Irish goalkeeper Carol Dixon is off to a 4-0 start for the irish in 2006.

No. 14/13 Irish Look To Improve 4-0 Start With Home Games Versus Lehigh And No. 16 James Madison

March 7, 2006

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #14/#13 Notre Dame (4-0/0-0) vs. Lehigh (1-1/0-0)

• Date/Site/Time: Wed., March 8, 2006 – 4:00 p.m. – Loftus Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

• The Game: #14/#13 Notre Dame (4-0/0-0) vs. -/#16 James Madison (2-0/0-0)

• Date/Site/Time: Sun., March 12, 2006 – 12:00 noon – Loftus Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

IRISH WRAP UP HOMESTAND VERSUS LEHIGH AND JAMES MADISON: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s lacrosse team will look to continue its’ current four-game winning streak with a pair of home games this week versus Lehigh and James Madison. Lehigh will visit the Loftus Center on Wed., March 8 for a 4:00 p.m. game versus the Irish. The Mountain Hawks will be meeting Notre Dame for the first time in women’s lacrosse. They bring a 1-1 record to South Bend after winning their season opener at Fairfield (14-13) before dropping an 18-7 decision at home to Drexel on March 3. James Madison will also make its first appearance at Notre Dame on Sunday, March 12 at 12:00 noon. The two teams have met three times in the past, twice at JMU and once on a neutral field. The Dukes are 2-0 on the season with wins over Longwood (22-6) and at Yale (10-9). They will face Virginia Tech on March 8 at Hilton Head, S.C., before traveling to Notre Dame. James Madison received votes in this week’s IWLCA poll and were ranked 16th in the Inside Lacrosse poll. Notre Dame comes into the week with a 4-0 record after wins versus Ohio University (18-6) and No. 18 Cornell (17-15) last week. The Irish are ranked 14th in the IWLCA poll and 13th by Inside Lacrosse.

IRISH VERSUS MOUNTAIN HAWKS: Wednesday’s game between Notre Dame and Lehigh University will be the first meeting between the two schools.

NOTRE DAME VERSUS JAMES MADISON: The Irish and the Dukes have met three times in the past, twice in Harrisonburg, Va., and once at Orlando, Fla. The Irish are 1-2 against James Madison with the lone win coming on March 14, 2004, a 9-7 win at Orlando. Notre Dame has dropped two games at James Madison – March 2, 2001, a 15-4 loss and then last season, on March 13, a 10-5 loss.

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 76-60 (.559) record at Notre Dame and is 190-86 (.688) in her 19-year coaching career. Last season, Coyne’s squad was 3-12 on the year and 1-4 in BIG EAST play. 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 0-0 all-time versus Lehigh and 1-2 against James Madison in her coaching career.

BACK AT IT: Senior captain Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) was named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week for the second consecutive week by the conference office. 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. In four games this season, Foote leads the Irish in scoring with 21 goals and 10 assists for 31 points or 7.75 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 last week. She had seven ground balls, three draw controls and five caused turnovers in the two Irish wins.

FAST START: Notre Dame’s 4-0 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.

GOAL-SCORING RAMPAGE: Through the first four games of the 2006 season, Notre Dame has scored 70 goals for a 17.50 goals per game average. The Irish record for goals per game in a season is 13.56 and was set in the program’s first season, 1997.

BOBCAT BASHING: Notre Dame broke open a close game in the second half, scoring nine of the final 10 goals of the game to defeat Ohio University, 18-6. The Irish led 8-4 at halftime and then 9-5 early in the second before scoring nine times in the last 20 minutes. Crysti Foote led the attack with four goals and four assists. Jill Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) added three goals and two assists while Brittany Fox (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) also had three goals in the game. Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) had two goals and two assists and Meghan Murphy (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) also had a two-goal game. Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made 15 saves in the win as Tracy Coyne ran her record versus her alma mater to 7-0 all-time.

BIG RED WIN: Notre Dame handed No. 18 Cornell its first loss of the season on Sunday with a 17-15 win. The Irish let this one get closer than necessary as they built a 17-11 lead before surrendering the final four goals of the game. Foote again led the way with five goals and three assists while McKinney and sophomore Mary Carpenter (Rochester, N.Y.) each had three goals. Jill Byers and Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.) each scored twice in the win. Dixon was credited with 14 saves in the game as Cornell out shot the Irish, 35-33 in the game.

TERRIFIC TRIUMVIRATE: Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio of Crysti Foote, Jill Byers and Caitlin McKinney have had the hot hand for the Irish in the first four games of the season. The trio has now combined for 46 goals and 26 for 72 points in those games. Foote leads the way with 21 goals and 10 assists. Byers is second with 15 tallies and six assists for 21 points while McKinney is one point off that pace with 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. Foote picked up the game-winning goal versus California and Byers had the sudden-death game winner against Stanford.

MILESTONE GOAL: When Crysti Foote scored just 34 seconds into the game with Ohio University, 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 game against Lehigh, Foote currently ranks fourth in goals (108) – one behind Meredith Simon `04 for third; fifth in assists (46) – three behind Simon for fourth; and fourth in points (154) – four behind Simon for third all-time.

CARPENTER WATCH: Sophomore midfielder Mary Carpenter turned in the first three-goal game of her career and first four-point game in the 17-15 win over Cornell. She is fourth on the team in scoring with five goals and three assists for eight points and leads the Irish in ground balls with 13 and is second in draw controls with 12. She is in her first season as a starter for the Irish.

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 (Northport, N.Y.) 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 early-season billing in 2006. Jill Byers has led the way with 15 goals and six assists for 21 points in four games, including a sudden-death overtime game winner versus Stanford. Jane Stoeckert has three goals and two assists for five points, collecting the game-winning goal against Cornell. Alicia Billings has two goals on the year and has been a force in the midfield. Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has seen action on defense in two games as has Kelly Gaudreau (Annapolis, Md.). Annemarie McGrath (Wayne, Pa.) has played in one game so far this year.

FOR STARTERS: Freshman Jill Byers took a long time to adapt to the college game after an outstanding high school career at Northport (NY). It took less than two minutes (1:59) for her to get her first 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 as their player and rookie of the week for Feb. 28.

FIRST TIMERS: Three sophomores – Julie Foote (Suffern, N.Y.), Caitlin Lucas (Baldwin, N.Y.) and Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) saw their first career action in the win over Ohio University on March 2. Foote scored the first goal of her career in the game off an assist from Lucas.

IRISH STREAKS: Several Notre Dame players have scoring streaks going into the game with Lehigh on Wednesday. Some carry over from last season, the others just started in 2006:

Crysti Foote - 14-game streak (47-22-69)Caitlin McKinney - 7-game streak (18-11-29)Mary Carpenter - 7-game streak (8-4-12).Meghan Murphy scored in three straight games last season before going out with a knee injury on March 6, and has scored in all four games this year for a seven-game streak (10-3-13).Jill Byers - 4 games (15-6-21)Jane Stoeckert - 4 games (3-2-5)Heather Ferguson - 2 games (3-1-4)

GETTING BETTER EVERY DAY: Sophomore Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) burst on the scene in 2005 as a freshman at Notre Dame and turned in one of the best seasons ever by an Irish rookie. McKinney started the year with four goals against Ohio University and never looked back on her way to 28 goals and 12 assists for 40 points. That point total put her one off the Notre Dame freshman record for points in a season that is held by Lael O’Shaughnessy (27g, 14a) and Courtney Calabrese (38g, 3a) as both scored 41 points in their first year at Notre Dame in 1998, the second year of the program. McKinney was a 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. In four games this season, McKinney already has half her point total of a year ago with 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points.