Aug. 5, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s lacrosse standout Jillian Byers (Sr., Northport, N.Y.) has been selected by US Lacrosse as one of 49 players that will represent the US women’s national lacrosse teams during the 2008-09 season. The announcement was made on Sunday after three days of tryouts held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
The pool of 49 players will be divided into Elite and Developmental teams following U.S. Lacrosse’s Stars and Stripes weekend, Oct. 10-23. All the players selected are eligible to represent Team USA at the 2009 IFWLA World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic, with the final 18-player roster expected to be announced following the US Lacrosse Champions Challenge in January of 2009.
Byers becomes the fourth Notre Dame player to be selected to one of the national teams joining Kathryn Lam `02 (U.S. Developmental Team, 2001-02), Danielle Shearer `03 (U.S. Developmental Team, 2002-03) and Caitlin McKinney `08 (U.S. Developmental Team, 2005-06). Four former Irish assistant coaches played for the U.S. National team led by Liz Downing (U.S. National Elite Team, 1996-2000). Brooke Crawford and Jen Newitt also were members of the U.S. Developmental Team in 2002 and a Danielle Gallagher was a member of the U.S. World Cup team in 2002. Five other Irish women’s lacrosse players have been members of the U.S. Under-19 Team – Kelly McCardell `03 (1999), Meaghan Fitzpatrick `07 (2003) and current team members Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.), Shaylyn Blaney (So., Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Lauren Fenlon (So., Dayton, Md.) in 2007.
“We are thrilled that Jill has been named to the 2008-09 U.S. Women’s Lacrosse team,” said head coach Tracy Coyne.
“It’s exciting to have another outstanding player from our program affiliated with the national program. Jill has always been recognized as one of the top players in the country and this gives her the opportunity to play with many of the top players all year.”
In her first three seasons at Notre Dame, Byers has put together quite a resume for the Irish. Following her junior year (2008), the high-scoring attack player was selected second team All-American by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association (IWLCA), making her just the second player in Irish history to be named All-American three times in her career (along with Caitlin McKinney `08). Byers also was selected to Inside Lacrosse magazine and womenslacrosse.com’s second All-American teams for the 2008 campaign.
A three-time unanimous first team All-BIG EAST selection during her first three seasons, Byers led the Irish in scoring in 2008, scoring a career-high 67 goals to go with 14 assists for a career-best 81 points, the second highest single-season point total in the program’s 12-year history. She was also Notre Dame’s single-season draw controls mark by grabbing 52 for the year. One of 18 nominees for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy in 2008, Byers is the only Irish player to score 50 or more goals in a season in three consecutive years and in just three seasons is Notre Dame’s all-time goal-scoring leader with 179.
Byers will enter her senior season at Notre Dame in 2009 ranked first in goals (179), third in points (225) and seventh in assists (46). She needs just 13 points to pass Crysti Foote `06 as the all-time point scorer for the Irish. Foote had 237 in her career.
Joining Byers on the national team are six other players from BIG EAST schools. Also selected to the team are Katie Rowan, Christina Dove, Halley Quillinan and Liz Hogan from Syracuse and Michi Ellers and Ashby Kaestner from Georgetown.