April 6, 2005
Notre Dame continues its five-game homestand this weekend with a pair of games. On Friday, April 8, the Irish face the nation’s second-ranked team as the Duke Blue Devils visit Moose Krause Stadium for a 4:00 p.m. game. Duke is the third ranked team to face the Irish so far this season. On Sunday, April 10, the Irish face Stanford in a 12:00 noon game that will be played indoors at the Loftus Sports Center. The game will be played indoors since Notre Dame’s men’s lacrosse team is playing Air Force at 12:00 noon in their final home game of the season. The Irish opened their current five-game homestand last weekend, splitting BIG EAST games with Connecticut and Rutgers. On April 1, Notre Dame dropped a 13-10 decision to the Huskies and then bounced back on April 3 with a 12-9 win over the Scarlet Knights. The Irish come into the week with a 3-6 overall record and a 1-2 mark in conference play. Duke visits Notre Dame with a 9-2 overall record and is 2-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Blue Devils are coming off a 16-12 win over then No. 2 Virginia last Saturday. That win moved them from fifth in the nation to number two this week. They travel to Northwestern on Sunday to face No. 1 ranked Northwestern. Stanford is 6-4 overall and is coming off an 11-10 win over California at home last Friday. The Cardinal will travel to Northwestern on Friday to face the Wildcats before facing the Irish on Sunday. Following this weekend’s two games, the Irish will close out their five-game homestand on Saturday, April 16 at 1:00 p.m when they play host to BIG EAST-leading Georgetown at Moose Krause Stadium.
IRISH VERSUS BLUE DEVILS:
Notre Dame and Duke have met seven times in the all-time series with the Blue Devils holding a 6-1 edge in the first seven contests. The Irish are 0-2 at home versus Duke, 0-4 in Durham, N.C. and 1-0 at neutral sites. Notre Dame’s only win in the series came on March 10, 2004 when the Irish took an 11-9 win in a game played at the Disney World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. At the time of the win, Duke was ranked No. 2 in the nation, making the Blue Devils the highest ranked team that the Irish had ever beaten. Kassen Delano and Abby Owen paced the Irish attack with three goals each. Goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made a then, career high, 12 saves in goal for the Irish. The last time the two teams met at Moose Krause Stadium, Duke took a 10-9 win in the longest game in Notre Dame history (71:45), as the Blue Devils scored with 15 seconds left for the win.
IRISH VERSUS THE CARDINAL:
Notre Dame and Stanford have met five times with the Irish holding a 4-1 edge in the all-time series. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 1-1 while at Stanford, they own a 3-0 record. Last season, Notre Dame took a 16-5 decision at Palo Alto, Calif., on Feb. 29. Meredith Simon (4g, 2a) and Abby Owen (4g) led the Irish offense. Crysti Foote (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) had a goal and an two assists in the win. Carol Dixon gave up a season-low five goals while making nine saves. Stanford’s lone win in the series came at Moose Krause Stadium on April 13, 2003 when the Cardinal took a 14-13 decision in overtime.
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 72-54 (.571) record at Notre Dame and is 186-80 (.699) 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 1-6 all-time versus Duke and 4-1 versus Stanford in her coaching career.
BIG EAST Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Junior Crysti Foote was selected as the BIG EAST co-offensive player of the week for the week ending April 3 along with Georgetown’s Coco Stanwick. In two games for the Irish, Foote scored seven goals, had three ground balls and four draw controls. In Notre Dame’s 13-10 loss to Connecticut on April 1, Foote scored four goals for her third game this season with four or more goals. In Sunday’s 12-9 win over Rutgers, she scored three times, including the game winner. Her first goal on Sunday made her just the sixth player in Notre Dame women’s lacrosse history to score 100 points in her career. Foote has 73 goals and 29 assists for 102 points in 41 career games going into this weekend’s games versus Duke and Stanford.
The Irish opened their five-game homestand by dropping a 13-10 decision to the Connecticut Huskies on Friday, April 1. Notre Dame jumped out to a 6-4 lead midway through the first half only to see Connecticut run off seven straight goals on the way to an 11-6 lead and the 13-10 win. Tracy Mullaney (five goals) and Shannon Burke (four goals) paced the Connecticut attack while goalkeepers Jennifer Wong (10 saves) and Kristen Haldeman (three saves) combined for 13 saves on the way to the Huskies first-ever win at Notre Dame. Crysti Foote led Notre Dame’s attack with four goals on the night. Caitlin McKinney (Fr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and Kaki Orr (So., Darien, Conn.) added a goal and an assist for a pair of points in the game. Jackie Bowers (Sr., Springfield, Pa.), Lena Zentgraf, Brittany Fox (Jr., Annapolis, Md.) and Mary Carpenter (Fr., Rochester, N.Y.) had single goals for the Irish. Notre Dame out shot Connecticut, 32-20, in the game. Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) played 53:04 minutes, giving up 11 goals while making six saves. Katie Linhares (So., Greenwich, Conn.) saw her first action of the season, playing 6:56 minutes, giving up two goals with no saves.
Notre Dame picked up its first BIG EAST win of the season, defeating Rutgers, 12-9, on Sunday at Moose Krause Stadium. Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf scored the first hat trick of her Notre Dame career and added an assist for a career-high four-point game and Crysti Foote added three goals to pace the Irish. Caitlin McKinney and Brittany Fox scored twice for the Irish while Jackie Bowers and Mary McGrath (Jr., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) added solo goals in the Notre Dame victory. Katie Batiuk led the Scarlet Knights with four goals and two assists in the game. Rutgers jumped out to a 3-1 lead just under five minutes into the game. From there, the Irish would score nine of the next 10 goals on the afternoon to build an 11-4 lead midway through the second half. In the game, Notre Dame out shot Rutgers by a 29-25 margin. Carol Dixon had nine saves for Notre Dame.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS:
With her seven goals last week, Crysti Foote now ranks sixth in goals (73), sixth in assists (29) and sixth in points (102) in 41 career games at Notre Dame.
Junior midfielder Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) 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. For the week, Zentgraf had four goals and one assist for five points. Coming into the season (she sat out her sophomore year), Zentgraf had not scored a point. This year she ranks fifth in scoring with seven goals and four assists for 11 points.
Freshman attack Caitlin McKinney continued her fast start for the Irish last week with three goals and two assists for five points versus Connecticut and Rutgers. After nine games, the speedster has 17 goals and eight assists for 25 points. She is second in scoring to Crysti Foote and has now scored in all nine games of her Irish career. McKinney has two points or more in seven of the nine games that she has played this season.
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.
VERSUS THE BEST:
Duke will be the third ranked team the Irish face this season when the two teams meet on April 8. In their first two games versus ranked teams, the Irish are 0-2, having lost to No. 3 Northwestern, 18-11 and at No. 16 James Madison, 10-5. All-time versus ranked teams, Notre Dame is 15-34 after going 6-4 in 2004. Based on this week’s IWLCA poll, the Irish will face four more teams this season ranked in the top 20 – No. 4 Georgetown, No. 12 Johns Hopkins, Nop. 14 Ohio State and No. 17 Syracuse.
Notre Dame’s 3-6 start for the 2005 season equals the slowest start after nine games in the program’s nine-year history. In 2000, the Irish started the year 3-6 on the way to a 5-10 season. The 1-2 start in the BIG EAST is Notre Dame’s worst conference start in five seasons of BIG EAST play. The Irish have been 3-0 in each of the past four seasons after three games in league play.
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.
Junior attack Brittany Fox continues to provide a spark to the Notre Dame attack off the bench this season. In the last seven games she’s played in, Fox has scored 12 goals with three assists for 15 points. Included are a three-point game and a pair of games with three goals and one assist. Fox ranks third on the Irish in scoring with her 15 points.
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon currently leads Notre Dame and the BIG EAST in ground balls with 27 on the season. In goal, she has a 10.68 goals-against average and a .455 save percentage. IRISH STREAKS: Freshman Caitlin McKinney has the longest scoring streak for the Irish this season as she has now scored in nine straight games (17-8-25). Other Notre Dame scoring streaks include:
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. In one-goal games, the Irish are 6-12 in nine seasons of play.
INTO THE STARTING LINEUP:
After playing the first 35 games of her Notre Dame career coming off the bench, junior attack Mary McGrath made the first two starts of her Irish career versus California and Boston College. Versus California, McGrath had a goal and an assist and at Boston College she provided a pair of goals. She has now made four consecutive starts with four goals and one assist for five points. In her 35 games coming off the bench, McGrath proved to be an “energy” player as she had 22 goals and 12 assists for 34 points. She equaled a career high on March 13 with three points (1g, 2a) to lead the Irish in scoring versus James Madison.
Senior Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.) continues to be one of the top defensive players in the BIG EAST through nine games this season. She currently leads the Irish with 24 draw controls and 18 caused turnovers and is second in ground balls with 25. Mikula leads the BIG EAST in draw controls and caused turnovers and is tied for second in ground balls. 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.
SLAMMING THE DOOR:
Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon took over as Notre Dame’s top goalkeeper in 2004 and has now started 26 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 3-6 with a 10.68 goals against and a .455 save percentage. For her career, Dixon is now 15-11 with a 9.21 goals-against average and a .491 save percentage. She is tied for second in games played (31), third in saves (254) and tied for second in wins (16).
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 this season on 11 shots.
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.
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 nine games this season, Orr now has eight goals on 17 shots and an assist for nine points. She also is tied for second in ground balls (25) on the team and in the BIG EAST and is third in draw controls with 13.
Junior attack standout Crysti Foote has picked up right where she left off last season in the goal-scoring department. Through the first seven games of the 2005 season, Foote leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and nine assists for 29 points. A year ago, 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 finished third on the team in scoring with 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.
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.
BIG EAST HONORS:
Junior Crysti Foote got her 2005 season off to a fast start in the 16-10 win over Ohio University. She scored a career-high five goals and eight points in the game to be named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week. 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 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. It marked the first team either player has been selected one of the BIG EAST’s players of the week during their Notre Dame careers.
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) had a career-high four goals and four points in the win over 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 on March 22.
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.
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.
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.
Notre Dame’s five losses in 2004 came by a grand total of 10 goals. The Irish suffered one-goal losses to Johns Hopkins (13-12) and Rutgers (7-6) and a pair of two-goal losses to Georgetown (9-7) and Northwestern (10-8 in NCAA tournament). The worst Notre Dame loss of the season was a four-goal loss versus Northwestern in the regular season (9-5). This season, the Irish have a pair of one-goal overtime losses (Vanderbilt and Boston College), two three-goal losses, a five-goal loss and a seven-goal loss (18-11 vs. Northwestern) for the worst defeat in 2005.
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.