April 22, 2004
* Meredith Simon named one of 20 nominees for 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy.
* Notre Dame looks to get offense untracked as the Irish have scored just 12 goals in the last two games.
IRISH FACE BUSY WEEKEND VERSUS JOHNS HOPKINS AND AT RUTGERS: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will be in action twice in a three-day span to close out the busiest week of the season. On Friday, April 23, the Irish will play their first home game since April 6th when they play host to ninth-ranked Johns Hopkins on Friday, April 23. Game time at Moose Krause Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. The sixth-ranked Irish will be looking to return to their winning ways versus the Blue Jays after dropping back-to-back games versus Georgetown (9-7 on April 17) and Northwestern (9-5 on April 20). Notre Dame brings a 10-2 overall record into the game with Johns Hopkings after starting the year with 10 straight wins. The Blue Jays visit South Bend with an 11-2 overall record and are ranked ninth in the most recent IWLCA poll. They have not played since April 18th when they dropped a 10-7 decision to Duke. On Sunday, the Irish travel to New Jersey for their final road game of the season at Rutgers. That game has a 12:00 noon (EDT) starting time in Piscataway. The Scarlet Knights are 6-7 overall and 2-3 in BIG EAST play. They last played on Sunday, April 18, dropping a 9-8 decision to New Hampshire. Following this weekend, Notre Dame has two more home games remaining on the docket as they host Syracuse on May 1 and Vanderbilt on May 8. Both games have 1:00 p.m. starts at Moose Krause Stadium.
IRISH VERSUS BLUE JAYS: Friday night’s game will be the second all-time meeting between Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins in women’s lacrosse. The first meeting came on March 25, 2000 at Johns Hopkins with the Blue Jays taking a 9-7 decision. Johns Hopkins has played Division I lacrosse since the 1999 season. Head coach Janine Tucker is in her 11th season directing the Blue Jays and has a 133-47 career record. The Blue Jays started the season with 10 straight wins before dropping a 14-11 decision to Maryland on April 10.
NOTRE DAME AT RUTGERS: The Irish and Scarlet Knights have met four times in the all-time series and are 3-1 in those games. Notre Dame is 2-0 in South Bend and 1-1 in games played at Rutgers. The two teams met on April 27 last year at Moose Krause Stadium with the Irish taking a 13-6 win over the then 20th-ranked Scarlet Knights. The last time the two teams met in New Jersey was April 28, 2002 with Notre Dame taking a 9-2 win. That game set a BIG EAST record for the fewest goals allowed in a game. Rutgers lone win came in the first game of the all-time series on April 29, 2000, by a 14-7 score.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her eighth season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 67-45 (.598) record at Notre Dame and is 181-71 (.718) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 0-1 versus Johns Hopkins since coming to Notre Dame. In 2003, she led the Irish to an 8-7 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for third in the league standings. In 2002, Coyne led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid as Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. 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.
STREAKY IRISH: After starting the season with 10 straight wins and 14 straight dating back to last season, the Irish have now lost two in a row. The losses have come at the hands of fifth-ranked Georgetown (9-7) and 11th-ranked Northwestern (9-5). Prior to the losses, the Irish were averaging 14.40 goals-per-game over the first 10 games of the year. In the last two games, Notre Dame has scored just 12 goals (6.0 per game) to drop the season average to 13.0 per game.
SIMON NAMED TEWAARTON CANDIDATE: Notre Dame senior midfielder, Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.), has been named one of 20 finalists for the fourth annual Tewaaraton Trophy that will be awarded in June. Simon leads the Irish in scoring with career highs in goals (36), assists (16) and points (52). She is the first Notre Dame player ever to make the list of nominees. Last year, Danielle Shearer ’03 was selected to the preseason watch list. The Tewaaraton Trophy is awarded each year to the top male and female lacrosse players in the country. In early May, the list of 20 will be cut to five finalists. Simon is one of three BIG EAST players nominated for the honor as she is joined by Georgetown’s Michi Ellers and Syracuse’s Leigh-Ann Zimmer.
NOTRE DAME-NORTHWESTERN RECAP: The Irish battled the wind, rain, fog and a treacherous field not to mention the Northwestern Wildcats in Tueday’s 9-5 loss at Evanston, Ill. The loss was the first for the Irish versus Northwestern in the three meetings of the all-time series. The Irish scored a season-low five goals in the game, including just two in the first half. Mary McGrath (So., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and Meredith Simon paced the Irish attack with a goal and an assist each. Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.), Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) also scored for the Irish. The Irish tied the game at 2-2 late in the first half on McGrath’s goal, but would then surrender the next five goals to Northwestern. Kristen Kjellman scored her first of three with 2:11 left in the first half to send the game to intermission with the Wildcats leading, 3-2. She then scored just 12 seconds into the second half to make it 4-2 on the way to a 7-2 lead with 16:08 left in the game. Owen scored a free-position goal with 12:25 left to make it 7-3 only to see the Wildcats score two more for a 9-3 lead. Simon and Foote closed the scoring with goals in the final minute for the 9-5 final. Northwestern outshot the Irish by a 26-20 margin. Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) played 56:32 of the game, giving up nine goals with seven saves. Freshman Katie Linhares (Greenwich, Conn.) saw her first action, making one save in 3:28 of playing time. Ashley Gersuk had 10 saves for Northeastern.
BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE: Georgetown held Notre Dame to its fewest goals scored this season, by holding the Irish to seven goals in the 9-7 loss. That was followed by Northwestern holding Notre Dame to just five goals in a 9-5 loss on April 20. The last time Notre Dame was held to five or fewer goals in a game was March 2 at Cornell, a 13-5 loss.
VERSUS THE BEST: The loss to Georgetown snapped Notre Dame’s six-game winning streak against ranked teams. The Irish won their final two games in 2003 and then won four straight this season. Notre Dame is now 4-2 this season against ranked teams. All-time, Notre Dame is 13-29 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. Among Notre Dame’s wins this season versus ranked teams are victories over #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. Those two wins came against the highest-ranked teams the Irish have ever beaten. The previous highest-ranked team Notre Dame beat was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and in 2002, they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse. In 2003, the Irish were 3-7 versus teams ranked in the top 20.
RECORD-SETTING STREAK: Notre Dame’s 14-game winning streak from 4/22/03 to 4/17/04 was the longest in the program’s history and included four games in the 2003 season along with 10 this season. The previous longest winning streak for the Irish was six games from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.
ON A TEAR: Despite being held to a season-low two points (1g, 1a) versus Northwestern, Meredith Simon continues her strong season as one of the nation’s premier point producers. She goes into the game with Johns Hopkins needing just one goal for 100 in her career. She leads the Irish with 36 goals, 16 assists for 52 points, all career highs. The two-point game snapped her mark of 11-straight games this season with three or more points. As of April 19, Simon is 10th in the country with 4.55 points per game and is tied for 12th with 3.18 goals per game. At Notre Dame she has 99 goals (third all-time), 37 assists (fourth all-time) for 135 career points (fourth-best all-time). Only two other players – Danielle Shearer (130) and Lael O’Shaughnessy (122) have reached the 100-goal plateau in their Notre Dame careers.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: Crysti Foote has found her scoring touch over the last seven games, racking up 13 goals and five assists for 18 points in the current streak. On the season, Foote is fourth in scoring with 17 goals and eight assists for 25 points on the year. As a freshman, she finished third in scoring with 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Foote played in all 15 games, starting the final six of the season. In those six games, she racked up 18 goals and eight assists for 26 points. She ended the year with an eight-game scoring streak with 22 goals and nine assists for 31 points. During her streak, Foote had six-point games versus Georgetown (4g, 2a) and Davidson (3g, 3a). She also had a four-goal game versus Vanderbilt to close the year. Following the season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic region team.
IRISH ON THE NATIONAL SCENE: Notre Dame figures prominently in the national statistics this week (through games of April 19):
Points per game: Meredith Simon, 10th, 4.55 ppg
Goals per game: Meredith Simon, t12th, 3.18 gpg
GAVG: Carol Dixon, 7th, 7.93 GAVG
Save Pct: Carol Dixon, 16th, .549 save pct.
Goals per game: 2nd, 13.73gpg
Team Defense: t9th, 8.00 opponent gpg
Margin of Victory: 4th, +5.73 gpg
Ground Balls: 9th, 26.64
Draw Controls: 11th, 12.55
Caused Turnovers: 6th, 11.36
SCORING STREAKS: Meredith Simon ran her scoring streak to 23 games versus Northwestern. Kassen Delano (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) had her a 10-game point streak snapped in the loss to Northwestern while Jackie Bowers and Crysti Foote saw their streaks advance to eight and seven games respectively.
Meredith Simon – 23 games (58g, 23a, 81 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 8 games (11g, 4a, 15 pts)
Crysti Foote – 7 games (13g, 5a, 18 pts)
Mary McGrath – 2 games (3g, 1a, 4 pts)
CAREER YEAR: You thought that midfielder Abby Owen had a breakout season in 2003 when she had 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points??? Well, in 2004, through the first 12 games of the year, Owen has already scored 26 goals with seven assists for 33 points (a new career high). She has four games this season with four points and four games with three points on the year. She had a career-high four-goal game versus Stanford on Feb. 29. She was named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29 and BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending March 14.
HIGH-SCORING IRISH: Notre Dame saw its goals per game average fall to just 13.00 goals per game after losses to Northwestern and Georgetown. The Irish have scored 156 goals through 12 games this season. The previous best mark in the program’s history is 13.56 goals per game and that came during the 1997 season.
IRISH HONORS: The following Notre Dame players have been honored during 2004.
Carol Dixon – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (April 12).
BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29)
Andrea Kinnik – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (March 29)
Abby Owen – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 14)
Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week (Feb. 29)
Meredith Simon – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (April 12)
BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 29)
BIG EAST co-offensive player of the week (March 8)
FIVE FOR BOWERS: Just when you thought that the Irish didn’t have enough goal scorers in the lineup, Jackie Bowers joined the attack versus Virginia Tech (March 26). All the junior attack player did was rack up a career-best five goals in the win. For the weekend versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Bowers had six goals and one assist for seven points. On the year, Bowers has 12 goals and six assists for 18 points. All are career highs. Bowers had three goals and one assist for four points in limited action last season.
SCORIN’ LAUREN: Senior attacker Lauren Fischer has points in 11 of Notre Dame’s 12 games this season. For the year, Fischer has career highs in goals (20), assists (9) and points (29). Fischer’s three-assist game on March 28 versus Boston College is a career high. Her four-point versus Ohio State was her second of the season (March 7 vs. Cornell) and the third of her career and is a career high. The three-goal game versus Ohio State was the third of the season and fifth of her career. Fischer’s previous career highs in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) were established last season.
KINNIK FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.) had a breakout season in 2003 for the Irish. She led the team with 44 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers while tying for fifth with 20 draw controls. Her defensive skills were recognized in the postseason when she was named first-team Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic Region and third-team All-America by womenslacrosse.com. She already has scored four goals this season and leads the team with 39 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon took over the reins in goal for the Irish in 2004 from All-American Jen White (’03) and has turned in a strong first season in goal for Notre Dame. She started with a 10-game winning streak and has been in the top 20 in the nation in goals-against average and save percentage all season. For the year, Dixon is 10-2 with an 8.05 goals against and a .540 save percentage. Nationally, she ranks seventh in goals-against average and 16th in save percentage. Twice this season, Dixon has been named the BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29 and April 12). When the Irish opened the 2004 season at Cal-Berkeley, Dixon became the first goalkeeper to start a game for the Irish other than White since the final game of the 2000 season. White started 48 consecutive games for Notre Dame, between 2001-2003. Dixon served as White’s backup the previous two seasons and saw action in five games last year, playing 121 minutes with a 8.93 goals-against average and a .571 save percentage. She was 0-0 on the year.
SLAMMING THE DOOR: Through 12 games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 97 goals for an 8.08 goals-against average. The best goals against in the program’s previous seven seasons was 7.49 and that came during the 2002 campaign. Only Duke and Virginia Tech, with 11 goals, has scored in double figures versus the Irish this season.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has even joined in on the goal scoring this season. The Irish defense had a goal and an assist in the 13-8 win over Ohio University on April 6. Andrea Kinnik set up one goal and sophomore Kerry Van Shura (Bel Air, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in the contest. In nine games this season, Irish defenders have 12 goals and three assists on the year. Kristen Gaudreau (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) leads the defense with six goals and an assist for seven points. Andrea Kinnik has four goals and two assists while Van Shura and Jess Mikula (Jr., Chester, Md.) have one goal each.
THE CAPTAINS: Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik and Meredith Simon. For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.
NEW KIDS: Freshman goalkeeper Katie Linhares (Greenwich, Conn.) saw her first action in goal for the Irish in the 9-5 loss to Northwestern. She played 3:28 while Carol Dixon was serving a yellow card. Linhares made one save on the only shot she faced. Midfielder Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first 12 games of the season. Murphy had a career-high three goals and four points in the win over Cornell (Mar. 7), just her third game in an Irish uniform. For the season she has 10 goals and two assists for 12 points and is seventh on the team in scoring. Fellow freshman defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made her first career start versus Connecticut and has seen action in all 12 games on defense. Sophomore Brittany Fox (So., Annapolis, Md.) scored her first career goal in the win over Cornell in her second career game. Junior midfielder Maura Costello (Manhasset, N.Y.) and sophomore defender Katie Killeen (Manhasset, N.Y.) both saw their first action for the Irish women’s lacrosse team versus Cornell. Kristin Hopson (Fr., Rosemont, Pa.) saw her first action versus Virginia Tech while Megan O’Shaughnessy (Fr., Englewood, Colo.) and Kaki Orr (Fr., Darien, Conn.) saw their first career action versus Boston College.
THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s overtime win versus California was the seventh overtime game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 3-4 in games that go beyond regulation. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) as the two team’s battled for 72 minutes (60 regulation minutes and four three-minute overtime stanzas). The previous long game came in 2003 versus Duke as the Irish played 71:45 before losing a 10-9 decision. That game ended in sudden-death as the winning goal was scored with just 15 seconds left in the fourth three-minute overtime.
CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 12-11 overtime win on Feb. 27 was the 15th one-goal game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 7-8 in those games. During the 2003 season, Notre Dame was 1-3 in one-goal games with two of the losses coming in back-to-back overtime contests.
GREAT GOALS: Notre Dame ended the 2003 season by setting a school record for goals in an away game when the Irish scored 22 at #15 Vanderbilt (22-11) in the season finale. The 22-goal outburst broke the previous road mark of 20 set at Gannon (20-10) and equaled the school record of 22 set in a 2000 home win over Ohio University (22-3). The 22 goals were the most scored versus a ranked team, surpassing the mark of 15 set earlier in the season versus Connecticut and Georgetown (ot).
FUTURE IRISH: Head coach Tracy Coyne has announced that six players will join the Irish women’s lacrosse squad for the 2004-05 school year.
PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: The Irish were picked in BIG EAST coaches voting to finish third in the BIG EAST this coming season behind Georgetown and Syracuse. The coaches also named Meredith Simon and Andrea Kinnik to their preseason all-BIG EAST team. Inside Lacrosse Magazine ranks the Irish 16th in the nation in their preseason poll.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and two others have ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) got to play two seasons with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. The duo gave Notre Dame its second set of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Freshman midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Senior Meredith Simon follows in her brother Eric’s footsteps. A 2003 graduate, Eric served as one of the captains of the 2003 men’s lacrosse team while Meredith is a co-captain of the women’s team in 2003. Senior defender Bridget Higgins (Wilton, Conn.) older brother, Kevin, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and served as team captain for the 2000 season. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.