Feb. 12, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s lacrosse coach Tracy Coyne has announced the 2009 women’s lacrosse captains for the upcoming spring season that opens on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Seniors Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.) and Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.) were selected by their teammates to serve as team captains for the coming year. For both players, this is their first seasons as captains for the Irish.
“I’m very pleased that the team has chosen Jill (Byers) and Shannon (Burke) as captains for the 2009 season,” said head coach Tracy Coyne who enters her 13th season guiding the women’s lacrosse program.
“They have the respect of their peers and the full confidence of the coaching staff to lead the team this season. Jill and Shannon possess many of the attributes that good leaders must have – a positive attitude, a great work ethic and outstanding communication skills. I know that they will do a good job representing the University and the team.”
Burke is a three-year monogram winner who has been a regular in the lineup in each of her first three seasons, with the last two as a starter at midfield/defense. She is coming off the best season of her career as she was a second team all-BIG EAST selection in 2008 and also took second team IWLCA all-West/Midwest regional team honors. Offensively, she had career highs in goals (8), assists (3) and points (11) but made her mark defensively. She finished second on the team with 33 ground balls, was second in draw controls with 51 and led the team in caused turnovers with 32. A BIG EAST defensive player of the week, she finished fourth in the conference with 1.56 caused turnovers per game. This season she was an all-BIG EAST preseason selection by the conference’s coaches.
Byers has been one of the catalysts of the Notre Dame attack in each of her first three seasons. A three-time IWLCA second team All-American, she is coming off a 2008 season that saw her lead the Irish in goals (67) and points (81) while setting a school record with 52 draw controls. The Northport, N.Y. native has been a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection in each of her first three seasons. In 2008, she ranked 14th in the nation in points and tied for seventh in goals. She is the only Notre Dame player to ever score 50 or more goals in a season three times and also have 66 or more points in a season in three consecutive years. Byers became Notre Dame’s all-time goal-scoring leader with 179 in just three seasons. Her 81-point season was the second most in one season at Notre Dame. A nominee for the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy, she was the fourth player in the program’s history to be nominated. She will enter the 2009 season ranked first in goals (179), third in points (225) and seventh in assists (46) at Notre Dame. She has been selected as a preseason all-BIG EAST selection by the conferences’ coaches for the 2009 campaign.
Notre Dame enters the season ranked 11th in both the IWLCA coaches’ preseason poll and the Inside Lacrosse poll. The Irish were 12-7 last season and finished second in the BIG EAST with a 4-1 record. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last seven years.