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Irish Travel To Florida To Face 17th-Ranked Yale

March 17, 2003

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  • Notre Dame opens BIG EAST schedule with 13-12 win at Boston College.
  • Danielle Shearer Named BIG EAST Co-Offensive Player of the Week for 11-point (five goals, six assists) week in two Irish victories.

THE YALE GAME: The Irish are in Orlando, Fla., to face the Yale Bulldogs on Tuesday, March 18th at the Disney Sports Complex in a game that will start at 10:00 a.m. The game features two nationally ranked teams as the Irish are 11th in the IWLCA Poll and Yale is 17th through the first two weeks of the season. The Irish are coming off a BIG EAST opening win at Boston College (13-12) on March 15 and are 2-1 on the season. Yale, also 2-1 on the season, defeated Vanderbilt last Friday by a 15-9 score. Yale has beaten Connnecticut (9-7) this season while losing to James Madison, 14-7, to open the season. Following Tuesday morning’s game, the Irish will not play until Tues., March 25 when they open their home schedule with a 4:00 p.m. game versus Ohio State. Weather-permitting, the game will be played at Moose Krause Stadium. If conditions do not allow that, the game will move indoors to the Loftus Center.

IRISH VERSUS BULLDOGS: Notre Dame and Yale have met four times in the history of the series with each team winning a pair of games. The Irish won last season’s contest by an 11-8 score at the Loftus Center. Notre Dame is 1-1 at home versus Yale, 1-0 at New Haven, Conn., and 0-1 in games played at neutral sites. On April 15, 2000, Yale defeated Notre Dame 16-3 at Durham, N.C., in the lone game played at a neutral site.

HEAD COACH TRACY COYNE: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her seventh season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 51-37 (.580) record at Notre Dame and is 165-63 (.724) in her 15-year coaching career. She led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 2002 and advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. She is 2-2 in her career versus the Yale Bulldogs. 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 leading the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup in England.

BOSTON COLLEGE RECAP: Notre Dame jumped out to a 9-6 lead at halftime and held on for a 13-12 win at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Sat., March 15. The Irish scored the first four goals of the game, only to see the Eagles come back and tie the game at 6-6 in the first half. Notre Dame built the lead back to 10-6 midway through the second half, but again the Eagles came back to tie the game at 12-12 on Susie Breaznell’s fourth goal of the game. Danielle Shearer (Hampstead, Md.) got the game-winning goal with 2:44 left in the game. Shearer collected six points (two goals, four assists) in the win. Eleanor Weille (Sr. Garden City, N.Y.) had three goals and two assists in the game. Abby Owen (Jr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) scored the first two goals and assists of her career for a four-point game. Jen White (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) gave up all 12 goals in the game while making 13 saves for the Irish.

CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior all-American candidate Danielle Shearer was selected as BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week after her two games last week. She recorded three goals and two assists in the 19-4 win over Ohio University on March 11. Shearer followed that with a six-point game (two goals, four assists) in the 13-12 win over Boston College. For the week, Shearer had five goals and six assists for 11 points. She was named co-player of the week with Georgetown’s Wick Stanwick. otre Dame jumped out to a 9-6 lead at halftime and held on for a 13-12

VERSUS THE BEST: Tuesday’s game with Yale will mark the second game this season that Notre Dame has faced a nationally ranked team. The Bulldogs are ranked 17th in the current IWLCA Poll. The Irish dropped a 13-5 decision to #9 Cornell in the season opener. All-time versus ranked teams, Notre Dame is 6-21 versus top 20 teams. The Irish were 4-5 last season versus ranked teams. The 2001 season marked the first time the Irish beat a ranked team as they defeated #17 Delaware on March 31 in Nashville, Tenn. The Irish then won at #7 Yale on April 16, 2001 for their first win over a top 10 team. The highest ranked team the Irish have ever beaten was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and last season at home when they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse (April 3, 12-7).

SIMON SAYS: Meredith Simon set a career-high with seven points (3 goals and 4 assists ) in Notre Dame’s 19-4 win at Ohio University. Her previous best coming into this season was a five-point game (3 goals, 2 assists) in Notre Dame’s NCAA first round win over Ohio State (11-7) last May. A clutch scorer late in games a year ago, Simon leads the Irish with four goals and six assists for 10 points in her first two games this season. Last year, she was Notre Dame’s top scorer in the NCAA tournament with five goals and two assists for seven points in two games.

OPENING DAY LOSSES: Notre Dame’s 13-5 loss to Cornell on March 2, marked the first season-opening loss for the Irish in the seven-year history of the program. The game was also the first season opener for Notre Dame versus a nationally ranked team. The Irish are now 6-1 in season openers.

SHEAR(ER) SCORER: Danielle Shearer has also gotten off to a fast start in the scoring department with 14 points in her first three games this season. Her third goal in the win at Ohio (3/11) gave her 100 career goals, the second player in Irish history to crack the 100-goal plateau in her career. She also had two goals and an assist in the season-opening loss to Cornell. The senior all-American candidate has now scored two or more points in 14 straight games dating back to last season. She had two or more points in 17 of 18 games a year ago and currently has a 24-game scoring streak that dates back to April 25, 2001. Shearer is currently ranked second all-time in goals at Notre Dame (102), third in assists (47) and third in points with 149. The school records in each category are held by 2001 graduate Lael O’Shaughnessy who had 122 goals and 68 assists for 190 career points. Shearer needs 21 goals, 21 assists and 42 points to become the all-time leader in each category.

CAREER DAY: Senior midfielder Eleanor Weille had the best day of her career in the 13-12 win over Boston College as she scored three goals and added two assists for a career-high five-point game. Weille is third in team scoring through three games with four goals and three assists for seven points.

FOUR FOR OWEN: Junior Abby Owen came into the 2003 season having seen action in just two games during her career. She played in the team’s first two games this season without getting a point. In her third game this season, she broke through in a big way with a four-point game as she score two and added two assists in the 13-12 win at Boston College.

MULTIPLE POINTS: Several Irish players had multiple-point games in the win over Ohio University. Freshman Crysti Foote scored three goals while Anne Riley (Sr., Marblehead, Mass.) had a two-goal game. Senior attack Angela Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) added a goal and and two assists in the game while sophomore Jackie Bowers (Springfield, Pa.) scored the first goal and the first assist of her career for two points in the win.

IRISH FIRSTS: Several Notre Dame players recorded “firsts” in the Irish victory at Ohio University. Besides Crysti Foote (3 goals) and Jackie Bowers (1g, 1a), midfielder Abby Owen (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) scored her first collegiate goal. Sophomore Lindsay Shaffer (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) played in her first collegiate game and picked up her first collegiate assist. And, freshman Corey Samperton (Bethesda, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in her first game for the Irish. Goalkeeper Carol Dixon (So., Pennsauken, N.J.) also saw her first collegiate action playing the final 17 minutes of the game.

A LOOK AT THE IRISH: Notre Dame returns seven starters and 11 monogram winners from its 2002 team. The Irish must replace five four-year starters including their top three defenders in Tina Fedarcyk, Maureen Henwood and Kathryn Lam and midfielders Natalie Loftus and Alissa Moser. Among Notre Dame’s top returnees are senior midfielder Danielle Shearer, who is the team’s top returning scorer after a 39-goal, 20-assist campaign last season. Seniors Kelly McCardell (West Chester, Pa.) and Elizabeth Knight (Baltimore, Md.) are the leaders of the defense while Angela Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) and Lauren Fischer (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) are the top returnees at attack. All-American candidate Jen White played all 18 games last season and set school records for wins (13), goals-against average (7.49) and save percentage (.545).

RECORD SETTING SEASON: The 2002 women’s lacrosse season will go down as the finest season in the program’s six-year history. Going into the NCAA quarterfinals at Princeton, the Irish have set program-bests for wins (13), for BIG EAST wins (5) and for the highest ranking (7th) that the program has ever achieved. The Irish have also set records for lowest goals against (7.49), save percentage (.545) and ground balls (516). Notre Dame also won its first game at home versus a ranked team when the Irish defeated 7th-ranked Syracuse, 12-7, on April 3. The Irish also won their first-ever NCAA tournament game when they defeated Ohio State on May 9 by an 11-7 score.

2003 SCHEDULE: Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule features nine games versus teams ranked in the IWLCA poll. They are: Georgetown (#4), Duke (#5), Cornell (#6), Syracuse (#7), Vanderbilt (#13), Stanford (#16), Yale (#17), Ohio State (#18) and Northwestern (#19). The Irish came into the season ranked in the top 10, as they were picked seventh in the IWLCA poll and fifth by Inside Lacrosse Magazine.

THE SAVER: With 15 saves in the Cornell game, Jen White became Notre Dame’s all-time save leader with 314 passing Carrie Marshall (’98-’01) who had 309 in her Irish career. White now has 331 saves in her Notre Dame career. She is also the school’s all-time leader in games played (41) and goals-against average (8.98). As a junior, White was 13-5 with a 7.49 goals against average and gave Notre Dame the seventh-best defense in the nation. A first-team all-BIG EAST selection, White led the Conference in goals-against average and save percentage. She set a BIG EAST record when she limited Rutgers to just two goals in Notre Dame’s 9-2 win on April 28. For the season, the Irish all-America candidate was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week three times (March 17, April 1, April 28).

NOT WASTING ANY TIME: Freshman Mary McGrath (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) wasted little time getting on the scoresheet for the Irish as she scored her first collegiate goals versus Cornell with 12:57 left in the first half to tie the game at 2-2. She scored again in Notre Dame’s 19-4 win at Ohio University.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Two members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program have been selected to Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason all-American teams. Midfielder Danielle Shearer was a first-team selection while goalkeeper Jen White was chosen to the second team. Shearer, along with graduated defender Kathryn Lam were the first two all-Americans in Notre Dame history last season as both were chosen to the second team. Shearer was the BIG EAST midfielder of the year as she led Notre Dame with 39 goals and 20 assists for 59 points. White was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection as she set school records for wins (13), goals-against average (7.49) and save percentage (.545) in her junior year.


Goalkeeper Jen White was one of two Irish players selected to Inside Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason all-american team.



THE CAPTAINS: The Irish will have three new players serving as captains this season. Seniors Elizabeth Knight (Baltimore, Md.), Kelly McCardell (West Chester, Pa.) and Danielle Shearer will serve as the team’s captains this season.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Lacrosse runs in the Simon family as junior Meredith Simon is joined at Notre Dame by brother, Eric, who is a member of the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse program. The senior is one of three team captains in the 2003 season. The women’s team also includes one set of sisters as senior attack player Angela Dixon and sophomore goalkeeper Carol Dixon are the second set of sisters to play for the Irish. They join Amy and Mara Grace who were team members in the first year of the program (1997-98).

VERSUS THE IVYS: The Irish were 1-2 versus teams from the Ivy League last season. Notre Dame lost a 10-9 game to Cornell, defeated Yale 11-8 and then lost to Princeton, 11-5, in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Princeton. With last weekend’s loss to Cornell, the Irish are now 6-8 all-time versus teams from the Ivy League

NEW ASSISTANTS: Irish head coach Tracy Coyne added two new assistants to her staff during the summer. Brooke Crawford, a 1999 graduate of North Carolina where she was a three-time all-American on defense. She served as an assistant last season at George Mason and prior to that was at the University of Connecticut for two seasons. Jen Newitt, a 2002 graduate of Dartmouth where she led the Big Green in scoring with 39 goals and 18 assists on the way to all-American honors. Crawford will work with the defense while Newitt handles the offense.

MORE NEW FACES: Notre Dame added 11 new faces to its roster with one of its biggest recruiting classes ever.

THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s heartbreaking 10-9 loss to 7th-ranked Duke (April 12) in three overtimes goes down as the longest game in the history of the women’s lacrosse program. The total time for the game was 71:45 as Duke got the winning goal with 15 seconds left in the third overtime period. In that game the Irish trailed 8-6 and got goals from Maureen Henwood and Meredith Simon with 1:40 left to send the game to overtime. Simon’s goal came with 19 seconds left in the game. The Irish have played three overtime games in their history and are 2-1 in those games.

BIG SHOES TO FILL: Coach Tracy Coyne and her coaching staff will be looking to replace two key midfielders lost to graduation. Natalie Loftus (first team all-BIG EAST) and Alissa Moser (second-team all-BIG EAST) combined for 56 goals and 19 assists last season. Loftus had a career-high 40 points on 27 goals and 13 assists and Moser had career-bests in goals (29), assists (6) and points (35). Notre Dame’s heartbreak. The Irish will be looking for seniors Anne Riley (Marblehead, Mass.) and Eleanor Wielle (Garden City, N.Y.) and freshman Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) to fill those shoes.

TEAM USA: Notre Dame is represented on the U.S. National Developmental Team by four players. Current Irish standout Danielle Shearer is the only active team member on the squad. She is joined by defender Kathryn Lam (’02) who is a two-year member of the team. Current Irish assistant coaches, Brooke Crawford and Jen Newitt, are also team members.