Jillian Byers goes into the NCAA Quarterfinals ranked second in the nation in goals (78) and is tied for second in points (105).

Irish Get Set To Face North Carolina In NCAA Quarterfinal Action

May 13, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• 2009 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals

• The Game: #6/#6 Notre Dame (16-4) at #3/#5 North Carolina (14-4)

• Date/Time/Site: Sat., May 16, 2009 • 1:00 p.m. • Fetzer Field • Chapel Hill, N.C.

• Internet: Follow the Notre Dame-Vanderbilt game via Gametracker at the Notre Dame website – und.com.

NCAA QUARTERFINALS: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team moves on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this weekend as the Irish will battle the University of North Carolina on Saturday, May 16 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Game time for the quarterfinal match up is 1:00 p.m. at UNC’s Fetzer Field. Notre Dame, the tournament’s sixth seed, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 19-13 win over Vanderbilt at home on Sunday, May 10. The Irish will bring a five-game winning streak into Saturday’s game and will put a school-record 16-4 record on the line. The last four of those wins in the streak came against ranked teams as Notre Dame knocked off eighth-ranked Syracuse, ninth-ranked Georgetown, 19th-ranked Cornell and 12th-ranked Vanderbilt. The 16 wins passes the previous best mark of 15, set during the 2006 season. This is Notre Dame’s third trip to the quarterfinals in five NCAA appearances. The Irish advanced in 2002, taking on Princeton (an 11-7 loss), and in 2006, they faced Georgetown at home and won, 12-9 to go to the Final Four that year. North Carolina is 14-4 on the season and seeded third in the tournament. The Tar Heels opened with a 15-4 win over Towson in their first-round NCAA game on May 10. They are 3-2 in their last five games, losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament on April 24 and at Maryland on April 11. The ACC Tournament loss to Duke came one week after North Carolina took a 9-7 decision at Durham, N.C., versus the Blue Devils. The Tar Heels are making their 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

IRISH VERSUS TAR HEELS: Notre Dame and North Carolina have never met in women’s lacrosse. For the Irish this is their 13th season of Division I lacrosse while the Tar Heels are in their 14th campaign. The two teams did meet this fall – October 11th – at Chapel Hill in fall ball action. The two teams have five common opponents – Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Georgetown, Ohio State and Stanford. Notre Dame was 4-3 in seven games versus those teams while Carolina was 4-1 versus the five.

IRISH NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: Notre Dame makes its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance this season and their first in an odd year. Prior to this season, the Irish had advanced in even years, making it in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. With the first round win over Vanderbilt, the Irish own a 4-4 all-time record in NCAA action, including a 4-0 home mark (3-0 at Moose Krause Stadium and 1-0 at Alumni Field), an 0-3 record on the road and an 0-1 mark on neutral fields. This season, the Irish are seeded sixth in the tournament, equaling their highest seed, set in 2006. In 2002, Notre Dame was a seventh seed in its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

2002 NCAA TOURNAMENT:                       2004 NCAA TOURNAMENT5/9/02 - at Notre Dame  11, Ohio State 7    5/13/04 - at Northwestern 10, Notre Dame  85/12/02 - at Princeton 11, Notre Dame  5
2006 NCAA TOURNAMENT: 2008 NCAA TOURNAMENT5/14/06 - at Notre Dame 16, Cornell 8 5/11/08 - at Northwestern 15, Notre Dame 75/20/06 - at Notre Dame 12, Georgetown 95/27/06 - vs. Dartmouth 14, Notre Dame 8 2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT (at Boston, Mass.) 5/10/09 - Notre Dame 19, Vanderbilt 13
HOLDING SERVE: The eight seeded teams in the 2009 NCAA Tournament all won first round games.
#1 Northwestern 23, Massachusetts 6#2 Maryland 20, Colgate 4#3 North Carolina 15, Towson 4#4 Penn 10, Fairfield 8#5 Duke 15, Virginia 13 (ot)#6 Notre Dame 19, Vanderbilt 14#7 Syracuse 20, Boston University 10#8 Princeton 15, Georgetown 9
This week's quarterfinal games:
#8 Princeton (14-3) at #1 Northwestern (20-0)#5 Duke (15-5) at #4 Penn (14-2)
#6 Notre Dame (16-4) at #3 North Carolina (14-4)#7 Syracuse (14-4) at #2 Maryland (20-0)

A TEWAARATON FINALIST: Senior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) has been selected as one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Trophy that goes to the top male and female collegiate players in the country. The award will be presented in Washington, D.C., on May 28. Byers joins former teammate, Crysti Foote `06, as the two Notre Dame players to advance to the finalist stage. Byers currently leads Notre Dame with 78 goals and 27 assists for 105 points this season, all career highs. Her 78 goals are a Notre Dame single-season record and she is just the second player in the program’s history to score 100 or more points in a season (Crysti Foote -114 in 2006). Byers is second in the nation in goals and points and led the BIG EAST in both categories this season. She is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in goals (257), points (330) and draw controls (152) while ranking fourth in assists (73) for her career. Joining Byers as finalists are: North Carolina’s Amber Falcone along with Duke’s Carolyn Davis, Maryland’s Caitlyn McFadden and Northwestern’s Hannah Nielsen.

A FIRST ROUND WIN: Notre Dame won its first round NCAA Tournament game, taking a 19-13 decision versus Vanderbilt at Alumni Field on May 10. Three Notre Dame players had four goals in the game led by Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.), Shaylyn Blaney (So., Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Jillian Byers (Sr., Northport, N.Y.) with Abt and Byers getting assists for five-point games. Joining the five-point club was junior Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) who added three goals and two assists for her five-point contest. Sophomore midfielder Jackie Doherty (Ellicott City, N.Y.) had two goals and one assist while Ansley Stewart (So., Alexandria, Va.) and freshman Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) added single goals. This game was close in the first half, tied at 4-4 with 13:10 left in the opening stanza before the Irish ran off nine of the next 12 goals for a 13-7 halftime lead. Notre Dame then scored the first four goals of the second half for a 17-7 lead before the Commodores closed out the game with six of the last eight goals over the final 20 minutes. The Irish outshot Vanderbilt by a 34-22 margin. Commodore goalkeeper Natalie Wills made six saves in the game while Erin Goodman (Sr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) had five saves for the Notre Dame. The win gave the Irish a 4-0 record in NCAA games played at home in the program’s history. The game was also the final game ever played at Alumni Field as the Irish will play at brand new Arlotta Stadium during the 2010 season.

FOUR WITH FOUR: When Kailene Abt, Shaylyn Blaney and Jillian Byers all scored four goals in the win over Vanderbilt, it marked just the second time this season that the Irish have had three players in a game with four or more goals. The previous time came on March 14 in a 17-15 win over Hofstra when Byers checked in with six goals and Gina Scioscia and Blaney had four each.

SCORING BARRAGE: Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game already having set school records for goals and points in a season. The Irish have scored 311 goals in the first 20 games for a 15.55 average that is fourth best in the nation. The previous record was 263 goals (13.63 avg.) in 19 games during the 2006 season. Notre Dame now has 454 points this season (311 goals and 143 assists) surpassing the mark of 407, set in 2006. The Irish need just one assist to equal the mark of 144 set in the 2006 season.

4 X 40: For the first time in the history of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program, the Irish have four players with 40 or more goals. Jillian Byers leads the way with 78 and is followed by Gina Scioscia with 52. Sophomores Kailene Abt and Shaylyn Blaney round out the group with 44 goals each. The previous mark was three players with 40 or more goals and was set in 2006. During that season, Crysti Foote had 74 goals, Byers had 54 and Caitlin McKinney `08 had 42 goals.

MAKING THEIR MARKS: The Irish saw several records fall in the win over Vanderbilt as Jillian Byers and Gina Scioscia set records for goals (in a season) and assists (season and career). Byers moved past Crysti Foote `06 for the single-season goals mark as her four goals versus Vanderbilt gives her 78 for the year. Foote held the mark with 74 set in 2006. With a pair of assists in the win, Scioscia moved past Caitlin McKinney `08 into first on the all-time assist list with 81. McKinney recorded 80 in her Notre Dame career. The two assists also give Scioscia 42 on the season, moving her past Foote who had 40 during the 2006 season for the old Irish record.

SCORING MACHINE: Notre Dame’s 19 goals in the first round win over Vanderbilt are the most the Irish have ever scored in an NCAA Tournament game. In 20 games this season, Notre Dame has scored 11 or more goals in 19 of them. The lone time this year that the Irish have been held out of double digits in scoring came in the second game of the season when they lost a 21-5 decision to Northwestern.

KARDIAC KIDS: In Notre Dame’s regular season finale at Cornell, the Irish trailed 7-3 with 28:35 left in the second half before rallying for the 11-9 win. That marks the fourth time this season that Notre Dame has trailed by four or more goals in a game and rallied for a victory. On April 11, Notre Dame trailed Syracuse, 11-1, with 11:05 left in the game and rallied, only to lose, 14-13 in the game. Here’s a look at the four come-from-behind wins this season:

5/2 at Cornell: Notre Dame gave up the first three goals of the game and trailed the Big Red, 6-3, at halftime. They scored the opening goal of the second half to build a 7-3 lead only to see the Irish rally for the win. Notre Dame ran off six straight goals in a 15:20 span (26:04 to 10:44) to take a 9-7 lead on the way to the 11-9 victory.

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.

ROAD WINS: Notre Dame finished the 2009 regular season with a 6-2 record on the road. The six road wins equal the most the Irish have ever won on the road in the program’s 13-year history. In 2008, Notre Dame was 6-3 in nine road games. The Irish also are 2-0 in neutral site games this season for a total of eight wins away from Alumni Field and the Loftus Center. The two road losses this season came at Syracuse (14-13) and at Vanderbilt (18-11). Notre Dame is 0-4 on the road in NCAA Tournament games in five trips to the tournament.

VERSUS THE RANKED: Notre Dame owns four consecutive wins over ranked teams, knocking off #12 Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, #19 Cornell and #7 Georgetown and #8 Syracuse in the BIG EAST Tournament. That improves the Irish to 8-4 versus teams ranked in the IWLCA poll when they face the Irish. The Irish own wins over #7 Georgetown, #8 Syracuse, #12 Vanderbilt, #13 Dartmouth, #13 Loyola, #16 Stanford, #17 James Madison, and #19 Cornell. The losses have come to #1 Northwestern, #6 Georgetown, #9 Syracuse and #12 Vanderbilt.

NATIONAL LEADERS: Senior captain Jillian Byers comes into the second round of the NCAA Tournament ranked second in the NCAA in goals (78) and points (105). She leads the BIG EAST in goals and is tied for the lead in points. Junior Gina Scioscia also is among the BIG EAST and national leaders in scoring with her 52 goals and 42 assists for 94 points (all career highs). The 52 goals are sixth in the BIG EAST while the 42 assists are second and the 94 points are third. Nationally, Scioscia is seventh in assists and eighth in points. Defender Shannon Burke (Sr., Timonium, Md.) is tied for third in the nation with 44 caused turnovers and is sixth nationally with 58 ground balls.

STREAKY IRISH: Seven members of the Notre Dame lineup come into the NCAA Tournament with point-scoring streaks:

Jillian Byers - 20 games (78g, 27a, 105 pts)Shaylyn Blaney - 20 games (44g, 3a, 47 pts)Gina Scioscia - 18 games (48g, 39a, 87 pts)Kailene Abt - 13 games (30g, 8a, 38 pts)Kaitlin Keena - 5 games (8g, 2a, 10 pts)Ansley Stewart - 5 games (7g, 1a, 8 pts)Maggie Tamasitis - 3 games (1g, 4a, 5 pts)

Byers has 17 games this season with three or more goals while Scioscia and Blaney each has nine with three or more.

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT HISTORY: With two wins in the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament, the Irish improved to 2-2 overall as they have participated in each of the first three postseason events.

2007 - Georgetown 12,  Notre Dame  12       (at Syracuse, N.Y.)2008 - Georgetown 15, Notre Dame 14 (3ot)       (at Notre Dame, Ind.)2009 - Notre Dame 16, Syracuse 10       Notre Dame 12, Georgetown 10       (at Washington, D.C.)

BIG EAST CHAMPIONS: Notre Dame won its first-ever BIG EAST Championship on April 26 at Georgetown’s Multi-Sport Facility, downing the host team Hoyas, 12-10, in the title game. The Irish advanced to the championship game on the strength of a 16-10 win over Syracuse on April 24 in the semifinals. Goalkeeper Erin Goodman was named the tournament’s most outstanding player and was an all-tournament team selection. She was joined by Jillian Byers, Gina Scioscia, Kailene Abt, Shannon Burke and Rachel Guerrera (Jr., Wantagh, N.Y.). Byers paced the Irish with six goals and six assists in the two games. Scioscia had back-to-back five-point games, getting four goals with six assists for 10 points. Goodman combined for 17 saves on the weekend, making eight versus Syracuse and nine in the win over Georgetown.

TOP IRISH PERFORMANCE: Jillian Byers’ seven-point night (4g, 3a) in the semifinal win over Syracuse sets a Notre Dame record for points in a BIG EAST Tournament game. The previous mark was five points, set by Caitlin McKinney `08 who had five goals in the 2007 tournament loss to Georgetown and Shaylyn Blaney who had five goals in the loss to the Hoyas in 2008.

WEARING THE GREEN: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne pulled out all stops in the BIG EAST semifinals against Syracuse, including issuing her team green kilts prior to the game as a surprise.It has been a tradition for all Irish athletic teams to wear green for important games. This was the second time the Irish women’s lacrosse team has worn green in its history. On April 15, 2006, the Irish wore green jerseys in a game at Georgetown for the first time ever. Up until that game, they had never defeated the Hoyas in the all-time series. That game resulted in an 11-10 overtime loss.

BIG EAST HONORS: Three Notre Dame players – Shaylyn Blaney, Shannon Burke and Jillian Byers were named first team all-BIG EAST for the 2009 season while Gina Scioscia was named second team all-BIG EAST. For Byers it was the fourth consecutive year that she was a unanimous first team selection. Blaney and Burke were second team choices in 2008 and Scioscia was a first time honoree. Byers was selected as the league’s co-attack player of the year along with Syracuse’s Katie Rowan. The duo finished 1-2 in league scoring with Byers finishing with 42 points (including 31 goals) in league play with Rowan getting 47.

ON THE DEFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense rose to the occasion in the BIG EAST Tournament, shutting down two of the conference’s top offenses for one half in each game. Leading the semifinal game with Syracuse, 9-8 at halftime, the Irish held the Orange to just two goals in the second half, giving up just eight total shots while scoring seven times for the 16-10 win. In the 12-10 championship game win over Georgetown, the Irish gave up just two goals in the first half on the way to a 9-2 lead after 30 minutes. Erin Goodman made six of her nine saves in the win in the opening stanza. From there, Notre Dame held on for the 12-10 victory. The Irish followed the BIG EAST tournament by holding Cornell to just three goals in the second half of the 11-9 Notre Dame win on May 2.

ALL-TIME BIG EAST LEADER: Jillian Byers finished the 2009 BIG EAST seven-game regular season with a conference record 31 goals to go with 11 assists for 42 points. The 42 points also broke the previous league record of 40 set in six games by Sheehan Stanwick in 2001. Byers’ 42 points is the second most in a BIG EAST season as Katie Rowan of Syracuse finished with 47 this year. For her career, Byers is the all-time BIG EAST leader in goals (78) and is second all-time in points (101) to Rowan’s 134.

All-time BIG EAST Goal Leaders1.  Jillian Byers, ND (2006-09)           782.  Katie Rowan, SU (2006-09)             693.  Leigh-Ann Zimmer, SU (2001-04)        674.  Coco Stanwick, GU, 2004-07)           635.  Tracy Mullaney, UConn, (2002-05)      62
All-time BIG EAST Point Leaders 1. Katie Rowan, SU (2006-09) 1342. Jillian Byers, ND (2006-09) 1013. Leigh-Ann Zimmer, SU (2001-04) 944. Coco Stanwick, GU, 2004-07) 905. Crysti Foote, ND, (2003-06) 77

RECORD-SETTING DAY: Senior attack standout Jillian Byers set a Notre Dame and BIG EAST single-game record with 12 points in Notre Dame’s 20-5 win over Connecticut on April 18. Byers equaled a career high with seven goals while setting personal bests in assists (5) and points (12) in the win. Byers had two goals and one assist in the first half and then had a hand in nine of Notre Dame’s 10 second-half goals, getting five goals and four assists – an Irish record for points in a half. The previous Notre Dame mark was 11 points and held by Crysti Foote `06, who had nine goals and two assists on Feb. 24, 2006 versus California. The previous BIG EAST record of 11 points in a conference game was held by Kate McHarg of Loyola who had 11 points in a win over Rutgers (3/12/06) and Katie Rowan of Syracuse who did it against Georgetown (4/5/08).

SUPER SOPHOMORES: The Irish have gotten strong play from their sophomore scorers this season. The group of five – Shaylyn Blaney (44g, 3a), Kailene Abt (44g, 9a), Ansley Stewart (30g, 10a), Kaitlin Keena (18g, 13a) and Jackie Doherty (8g, 11a) have accounted for 144 goals and 46 assists for 190 points. The five have 144 of the team’s 311 goals (46.3%), 46 of 143 assists (32.2%) and 190 of 454 points (41.9%) this season.

ABT TO SCORE: Sophomore midfielder Kailene Abt has become a major scoring threat for the Irish in her second season. The Huntington, N.Y., native is third in scoring with career highs in goals (44), assists (9) and points (53). In the win over Vanderbilt, Abt had four goals and one assist for five points. In a five-minute span of that game, Abt dominated play scoring three goals while setting up a fourth as the Irish lead went from 12-7 to 16-7 in that span. During the BIG EAST Tournament, she had six goals and one assist, including a five-point game (4g, 1a) in the semifinal win over Syracuse. For her play, she was selected to the all-tournament team. Earlier this year, she recorded a career-high six-point game in Notre Dame’s 20-4 win over California, scoring four goals and two assists. Over the last 13 games, Abt has 30 goals and eight assists for 38 points.

SECOND FIDDLE: One of the key reasons for the success of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2009 is the play of junior attack standout Gina Scioscia. She is a dominant offensive force this year with 52 goals and 42 assists for 94 points. Scioscia has seen her offensive numbers take off since her freshman year. In 2007, she had four goals and four assists for eight points. As a sophomore, she had a +47-point jump, scoring 20 goals with 35 assists for 55 points. The 47-point jump is the largest for any Notre Dame player from one season to another in the program’s history. This season, her totals have increased by 39 points with 52-42-94. She is currently third in the BIG EAST in scoring with 94 points behind Jillian Byers (105) and Syracuse’s Katie Rowan who also has 105 points. Her 52 goals are sixth in the conference while her 42 assists rank second to Rowan’s 56. In the BIG EAST Tournament, Scioscia had four goals and six assists for 10 points, getting two goals and three assists each game. She also recorded the game-winning goal in both games, giving her a team high six on the year. 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, eight games with five points, three with six points, one seven-point game and one with eight this season. Scioscia is 10th among active NCAA players with 81 career assists. She is the sixth Notre Dame player to score 50 or more goals and just the third with 90 or more points in a season.

A WINNING LEGACY: Notre Dame’s 16 wins are a single-season school record, surpassing the mark of 15-4 set in 2006. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 53-21 (.720).