March 3, 2004
* Carol Dixon named BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week.
* Abby Owen named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week.
THE HOME OPENER: Notre Dame opens the home schedule on Sunday, March 7 when the Irish play host to the 19th-ranked Cornell Big Red. The game will begin at 12:00 noon indoors at the Loftus Sports Center. The Irish come into the game with a 2-0 record after defeating California (12-11 in overtime) and Stanford (16-5) last weekend in California. Cornell comes into the game with an 0-1 record after losing their season opener at Georgetown last weekend, 16-8. Following this weekend, the Irish head to Florida for spring break where they will play two games in Orlando, Fla. Notre Dame plays Duke on Wed., March 10 at noon and then faces James Madison on Sun., March 14 at 12:00 noon. Both games will be played at Disney’s World of Sports Complex.
IRISH VERSUS BIG RED: Notre Dame and Cornell have met twice in the history of the two programs with the Big Red winning both games. Last season, the two teams opened the 2003 season at Ithaca, N.Y., with Cornell taking a 13-5 decision. In 2002, the two teams met at the Loftus Center on the Notre Dame campus with the Big Red winning 10-9 in overtime.
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 59-43 (.578) record at Notre Dame and is 173-69 (.715) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 0-2 versus Cornell 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.
CALIFORNIA RECAP: Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and Meredith Simon (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) each scored three goals while Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.) added two goals apiece in the 12-11 overtime win over the California Golden Bears at Berkeley. The Irish led 8-3 after one half only to see California come from behind to tie the game 10-10 with five seconds left in regulation. Owen scored twice in the overtime, including the game winner with 2:04 left. Goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made nine saves in picking up her first career win. On Sunday, Feb. 29, the Irish visited Palo Alto to face the 14th-ranked Stanford Cardinal. The Irish scored the first six goals of the game on the way to a 16-5 win. Meredith Simon led Notre Dame with four goals and two assists and Abby Owen scored a career-high four goals on the afternoon. Lauren Fischer had her second two-goal game of the weekend and Kristen Gaudreau (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) also scored twice in the victory. Carol Dixon made nine saves in the game to help the Irish to a 2-0 record to start the season.
DIXON TAKES BIG EAST HONORS: Notre Dame goalkeeper Carol Dixon was named the BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29. She shared the honor with Georgetown midfielder Michi Ellers. On the week, Dixon was 2-0 with a 7.62 goals-against average and a .529 save percentage. She gave up 11 goals in overtime to California while making nine saves. She followed that by giving up five goals to Stanford while making nine more saves. Dixon became the first Notre Dame player to receive BIG EAST recognition since her sister, Angela, a 2003 graduate, was named offensive player of the week in the conference during the last week of the 2003 season.
INSIDE LACROSSE MAGAZINE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Inside Lacrosse Magazine named Irish midfielder Abby Owen its player of the week for the week ending Feb. 29. On the weekend, Owen scored seven goals with two of them being game-winning tallies. In the Feb. 27 game versus California, Owen scored three goals, with two of them, including the game winner, coming in overtime. On Feb. 29 at Stanford, Owen scored two goals in each half for a career-high four-goal and four-point afternoon. Her second goal of the first half proved to be the game winner.
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.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: During the 2003 season, Notre Dame played 10 of 15 games versus teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation. The 2004 season is no different. Based on the IWLCA preseason coaches poll, Notre Dame is scheduled to face nine teams ranked in the top 20 this season. In addition, five teams that received votes from the coaches are also on the 2004 schedule. The ranked teams include: #4 Duke, #6 Georgetown, #8 James Madison, #9 Ohio State, #13 Syracuse, #14 Stanford, #15 Cornell, #16 Vanderbilt and #20 Johns Hopkins.
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.
SIMON SAYS: Meredith Simon picked up this season where she left off last year in California as she scored seven goals and added two assists on the weekend. She also had a career-high eight ground balls in the win versus California. Simon came into this season as Notre Dame’s top returning scorer with 27 goals and 14 assists for 41 points in 2003. She was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection and a Brine/IWLCA all-region choice as a junior. In 49 career games, Simon has 70 goals and 23 assists for 93 points. Her totals rank her fifth in goals, eighth in assists and fifth in points scored. She currently has a 13-game point streak with 29 goals and nine assists for 38 points.
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 started this season with two goals and three assists for five points in the first two games of the year.
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 on the west coast trip.
NEW KIDS: Two Notre Dame freshmen saw the first action of their Irish careers in the season’s opening weekend. Midfielder Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) started both games and had a goal in each game of the weekend. Defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) saw her first action coming off the bench on defense in both games of the weekend.
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 womenslacrosse.com. She showed an offensive flair in the opening weekend, scoring twice. She added five ground balls and four draw controls.
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 – 13 games (29g, 9a, 38 pts)
Crysti Foote – 10 games (25 g, 11a, 36 pts)
Abby Owen – 2 games (7g, 0a, 7 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 2 games (4g, 0a, 4 pts)
Meghan Murphy – 2 games (2g, 0a, 2 pts)
Andrea Kinnik – 2 games (2g, 0a, 2 pts)
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 coming in back-to-back overtime contests. The lone Irish win in a one-goal game came on March 15 at Boston College (13-12).
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.
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 10-27 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. So far this season, Notre Dame is 1-0 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.