Junior midfielder Alicia Billings and the Irish face Oregon on Thursday and California on Saturday in the East-West Challenge this week in California.

Notre Dame Women's Lacrosse Gets Set To Face Oregon And California In East-West Challenge March 6 and 8.

March 5, 2008

San Diego, Calif. –

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East-West Challenge

• The Game: #13 Notre Dame (3-1/0-0) vs. Oregon (4-1/1-1 in MPSF)

• Date/Time/Site: Thur., March 6, 2008 • 8:00 p.m. (PST) • Torrey Pines High School • San Diego, Calif.

• The Game: #13 Notre Dame (3-1/0-0) vs. California (1-2/1-0 in MPSF)

• Date/Time/Site: Sat., March 8, 2008 • 1:00 p.m. (PST) • The Rose Bowl • Pasadena, Calif.

• Internet: All Notre Dame home women’s lacrosse games can be seen live via video streaming at und.com and you can follow the Irish via GameTracker on und.com for all home games and when available on the road.

THE EAST-WEST CHALLENGE: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team continues its Spring Break trip to California this week when the Irish participate in the East-West Challenge on Thur., March 6 in San Diego and then on Sat., March 8 in Pasadena. On Thursday, Notre Dame will face the Oregon Ducks for the first time ever. The game will be played at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego and will start at 8:00 p.m. PST/11:00 p.m. in South Bend. On Saturday, the Irish move north to Pasadena where they will face the California Bears at the Rose Bowl in a 1:00 p.m. PST start/4:00 p.m. in South Bend. The East-West Challenge is showcasing women’s lacrosse in California for the first time ever. Besides Notre Dame, Oregon and California, Temple University is participating on the Division I level. In San Diego, high school teams from La Jolla and Torrey Pines will play while in Pasadena, club teams from USC and UCLA will battle prior to the Division I games. The Irish started their three-game trip last Sunday at Stanford where they dropped a 13-9 decision to the Cardinal to fall to 3-1 on the season. Oregon comes into Thursday’s meeting on a four-game winning streak and are 4-1 overall. The Ducks won their home opener on March 1, beating LeMoyne, 15-7. California faces Temple on Thursday in San Diego before facing Notre Dame on Saturday in Pasadena. The Bears are 1-2 on the season and dropped a 10-7 decision to Ohio State at home on March 2 in their last outing.

IRISH VERSUS DUCKS AND BEARS: Notre Dame and Oregon have never met in women’s lacrosse as the Ducks’ program is now in its fourth season. Notre Dame and California have met four times in the all-time series with the Irish winning all four contests. Notre Dame is 2-0 at home versus Cal and 2-0 at Berkeley. This will be the first neutral site meeting between the two schools. Last season, the two teams met at Notre Dame with the Irish taking a 16-11 decision indoors at the Loftus Sports Center on April 7th.

STANFORD RECAP: Notre Dame’s 2008 Spring Break trip got off on the wrong foot at Palo Alto, Calif., on Sunday, March 2, when the Irish dropped a 13-9 decison at Stanford’s Cagan Stadium. The loss snapped Notre Dame’s three-game, season-opening win streak. Junior Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) led the Irish offense with four goals and one assist while Shaylyn Blaney (Fr., Stony Brook, N.Y.) had two goals and an assist. She was followed by Caitlin McKinney (Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and Kaitlin Keena (Fr., Vienna, Va.) with a goal and an assist each. Gina Scioscia (So., Summit, N.J.) had Notre Dame’s ninth goal. Megan McClain (four goals) and Sarah Flynn (three goals) paced the Cardinal attack. Stanford led 8-6 at halftime and then scored the first four goals of the second half to open a 12-6 lead on the way to the 13-9 final. Laura Shane had 17 saves for the Cardinal while Erin Goodman (Jr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) had nine saves for the Irish.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 12th season at Notre Dame and her 21st year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 216-97 (.690) career record into Sunday’s game at Stanford. 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 101-71 (.587). 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 faces Oregon for the first time this week and she owns a 4-0 record all-time versus California.

HISTORIC STADIUMS: During the 2008 women’s lacrosse season, Notre Dame will play in two of college football’s most historic stadiums. On March 8, the Irish will face California, in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. They will follow that up by hosting the 2008 BIG EAST Championship at Notre Dame Stadium, home of the Fighting Irish football team. That will occur on April 25 and 27 should the Irish make the conference tourney. The tournament will be held at Notre Dame Stadium due to construction on the Irish campus.

FIELD OF DREAMS: 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.

SCORING MACHINE: Jillian Byers is off to a torrid start through the first four games for Notre Dame. In those games, the junior attack standout has 19 goals and three assists for 22 points. At Stanford, Byers had four goals and one assist for five points for the fourth game this season that she has had with four or more points. Already this year, Byers has a four-point game, a five-point contest, one with six and one with seven.

OUT OF THE WAY: With her four-goal game against Stanford, Jillian Byers has moved into second on Notre Dame’s all-time goal-scoring list with 131 in just 40 career games. She passed former Irish All-American Danielle Shearer `03, who had 130 goals in her career.

Goals1.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)           1612.  Jillian Byers (2006- )           1313.  Danielle Shearer (2000-03)       1304.  Caitlin McKinney (2005- )        123    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

STANFORD LOSS: Notre Dame and Stanford have met nine times in the all-time series between the two schools with the Irish holding a 6-3 edge. The 13-9 loss on March 2 was the first loss for Notre Dame at Stanford in the series. The Irish are now 4-1 at Palo Alto, Calif., and just 2-2 at home against the Cardinal.

ON A ROLL: Senior Caitlin McKinney extended her school-best, point-scoring streak to 43 games with a goal and an assist in the 13-9 loss at Stanford. During her 43-game streak, McKinney has scored 103 goals with 48 assists for 151 points. Her streak started during her freshman season in 2005. Going into the game with Oregon, the following Irish players are in the midst of scoring streak.

Jillian Byers - 21 games (77g, 11a, 88 pts.)Shaylyn Blaney - 4 games (12g, 4a, 16 pts.)Kaitlin Keena - 4 games (5g, 5a, 8 pts.)Julie Foote - 2 games (1g, 1a, 2 pts.)

OUTDOING THE OPPOSITION: Through the first four games of the 2008 season, Notre Dame has out shot the opposition by a 157-97 margin or 39.25 to 24.25. The Irish have also outscored opponents by a 61-38 advantage – 15.25 goals-per-game to 9.50 per game.

Year (#players) Goals Assists Points
Juniors (6) 26 8 34Freshmen (7) 21 10 31Seniors (5) 12 8 20Sophomores (4) 2 2 4Totals 61 28 89

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Notre Dame’s highly ranked freshman class accounted for seven of the team’s 14 goals in the 14-11 win at Ohio State. Shaylyn Blaney scored four goals while Kaitlin Keena, Kailene Abt and Jackie Doherty had one goal each. Blaney (2g, 1a) and Keena (1g, 1a) continued their strong play at Stanford.

STOECKERT STOPPED: Junior Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.) saw her 18-game point streak stopped in the 13-9 loss at Ohio State on March 2. After being held scoreless in her first three games of 2007, Stoeckert finished the year strong, scoring 21 goals with 15 assists for 36 points to end the season. She extended the streak to 18 games (22g, 18a, 40 points) in her first three games this year.

RECORDS WATCH: Senior Caitlin McKinney and junior Jillian Byers continue their assaults on the Notre Dame record books this spring. The dynamic duo continues to move up the goals, assists and points lists. Here’s where they going into the game versus Oregon on March 6 (Goals list is on page 2):

Assists 1.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)              762.  Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01)        683.  Danielle Shearer (2000-03)          664.  Kerry Callahan (1997-99)            635.  Caitlin McKinney (2005-)            596.  Meredith Simon (2001-04)            497.  Jillian Byers (2006- )              358.  Natalie Loftus (1999-02)            339.  Kathryn Perrella (1998-00)          2610. Eleanor Weille (2000-03)            25
Points1. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 2372. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 1963. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 1904. Caitlin McKinney (2005- ) 1825. Jillian Byers (2006- ) 1665. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 1587. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 1468. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 1099. Lauren Fischer (2001-04) 85 Alissa Moser (1999-02) 85

CONTROLLING THE DRAW: For the first time this season, Notre Dame did not control the draw in the 13-9 loss at Stanford. In that game, the Irish won just 10 of 24 (41.7%). On the season, the Irish are now 56-of-105 for a 53.3% success rate. Leading the team is Shaylyn Blaney (11) and Shannon Burke (11). Jillian Byers has 10 on the year.

RANCK AND FILE: Senior defender Becky Ranck (Radnor, Pa.) leads the Irish with eight caused turnovers this season. As a team, the Irish defense has forced 57 turnovers in the first four games. A master of the stick check, Ranck also has six ground balls on the year.

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 with the time to be determined. This will be the first women’s varsity event ever held in Notre Dame Stadium.

SLAMMING THE DOOR: Notre Dame’s defense has gotten off to a strong start through the first four games of the season. The Irish have allowed 38 goals in those games for a 9.50 goals-per-game average. In the four games, the Irish have given up just 97 shots on goal (24.25 per game).

MAKING THE STOPS: Junior goaltender Erin Goodman has picked up three wins this season, giving her 14 for her career. 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). As a junior, Goodman is 3-1 with a 9.60 goals-against average and a .479 save percentage.

VERSUS THE BEST: Notre Dame’s 2008 schedule features six teams that are currently ranked in the top 20 of the March 3 IWLCA rankings. The list includes: #1 Northwestern, #3 Duke, #5 Syracuse, #9 Georgetown, #11 Vanderbilt and #20 Stanford. Ohio State and Oregon are receiving votes.