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No. 12 Notre Dame Faces Busy Spring Break In Florida

March 9, 2004

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  • Sixth-ranked James Madison closes trip on Sunday in Orlando.
  • Meredith Simon named BIG EAST co-Offensive Player of the Week.

SPRING BREAK 2004: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will spend the week in Orlando, Fla., playing two games at Disney’s World of Sports Facility. On Wednesday, March 10, the Irish square off versus the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils in a 12:00 noon game. On Sunday, March 14, the Irish will face the sixth-ranked James Madison University Dukes in another 12:00 noon start. The remainder of the week, the Irish will get a chance to practice outdoors. All games and practices will be held at Disney’s World of Sports Complex. Notre Dame comes into the week with a 3-0 record after beating Cornell on March 7, 20-7. Duke owns a 4-0 record and James Madison has a 2-0 mark on the year.

IRISH VERSUS BLUE DEVILS: Notre Dame and Duke have met six times in the all-time series with the Blue Devils holding a 6-0 record versus the Irish. The two teams met last season at Duke with the Irish dropping a 10-7 decision. In 2002, the Irish lost a heartbreaker at Moose Krause Stadium, 10-9 in triple overtime. Duke has won all four meetings in Durham and is 2-0 versus the Irish at Notre Dame.

IRISH VERSUS JAMES MADISON: Notre Dame and the Dukes of James Madison have met just once in the all-time series. That meeting came on March 2, 2001 at James Madison with the Dukes handing the Irish a 15-4 loss.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her eighth season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 60-43 (.583) record at Notre Dame and is 174-69 (.716) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 0-6 versus Duke and 0-1 versus James Madison all-time. In 2003, she led the Irish to an 8-7 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for third in the league standings. In 2002, Coyne led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid as Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. 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 as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team. She led the team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup and will serve as head coach of Team Canada again for the 2005 World Cup.

CORNELL RECAP: Meredith Simon (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) equaled a career-high with seven points (4g, 3a) and teammates Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) added three goals and an assist each as Notre Dame blitzed #19 Cornell, 20-7 at the Loftus Sports Center. Mary McGrath (So., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) added two goals and an assist and the Irish got single goals from Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.), Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.), Kassen Delano (Sr., Alexandria, Va.), Mia Novic (Sr., Murrysville, Pa.) and Brittany Fox (So., Annapolis, Md.) in the win. Notre Dame led 14-4 at halftime and coasted to the 20-7 victory. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) made 11 saves for her third consecutive win on the season. The win over Cornell was the second in a row for the Irish versus a ranked team and was the first Notre Dame victory in the series with the Big Red. Cornell is now 2-1 versus the Irish in three all-time meetings.

SIMON TAKES BIG EAST HONORS: For the second week in a row, the BIG EAST Conference recognized a Notre Dame player in it weekly honors. This time, senior midfielder Meredith Simon took co-Offensive Player of the Week honors as she scored four goals and added three assists for seven points in Notre Dame’s 20-7 win over Cornell. The previous week, goalkeeper Carol Dixon was named the BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week. The seven-point game was the second of Simon’s Notre Dame career and the four goals marked the second time this season and the third time in her career that she scored that many in a game. Simon leads the Irish in scoring after three games with 11 goals and five assists for 16 points.

CENTURY MARK FOR SIMON: With her seven-point game versus Cornell, Meredith Simon became the fifth player in Notre Dame history to score 100 or more points in her career. Simon now has 74 career goals and 26 assists for 100 points. Her 74 goals rank her fifth in that category and the 26 assists tie her for fifth. She has accomplished these totals in 50 career games.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Based on this week’s IWLCA poll, the Irish will face nine teams ranked in the nation’s top 20 this season. A year ago, the Irish played 10 of their 15 games versus ranked teams. In addition, this season, two more teams that the Irish will face received votes in this week’s national poll. The ranked teams include: #2 Duke, #5 Georgetown, #6 James Madison, #8 Syracuse, #10 Vanderbilt, #15 Northwestern, #17 Johns Hopkins, #18 Stanford and #19 Ohio State. Receiving votes are California and Rutgers.

THE CAPTAINS: Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.) and Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.). For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.

OWEN’S BEST: Senior Abby Owen had a career-high four goals and four points in the win at Stanford. She also collected the game-winning goal in both games of the west coast trip. Already this season, Owen is second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and one assist for 11 points. Her career-high in goals came last season when she scored 15 in 15 games. She was named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29.

SIMON SAYS: Meredith Simon has picked up this season where she left off in 2003 with 16 points in her first three games. She came into this season as the team’s top-returning scorer with 27 goals and 14 assists for 41 points. She was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection and a Brine/IWLCA all-region choice as a junior. In 50 career games, Simon has 74 goals and 26 assists for 100 points. Her totals rank her fifth in goals, tie her for fifth in assists and fifth in points scored. She currently has a 14-game point streak with 33 goals and 12 assists for 45 points.

NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: When the Irish opened the 2004 season at Cal-Berkeley, Carol Dixon became the first goalkeeper to start a game for the Irish besides Jen White (’03) since the final game of the 2000 season. White started 48 consecutive games for Notre Dame, between 2001-2003. Dixon served as White’s backup the previous two seasons and saw action in five games last year, playing 121 minutes with a 8.93 goals-against average and a .571 save percentage. She was 0-0 on the year. This season, Dixon is already 3-0 with a 7.42 goals-against average and a .558 save percentage. She was named the BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending February 29.

ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: Sophomore attack standout Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) got her Notre Dame career off on the right foot as a freshman as she finished third on the team in scoring with 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Foote played in all 15 games, starting the final six of the season. In those six games, she racked up 18 goals and eight assists for 26 points. She ended the year with an eight-game scoring streak with 22 goals and nine assists for 31 points. During her streak, Foote had six-point games versus Georgetown (4g, 2a) and Davidson (3g, 3a). She also had a four-goal game versus Vanderbilt to close the year. Following the season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic region team. Foote has four goals and three assists for seven points in her first three games this season.

SCORING STREAKS: Meredith Simon and Crysti Foote continued scoring streaks that carried over from the 2003 season. Several others started streaks in the first two games of the season.

Meredith Simon – 14 games (33g, 12a, 45 pts)
Crysti Foote – 11 games (26 g, 12a, 38 pts)
Abby Owen – 3 games (10g, 1a, 11 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 3 games (7g, 1a, 8 pts)
Meghan Murphy – 3 games (5g, 1a, 6 pts)
Mary McGrath – 3 games (3g, 2a, 5 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 2 games (1g, 2a, 3 pts)
Kassen Delano – 2 games (1g, 2a, 3 pts)

SCORIN LAUREN: Senior attacker Lauren Fischer has started her final season with the Irish on an offensive roll. Through three games, Fischer has seven goals and one assist for eight points to rank third in team scoring. Her four-point game versus Cornell was the second of her career and is a career high. She has had three-goal games three other times in her career. She is well on her way to passing her career-bests in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) that were established last season.

NEW KIDS: Freshman midfielder Meghan Murphy has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first three games of the season. Murphy had a career-high three goals and four points in the win over Cornell, just her third game in an Irish uniform. For the season she has five goals and one assist for six points. Fellow freshman defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) has seen action in her first three games, coming off the bench as a defensive reserve. Sophomore Brittany Fox scored her first career goal in the win over Cornell in her second career game. Junior midfielder Maura Costello (Manhasset, N.Y.) and sophomore defender Katie Killeen (Manhasset, N.Y.) both saw their first action for the Irish women’s lacrosse team versus Cornell.

SLAMMING THE DOOR: Through three games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 23 goals for a 7.42 goals-against average. The best goals against in the program’s previous seven seasons was 7.49 and that came during Notre Dame’s best season ever, 2002, when the Irish went 13-5 and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.

VERSUS THE BEST: The Irish had 10 games in 2003 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. Against those teams, the Irish were 3-7. All-time, Notre Dame is now 11-27 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. So far this season, Notre Dame is 2-0 versus teams ranked in the top 20. 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 in 2002, they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse.

KINNIK FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior Andrea Kinnik had a breakout season in 2003 for the Irish. She led the team with 44 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers while tying for fifth with 20 draw controls. Her defensive skills were recognized in the postseason when she was named first-team Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic Region and third-team All-America by She already has scored a pair of goals this season and is second on the team with nine ground balls and seven draw controls.

THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s overtime win versus California was the seventh overtime game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 3-4 in games that go beyond regulation time. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) that became the longest game in Notre Dame history as the two team’s battled for 72 minutes (60 regulation minutes and four three-minute overtime stanzas). The previous long game came in 2003 versus Duke as the Irish played 71:45 before losing a 10-9 decision. That game ended in sudden-death as the winning goal was scored with just 15 seconds left in the fourth three-minute overtime.

CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 12-11 overtime win on Feb. 27 was the 15th one-goal game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 7-8 in those games. During the 2003 season, Notre Dame was 1-3 in one-goal games with two of the losses coming in back-to-back overtime contests.

GREAT GOALS: Notre Dame ended the 2003 season on the right note by setting a school record for goals in an away game when the Irish scored 22 at #15 Vanderbilt (22-11) in the season finale. The 22-goal outburst broke the previous road mark of 20 set at Gannon (20-10) and equaled the school record of 22 set in a 2000 home win over Ohio University (22-3). The 22 goals were the most scored versus a ranked team, surpassing the mark of 15 set earlier in the season versus Connecticut and Georgetown (ot).

PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: The Irish were picked in BIG EAST coaches voting to finish third in the BIG EAST this coming season behind Georgetown and Syracuse. The coaches also named Meredith Simon and Andrea Kinnik to their preseason all-BIG EAST team. Inside Lacrosse Magazine ranks the Irish 16th in the nation in their preseason poll.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and two others have ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) got to play two seasons with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. The duo gave Notre Dame its second set of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Freshman midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Senior Meredith Simon follows in her brother Eric’s footsteps. A 2003 graduate, Eric served as one of the captains of the 2003 men’s lacrosse team while Meredith is a co-captain of the women’s team in 2003. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.