All-American candidate Gina Scioscia leads the Irish in scoring with 38 goals and 21 assists for 59 points.  Scioscia and her teammates face Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sat., May 15

Irish To Battle Syracuse In A BIG EAST Showdown At Syracuse On Saturday Afternoon

April 8, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #8/#8 Notre Dame (11-2/4-1) at #9/#8 Syracuse (9-3/4-1)

• Date/Time/Site: Saturday, April 11, 2009 • 12:00 noon • Carrier Dome • Syracuse, N.Y.

• Television: The Notre Dame-Syracuse game will be televised live by CBS College Sports at 12:00 noon. Jason Knapp and Sheehan Stanwick Burch will provide the play-by-play and color commentary.

• Internet: Notre Dame home women’s lacrosse games will be available via Game Tracker at Selected games are available through live via video streaming at

BIG EAST SHOWDOWN: Two of the BIG EAST’s top women’s lacrosse teams – Notre Dame and Syracuse – will tangle on Saturday, April 11 at 12:00 noon in Syracuse, N.Y., when the Irish continues their four-game road swing against the Orange. The contest will be played at the Carrier Dome and will be broadcast live by CBS College Sports. Jason Knapp and Sheehan Stanwick Burch will call all the action. The Fighting Irish bring a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game and are 11-2 overall and 4-1 in the BIG EAST. Ranked eighth in the IWLCA coaches’ poll, Notre Dame is coming off a weekend sweep of the conference’s newest teams – Cincinnati and Louisville. On Friday, April 3, the Irish won versus the Bearcats at Nippert Stadium with a 16-5 victory and followed with a 20-8 win versus the Cardinals in Louisville. Syracuse enters the weekend ranked ninth in the IWLCA poll and is 9-3 on the year with a 4-1 mark in the BIG EAST. The Orange are coming off a weekend split, losing a heartbreaking, 11-10 four-overtime thriller at Georgetown on April 3. They rebounded with a 17-10 win on Sunday at Loyola (Md.). Syracuse and Notre Dame have a combined five losses this season with all of them coming versus ranked teams. The Irish lost a 21-5 decision to top-ranked Northwestern and a 14-12 game to No. 6 Georgetown. The Orange have losses to No. 4 Virginia (14-11), No. 1 Northwestern (19-8) and No. 6 Georgetwon (11-10 in 4ot). Following the weekend in upstate New York, Notre Dame returns to action next week, playing at Vanderbilt on Wed., April 15 and at home versus Connecticut on April 18 for Senior Day.

IRISH VERSUS THE ORANGE: Notre Dame and Syracuse have met 11 times in the all-time series with the Orange enjoying an 8-3 advantage. Syracuse has won the last two meetings in the series, taking a 16-13 overtime win at the Loftus Center at Notre Dame last year and a 16-13 decision at the Carrier Dome in 2007. The last Irish win in the series came on April 29, 2006, an 11-10 Notre Dame win at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish have never won at the Carrier Dome as they own an 0-5 record against Syracuse and also have a BIG EAST Tournament loss to Georgetown in 2007 for an 0-6 mark at the home of the Orange. The Irish are 3-2 versus Syracuse at Notre Dame and 0-1 at neutral sites.

TWO FOR THE ROAD: Notre Dame saw its first action against the BIG EAST’s newest members last weekend, winning a pair of road games at Cincinnati and at Louisville. At Cincinnati, the Irish scored five of the first six goals in the game on the way to a 10-3 halftime lead and an eventual 16-5 win over the Bearcats. Senior All-American candidate Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) led the way with five goals and an assist in the win. Junior Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) added two goals and three assists for five points while sophomore Ansley Stewart (Alexandria, Va.) had a career-high four-goal game in the win. Freshman Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) had the first of two four-point games, scoring a pair with two assists. Joining the scoring were Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.), Shaylyn Blaney (So., Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Maggie Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) with one goal each. Senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) gave up three goals in 46:08, making nine saves in the game. Amy Winik (Jr., Freehold, N.J.) played the final 13:52, giving up a pair of goals. On Sunday afternoon in Louisville, Ky., the Irish offense picked up where it left off on Friday night, scoring eight of the first nine goals of the game on the way to a 9-3 halftime lead. After allowing the first two goals of the second half to allow the Cardinals to cut the lead to 9-5, Notre Dame scored five consecutive goals in a 5:49 span and 11 of the next 13 goals on the way to a 20-8 win. Byers again led the way with seven points (5g, 2a) with Scoiscia, Tamasitis and Blaney each getting three goals each. Stewart and Abt each netted a pair with Kelly Driscoll (Fr., Andover, Mass.) and Meredith Locasto (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) scoring single goals in the win. Goodman played 46:21 of this one, giving up six goals while making nine saves and was followed by Winik who closed out the final 13:39, surrending two goals while making one save.

BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior defender Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending April 5. During the week, Guerrera’s play helped limit Cincinnati and Louisville to just 13 goals in two BIG EAST wins. The junior recorded nine ground balls, two draw controls and six caused turnovers. In the 16-5 victory at Cincinnati, Guerrera had four ground balls and one caused turnover. She followed that with a career-high afternoon in the 20-8 win at Louisville, getting a career-high five ground balls, two draw controls and five caused turnovers. The five caused turnovers equaled a season-high for the Irish as Shannon Burke (Sr., Timonium, Md.) had five caused turnovers versus California earlier this season.

50 HERE, 50 THERE: All-American and Tewaaraton Award candidate Jillian Byers recorded 10 goals and three assists for 13 points in Notre Dame’s wins over Cincinnati and Louisville. Her 10 goals last week give her 50 on the season in the first 13 games. The 50-goal season marks the fourth consecutive year that she has had 50 or more goals (54 in `06, 58 in `07 and 67 in `08). She is the only player in the 13-year history of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program to have 50 goals in each of her four seasons with the Irish.

SECRET WEAPON: Freshman midfield/attack Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) turned in the best week of her young career with a pair of four-point contests versus Cincinnati and Louisville. In the win over the Bearcats, Tamasitis had two goals and two assists for four points. Versus the Cardinals, she had a career-high three-goal game with an assist for four points. She already has seven games this season with three or more points. Tamasitis has played in all 13 games, coming off the bench to provide a spark for the Irish offense either at attack or midfield. Without starting a game this season, she is sixth in scoring with 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. Her 14 points are second on the team.

STREAKY IRISH: Six members of the Notre Dame lineup go into this weekend at Syracuse with point-scoring streaks:

Jillian Byers - 13 games (50g, 12a, 52 pts)Shaylyn Blaney - 13 games (32g, 2a, 34 pts)Gina Scioscia - 11 games (34g, 22a, 56 pts)Ansley Stewart - 11 games (19g, 6a, 25 pts)Kailene Abt - 6 games (12g, 5a, 17 pts)Maggie Tamasitis - 2 games (5g, 3a, 8 pts)

Byers has 11 games this season with three or more goals while Scioscia has eight with three or more and Blaney has seven.

SCORING BARRAGE: Through the first 13 games of the season, Notre Dame has scored 209 goals for an average of 16.08 per game. That leads the BIG EAST and is third in the nation. Prior to this season, Notre Dame’s top scoring season came in 2006 when the Irish averaged 13.84 goals per game.

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: Senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman became Notre Dame’s all-time winningest goalkeeper in the 16-13 win over Loyola on March 29. The win was the 32nd of her career, moved her past Jen White `03, who recorded 31 in three seasons as the starting goalkeeper. Since then she has added two more wins and has now started 49 consecutive games and has a 34-15 record (.694). Besides the win mark, Goodman also ranks among the top goalkeepers in several different categories:

Single SeasonGP - t1st (19) - 2008Wins - t3rd (12) - 2008Minutes - 1st (1,117:21) - 2008Saves - 4th (172) - 2008SV% - 9th (.454) - 2008GAVG - 7th (10.74) - 2008
CareerGP - 3rd (49)Wins - 1st (34)Minutes - 2nd (2,899:50)Saves - 3rd (420)GAVG - 3rd (10.45)

EN FUEGO: Junior attack standout Gina Scioscia has been “on fire” this season as she surpassed her career high in points last weekend and now has 63 (38g, 25a) on the season to lead the team. She is second in the BIG EAST in scoring, two behind Syracuse’s Katie Rowan who has 65 points in 12 games, and ranks fourth nationally with the 63 points. In 2008, Scioscia had 20 goals and 35 assists for 55 points, all career highs at the time. That came after a freshman year that saw her get just eight points on four goals and four assists. The 47-point improvement was the most ever for a Notre Dame player from from one season to the next. On March 17 versus Rutgers, Scioscia had a career-high eight-point game, scoring twice with six assists. The six assists tied a Notre Dame single-game record. On March 29 versus Loyola, she had a career-high six-goal game in the 16-13 win over the Greyhounds. Scioscia has one three-point game, three games with four points, three games with five points, three with six points, one seven-point game and one with eight this season.

FAST START: Notre Dame’s 11-2 start is the best for the Irish after 13 games in the program’s 13-year history. Notre Dame saw its seven-game winning streak stopped on March 27 with the loss to Georgetown. The longest Irish win streak is 14 games and was set between the end of the 2003 season and the start of 2004.

VERSUS THE RANKED: Notre Dame enters Saturday’s game at Syracuse with a 4-2 record against teams ranked in the IWLCA poll when they face the Irish. The Irish own wins over #16 Stanford, #13 Dartmouth, #17 James Madison and #13 Loyola. The losses have come to #1 Northwestern and #6 Georgetown.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 13th season at Notre Dame and her 22nd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 235-105 (.691) career record into this weekend’s game at Syracuse. On Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, she recorded her 100th career win at Notre Dame with a 16-4 win over Duquesne. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 121-79 (.605). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne recorded her 200th career win at the end of the 2006 season with a 16-8 win over Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. She has guided Notre Dame to four NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) in the last seven seasons, including the school’s first-ever NCAA finals appearance in 2006. In her first 22 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 121-79 in this, her 13th season 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 has faced Syracuse 11 times in her career and is 3-8 against the Orange.

DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS: With 11 wins this season, Notre Dame as achieved double-digit wins for the fourth consecutive season. That’s the first time that has ever happened in the history of the program. Notre Dame had 15 wins in 2006, 11 in 2007 and 12 last year. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 49-19 (.721). RAPID IMPROVEMENT: As a freshman, Ansley Stewart, now a sophomore, saw action in just two games for the Irish. This season, the Alexandria, Va., native has started all 13 games and ranks fifth in team scoring with 22 goals and seven assists for 29 points. She is coming off a career-high four-goal game in the 16-5 win at Cincinnati. She teams with senior Jillian Byers (50-12) and junior Gina Scioscia (38-25) for a potent Irish attack trio with 110 goals and 44 assists this season.

CAREER YEARS: Through the first 13 games of the season, several Irish players have already achieved career seasons. Kailene Abt has career bests with 25 goals, six assists and 31 points after a getting seven goals with two assists for nine points as a freshman. Sophomore Ansley Stewart has career bests in goals (22), assists (7) and points (29). Jackie Doherty (Ellicott City, Md.) has career highs in assists (8) and points (13) after getting six goals and one assist for seven points in 2008. Maggie Zentgraf has career highs with five goals and six points after getting one goal and two assists last season.

KARDIAC KIDS: For the third time this season, Notre Dame fell behind in a game during the first half, trailed at halftime and then went on to win the game in the second half. This time it happened versus Loyola (Md.) on March 29. In the game the Irish fell behind by four goals in the first half at 6-2 and 7-3 before rallying to cut the lead to 8-7 at halftime in favor of the Greyhounds. After giving up the first goal of the second half, to trail 9-7, the Irish scored five consecutive goals for a 12-9 lead on the way to the 16-13 win. Other come-from-behind wins include:

3/3 at Dartmouth: Irish gave up the first six goals of the contest and trailed 8-2 late in the first half before coming alive. They scored three late goals in the opening half and then rolled off eight more in the second before Dartmouth responded for a total of 11 consecutive goals. Bouncing back from the six-goal deficit was the largest deficit that the Irish have ever recovered from.

3/10 vs. James Madison (at Orlando, Fla.): The Irish trailed 5-2 with over 18 minutes left in the first half before they rallied to trail just 9-7 at halftime. They then opened the second half with four consecutive goals for an 11-9 lead. The closest that the Dukes would get was 11-10 as Notre Dame pulled out a second close win.

BAD NEWS BURKE: Defensive standout Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.) continues to be a dominant force for the Irish in the defensive midfield. The senior captain grabbed 10 ground balls, had one draw controls and four caused turnover in the wins at Cincinnati and Louisville. Versus the Bearcats, her six ground balls were a career high. In 13 games this season, the preseason all-BIG EAST selection has scored three goals with two assists for five points. On the defensive side, Burke leads the team with 34 ground balls, is tied for fifth with 22 draw controls and leads the team with 22 caused turnovers. She is among the school’s all-time leaders in all three categories (3rd in draw controls – 112; list on previous page):

Groundballs1.  Kathryn Lam (1999-02)              1932.  Tina Fedarcyk (1999-02 )           1773.  Maureen Henwood (1999-02)          1264.  Andrea Kinnik (2001-04)            123    Meredith Simon (2001-04)           1236.  Danielle Shearer (2000-03)        1207.  Carol Dixon (2003-06)              1178.  Natalie Loftus  (199-02)           116    Alissa Moser  (1999-02)            11510. Shannon Burke (2006- )             113 -- Erin Goodman (2006- )              108
Caused Turnovers1. Tina Fedarcyk (1999-02) 1072. Shannon Burke (2006-) 843. Becky Ranck (2005-08) 83 Kathryn Lam (1999-02) 835. Maureen Henwood (1999-02) 756. Kelly McCardell (2000-03) 667. Andrea Kinnik (2001-04) 638. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 609. Heather Ferguson (2005-08) 54 Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 54

SUPER SOPHOMORES: The Irish have gotten strong play from their sophomore scorers this season. The group of five – Shaylyn Blaney (30g, 2a), Kailene Abt (25g, 6a), Ansley Stewart (22g, 7a), Jackie Doherty (5g, 8a) and Kaitlin Keena (8g, 10a) have accounted for 90 goals and 33 assists for 123 points. The five have 90 of the team’s 209 goals, 33 of 90 assists and 123 of 299 points this season.

SHE’S ABT TO SCORE: Sophomore midfielder Kailene Abt is quickly becoming a major scoring threat for the Irish in her second season. Already this year, the Huntington, N.Y., native is fourth on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (25), assists (6) and points (31). She recorded a career-high six-point game in Notre Dame’s 20-4 win over California, scoring four goals and two assists. The four-goal game tied a career high set earlier this season against Ohio State. Over the last six games, Abt has 12 goals and five assists for 17 points.

MIDFIELD MASTER: Sophomore midfielder Shaylyn Blaney is having a strong second season gotten her second season off to a fast start, scoring at least one goal in each of the first 13 games, including four last weekend against Cincinnati and Louisville. She ranks third on the team in scoring with 32 points and third with 30 goals scored. Thirteen of her 30 goals this season have come off free-position shots. Blaney is coming off a freshman year that saw her score 43 goals with nine assists for 52 points. That was the second- best total for a Notre Dame freshman, trailing just Jill Byers 78-point campaign (52g, 24a) in 2006. Her 43 goals were the eighth best single-season output for the Irish. She already has 73 goals and 11 assists for 84 points in her career.

THE IRISH ALL-TIME: The 2008-09 season is the 13th campaign for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program. The Irish (11-2 this year) come into the weekend with a 121-79 (.605) all-time record. That includes a 60-29 (.674) home mark and a 48-43 (.527) road record. Notre Dame is 14-7 all-time on neutral fields. The win in the season opener at Duquesne gives the Irish an 11-2 mark in season-opening games.