April 19, 2004
* 14-game winning streak comes to an end in 9-7 loss at Georgetown.
* Meredith Simon named one of 20 nominees for 2004 Tewaaraton Trophy.
IRISH VISIT NORTHWESTERN TO START BUSY WEEK: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will look to get back on the winning track when the Irish travel to 11th-ranked Northwestern on Tuesday, April 20. Game time at Northwestern’s Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex is set for 4:00 p.m. (CDT). Notre Dame, ranked second in the April 12 IWLCA poll, is coming off a tough, 9-7 loss, at fifth-ranked Georgetown on Saturday. The loss, the first of the season for the Irish, sends Notre Dame into the game at Northwestern with a 10-1 overall record and a 3-1 mark in the BIG EAST. Northwestern also comes into Tuesday’s contest with an identical 10-1 record and is in the midst of a school-record nine-game winning streak. The Wildcats came from behind on Saturday to defeat 18th-ranked Penn State, 13-11. Following Tuesday’s game, the Irish return home to host ninth-ranked Johns Hopkins on Friday, April 23 at Moose Krause Stadium in a 7:00 p.m. contest. On Sunday, April 25, the Irish travel to Piscataway, N.J., to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 12:00 noon (EDT) contest.
IRISH VERSUS NORTHWESTERN: Notre Dame and Northwestern have met twice in the all-time series with the Irish winning both games. The Irish are 1-0 at Notre Dame and 1-0 at Evanston, Ill., in the first two contests. Last season, Notre Dame won a hard-fought game at Moose Krause Stadium by a 13-9 margin. Both teams come into the game with 10-1 records on the season. Notre Dame’s all-time leading goal and point scorer, Danielle Shearer, a 2003 graduate serves as an assistant coach at Northwestern.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Notre Dame head coach Tracy Coyne is in her eighth season with the Irish and is the only coach the program has ever known. Coyne owns a 67-44 (.604) record at Notre Dame and is 181-70 (.721) in her 17-year coaching career. She is 2-0 versus Northwestern. In 2003, she led the Irish to an 8-7 record and a 4-2 mark in the BIG EAST, good for third in the league standings. In 2002, Coyne led the Irish to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid as Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion, Princeton, 11-5. 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. A 1983 graduate of Ohio University, Coyne has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women’s lacrosse national team. She led the team to the medal round at the 2001 World Cup and will serve as head coach of Team Canada again for the 2005 World Cup.
PULLING RANK: Notre Dame opened the season by playing four ranked teams in its first five games of the season and was 4-0 in that string with wins over #15 Stanford, #19 Cornell, #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. Over the next five games, the Irish faced five teams that weren’t among the nation’s top 20 teams. Starting with last Saturday against Georgetown, the Irish will face five ranked teams among the final six games they play. Georgetown was ranked fifth, Northwestern is 11th, Johns Hopkins is ninth, Syracuse is 13th and Vanderbilt is 10th. The Irish come into the week ranked second in the nation, the highest ranking in the program’s history.
SIMON NAMED TEWAARTON CANDIDATE: Notre Dame senior midfielder, Meredith Simon (Flemington, N.J.), has been named one of 20 finalists for the fourth annual Tewaaraton Trophy that will be awarded in June. Simon leads the Irish in scoring with career highs in goals (35), assists (15) and points (50). She is the first Notre Dame player ever to make the list of nominees. Last year, Danielle Shearer was selected to the preseason watch list. The Tewaaraton Trophy is awarded each year to the top male and female lacrosse players in the country. In early May, the list of 20 will be cut to five finalists. Simon is one of three BIG EAST players nominated for the honor as she is joined by Georgetown’s Michi Ellers and Syracuse’s Leigh-Ann Zimmer.
GEORGETOWN COMES FROM BEHIND: The fifth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas scored a come-from-behind win on April 17 as they scored the final four goals to rally from a 7-5 second-half deficit, snapping Notre Dame’s 14-game winning streak with a 9-7 win. The Hoya’s scored all four goals in the final 19 minutes of the game. The Irish were led offensively by Meredith Simon (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) with two goals and an assist and Mary McGrath (So., Bryn Mawr, Pa.) scored twice in the second half to give the Irish their 7-5 lead for her second two-goal game of the season.
The win gave Georgetown its fourth consecutive BIG EAST title as the Hoyas improved to 5-0 in the conference and 9-2 overall. The loss drops Notre Dame to 10-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. The loss was the fifth straight in the all-time series for the Irish against Georgetown. The Hoyas scored the first three goals of the game as Anouk Peters scored the game’s first goal on a free-position shot at 22:46 followed by goals by Michi Ellers (20:42) and Lauryn Bernier (18:19). Notre Dame got on the scoreboard with 11 minutes left in the first half as freshman Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) set up Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) to cut the lead to 3-1. The Irish would tie the game at 3-3 on goals by Murphy and Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) just 25 seconds apart at 5:45 and 5:20. Simon gave the Irish their only lead of the first half when she scored on a free-position shot with 45 seconds left in the half for a 4-3 advantage, but the Hoyas got the equalizer on a Gloria Lozano goal with just three seconds left in the half for a 4-4 score going into halftime. Catherine Elbe gave Georgetown a 5-4 lead when she opened the second-half scoring just 1:28 into the stanza. Notre Dame would score three times in a 2:11 span to take the 7-5 lead. Simon tied the game at 5-5 at the 22:27 mark and McGrath followed with her two goals at 20:45 and 20:16 for the two-goal lead. Allison Chambers cut the lead to 7-6 with her goal at 19:14 and Sarah oliphant scored twice to tie the game and put the Hoyas ahead, 8-7, with 7:27 left. Peters closed the scoring with a goal with nine seconds left. In the game, Georgetown outshot the Irish, 24-21. Hoya goalkeeper Sarah Robinson made 13 saves in the game while Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) took her first collegiate defeat while making nine saves for Notre Dame.
BEST OFFENSE IS A GOOD DEFENSE: Georgetown held Notre Dame to its fewest goals scored this season, by holding the Irish to seven goals in the 9-7 loss. The last time Notre Dame scored fewer than seven goals in a game was on April 2, 2003 when the Irish dropped a 9-6 decision at Syracuse.
VERSUS THE BEST: The loss to Georgetown snapped Notre Dame’s six-game winning streak against ranked teams. The Irish won their final two games in 2003 and then won four straight this season. Notre Dame is now 4-1 this season against ranked teams. All-time, Notre Dame is now 13-28 versus teams that were ranked in the top 20. Among Notre Dame’s wins this season versus ranked teams are victories over #2 Duke and #6 James Madison. Those two wins came against the highest-ranked teams the Irish have ever beaten. The previous highest-ranked team Notre Dame beat was Yale (7th-ranked) in 2001 and in 2002, they downed 7th-ranked Syracuse. In 2003, the Irish were 3-7 versus teams ranked in the top 20.
ON A TEAR: Meredith Simon continued her strong play in the 9-7 loss at Georgetown on April 17. Simon paced the Irish attack with two goals and an assist in the game for 11th consecutive game with three or more points this season. She now has career highs in goals (35), assists (15) and points (50) in just 11 games this year. As of April 12, Simon is eighth in the country with 4.70 points per game and is tied for 10th with 3.30 goals per game. At Notre Dame she has 98 goals (third all-time), 36 assists (fourth all-time) for 134 career points (fourth-best all-time). Only two other players – Danielle Shearer (130) and Lael O’Shaughnessy (122) have reached the 100-goal plateau in their Notre Dame careers. Simon needs just two goals to become the third.
ON THE RIGHT FOOTE: After being held off the scoresheet for two consecutive games earlier this season, sophomore midfielder Crysti Foote has found her scoring touch over the last six games. During the six-game run, Foote has 12 goals and five assists for 17 points. On the season, Foote is fourth in scoring with 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points on the year. As a freshman in 2003, she finished third on the team in scoring with 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points. Foote played in all 15 games, starting the final six of the season. In those six games, she racked up 18 goals and eight assists for 26 points. She ended the year with an eight-game scoring streak with 22 goals and nine assists for 31 points. During her streak, Foote had six-point games versus Georgetown (4g, 2a) and Davidson (3g, 3a). She also had a four-goal game versus Vanderbilt to close the year. Following the season, Foote became the first Notre Dame women’s lacrosse freshman to be named to the Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic region team.
RECORD-SETTING STREAK: Notre Dame’s 14-game winning streak from 4/22/03 to 4/17/04 was the longest in the program’s history and included four games in the 2003 season along with 10 this season. The previous longest winning streak for the Irish was six games from 3/13/01 to 3/31/01.
IRISH ON THE NATIONAL SCENE: Notre Dame figures prominently in the national statistics this week (through games of April 12):
Points per game: Meredith Simon, 8th, 4.70 ppg
Goals per game: Meredith Simon, t10th, 3.30 gpg
GAVG: Carol Dixon, 9th, 7.92 GAVG
Save Pct: Carol Dixon, 17th, .532 save pct.
Goals per game: 2nd, 14.40 gpg
Team Defense: 9th, 7.90 opponent gpg
Margin of Victory: 4th, +6.50 gpg
Ground Balls: t9th, 27.00
Draw Controls: 8th, 12.80
Caused Turnovers: 6th, 11.90
SCORING STREAKS: Meredith Simon continued her scoring streak versus Ohio State that has now reached 22 games. Kassen Delano (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) now has a 10-game streak followed by Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) and Crysti Foote.
Meredith Simon – 22 games (57g, 22a, 79 pts)
Kassen Delano – 10 games (13g, 6a, 19 pts)
Jackie Bowers – 7 games (10g, 4a, 14 pts)
Crysti Foote – 6 games (12g, 5a, 17 pts)
BROKEN STREAKS: While the above four players continued their scoring streaks versus Georgetown, two Notre Dame players saw their point streaks come to an end. Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) saw her 11-game streak (26g, 9a, 35 pts.) end and Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) saw her 10-game streak (20g, 8a, 28 pts) stopped by the Hoyas.
CAREER YEAR: You thought that midfielder Abby Owen had a breakout season in 2003 when she had 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points??? Well, in 2004, through the first 11 games of the year, Owen has already scored 25 goals with seven assists for 32 points (a new career high). She has four games this season with four points and four games with three points on the year. She had a career-high four-goal game versus Stanford on Feb. 29. She was named Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 29 and BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending March 14.
DELANO DELIGHTS: Senior midfielder Kassen Delano ran her scoring streak to 10 games with a pair of assists in the Georgetown game. On the season, Delano has 11 goals and six assists for 17 points. Her career highs are 15 goals and five assists for 20 points, marks set as a freshman in 2001.
HIGH-SCORING IRISH: Notre Dame saw its goals per game average fall 0.5 to just 13.90 goals per game after the 9-7 loss to Georgetown. The Irish have scored 153 games through 11 games this season. The previous best is 13.56 goals per game and that came during the 1997 season, the first year that the program existed.
IRISH HONORS: The following Notre Dame players have been honored during 2004.
Carol Dixon – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (April 12).
BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29)
Andrea Kinnik – BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (March 29)
Abby Owen – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 14)
Inside Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week (Feb. 29)
Meredith Simon – BIG EAST offensive player of the week (April 12)
BIG EAST offensive player of the week (March 29)
BIG EAST co-offensive player of the week (March 8)
FIVE FOR BOWERS: Just when you thought that the Irish didn’t have enough goal scorers in the lineup, Jackie Bowers joined the attack versus Virginia Tech (March 26). All the junior attack player did was rack up a career-best five goals in the win. For the weekend versus Virginia Tech and Boston College, Bowers had six goals and one assist for seven points. On the year, Bowers has 11 goals and six assists for 17 points. All are career highs. Bowers had three goals and one assist for four points in limited action last season.
SCORIN’ LAUREN: Senior attacker Lauren Fischer continued her strong senior season with three goals and an assist in the win at Ohio State (April 10). Through 11 games, Fischer has career highs in goals (20), assists (8) and points (24). Fischer’s three-assist game on March 28 versus Boston College is a career high. Her four-point versus Ohio State was her second of the season (March 7 vs. Cornell) and the third of her career and is a career high. The three-goal game versus Ohio State was the third of the season and fifth of her career. Fischer’s previous career highs in goals (18), assists (6) and points (24) were established last season.
KINNIK FOR THE DEFENSE: Senior Andrea Kinnik had a breakout season in 2003 for the Irish. She led the team with 44 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers while tying for fifth with 20 draw controls. Her defensive skills were recognized in the postseason when she was named first-team Brine/IWLCA all-Mid-Atlantic Region and third-team All-America by womenslacrosse.com. She already has scored four goals this season and leads the team with 35 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.
NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN: When the Irish opened the 2004 season at Cal-Berkeley, Carol Dixon became the first goalkeeper to start a game for the Irish besides Jen White (’03) since the final game of the 2000 season. White started 48 consecutive games for Notre Dame, between 2001-2003. Dixon served as White’s backup the previous two seasons and saw action in five games last year, playing 121 minutes with a 8.93 goals-against average and a .571 save percentage. She was 0-0 on the year. This season, Dixon has acquitted herself quite well as she has a 10-1 record to go with game winning streak to start the season with a 7.93 goals-against average and a .549 save percentage. She ranks second in the BIG EAST in goals-against average and is fourth in save percentage. Nationally, her goals against ranks ninth and her save percentage is 17th. Twice this season, Dixon has been named the BIG EAST co-defensive player of the week (Feb. 29 and April 12).
SLAMMING THE DOOR: Through 11 games this season, Notre Dame’s defense has given up just 88 goals for an 7.93 goals-against average. The best goals against in the program’s previous seven seasons was 7.49 and that came during the 2002 campaign. Only Duke and Virginia Tech, with 11 goals, has scored in double figures versus the Irish this season.
GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: Notre Dame’s defense has even joined in on the goal scoring this season. The Irish defense had a goal and an assist in the 13-8 win over Ohio University on April 6. Andrea Kinnik set up one goal and sophomore Kerry Van Shura (Bel Air, Md.) scored her first collegiate goal in the contest. In nine games this season, Irish defenders have 12 goals and three assists on the year. Kristen Gaudreau (Sr., Annapolis, Md.) leads the defense with six goals and an assist for seven points. Andrea Kinnik has four goals and two assists while Van Shura and Jess Mikula (Jr., Chester, Md.) have one goal each.
THE CAPTAINS: Serving as captains for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team in 2004 will be seniors Andrea Kinnik and Meredith Simon. For both players are first-year captains for the Irish.
NEW KIDS: Freshman midfielder Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) has stepped right into the Notre Dame lineup and has played like a veteran through the first 10 games of the season. Murphy had a career-high three goals and four points in the win over Cornell (Mar. 7), just her third game in an Irish uniform. For the season she has nine goals and one assist for 10 points and is seventh on the team in scoring. Fellow freshman defender Meaghan Fitzpatrick (Farmingdale, N.Y.) made her first career start versus Connecticut and has seen action in all eight games on defense. Sophomore Brittany Fox (So., Annapolis, Md.) scored her first career goal in the win over Cornell in her second career game. Junior midfielder Maura Costello (Manhasset, N.Y.) and sophomore defender Katie Killeen (Manhasset, N.Y.) both saw their first action for the Irish women’s lacrosse team versus Cornell. Kristin Hopson (Fr., Rosemont, Pa.) saw her first action versus Virginia Tech while Megan O’Shaughnessy (Fr., Englewood, Colo.) and Kaki Orr (Fr., Darien, Conn.) saw their first career action versus Boston College.
THE LONGEST GAME: Notre Dame’s overtime win versus California was the seventh overtime game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 3-4 in games that go beyond regulation. On April 13, 2003, Notre Dame played the longest game in its history, a double-overtime loss to Stanford (14-13) as the two team’s battled for 72 minutes (60 regulation minutes and four three-minute overtime stanzas). The previous long game came in 2003 versus Duke as the Irish played 71:45 before losing a 10-9 decision. That game ended in sudden-death as the winning goal was scored with just 15 seconds left in the fourth three-minute overtime.
CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s 12-11 overtime win on Feb. 27 was the 15th one-goal game in the program’s history. The Irish are now 7-8 in those games. During the 2003 season, Notre Dame was 1-3 in one-goal games with two of the losses coming in back-to-back overtime contests.
GREAT GOALS: Notre Dame ended the 2003 season by setting a school record for goals in an away game when the Irish scored 22 at #15 Vanderbilt (22-11) in the season finale. The 22-goal outburst broke the previous road mark of 20 set at Gannon (20-10) and equaled the school record of 22 set in a 2000 home win over Ohio University (22-3). The 22 goals were the most scored versus a ranked team, surpassing the mark of 15 set earlier in the season versus Connecticut and Georgetown (ot).
FUTURE IRISH: In November’s early-signing period, head coach Tracy Coyne announced that five high school lacrosse standouts signed letters of intent to attend Notre Dame for the 2004-05 school year.
PRESEASON PROGNOSTICATIONS: The Irish were picked in BIG EAST coaches voting to finish third in the BIG EAST this coming season behind Georgetown and Syracuse. The coaches also named Meredith Simon and Andrea Kinnik to their preseason all-BIG EAST team. Inside Lacrosse Magazine ranks the Irish 16th in the nation in their preseason poll.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Two members of the Notre Dame lacrosse team have family ties to the program and two others have ties to the men’s lacrosse program. Junior goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.) got to play two seasons with her sister, Angela, who graduated in May of 2003. The duo gave Notre Dame its second set of sisters to play on the women’s lacrosse team, joining Amy and Mara Grace who played in the first year of the program. Freshman midfield/attack player, Megan O’Shaughnessy (Englewood, Colo.) is the cousin of Irish scoring great Lael O’Shaughnessy, a 2001 graduate. Senior Meredith Simon follows in her brother Eric’s footsteps. A 2003 graduate, Eric served as one of the captains of the 2003 men’s lacrosse team while Meredith is a co-captain of the women’s team in 2003. Senior defender Bridget Higgins (Wilton, Conn.) older brother, Kevin, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and served as team captain for the 2000 season. Sophomore defender Lena Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) is the niece of men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan and the granddaughter of former Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan.