March 10, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #14/#13 Notre Dame (5-0/0-0) vs. -/#16 James Madison (3-0/0-0)
â€¢ Date/Site/Time: Sun., March 12, 2006 – 12:00 noon – Loftus Center – Notre Dame, Ind.
IRISH WRAP UP HOMESTAND VERSUS #16 JAMES MADISON: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will look to run its’ current winning streak to six games on Sunday afternoon at the Loftus Center when they face the 16th-ranked James Madison Dukes in a 12:00 noon game. The Irish are 5-0 on the season after opening the week with a 20-4 home win over Lehigh in game three of the four-game homestand. James Madison comes to South Bend after defeating Virginia Tech, 14-12 on Wednesday at Hilton Head, S.C. The Dukes are 3-0 on the season. This is James Madison’s first visit to Notre Dame although the teams have met three times in the past, twice at JMU and once at a neutral site in Florida. James Madison received votes in this week’s IWLCA poll and were ranked 16th in the Inside Lacrosse poll. The Irish are ranked 14th in the IWLCA poll and 13th by Inside Lacrosse. Following the James Madison game, the Irish will travel to Florida for spring break where they will face Loyola (Md.) in the BIG EAST opener on Thursday, March 16 at Wellington, Fla. That game will start at 7:00 p.m. and be televised by CSTV.
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 77-60 (.562) record at Notre Dame and is 191-86 (.690) 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 1-2 against James Madison in her coaching career.
LEHIGH RECAP: Notre Dame scored early and often in its 20-4 win over Lehigh on Wednesday, March 8. The Irish scored the first six goals of the game and 12 of the first 13 on the way to the 16-goal win. Freshman Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) led the Irish attack with a career-best five-goal, four-assist game. Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) added three goals and four assists and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) had four points on three goals and an assist. Kaki Orr (Jr., Darien, Conn.), Meghan Murphy (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) and Brittany Fox (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) each scored twice in the game. Alicia Billings (Fr., Potomac, Md.), Caitlin Lucas (So., Baldwin, N.Y.) and Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, N.Y.) added single goals as 10 different players got on the scoresheet for the Irish. Carol Dixon (Sr., Pennsauken, N.J.) and Erin Goodman (Fr., Cortlandt Park, N.Y.) each played 30 minutes in goal, giving up two goals and making two saves each.
BYERS BEWARE: Freshman attack standout Jillian Byers set a Notre Dame freshman record for points in a game after recording nine points (5g, 4a) in the 20-4 win over Lehigh on March 8. 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.
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).
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. Last Wednesday, Foote had three goals and four assists versus Lehigh to continue her hot start. Through five games this season, Foote leads the Irish in scoring with 24 goals and 14 assists for 38 points or 7.60 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 5-0 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 five games of the 2006 season, Notre Dame has scored 90 goals for an 18.00 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.
TERRIFIC TRIO: 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 five games of the season. The threesome has now combined for 57 goals and 35 for 92 points in those games. Foote leads the way with 24 goals and 14 assists. Byers is second with 20 tallies and 10 assists for 30 points while McKinney has 13 goals and 14 assists for 21 points. Byers has two game-winning goals and Foote has one on the season.
MILESTONE GOAL: When Crysti Foote scored just 34 seconds into the game with Ohio University (March 2), 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 James Madison, Foote currently ranks third in goals (111), fourth in assists (50) and third in points (161). 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.
IRISH STREAKS: Several Notre Dame players have scoring streaks going into the game with James Madison. Some carry over from last season, the others just started in 2006:
Crysti Foote – 15-game streak (50-26-76)
Caitlin McKinney – 8-game streak (21-12-33) Meghan Murphy scored in three straight games last season before going out with a knee injury on March 6, 2005 and has scored in all five games this year for an eight-game streak (12-4-16).
Jill Byers – 5 games (20-10-30)
Brittany Fox – 3 games (5-2-7)
Heather Ferguson – 3 games (4-1-5)
Alicia Billings – 2 games (2-1-3)
TIME OFF: Senior goalkeeper Carol Dixon has now played in 37 straight games for the Irish since taking over the goalkeeping duties in the 2004 season. Until last Wednesday, Dixon had missed just 13:20 of playing time (playing 2,172:04 of a possible 2,158;24) in two-plus seasons. Versus Lehigh, Dixon got the entire second half (30:00 minutes) with freshman Erin Goodman seeing her first career action. For her career, Dixon is now 20-17 with a 9.73 goals-against average and a .515 save percentage. On the year, she is 5-0 with a 9.73 goals against and a .516 save percentage.
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 five games this season, McKinney already has more than half her point total of a year ago with 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points.
CARPENTER WATCH: Sophomore midfielder Mary Carpenter (Rochester, N.Y.) turned in the first three-goal game of her career and first four-point game in the 17-15 win over Cornell. She is fifth on the team in scoring with five goals and three assists for eight points and it tied for the team lead in ground balls (15) and caused turnovers (6). She is second on the squad with 13 draw controls.
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 20 goals and 10 assists for 30 points in five games, including a sudden-death overtime game winner versus Stanford and the game winner against Lehigh. Jane Stoeckert has three goals and two assists for five points, collecting the game-winning goal against Cornell. Alicia Billings has three goals and an 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 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 womenslacrosse.com as their player and rookie of the week for Feb. 28.