April 21, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. – Junior midfielder Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.) has been selected as the BIG EAST defensive player of the week for the week ending April 19, 2008.
During the week, Burke’s strong defensive play helped the Irish to a 1-1 week that saw the Irish fall to #13/#14 Vanderbilt, 9-6, on April 16 and then defeat BIG EAST foe, Rutgers, 20-9, on April 19.
Burke contributed at both ends of the field, scoring a goal and an assist while getting four ground balls, grabbing seven draw controls and causing five turnovers during the two games.
In the 9-6 loss to Vanderbilt, Burke had a career-high five caused turnovers while leading all players with four draw controls, in a game that saw Notre Dame lead the Commodores, 11-6 in draws. Burke also had one ground ball and picked up her first career assist as she set up a Jillian Byers (Jr., Northport, N.Y.) goal in the second half.
Against Rutgers in the BIG EAST finale for each team, Burke’s play helped the Irish jump out to a 10-1 lead on the way to a 20-9 victory over the Scarlet Knights. She scored her seventh goal of the season on a second-half free-position shot while adding three ground balls and three draw controls in the game.
For the year, Burke now has seven goals to go with one assist for eight points in 16 games. She leads the Irish with 46 draw controls and 29 caused turnovers. Her 29 ground balls rank her second on the team in that category. The 46 draw controls are the second-highest total in the program’s history and put her five away from the record of 51 set in 2007 by Kaki Orr `07. The 29 caused turnovers are the sixth-best single-season total at Notre Dame.
In her career, Burke now has 75 ground balls, 85 draw controls and 59 caused turnovers. She is now eighth all-time in draw controls and seventh in caused turnovers.
Burke and the Notre Dame defense will be put to the test this weekend when the Irish host the second BIG EAST Women’s Lacrosse Tournament at Notre Dame Stadium on April 25 and 27.
Notre Dame (11-5, 4-1 in BIG EAST) are the second seed in the tournament and will play host to Georgetown (10-5, 3-2 in BIG EAST) in the second semifinal game on Friday, April 25 at 7:45 p.m. The first semifinal features top-seeded Syracuse (13-2, 5-0) against fourth-seed, Rutgers (7-9, 2-3) at 5:30 on Friday. The two winners will meet on Sunday, April 27 at 12:00 noon for the BIG EAST Championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. CBS College Sports will televise the championship game live.