May 24, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has had five players selected to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’Association’s (IWLCA) all-West/Midwest Region team for the 2007 season. Players selected to the all-Regional team are now eligible for selection to the IWLCA All-American teams that will be announced following the NCAA finals this weekend.
The Irish had three players selected to the first team – attack standouts Jillian Byers (So., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (Jr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) were joined by midfielder Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) – while defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.) and midfielder Kaki Orr (Sr., Darien, Conn.) were second team selections.
For Byers, this marks her second year as a first team all-region selection while McKinney has been a first team choice in each of the last two years and a second team choice as a freshman in 2005. McKinney joins Crysti Foote `06 as the only Irish players to be selected to the all-region team in each of their first three years. Zentgraf was a second team choice in 2005 while Fitzpatrick is a three-time second-team selection (2005, 2006, 2007). Orr is a first-time selection.
Byers continued her impressive Notre Dame career in 2007 by scoring 58 goals with eight assists to lead the team in scoring with 66 points. She became the first Notre Dame player to score 50 goals in a season twice in her career and now has 112 in two seasons for the Irish. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection for the second year in a row, Byers was a second team IWLCA All-American as a freshman in 2006. This season, she scored at least three points in 12 of the team’s 17 games and had 13 games with three or more goals. A two-time BIG EAST offensive player of the week, she reached both the 100-point plateau and the 100-goal mark quicker than any player in Notre Dame history, hitting the “Century” mark for points in 24 games and goals in 33.
Senior midfielder Lena Zentgraf was selected to the IWLCA all-Regional first team for her play in 2007.
McKinney finished second on the Notre Dame scoresheet this year with 44 goals and 21 assists for 65 points and was fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring. The speedster finished the year on a Notre Dame record 39-game point streak that started on April 24, 2005 during her freshman year. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection for the second year in a row, McKinney has recorded three or more points in 12 of the team’s 17 games this season and has 12 games with two or more goals. For her career, McKinney is fourth in goals (114), fifth in assists (55) and fourth all-time in points with 169. She was a third team IWLCA All-American in 2006.
Senior Meaghan Fitzpatrick was a second team all-Regional selection for the third consecutive year.
Zentgraf closed out her Notre Dame career with the her best season ever as she finished third in scoring for the year while setting career highs in goals (17), assists (22) and points (39). A second team all-BIG EAST selection in 2007, Zentgraf also set career highs in ground balls (37), draw controls (31) and caused turnovers (27), finishing second in ground balls and draw controls while leading the team in caused turnovers. She was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player in voting by her teammates following the season.
Fitzpatrick has been the leader of the Irish defense for the past three seasons and usually had the job of stopping the opposition’s top scorer. In 15 games as a senior, Fitzpatrick grabbed 26 ground balls, 12 draw controls and caused 14 turnovers. She was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending April 15 as she helped lead the Irish to a 13-8 win over Georgetown, snapping the Hoyas’ 37-game BIG EAST winning streak. For her career, Fitzpatrick ranks 11th all-time with 100 ground balls while her 52 caused turnovers are the eighth-best total at Notre Dame.
Kaki Orr closed her Notre Dame career by being named second team all-West/Midwest Region for the 2007 campaign.
Orr was one of the top midfielders in the BIG EAST in 2007 as her 14 goals and a career-high eight assists and 22 points ranked her sixth on the team in scoring. A second-team all-BIG EAST selection, she had 25 ground balls, a team-record 51 draw controls and 15 caused turnovers to her all-around game. Her 51 draw controls (3.00 per game) ranked her third in the conference. In four seasons at Notre Dame, Orr has 40 goals and 15 assists for 55 points. While breaking the single-season mark for draw controls this year, the senior midfielder has moved into second on the all-time list with 110. She has also grabbed 82 groundballs and caused 31 turnovers during her four years with the Irish.
Notre Dame finished the season with an 11-6 record and was 3-2 in BIG EAST play. The Irish were ranked 13th in the IWLCA poll and 12th in the Inside Lacrosse.com rankings.
IWLCA West/Midwest All-Regional Team
First TeamJillian Byers, A, So., Notre DameSasha Cielak, D, Jr., VanderbiltRenee Cipro, D, Sr., Penn StateMargie Curran, A, Jr., VanderbiltChristy Finch, D, Jr., NorthwesternLindsay Finocchiaro, D, Sr., NorthwesternMeredith Frank, M, So., NorthwesternKristen Kjellman, M, Sr., NorthwesternMorgan Lathrop, GK, So., NorthwesternKristie Leggio, M, Sr., DenverJessi Lieb, M, Sr., Penn StateCaitlin McKinney, A, Jr., Notre DameKaren Morton, M, So., DenverHannah Nielsen, A, So., NorthwesternLaura Shane, GK, Jr., StanfordLena Zentgraf, M, Sr., Notre Dame
Second TeamAlicia Burkhart, D, So., OregonBrooke Dieringer, A, Sr., OregonKatelyn Faas, A, So., St. BonaventureMeaghan Fitzpatrick, D, Sr., Notre DameAli Flury, M, Fr., DenverCara Giordano, M, So., VanderbiltHilary Harkins, GK, Jr., UC-DavisRobin Mason, D, Sr., St. BonaventureJen May, M, Jr., OregonKathleen McNish, A, Sr., DuquesneKelly O'Connell, D, Jr., DenverKaki Orr, M, Sr., Notre DameJessica Patane, M, Jr., Ohio StateStacie Pollock, D, Sr., DuquesneKerry Shea, M, So., Penn StateKristen Slahor, A, Jr., Ohio State