Senior Caitlin McKinney will serve as team captain along with Becky Ranck for the 2008 Notre Dame women's lacrosse team.

Irish Prepare For First-Ever NCAA Finals Appearance

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May 24, 2006

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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2006 NCAA Championship - Semifinal Round• The Games:  #1/#1 Northwestern (18-1) vs. #3/#3 Duke (18-2) - 6:00 p.m.            #7/#6 Notre Dame (15-3) vs. #8/#12 Dartmouth (13-5) - 8:30 p.m.• Where:  Boston University's Nickerson Field • Boston, Mass.• When:  Friday, May 26, 2006• Gametracker:  Follow the action live at• Finals: Sunday, May 28, 2006 - 12:00 noon• Television:  College Sports Television (CSTV)

NOTRE DAME ADVANCES TO NCAA FINALS FOR THE FIRST TIME: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s lacrosse team will make its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championship round starting on Friday, May 26. Notre Dame will square off in one semifinal game against the Dartmouth Big Green at 8:30 p.m. at Boston University’s Nickerson Field. Northwestern and Duke will open semifinal play in a 6:00 p.m. game on Friday in Boston, Mass. The Irish advanced to the finals on Saturday, May 20 with a 12-9 quarterfinal win against Georgetown at Moose Krause Stadium. The win gave Notre Dame, the tournament’s sixth seed, a school-record 15-3 record as the Irish head into championship round play. Dartmouth, the tournament’s seventh seed, moved on to the semifinals after defeating Ivy League foe, Princeton in a 7-6 overtime game in Hanover, N.H., last Saturday. The Big Green are 13-5 on the year. Notre Dame is ranked seventh in the IWLCA coaches poll and sixth in the Bounce Entertainment/Inside Lacrosse poll. Dartmouth is ranked eighth in the IWLCA poll and 12th in Bounce Entertainment/Inside Lacrosse poll. The winners of the Notre Dame-Dartmouth game and the Duke-Northwestern game will meet on Sunday, May 26 in the NCAA title game at 12:00 noon. That game will be televised live by College Sports Television (CSTV).

NOTRE DAME IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: Notre Dame is making its third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last five seasons (2002, 2004 and 2006) with this the farthest the Irish have ever advanced. Notre Dame is now 3-2 all-time with all three wins coming at home. Eleven members of this year’s team were on the Irish roster in 2004. Only goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Gr., Pennsauken, N.J.) has been a member of all three NCAA teams. She saw no action in the 2002 season, giving her a fifth year of eligibility this season.

All-Time Notre Dame NCAA Tournament Results2002 - at Notre Dame  11, Ohio State  7       at Princeton  11, Notre Dame 52004 - at Northwestern 10, Notre Dame  82006 - at Notre Dame 16, Cornell 8       at Notre Dame 12, Georgetown  9

IRISH VERSUS BIG GREEN: Friday’s semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament is the first-ever regular-season meeting between the two schools.

THE 2006 NCAA TOURNAMENT FIELD: Notre Dame has played eight games versus teams in this year’s 2006 NCAA Tournament Field. The Irish have faced Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown (2), James Madison, Cornell (2) and Stanford and are 5-3 in those eight games. That includes two tournament wins versus Georgetown and Cornell. Two of the three losses have come to Duke (11-10) and Northwestern (21-12). The third loss was to Georgetown (11-10 in ot). All-time, Notre Dame is 1-8 against Duke and 2-4 against Northwestern.

RECORD TURNAROUND: Notre Dame’s dramatic turnaround from 2005 (3-12) to 2006 (15-3), a +10.5 differential, is the largest turnaround in NCAA women’s lacrosse history, according to the NCAA record book. The previous biggest changes were seven-game turnarounds by American University (0-14 in 1996 to 8-8 in 1997) and Holy Cross (4-12 in 2000 to 13-7 in 2001). Notre Dame also turned the tables in BIG EAST play, going 4-1 this season and finishing second after going 1-4 in 2005 and finishing in fifth place.

FOOTE FOR TEWAARATON TROPHY: Senior Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) was named one of five finalists for the 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy that is emblematic of the top men’s and women’s lacrosse players in the United States. She is the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse player to become a finalist for the prestigious award. Foote currently leads Notre Dame in scoring with 71 goals and 38 assists for 109 points. She now has single-season marks for goals, assists, points and draw controls this year. She is currently second in the nation with 3.94 goals-per-game and is second in points with 6.06 per game. Her 71 goals and 109 points are tops in the nation and the 38 assists are the seventh- best total. Joining Foote on the list of finalists are: Katie Chrest, Duke; Kristen Kjellman, Northwestern; Nikki Lieb, Virginia and Coco Stanwick, Georgetown.

KNOCKING OFF THE HOYAS: Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA finals with a 12-9 win over Georgetown in the quarterfinals. The win marked the first-ever victory by the Irish against Georgetown in eight tries. In six seasons of BIG EAST conference play, the Hoyas had never lost a game to a conference opponent and own six BIG EAST titles. The Irish got nine goals and seven assists from their high-scoring trio of Crysti Foote, Jillian Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) in the game. Foote led the way with three goals and four assists, Byers had three goals and two assists and McKinney added three goals and an assist in the win. Mary Carpenter (So., Rochester, N.Y.), Jane Stoeckert (Fr., Mendham, N.J.) and Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.) had single goals in the Irish win. Carol Dixon (Gr., Pennsauken, N.J.) recorded three saves in helping the Irish advance to the finals for the first time. Notre Dame jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the game only to see the Hoyas score five straight goals to take a 6-4 lead. Foote scored a key goal with 1:32 left in the half to cut the lead to one at halftime. In the second half, the teams traded goals with Coco Stanwick’s third goal of the game giving Georgetown an 8-7 lead with 18:47 left. From there, Notre Dame, led by Foote (2g, 1a), would score four goals in a 3:31 span to build an 11-8 lead. Schuyler Sutton would cut it to 11-9 with 7:37 left and McKinney closed the scoring with 4:08 remaining to give the Irish the 12-9 win.

201 AND COUNTING: Notre Dame’s 16-8 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament versus Cornell (May 14) was the 200th career win for head coach Tracy Coyne. She followed that with win 201 against Georgetown. Now in her 10th season at Notre Dame and 19th in collegiate coaching, Coyne is 201-89 (.693). She was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 87-63 in 10 seasons at Notre Dame.

HOME RECORD: The Irish closed out the 2006 home season with a 9-0 record in home games between Moose Krause Stadium and the Loftus Sports Center. That’s the most wins and the best record ever for the Irish at home as it surpasses the 8-2 home record in 2002. The 1.000 winning percentage is best since Notre Dame was 6-1 (.857) at home during the 2004 season.

GOAL-SCORING RAMPAGE: Through the first 18 games of the 2006 season, Notre Dame has scored 255 goals (14.17 goals per game). The 255 goals sets a Notre Dame single-season record, surpassing the previous mark of 206 that was set in 2004. Six times this season, the Irish have scored 16 or more goals in a game. A year ago, during the 2005 campaign, the Irish scored 145 goals in 15 games for a 9.67 goals-per-game average. As of May 22, the Irish were tied for 8th in the nation in total goals with 255. In the NCAA statistics, Notre Dame ranked fifth in goals-per-game with 14.17 per game, trailing Northwestern, Duke, Denver and LeMoyne. The Notre Dame record for goals-per-game in a season is 13.56 (nine games) and was set in the program’s first season, 1997. The school record in a 16-game season is 13.33 and was set in 1999. The Irish have already set single-season marks for assists (141) and points (396) this year.

SUPER SOPH: Sophomore speedster Caitlin McKinney has turned in a career year for Notre Dame in this her second season with the Irish. She owns career highs in goals (39), assists (21) and points (60) in 2006. With four points (3g, 1a) against Georgetown, she became the youngest player in Notre Dame history to reach the 100-point plateau in her career. McKinney now has 67 goals and 33 assists for 100 points in 33 career games in an Irish uniform. She already ranks seventh in points, is tied for eighth in goals and is tied for sixth in assists.

TERRIFIC TRIO: The Irish threesome of Crysti Foote, Jillian Byers and Caitlin McKinney is the most prolific single-season scoring trio in the 10-year history of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program. The triumvirate comes into the game versus Dartmouth with 164 goals and 83 assists for 247 points in 18 games (13.72 points per game). The second-highest-scoring trio was the 1999 group of Lael O’Shaughnessy (69), Kerry Callahan (67) and Courtney Calabrese (37) that had 173 points. Foote (1st), Byers (2nd) and McKinney (7th) have three of the top-10 single-season point-scoring marks in Notre Dame history this year. All three were unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selections and are candidates for All-American honors in 2006.

ZORICH AWARD WINNER: Congratulations to junior Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) who was named one of three winners of the prestigious Christopher Zorich Award on Wednesday, May 3 at Notre Dame’s annual O.S.C.A.R.S. awards program. The award was created in 1998 to recognize the contributions of Notre Dame student-athletes to the University and community at large. The award holds the name of Christopher Zorich, a two-time football All-American and 1991 graduate. He went on to play in the National Football League for both the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins and received his law degree from Notre Dame in 2002. Murphy has been involved in community service work during her three seasons at Notre Dame. She organized the team’s community service work this season and has been involved with the YWCA Women’s Shelter Spring Cleaning, the Cavanaugh/Zahm Winter Carnival and several projects at the Center for the Homeless, including cooking and serving meals, spending time at Thanksgiving with the children and helping coordinate a shoebox assembly first as part of a class project and then as a Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) project that delivered several carloads of personal-use items for use at the Center. Working with children has been a focus for Murphy as she has been involved with holiday parties for kids at both the St. Joseph’s Pediatric and Memorial Hospital Pediatric wings, as well as, Notre Dame’s annual Christmas Pediatric Party.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her 10th season as the head coach of the Irish and is the only coach in the program’s Division I history. Coyne owns an 87-63 (.580) record at Notre Dame and is 201-89 (.693) in her 19-year coaching career, putting her just two wins away from 200. After starting the season 7-0, the Irish are currently 15-3 on the year, setting a regular-season record for wins (13) and a single-season overall win mark (15). Coyne will be making her third trip to the NCAA Tournament at Notre Dame after making six (five with Roanoke and one with Denison) before coming to South Bend. She was named the BIG EAST coach of the year for Notre Dame’s turnaround season, giving her the honor twice (2004, 2006) in the last three years. 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 since 1999. Last year, she led Team Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 World Cup, her second fourth-place finish (2001) as Canada’s field boss. Coyne is 3-2 at Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament.

HEY ANOTHER RECORD FOR FOOTE: Senior Crysti Foote set the Notre Dame record for games played in the win against Georgetown. She has now played 65 games in her career, the most ever for a Notre Dame player. She was a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection for 2006 is a finalist for the 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy. During the 2006 season, she has shattered Notre Dame season and career records for goals, assists, points and draw controls. She goes into the Dartmouth game first in total points (109) and first in total goals on the national level. In the NCAA rankings, Foote is second in points-per-game (6.06), trailing just Johns Hopkins’ Mary Key (6.19). She is second in goals per game behind Loyola’s Kate McHarg for first in goals-per-game with 3.94. In the Irish record books, Foote ranks:

Career Goals:1. Crysti Foote `06         1582. Danielle Shearer `03      1303. Lael O'Shaughnessy `01   122
Career Points:1. Crysti Foote `06 2322. Danielle Shearer `03 1963. Lael O'Shaughnessy `01 190
Career Assists:1. Crysti Foote `06 742. Lael O'Shaughnessy `01 683. Danielle Shearer `03 66
Career Draw Controls:1. Alissa Moser `02 1262. Crysti Foote `06 1003. Tina Fedarcyk `02 964. Meredith Simon `04 915. Kathryn Lam `02 90
Career Games Played:1. Crysti Foote (`06) 652. Meredith Simon (`04) 643. Sixth with 63
Single Season Goals:1. Crysti Foote (2006) 712. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1999) 503. Meredith Simon (2004) 46
Single-Season Assists:1. Crysti Foote (2006) 382. Kerry Callahan (1999) 323. Lael O'Shaughnessy (2001) 28 Meredith Simon (2004) 28
Single-Season Points:1. Crysti Foote (2006) 1092. Meredith Simon (2004) 743. Jillian Byers (2006) 73
Single-Season Draw Controls:1. Crysti Foote (2006) 432. Alissa Moser (2001) 403. Mara Grace (1998) 37
She also is 10th in caused turnovers with 44 in her career.

FRESHMAN PHENOM: Freshman standout Jillian Byers has set Notre Dame freshmen records for goals (54), assists (24) and points (78) in a season. Her 78 points are the second-best point total in the program’s history, trailing Crysti Foote (109 in 2006). Her 51 goals are the second-best total in the program’s history behind Foote’s 71 this year. Byers was selected as a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection in her freshman year, a first for any Notre Dame rookie. Byers already ranks 12th in goals all-time at Notre Dame, tied for 10th in assists and tied for 11th in points in just 18 games this season. Besides the rookie goal, assist and point marks, Byers owns the freshman record for points in a game with nine points (5g, 4a) versus Lehigh. Her nine-point game also tied an Irish record for points in a home game, matching the nine points recorded by Kerry Callahan `99 (6g, 3a) on March 24, 1997 versus Stanford and Lael O’Shaughnessy `01 (6g, 3a) on March 28, 1999 vs. Connecticut.

THE ELUSIVE ONE: Sophomore Caitlin McKinney capped her outstanding rookie season by being selected a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST choice in 2006 after taking second team honors a year ago. McKinney has career highs in goals (39), assists (21) and points (60) in 18 games this season. The Irish speedster has scored in every game this year and has four or more points in nine different games. After just two seasons at Notre Dame, McKinney has 67 goals and 33 assists for 100 points.

DIXON IN GOAL: Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon has now started 50 straight games for the Irish since taking over the goalkeeping duties in the 2004 season. In that streak, Dixon has missed just 55:38 minutes of playing time. For her career, she is now 30-20 with a 9.74 goals-against average and a .488 save percentage. On the year, she is 15-3 with an 9.75 goals against and a .503 save percentage. Dixon also has a career-high 47 ground balls this season and 116 career ground balls tie her for seventh on the all-time list.

IRISH RECORD: The 15-3 record for the Irish is the best in the program’s history after 18 games. The only other Notre Dame team to play 18 games in a season was the 2002 team that finished 13-5. This season’s 13-win regular season mark is the best in the program’s history and the 15 wins are the most ever by a Notre Dame team. The Irish will play in their 19th game when they face Dartmouth and that’s the most games the Irish have ever played in a season.

VERSUS THE BEST: Eight teams currently ranked in the top 20 in this week’s IWLCA poll were on the Notre Dame schedule this season. The list includes No. 1 Northwestern, No. 3 Duke and No. 4 Georgetown (twice). Those three are followed by No. 8 Dartmouth, two games with Cornell (No. 10) , James Madison (No. 13), Stanford (No. 16) and Syracuse (No. 18). This season, the Irish are 6-3 against those teams with two wins coming against Cornell and one versus Georgetown, James Madison, Stanford and Syracuse. All-time, Notre Dame is 20-41 versus teams ranked in the IWCLA polls.

HAMMER TIME: Sophomore midfielder Mary Carpenter (Rochester, N.Y.) was selected second team all-BIG EAST for the 2006 season after turning in a strong year at midfield for the Irish. In 18 games, Carpenter had career highs in goals (12), assists (10), points (20), ground balls (51), draw controls (30) and caused turnovers (23). She led the team in ground balls, tied for third in draw controls and was second in caused turnovers. She picked up a career-high seven ground balls in the Notre Dame win over Ohio State (April 5). Carpenter had a six-game scoring streak (5-4-9) snapped by Syracuse (April 29). Earlier this season, she had the first three-goal game of her career and first four-point game in the 17-15 win over Cornell.

GIVING THEM FITZ(PATRICK): Junior defensive standout Meaghan Fitzpatrick was selected second team all-BIG EAST after helping guide Notre Dame to its second NCAA appearance. Fitzpatrick has turned in career highs with 39 ground balls, nine draw controls and 20 caused turnovers. The top match-up defender for the Irish, Fitzpatrick has put the clamps on the opposition’s top scorers all season long.

IRISH STREAKS: Several Notre Dame players have scoring streaks going into the game with Cornell. Some carry over from last season, the others just started in 2006:

Crysti Foote – 28-game streak (97-50-147) Caitlin McKinney – 21-game streak (47-22-69) Jillian Byers – 18 games (54-24-78) Heather Ferguson – 12 games (18-9-27) Mary Carpenter – 2 games (1-2-3)

Former Irish attack standout, Danielle Shearer `03 holds the Notre Dame record by scoring in 36 consecutive games between 4/25/01 and 5/1/03, getting 85 goals and 51 assists for 136 points in her streak. The streak was still active when her collegiate career ended. Foote’s 28- game streak is the fourth longest in the program’s history.

RANCK AND FILE: Sophomore defender Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.) has stepped into a regular role on the Notre Dame defense and become one of the team’s top defenders. She leads the team with 29 caused turnovers and has 22 ground balls and 19 draw controls on the season. The 29 caused turnovers are the fifth-best single-season total for the Irish.

STEPPING UP: Freshman Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) turned in the best game of her career in the quarterfinal game versus Georgetown. She had four draw controls, two key second-half caused turnovers and a ground ball in helping the Irish to the 12-9 win on the defensive end of the field.

DRAWING IT UP: Junior midfielder Kaki Orr (Darien, Conn.) set a Notre Dame single-season record with nine draw controls in the win over Vanderbilt. She is now second on the team with 41 draw controls, just two behind team leader Crysti Foote. Heading into this season, the Irish season record for draw controls was 40 and held by current assistant Alissa Moser `02.

BEST IN THE NATION: Notre Dame’s freshman class was rated No. 1 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse magazine in its November, 2005 issue. The story had this to say about the 10-player class: “Coming off a disappointing 3-12 season, the Fighting Irish have high hopes for 2006 with Jillian Byers leading a powerful class that includes immediate contributors Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.), Mary Veith (Silver Springs, Md.) and Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.). Goalie Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) adds strength for the future.” As part of the story, the magazine’s list of “Blue Chip” recruits listed Jill Byers and Jane Stoeckert among its top 10 incoming freshmen.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Notre Dame’s freshman class has lived up to its top billing in 2006. Jillian Byers has led the way with 54 goals and 24 assists for 78 points in 18 games, including four game-winning goals. a sudden-death overtime game winner versus Stanford and regulation game winners versus Lehigh and Rutgers. Jane Stoeckert has become a consistent scorer with points in 13 of her first 18 games and is tied for eighth in scoring with 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points. She scored the game-winning goal against Cornell and then set up the game winner versus James Madison. Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.) has six goals and five assists on the year and has been a force in the midfield. Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has seen action on defense in 13 games, grabbing 14 ground balls, 11 draw controls while causing 14 turnovers. Kelly Gaudreau (Annapolis, Md.) has played in four games while Annemarie McGrath (Wayne, Pa.) has played in three games with Beth Koloup (Phoenix, Md.) and Lauren deMello (Manlius, N.Y.) playing twice. Freshamn goalkeeper Erin Goodman has played in parts of two games in relief of Carol Dixon.