April 19, 2008
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€¢ Yurcak Field â€¢ Piscataway, N.J.
BIG EAST FINALE: The Irish return to the road on Sunday afternoon, April 20, closing out the BIG EAST regular-season schedule versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 12:00 noon game at Piscataway, N.J. Notre Dame brings a 10-5 overall mark and a 3-1 conference record into the game while Rutgers is 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the BIG EAST. Both teams have clinched a berth in the BIG EAST Tournament (April 25-27) at Notre Dame Stadium but will look to improve their seeding in the tournament. The Irish are coming off a tough, 9-6 home loss to Vanderbilt on Wednesday while Rutgers also lost at home on Wednesday, dropping a 10-9 overtime decision to Temple. Notre Dame started the week ranked eighth in the IWLCA coaches poll and is seventh according to Inside Lacrosse. Five of the last six games the Irish have played have come on the road and they are 4-1 in those games with the lone loss coming to top-ranked Northwestern.
NOTRE DAME VS. RUTGERS: The Irish and Scarlet Knights have met eight times in the all-time series with Notre Dame holding a 5-3 advantage in those games. At Piscataway, N.J., the two teams have split four games. The last time the Irish won at Rutgers was April 23, 2006, a 13-8 Notre Dame win. Last season, the two teams met at South Bend with the Scarlet Knights handing the Irish an 8-7 loss that dropped Notre Dame to fourth in the BIG EAST standings.
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 on April 12. 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 weekend. 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.
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 (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) led Notre Dame with three goals while Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.), Alicia Billings (Jr., Potomac, Md.) and Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) 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 (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) had six saves for Notre Dame while Brooke Shinaberry had 10 in the Vanderbilt goal.
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 56 goals and 11 assists for 67 points while McKinney has 32 goals and 18 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 168.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 223-101 (.687) career record into Sunday’s game at Rutgers. 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 108-75 (.590). 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 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.
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: The end of the 2008 season is eerily becoming the same as the end of the 2007 campaign for Tracy Coyne and her Irish laxers. Last season, the Irish knocked off Georgetown for the first time ever in regular season play with Vanderbilt and Rutgers remaining on the schedule. They traveled to Vanderbilt and dropped a 13-9 decision. This season, the Irish won at Georgetown for the first time ever on April 12 and then faced Vanderbilt at home, this time losing to the Commodores, 9-6. After facing Vandy last season, the Irish closed out the BIG EAST regular season at home against Rutgers. This season, the Irish close the BIG EAST schedule with a game at Rutgers. They will be looking to avoid the results of last year’s game, an 8-7 loss to the Scarlet Knights that dropped them to fourth in the BIG EAST.
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 19 goals and four assists for 23 points in her last eight 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 32 goals and eight assists for 40 points in 15 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 10-5 with a 10.46 goals-against average and a .471 save percentage.
WINNING THE DRAW: Junior Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has become Notre Dame’s draw control specialist this season. Versus Vanderbilt, she led the Irish with four draw controls and that followed a seven draw-control game at Georgetown on April 12 (the second time this season she had seven). She now leads Notre Dame with 43 draw controls this season. That is the third-best single-season total for the Irish and she is just eight 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 24 assists. That ties her for the sixth-best single-season assist mark in the program’s history. She has a career-high 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 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 56 goals on the season has 168 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- ) 1682. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 1613. Caitlin McKinney (2005- ) 1464. 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
RECORDS WATCH: Caitlin McKinney and Jillian Byers continue their assaults on the Notre Dame record books this spring. The dynamic duo continues to move up the assist and points lists. They have been joined on the lists by Heather Ferguson (Sr., Newtown Square, Pa.) and Gina Scioscia (So., Summit, N.J.). Ferguson has joined the assist and points list with 34 assists and 87 points while Scioscia has 28 assists for her career.
Assists 1. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 762. Caitlin McKinney (2005-) 733. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 684. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 66 Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 636. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 497. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 438. Heather Ferguson (2005-) 349. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 3310. Gina Scioscia (2007-) 28
Points1. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 2372. Caitlin McKinney (2005- ) 2193. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 2114. 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- ) 8710. Lauren Fischer (2001-04) 85 Alissa Moser (1999-02) 85
VERSUS THE BEST: With the loss to #13/#14 Vanderbilt, 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 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.