March 22, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team concludes its stretch of three consecutive road games this week at Ohio State and Johns Hopkins. The Irish are coming off a 9-3 loss to 16th-ranked Syracuse on Thurs., March 16, in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
IRISH TRAVEL TO BUCKEYES, BLUEJAYS: Notre Dame makes its second ever trip to Ohio State on Thurs., March 23, in a 4:00 p.m. game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes enter the game with a 3-2 record following a 10-8 loss to Boston University on Sunday. The teams have met three times previously with the visiting team winning all three games. The Buckeyes won at Notre Dame in 1997 and 1999, while the Irish won a memorable 10-9 game in 1998 in which then-freshman Maura Doyle scored the final three goals of the game in the last 6:11 of action.
The Irish play a road game at Johns Hopkins on Sat., March 25, at 7:00 p.m. at Homewood Field. The Blue Jays enter the week with a 3-2 record before playing host to Stanford prior to the Notre Dame game. Sophomore Jamie Larrimore leads the team with 19 goals and five assists for 24 points. Johns Hopkins has won three straight games after an 0-2 start. Saturday’s game will mark the first meeting between the teams.
SYRACUSE REVIEW: The Irish trailed just 5-3 to 16th-ranked Syracuse at halftime but was shut out in the second half in a 9-3 loss to the Orangewomen in Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Thursday. Junior goalkeeper Tara Durkin (Jenkintown, Pa.) had 18 saves to help keep the Irish close. Juniors Lael O’Shaughnessy (Arlington, Va.) and Kathryn Perrella (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) and freshman Danielle Shearer (Hampstead, Md.) each scored for the Irish. O’Shaughnessy and Perrella netted free-position goals in a span of 1:55 to pull the Irish even at 2-2. After Syracuse scored three consecutive goals to build a 5-2 lead, Shearer scored at 1:18 on an assist from freshman Angela Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) to cut the lead to 5-3 after the first half. The Irish offense generated 27 shots but Syracuse goalkeeper Clothilde Ewing came up with 19 saves.
O’SHAUGHNESSY ON ATTACK: Junior captain Lael O’Shaughnessy — the third-highest returning scorer among NCAA Division I schools from 1999 — leads the team once again with 11 goals in four games. She scored a school-record 50 goals last year and has scored at least one goal in each of the last 14 games and in all but one game in which she played in her career.
DURKIN DENIES: Through just four games this season, the Irish have outscored their opponents 57-32 in part due to the play of goalkeeper Tara Durkin. The junior enters the week with a save percentage of 59 percent and a goals-against average of 8.82. She has played 204 of 240 minutes and has allowed just 30 goals. She made 18 saves while allowing nine goals against Syracuse, its second-lowest goal total so far this season.
DEPTH SPARKS IRISH: While 11 different players scored in Notre Dame’s win over Ohio — the most players ever to score in a single Irish women’s lacrosse game, Notre Dame’s bench players accounted for nine goals and five assists. Through four games of the 2000 season 14 players have scored at least one goal, with junior Lael O’Shaughnessy leading the team with 11 goals.
BIG EAST WOMEN’S LACROSSE: When Notre Dame and Syracuse met on Thursday, the game marked the final time the two teams meet as independents. The 2001 women’s lacrosse season will mark a new era in the brief history of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse when the sport becomes the 20th sponsored by the BIG EAST Conference. Boston College, Connecticut, Georgetown, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech will join Notre Dame in the formation of BIG EAST women’s lacrosse. Five of the six teams will be on Notre Dame’s schedule in 2000. The teams will play a round-robin schedule against each of the other six teams. The BIG EAST also has applied for an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship for the conference winner.
“We now will have opportunity to compete in a quality all-sports conference and develop conference rivalries,” says Tracy Coyne, a large part in the driving force among the coaching community for the inclusion of women’s lacrosse under the BIG EAST Conference umbrella. “I expect the BIG EAST to become a very influential conference on the national level, particularly with the success a number of the teams have had already and the support that the newer programs receive. We can be as powerful as any other lacrosse conference.”
2000 SCHEDULE: Games against three of the 12 1999 NCAA tournament teams and five home games highlight the 15-game, Notre Dame women’s lacrosse schedule for the 2000 schedule. In addition to Thursday’s game against 16th-ranked Syracuse, the Irish also will face five more teams ranked in the preseason top 25, including second-ranked Duke and sixth-ranked Georgetown.