April 8, 2004
* Meredith Simon (three goals), Lauren Fischer (two goals, one assist) and Abby Owen (two goals and one assist) pace balanced attack with three points each in win over Ohio.
IRISH TO BATTLE BUCKEYES: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team takes to the road for the sixth time this season when the Irish travel to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, April 10 to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. Game time at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium is 1:00 p.m. EDT. Notre Dame comes into the game with a 9-0 record on the season and has now won 13 consecutive games dating back to the final four games of the 2003 season. The Irish are coming off a 13-8 win over Ohio University on Tuesday afternoon at Notre Dame. Notre Dame is ranked third in the nation, the highest ranking ever achieved by any Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in the eight-year history of the program. Ohio State brings a 4-6 overall record into the game with the Buckeyes coming off a 17-10 win over Davidson last Sunday, April 4. The OSU win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Buckeyes and gave them a 1-2 mark in the American Lacrosse Conference (ALC). Following the game at Ohio State, the Irish will next be in action on Saturday, April 17 when they travel to Washington, D.C. for a BIG EAST clash with the Georgetown Hoyas. That game will be a battle for first place in the BIG EAST and will start at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).
IRISH VERSUS OHIO STATE: Notre Dame and Ohio State have met eight times in the all-time series with the Buckeyes holding a 5-3 edge. At Ohio State, OSU is 2-1 versus the Irish and the Buckeyes also have a 3-2 edge in games played at Notre Dame. Last season, the two teams met in South Bend on March 25th with OSU taking a 12-9 win. The last time the two teams played in Columbus was April 9, 2002 with Ohio State taking a 12-11 win. Notre Dame’s last win versus Ohio State came on May 9, 2002 in the first round of the 2002 NCAA tournament. The Irish won that game, 11-7, in South Bend.
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 66-43 (.606) record at Notre Dame and is 180-69 (.723) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 3-5 versus Ohio State in her coaching career. 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.
OHIO UNIVERSITY RECAP: Senior Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.) scored three goals while Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.), Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) scored two goals each as Notre Dame rolled to a 13-8 win over Ohio University at Moose Krause Stadium. The three goals for Simon give her a career-best 30 goals in just nine games this season. Freshman Dana Dobbie had four goals and an assist for the Bobcats while Lynz Keys scored twice to lead the Bobcat attack. For the game, Fischer and Owen each had two goals and an assist for three-point games and Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.) had a goal and an assist to join Murphy with two points on the afternoon. Kassen Delano (Alexandria, Va.), Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) and Kerry Van Shura (So., Bel Air, Md.) had single goals for the Irish. Notre Dame led 7-4 at halftime and outscored the Bobcats, 6-4, in the second half for the win. The Irish outshot Ohio by a 34-24 margin. Cassidy had 13 saves for the Bobcats while Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) had 10 stops for the Irish.
ON A TEAR: Senior midfielder Meredith Simon set a a personal career-record when she scored three goals versus Ohio University on Tuesday afternoon. The Flemington, N.J. native now has a career-high 30 goals on the season, reaching that total in just nine games. Her previous career-high was 28 and was set during the 2002 season. She now has 41 points (30g, 11a) on the season, which equals her career-high, set last season with 27 goals and 14 assists. As of April 6, she was seventh in the country with 4.75 points per game. At Notre Dame she has 93 goals (third all-time), 32 assists (fifth all-time) for 125 career points (fourth-best all-time).
AND THE BEAT GOES ON: Notre Dame can look back on the end of the 2003 season as a jump start for the 2004 campaign. The Irish ended the season with four straight wins to improve from 4-7 on the year to 8-7 overall. With nine wins to start the 2004 season, the Irish have now won 13 straight going into the game at Ohio State this weekend. The previous longest winning streak for the Irish was six games from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.
IRISH ON THE NATIONAL SCENE: Notre Dame figures prominently in the national statistics this week (through games of March 29):
Points per game: Meredith Simon, 7th, 4.75 ppg
Goals per game: Meredith Simon, t9th, 3.38 gpg
Draw controls: Meredith Simon, t19th, 2.75 dcpg
GAVG: Carol Dixon, 10th, 8.02 GAVG
Save Pct: Carol Dixon, 17th, .532 save pct.
Goals per game: 2nd, 14.63 gpg
Team Defense: 10th, 8.13 opponent gpg
Margin of Victory: 4th, +6.50 gpg
Ground Balls: 14th, 26.38
Draw Controls: 4th, 13.88
Caused Turnovers: 7th, 11.75
SCORING STREAKS: Meredith Simon continued her scoring streak versus Ohio University that has now reached 20 games. Abby Owen and Lauren Fischer have scored in every game this season. Here are the current Irish scoring streaks going into the Ohio State game.
Meredith Simon – 20 games (52g, 18a, 70 pts)
Abby Owen – 9 games (23g, 7a, 30 pts)
Lauren Fischer – 9 games (17g, 7a, 24 pts)
Kassen Delano – 8 games (11g, 4a, 15 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 6 games (8g, 3a, 11 pts)
Crysti Foote – 4 games (8g, 4a, 12 pts)
CAREER YEAR: You thought that midfielder Abby Owen had a breakout season in 2003 when she had 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points??? Well, in 2004, through the first nine games of the year, Owen has already scored 23 goals with seven assists for 30 points (a new career high). She has four games this season with four points and four games with three points on the year. She had a career-high four-goal game versus Stanford on Feb. 29. She was named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29.
DELANO DELIGHTS: Senior midfielder Kassen Delano turned in a season-best four-point game (three goals and one assist) in the win over Connecticut. The three-goal game was the third of her career and the four-point game was the second. Delano’s other four-point game came versus Connecticut on April 8, 2001. On the season, Delano has 11 goals and four assists for 15 points. Her career highs are 15 goals and five assists for 20 points, marks set as a freshman in 2001.
IRISH HONORS: The following Notre Dame players have been honored during 2004.
Carol Dixon – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29)
Andrea Kinnik – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (March 29)
Abby Owen – Inside Lacrosse Magazine
Player of the Week (Feb. 29)
Meredith Simon – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 29) BIG EAST co-offensive player of the week (March 8)
HIGH-SCORING IRISH: Notre Dame is second in the nation in scoring with 14.63 goals per game through the first nine games of the season. The Irish trail Maryland as the Terrapins are averaging 15.00 goals per game in 11 contests this season. Notre Dame’s mark of 14.63 is the all-time best scoring mark for the Irish. The previous best is 13.56 goals per game and that came during the 1997 season, the first year that the program existed.
FIVE FOR BOWERS: Just when you thought that the Irish didn’t have enough goal scorers in the lineup, Jackie Bowers joined the attack versus Virginia Tech (March 26). All the junior attack player did was rack up a career-best five goals in the win. For the weekend versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Bowers had six goals and one assist for seven points. On the year, Bowers has nine goals and five assists for 14 points. All are career highs. Bowers had three goals and one assist for four points in limited action last season.
SIMON AND KINNIK NAMED BIG EAST PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: For the second time this season, senior midfielder Meredith Simon has been named BIG EAST offensive player of the week (for the week ending March 28). Simon was named co-offensive player of the week for the week ending March 8. In two wins last week versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Simor recorded eight goals and three assists for 11 points. She also had six ground balls and eight draw controls in the two wins. Versus Virginia Tech, Simon had her second seven-point game of the year (four goals and three assists) with six ground balls and three draw controls. Versus Boston College, she added four goals and five draw controls in the win. Andrea Kinnik (West Chester, Pa.), a senior defender, was selected as the league’s co-defensive player of the week (March 28) for the first time as she recorded six ground balls, three draw controls and caused three turnovers in the wins versus Virginia Tech and Boston College. Kinnik also set up Notre Dame’s first goal of the game in the 17-7 win over Boston College. She leads Notre Dame with 25 ground balls on the year and is third with 12 draw controls.
SCORIN LAUREN: Senior attacker Lauren Fischer has started her final season with the Irish on an offensive roll. Through nine games, Fischer has 17 goals, a career-high seven assists and has equaled her career high with 24 points on the year. Fischer’s three-assist game on March 28 versus Boston College is a career high. Her four-point game versus Cornell (Mar. 7) was the second of her career and is a career high. She picked up her second three-goal game of the season when she scored three times in the win over James Madison. She has had three-goal games four times in her career. Fischer’s previous career highs in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) were established last season.
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 already has scored four goals this season and leads the team with 31 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers.
VERSUS THE BEST: Through nine games this season, Notre Dame has faced teams ranked in the top 20 in four of them and has won them all. All-time, Notre Dame is now 13-27 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. Among Notre Dame’s wins this season versus ranked teams are victories over #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. Those two wins came against the highest-ranked teams the Irish have ever beaten. The previous highest-ranked team Notre Dame beat was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and in 2002, they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse. In 2003, the Irish were 3-7 versus teams ranked in the top 20.
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 has acquitted herself quite well as she has a nine-game winning streak to start the season and has an 8.02 goals against average and a .532 save percentage. She ranks second in the BIG EAST with the 8.02 goals-against average and is third with the .532 save percentage. As of March 28, her goals against is the 10th best in the nation and the save percentage is tied for 17th. Dixon was named the BIG EAST co-Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending February 29.
SLAMMING THE DOOR: Through nine games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 73 goals for an 8.13 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. Only Duke and Virginia Tech, with 11 goals, has scored in double figures versus the Irish this season.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has even joined in on the goal scoring this season. The Irish defense had a goal and an assist in the 13-8 win over Ohio University on April 6. Andrea Kinnik set up one goal and sophomore Kerry Van Shura (Bel Air, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in the contest. In nine games this season, Irish defenders have 12 goals and three assists on the year. Kristen Gaudreau leads the defense with six goals and an assist for seven points. Andrea Kinnik has four goals and two assists while Van Shura and Jess Mikula (Jr., Chester, Md.) have one goal each.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: After being held off the scoresheet for two consecutive games, sophomore midfielder Crysti Foote has found her scoring touch over the last four games. During the four-game run, Foote has eight goals and four assists for 12 points. On the season, Foote is fourth in scoring with 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points on the year. As a freshman in 2003, 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.
THE CAPTAINS: Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik and Meredith Simon. For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.
NEW KIDS: Freshman midfielder Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first eight games of the season. Murphy had a career-high three goals and four points in the win over Cornell (Mar. 7), just her third game in an Irish uniform. For the season she has nine goals and one assist for 10 points and is seventh on the team in scoring. Fellow freshman defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made her first career start versus Connecticut and has seen action in all eight games on defense. Sophomore Brittany Fox (So., Annapolis, Md.) 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. Kristin Hopson (Fr., Rosemont, Pa.) saw her first action versus Virginia Tech while Megan O’Shaughnessy (Fr., Englewood, Colo.) and Kaki Orr (Fr., Darien, Conn.) saw their first career action versus Boston College.
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. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) 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 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).
FUTURE IRISH: In November’s early-signing period, head coach Tracy Coyne announced that five high school lacrosse standouts signed letters of intent to attend Notre Dame for the 2004-05 school year.
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. Senior defender Bridget Higgins (Wilton, Conn.) older brother, Kevin, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and served as team captain for the 2000 season. 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.