March 18, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #14/#11 Notre Dame (7-0/1-0) at #1/#1 Northwestern (5-0/1-0)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Sun., March 19, 2006 – 1:00 p.m.(CST) – Field Turf Practice Facility – Evanston, Ill.
IRISH FACE TOP-RANKED WILDCATS: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team puts its seven-game winning streak and 7-0 record on the line Sunday afternoon, March 19, when the Irish travel to Evanston, Ill., to face the No. 1 ranked and defending national champion, Northwestern Wildcats. The game will be played at the Field Turf Practice Facility that is adjacent to the Sharon J. Drysdale Field and northeast of Ryan Field on the Northwestern campus. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. (CST). Notre Dame is coming off a 13-9 BIG EAST win over Loyola (Md.) in Wellington, Fla., as part of CSTV’s Spring Fling. That improved the Irish to 7-0 on the year and gives them a 1-0 record in the BIG EAST. Northwestern is 5-0 on the year, 1-0 in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC), and has not played since March 7 when the Wildcats defeated Pennsylvania, 17-8, in Philadelphia. While the Irish have a seven-game winning streak, Northwestern has now won 26 straight games, dating back to the start of the 2005 season when the Wildcats won 21 straight on the way to the NCAA title. The Irish started the week ranked 14th in the IWLCA poll and 11th in the Inside Lacrosse poll. Northwestern is ranked No. 1 in both polls.
NOTRE DAME VERSUS NORTHWESTERN: The Irish and Wildcats will tangle for the sixth time in the last four years (series includes one NCAA tournament game in 2004). Northwestern has a 3-2 edge in the first five games and has won the last three meetings. At Evanston, the Wildcats are 2-1 against the Irish, including a pair of wins (9-5 and 10-8 in NCAAs) in 2004. The Irish lost last year’s meeting, played at the Loftus Center at Notre Dame, by an 18-11 score. The last Irish win versus the Wildcats came on April 26, 2003 at Moose Krause Stadium by a 13-9 score. Notre Dame’s only win at Northwestern came on April 23, 2002, an 11-3 win.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her 10th season as the head coach of the Irish and is the only coach in the program’s Division I history. Coyne owns a 78-60 (.565) record at Notre Dame and is 193-86 (.692) in her 19-year coaching career. Her 2006 Irish squad has started the season with a 7-0 record, quite a turnaround from last year’s 3-12 overall mark and 1-4 record in the BIG EAST. The Irish lost seven games by three goals or less, including four, one-goal decisions. The year before, 2004, Coyne led the Irish to a 12-5 overall record and second place in the BIG EAST with a 4-2 record. She was selected the 2004 BIG EAST coach of the year. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in the program’s history, dropping a 10-8 decision at Northwestern. 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 since 1999. Last year, 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 2-3 in her career versus Northwestern.
BIG EAST WIN IN FLORIDA: Notre Dame opened its BIG EAST schedule in sunny Florida on Thursday, March 16 with a 13-9 win over the conference’s newest lacrosse member, Loyola (Md.). Sophomore Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) paced the Notre Dame attack with three goals and two assists in the game. Jillian Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) added three goals and Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) and Jane Stoeckert (Fr., Mendham, N.J.) each scored twice in the game. Loyola jumped out to 3-0 and 5-2 leads in the first half only to see the Irish rally on three goals by McKinney to tie the score at 7-7 at the half. In the second half, the Irish scored six of the first seven goals in the half to build a 13-8 lead with Byers and Foote each scoring twice. Kaki Orr’s (Jr., Darien, Conn.) free-position goal with 18:56 left in the game proved to be the game winner. Notre Dame outshot the Greyhounds by a 38-23 margin. Carol Dixon (Gr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made eight saves for the Irish while Alex Piraino had 11 for Loyola.
VERSUS NO. 1: Notre Dame’s game with No. 1 ranked Northwestern marks just the second time in the program’s 10-year history that the Irish have played the No. 1 team in the country. On May 12, 2002, the Irish faced No. 1 ranked Princeton in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Princeton where they dropped an 11-5 decision to the eventual national champions.
GOAL-SCORING RAMPAGE: Through the first seven games of the 2006 season, Notre Dame has scored 115 goals for a 16.43 goals-per-game average. The Irish record for goals-per-game in a season is 13.56 (nine games) and was set in the program’s first season, 1997. The school record in a 15-game season is 13.33 and was set in 1999. Last season, the Irish scored 145 goals in 15 games for a 9.67 goals-per-game mark.
FAST START: Notre Dame’s 7-0 start is the best for the Irish since starting the 2004 season with a 10-game winning streak. The Irish finished that year with a 12-5 overall record.
TERRIFIC TRIO: Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio of Crysti Foote, Jill Byers and Caitlin McKinney has had the hot hand for the Irish in the first seven games of the season. The threesome has combined for 73 goals and 39 assists for 112 points in those games. Foote leads the way with 29 goals and 16 assists. Byers is second with 26 tallies and 10 assists for 36 points while McKinney has 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points. Byers has two game-winning goals and Foote has one on the season.
LARGE MARGIN: Notre Dame’s 20-4 win over Lehigh was the third-largest margin of victory in the program’s 10-year history. The Irish own a 19-goal win over Ohio (22-3 in 2000) and an 18-goal win against Denver (20-2 in 2001).
BYERS BEWARE: Freshman attack standout Jillian Byers scored three goals in Notre Dame’s 13-9 win over Loyola to give the Irish a 1-0 mark in BIG EAST play this season. That came after a 12-point week in wins over Lehigh and James Madison. In Notre Dame’s 20-4 win over Lehigh, Byers set a Notre Dame freshman record for points in a game after recording nine points (5g, 4a) versus the Mountain Hawks. Byers had five goals and an assist in the first half and then set up three goals in the second half of the game. Byers nine-point game also tied an Irish record for points in a home game, matching the nine points recorded by Kerry Callahan `99 (6g, 3a) on March 24, 1997 versus Stanford and Lael O’Shaughnessy `01 (6g, 3a) on March 28, 1999 vs. Connecticut. She followed that with three goals in the win versus James Madison. On the year, Byers has 26 goals and 10 assists for 36 points in seven games. The Irish record for points in a season is 41.
Freshman Scoring Leaders:
1. Courtney Calabrese (1998) 38- 3-41 Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998) 27-14-413. Caitlin McKinney (2005) 28-12-404. Crysti Foote (2003) 27-11-385. Jillian Byers (2006) 26-10-36
IRISH STREAKS: Several Notre Dame players have scoring streaks going into the game with Northwestern. Some carry over from last season, the others just started in 2006:
Crysti Foote – 17-game streak (55-28-83)
Caitlin McKinney – 10-game streak (26-14-40)
Jill Byers – 7 games (26-10-36)
Brittany Fox – 3 games (5-2-7)
Kaki Orr – 3 games (5-2-7)
Jane Stoeckert – 2 games (2-2-4)
Former Irish attack standout, Danielle Shearer `03 holds the Notre Dame record by scoring in 36 consecutive games between 4/25/01 and 5/1/03, getting 85 goals and 51 assists for 136 points in her streak. The streak was still active when her collegiate career ended.
CHART CLIMBING: When Crysti Foote scored just 34 seconds into the game with Ohio University (March 2), it marked the 100th goal of her Notre Dame career, making her just one of four players in school history with 100 goals. Going into the Northwestern game, Foote currently ranks third in goals (116), fourth in assists (52) and third in points (168). The school record for goals is 130 and held by Danielle Shearer `03; the record for assists is 68 and held by Lael O’Shaughnessy `01 and the point mark is 196 and belongs to Shearer. The school record for points in a season is owned by Meredith Simon `04 who had 46-28-74 in her senior year. In seven games, Foote has 29 goals and 16 assists for 45 points. Her career best came last season when she had 34 goals and 16 assists for 50 points. She has alread tied her career high with 16 assists.
BIG EAST HONOR ROLL: Crysti Foote was selected to the BIG EAST honor roll for the week ending March 12. In two games, Foote scored six goals and added six assists for 12 points on the week. She was named BIG EAST offensive player of the week in each of the first two weeks of the season.
TIME OFF: Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon has now played in 39 straight games for the Irish since taking over the goalkeeping duties in the 2004 season. In that streak, Dixon has missed just 43:20 minutes of playing time. For her career, Dixon is now 22-17 with a 9.74 goals-against average and a .509 save percentage. On the year, she is 7-0 with a 9.81 goals against and a .496 save percentage.
BEST IN THE NATION: Notre Dame’s freshman class was rated No. 1 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse magazine in its November, 2005 issue. The story had this to say about the 10-player class: “Coming off a disappointing 3-12 season, the Fighting Irish have high hopes for 2006 with Jill Byers leading a powerful class that includes immediate contributors Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.), Mary Veith (Silver Springs, Md.) and Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.). Goalie Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) adds strength for the future.” As part of the story, the magazine’s list of “Blue Chip” recruits listed Jill Byers and Jane Stoeckert among its top 10 incoming freshmen.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Notre Dame’s freshman class has lived up to its top billing in 2006. Jillian Byers has led the way with 26 goals and 10 assists for 36 points in seven games, including a sudden-death overtime game winner versus Stanford and the game winner against Lehigh. Jane Stoeckert has five goals and four assists for nine points, collecting the game-winning goal against Cornell and then setting up the game winner versus James Madison. Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.) has three goals and two assist on the year and has been a force in the midfield. Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has seen action on defense in three games as has Kelly Gaudreau (Annapolis, Md.). Annemarie McGrath (Wayne, Pa.) has played in two games and Beth Koloup (Phoenix, Md.), Lauren deMello (Manlius, N.Y.) and Erin Goodman each saw their first action versus Lehigh.
FOR STARTERS: Freshman Jill Byers didn’t take long to adapt to the college game after an outstanding high school career at Northport (NY) High School. It took less than two minutes (1:59) for her to get her first career assist and then less than six minutes to score her first two career goals. In her first game versus California, the lightning-quick Byers set Irish records for goals in a first game by a freshman (5) and points in a first game with 8. She finished her first weekend as a collegiate player with 10 goals and 3 assists for 13 points. She was selected by womenslacrosse.com as their player and rookie of the week for Feb. 28.
STICKLER FOR STOECKERT: Freshman Jane Stoeckert turned in a career-high three-point game (2g, 1a) in Notre Dame’s 13-9 win over Loyola on March 16. That came one game after setting up the game-winning goal in the 12-11 win over James Madison on March 12. She has five goals and four assists for nine points in her first seven games.
MURPHY ON THE ATTACK: Junior Meghan Murphy (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) saw her nine-game point streak (14-6-20) snapped in the win over Loyola. She made the move from midfield to attack this season after recovering from season-ending knee surgery last season. Murphy has eight goals and five assists in her first seven games this season. She equaled a career high with four points (2g, 2a) in the win over James Madison.
CLOSE ONES: In 2005, Notre Dame lost seven games by a total of three goals or fewer. Four of those games were one-goal losses and two came in overtime. In seven of the 12 losses, the Irish lost by a combined 13 goals (1.86 goals per game) and in the 12 losses for the season, they were out scored by a total of 42 goals (3.50 per loss). This season, the Irish have turned the tables, already winning two games by one goal – a 12-11 overtime win at Stanford and a 12-11 win over James Madison on March 12.
BACK AT IT: Senior captain Crysti Foote was named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the week ending March 5. For Foote, it marked the second consecutive week to receive the honor. Last week, Foote collected nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in wins over Ohio University and Cornell. In the 18-6 win over Ohio, Foote had four goals and four assists for eight points. She followed that with eight points (5g, 3a), all in the first half, in the 17-15 win over Cornell. Through seven games this season, Foote leads the Irish in scoring with 29 goals and 16 assists for 45 points or 6.43 points per game.
HONOR ROLL: Junior defensive standout Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) was named to the BIG EAST honor roll for her play on the defensive side of the ball for the week ending March 5. She had seven ground balls, three draw controls and five caused turnovers in the two Irish wins.
GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY: Sophomore Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) has picked up where she left off in her rookie season by scoring 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points in her first seven games this season. As a freshman, she just missed the Irish freshman scoring record (41 points) as she had 28 goals and 12 assists for 40 points. She finished the year by being named second team all-BIG EAST selection, the lone freshman on that team, and was a second-team all-Mid-Atlantic region choice. Following the season, the speedster was named to the U.S. National Developmental Team.
GETTING HOT: Midfielder Kaki Orr got off to a slow start with just three points in the first four games. She has picked things up over the last three games, getting five goals and two assists over those games.. She is currently fifth on the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists for 10 points. Her free-position goal in the second half versus Loyola, proved to be the game-winning goal.
COMEBACK KIDS: Even with a 7-0 record to start the year, Notre Dame has had to come from behind in three of those games. Versus Stanford (2/26), the Irish trailed 5-1 at halftime, tied the game in regulation and took their only lead with the winning goal in overtime. Against James Madison, the Irish trailed 7-3 at halftime, but rallied for a 12-11 win. In the 13-9 victory versus Loyola (3/16), the Irish trailed 5-2 in the first half and were tied 7-7 at halftime.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST:
Team Statistics (all games as of March 12, 2006)Goals/Game: 1st - 17.00Assists/Game: 1st - 9.83Ground Balls/Game: 4th - 21.83Shots/Game: 1st - 36.33Turnovers/Game: t2 - 17.67Caused Turnovers/Game: 1st - 11.50Goals Against Average: 2nd - 9.47Saves Per Game: 2nd - 9.67
IndividualsGoals/Game: 3rd - Crysti Foote, 4.50 4th - Jillian Byers, 3.83 7th - Caitlin McKinney, 2.50Assists/Game: 1st - Crysti Foote, 2.67 3rd - Caitlin McKinney, 1.83 4th - Jillian Byers, 1.67Points/Game: 1st - Crysti Foote, 7.17 3rd - Jillian Byers, 5.50 5th - Caitlin McKinney, 4.33Ground Balls: t5th - Mary Carpenter, 3.00Shots/Game: 2nd - Crysti Foote, 9.67 5th - Jillian Byers, 7.17 8th - Caitlin McKinney, 5.50Goals-Against Avg.: 6th - Carol Dixon, 9.95Save Pct.: t3rd - Carol Dixon, .500Saves/Game: 3rd - Carol Dixon, 9.33