average and a .467 save percentage.
Senior Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) continues to be one of the top defensive players in the BIG EAST through 11 games this season. She currently leads the Irish with 25 draw controls and 19 caused turnovers and is second in ground balls with 28. Mikula leads the BIG EAST in draw controls and is second in caused turnovers. She is tied for fourth in ground balls with 28. She scored her first goal of the season versus California and turned in career highs with six draw controls and six caused turnovers in the game.
After playing in just two games as a freshman, sophomore midfielder Kaki Orr (Darien, Conn.) broke into the starting lineup for the Irish this season and had back-to-back two goal games versus Northwestern and Cornell for the first four goals of her Irish career. In 11 games this season, Orr now has 10 goals on 22 shots and an assist for 11 points. She also is third on the team in ground balls (27) and tied for sixth in the BIG EAST. tied for second in ground balls (25) on the team and in the BIG EAST and is third in draw controls with 14.
TOO MANY GOALS:
The 18 goals scored by Northwestern on March 3 were the most given up by the Irish in a game since an 18-9 loss at Vanderbilt on Apr. 13, 1999. The 18 goals are the most given up by Notre Dame at home since a 20-9 loss to Syracuse on April 11, 1998, the second year of the program.
Junior attack standout Crysti Foote has picked up right where she left off last season in the goal-scoring department. Through the first 11 games of the 2005 season, Foote leads the team in scoring with 23 goals and 13 assists for 36 points. She has twice this season been selected the BIG EAST offensive player of the week (Feb. 28 and April 4). As a sophomore, she scored 26 goals and added nine assists for 35 points in 17 games. She was a second team all-BIG EAST selection and was a second team IWLCA Mid-Atlantic Region selection. As a freshman, she had 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Following her rookie season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the IWLCA first team all-Mid-Atlantic region team. After just nine games this season and 41 for her career, Foote is already sixth on Notre Dame’s all-time goals list (73), sixth in assists (29) and sixth in points (102). She was selected as a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine and was selected as a preseason all-BIG EAST selection in voting by the coaches. Foote will also play this summer for Team Canada in the 2005 World Cup at Annapolis, Md.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE:
Crysti Foote got her season off to a fast start with a career-high eight-point game (5g, 3a) game at Ohio University. The five goals was also a career high for the junior attack standout. She has since added a pair of six-point games versus California on March 22 and Connecticut on April 1. She had four goals and two assists in each game.
BIG EAST HONORS:
Junior Crysti Foote has been selected BIG EAST offensive player of the week twice this season. On April 4, she was the co-offensive player in the conference after scoring seven goals in games versus Connecticut and Rutgers. In the opening week of the season she turned in a career-high eight-point game (5g, 3a) in a 16-10 win over Ohio University. She also received honorable mention for Inside Lacrosse national player of the week honors. Senior Jess Mikula led Notre Dame’s defense in the win over Ohio. She grabbed three ground balls and had then career highs in caused turnovers (4) and draw controls (5) in the victory. For her play, Mikula was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week.
Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2005 will be seniors Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.), Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) and Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.). Each player begins their first year as captains for the Irish.
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) had a career-high four goals and four points versus Ohio University. Her previous best was a three-goal game in her freshman year versus Cornell. Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) had a career-high two assist game in the Ohio victory and had a career-best three-goals and four points versus Rutgers (4/3). Lindsay Shaffer had a career-high two-goals in the 10-5 loss at James Madison on March 13. Freshman Heather Ferguson recorded a career-best three-point game (2g, 1a) in the 18-8 win over California. Fellow freshman Mary Carpenter (Rochester, N.Y.) had two goals at Vanderbilt and then had a two-assist game versus California on March 22. Brittany Fox has had a pair of four-point games (3g, 1a) at Vanderbilt (3/9) and versus California (3/22).
Tracy Coyne welcomes back two of her former players as members of her coaching staff for the 2005 season. Returning as an assistant coach is 2002 graduate Alissa Moser who replaced former assistant Jen Newitt last August. Moser was a two-time captain and four-time monogram winner during her playing days. A native of North Wales, Pa., Moser finished her career tied for sixth in points (85), is seventh in goals (67) and is first in draw controls (126). She will work with the Notre Dame offense in 2005. Also joining Coyne’s staff as a volunteer assistant is 2004 graduate Kristen Gaudreau. A two-time monogram winner, Gaudreau was a starter on defense in each of the last two seasons and helped lead the Irish to the second-best goals-against average (8.54) in the program’s history last season. She returned to Notre Dame to work on her Master’s Degree in accountancy.
Notre Dame is now 7-2 all-time in season openers after defeating Ohio University. The Irish are 7-2 in road openers and 5-4 in home openers after the loss to Northwestern in the first nine seasons of the women’s lacrosse program.
BEATING THE ALMA MATER:
Notre Dame improved its record to 6-0 all-time versus Ohio University with the 16-10 win on Feb. 27. The Irish have now won three times at home versus the Bobcats and three times in Athens, Ohio. Ohio University just happens to be Irish head coach Tracy Coyne’s alma mater. She is a 1983 graduate.
Two Notre Dame players were selected by BIG EAST coaches as preseason all-BIG EAST team members. Making the list are senior Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) and junior Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.). Both players were second team all-BIG EAST selections in 2004. Mikula recorded 33 ground balls and had 22 caused turnovers from here defensive position last season. Foote is Notre Dame’s top returning scorer after getting 26 goals with nine assists for 35 points last season. She was also named a preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse Magazine.
Five members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and one other has ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) played two seasons (2002 and 2003) with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. Notre Dame’s third and fourth sister acts arrived on campus in the fall when twins Heather and Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) joined the Irish along with fellow freshman Julie Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) who is the sister of junior attack standout Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.). The Dixon’s, Ferguson’s and Foote’s give Notre Dame four sets of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Sophomore midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and associate athletic director Boo Corrigan, as well as, the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.
With the dawning of a new season, several Notre Dame players made their first career starts in the opener versus Ohio University. Freshman Caitlin McKinney made her first start at midfield. Joining her in the midfield in their first starts were Lena Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) and Kaki Orr (So., Darien, Conn.). Making her first career start on defense was sophomore Kristin Hopson (Rosemont, Pa.). Since the opener, Heather Ferguson has started each of the last two games for her first career starts and Brittany Fox made her first career start in the Cornell game. Mary McGrath was in the starting lineup for the first time when the Irish defeated California on March 22.
COACH OF THE YEAR:
Head Coach Tracy Coyne was named the BIG EAST coach of the year following the 2004 season. For Coyne, this was her first BIG EAST coach of the year honor. She is no stranger to coach of the year honors as in 1990 she was selected as the NCAA Division III coach of the year at Roanoke and was the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) coach of the year in 1990 and 1995. Prior to her stint at Roanoke (1990-96), Coyne spent two years at Denison College (1988-89) where she was the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) coach of the year in 1988.
Notre Dame had three players receive All-American honors in 2004, the most ever in the program’s eight-year history. Leading the way was senior Meredith Simon who became the school’s first-ever first team IWLCA All-American. She also was a second team Inside Lacrosse and womenslacrosse.com All-American. Defensive standout Andrea Kinnik took IWLCA second team honors and was a third team selection by both Inside Lacrosse magazine and womenslacrosse.com. Midfielder Abby Owen also took All-American honors as a third team selection by both IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse magazine.
Notre Dame has now made two appearances in the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. In 2004, the Irish lost in the first round at Northwestern by a 10-8 score. In 2002, the Irish advanced for the first time, defeating Ohio State at Moose Krause Stadium, 11-7, before losing to top-ranked Princeton, 11-5, in the quarterfinals.
Notre Dame opened the 2004 season with 10 consecutive wins, the most ever for the Irish at the start of a season. Combined with wins in the final four games of 2003, Notre Dame put together a school-record 14-game winning streak. The streak went from 4/22/03 to 4/17/04. Prior to that, the longest winning streak the Irish ever had was a six-game streak from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.