April 16, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. –
â€¢ The Game: #8/#7 Notre Dame (10-4) vs. #13/#14 Vanderbilt (10-4)
â€¢ Date/Time/Site: Wed., April 16, 2008 â€¢ 4:30 p.m. â€¢ Eck West Practice Field â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
â€¢ The Game: #8/#7 Notre Dame (10-4/3-1) at Rutgers (7-7/2-2)
â€¢ Date/Time/Site: Sun., April 20, 2008 â€¢ 12:00 noon â€¢ YurcakField â€¢ Piscataway, N.J.
WELCOME HOME: Notre Dame returns home this week for the first time since March 22 when the Irish faced Loyola at the Loftus Center. The Irish will play host to the Vanderbilt Commodores on Wednesday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m. Due to construction at Moose Krause Stadium, the game will be played at the Eck West Practice Field that is located between Frank Eck Stadium and the brand new Melissa Cook Softball Stadium. Notre Dame brings a 10-4 overall record into the game with Vanderbilt and closed its five-game road swing with a 4-1 mark. Last week, the Irish were 1-1, dropping a 16-2 decision at top-ranked Northwestern on April 9 before winning at Georgetown, 10-8, on Saturday, April 12. Vanderbilt is also 10-4 on the season and is currently on a three-game winning streak that has seen the Commodores take wins at Johns Hopkins, at home against Ohio State and then on the road at the University at Albany. Vanderbilt knocked off the Great Danes, 15-5, in their last game on April 12. Both teams come into the week ranked in the IWLCA coaches’ poll and the Inside Lacrosse poll. The Irish are ranked eighth by the coaches and are seventh according to Inside Lacrosse. The coaches’poll ranks Vanderbilt 13th overall while Inside Lacrosse ranks the Commodores 14th.
NOTRE DAME VS. VANDERBILT: The Irish and Commodores have met 11 times in the all-time series with Vanderbilt holding a 7-4 edge. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 3-2 in five meetings while in Nashville, the Commodores have won five of six games. Last year, the teams met in a similiar situation. The Irish were coming off their first-ever regular-season win against Georgetown and traveled to Vanderbilt where they dropped a 13-9 game that started Notre Dame on a season-ending, three-game losing streak. Last Saturday, Notre Dame won at Georgetown for the first time ever and now the Irish have to contend with Vanderbilt prior to the BIG EAST Tournament.
IRISH TO HOST 2008 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT
Notre Dame will play host to the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament, April 25-27 with the games to be played at Notre Dame Stadium. The conferences top four teams will meet in the historic stadium in two semifinal games on Friday, April 25. Game one begins at 5:30 p.m. with the second game starting 45 minutes after the end of game one. The championship game is set for Sunday, April 27 at 12:00 noon. The game will be televised by CBS College Sports. This will be the first women’s varsity event ever held in Notre Dame Stadium.
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT FIELD IS SET: Notre Dame will make its second appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament after clinching a spot with the win over Georgetown. The tournament will be played at Notre Dame Stadium on April 25 and 27. Joining the Irish are Syracuse, Georgetown and Rutgers. The final pairings will be decided after the remaing BIG EAST games are played this week. On April 25, the first semifinal game between the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds will be played at 5:30 p.m. The second semifinal between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will begin 45 minutes after the end of the first game. The BIG EAST Championship game will be played on Sunday, April 27 at 12 noon with the two winners meeting. That game will be televised by CBS College Sports.
NEXT FOR THE IRISH: Notre Dame closes out the BIG EAST schedule on Sunday, April 20 when the Irish travel to Piscataway, N.J., to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 12:00 noon game. Rutgers enters the week with a 7-7 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the BIG EAST. The teams have met eight times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 5-3 edge. At Rutgers, the Irish are 2-2 all-time. Last season, the Scarlet Knights handed Notre Dame an 8-7 loss to end the regular season.
THE BAD AND THE GOOD: Notre Dame was 1-1 on the week, dropping a 16-2 decision at Northwestern on April 9 and then bounced back for a 10-8 win at Georgetown on April 12. Against the top-ranked Wildcats, the Irish experienced one of the worst losses in the program’s history, giving up 11 goals in the first half to trail 11-0 after 30 minutes. The lead would go to 15-0 before Heather Ferguson (Sr., Newtown Square, Pa.) scored the first Notre Dame goal with 17:54 left in the game to make it 15-1. Jackie Doherty (Fr., Ellicott City, Md.) closed the scoring with the final goal of the game with 2:06 left in the game. Erin Goodman (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) gave up 15 goals and made just four saves. Amy Winik (So., Freehold, N.J.) played the final nine minutes, giving up the final goal of the game. Against Georgetown, Notre Dame jumped out to a 5-1 first-half lead on the way to a 10-8 victory. Erin Goodman made a career-high 15 saves in the game, including nine in the second half. Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) paced the Notre Dame attack with three goals, including the game winner with 12:28 left in the contest. Heather Ferguson scored twice in the game as did Jane Stoeckert (Jr., Mendham, N.J.). Gina Scioscia (So., Summit, N.J.), Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and Jillian Byers (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) closed out the Notre Dame scoring.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 223-100 (.690) career record into this week’s games with Vanderbilt. On Sunday, Feb. 17, she recorded her 100th career win at Notre Dame with the 16-4 win over Duquesne. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 108-74 (.593). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne recorded her 200th career win at the end of the 2006 season with a 16-8 win over Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. She has guided Notre Dame to three NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006), including the school’s first-ever NCAA finals appearance in 2006. In her first 20 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 98-70 in 11 seasons at Notre Dame. 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. Coyne also has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team from 1999-2005. In June of 2005, 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 4-7 against Vanderbilt and 5-3 versus Rutgers in her coaching career.
STREAK BUSTERS: The two goals scored by Notre Dame in the 16-2 loss at Northwestern were the fewest ever scored by the Irish in a game in the program’s 12-year history. That game also saw the end of two long scoring streaks for the Irish. Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) was held off the scoresheet for the first time since April 16, 2005, a span of 51 games that saw her score 124 goals and 61 assists for 185 points. Jillian Byers (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) also saw her 29-game streak stopped versus the Wildcats. She had 120 goals and 19 assists for 139 points in that span. McKinney’s 51-game streak was the second-longest streak in the nation.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Notre Dame’s 10-8 win over Georgetown marked the first-ever win for the Irish over the Hoyas at Washington, D.C. The Irish are now 1-4 all-time at Georgetown and 3-8 in the all-time series. Notre Dame has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools.
WEEKLY HONORS: Freshman Shaylyn Blaney and junior goalkeeper Erin Goodman were honored for their play in the win against Georgetown. Blaney was named rookie of the week for the second week in a row by Womens Lax.com after scoring three goals in the win over Georgetown. Goodman was named Inside Lacrosse/Nike player of the week for her play in the win over Georgetown. Goodman had a career high 15 saves in the win.
LOWEST OF LOWS: The two goals scored by Notre Dame versus Nortwestern were the fewest goals ever scored by the Irish in the 12-year history of the program. The previous low was three goals with the Irish being held to that total, three times during the 2000 season.
VERSUS NO. 1: Notre Dame’s game with Northwestern marked just the fourth time that the Irish have played the No. 1 ranked team in the country in the 12-year history of the program. With the loss to the Wildcats, the Irish are now 0-4 versus top-ranked teams. They have faced Northwestern three times as a No. 1 team with Princeton being the fourth team ranked No. 1 when the Irish faced the Tigers in the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
BLANEY’S BACK: Freshman Shaylyn Blaney had just one point over a three-game stretch from March 6 – March 13 after starting the season with 16 points in the first four games. Since being held pointless on March 13, the talented midfielder has scored 18 goals and four assists for 22 points in her last seven games. In the game at Hofstra, with the Irish trailing 13-12, she scored the final two goals of the game to give Notre Dame the 14-13 win. Versus Duke, she led the way with four goals. Against Georgetown, she scored three goals, including the game winner, her fourth of the season. For the year, she ranks third in scoring with 31 goals and eight assists for 39 points in 14 games.
MAKING THE STOPS: Junior goaltender Erin Goodman has picked up 10 wins this season, giving her 21 for her career. That total ranks her third all-time at Notre Dame in career wins. In 2007, she had an 11-6 overall record and a 10.32 goals-against average with a .444 save percentage. She finished just one win behind Carol Dixon `06 for the most wins by an Irish goalkeeper in her first year as a starter as Dixon had 12 in 2004. Goodman set a BIG EAST record on March 25, 2007 when she held Loyola (Md.) to just one goal in an 11-1 Irish win, setting the league mark for the fewest goals given up in a game. Goodman set a career mark with 15 saves in the win over Georgetown. Her previous best was 14 saves, something she has done four times in her career – vs. Cornell (13-7 win), vs. Yale (9-7 win) and against Loyola (11-1 win) last season and on March 13 versus Delaware. As a junior, Goodman is 10-4 with a 10.57 goals-against average and a .474 save percentage.
WINNING THE DRAW: Junior Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has become Notre Dame’s draw control specialist this season. In the 10-8 win at Georgetown, she grabbed seven draw controls (the second time this season she had seven) to give her the team lead in that department with 39. She is just 12 off the single-season record of 51 set last season by Kaki Orr `07.
MORE ON DRAWS: Junior Beth Koloup (Phoenix, Md.) grabbed a career-high six draw controls in the loss at Northwestern and now has 21 on the season. She started the year with just two draw controls in her career.
SCIOSCIA TIME: Sophomore Gina Scioscia enters the week with a team-high 23 assists. That is the seventh-best single-season assist mark in the program’s history. She has a career-high 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points.
RECORD SETTER: In Notre Dame’s 12-8 win over Duke, junior attack standout Jillian Byers became Notre Dame’s all-time leading goal scorer with three goals against the Blue Devils. She came into that game tied for first with Crysti Foote `06 who had 161 in her career. Byers, who now has 53 goals on the season has 165 for her career. Foote reached her goal mark in 66 career games. Byers set the new standard of 164 goals in 48 career games.
VERSUS THE BEST: Notre Dame’s game against #13/#14 Vanderbilt is the fourth straight game for the Irish against a ranked team and their fifth this season. To date, the Irish are 2-2 on the year and 2-1 in the last three games versus ranked teams. The 2008 schedule features seven teams that are currently ranked in the April 14 IWLCA rankings. The list includes: #1 Northwestern, #5 Syracuse, #7 Duke, #9 Georgetown, #13 Vanderbilt, #18 Cornell and #19 Stanford. Two other teams – Delaware and Oregon – that the Irish played earlier this season are receiving votes..
200-POINT CLUB: Junior Jillian Byers became the third player in Irish history to go over 200 points in her career with her eight-point game versus Connecticut. Byers now has 165 goals and 43 assists for 208 career points. She joins current senior Caitlin McKinney (145-73-218) who went over 200 points earlier this season and Crysti Foote `06 who finished her career with 237 career points.
PASSING FANCY: Sophomore Gina Scioscia ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 13 goals and 23 assists for 36 points this season. As a freshman, she recorded just four goals and four assists for eight points last season. She now has points in 10 of her last 11 games and that includes three, five-point games. Scioscia has recorded three or more assists in a game four times this season, including a five-assist game on March 13 versus Delaware. She has moved into the Notre Dame Top 10 with 27 career assists.
OVERTIME NUMBERS: Notre Dame’s overtime game with Syracuse on March 13 was the 14th overtime contest in the program’s 12-year history. In those games, the Irish are now 6-8. Last year, the Irish were 2-0 in overtime, taking a triple-overtime win versus James Madison (10-9) in the season opener on Feb. 18. In the second game of the year, on Feb. 24, at home, Notre Dame pulled off a 12-11 double overtime win against Stanford. In one-goal games, the Irish are 7-3 over the last two seasons and 14-17 in the program’s history.
DRAWING THINGS OUT: Juniors Shannon Burke and Jillian Byers have become Notre Dame’s top draw control specialists through the first 14 games of the season. Burke leads the team with 39 draw controls and Byers is one behind with 38. Both have career highs this season in this category. With 85 career draw controls, Byers is now seventh on the all-time list while Burke, with 78, is eighth all-time.