Shaylyn Blaney and Jillian Byers have put past rivalries behind them to lead the Irish as teammates.

Irish Women's Lacrosse Starts Five-Game Homestand With Visits From Hofstra (3/14) and Rutgers (3/17)

March 14, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #11/#9 Notre Dame (5-1) vs Hofstra (3-2)

• Date/Time/Site: Saturday, March 14, 2009 • 1:00 p.m. • Loftus Sports Center • Notre Dame, Ind..

• All Notre Dame home women’s lacrosse games can be seen live via video streaming at; follow the Irish via GameTracker on

• The Game: #11/#9 Notre Dame (5-1/0-0) vs. Rutgers (3-2/0-0)

• Date/Time/Site: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 • 7:00 p.m. • Loftus Sports Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

• All Notre Dame home women’s lacrosse games can be seen live via video streaming at; follow the Irish via GameTracker on

HOME AGAIN: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team returns home from a strong, two-game road trip this week to open a five-game homestand as the Irish move into the heart of their schedule, facing the Pride of Hofstra on Saturday, March 14 in a 1:00 p.m. game at the Loftus Sports Center. Notre Dame will bring a 5-1 overall record into the game after wins last week at Dartmouth (3/7) by a 16-11 score, and versus James Madison, 16-12, on March 10 at Disney’s World of Sports. The two wins kept the Irish ranked 11th in the IWLCA coaches’ poll while they moved to ninth in voting by Inside Lacrosse Magazine. Hofstra has a 3-2 overall record this season and the Pride is coming off a visit to Northwestern on Thursday, March 12, where they dropped a 20-6 decision to the Wildcats. Rutgers will visit the Irish on Tuesday, March 17 to open the BIG EAST schedule for both teams. The Scarlet Knights go into the weekend with a 3-2 overall mark and will play at Northwestern on Saturday, March 14 before visiting South Bend. Tuesday’s game is a 7:00 p.m. game that will be played at the Loftus Sports Center.

IRISH VERSUS THE PRIDE: Notre Dame and Hofstra have met just once in the all-time series, with that game coming last season on March 25 at Hempstead, N.Y. The Irish prevailed, 14-13. Long Island native, Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) scored twice in the final five minutes of that game to give Notre Dame the win.

IRISH AND SCARLET KNIGHTS: Notre Dame and Rutgers will meet for the 10th time in the all-time series on March 17th. The Irish hold a 6-3 edge in the series, including a 3-1 mark at home versus the Scarlet Knights. The two teams met last season at Rutgers with Notre Dame winning, 20-9. Tuesday’s game is the BIG EAST opener for both squads.

A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK: The Irish were 2-0 on their two-game road trip to Dartmouth and versus James Madison in Orlando, Fla. On March 7, in Hanover, N.H., the Irish rallied from 6-0 and 8-2 deficits to win 16-11. The six-goal deficit was the largest that the Irish had ever come back from in the program’s 13-year history. Trailing 8-2 in the first half, Notre Dame ran off 11 straight goals to take a 13-8 lead. Jillian Byers (Sr., Northport, N.Y.) led the Irish with three goals and two assists while Gina Scioscia (Sr., Summit, N.J.) added three goals and an assist. Kaitlin Keena (So., Vienna, Va.), Ansley Stewart (So., Alexandria,Va.) and Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.) had two goals each while Jackie Doherty (So., Ellicott City, Md.), Shaylyn Blaney, Shannon Burke (Sr., Timonium, Md.) and Maggie Tamasitis (Fr., Boyertown, Pa.) had one each. Erin Goodman (Sr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) made 12 saves in the game to pick up the win. On Tuesday night at the Disney World of Sports, the Irish rallied from a pair of three-goal deficits in the first half to take a 16-12 decision versus James Madison. Trailing 9-7 at halftime, Notre Dame scored the first four goals of the second half to make it 11-9. The Dukes answered with a goal, but 11-10 was as close as they would get as the Irish scored nine second-half markers in the win. Scioscia (3g, 2a) and Byers (2g, 3a) had five-point games while Blaney scored three times in the victory. Stewart, Maggie Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) and Abt had two goals each with Doherty and Megan Sullivan (Fr., Winchester, Va.) closing out the scoring with one goal each. Goodman made six saves in the win.

KARDIAC KIDS: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team is developing a unique personality during the 2009 season. In each of the games last week, the Irish fell behind in the first half, then rallied to win the game. Versus Dartmouth, Notre Dame 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. Against James Madison, Notre Dame’s biggest deficit was three goals in the first half. 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.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: After setting the Notre Dame goal-scoring record on Feb. 28, Jillian Byers continues to score goals for the Irish, She has also began to move up on the assist list, the only one where she doesn’t rank first. Here are her numbers at Notre Dame.

Goals1.   Jillian Byers (2006- )            1972.   Crysti Foote (2003-06)            1613.   Caitlin McKinney (2005-08)        1524.   Danielle Shearer (2000-03)        1305.   Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01)      1226.   Meredith Simon (2001-04)          1097.   Kerry Callahan (1997-99)           838.   Natalie Loftus (1999-02)           769.   Courtney Calabrese (1998-99)       6910.  Alissa Moser (1999-02)             67
Assists 1. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 802. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 763. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 684. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 665. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 636. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 517. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 498. Gina Scioscia (2007-) 479. Heather Ferguson (2005-08) 3510. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 33
Points1. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 2482. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 2373. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 2324. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1965. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1906. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1587. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 1468. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 1099. Lauren Fischer (2001-04) 85 Alissa Moser (1999-02) 85

LEADING THE WAY: With high scoring players like Jill Byers and Shaylyn Blaney in the Notre Dame lineup, you would figure that one of them would be leading the Irish in scoring. Through the first six games of the season, you would be wrong. Pacing the Irish attack through the first six games of 2009 is junior Gina Scioscia. The playmaker from Summit, N.J., is first in scoring on the team with 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points. She has three consecutive games of four points or more, getting four goals and one assist versus Stanford, three goals and an assist at Dartmouth and three goals and two assists in the win over James Madison. Her four goals versus Stanford equaled a career-best set in the season opener at Duquesne (2/14). She leads the team in assists with eight and is second in goals with 16. Scioscia led the Irish with 35 assists last season, the second-best single-season mark in the program’s history. She is currently eighth on the all-time list with 47 helpers for her career. Byers is second in scoring with 23 points on 18 goals and five assists while Blaney is third with 15 goals and one assist for 16 points.

SUPER SOPHOMORES: The Irish have gotten strong play from their sophomore scorers this season. The group of five – Shaylyn Blaney (15g, 1a), Kailene Abt (13g, 1a), Ansley Stewart (10g, 4a), Jackie Doherty (4g, 5a) and Kaitlin Keena (3g, 6a) have accounted for 45 goals and 17 assists for 62 points. They five have 45 of the team’s 90 goals, 17 of 39 assists and 62 of 129 points this season.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 13th season at Notre Dame and her 22nd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 229-104 (.688) career record into Saturday’s game versus Hofstra. 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 115-78 (.596). 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 115-78 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 is 1-0 in her career against Hofstra and 6-3 in games against Rutgers.

RAPID IMPROVEMENT: As a freshman, Ansley Stewart, now a sophomore, saw action in just two games for the Irish, getting just one shot on goal. This season, the Alexandria, Va., native has started all six games to date and ranks fifth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and four assists for 14 points. She teams with senior Jillian Byers (18-5) and junior Gina Scioscia (16-8) to give Notre Dame a potent trio on attack as they now have 44 goals and 17 assists this season.

GOOD FOR GOODMAN: Senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman was named the BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending March 1 as she helped lead the Irish to a 17-8 win over Stanford. Goodman made six saves in the first 30 minutes of the game as Notre Dame opened a 9-3 lead and followed with seven more in the second half, playing 52:55 before giving way to junior Amy Winik for the final seven minutes.

A NIGHT OF FIRSTS: Notre Dame’s 16-12 win over James Madison on March 10, provided “firsts” for two members of the team. Junior Maggie Zentgraf recorded two goals in the game for her first two goals this season. The multiple-goal game also was the first of her career. The other first went to freshman Megan Sullivan, who scored the first goal of her Notre Dame career.

THE SHOOTIST: Sophomore midfielder Kailene Abt has taken a prominent role in the Notre Dame attack during the 2009 season. Through the first six games, she already has career highs in goals (13) and points (14). As a freshman, she saw action in 17 games, making two starts and scored seven goals with two assists for nine points. She is second on the team with 34 shots on goal after getting 28 last year. Twice this season (versus Northwestern and Ohio State), Abt has had 10 shots on goal to lead the Irish.

WELCOME BACK: Former Irish midfield standout Kassen Delano `04 has returned to the Irish sideline as a member of Tracy Coyne’s coaching staff. Delano is a volunteer assistant this season as she also works as an academic counselor in Academic Services for Student-Athletes at Notre Dame. In four seasons with the Irish, Delano had 50 goals and 17 assists for 67 points in 62 games from 2001-04.

THE IRISH ALL-TIME: The 2008-09 season is the 13th campaign for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program. The Irish (5-1 this year) come into the weekend with a 115-78 (.596) all-time record. That includes a 56-28 (.667) home mark and a 46-43 (.517) 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.

TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Two members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team have been named to the Tewaaraton Trophy “Watch List” for the 2009 season. Senior Jillian Byers and sophomore Shaylyn Blaney were among the 45 players selected to the watch list. That group will be cut down later in the season to a candidates list followed by a list of finalists. For Byers, this is her third year on the watch list while Blaney is making her first apperarance. She is the sixth Notre Dame player to be named to the Watch List in the 13-year history of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program.