Jan. 29, 2010
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s lacrosse coach Tracy Coyne has announced the 2010 women’s lacrosse team captains for the upcoming spring season that gets underway this weekend, Jan. 30-31, at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., when the Irish face the U.S. National Team and Developmental Team in a pair of preseason games.
Seniors Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.), Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) and Maggie Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) will be joined by junior Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) as the team’s four captains that were selected by their teammates to serve as team captains for the coming year. For all four players, this will be their first season serving as captains for the Irish.
“I’m pleased that the team has selected such an outstanding group of individuals as captains for the 2010 season,” said head coach Tracy Coyne who begins her 14th season guiding the women’s lacrosse program at Notre Dame.
“Having great leadership is one of the main ingredients behind every successful team. There is no doubt in my mind Rachel (Guerrera), Gina (Scioscia), Maggie (Zentgraf) and Shaylyn (Blaney) are ready to lead us to another record-setting year. They have a wonderful dynamic between them. They set a tone in practice that demands excellence from themselves and their teammates and aren’t satisfied with anything less.”
Guerrera, a two-time monogram winner, opens the 2010 campaign as a starter on defense for the third consecutive season. A tough, tenacious defender, she was a second team IWLCA West/Midwest all-region selection a year ago and will be in the running for all-BIG EAST and All-American honors this year. As a junior, Guerrera was fifth on the team with 33 ground balls and third in caused turnovers in helping the Irish to a 16-5 season, Notre Dame’s first BIG EAST championship and a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals. Off the field, she was selected to the IWLCA academic honor roll with a 3.49 grade-point average with a double major in American Studies and Film, Television and Theatre.
Senior midfielder Maggie Zentgraf is one of Notre Dame’s most respected team leaders on and off the field.
Scioscia, a three-time monogram winner, enters her senior season as the team’s top returning scorer after she finished second in scoring a year ago with career highs in goals (53), a school record for assists (43) and 96 points. Those totals earned her second team all-American honors and second team all-BIG EAST recognition for the first time in her career. The 53 goals were the sixth-best total in the program’s history while the 96 points was the third highest in the program’s history. Her totals were fifth in the NCAA in points and sixth in assists for the year. Scioscia is Notre Dame’s all-time assist leader with 82 assists while ranking ninth in goals (77) and sixth in points (159).
Zentgraf is a two-time monogram winner who is a well-respected team leader on and off the field. The senior brings versatility to the Irish lineup as she has seen action at both midfield and attack during her career. She is a key member of the team’s draw control unit and has that whatever-it-takes attitude that every team needs. As a junior, Zentgraf appeared in all 21 games, scoring six goals with one assist for seven points. She had 15 draw controls, six ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Junior Shaylyn Blaney will have the chance to show her leadership skills with the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team during the 2010 season.
Blaney rounds out the group of captains and is the lone junior in the group. A two-time monogram winner, she was a first team all-BIG EAST selection and a second team IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-American following at midfield following her sophomore campaign. An all-around midfielder who is strong at both ends of the field, Blaney was fourth on the team in goals (44) and points (470 in 2009. She tied for seventh on the team in ground balls (31), was second in draw controls (46) and fifth with 16 caused turnovers. Blaney, a sophomore midfielder, was a second team IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-American for the first time in her career. A first team all-BIG EAST selection, she was fourth on the Irish in goals (44) and points (47). After just two seasons with the Irish, she is already among the top 10 at Notre Dame in several categories – goals (8th – 87), points (10th – 99) and draw controls (9th -88).
All four captains will begin their duties this coming weekend, Jan. 30-31, when the team participates in the fifth annual Champion Challenge at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. On Saturday, Jan. 30, the Irish will face the U.S. Women’s Elite Team at 1:00 p.m. and then on Sunday, Jan. 31, they will battle the U.S. Developmental Team in an 11:00 a.m. Notre Dame will run into a familiar face when the Irish face the U.S. Developmental squad as former standout, Jillian Byers `09, was selected to that team last summer.
Notre Dame is coming off one of its most successful seasons, as the Irish were 16-5 in 2009 as the Irish won their first-ever BIG EAST Tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame finished the year ranked sixth in the final IWLCA poll.
The Irish enter the 2010 season ranked ninth in the Lacrosse Magazine preseason poll and will open the regular season on Tuesday, Feb. 23 when they travel to Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y., for a 3:30 p.m. game.