April 26, 2007
Syracuse, N.Y. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team had five players selected to the BIG EAST all-conference first and second teams on Thursday night at the season-ending Awards Banquet held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Syracuse, N.Y.
Three players were selected to the first team – attack standouts Jillian Byers (So., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (Jr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) were joined by defensive stalwart Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y). – while midfielders Kaki Orr (Sr., Darien, Conn.) and Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) took second team honors. Byers, Fitzpatrick and McKinney were preseason all-BIG EAST selections.
Byers and McKinney were both unanimous selections to the first team for the second season in a row. For Byers, it marks the second time she has been selected all-BIG EAST while McKinney has now been named in all three seasons with the Irish (two-times first team and once second team in 2005).
Fitzpatrick took first team honors for the first time in her career and was an all-BIG EAST second team choice in 2006. Zentgraf is a two-time second team selection as she also took honors in 2005. For Orr, it marked her first time to take all-BIG EAST honors.
The Irish are in Syracuse, N.Y., to participate in the first-ever BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Tournament that will begin on Friday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m. with Notre Dame playing Georgetown in the first semifinal game and Rutgers playing Syracuse 45 minutes after the first game.
Byers heads into the BIG EAST Tournament as the conference’s top goal scorer as she recorded a career-high 55 goals on the season to go with eight assists for 63 points to rank fourth in the conference in scoring. The sophomore has scored at least three points in 13 of the team’s 16 games to date and has 12 games with three or more goals. A two-time BIG EAST offensive player of the week this season, 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. She is the only Irish player to score 50 or more goals twice in her career.
McKinney is second on the Notre Dame score sheet with 39 goals and 21 assists for 60 points and ranks fifth in the BIG EAST scoring race. The speedster brings a school record 38-game point streak into the touranament, a streak that started on April 24, 2005. Selected as the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the week ending Feb. 26, McKinney has recorded three or more points in 11 of the team’s 15 games this season and has 11 games with two or more goals. For her career, McKinney is tied for fourth in goals (109), is fifth in assists (55) and fourth all-time in points with 164.
Fitzpatrick has been the leader of the Irish defense this season and usually draws the opposition’s top scoring attack player. In 14 games this year, she has 24 ground balls, 10 draw controls and 14 caused turnovers. She was named 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 is 11th all-time with 98 ground balls while her 52 caused turnovers are the eighth-best total at Notre Dame.
Orr has been one of the top midfielders in the conference this season and has 14 goals and a career high eight assists and 22 points this season to rank sixth on the team in scoring. She has added 25 ground balls, a team-record 47 draw controls and 15 caused turnovers to her all around game. Her 47 draw controls (2.88 per game) ranks 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 season, the senior midfielder has moved into second on the all-time list with 106. She has also grabbed 82 groundballs and caused 31 turnovers.
Zentgraf has turned in a career-year in 2007 as she has career highs in goals (17), assists (20) and points (37) to rank third in scoring for the Irish. She is also second in ground balls (34), second in draw controls (30) and leads the team with 25 caused turnovers as she excels at both ends of the field. Zentgraf ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in assists per game (1.25) and is fourth in caused turnovers with 1.44 per game. In 44 career games, she has 28 goals and 28 assists for 56 points plus 70 ground balls, 48 draw controls and 39 caused turnovers.
The Irish are 11-5 overall and 3-2 in the BIG EAST and are the fourth-seed in the tournament. They will face Georgetown (9-6/4-1) on Friday ranked 12th in the nation in both the IWLCA and Inside Lacrosse polls.
The 2007 BIG EAST All-Conference Teams:
First Team Second TeamKatie Batiuk, Sr., M, Rutgers Jessica Davis, Fr., D, RutgersShannon Burke, Sr., M, Connecticut Jill DePetris, Sr., A, SyracuseJillian Byers, So., A, Notre Dame Jamie Farewell, Sr., M, RutgersLaura Cipro, Sr., D, Georgetown Maura Kenny, So., A, Loyola (Md.)Meaghan Fitzpatrick, Sr., D, Notre Dame Kristin Link, Sr., M, ConnecticutNina Frankoski, Fr., A, Rutgers Bridget Looney, Jr., M, SyracuseMaggie Koch, Sr., G, Georgetown Anne Marchitello, Sr., D, RutgersCaitlin McKinney, Jr., A, Notre Dame Kate McHarg, Jr., M, Loyola (Md.)Halley Quillinan, Fr., A, Syracuse Kaki Orr, Sr., M, Notre DameKatie Rowan, So., A, Syracuse Ashley Pike, Sr., M, SyracuseCoco Stanwick, Sr., A, Georgetown Patty Piotrowicz, Jr., M, GeorgetownKristen Stone, Jr., D, Loyola (Md.) Chelsea Strodel, Sr., D, Syracuse Lena Zentgraf, Sr., M, Notre Dame
2007 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Awards
Attack Player of the YearCoco Stanwick, Sr., A, Georgetown
Defensive Player of the YearMaggie Koch, Sr., G, Georgetown
Midfielder of the YearShannon Burke, Sr., M, Connecticut
Coach of the YearLisa Miller, Syracuse