Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Goodman stopped 14 shots to help the Irish to a 9-7 win over Yale.

Irish Shuffle Off To Buffalo To Face Canisius On Saturday

March 9, 2007

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #6/#8 Notre Dame (3-1/0-0) at Canisius (2-2)

• Date/Time/Site: Sat., March 10, 2007 • 1:00 p.m. • Demske Sports Complex • Buffalo, N.Y.

IRISH TRAVEL TO CANISIUS FOR FIRST TIME: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse plays its second of four consecutive games on the road this weekend when the Irish travel to Buffalo, N.Y., to face the Canisius Golden Griffins in a 1:00 p.m. game at the Demske Sports Complex. Saturday’s game is the second meeting between the two teams and the first in Buffalo. Notre Dame brings a 3-1 record into the game after losing to #1/#3 Northwestern, 18-10, and defeating #11/#16 Cornell, 13-9 last week. The Irish are now ranked sixth in the IWLCA coaches’ poll and eighth by Inside Lacrosse Magazine. Following Saturday’s game, the Irish head to the warm weather of South Florida on Wed., March 14 when they play Yale at Wellington, Fla., in a 7:00 p.m. game. On Sunday, March 18, the Irish return to Western New York when they open BIG EAST play against Syracuse. That game has a 1:00 p.m. starting time.

IRISH VERSUS GOLDEN GRIFFINS: Notre Dame and Canisius met for the first time in the series last season on March 25 at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish won that game, 18-2 with Kaki Orr (Sr., Darien, Conn.) scoring four goals with one assist and Caitlin McKinney (Jr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) notching three goals and a pair of assists to lead the Irish. Notre Dame’s visit to Canisius marks the first time that the Golden Griffins will play host to a ranked opponent.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 11th season at Notre Dame and 20th year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 204-91 (.692) career record into the Canisius game and is 90-65 (.581) in this, her 11th season at Notre Dame. The 1983 graduate of Ohio University recorded her 200th career win last season in the first round of the NCAA tournament in a 16-8 win against Cornell. She has guided Notre Dame to three NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006), including last year’s first-ever trip to the NCAA finals. In her first 19 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 87-64 in 10 seasons at Notre Dame. 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. Coyne also has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team from 1999-2005. In June of 2005, 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 1-0 all-time against Canisius.

NORTHWESTERN RECAP: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team ran into a buzzsaw on Thursday, March 1 when they faced Nortwestern at the Loftus Sports Center. The Wildcats scored twice in the first 56 seconds, led 5-1 after eight minutes of play and 12-4 at halftime on the way to an 18-10 victory against the Irish. Notre Dame was led offensively by Jillian Byers (So., Northport, N.Y.) who had three goals and an assist in the game. Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) and Caitlin McKinney each had a pair of goals. The Irish also got goals from Kaki Orr, Gina Scioscia (Fr., Summit, N.J.) and Jane Stoeckert (So., Mendham, N.J.). Erin Goodman (So., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) played in goal for Notre Dame, making nine saves in the game.

CORNELL RECAP: The Irish visited Ithaca, N.Y., on Sunday, March 4 to face No. 16 Cornell and came away with a 13-9 win in the cold and snow. Caitlin McKinney paced the Notre Dame attack with three goals and three assists in the game. After the Big Red scored the opening goal, the Irish scored four straight on the way to a 6-3 halftime lead. The two teams opened the second half trading a pair of goals to make it 8-5, before Notre Dame went on a three-goal tear, building an 11-5 lead on the way to the 13-9 win. Jillian Byers added three goals and an assist while Lena Zentraf also had three goals in the win. Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.), Mary Carpenter (Jr., Rochestern, N.Y.), Meghan Murphy (Sr., Centennial, Colo.) and Jane Stoeckert had single goals in the game. Erin Goodman turned in her best start of the season, making a career-high 14 saves, including 11 in the first half to key the win. The victory was the first ever for the Irish at Cornell.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Jillian Byers was named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the week ending March 4 as she had six goals and two assists for eight points. Byers had three goals and an assist in a loss to Northwestern and followed that with three goals and an assist in the win at Cornell. She joins Caitlin McKinney who received BIG EAST honors the previous week.

HERE SHE COMES: Sophomore Jillian Byers has already scored 15 goals with two assists this season. That gives her 69 goals and 26 assists for 95 points in the first 23 games of her Irish career. She needs just five more points to reach the 100-point plateau for her career and when she does it, she will become the quickest to reach that mark, passing current teammate Caitlin McKinney who reached 100 points in 33 games.

TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Sophomore Jillian Byers and junior Caitlin McKinney have been named to the 2007 Tewaaraton “Watch List.” They are among 34 Division I players, selected by a panel of coaches from around the country, eligible for women’s collegiate lacrosse’s top player award. The current duo join Crysti Foote `06, Meredith Simon `04 and Danielle Shearer `03 as Irish players previously named to the “Watch List.” Shearer was the fist player named to the list, Simon was the first selected as a nominee for the award and Foote was the first to be named a finalist.

FRESHMAN FIRSTS: Notre Dame freshman Gina Scioscia recorded the first goal, first assist and first multiple-point game of her career in the 18-10 loss to Northwestern. She followed up with an assist in the 13-9 win over Cornell.

OVERTIME NUMBERS: The Irish seem to play their share of overtime and one-goal games. The first two games this season went to extra time. On Feb. 18 at James Madison, the team’s played 68:44 before Jillian Byers scored in sudden victory of the Irish. On Feb. 24, Notre Dame and Stanford played overtime for the second year in a row. This time, Caitlin McKinney scored with seven seconds left for the win. In 2006, the Irish were 1-1 in two sudden-victory games, losing at Georgetown (11-10) after winning a 12-11 game at Stanford. Notre Dame has now played 13 overtime games in their 11 seasons and are 6-7 in thos games. Over the last two seasons, the Irish are 6-2 in one goal games and 13-16 in the program’s history.

HOME RECORD: Notre Dame saw its 10-game home winning streak snapped on March 1 when Northwestern handed the Irish an 18-10 loss at the Loftus Center. The streak included a 9-0 mark in 2006, the best home record the Irish have ever had.

LEAN ON LENA: Senior midfielder Lena Zentgraf equalled a career high with three goals in the 13-9 win at Cornell. In four games this season, she ranks third on the team in scoring with six goals and five assists for 11 points. Her previous career best came in 2005 when she had 11 goals and eight assist for 19 points. She is second on the team with 12 draw controls and second with five caused turnovers.

NICE START: Sophomore Jillian Byers wasted little time getting her second season at Notre Dame off to a strong start in the win at James Madison. The talented attack player equaled her career best, netting six goals in the 10-9 sudden-death overtime win. After getting just one goal in the first half, the Northport, N.Y., native scored three goals in the second half, added a fifth in the second overtime and then got the game winner with 16 seconds left in the third overtime. She is tied for the team lead in scoring with 15 goals and two assists for 17 points.

IRISH STREAKS: Six Notre Dame players bring point streaks into the game with Canisius. They are:

Caitlin McKinney - 26-game streak  (63-27-90)Jillian Byers - 4 games (15-2-17)Lena Zentgraf - 4 games (6-5-11)Meghan Murphy - 2 games (1-2-3)Gina Scioscia - 2 games (1-2-3)Jane Stoeckert - 2 games (2-1-3)

CONTROLLING THE DRAW: The Irish tied a school record by winning 20 draws in the 13-9 win at Cornell on March 4. The 20 draws did set a school mark for draw controls in an away game. The previous mark of 20 was set versus Virginia Tech on March 26, 2004. The previous road mark was 19 and was done three times. Kaki Orr and Lena Zentgraf each had five in the game while Jillian Byers had four to lead the team.

CLUTCH PERFORMER: Junior Caitlin McKinney was held to two goals in the win over James Madison but they both came at crucial times in the game. Trailing 7-6 with time running out in regulation, McKinney scored with 19 seconds left to tie the game at 7-7 and send the game to overtime. Her second goal came in the second overtime. With Notre Dame trailing 9-8, McKinney tied the game with nine seconds left to make it 9-9 and send the game to sudden death. McKinney is tied for the team lead in scoring after four games with 13 goals and four assists for 17 points.

TRADING CARDS: In Notre Dame’s game with Stanford, the two teams combined for 10 yellow cards, one green card and one red card. Notre Dame was called for seven yellow cards while Stanford had three yellows, one red and had a green card for delay of game assessed. The two teams were called for 40 fouls, Notre Dame 17 and Stanford 23.

GOOD FOR GOODMAN: Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Goodman turned in her best game of the season on March 4 at Cornell when she made a career-high 14 saves in the 13-9 win. Goodman made 11 saves in the first half while the Irish were building a 6-3 lead. For the year, Goodman is 3-1 with and 11.07 goals-against average with a .434 save percentage. She made her first collegiate start versus James Madison (Feb. 18) and recorded her first career win. She saw action in two games as a freshman in relief of Carol Dixon `05, playing just over 48 minutes.

BIG EAST SCHOLARSHIP: Senior Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) along with Irish swimmer Ted Brown, has been selected as one of Notre Dame’s two BIG EAST post-graduate scholarship winners. The $2,000 scholarship goes toward post-graduate studies. Murphy has already been accepted to medical school. She was the women’s lacrosse team’s 2006 Rockne Scholar-Athlete and was also selected to the 2006 IWLCA Academic honor roll with a 3.74 grade-point average in her double major in anthropology and pre-professional studies. She was a third team ESPN The Magazine/CoSida Academic All-American on the spring at-large team in 2006. Murphy was also selected as one of Notre Dame’s Christopher Zorich Award winners for her involvement in community service work in the Notre Dame community and her home town of Denver, Colo.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Three members of the 2007 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team have been selected to the Inside Lacrosse Magazine preseason All-American team. Attack standouts Jillian Byers and Caitlin McKinney have been selected to the preseason second team while defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Sr., Farmingdale, N.Y.) was a third team selection. Byers and McKinney were both selected as third team All-Americans at the end of the 2006 season by Inside Lacrosse.

PRESEASON HONORS: Three members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team have been selected to the preseason all-BIG EAST team. Senior defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick, junior midfielder/attack Caitlin McKinney and sophomore attack Jillian Byers were named to the 2007 team with McKinney and Byers being unanimous selections. Fitzpatrick, a 2006 second team all-BIG EAST selection, is a three-year starter on defense who started all 19 games last season, grabbing 39 ground balls while causing 20 turnovers. McKinney was a first team all-BIG EAST selection last year and a third team IWLCA All-American after scoring 42 goals with 22 assists for 64 points. Byers also was a first team all-BIG EAST choice and a second team IWLCA All-American while scoring 54 goals and 24 assists for 78 points, the second-best single-season totals and freshman records at Notre Dame.

BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior attack standout Caitlin McKinney was selected as the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the week ending Feb. 25. In two games, McKinney had eight goals and one assist for nine points. Included was a career-best, six-goal, seven-point game in the 12-11 overtime win versus Stanford on Feb. 24. In that game, McKinney scored the game winner with seven seconds left. She opened the season with a pair of goals in the sudden-victory win at James Madison on Feb. 18.

HELPING HAND: Junior Heather Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) assisted on three goals in Notre Dame’s 10-9 win over James Madison. The three assists equaled a career high set March 25, 2006 against Canisius. She recorded her first goal of the season in the 12-11 win over Stanford, Ferguson is coming off a break out season in 2006 when she finished fourth in scoring with 25 goals and 11 assists for 36 points, all career highs.

DRAWING IT UP: Senior midfielder Kaki Orr (Darien, Conn.) set a Notre Dame single-game record with nine draw controls in the win over Vanderbilt on May 7 of 2006. She was second on the team with 41 draw controls in 2006, the second-best single-season total at Notre Dame. Orr currently leads the team with 14 draw controls in the first for games and her career, now has 73 draw controls.

QUICKEST TO 100: Junior speedster Caitlin McKinney reached 100 points faster than any player in Notre Dame history in 2006 when she scored her 100th point (67g-33a) in the 33rd game of her career. In 36 career games, McKinney has 78 goals and 35 assists for 113 career points. After two seasons, she already ranks in the top 10 in several offensive categories. McKinney is sixth in goals (83), sixth in assists (38) and sixth in points (121).

TURNAROUND SEASON: Notre Dame’s dramatic turnaround from 2005 (3-12) to 2006 (15-4), a +10 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 last season and finishing second after going 1-4 in 2005 and finishing in fifth place.