April 17, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #9/#9 Notre Dame (11-4/4-2) vs. Connecticut (3-12/2-4)
â€¢ Date/Time/Site: Sat., April 18, 2009 â€¢ 12:00 noon â€¢ Alumni Field â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
â€¢ Internet: Follow the Notre Dame – Connecticut women’s lacrosse game via live video streaming and Game Tracker at the Notre Dame website at und.com.
HOME FINALE: Notre Dame closes the 2009 BIG EAST and home schedules on Saturday, April 18 when the Irish play host to the University of Connecticut. Game time outdoors at Alumni Field is set for 12:00 noon. For Notre Dame, this is the first home game since March 29 as the Irish have played four straight on the road, going 2-2 in those games. They will look to snap out of a two-game losing skid after losses at Syracuse (14-13) and Vanderbilt (18-11) on April 11 and 15. Notre Dame is 11-4 overall and 4-2 in the BIG EAST heading into Saturday’s tilt with UConn. The Irish have clinched third place in the conference and will participate in the BIG EAST tourney next week at Georgetown. The University of Connecticut snapped a three-game losing on Wednesday as the Huskies defeated Holy Crosss, 10-9. They are now 3-12 on the year and 2-4 in conference play. Notre Dame started the week ranked ninth in both the IWLCA coaches’ poll and the Inside Lacrosse.com polls. Following Saturday’s game, Notre Dame will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the BIG EAST Tournament at Georgetown with the semifinal games set for Friday, April 24.
SENIOR DAY: Notre Dame will celebrate Senior Day prior to the start of Saturday’s game with the University of Connecticut. The Irish will honor its graduating senior class of Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.), Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.), Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and Beth Koloup (Phoenix, Md.). The foursome will be playing in their third BIG EAST Tournament and have been to a pair of NCAA Tournaments, including the Final Four, as freshmen in 2006. They go into Saturday’s game with a career record of 49-21 (a .700 winning percentage), the best four-year mark for any class of players at Notre Dame.
BIG EAST BOUND: Three BIG EAST teams have clinched berths in the 2009 BIG EAST Championship that will be held at Georgetown in Washington, D.C., April 24 and 26. Georgetown, Syracuse and Notre Dame have all clinched a spot in the tournament while Rutgers and Loyola (Md.) are tied for the final spot in the standings. The Irish have clinched third place while Georgetown has the edge on second-place Syracuse due to a head-to-head win earlier this season.
IRISH VERSUS HUSKIES: Notre Dame and Connecticut will meet for the 11th time in the all-time series when the two school’s battle at Alumni Field on April 18. The Irish enter that contest with an 8-2 mark versus the Huskies. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 4-1 versus UConn and also are 4-1 at Storrs, Conn. A year ago, the two teams met on March 29 at Connecticut with Notre Dame taking an 18-11 win. The Huskies lone win versus the Irish at Notre Dame came on April 1, 2005 when they handed the Irish a 13-10 loss.
TEWAARATON NOMINEE: Notre Dame senior captain Jillian Byers is one of 25 nominees for the 2009 Tewaaraton Trophy that is presented annually to the top male and female collegiate lacrosse players in the nation. The award, the most coveted and prestigious award a varsity lacrosse player can receive is a symbol of excellence in college lacrosse. Nominees were selected by coaches across all three divisions. This marks the second time in Byers’ career that she has been named a nominee as she and teammate, Caitlin McKinney `08, were nominated last season. Byers currently leads the Irish in goals and scoring with 57 goals and 70 points through the first 15 games of the season. She leads the BIG EAST in goals and is sixth in the nation with 3.80 goals-per-game. Byers is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in goals (236), points (295) and draw controls (144) and is seventh all-time in assists (59).
NCAA NUMBERS: Jillian Byers goes into this weekend’s action as the NCAA’s active leader in goals with 236, putting her 20 ahead of Syracuse’s Katie Rowan in that department. Her 295 career points rank her fourth among active players, trailing Rowan (355), Northwestern’s Hannah Nielsen (345) and Richmond’s Mandy Friend (297). With 59 career assists, Byers is 19th among active players. Going into the Connecticut game, her 236 career goals are 12th on the all-time NCAA list and her 295 career points rank her 22nd on the all-time list. With five more points, she will become the 21st player in NCAA history with 300 points in her career.
Senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman will make her 54th consecutive start for Notre Dame on Senior Day. She has recorded a school record 34 wins in her career.
ROAD LOSSES: After starting the season with a 4-0 record in road games, Notre Dame’s road record has fallen to 4-2 after losses at Syracuse and Vanderbilt. The Irish are now 4-2 on the road and 1-0 on neutral fields in games played away from Notre Dame. Following the BIG EAST Tournament, they will close out the regular season on the road at Cornell on Saturday, May 2.
NASHVILLE BLUES: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s lacrosse team ran into a red-hot goalkeeper on Wednesday afternoon as freshman Natalie Wills made 17 saves to lead her Vanderbilt Commodores to an 18-11 win at the VU Lacrosse Complex. Notre Dame got four goals each from Jillian Byers (Sr., Northport, N.Y.) and Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) and junior Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) had two goals and three assists as the Irish out shot Vanderbilt by a 34-30 margin. Megan Sullivan (Fr., Winchester, Mass.) was the only other Notre Dame player to get on the scoreboard. Besides Wills’ stellar goalkeeping, the Commodores got a seven-point (6g, 1a) afternoon from junior Sarah Downing while Katherine Denkler was right behind her with four goals and an assist. Carter Foote, Ally Carey, Alex Priddy and Cara Giordano each added two goals in the victory. The loss was the second in a row for Notre Dame and marked the third consecutive loss to Vanderbilt in the all-time series. The ninth-ranked Irish fall to 11-4 overall while the 12th-ranked Commodores are now 9-4 on the season. Notre Dame ends its four-game road swing with a 2-2 record. For the second game in a row, the Irish struggled to get their offense on track, falling behind 10-3 at halftime. A second-half rally cut the Vanderbilt lead to 11-7, but that was as close as Notre Dame would get in the seven-goal loss. Erin Goodman finished the game with nine saves in the contest while Wills played 57:08 and made 17 stops. Rachel Woolford played the final 2:52 and stopped the two shots on goal she faced, giving Vanderbilt 19 saves for the day. That’s the most saves by an opposing team against the Irish since Feb. 24, 2008 when Ohio State’s Kristen Gilwee had 20 versus Notre Dame in a 14-11 win.
STREAKY IRISH: Five members of the Notre Dame lineup go into the game with Connecticut on point-scoring streaks:
Jillian Byers - 15 games (57g, 13a, 70 pts)Shaylyn Blaney - 15 games (34g, 3a, 37 pts)Gina Scioscia - 13 games (37g, 26a, 63 pts)Kailene Abt - 8 games (18g, 5a, 23 pts)Maggie Tamasitis - 4 games (5g, 5a, 10 pts)
Byers has 13 games this season with three or more goals while Scioscia has eight with three or more and Blaney has eight.
ABT TO SCORE: Sophomore midfielder Kailene Abt is quickly becoming a major scoring threat for the Irish in her second season. Already this year, the Huntington, N.Y., native is tied for third in scoring with career highs in goals (31), assists (6) and points (37). She picked up her third game this season with four goals in a game in the loss at Vanderbilt. She recorded a career-high six-point game in Notre Dame’s 20-4 win over California, scoring four goals and two assists. The four-goal game tied a career high set earlier this season against Ohio State. Over the last eight games, Abt has 18 goals and five assists for 32 points.
EN FUEGO: Junior attack standout Gina Scioscia has been “on fire” this season as she has surpassed her career high in points (55, set last season) and now has 70 (41g, 29a) on the season to tie for first on the team scoring list. She is tied for second in the BIG EAST in scoring with teammate Jillian Byers (70) and trails Syracuse’s Katie Rowan who has 71 points in 13 games. At Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Scioscia recorded her fourth game this season with five points (2g, 3a). In 2008, Scioscia had 20 goals and 35 assists for 55 points, all career highs at the time. That came after a freshman year that saw her get just eight points on four goals and four assists. The 47-point improvement was the most ever for a Notre Dame player from from one season to the next. On March 17 versus Rutgers, Scioscia had a career-high eight-point game, scoring twice with six assists. The six assists tied a Notre Dame single-game record. On March 29 versus Loyola, she had a career-high six-goal game in the 16-13 win over the Greyhounds. Scioscia has one three-point game, three games with four points, four games with five points, three with six points, one seven-point game and one with eight this season.
Beth Koloup is one of four Notre Dame seniors who will be honored on Senior Day. She is a three-time monogram winner for the Irish.
KARDIAC KIDS: Trailing 11-1 with 11:05 left in the first half, thoughts of a Notre Dame comeback for a win weren’t out of the question in the April 11 loss at Syracuse. Prior to that game, Notre Dame trailed by as many as six goals in a game and rallied in the second half for a come-from-behind win. Although they came up one goal short in the loss at Syracuse, the Irish have lived on the edge all season.
3/29 vs. Loyola (MD): For the third time this season, Notre Dame fell behind in a game during the first half, trailed at halftime and then went on to win the game in the second half against Loyola (Md.). In the game the Irish fell behind by four goals in the first half at 6-2 and 7-3 before rallying to cut the lead to 8-7 at halftime in favor of the Greyhounds. After giving up the first goal of the second half, to trail 9-7, the Irish scored five consecutive goals for a 12-9 lead on the way to the 16-13 win. Other come-from-behind wins include:
3/10 vs. James Madison (at Orlando, Fla.): The Irish trailed 5-2 with over 18 minutes left in the first half before they rallied to trail just 9-7 at halftime. They then opened the second half with four consecutive goals for an 11-9 lead. The closest that the Dukes would get was 11-10 as Notre Dame pulled out a second close win.
3/3 at Dartmouth: Irish gave up the first six goals of the contest and trailed 8-2 late in the first half before coming alive. They scored three late goals in the opening half and then rolled off eight more in the second before Dartmouth responded for a total of 11 consecutive goals. Bouncing back from the six-goal deficit was the largest deficit that the Irish have ever recovered from.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Notre Dame’s All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Jillian Byers continues her assault on the Irish record books. After setting the Notre Dame goal-scoring record on Feb. 28, Jillian Byers continues to score at a torrid pace for the Irish. In the win over Hofstra (3/14), she recorded her 200th career goal and 250th career point. Versus California she broke the all-time mark for draw controls. Here are her career numbers at Notre Dame through 15 games this season.
Goals1. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 2362. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 1613. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 1524. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1305. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1226. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1097. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 838. Shaylyn Blaney (2007- ) 779. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 7610. Courtney Calabrese (1998-99) 69-- Gina Scioscia (2006- ) 65
Assists1. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 802. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 763. Gina Scioscia (2007-) 68 Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 685. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 666. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 637. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 598. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 499. Heather Ferguson (2005-08) 3510. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 33
Points1. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 2952. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 2373. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 2324. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1965. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1906. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1587. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 1468. Gina Scioscia (2007- ) 1339. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 10910. Shaylyn Blaney (2007- ) 89
Draw Controls1. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 1442. Alissa Moser (1999-02) 1263. Shannon Burke (2006- ) 1144. Kaki Orr (2004-07) 1105. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 1036. Tina Fedarcyk (1999-02) 967. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 918. Kathryn Lam (1999-02) 909. Shaylyn Blaney (2007- ) 76 Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 76
OH-FOR-THE DOME: Notre Dame’s loss to Syracuse dropped the Irish record to 0-7 at the Carrier Dome in the 13-year history of the program. Since 1997, Notre Dame is 0-6 against Syracuse at the Dome. The seventh loss came to Georgetown in 2007 when Syracuse hosted the BIG EAST Tournament at the Carrier Dome.
BLANEY-MANIA: Sophomore midfielder Shaylyn Blaney did her best to bring the Irish back against Syracuse, equaling a season best with four goals in the game. Included in the four-goal game were three goals in Notre Dame’s unanswered six-goal run in the second half that cut the lead from 13-5 to 13-11 with 7:21 left in the game. She has now scored at least one goal in all 14 games for the Irish, including three four-goal games on the year. She is tied for third on the team in scoring with 37 points and third with 34 goals scored. Thirteen of her 34 goals this season have come off free-position shots. Blaney is coming off a freshman year that saw her score 43 goals with nine assists for 52 points. That was the second- best total for a Notre Dame freshman, trailing just Jill Byers’ 78-point campaign (52g, 24a) in 2006. Her 43 goals were the eighth best single-season output for the Irish. She already has 77 goals and 12 assists for 89 points in her career. The 77 goals rank her eighth all-time at Notre Dame.
SCORING BARRAGE: Through the first 15 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored 233 goals for an average of 15.53 per game. That leads the BIG EAST and is third in the nation. Prior to this season, Notre Dame’s top scoring season came in 2006 when the Irish averaged 13.84 goals per game. The Irish scored 263 goals that season in 19 games.
< super=””> The Irish have gotten strong play from their sophomore scorers this season. The group of five – Shaylyn Blaney (34g, 3a), Kailene Abt (31g, 6a), Ansley Stewart (23g, 9a), Jackie Doherty (5g, 8a) and Kaitlin Keena (10g, 11a) have accounted for 103 goals and 37 assists for 140 points. The five have 103 of the team’s 233 goals, 37 of 102 assists and 140 of 335 points this season.
< head=”” coach=””>Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 13th season at Notre Dame and her 22nd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 235-107 (.687) career record into this week’s games. On Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, she recorded her 100th career win at Notre Dame with a 16-4 win over Duquesne. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 121-81 (.599). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne recorded her 200th career win at the end of the 2006 season with a 16-8 win over Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. She has guided Notre Dame to four NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) in the last seven seasons, including the school’s first-ever NCAA finals appearance in 2006. In her first 22 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 121-79 in this, her 13th 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 8-2 in her 10 meetings with Connecticut.
CAREER YEARS: Through the first 15 games of the season, several Irish players have already achieved career seasons. Kailene Abt has career bests with 31 goals, six assists and 37 points after a getting seven goals with two assists for nine points as a freshman. Sophomore Ansley Stewart has career bests in goals (23), assists (9) and points (32). Sophomore Kaitlin Keena has moved past her career bests of nine goals and nine assists set last season as she now has 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points. Jackie Doherty (Ellicott City, Md.) has career highs in assists (8) and points (13) after getting six goals and one assist for seven points in 2008. Maggie Zentgraf has career highs with five goals and six points after getting one goal and two assists last season.
50 HERE, 50 THERE: All-American and Tewaaraton Award candidate Jillian Byers recorded four goals in the loss at Vanderbilt on April 15, giving her 57 goals for the season. The 50-goal campaign marks the fourth consecutive year that she has had 50 or more goals (54 in `06, 58 in `07 and 67 in `08). The four goals against Vanderbilt gave her 70 points on the season, giving her three seasons with 70-or-more points in her career. Byers now owns four of the top five goal-scoring seasons (Crysti Foote `06 with 74 goals is only one with more) and three of the top five point seasons (Foote with 114 and Meredith Simon `04 with 74) in the program’s history.
BURKE FOR THE DEFENSE: Defensive standout Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.) continues to be a dominant force for the Irish in the defensive midfield. The senior captain had three ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers in the loss at Vanderbilt. In her last four games, she has 18 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. She grabbed a career-best six ground balls in the win at Cincinnati (4/3). In 14 games this season, the preseason all-BIG EAST selection has scored three goals with two assists for five points. On the defensive side, Burke leads the team with 42 ground balls, is fifth with 24 draw controls and leads the team with 26 caused turnovers. She is among the school’s all-time leaders in all three categories (3rd in draw controls – 114; list on previous page):
Groundballs1. Kathryn Lam (1999-02) 1932. Tina Fedarcyk (1999-02 ) 1773. Maureen Henwood (1999-02) 1264. Andrea Kinnik (2001-04) 123 Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1236. Shannon Burke (2006- ) 1217. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1208. Carol Dixon (2003-06) 1179. Natalie Loftus (199-02) 116 Alissa Moser (1999-02) 115-- Erin Goodman (2006- ) 113
Caused Turnovers1. Tina Fedarcyk (1999-02) 1072. Shannon Burke (2006-) 883. Becky Ranck (2005-08) 83 Kathryn Lam (1999-02) 835. Maureen Henwood (1999-02) 756. Kelly McCardell (2000-03) 667. Andrea Kinnik (2001-04) 638. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 609. Heather Ferguson (2005-08) 54 Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 54
VERSUS THE RANKED: Notre Dame’s loss to Vanderbilt dropped the Irish to 4-4 versus teams ranked in the IWLCA poll when they face the Irish. The Irish own wins over #16 Stanford, #13 Dartmouth, #17 James Madison and #13 Loyola. The losses have come to #1 Northwestern, #6 Georgetown and #9 Syracuse.
DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS: With 11 wins this season, Notre Dame as achieved double-digit wins for the fourth consecutive season. That’s the first time that has ever happened in the history of the program. Notre Dame had 15 wins in 2006, 11 in 2007 and 12 last year. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 49-21 (.700).
SECRET WEAPON: Freshman midfield/attack Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) turned in the best week of her young career with a pair of four-point contests versus Cincinnati and Louisville (April 3-5). In the win over the Bearcats, Tamasitis had two goals and two assists for four points. Versus the Cardinals, she had a career-high three-goal game with an assist for four points. She already has seven games this season with three or more points. Tamasitis has played in all 15 games, coming off the bench to provide a spark for the Irish offense either at attack or midfield. Without starting a game this season, she is sixth in scoring with 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points. Her 16 assists are second on the team.
RAPID IMPROVEMENT: As a freshman, Ansley Stewart, now a sophomore, saw action in just two games for the Irish. This season, the Alexandria, Va., native has started all 15 games and ranks fifth in team scoring with 23 goals and nine assists for 32 points. She is coming off a career-high four-goal game in the 16-5 win at Cincinnati (April 3). She teams with senior Jillian Byers (57-13) and junior Gina Scioscia (41-29) for a potent Irish attack trio with 121 goals and 51 assists this season.