Senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney became Notre Dame's all-time leader in assists during the BIG EAST Tournament.

No. 10 Notre Dame Looks To Keep NCAA Tournament Hopes Alive Versus No. 15 Cornell

May 1, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #10/#10 Notre Dame (11-6) vs. #15/#14 Cornell (10-5)

• Date/Time/Site: Saturday, May 3, 2008 • 12:00 noon • Alumni Field • Notre Dame, Ind.

• Internet: The Notre Dame – Cornell game will be streamed live at no charge on the Notre Dame website – Fans can also follow the game via Gametracker on the Notre Dame website.

SENIOR DAY AT NOTRE DAME: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team closes out the 2008 regular season by playing host to the Cornell Big Red. The two teams will meet on Saturday, May 3 at 12:00 noon at Notre Dame’s Alumni Field, home of the Irish soccer teams. Notre Dame (11-6) will look to bounce back from last Friday’s heartbreaking, 15-14, three-overtime loss to Georgetown in the BIG EAST semifinals. Cornell comes into Saturday’s game with a 10-5 overall record after defeating Harvard last Saturday, 12-9, to finish the Ivy League schedule with a 5-2 record, good for second place in the conference. The Irish enter the weekend ranked 10th in both the IWLCA and the Inside Lacrosse polls. They are currently ranked 13th in the NCAA RPI. Cornell is ranked 15th by the IWLCA and 14th by Inside Lacrosse. The Big Red are ninth in the NCAA RPI rankings.

NOTRE DAME VS. CORNELL: The Irish and Big Red have met seven times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 4-3 edge. At home, the Irish are 3-1 while at Ithaca, N.Y., they are just 1-2. The last time the two teams met at Notre Dame was on May 14, 2006, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, with the Irish taking a 16-8 win. Last year, the Irish won for the first time in three games at Ithaca, taking a 13-9 win on March 4, 2007.

SENIOR DAY: Five Notre Dame seniors will play their final home game on Saturday afternoon against Cornell. The group includes midfielder Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.), attack Heather Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.), defender Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.), attack Julie Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) and defender Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.). During their Notre Dame careers, the group has a record of 40-28 with a trip to the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Final Four in 2006.

BIG EAST TOURNAMENT RECAP: Notre Dame played host to the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament, held at Notre Dame Stadium on April 25 and 27 with the tournament featuring Syracuse, Georgetown, Rutgers and the Irish. In the opening semifinal game, Syracuse handed Rutgers a 22-7 loss. In the nightcap, Notre Dame and Georgetown hooked up for a thriller with the Hoyas prevailing, 15-14, scoring the winning goal at 71:14. The Irish jumped out to 8-1 and 9-2 leads in the opening half only to see Georgetown cut the margin to 10-6 at halftime. The Hoyas would score five of the first six goals in the second half to tie the score at 11-11 with 18:51 left. Jillian Byers (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) scored with 11:21 left to give the Irish a 12-11 lead only to see Mary Beth Brophy and Jordy Kirr score the next two goals for a 13-12 Hoya lead. Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) scored on a free-position shot with 1:17 left to tie the game at 13-13. In the first overtime, Gina Scioscia (So., Summit, N.J.) scored first at 2:52 only to be answered by Kirr at 2:37. From there, the defenses and goalkeepers took over, holding the game scoreless until 46 seconds remained in the second sudden-death period when Molly Ford scored her fourth of the game for the game winner. Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) led the Irish with a career-high five goals. McKinney added three goals and an assist and Scioscia scored once with four assists for a five-point night. Jane Stoeckert (Jr., Mendham, N.J.) had two goals and one assist while Byers, Heather Ferguson and Shannon Burke (Jr., Baltimore, Md.) had one goal each. The two teams each took 33 shots on goal. Erin Goodman (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) had 14 saves in the game. In the championship game on Sunday, the Syracuse Orange defeated Georgetown, 12-6, to win their second consecutive BIG EAST title.

THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s overtime sudden-death loss to Georgetown on April 25 was the second-longest game in the program’s history as the team’s played 71:14 before deciding a winner. The teams played the two regulation, three-minute periods, one full sudden-death period and 2:14 of a second sudden death before Molly Ford scored for the Hoyas with 46 seconds left. The longest game in the program’s histor came on April 12, 2002, when the Irish played 71:45 in a 10-9 loss at home to the Duke Blue Devils.

BIG EAST HONORS: Senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney and Irish head coach Tracy Coyne were among the major award winners at the BIG EAST postseason banquet held on April 24. McKinney was named the BIG EAST midfielder of the year. The speedster is second on the team in scoring with 38 goals and 22 assists for 60 points and ranks fifth in the conference this season. She is the third Notre Dame midfielder to be named the conference’s midfielder of the year, joining Danielle Shearer `03 in 2002 and Abby Owen `04 in 2004. Coyne was selected as BIG EAST coach of the year for the third time in her 12 seasons at Notre Dame. She guide the Irish to the No. 2 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament and an 11-6 overall and 4-1 mark in the conference. She was also named coach of the year in 2004 and 2006.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Freshman Shaylyn Blaney and senior Caitlyn McKinney were selected to the BIG EAST all-tournament team for their play in the 15-14 triple-overtime loss to Georgetown. Blaney led the Irish with a career-high five-goal game while McKinney chipped in three goals and added an assist for four points in the contest.

TEWAARATON TROPHY NOMINEES: Notre Dame senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney and junior attack Jillian Byers are among 18 women’s lacrosse players nominated for the Tewaaration Trophy that is awarded to the top player in the nation each year. The dynamic duo joins Crysti Foote `06 and Meredith Simon `04 as Irish players nominated for the award. Byers comes into the Cornell game, leading Notre Dame in scoring with 62 goals and 13 assists for 75 points while McKinney has 38 goals and 22 assists from her spot in the midfield. Earlier this season, both players went over 200 points for their careers with McKinney ranking second and Byers third. Byers also became the school’s all-time goal-scoring leader with 174. McKinney became Notre Dame’s all-time assist leader versus Georgetown and now has 77 for her career.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 224-102 (.687) career record into the regular-season finale with Cornell. On Sunday, Feb. 17, she recorded her 100th career win at Notre Dame with the 16-4 win over Duquesne. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 109-76 (.589). 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 three NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006), including the school’s first-ever NCAA finals appearance in 2006. In her first 20 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 109-76 in 12 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 4-3 all-time against Cornell.

VERSUS THE BEST: Cornell comes into this weekend’s game ranked #15/#14 on the year and will be the seventh team the Irish have faced this season that was ranked. For the year, they are 2-4 versus ranked teams after losing to Georgetown, 15-14 (3ot) on April 25. The Irish also have losses to Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Syracuse on the year. Both wins against ranked teams have come on the road as the Irish own wins at Duke and Georgetown. The 2008 schedule features six teams that are currently ranked in the April 29 IWLCA rankings. The list includes: #2 Northwestern, #5 Syracuse, #7 Georgetown, #9 Vanderbilt, #11 Duke and #15 Cornell. Delaware and Stanford, two other teams on the Notre Dame schedule in 2008, are currently receiving votes.

LEADER OF THE PACK: With one assist in the loss to Georgetown, Caitlin McKinney became Notre Dame’s all-time assist leader, passing Crysti Foote `06. Notre Dame’s all-time career assist leaders:

Assists1.  Caitlin McKinney (2005-)        772.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)          763.  Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01)    684.  Danielle Shearer (2000-03)      665.  Kerry Callahan (1997-99)        636.  Meredith Simon (2001-04)        497.  Jillian Byers (2006- )          458.  Gina Scioscia (2007-)           379.  Heather Ferguson (2005-)        3410. Natalie Loftus (1999-02)        33

200-POINT CLUB: Senior Caitlin McKinney and junior Jillian Byers became the second and third players in Irish history to go over 200 points in their careers this season. McKinney goes into the game with Cornell with 152 career goals and 77 assists for 229 points to rank second on the all-time list. Byers has 174 goals and 45 assists for 219 career points to rank third overall. Crysti Foote `06 is the all-time leader with 237 career points.

THE PLAYMAKER: Sophomore Gina Scioscia recorded four assists and five points in the BIG EAST Tournament versus Georgetown. The four helpers moved her into second on Notre Dame’s single-season assist list. In just two seasons, Scioscia now has 37 career assists and that ranks her eighth all-time at Notre Dame.

Single Season Assists1.  Crysti Foote (2006)           402.  Gina Scioscia (2008)          333.  Kerry Callahan (1999)         324.  Meredith Simon (2004)         28    Lael O'Shaughnessy (2001)     286.  Danielle Shearer (2003)       267.  Jillian Byers (2006)          248.  Caitlin McKinney (2006)       22    Lena Zentgraf (2007)          2210. Caitlin McKinney (2008)       22    Caitlin McKinney (2007)       21

RECORD SETTER: In Notre Dame’s 12-8 win over Duke, junior attack standout Jillian Byers became Notre Dame’s all-time leading goal scorer with three goals against the Blue Devils. She came into that game tied for first with Crysti Foote `06 who had 161 in her career. Byers, who now has 62 goals on the season, has 174 for her career. Foote reached her goal mark in 66 career games. Byers set the new standard of 164 goals in 48 career games. The Top 10:

Goals1.  Jillian Byers (2006- )         1742.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)         1613.  Caitlin McKinney (2005- )      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

RIGHT TO THE POINT: Caitlin McKinney and Jillian Byers became the second and third players in Irish history to go over 200 points in their careers and currently rank second and third on the all-time list. Joining them in the top 10 is senior Heather Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) who is now ninth all-time with 55 goals and 34 assists for 89 career points.

Points1.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)            2372.  Caitlin McKinney (2005- )         2293.  Jillian Byers (2006- )            2194.  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.  Heather Ferguson (2004- )          8910. Lauren Fischer (2001-04)           85    Alissa Moser (1999-02)             85

THE ROOKIE: Not to be outdone by the elder statesmen on the team, freshman midfielder Shaylyn Blaney has quietly putting together a solid rookie season. Blaney is fourth on the team with 48 points, scoring 40 goals with eight assists. Her 40 goals are the ninth best single-season mark for the Irish and the second-best total by a freshman, trailing just Jillian Byers (54 in 2006). Her 48 points are the second best freshman total behind Byers’ 78-point freshman year in 2006. Blaney has nine games this season with three or more goals and leads the team with four game winners.

Irish Rookie Leaders1.  Jillian Byers (2006)              54-24-782.  Shaylyn Blaney (2008)             40- 8-483.  Courtney Calabrese (1998)         38- 3-41    Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998)         27-14-415.  Caitlin McKinney (2005)           28-12-406.  Crysti Foote (2003)               27-11-38

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior Shannon Burke was named BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending April 20. In the loss to Vanderbilt, Burke had a career-high five caused turnovers and added four draw controls while picking up her first career assist. In the win at Rutgers, she scored a free-position goal, had three ground balls and added three draw controls in the win.

STREAK BUSTERS: The two goals scored by Notre Dame in the 16-2 loss at Northwestern on April 9 were the fewest ever scored by the Irish in a game in the program’s 12-year history. That game also saw the end of two long scoring streaks for the Irish. Caitlin McKinney was held off the scoresheet for the first time since April 16, 2005, a span of 51 games that saw her score 124 goals and 61 assists for 185 points. Jillian Byers also saw her 29-game streak stopped versus the Wildcats. She had 120 goals and 19 assists for 139 points in that span. McKinney’s 51-game streak was the second-longest streak in the nation.

LIGHTING IT UP: With five goals versus Rutgers, junior Jillian Byers now has nine games this season with four or more goals. Byers now has 62 goals on the season and is just the second Notre Dame player to score 60 or more goals in a year as she joins Crysti Foote `06 who had 74 in 2006. Byers is the only Irish player to score 75 or more points in a season twice and is the only Notre Dame player to score 50 or more goals in three consecutive years. Her 75 points this year are the third highest total in the program’s history behind Foote (114 in 2006) and her own 78-point season in 2006.

MAKING THE STOPS: Junior goalkeeper Erin Goodman has picked up 11 wins this season, giving her 22 for her career. That total ranks her third all-time at Notre Dame in career wins. In 2007, she had an 11-6 overall record and a 10.32 goals-against average with a .444 save percentage. She finished just one win behind Carol Dixon `06 for the most wins by an Irish goalkeeper in her first year as a starter as Dixon had 12 in 2004. Goodman set a BIG EAST record on March 25, 2007 when she held Loyola (Md.) to just one goal in an 11-1 Irish win, setting the league mark for the fewest goals given up in a game. Goodman set a career mark with 15 saves in the win over Georgetown. Her previous best was 14 saves, something she has done four times in her career – vs. Cornell (13-7 win), vs. Yale (9-7 win) and against Loyola (11-1 win) last season and on March 13 versus Delaware. As a junior, Goodman is 11-6 with a 10.47 goals-against average and a .470 save percentage. She had 14 saves in the marathon, overtime loss to Georgetown in the BIG EAST Tournament.

MORE ON GOODMAN: Erin Goodman continues to move up among goalkeepers at Notre Dame. Her numbers this season rank her:

Single SeasonGP - t3rd (17)Wins - t4th (11)Minutes - 5th (997:21)Saves - 5th (154)SV% - 9th (.470)GAVG - 7th (10.47)
CareerGP - 3rd (36)Wins - 3rd (22)Minutes - 3rd (2074:23)Saves - 4th (298)SV% - 7th (.451)GAVG - 3rd (10.24)

RANCK AND FILE: Senior defender Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.) is second on the team with 27 caused turnovers, trailing team leader Shannon Burke who has 29. Ranck ranks third all-time at Notre Dame with 81 career caused turnovers in her career. Both are ranked in the top five in the BIG EAST. As a team, the Irish have caused 203 turnovers while the opposition has just 118. Notre Dame ranks third in the nation in caused turnovers with 11.53 per game.

OVERTIME NUMBERS: Notre Dame’s overtime loss to Georgetown on April 25 was the second overtime game of the year for the Irish as they also lost to Syracuse on March 13. Notre Dame has now played in 15 overtime games in the program’s 12-year history and is 6-9 in those games. Last year, the Irish were 2-0 in overtime, taking a triple-overtime win versus James Madison (10-9) in the season opener on Feb. 18. In the second game of the year, on Feb. 24, at home, Notre Dame pulled off a 12-11 double overtime win against Stanford.

QUICK ON THE DRAW: Juniors Shannon Burke and Jillian Byers have combined this season to win 93 of Notre Dame’s 242 draw controls this season. Byers leads the team with 47 while Burke is one behind with 46 on the year. The duo is in hot pursuit of Notre Dame’s single-season mark of 51 that was set last season by Kaki Orr `07. Careerwise, both are now in the top 10 at Notre Dame. Byers is fifth with 94 while Burke is eighth with 85.