Sophomore Jillian Byers finished the regular season as the BIG EAST's top goal scorer as she found the back of the net 55 times for the year.

Irish To Face Georgetown In First Semifinal Game Of BIG EAST Tournament; Syracuse and Rutgers To Battle In Other Semifinal.

April 24, 2007

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Tournament Schedule    (at Carrier Dome - Syracuse, N.Y.)
• Semifinal 1: No. 4 seed Notre Dame (11-5/3-2) vs. No. 1 seed Georgetown (9-6/4-1) Friday, April 27 • 5:30 p.m.
• Semifinal 2: No. 3 seed Rutgers (12-3/3-2) vs. No. 2 seed Syracuse (10-4/4-1) Friday, April 27 • 45 minutes after conclusion of first semifinal game.
• Championship Game: Winner of semifinal 1 vs. Winner of semifinal 2 Sunday, April 29 • 2:30 p.m. (Game televised on CSTV)

THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will take part in the first-ever BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, starting Friday, April 27th at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. The Irish, who finished the season with an 11-5 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the BIG EAST, are the tournament’s fourth-seeded team and will face the top-seeded Georgetown Hoyas in the opening game at 5:30 p.m. The second semifinal game will feature third-seeded Rutgers against second-seeded Syracuse and that game will start 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game (approximately 7:45 p.m.). The Irish tied for third place with Rutgers, but the season-ending loss to the Scarlet Knights was the tiebreaker that gave Rutgers third place. Georgetown and Syracuse tied for first with 4-1 league records with the Hoyas taking first after defeating the Orange, 9-8 in overtime earlier in the year. Georgetown brings a 9-6 overall record to go with a 4-1 league record into the inaugural tournament. The Hoyas are ranked 10th in the IWLCA poll and ninth by Inside Notre Dame fell to 12th in both polls this week after losses at Vanderbilt and Rutgers. Syracuse is ranked seventh in both polls and owns a 10-4 record with a 4-1 mark in conference play. Rutgers finished the regular season at 12-4 and takes the third seed after finishing tied for third with Notre Dame at 3-2 in the BIG EAST. The Scarlet Knights are 16th in the IWLCA poll and 17th in the Inside rankings. The BIG EAST Championship game will be played on Sunday, April 29th between the winners of the two semifinal games. Game time is 2:30 p.m. and the contest will be televised live by College Sports Television (CSTV). The game will also be simulcast on BIG EAST All-Acess at at a cost of $9.95.

IRISH VERSUS HOYAS: The two teams met on April 14 at Moose Krause Stadium with the Irish taking a 13-8 decision against the Hoyas. The win snapped Georgetown’s 37-game BIG EAST win streak and was Notre Dame’s second win in a row against the Hoyas. The Irish defeated Georgetown on May 20, 2006 in the NCAA Quarterfinals by a 12-9 score to snap a seven-game Irish-losing streak against the Hoyas. Notre Dame is now 2-7 all-time in nine meetings with Georgetown.

IRISH VERSUS ORANGE: The BIG EAST Tournament will be Notre Dame’s second trip to Syracuse, N.Y., as the Irish met Syracuse on March 18th with the Orange taking a 16-13 win. The two teams have met 10 times in the all-time series with Syracuse holding a 7-3 edge in the series.

IRISH VERSUS SCARLET KNIGHTS: Notre Dame and Rutgers met on April 21 at Moose Krause Stadium with the Scarlet Knights handing the Irish a tough, 8-7 loss as Rutgers scored the game winner with 8.8 seconds left in the game. The loss was the first for Notre Dame against Rutgers at home (3-1) and gives the Irish a 5-3 record against the Scarlet Knights in the all-time series.

CARRIER DOOM: Notre Dame has played Syracuse 10 times in the all-time series with five of the games played in Syracuse. Of those five games, four have been played at the Carrier Dome. The Irish are 0-5 all-time in Syracuse, with four of those losses coming at the Carrier Dome.

IRISH IN POSTSEASON: This year’s BIG EAST Tournament marks the fourth time that the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has advanced to postsesason action. The previous three times came in the NCAA Tournament (2002, 2004, 2006). The Irish are currently 3-3 in postseason action;

2002 – Defeated Ohio State, 11-7 in opening round and lost in quarterfinals to Princeton, 11-5

2004 – Lost in opening round at Northwestern, 10-8

2006 – Defeated Cornell, 16-8 in first round, defeated Georgetown, 12-9 in quarterfinals, lost to Dartmouth in NCAA semifinals, 14-8.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 11th season at Notre Dame and 20th year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 212-95 (.691) career record into the BIG EAST Tournament and is now 98-69 (.587) with the Irish. The 1983 graduate of Ohio University recorded her 200th career win last season in the first round of the NCAA tournament with a 16-8 victory 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 3-3 all-time in the postseason. She is 2-7 all-time against Georgetown, 3-7 versus Syracuse and 5-3 in her career against Rutgers.

CENTURY MARK: Head coach Tracy Coyne needs just two more wins to reach the 100-mark in her Notre Dame career. She reached the 200-win mark for her career on May 14, 2006 in the NCAA Tournament versus Cornell.

TOUGH LOSS: Notre Dame closed the 2007 regular season with a pair of losses to Vanderbilt and Rutgers. The toughest loss came on April 21 versus Rutgers on Senior Day at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish got five goals from Jillian Byers (So., Northport, N.Y.) and two goals from Caitlin McKinney (Jr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) to go with strong goalkeeping from Erin Goodman (So., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and took a 7-6 lead with 8:16 left in the game. That would be the last time that Notre Dame would score as Katie Batiuk scored for Rutgers with 1:43 left and then again with 8.8 seconds left in the game to lead the Scarlet Knights to the 8-7 victory. The Irish led 4-3 at halftime with Byers getting three of her five goals in the opening half. In the game, Rutgers outshot Notre Dame by a 26-23 margin. Goodman made nine saves in the game, including six in the second half. Ericka Paige made 12 stops for the Scarlet Knights.

VANDY RECAP: The Irish saw their two- game win streak come to an end on Wed., April 18 when they dropped a 13-9 decision at Vanderbilt. Notre Dame never led in this game, falling behind 4-1 in the first half before tying the game five times. Each time the Irish would tie the game, the Commodores would retake the lead. Sophomore Jillian Byers led the attack with three goals and an assist. Fellow sophomore Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.) added three goals and Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.) had a goal and two assists for her three-point day. Caitlin McKinney added a goal and an assist and Heather Ferguson (Jr., Newtown Square, Pa.) scored once in the loss. The Irish trailed 9-7 in the second half and battled back to make it 9-9 with less than 15 minutes left but that was as close as they would get as Vanderbilt scored the final four goals in the 13-9 victory. Notre Dame was out shot 34-16 in the game. Erin Goodman made 12 saves in the game, including eight in the first half as she kept the Irish in the game.

ENDING THE HOYA STREAK: Junior Caitlin McKinney had a goal and a career-high four assists and Jillian Byers scored three times to help lead Notre Dame to a 13-8 home win over Georgetown on Sat., April 14. The Irish win snapped Georgetown’s 37-game BIG EAST winning streak and was the first loss the Hoyas have ever had in conference play. Nine players got on the scoresheet in the game. Joining McKinney and Byers were Kaki Orr (Sr., Darien, Conn.) and Jane Stoeckert (So., Mendham, N.J.) with two goals each while Meghan Murphy (Sr., Centennial, Colo.), Lena Zentgraf (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.), Mary Carpenter (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.), Heather Ferguson (Jr., Newtown Square, Pa.) and Alicia Billings (So., Potomac, Md.) scored once in the win. Goalkeeper Erin Goodman made five saves in the game. Notre Dame led 6-4 at halftime and kept the two-goal lead at 8-6 with just under 17 minutes left. From there, the Irish scored three straight goals to put the game away a 11-6 with just over eight minutes left on the way to the 13-8 final score. LEAGUE LEADER: Sophomore attack standout Jillian Byers finished the regular season as the BIG EAST leader in goals with a personal-career high of 55 in 16 games. Byers’ per-game average of 3.44 was second in the conference and ranks her sixth in the nation.

THE STREAK: Junior Caitlin McKinney has extended her school-record point-scoring streak to 38 after scoring twice in the loss to Rutgers. She broke the previous Irish record of 36 games that was set by Danielle Shearer `03. Her 38-game streak started on April 24, 2005 and since that game she has scored 89 goals with 44 assists for 133 points. McKinney’s streak is the 10th longest in the nation going into this week. (Courtesy of Eric Rhew – Towson State). Other current scoring streaks for the Irish include:

Jillian Byers – 16 games (55-8-63)

Lena Zentgraf – 16 games (17-20-37)

Jane Stoeckert – 14 games (20-14-34)

Heather Ferguson – 6 games (6-3-9)

50/50 CLUB: Jillian Byers recorded eight goals with one assist for nine points in games against Vanderbilt and Rutgers last week. The eight goals give her 55 on the year and make her the first player in Notre Dame history to score 50 goals in a season twice. She scored 54 in her rookie season in 2006. Notre Dame’s other 50-goal scorers include: Crysti Foote (74) in 2006 and Lael O’Shaughnessy (50) in 1999). Byers now has more goals than any other sophomore in the country (St. Bonaventure’s Katelyn Faas is second with 101).

QUICKEST TO 100: With three goals against Georgetown (April 14), sophomore Jillian Byers went over the 100-goal mark in her career faster than any other player in Notre Dame history. It took Byers just 33 games to score 100 goals. Her career totals after 35 games now stand at 109 goals and 32 assists for 141 career points. Earlier this season she reached the 100-point plateau faster than any Notre Dame player when she did it in 24 games. She is currently tied for fourth all-time in goals with Caitlin McKinney and Meredith Simon `04. She is eighth in assists and seventh in points.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Caitlin McKinney continues to move up the scoring charts for the Irish as she heads into the BIG EAST Tournament. McKinney is second in scoring this season with 39 goals and 21 assists for 60 points and is close to setting several career highs. As a sophomore, she finished with career highs in goals (42), assists (22) and points (64), all figures within reach this year. For her career, McKinney now has 109 goals and 55 assists for 164 points. She is tied for fourth in goals with Byers and Meredith Simon `04 and is now fifth in assists and fourth in points for her career.

RECORD WATCH: Senior Kaki Orr recorded a pair of draw controls in the loss to Rutgers to give her 47 for the season. That adds to her single-season record at Notre Dame as she broke the previous mark of 44 set by Crysti Foote `06 last season. Orr also is second in all-time draw controls with 106. She trails all-time leader and current assistant coach, Alissa Moser `02, who had 126 draw controls in her Irish career.

BALANCED ATTACK: Notre Dame goes into the BIG EAST Tournament with five players who have 30 or more points on the season. A year ago, in 19 games, while setting a variety of scoring records, the Irish had just four players with 30 or more points – Crysti Foote (114), Jillian Byers (78), Caitlin McKinney (64) and Heather Ferguson (36). This season, the five are – Byers (63), McKinney (60), Lena Zentgraf (37) Meghan Murphy (35), and Jane Stoeckert (34). The Irish also have three players with 20 or more goals. That includes Byers (55), McKinney (39) and Stoeckert (20).

ONE-GOAL GAMES: Notre Dame’s 8-7 loss to Rutgers marked the fourth one-goal game played by the Irish this season and they are now 3-1 in those games. Notre Dame opened the season with a 10-9 sudden-death win at James Madison. The Irish followed with a 12-11 win in double overtime at home against Stanford. On March 30, the Irish defeated Connecticut by a 12-11 score for the three wins.

DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS: With 11 wins on the season, Notre Dame has back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the second time in the program’s history and the first time since winning 10 in 2001 and 13 in 2002. Last season, the Irish won 15 to go with their 11 this year. BIG EAST SCHOLARSHIP: Senior Meghan Murphy 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.

ACADEMIC HONORS: Senior Meaghan Fitzpatrick was recently honored for her work away from the playing field. A design major, Fitzpatrick has received the William and Connie Grief Art Award, the Mabel L. Mountain Art Award for Excellence in Studio Art and the Efroymson Fund Emerging Undergraduate Artist Award for art and design work in her major.

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame finished the 2007 season with a 6-3 record at home. The Irish finished 3-2 on the year at the Loftus Sports Center and 3-1 in games played at Moose Krause Stadium. In 2006, the Irish were 9-0 at home and are now 15-3 between the Loftus Center and Moose Krause Stadium over the last two years.

TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Sophomore Jillian Byers and junior Caitlin McKinney were named to the 2007 Tewaaraton “Watch List,” but did not move up to the list of 17 announced last week. 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 first 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.

OUCH: The 20 goals scored by Duke against the Irish on April 5, marked just the sixth time in the program’s history that Notre Dame has given up 20 or more goals in a game. The most goals ever surrendered was 21, twice in 1997 (vs. Davidson and St. Joseph’s) and once last year (vs. Northwestern). The largest margin of defeat for Notre Dame is 14 goals and that came in a 19-5 loss to Duke on March 29, 1998.

STICK WITH STOECKERT: Sophomore midfielder Jane Stoeckert has become a major contributor to Notre Dame’s offense in her second season in the Irish midfield. She comes into the BIG EAST Tournament with a 14-game scoring streak and has 11 games this season with two or more points and has five games with two or more goals. Stoeckert led Notre Dame with a career-best six-point game (3g, 3a) in the 16-11 win over California on April 7. She also has set career highs in goals (20), assists (14) and points (34) for the season and is fifth in team scoring.. As a freshman, Stoeckert had 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points in 19 games.

LEAN ON LENA: Senior midfielder Lena Zentgraf has put together a career year for the Irish in her final season. Zentgraf goes into the BIG EAST Tournament with career highs in goals (17), assists (20) and points (37) to rank third in team scoring. Zentgraf’s previous best season came in 2005 when she had 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points. She also leads Notre Dame with 25 caused turnovers and is second with 34 ground balls and 30 draw controls.

VERSUS THE BEST: The Irish come into the BIG EAST Tournament having played 11 games this season versus teams ranked in the top 20. All four teams in the tournament are currently ranked. Notre Dame is 6-5 on the year against teams that were ranked when they played the Irish. They own wins over #9 Georgetown, #11 Cornell, #12 James Madison, #18 Stanford, #18 Yale and #19 Connecticut (rankings are IWLCA rankings when team faced the Irish.). The losses have come to #1 Northwestern, #4 Duke, #11 Syracuse, #14 Vanderbilt and #18 Rutgers.

CAREER YEAR: Senior Meghan Murphy has become an offensive force for the Irish over the last 12 games as she has scored 28 points (15g, 14a), including a career-high five-point game (3g, 2a) versus Duquesne and three, four-point games – 2 goals, 2 assists versus California and (1g, 3a) at Canisius and versus Ohio State. Murphy is currently fourth on the team with career highs in goals (18), assists (17) and points (35), breaking her previous career bests of 14-9-23 set in 2006.

RECORD-SETTING GAME: When the Irish held Loyola (Md.) to just one goal on March 25 in the 11-1 win, it set a Notre Dame and BIG EAST record for the fewest goals allowed in a game. The previous mark of two goals had been set by the Irish in a 9-2 win at Rutgers on April 28, 2002. Four times in the program’s history, the Irish had limited their opponent to just two goals in a game.

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. On March 30, the Irish defeated Connecticut for their third one-goal win of the year. Notre Dame has now played 13 overtime games in their 11 seasons and are 6-7 in those games. Over the last two seasons, the Irish are 7-3 in one-goal games and 14-17 in the program’s history.

MAKING THE STOPS: Sophomore goaltender Erin Goodman recorded nine saves in the loss to Rutgers, following a 12-save game in the loss at Vanderbilt. In this her first season as the starting goalkeeper, Goodman is now 11-5 with a 10.22 goals-against average and a .456 save percentage. She needs one more win to equal the Irish mark for wins by a goalkeeper in her first sesaon as a starter as she trails Carol Dixon `05 who had 12 in her first season as a starter in 2004. On March 25 versus Loyola, she gave up one goal with 14 saves in an 11-1 win over Loyola. The one goal that she surrendered against gives Goodman the Notre Dame and BIG EAST record for fewest goals allowed in a game. The previous Irish mark of two goals against had occured four times in the program’s history. The record in BIG EAST play came on April 28, 2002, in a 9-2 win at Rutgers with Irish All-American Jen White `03, getting the win.