Jan. 14, 2007
Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has been selected to finish second in the annual BIG EAST preseason poll in voting done by the league’s head coaches. Georgetown was selected first for the sixth consecutive year, getting four first-place votes. The Irish and Syracuse each received one first-place vote.
The Hoyas received a total of 24 points with Notre Dame getting 21, followed by Syracuse in third with18 while Loyola (Md.) and Rutgers tied for fourth with 11. Connecticut got the final five points and was selected to finish sixth in the conference.
The Irish are coming off a 2006 season that saw them finish second to Georgetown in the regular season with a 4-1 BIG EAST record. Notre Dame had their best season ever a year ago, going 15-4 overall while advancing to the NCAA semifinals where they lost to Dartmouth. The Irish did record their first-ever win over Georgetown in 2006, knocking the Hoyas off in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Jillian Byers was a unanimous all-BIG EAST selection for the 2007 season.
The BIG EAST also announced its’ preseason all-BIG EAST team that included three Notre Dame players with two of them unanimous selections. Junior midfield/attack standout Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and sophomore midfield/attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) were unanimous choices to the team and were joined by senior defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.). McKinney and Byers were first team all-BIG EAST selections in 2006 while Fitzpatrick was a second-team choice.
McKinney was one of six unanimous choices to the preseason team along with Byers. The lightning quick McKinney was third on the team in scoring a year ago with career highs in goals (42), assists (22) and points (64). Along the way, McKinney was selected first team all-BIG EAST and was a third-team IWLCA All-American choice. The high-scoring attack player was a second-team all-BIG EAST selection as a freshman in 2005 and is just one of two Notre Dame players ever named to an All-BIG EAST team as a freshman.
Byers burst on the scene as a freshman and finished second on the team in scoring setting Notre Dame freshman records for goals (54), assists (24) and points (78). She is the first Irish freshman selected first-team all-BIG EAST and joins McKinney as one of two Notre Dame freshmen named to an all-BIG EAST team as a freshman. Byers also became the first Notre Dame freshman to take All-American honors as she was selected as a second team IWLCA All-American.
Fitzpatrick makes her first appearance on the all-BIG EAST preseason team. The anchor of Notre Dame’s defense along with senior Kristin Hopson (Rosemont, Pa.) and junior Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.), Fitzpatrick was third on the team in ground balls (39) and third in caused turnovers (20) while picking up a pair of assists in 19 games. She was a second team all-BIG EAST choice in 2006 and was selected to the second team IWLCA all-region team.
2007 BIG EAST Coaches Preseason Poll
2006 Records 2006 FinishSchool Points BIG EAST Overall Regular SeasonGeorgetown (4) 24 5-0 14-4 1stNotre Dame (1) 21 4-1 15-4 2ndSyracuse (1) 18 2-3 9-7 4thLoyola (Md.) 11 3-2 7-8 3rdRutgers 11 1-4 7-9 5thConnecticut 5 0-5 5-11 6th
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Chloe Asselin, Georgetown, Sr, DKatie Batiuk, Rutgers, Sr., MShannon Burke, Connecticut, Sr., MJillian Byers, Notre Dame, So., M/A *Laura Ciprio, Georgetown, Sr., DMeaghan Fitzpatrick, Notre Dame, Sr., DGaddy Fortune, Syracuse, Sr., M *Maggie Koch, Georgetown, Sr., GK *Kate McHarg, Loyola, Sr., A *Caitlin McKinney, Notre Dame, Jr., M/A *Katie Rowan, Syracuse, So., ACoco Stanwick, Georgetown, Sr., A *Kristen Stone, Loyola, Jr., D
* - unanimous selection
Preseason Offensive Player of the YearCoco Stanwick, Georgetown, Sr., A
Preseason Defensive Player of the YearMaggie Koch, Georgetown, Sr., GK