March 16, 2012
#7/7 Notre Dame (5-0)vs.#RV/16 Cornell University (5-0)
Notre Dame Leads Series 5-4
Tuesday, March 13 - 12:00 p.m. (ET)Disney Wide World Of Sports Complex - Orlando, Fla.
A battle of unbeatens takes to the field this weekend as the seventh-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (5-0) takes on 16th-ranked Cornell (5-0) Saturday at noon (ET) at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. The game will be telecast on ESPN3.com.
Notre Dame and Cornell have met nine times in program history, with the Irish holding a slim 5-4 advantage in the series. The last time the two squads met was on March 20, 2011, in a contest that saw the Big Red hold on for a 6-5 victory. That contest, played in Brooklandville, Md., also represents the lone matchup between the two teams on neutral turf.
Lindsay Powell continues to lead the way for the Irish in the goal scoring column, netting 16 to-date, while Maggie Tamasitis has dished off 19 assists so far on the year, leading the nation in assists per game (3.8). Ellie Hilling has started all five contests in net for the Irish, earning a 5-0 record with a 9.05 goals against average and 42 saves.
Jessi Steinberg leads the Cornell offensive attack, pacing the team in both goals (15) and points (20), while Olivia Knotts leads the way with eight helpers. The Big Red has played three goalkeepers for segments of the season, but rely primarily on Kyla Dambach and her 3-0 record and 6.96 goals against average.
NOTRE DAME-CORNELL ON THE WEB
-Saturday’s Notre Dame-Cornell matchup has been picked up by ESPN3.com. The broadcast, which can be viewed via the internet, will feature Kevin Corke on play-by-play with Sandy Bridgeman serving as color commentator.
-Notre Dame is among elite company to this point in the season, representing one of just seven teams currently undefeated at the Division I level. Alongside the Irish (5-0) in the ranks of the unbeaten are Northwestern (6-0), North Carolina (8-0), Massachusetts (6-0), Dartmouth (5-0), Cornell (5-0) and St. Bonaventure (1-0).
-This list will be paired down to at least five by the end of the weekend as Northwestern battles Massachusetts and the Irish square off with Cornell.
-Through March 11, the Notre Dame offense is among some of the tops in the land, wreaking havoc on opposing goalies and defenders. Entering the week, the Irish rank in a tie for third in the nation with a 16.00 goals-per-game average, while their +6.25 scoring margin is 11th best. The attack is spearheaded by senior Maggie Tamasitis, whose 3.75 assists per game rank as the best mark in the land. She also ranks third in the land in points per game, averaging 5.50.
IRISH AND YALE TAKE PART IN SPRING FLING
-Notre Dame and Yale met for the seventh career time this season when they take part in the “Spring Fling,” in Delray Beach, Fla. The event brings women’s lacrosse teams from throughout the country to Florida from March 3-18. Since its start in ’97, the tournament has hosted more than 160 NCAA teams, 25 prep school teams and a dozen high school squads. Originally set in Panama City Beach, Spring Fling moved to Palm Beach County in ’04 and the Notre Dame-Yale matchup will mark the first at Delray Beach’s Hilltopper Stadium.
IRISH PLAYERS RECOGNIZED BY CONFERENCE
-In just three weeks of regular season action, the University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse players have been recognized several times by the BIG EAST Conference for their stellar play on the field. Two players – Maggie Tamasitis and Ellie Hilling – have been named BIG EAST Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, while Tamasitis (once) and Margaret Smith (twice) have found themselves on the weekly honor roll.
-In addition to conference recognition, Tamasitis also was billed as the WomensLax.com National Player of the Week after her one-goal, six-assist performance in the season opener against Stanford.
A (HALF)PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
-The 2012 season marks a new era in Notre Dame women’s lacrosse, as Christine Halfpenny takes the reigns as just the second head coach in program history since the team earned varsity status back in 1997. The former standout for the Virginia Tech Hokies lacrosse team comes to the Irish after a five-year stint as head coach at William & Mary where she compiled 43 victories, including reaching double-digit wins in each of her final four seasons. Additionally, her teams garnered the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season league title in both ’08 and ’09, while she copped CAA Coach-of-the-Year honors in ’08.
-While team success has been noticed under Halfpenny’s watch, her players’ individual successes have also been abundant. During her stay with the Tribe, she saw two players tabbed IWLCA All-Americans, while helping 26 to all-conference citations and 10 to all-region honors. Her 2011 campaign also saw history made, as William & Mary captured player of the year, defensive player of the year and rookie of the year, marking the first time in CAA history that one school claimed all three top honors in the same season.
-Junior goalkeeper Ellie Hilling took home the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week award (March 5) after her career-high 16 save and career-high tying six ground ball performance in an upset of then-No. 10 Ohio State. The award was Hilling’s third such honor being handed down from the BIG EAST.
-Hilling found herself between the pipes last year in over 96% of the possible game minutes she could have played. While in net, Hilling led the Irish to a 10-9 record, allowing 9.67 goals per game.
-Hilling burst on to the scene in her freshman campaign (2010) where she led the team to an 11-7 record while stopping 131 shots in over 1,110 minutes of action including registering the only shutout of her career and the first in BIG EAST conference history in a win over Villanova (4/9/2010).
SMITH ALL OVER THE FIELD
-Sophomore midfield Margaret Smith has wasted little time showing her versatility in the Irish lineup. The Westminster, Md., product has registered five goals on the current season, while leading the team in ground balls (15), draw controls (18) and caused turnovers (13).
-Smith has twice been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor roll this season for stanout performances against Duquesne in the second game of the season (3 G, 3 GB, 5 DC, 2 CT) and most recently against Boston University (1 G, 1 A, 4 GB, 5 DC, 6 CT).
WE’VE GOT THE POWER
-In the most recent edition of their 2012 `Power Rankings,’ InsideLacrosse.com gave the Irish a top-10 ranking, coming in at fifth. InsideLacrosse.com justifies the ranking because of the stellar start the Irish have had on the season (4-0 for first time since `06), the health of offensive threat Lindsay Powell and the performance of Maggie Tamasitis.
ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOK
-Leading the Irish attack is senior tri-captain, Maggie Tamasitis. With her stellar performance so far this season (8 goals, 19 assists, 27 points) combined with her play in her first three seasons on campus, Tamasitis is climbing the Irish record books in many statistical categories including goals (62), points (173, 8th) and games played (63). Additionally, Tamasitis moved into first all-time in assists with her 107th career helper during the Boston University victory (14-11). She currently has 111 career assists.
-Tamasitis’ opening-game performance in 2012 against the Cardinal also placed her in the single-game annals, setting a new single-game record for assists in a half with five helpers in the first half against Stanford, while tying the single-game record for assists in a game with six.
TAMASITIS ON TEWAARATON RADAR
-Senior attacker Maggie Tamasitis continues to garner recognition heading into her final campaign with the Irish. The Boyertown, Pa., native was named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, as announced Feb. 15. Tamasitis joins a group of 53 fellow women’s lacrosse players, including 48 from Division I schools and eight from other BIG EAST institutions. This list, along with additional names added throughout the season, will be trimmed down to 25 who have been chosen as Tewaaraton Trophy Nominees before a final five is selected as finalists come seasons end. Six Irish players have been named nominees over the programs history, with Jillian Byers representing the only two-time recipient. Here is a listing of all the past Irish nominees:
Year Name2009 Shaylyn Blaney2009 Jillian Byers**2008 Jillian Byers2008 Caitlin McKinney2006 Crysti Foote**2004 Meredith Simon** - named Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist
TRI-CAPTAINS TO LEAD IRISH
-The triumvirate of midfielders Jordy Shoemaker and Megan Sullivan and attacker Maggie Tamasitis have been selected as the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse captains for the 2012 campaign. The three captains have played in a combined 143 games, helped their team to 38 wins, scored 89 goals and have added 107 assists.
DON’T SLEEP ON THE IRISH
-Despite coming off of a 10-9 season that saw the Irish fail to reach the NCAA Tournament and graduate several key senior contributors from the 2011 campaign, Insidelacrosse.com warns, “don’t sleep on the Irish.” According to the online story on ilwomen.com, the Irish have been declared the sleeper team in the BIG EAST Conference to claim the league title with the return of offensive weapons, senior Maggie Tamasitis and sophomore Kaitlyn Brosco as well as junior Ellie Hilling manning the net for the third straight season.
NOTRE DAME’S GOLDEN GIRLS
-Joining the fold for the Irish this season are a pair of touted freshmen: goalkeeper Allie Murray (Exton, Pa.) and defender Barbara Sullivan (Garden City, N.Y.), who gained invaluable experience during the summer of 2011 as members of the U.S. U-19 squad at the Women’s Lacrosse World Championship. In addition to helping the U.S. win the crown for the fourth consecutive year, Sullivan anchored a stingy American defense that allowed a championship-best 5.38 goals per game and Murray appeared in six of eight contests, recording one win along with 20 saves.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
-Since Arlotta Stadium opened its doors on March 7, 2010, the Irish women’s lacrosse team has found a growing comfort in their new confines. After starting with a pair of losses to open the new building, Notre Dame has proceeded to capture wins in nine of their next ten home jaunts. Here is a year-by-year breakdown of the Irish at Arlotta Stadium:
Year Record Percentage2010 4-2 .6672011 4-1 .8002012 1-0 1.00Career 9-3 .750
-The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program has a long history of sisters playing for the blue and gold. This season is no different as Notre Dame senior midfielder Megan Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) and her younger sister, Lauren Sullivan, a sophomore on this year’s roster, are the ninth set of siblings to play for the Irish `Laxers’. The Sullivan’s join eight other sister duos to play at Notre Dame – Maggie `10 and Lena Zentgraf `07, twin sisters Heather and Lindsey Ferguson `08; Julie `08 and Crysti Foote `06; Lauren `09 and Meghan deMello `06; Kelly and Kristen Gaudreau `04; Carol `06 and Angela Dixon `03 and Annemarie `09 and Mary McGrath `06. The sisters who started the tradition are Amy `98 and Mara Grace `98. They played in 1997 and 1998, the first two years of the program.
-Notre Dame’s 10-win season in 2011 gives the Irish six consecutive seasons with double-digit wins for the first time in the program’s 16-year history. Over the last six seasons, the Irish are 75-38 (.664).
BIG EAST ANNOUNCES PRESEASON RANKINGS, AWARDS
-Despite losing over 415 goals and 140 assists to graduation, the Irish were picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll due in large part to their two preseason All-BIG EAST team selections, midfielder Kaitlyn Brosco and attacker Maggie Tamasitis.
-The Irish also are one of four BIG EAST teams ranked in one of the two national polls. Notre Dame is ranked 20th in the IWLCA poll along with conference foes Loyola (Md.) (7), Syracuse (12) and Georgetown (15). The Irish were left off the deBeer/Inside Lacrosse preseason poll, while Loyola (Md.) (7), Syracuse (12) and Georgetown (13) again represented the BIG EAST in the national rankings.
RELAX AT HOME AND WATCH THE LAXERS
-The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will have two games broadcast nationally on the CBS College Sports Network this upcoming season. The first televised game will take place at home on April 5 against Syracuse at Arlotta Stadium, while the second game takes place on April 21 as the Irish travel to the nation’s capital to take on Georgetown.
-Check your local listings to find out if your local provider offers the CBS College Sports Network.
-For all other video of the Irish women’s lacrosse team visit UND.com for all live match streaming and game recaps.