Jillian Byers

Notre Dame Starts Four-Game Road Swing At Ohio State on Sunday

Feb. 21, 2008

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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• The Game: #11 Notre Dame (2-0/0-0) at Ohio State (2-0/0-0)

• Date/Time/Site: Sun.., Feb., 24, 2008 • 2:30 p.m. • North Turf Field • Columbus, Ohio

• All Notre Dame home women’s lacrosse games can be seen live via video streaming at und.com; follow the Irish via GameTracker on und.com.

IRISH TAKE TO THE ROAD: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team takes to the road for the first time in the 2008 season when the Irish travel to Columbus, Ohio to face the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday, Feb. 24. Due to the chance of inclement weather, the game will be played on the North Turf field, adjacent to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. For Notre Dame, this is the first of four straight games on the road as the Irish travel to California next week for the Spring Break week, March 1-8. Notre Dame will take a 2-0 record into the game at Ohio State after opening the season with a 22-10 win over Canisius and a 16-4 victory against Duquesne. Ohio State also brings a 2-0 record into the game after defeating American, 14-3, and Duquesne, 14-10. The Irish started the week ranked 11th in the IWLCA poll for Feb. 18 and ninth in the Inside Lacrosse weekly poll. Ohio State received votes in the Inside Lacrosse poll.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 214-96 (.690) career record into this weekend’s game at Ohio State. 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 100-70 (.588). 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 6-6 all-time against Ohio State.

IRISH VERSUS BUCKEYES: The two teams have met 12 times in the all-time series with the series even at 6-6. At Notre Dame, the Irish are just 3-4 versus Ohio State while at Columbus, Ohio, Notre Dame has a 3-2 edge in the games played there. The Irish have won the last two games in the series, taking a 13-6 win at Jesse Owens Stadium in 2006 and then winning a 16-9 game at the Loftus Center in 2007. Notre Dame has won the last two games played at Ohio State (2004, 2006).

THE IRISH ALL-TIME: With a pair of wins to open the 2008 season, Notre Dame is now 100-70 (.588) in this the 12th season of the women’s lacrosse program’s history. That includes a 51-24 (.680) home mark and a 38-40 (.487) road mark. Notre Dame is 11-6 all-time on neutral fields. All-time, the Irish are now 10-2 in season opening games.

PRESEASON HONORS: Senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and junior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) have been named to the Tewaaraton Trophy preseason “Watch List.” They also were selected preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse on Feb. 19. The dynamic duo were unanimous preseason all-BIG EAST selections earlier this winter. Both have gotten off to fast starts in the first two games of the season. Byers has 11 goals and two assists for 13 points while McKinney has six goals and two assists for eight points.

CANISIUS RECAP: Notre Dame got the 2008 season off to a fast start on Feb. 15 as the Irish handed the Canisius Golden Griffins a 22-10 loss indoors at the Loftus Sports Center. Ten different players scored goals in the game led by five each from senior Caitlin McKinney and junior Jillian Byers. Freshman Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) added four goals while Alicia Billings (Jr., Potomac, Md.) had two and Heather Ferguson (Sr., Newtown Square, Pa.), Kaitlin Keena (Fr., Vienna, Va.), Gina Scioscia (So., Summit, N.J.), Shannon Burke (Jr., Baltimore, Md.), Jackie Doherty (Fr., Ellicott City, Md.) and Julie Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.) had single goals for the Irish. McKinney (two assists) equaled a career-best with seven points while Byers (one assist) and Blaney (two assists) had six-point games to start the season. Keena had three assists for the game and a four-point contest in her collegiate debut. Notre Dame scored the first six goals of the game and led 10-5 at halftime. Canisius would cut the lead to 12-9 with 18:38 left in the contest when the Irish went on a 10-0 run to put the game away. Goalkeeper Erin Goodman (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) made seven saves for the Irish.

TAKING THE CAKE: Notre Dame scored early and often on Feb. 17 as the Irish handed Duquesne a 16-4 loss at the Loftus Center for the 100th win in the program’s history. Jillian Byers paced the Irish attack with six goals and one assist for seven points. Freshmen Shaylyn Blaney and Kaitlin Keena added two goals each with Caitlin McKinney, Jackie Doherty, Heather Ferguson, Alicia Billings, Lauren deMello (Jr., Manlius, N.Y.) and Jane Stoeckert (Jr., Mendham, N.J.) each scoring once in the contest. The Irish jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Dukes got on the scoreboard with 8:02 left in the half. Notre Dame followed with the next six goals to close the half with an 11-1 lead at the intermission. Early second-half goals by Byers and Heather Ferguson made it 13-1 before the teams traded the final six goals of the game for the 16-4 final. Erin Goodman played the first 51:08 of the game, giving up three goals with seven saves. Amy Winik (So., Freehold, N.J.) played the final 8:52 in her first collegiate action, making one save and giving up one goal in the game.

2-0 STARTS: For the ninth time in the 12-year history of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program, the Irish have started the season with a 2-0 record. The only time the Irish haven’t been 2-0 occurred in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

SLAMMING THE DOOR: Notre Dame’s defense has gotten off to a strong start, allowing just 14 goals in the first two games and 37 shots. They have caused 23 turnovers and have 31 draw controls to their credit.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Tracy Coyne and her coaching staff brought in one of the top freshman classes in the country and they have not disappointed in the early going. Leading the way has been Shaylyn Blaney who has six goals and two assists for eight points. Following her is midfielder Kaitlin Keena who has turned in two multiple-point games and has three goals and four assists for seven points. Jackie Doherty has scored a goal in each game while Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) has one assist in one game. Ansley Stewart (Alexandria, Va.), Lauren Fenlon (Dayton, Md.) and Meredith Locasto (Pittsburgh, Pa.) have all seen action in the first two games.

ON A ROLL: Senior Caitlin McKinney extended here school-best point-scoring streak to 41 games after the wins against Canisius and Duquesne. During her 41-game streak, McKinney has scored 100 goals with 46 assists for 146 points. Her streak started during her freshman season in 2005. Joining McKinney with active streaks are:

Jillian Byers – 19 games (69g, 10a, 79 pts.)

Jane Stoeckert – 17 games (22g, 17a, 39 pts.)

TOP-RANKED PLAYERS: Senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and junior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) have been ranked among the top 20 players by Inside Lacrosse magazine in its preseason edition. McKinney, a two-time All-American was ranked as the 14th best player in the country. Byers, also a two-time All-American, was ranked as the ninth-best player in the nation by the magazine. Both players also have been selected as unanimous preseason all-BIG EAST selections in voting by the league’s coaches.

THE CAPTAINS: Seniors Caitlin McKinney and Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.) have been selected team captains for the 2008 season. McKinney was second on the team in scoring last year with 44 goals and 21 assists for 65 points and was a second team IWLCA All-American. Ranck is the leader of the Notre Dame defense and a three-time monogram winner during her career. She has played in 47 career games with 46 ground balls, 29 draw controls and 54 caused turnovers in her career.

CAREER FIRSTS: Several veteran Notre Dame players scored career firsts in the wins against Canisius and Duquesne. Junior defensive midfielder Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) scored her first career goal with 14:38 left in the second half of the win against Canisius. Fellow junior Lauren deMello picked up her first career goal when she scored with 4:09 left in the win versus Duquesne. Sophomore goalkeeper Amy Winik made her first appearance in goal, playing 8:52 versus Duquesne, making one save and giving up one goal.

USA…USA…USA: Notre Dame freshman Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) helped the U.S. Under-19 team win the gold medal at the Under-19 World Championships this past summer. The three-time U.S. Lacrosse high school All-American scored 16 goals with one assist for 17 points in six games to help the U.S. team to the gold medal. Blaney became the first Notre Dame player to play on the Under-19 team since Kelly McCardell `03, was a member of the 1999 Under-19 team. Fellow freshmen Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) and Lauren Fenlon (Dayton, Md.) were alternates for the Under-19 team.

WELCOME BACK: Head coach Tracy Coyne welcomed a new assistant coach to her staff during the summer, but she is no stranger to Irish women’s lacrosse fans. Former Notre Dame standout Meredith Simon `04 joined Coyne’s staff on July 18 after three seasons at Towson University. Simon replaces another former Irish player, Alissa Moser `02, who was married over the summer and is now attending law school. With the Irish, Simon will work with the Irish attack on a daily basis while assisting with recruiting and team travel in addition to the day-to-day office operations. While at Notre Dame as a player (2000-04), Simon became the school’s first-ever, first-team IWLCA All-American as she set a then-Notre Dame single-season scoring mark with 74 points on 46 goals and 28 assists while leading the Irish to the NCAA tournament in 2004. During that season, Simon also became the first Notre Dame player to be a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee as the top player in the nation. A two-time first team All-BIG EAST selection (2003, 2004), Simon was the BIG EAST co-attack player of the year in 2004. A team captain as a senior, Simon finished her Notre Dame career ranked first in games played (64), third in goals (109), fourth in assists (49), third in points (158), fourth in ground balls (123) and third in draw controls (91). She ended her career with the fifth-longest point-scoring streak in the program’s history as she scored in 28 straight games, recording 68 goals and 35 assists for 103 points between March 25, 2003 and May 13, 2004. During her career, Simon was a member of Notre Dame’s first two NCAA tournament teams in 2002 and 2004.

SECOND TIME AROUND: Also rejoining the Notre Dame coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach is former All-American Kathryn Lam `02. Currently working as an executive assistant in the Dean’s Office of the Graduate School, Lam last served as a volunteer assistant in 2006 when the Irish advanced to the Final Four. The first All-American, along with Danielle Shearer `03, in the program’s history in 2002, Lam will work with the Notre Dame defense.

MAKING THE STOPS: Junior goaltender Erin Goodman recorded her first two wins of the season against Canisius and Duquesne. That gives her 13 wins over the last two seasons in goal for the Irish. In 2007, she was 11-6 overall record and a 10.32 goals-against average and 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 had three games on the year with a career-best 14 saves – vs. Cornell (13-7 win), vs. Yale (9-7 win) and against Loyola (11-1 win).

CONTROLLING THE DRAW: Through the first two games for Notre Dame, controlling the draw has been crucial in the success of the Irish. Winning draws was a concern coming into the season due to the graduation of Kaki Orr `07, who set a school record with 51 last season. So far the Irish have won 31 of 55 for a 56.3% success rate. Leading the way has been Jillian Byers (8) and Shaylyn Blaney (6).

CAREER YEAR: Junior midfielder Jane Stoeckert turned in the best year of her career for Notre Dame in 2007 as she finished fourth in scoring with 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points, career highs in all three categories. This season, in her first two games, Stoeckert has been able to keep her scoring streak alive, running it to 17 games with a goal and two assists in the first two games. For her career, Stoeckert has played in 38 games and has 33 goals, 26 assists and 59 career points.

SISTER ACTS: Notre Dame has had eight sets of sisters in the program’s 12-year history and has one sister duo on this year’s team. In fact, this year’s sister tandem are twins – seniors Heather and Lindsey Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.). Three other members of this year’s team have sisters who played at Notre Dame. Senior Julie Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) was preceded by her sister, Crysti `06 while junior Lauren deMello (Manlius, N.Y.) was preceeded by her sister Meghan `06 and sophomore Maggie Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) follows her sister, Lena `07. Other sister duos to play for the Irish include: Kelly and Kristen Gaudreau `04, Carol `06 and Angela `03 Dixon and Mary `06 and Annemarie McGrath. The sisters that started the tradition are Amy (`98) and Mara (`98) Grace who played in 1997 and 1998.

BIG EAST SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Senior midfield/attack standout Caitlin McKinney has been selected as Notre Dame’s female BIG EAST/Aeropostale Scholar-Athlete Award winner. She received the honor along with baseball player Brett Lilley and will receive a $2,000 award toward graduate studies. McKinney owns a 3.522 grade-point average with a double major in sociology and film, television and theatre at Notre Dame. A two-time IWLCA All-American, McKinney was selected to the IWLCA academic honor roll following the 2007 season.

VERSUS THE BEST: Notre Dame’s 2008 schedule features six teams that have been ranked by Lacrosse magazine in their preseason poll that was released in December. The Irish are scheduled to face #1 Northwestere, #3 Duke, #5 Syracuse, #11 Georgetown, #13 Vanderbilt and #19 Rutgers this season.

DOUBLE-DIGIT WINS: With 11 wins during the 2007 season, Notre Dame recorded back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the second time in the program’s history and the first time since winning 10 in 2001 and 13 in 2002. Over the last two seasons, Notre Dame has a 26-10 (.722) record.

HOME SWEET HOME: Notre Dame finished the 2007 season with a 6-3 record at home. The Irish were 3-2 on the year at the Loftus Sports Center and 3-1 in games played at Moose Krause Stadium. In 2006, the Irish were 9-0 at home and are now 15-3 between the Loftus Center and Moose Krause Stadium over the last two years.

OVERTIME NUMBERS: During the first 11 seasons of the women’s lacrosse program, Notre Dame has played a total of 13 overtime games and is 6-7 in those games. 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.