April 23, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Notre Dame senior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) was named the 2009 BIG EAST attack player of the year and Byers, along with three teammates were selected to BIG EAST all-conference first and second teams on Thursday night at the season-ending Awards Banquet.
For the fourth consecutive season, Byers was a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection. She was joined on the first team by sophomore midfielder Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and senior defender Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.). Selected to the all-BIG EAST second team was junior attack Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.). Blaney, Burke and Byers were all preseason all-BIG EAST selections in February.
An All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate, Byers leads the Irish in scoring with 64 goals and 18 assists for a career-high 82 points. Her 64 goals lead all BIG EAST players and tie her for the top spot in the nation. The 82 points is second among BIG EAST scorers, trailing only co-BIG EAST attack player of the year, Katie Rowan of Syracuse who has 84 points on the year.
In BIG EAST play, Byers set a single-season record with 31 goals and her 42 points are the second best single season total. On April 18, she set a Notre Dame and BIG EAST single-game record with 12 points (7g, 5a) in the 20-5 win over Connecticut.
For her career, Byers is Notre Dame’s all-time goal leader (243), points (307) and draw controls (145). Her 243 career goals make her the NCAA’s active goal-scoring leader and rank her 11th on the all-time goal list. Her 307 points are fourth among active players and ranks her 19th on the all-time NCAA point list. She is just one of 22 players to score over 300 points in the history of NCAA women’s lacrosse.
A complete player, Byers also leads the team with 46 draw controls, is second with 21 caused turnovers and is fourth with 28 ground balls. She is the only player in Notre Dame history to have four seasons with 50 or more goals and three seasons with 70 or more points.
“Jill is very deserving of this honor,” said head coach Tracy Coyne.
“She has had another outstanding season. The BIG EAST is comprised with some of the top lacrosse players in the country. To share the award with Katie Rowan as the top attacker in the league, speaks volumes about how well respected Jill is by the other coaches in the conference.”
Sophomore Shaylyn Blaney was named first team all-BIG EAST for the 2009 season.
Byers becomes the third Notre Dame player to be named the BIG EAST attack player of the year as she joins current Irish assistant, Meredith Simon `04, the co-attack player of the year in 2004 and Crysti Foote `06, the attack player of the year in 2006.
Blaney and Burke were honored for the second time in their Notre Dame career, as both were second team selections in 2008.
Blaney enters this weekend’s tournament with 36 goals and three assists for 39 points this season. She is tied for third in scoring and is third in goals scored. The talented midfielder ranks second on the team with 36 draw controls and is fifth with 27 ground balls. Her 13 caused turnovers are fifth on the team.
In just two seasons, Blaney already ranks among Notre Dame’s top 10 as she ranks eighth in goals (79), 10th in points with 91 and ninth with 78 draw controls.
Senior defender Shannon Burke was one of four Notre Dame players selected all-BIG EAST at the 2009 Awards Banquet.
Burke anchors Notre Dame’s defense and is in the midst of another outstanding season for the Irish. Through 16 games this year, she leads the Irish with 45 ground balls and 28 caused turnovers while ranking fifth on the squad with 26 draw controls. She has also chipped in three goals and three assists for six points on the season.
In four seasons with the Irish, Burke ranks second on the all-time list for caused turnovers (90), third in draw controls (116) and fourth in ground balls (124).
Junior Gina Scioscia ranks second among the Irish with 75 points on 43 goals and 32 assists. She was named second team all-BIG EAST.
The BIG EAST honored Scioscia for the first time in her career as she ranks second on the team in scoring with career highs in goals (43) and points (75). She ranks third in the BIG EAST in scoring behind Rowan and Byers and is ninth in the nation. For her career, Scioscia is 11th on the all-time list with 67 goals, third in assists with 71 and eighth in points with 138. Her 71 assists rank her 12th among active NCAA players.
The Irish go into the tournament with a 12-4 record and were 5-2 in the BIG EAST, good for third place. They will face Syracuse (12-3, 6-1) at 5:30 on Friday, April 24 at Georgetown’s Multi-Sport Field. The second semifinal game features Georgetown (11-4, 6-1) against Louisville (9-5, 3-4) with that game beginning 45 minutes after the first contest.
The BIG EAST Championship game will be played on Sunday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m. with the game being televised by CBS College Sports.
The 2009 BIG EAST All-Conference Teams:
First Team Second TeamShaylyn Blaney, So., M, Notre Dame Megan Bloomer, Sr., M, GeorgetownShannon Burke, Sr., D, Notre Dame Brooke Cantwell, Jr, A, RutgersJillian Byers, Sr., A, Notre Dame * Emily Dashiell, So., M, LouisvilleChristina Dove, Jr., M, Syracuse * Bergan Foley, So., A, LouisvilleCara Filippelli, So., D, Loyola (Md.) Caitlin Formby, Jr., GK, GeorgetownMolly Ford, Jr., A, Georgetown * Jordy Kirr, So., A, GeorgetownGrace Gavin, So., M, Loyola (Md.) * Colleen O'Keefe, Sr., A, Loyola (Md.)Liz Hogan, So., GK, Syracuse Abby Rehfuss, So., M, Loyola (Md.)Ashby Kaestner, Jr., M, Georgetown * Lindsay Rogers, Jr., D, SyracuseBridget Noon, Sr., D, Georgetown Gina Scioscia, Jr., A, Notre DameHalley Quillinan, Jr., A, Syracuse Meg Steffe, So., GK, Loyola (Md.)Katie Rowan, Sr., A, Syracuse * Jordan Trautman, Sr., D, Georgetown
2009 BIG EAST Women's Lacrosse Awards
Co-Attack Player of the YearJillian Byers, Sr., A, Notre DameKatie Rowan, Sr., A, Syracuse
Defensive Player of the YearBridget Noon, Sr., D, Georgetown
Midfielder of the YearChristina Dove, Jr., M, SyracuseAshby Kaestner, Jr., M, Georgetown
Coach of the YearRicky Fried, Georgetown