Sophomore Jillian Byers finished the regular season as the BIG EAST's top goal scorer as she found the back of the net 55 times for the year.

No. 7 Irish Advance To NCAA Final Four With 12-9 Win Over No. 4 Georgetown

May 20, 2006

Final Stats | Quotes

Notre Dame, Ind. – For six years, the Georgetown Hoyas have stood in the way of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in its attempt to win a BIG EAST Conference title. Three times, including this season, the Irish finished second to the Hoyas in the league with their lone loss coming to Georgetown. Now, only the Hoyas stood in the way of Notre Dame in its’ bid to advance to the NCAA Finals in Boston, Mass., next weekend.

On Saturday afternoon at Moose Krause Stadium, things would be different. Notre Dame’s three big scorers – Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.), Jillian Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) combined for nine goals and six assists to lead the Irish to their first win in eight tries against the Hoyas, a 12-9 victory at Moose Krause Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Mary Carpenter (So., Rochester, N.Y.), Jane Stoeckert (Fr., Mendham, N.J.) and Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.) added single goals in the Notre Dame win.

The victory sends the Irish to Boston University’s Nickerson Field on Friday, May 26 for an 8:30 p.m. meeting with the Dartmouth Big Green in one of two NCAA semifinal games. Dartmouth, the seventh seed in the tournament, knocked off Princeton, 7-6 in overtime, on Saturday. Top-seed Duke will meet fourth-seed Northwestern in the opening game at 6:00 p.m. on May 26. The NCAA Championship game will be held on Sunday, May 28 at Nickerson Field in a 12:00 noon game.

Georgetown got three goals each from Coco Stanwick and Schuyler Sutton while Lucy Poole, Paige Andrews and Courtney Hubschman each scored once for the Hoyas who fall to 14-4 for the season.

A jubilant Notre Dame team celebrated following its’ first-ever win over Georgetown and the first trip to the NCAA Tournament in the program’s 10-year history.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” said head coach Tracy Coyne, the program’s only coach.

“We were very calm all week in practice. I told the team I felt confident. I had confidence in their ability after the way they handled the Cornell game. We just took it as a really important Georgetown game.”


Crysti Foote, Notre Dame’s All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate, scored three goals and added three assists in the 12-9 win over Georgetown.



Foote, who now has 71 goals and 108 points on the year, called it a great team victory. “We had two goals coming into this season. We had a goal to win the BIG EAST, and they (Georgetown) took that from us, and a goal to win the NCAA championship. When they took the BIG EAST Championship from us, it sunk in. We came back today and wanted to win badly. Everyone stepped up, from the goalie, to the midfield, to the defense, to the attack. We just did an all-around amazing job.”

The Irish got off to a fast start in the game thanks to Byers who scored Notre Dame’s first three goals on the way to a five-point game (3g, 2a). She put the Irish ahead 2-0 off assists by McKinney (25:10) and Becky Ranck (So., Radnor, Pa.) at 22:06.

Hubschman cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal at 19:39 only to see Foote, the nation’s leading scorer, set up Byers for her third goal of the game just 31 seconds later at 19:08.

The lead would go to 4-1 when Carpenter found Stoeckert sliding down the middle for a close in shot that beat Georgetown’s Maggie Koch at 16:49

After falling behind, Georgetown roared right back, scoring the next five goals to take a 6-4 lead. Andrews answered Stoeckert’s goal just 38 seconds later at 16:11 to make it 4-2. Sutton cut the lead to 4-3 on a free-position shot at 13:12 and Poole’s unassisted goal at 11:32 tied the game at 4-4. Stanwick’s first goal of the game at 5:07 gave the Hoya’s a 5-4 lead and she then set up Sutton with her second goal at 3:05 for the two-goal lead.

The Irish were able to regroup and Foote got an important goal with 1:32 remaining to cut the Georgetown lead to 6-5 at halftime.

Notre Dame came out fast in the second half and tied the game when Ferguson converted on a free-position goal at 28:35 to make it 6-6.

Stanwick scored her second of the afternoon at 26:18 to restore the Georgetown lead at 7-6. The score would stay that way until 20:57 when McKinney scored her first goal of the half on a free-position shot to even the score at 7-7.

Stanwick, who finished the year with 55 goals, gave Georgetown its final lead of the game (8-7) when she scored off an assist by Sara Zorzi at 18:47. From there, the potent Notre Dame attack took over as the Irish scored four straight goals and five of the last six in the game while the Irish defense slammed the door on Georgetown.


Three second-half goals by Caitlin McKinney helped the Irish rally to defeat Georgetown 12-9. The win sends the Irish to the Final Four for the first time in the program’s history.



McKinney started the four goals in 3:31 run for the Irish when she took a feed from Byers at 17:10 and fired it behind Koch to tie the score at 8-8. Foote found Carpenter cutting in from the right side 64 seconds later to put Notre Dame ahead to stay at 16:06.

From there, Foote scored twice in a 45-second span at 14:24 and 13:39 to build the lead to 11-8.

Georgetown head coach Ricky Fried gave Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio credit in the win. “We want to give Notre Dame a lot of credit for how they were prepared to play today. Their big three players stepped up big, Crysti (Foote), Jill (Byers), and Caitlin (Mckinney) did an excellent job. I think Carol Dixon did a nice job in the goal as well,” said Fried.

“To our credit we didn’t stop fighting; we kept playing the whole game and we just didn’t quite have enough at the end. I’m very proud of our seniors especially. While this is not a great way for them to end their careers obviously, but when they look back on it they will be very satisfied with what they accomplished.”

Sutton halted Notre Dame’s four-goal run with her third goal of the game at 7:37 and McKinney closed out her hat trick with 4:08 left in the game. From there, the Irish were able to control play and when Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Jr., Farmingdale, N.Y.) caused a turnover with 2:21 left, Notre Dame controlled play to hold on for the 12-9 win.

For the game, the Irish out shot Georgetown by a 26-18 and allowed just seven shots in the second half. Carol Dixon (Gr., Pennsauken, N.J.) made three saves for Notre Dame while Koch had eight saves for the Hoyas.

The win improves Notre Dame to 15-3 on the season and adds to the turnaround from last season when the Irish were 3-12 for the year.

In talking about the turnaround, Foote said, “Everyday in practice I look at everyone, and if one person is working hard, the person next to them is working even harder. It’s just the mentality this year. We’re working hard and we’re not ready to give up at any point. It’s just been an overall effort this year.”


** Notre Dame has never faced Dartmouth in the program’s 10-year history. The Big Green is 13-5 on the season and was 5-2 in the Ivy League this year.

** The Irish finished the year undefeated at home, going 9-0 at Moose Krause Stadium and the Loftus Sports Center.

** Notre Dame’s high-scoring trio of Crysti Foote, Jillian Byers and Caitlin McKinney have combined for 164 goals and 82 assists for 246 points on the year. Foote leads the way with 71 goals and 37 assists for 108 points. Byers follows with 54 goals and 24 assists for 78 points and McKinney with 39 goals and 21 assists for 60 points.

**Freshman defender Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) played a key role in the win over Georgetown. She won four big draws in the second half, caused two turnovers and had a ground ball.

** Goalkeeper Carol Dixon made her 49th consecutive start for the Irish and has now played more games in goal (55) than any goalkeeper in the program’s history, passing Jen White’s `03 mark of 53 games. Her 15 wins pass White’s single-season best total of 13 and Dixon now has 30 career wins, just one behind White’s record of 31.

Game Summary               1    2  -  F# 4  Georgetown (14-4)     6    3  -  9# 7  Notre Dame (15-3)     5    7  - 12
First-Half ScoringTime Team Score Goal Assist25:10 ND 1-0 Jillian Byers (52) Caitlin McKinney (21)22:06 ND 2-0 Jillian Byers (53) Becky Ranck (1)19:39 GU 2-1 Courtney Hubschman (10) Coco Stanwick (10)19:08 ND 3-1 Jillian Byers (54) Crysti Foote (35)16:49 ND 4-1 Jane Stoeckert (11) Mary Carpenter (10)16:11 GU 4-2 Paige Andrews (18) Sara Zorzi (27)13:12 GU 4-3 * Schuyler Sutton (20) Free-position shot11:32 GU 4-4 Lucy Poole (26) 5:07 GU 4-5 Coco Stanwick (53) 3:05 GU 4-6 Schuyler Sutton (21) Coco Stanwick (11) 1:32 ND 5-6 Crysti Foote (69)
Second-Half ScoringTime Team Score Goal Assist28:35 ND 6-6 * Heather Ferguson (23) Free-position shot26:18 GU 6-7 Coco Stanwick (54) Lucy Poole (6)20:57 ND 7-7 * Caitlin McKinney (38) Free-position shot18:47 GU 7-8 Coco Stanwick (55) Sara Zorzi (28)17:10 ND 8-8 Caitlin McKinney (38) Jillian Byers (23)16:06 ND 9-8 Mary Carpenter (12) Crysti Foote (36)14:24 ND 10-8 Crysti Foote (70)13:39 ND 11-8 Crysti Foote (71) Jillian Byers (25) 7:37 GU 11-9 Schuyler Sutton (22) 4:08 ND 12-9 Caitlin McKinney (39) Crysti Foote (37)* Free-position goal
GoalkeepersGeorgetown - Maggie Koch (60:00 min.; 12 goals, 8 saves)Notre Dame - Carol Dixon (60:00 min.; 9 goals, 3 saves)
Shots: GU - 18; ND - 26Ground Balls: GU - 15; ND - 21Draw Controls: GU - 11; ND - 13Caused Turnovers: GU - 6; ND - 8