Christine Halfpenny has bolstered Notre Dame's roster for 2015 with a top 10 recruiting class.

Notre Dame Signing Class Ranked in Top 10

Sept. 17, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team began its fall practices on Monday, the Irish already stood in great position to take another step forward come springtime thanks in part to its seven-member signing class of 2014. The septet was recently ranked as the 10th-best in the nation by Lacrosse Magazine.

Notre Dame stands in familiar company amongst the country’s elite programs. The Irish are one of six schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference to hold a place in the top 10 as North Carolina, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia and Boston College join the Irish on this chart. Further challenging this spring’s Notre Dame team on the field will be Northwestern, ranked atop the list and, along with the five afore mentioned ACC members, giving Irish a chance to face six of the top nine recruiting classes in the country.

The 2014 season saw Notre Dame rise to a peak of No. 6 in the national polls, eventually earning the eight-seed for the NCAA Championship. The Irish were selected to host the first and second rounds of NCAA competition at Arlotta Stadium. The Irish led the ACC in both ground balls and turnovers last spring and return a pair of collegiate All-Americans in sophomore attacker Cortney Fortunato (third team, 2014) and senior defender Barbara Sullivan (first team, 2013).

Below is a brief look at each of the seven freshmen that combine to form a national top 10 class:

Rory Byrne * Defense * 5-8 * South Bend, Ind. / Culver Academies
Graduated from Culver Academies in the spring of 2014 … lettered for four years in both lacrosse and swimming, serving as team captain in both sports … received honorable mention All-American accolades as a senior … a two-time first-team all-state selection … thrice named both All-Great Lakes and All-Midwest … an Academic All-American in both 2013 and 2014 … helped Culver lacrosse to the 2013 state championship, 2014 state semifinals and 2011-12 state runner-up placings … also played club lacrosse for Indy United … in the pool, advanced to the state championships in relays each of her last three years at Culver … helped the Eagles to their first-ever sectional crown as a junior … set a total of six school/pool records either individually or with relay teams … member of the national Cum Laude society and French Honor Society … a Presidential Scholar for her high GPA, she earned Culver’s Metcalfe Bowl, annually given to one outstanding student-athlete out of the entire graduating class … was Culver’s Community Service Council president … full name is Rory Aislinn Byrne … born in Rochester, N.Y. to Gerry and Dr. Tracy Byrne … father, Gerry, played lacrosse at UMass and is an assistant coach for the Notre Dame men’s lacrosse team which advanced to the NCAA championship game in 2014 … Tracy earned her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame while Gerry earned his master’s degree at Notre Dame … has two brothers, Brandon and Pierre who is an incoming freshman for the Irish men’s lacrosse team … attended Culver with Irish men’s lacrosse player Kyle Trolley and Irish rower Carson Canonie.

Sydney Cardozo * Attack * 5-5 * Richmond, Va. / Collegiate School
Graduated from Collegiate School in the spring of 2014 … claimed 10 varsity letters, four each in lacrosse and field hockey along with a pair in basketball … helped the Cougars to two state field hockey championships, two state lacrosse runner-up posts and two state basketball semifinals … claimed Collegiate’s Reed Athletic Award as its most outstanding female athlete in 2014 … was a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American and a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-Academic team member … also claimed two all-state honors in lacrosse … an all-conference selection in lacrosse three times … named all-metro in field hockey as both a junior and a senior and all-conference three times … captained both the lacrosse and field hockey teams … scored a total of 175 goals in her high school career … also played for Geronimo Lacrosse and spent two years with the Mid-Atlantic national team … member of the student government for all four of her years at Collegiate, co-chairing the group as a senior … as part a senior project, travelled to Costa Rica in May, 2014 with Lacrosse the Nations to teach the game to that nation’s youth … full name is Sydney MacMillan Cardozo … born in Richmond, Va., to Scott and Whitney Cardozo … father played lacrosse at Washington and Lee while mother played soccer at Wheaton College … has a younger sister, Lily … was a high school teammate of current Irish teammate Austin Pruitt, current Irish football linebacker Doug Randolph and former Notre Dame women’s lacrosse star Betsy Mastropieri.

Molly Cobb * Midfield * 5-8 * Towson, Md. / Notre Dame Prep
Graduated from Notre Dame Prep in the spring of 2014 … earned three varsity letters in lacrosse and two apiece in field hockey and indoor track … selected to the 2014 Under Armour All-America team and was a starter for the South in the All-Star Game … was named both an All-American and an Academic All-American by U.S. Lacrosse … a two-time conference all-star … the 2014 Towson Times player of the year … played in the 2013 Under Armour Underclass Classic … captained the lacrosse team to a No. 9 national ranking as a senior, scoring 25 goals and adding 24 assists … won Notre Dame Prep’s C. Markland Kelly Award in 2014 … also played for the TLC Lacrosse Club … full name is Molly Moran Cobb … born in Towson, Md., to Michael and Amy Cobb … has an older brother, Michael, Jr., who played lacrosse at Delaware … was a high school teammate of current Irish teammates Caroline Doyle, Hannah Hartman and Danielle Lukish.

Abi Cullinan * Attack/Midfield * 5-5 * Pittsford, N.Y. / Pittsford Mendon
Graduated from Pittsford Mendon High School in the spring of 2014 … earned a total of 11 varsity letters for the Vikings, five in lacrosse, three in field hockey and three in basketball … helped the lacrosse team to the 2011 state finals and two state semifinals, three western New York regional titles and a trio of sectional championships … also helped the basketball team to a state semifinalist post and regional championship … twice selected as an Academic All-American … an All-Greater Rochester selection as a senior and two-time honorable mention … thrice named all-county … also played for the Lady Roc Lacrosse Club … member of the National Honor Society and a four-year member of Pittsford Mendon’s honor roll … earned a Gold Key artistic recognition award … full name is Abigail Catherine Cullinan … born in Rochester, N.Y., to Chris and Cathy Cullinan … has a younger sister, Caroline … the seventh member of her family to attend Notre Dame, spanning three generations.

Anne Dooley * Midfield * 5-9 * Chicago, Ill. / Loyola Academy
Graduated from Loyola Academy in the spring of 2014 … played varsity lacrosse, basketball and volleyball at Loyola … helped Loyola Academy to four straight state championships … named All-America as both a junior and a senior … was both all-state and all-state academic in 2013 and 2014 … a three-year all-conference player for the Ramblers … also played club lacrosse for Wildcat Elite … was a Habitat For Humanity service leader and a Misericordia volunteer … created an annual fundraiser for Misericordia that united Loyola Academy and rival New Trier in support of a life-long friend who suffers from Down’s syndrome … full name is Anne Caulfield Dooley … born in Chicago, Ill. to Robert and Dawn Dooley … the fourth of six children … younger sister of Grace Dooley who played for the Irish from 2011-14 … father, Robert, played football at Yale while brother, Rob, plays football at USC … the sixth member of her family to attend Notre Dame, dating back to her great grandfather who graduated in 1927.

Caroline Doyle * Defense * 5-4 * Towson, Md. / Notre Dame Prep
Graduated from Notre Dame Prep in the spring of 2014 … earned a total of six varsity letters, three in lacrosse, two in field hockey and one in indoor track … was a two-year lacrosse captain and also captained the field hockey team as a senior … named Towson Times all-county in lacrosse and was a IAAM all-star in field hockey … also played for the TLC Lacrosse Club … full name is Caroline Carter Doyle … born in Towson, Md., to Kevin and Grace Doyle … both parents were student-athletes at William & Mary with Kevin running track and Grace playing soccer … has four brothers, three older and one younger … two of her older brothers (Jack and Conor) played lacrosse at Notre Dame with Conor still competing for the Irish while Jack played for the Irish in 2014 after graduating from Harvard in 2013 with eligibility remaining … eldest brother, Kevin, played lacrosse at Navy … was a high school teammate of current Irish teammates Molly Cobb, Hannah Hartman and Danielle Lukish.

Olivia Mikkelsen * Midfield * 5-11 * Alexandria, Va. / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes
Graduated from St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in the spring of 2014 … earned three varsity letters in both lacrosse and soccer while also playing basketball … selected to the 2014 Under Armour All-America team … also played un the Under Armour Underclass Lacrosse Classic twice … named to the U.S. lacrosse All-America team in 2014 and was an honorable mention All-American in 2013 … selected as an Academic All-American in 2013 … selected for the Washington Post’s all-met team … named all-state as both a junior and senior … helped St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes to three ISL titles and VISAA state championships … lacrosse team captain in 2014 as the Saints earned a No. 2 ranking in the country … also a member of the soccer team’s ISL co-championship squad as a junior … earned a silver bowl from the school for competing in 10 seasons at athletics and was the lacrosse team’s Saint Award recipient as a senior … scored 74 goals as a senior with 17 assists, 34 ground balls and 68 draw controls … as a junior, scored 47 goals and added nine assists, 38 ground balls and 43 draw controls … also played for the Capital Lacrosse Club and Blue too … served as student government vice president … served as an admissions ambassador and tour guide .. earned a spot on the head’s list … full name is Olivia K. Mikkelsen … born in Alexandria, Va., to Uffe and Joy Mikkelsen … has a younger sister, Tate-Louisa … was a high school teammate of current Irish attacker Michele Phillips … a dual citizen of both the U.S. and Denmark.