April 23, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. –
2008 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Tournament
April 25 and 27 â€¢ Notre Dame Stadium â€¢ Notre Dame, Indiana
Friday, April 25 â€¢ Semifinal 1: #5 Syracuse (13-2/5-0) vs. Rutgers (7-9/2-3) â€¢ 5:30 p.m. â€¢ Semifinal 2: #10 Notre Dame (11-5/4-1) vs. #7 Georgetown (10-5/3-2) â€¢ 7:45 p.m. (game to start 45 minutes after conclusion of Game 1)
Sunday, April 27 â€¢ Championship Game: Winner of game 1 vs. winner of game 2 â€¢ 12:00 noon
â€¢ Television: The BIG EAST Championship game on April 27 will be televised live by College Sports Television. Jason Knapp will provide the play-by-play with Sheehan Stanwick Burch handling the color commentary duties.
â€¢ Internet: Both semifinal games will be streamed live free by the BIG EAST website at www.bigeast.tv. Livestats will be available at the BIG EAST website – bigeast.org – and at Notre Dame’s website – und.com
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT ACTION: The University of Notre Dame will play host to the 2008 BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Tournament on Friday, April 25 and Sunday, April 27 at historic Notre Dame Stadium. This is the second year that the BIG EAST has sponsored a conference tournament with the winner getting the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in May. Friday’s schedule features two semifinal games. At 5:30 p.m., the top-seed, Syracuse (13-2, 5-0), will face Rutgers (7-9, 2-3), the fourth seed, in the first semifinal game. The second semifinal game will begin 45 minutes after the first contest and features the second seed, Notre Dame (11-5, 4-1), versus the third seed, Georgetown (10-5, 3-2). The championship game will be played on Sunday, April 27 at 12:00 noon with the game televised live by CBS College Sports with Jason Knapp and Sheehan Stanwick Burch handling the play-by-play. The winner of Sunday’s game gets the BIG EAST’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The two semifinal games will be streamed live for free at bigeast.org.tv.
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT HISTORY: This is the second season that the BIG EAST has held a women’s lacrosse tournament. In 2007, the tournament was held at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome with the same field as this year’s tourney. Last year, Georgetown was the top seed, Syracuse was second, Rutgers third and Notre Dame fourth. The Irish lost in the semifinals to Georgetown, 12-8 while Syracuse defeated Rutgers, 13-7. In the championship game, Syracuse handed Georgetown a 12-7 loss to capture the first tournament championship and the BIG EAST automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
NOTRE DAME STADIUM: This weekend’s BIG EAST Tournament is the first-ever women’s Division I varsity sporting event held at Notre Dame Stadium, the home of the Fighting Irish football team. The stadium opened on Oct. 11, 1930 with Notre Dame defeating Navy, 26-2, and has now played host to 399 football games in its 78-year history. The Irish are 298-96-5 (.753) at home since 1930. Prior to 1997, capacity at Notre Dame Stadium was 59,075 but with expansion, increased to 80,795. The Irish have played in front of 199 consecutive sellouts at the Stadium and since 1966 have played to capacity in 247 of the last 248 home games. Notre Dame Stadium is being used for this year’s BIG EAST Tournament due to construction work that has closed Moose Krause Stadium, the former home of the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. Beginning in 2009, the lacrosse teams will play at a new venue – Arlotta Stadium – that will be located behind the Joyce Center.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Three of the four teams playing in this weekend’s BIG EAST Tournament are ranked nationally. Syracuse leads the way as the Orange are ranked fifth in the IWLCA poll and third by Inside Lacrosse.Georgetown is seventh in the coaches’ poll (IWLCA) and 10th by Inside Lacrosse. Notre Dame is 10th in the IWLCA poll and ninth in the Inside Lacrosse poll.
NOTRE DAME VS. GEORGETOWN: For the third straight season, the Irish and Hoyas will meet in the postseason. In 2006, the two teams met in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament with the Irish taking a 12-9 win to advance to the NCAA Final Four. Last season, the Hoyas ended Notre Dame’s season with a 12-8 win in the BIG EAST semifinals. The two teams have met 11 times in the all-time series with Georgetown holding an 8-3 edge. The Irish have won three of the last four meetings between the two schools and are 2-3 all-time at home. This season, Notre Dame won at Georgetown for the first time in five tries, taking a 10-8 decision on April 12. Last season, the Irish won at Moose Krause Stadium, 13-8, snapping the Hoyas’ 37-game, BIG EAST regular-season winning streak.
IRISH VERSUS SYRACUSE: The Irish and Orange have met 11 times in the all-time series with Syracuse leading, 8-3. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 3-2 all-time. This season, the two teams played at the Loftus Center on March 16 with Syracuse winning, 16-13, in overtime.
IRISH VERSUS RUTGERS: The two teams closed the BIG EAST regular season with Notre Dame taking a 20-9 win at Rutgers last Sunday, April 20. The win gave the Irish a 6-3 edge in the nine games played in the series. Notre Dame owns a 3-1 home record versus the Scarlet Knights in the series history. The last time Rutgers played at Notre Dame was April 21, 2007 and the Scarlet Knights defeated the Irish, 8-7.
RUTGERS RECAP: Sophomore Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) had a career-high seven-point game (2g, 5a) and Jillian Byers (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) scored five first-half goals as Notre Dame rolled to a 20-9 win at Rutgers to capture the second seed in the BIG East Tournament on Sunday, April 20. Byers finished the game with six points (5g, 1a) while Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) had six points of her own (3g, 3a) and Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Jane Stoeckert (Jr., Mendham., N.J.) added three goals each in the win. Kailene Abt (Fr., Huntington, N.Y.), Shannon Burke (Jr., Baltimore, Md.), Heather Ferguson (Sr., Newtown Square, Pa.) and Julie Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) had single goals in the win. The 20 goals scored by the Irish were the most ever by Notre Dame in a BIG EAST contest. The Irish scored 10 of the first 11 goals in the game on the way to an 11-5 halftime lead. Notre Dame had 43 shots on goal in the game. Erin Goodman (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) made six saves in the win.
VANDERBILT RECAP: Notre Dame and Vanderbilt met on Wednesday, April 16 at Eck West Field in South Bend with the Commodores taking a 9-6 win over the Irish. The game was the first home game for Notre Dame since March 22. Jillian Byers led Notre Dame with three goals while Caitlin McKinney, Alicia Billings (Jr., Potomac, Md.) and Shaylyn Blaney had single goals. Vanderbilt jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the first five minutes. McKinney cut the lead to 2-1 at 22:55 only to see Carter Foote get her second of the game at 17:31 for a 3-1 advantage. Billings (16:14) and Byers (6:00) tied the game at 3-3 before Cara Giordano scored twice in the last four minutes to give the Commodores a 5-3 lead at halftime. A pair of goals by Margie Curran built Vanderbilt’s lead to 7-3 before Byers scored consecutive goals at 21:35 and 18:22 to cut the lead to 7-5. Foote closed out her hat trick for Vandy at 14:36 to restore the three-goal advantage before Blaney scored at 7:03 to make it 8-6. That would be as close as the Irish would get as Vanderbilt ran out the clock, scoring with three seconds left for the 9-6 final. Erin Goodman had six saves for Notre Dame while Brooke Shinaberry had 10 in the Vanderbilt goal.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior Shannon Burke was named BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending April 20. In the loss to Vanderbilt, Burke had a career-high five caused turnovers and added four draw controls while picking up her first career assist. In the win at Rutgers, she scored a free-position goal, had three ground balls and added three draw controls in the win.
TEWAARATON TROPHY NOMINEES: Notre Dame senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney and junior attack Jillian Byers are among 18 women’s lacrosse players nominated for the Tewaaration Trophy that is awarded to the top player in the nation each year. The dynamic duo joins Crysti Foote `06 and Meredith Simon `04 as Irish players nominated for the award. Byers comes into the Rutgers game, leading Notre Dame in scoring with 61 goals and 12 assists for 73 points while McKinney has 35 goals and 21 assists from her spot in the midfield. Earlier this season, both players went over 200 points for their careers with McKinney ranking second and Byers third. Byers also became the school’s all-time goal-scoring leader with 173. McKinney goes into the BIG EAST Tournament tied for first on Notre Dame’s all-time assist list with 76.
STREAK BUSTERS: The two goals scored by Notre Dame in the 16-2 loss at Northwestern on April 9 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 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 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.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 224-101 (.689) career record into the BIG EAST Tournament. 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 109-75 (.592). 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 3-8 all-time against Georgetown and Syracuse and has a 6-3 mark against Rutgers in her coaching career.
THE PLAYMAKER: Sophomore Gina Scioscia recorded her second, five-assist game of the season in the win against Rutgers on April 20. For the season, she leads the Irish with 29 assists, the third, highest single-season mark in the 12-year history of the program. For her career, Scioscia has 33 assists in two seasons that ranks her ninth on the all-time list.
Single Season Assists1. Crysti Foote (2006) 402. Kerry Callahan (1999) 323. Gina Scioscia (2008) 294. Meredith Simon (2004) 28 Lael O'Shaughnessy (2001) 286. Danielle Shearer (2003) 267. Jillian Byers (2006) 248. Caitlin McKinney (2006) 22 Lena Zentgraf (2007) 2210. Caitlin McKinney (2008) 21 Caitlin McKinney (2007) 21
LIGHTING IT UP: With five goals versus Rutgers, junior Jillian Byers now has nine games this season with four or more goals. The five-goal game gives Byers a total of 61 on the season and makes her just the second Notre Dame player to score 60 or more goals in a year as she joins Crysti Foote `06 who had 74 in 2006. Byers is the only Notre Dame player to score 50 or more goals in three consecutive years. Her 73 points this year are the fourth highest total in the program’s history behind Foote (114 in 2006), Byers (78 in 2006) and Meredith Simon (74 in 2004).
VERSUS THE BEST: With the loss to #13/#14 Vanderbilt on April 16, the Irish finished their streak of four consecutive games against ranked teams at 2-2. To date, the Irish are 2-3 on the year versus ranked teams with wins against Duke and Georgetown and losses to Syracuse, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. The 2008 schedule features six teams that are currently ranked in the April 22 IWLCA rankings. The list includes: #1 Northwestern, #5 Syracuse, #7 Georgetown, #9 Vanderbilt, #11 Duke and #15 Cornell. Stanford and Oregon, two other teams on the Notre Dame schedule in 2008, are currently receiving votes.
200-POINT CLUB: Senior Caitlin McKinney and junior Jillian Byers became the second and third players in Irish history to go over 200 points in their careers this season. McKinney goes into the BIG EAST Tournament with 149 career goals and 76 assists for 225 points to rank second on the all-time list. Byers has 173 goals and 44 assists for 217 career points to rank third overall. Crysti Foote `06 is the all-time leader with 237 career points.
QUICK ON THE DRAW: Junior Shannon Burke has become Notre Dame’s draw control specialist this season. In games last week against Vanderbilt and Rutgers, she recorded a total of seven draws to give her 46 on the season. The previous weekend, versus Georgetown, Burke had a seven draw-control game, her second of the season. She now leads Notre Dame with 46 draw controls. That moves her into second on the single-season draw control list, just five off the single-season mark of 51 set last season by Kaki Orr `07.
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.
DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS: With 11 wins during the 2008 season, the Irish have now recorded three consecutive double-digit win seasons for the first time in the program’s history. Notre Dame had 15 wins in 2006 and 11 last year. Over the last three seasons, the Irish are 37-15 (.712) record.
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 on April 9 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.
WEEKLY HONORS: Freshman Shaylyn Blaney and junior goalkeeper Erin Goodman were honored for their play in the win against Georgetown. On April 12, 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.
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 61 goals on the season, has 173 for her career. Foote reached her goal mark in 66 career games. Byers set the new standard of 164 goals in 48 career games. The Top 10:
Goals1. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 1732. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 1613. Caitlin McKinney (2005- ) 1494. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1305. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1226. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1097. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 838. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 769. Courtney Calabrese (1998-99) 6910. Alissa Moser (1999-02) 67
FALLING MARKS: Caitlin McKinney and Jillian Byers continue their assaults on the Notre Dame record books this spring. McKinney needs just one more assist to take over as the program’s all-time assist leader as she enters the BIG EAST Tournament with 76, tying her with Crysti Foote for the lead in that category. Joining the dynamic duo on the lists are Heather Ferguson and Gina Scioscia. Ferguson has joined the assist and points list with 34 assists and 88 points while Scioscia has 33 assists for her career.
Assists1. Caitlin McKinney (2005-) 76 Crysti Foote (2003-06) 763. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 684. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 66 Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 636. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 497. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 448. Heather Ferguson (2005-) 349. Gina Scioscia (2007-) 33 Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 33
Points1. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 2372. Caitlin McKinney (2005- ) 2253. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 2174. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1965. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1906. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1587. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 1468. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 1099. Heather Ferguson (2004- ) 8810. Lauren Fischer (2001-04) 85 Alissa Moser (1999-02) 85
FIELD OF DREAMS: Ground was broken on the new home of the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse teams – Arlotta Stadium – on Friday, April 18. Arlotta Stadium will become the new home of the Notre Dame men’s and women’s lacrosse programs upon completion in June of 2009. Construction of the facility will begin in August of 2008. Conceptual plans suggest a 2,000 seat, lighted stadium that would include an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas. The state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram, Inc. He and his wife, Bobbie, pledged the lead gift toward the stadium that will be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University’s new athletics quadrangle. The Arlotta children – Mindy, Andy and Jon – have pledged and additional gift from the Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project. In addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs have donated over two million dollars.
DON’T LOOK NOW: Not to be outdone by the elder statesmen on the team, freshman midfielder Shaylyn Blaney is quietly putting together a solid rookie season. Blaney is fourth on the team with 43 points, scoring 35 goals with eight assists. Her 35 goals are the 11th best single-season mark for the Irish and the third-best total by a freshman, trailing just Jillian Byers (54 in 2006) and Courtney Calabrese (38 in 1998). Her 43 points are the second best freshman total behind Byers’ 78-point freshman year in 2006. Blaney has eight games this season with three or more goals and leads the team with four game winners.
Irish Rookie Leaders1. Jillian Byers (2006) 54-24-782. Shaylyn Blaney (2008) 35- 8-433. Courtney Calabrese (1998) 38- 3-41 Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998) 27-14-415. Caitlin McKinney (2005) 28-12-406. Crysti Foote (2003) 27-11-38
MAKING THE STOPS: Junior goalkeeper Erin Goodman has picked up 11 wins this season, giving her 22 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 11-5 with a 10.30 goals-against average and a .468 save percentage.
DRAWING THINGS OUT: Juniors Shannon Burke and Jillian Byers have become Notre Dame’s top draw control specialists through the first 16 games of the season. Burke leads the team with 46 draw controls and Byers is four behind with 42. Both are career highs in this category for the juniors. With 89 career draw controls, Byers is now seventh on the all-time list while Burke, with 85, is eighth all-time.