Sophomore midfielder Megan Sullivan scored two goals in her first career start at Hofstra.

Women's Lacrosse Opens Home Schedule Versus Duquesne On Saturday, Feb.27

Feb. 27, 2010

Notre Dame, Ind. –

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– The Game: #8/#8 Notre Dame (1-0, 16-5 in 2009) vs. Duquesne (0-2, 9-8 in 2009)

– Date/Time/Site: Sat., February 27, 2010 – 6:00 p.m. – Loftus Sports Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

– Internet: The Notre Dame-Duquesne game will be available at the Notre Dame website –, and is free of charge. Gametracker live stats are also available on the Irish website.

A NEW SEASON: The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team got its 14th season off to a strong start on Tues., Feb. 23 with a 13-12 win at Hofstra. The Irish open the home schedule on Sat., Feb. 27 when they play host to the Duquesne University Dukes in a 6:00 p.m. game at the Loftus Sports Center. The game is available on the Notre Dame website – – with live video streaming that is free of charge. The Irish are 1-0 this season and are coming off a 2009 season that saw them go 16-5 overall and 5-2 in the BIG EAST. They won their first ever BIG EAST title in April with wins against Syracuse and Georgetown. Notre Dame them advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the program’s history and the first time in back-to-back seasons (2008, 2009). There, the Irish defeated Vanderbilt before losing in the quarterfinals at North Carolina. The Irish finished the year ranked sixth in the IWLCA poll, the highest ranking in the program’s history. The Dukes come into Saturday’s contest with an 0-2 record. They opened the season on the road in Denver, Colo., where they dropped a 16-8 decision to Stony Brook in a neutral site game on Saturday Feb. 20, then lost to the University of Denver, 20-6, on Monday, Feb. 22.

THE IRISH ALL-TIME: In this the 14th season of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program, Notre Dame brings a 127-82 all-time record (.608) into the game with Duquesne. That record includes a 51-46 road record (.526). At home, the Irish are 62-29 (.681) home mark and a 14-7 all-time mark on neutral fields.

FOR OPENERS: Notre Dame’s win over Hofstra improved the Irish to 12-2 all-time in opening games. In road openers, the Irish are 13-1 while in home openers they are 8-5 in the program’s first 13 seasons.

IRISH VERSUS THE DUKES: Notre Dame and Duquesne have met five times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 5-0 advantage. At home, the Irish are 3-0 versus the Dukes and in Pittsburgh, they hold a 2-0 edge. Last season, Notre Dame opened the season at Duquesne, taking a 22-7 win. Gina Scioscia (4g, 3a) and Shaylyn Blaney (4 goals) led the Irish over the Dukes. Junior Ansley Stewart (Charlottesville, Va.) had the first three goals of her collegiate career in the game and finished with four points as eleven different players got on the scoresheet.

HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne begins her 14th season at Notre Dame and her 23rd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 241-108 (.691) career record into the 2010 season. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program’s history, Coyne is 127-82 (.608) and has guided the Irish to five NCAA tournaments (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009) where her teams have advanced to the Final Four once (2006) and the quarterfinals twice (2002, 2009). The Irish have been in all three BIG EAST Tournaments to date, beginning in 2007 and they recorded their first BIG EAST title last season with wins over Syracuse (16-10) and Georgetown (12-10). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 126-82 in her 13th season 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 is 5-0 versus Duquesne in her coaching career.

A WINNING LEGACY: Notre Dame’s 16 wins in 2009 are the most in a single season for the Irish, surpassing the mark of 15-4 set in 2006. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 55-22 (.714).

HOFSTRA RECAP: Junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) scored a career-high six goals, including the game winner as Notre Dame defeated Hofstra, 13-12, on Feb. 23, in the season opener for the Irish. Gina Scioscia (Sr., Summit, N.J.) scored three goals and added an assist for four points and Megan Sullivan (So., Winchester, Mass.) scored a pair to round out Notre Dame’s multiple-goal scorers. Kailene Abt (Jr., Huntington) and Ansley Stewart (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) had single goals for Notre Dame. The Pride were led offensively by Courtney O’Connor who had three goals while Corrine Gandolfi, Stephanie Rice and Liz Falco had two each. The Irish led 7-4 with 2:06 left in the first half when the Pride scored three times to tie the game at halftime, 7-7. In the second half, Hofstra went ahead, 10-8, but Blaney led a comeback as she scored four of her goals in the second half. The high-scoring midfielder got the game winner with 10:09 left in the second half. The Irish out shot Hofstra, 30-26 on the afternoon. Freshman Ellie Hilling (Rochester, N.Y.) finished with seven saves in her first career start.

CLOSE ONES: Notre Dame’s one-goal win over Hofstra was the 33rd game in the program’s history to be decided by one goal. In those games, the Irish are 16-17 all-time. Last season, they were 0-1 with a 14-13 loss at Syracuse. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown:

1997:   0-01998:   1-11999:   1-02000:   1-12001:   1-02002:   1-22003:   1-32004:   1-22005:   0-22006:   4-22007:   3-12008    1-22009:   0-12010:   1-0Total: 16-17

ROAD WARRIORS: Notre Dame picked up where it left off last season on the road with the 13-12 win over Hofstra. The Irish finished the 2009 season with a 6-3 record on the road. The six road wins equal the most the Irish have ever won on the road in the program’s 14-year history. In 2008, Notre Dame was 6-3 in nine road games. The Irish also were 2-0 in neutral site games for a total of eight wins away from Alumni Field and the Loftus Center. The three road losses came at Syracuse (14-13) and at Vanderbilt (18-11) in the regular season and at North Carolina (16-10) in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame is 0-5 on the road in NCAA Tournament games in five trips to the tournament.

THE CAPTAINS: Four members of the 2010 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team will serve as captains this season. Three seniors – Gina Scioscia, Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) and Maggie Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) – will have leadership roles with the Irish. They will be joined by junior Shaylyn Blaney. All four are in their first season as captains.

SCORING MACHINE: Notre Dame finished the 2009 season with a school record 321 goals (15.29 per game) and records for assists and points. As a team, the Irish had five players with 30 or more goals (a first for the program) and seven players with 15 or more. While losing four-time All-American Jillian Byers `09′ 83 goals, the Irish return its next six top scorers. Gina Scioscia is the top returnee with 53 goals and is followed by Kailene Abt (Jr., Huntington, N.Y.) with 46. Shaylyn Blaney was third with 44 while Ansley Stewart (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) had 30. Fellow junior Kaitlin Keena (Vienna, Va.) had 19 goals and sophomore Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) rounds out the group with 15.

HOMECOMING: Five members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team made a trip home to Long Island for last Tuesday’s game at Hofstra. Senior defender Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.), juniors Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) and Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.), sophomore Kristin DeRespiris (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and freshman Jenny Granger (East Setauket, N.Y.) make up the Irish Long Island contingent.

BIG JUMPS: Three members of the Notre Dame offensive attack had huge jumps in their scoring totals from the 2008 season to the 2009 campaign. Leading the way was midfielder Kailene Abt who saw a +46 improvement from her freshman year to last year. As a rookie, she had nine points and saw the number jump to 55 (46g, 9a) a year ago. Her 46-point increase is the biggest in the program’s history, just one behind Gina Scioscia’s 47-point increase from her freshman to sophomore year. Behind Abt was junior Ansley Stewart who had a 42-point improvement, going from 0 points as a freshman to 42 (30g, 12a) last season. Making her second appearance on the list is Scioscia, who saw her numbers jump 41 points as she went from 55 as a sophomore to 96 (53g, 43a) last season.

IN THE GOAL: Freshman Ellie Hilling (Rochester, N.Y.) will get the call in goal for the Irish in 2010. The 5-2 goalkeeper is the lone goalie on the Notre Dame roster this season. A two-time honorable mention high school All-American, Hilling was a four-year starter at Brighton High School where she guided her team to a pair of state championship games. In her first collegiate game, she made seven saves in helping the Irish to a 13-12 win.

PRESEASON HONORS: Three members of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team were selected to the BIG EAST preseason team in voting by the league’s coaches. Senior attack standout Gina Scioscia was a unaminous selection to the all-BIG EAST preseason team and was named the preseason offensive player of the year. Senior defender Rachel Guerrera and junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney join Scioscia on the team. The Irish were selected to finish third by the coaches, getting two first-place votes behind Georgetown and Syracuse.

NEW HOME: Notre Dame will begin play this season at its new on-campus stadium – Arlotta Stadium. The “Lot” will be the home of the men’s and women’s teams at Notre Dame and was completed in the fall and dedicated on Oct. 17, 2009. The stadium is a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that includes 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 to 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 – also have pledged an 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. The new stadium replaces Moose Krause Stadium where the Irish women’s team played for the first 12 years of the program along with indoors at the Loftus Sports Center. Some games will still be played in Loftus Center due to weather conditions.

STREAKY IRISH: Four members of the Notre Dame lineup come into the 2010 season with point-scoring streaks that started last season. The list includes:

Gina Scioscia - 20 games (52g, 41a, 93 pts)Kailene Abt - 16 games (33g, 8a, 41 pts)Kaitlin Keena - 7 games (9g, 5a, 14 pts)Ansley Stewart - 7 games (8g, 3a, 11 pts)

NORTH OF THE BORDER: Irish assistant coach Kateri Linville will serve as an assistant coach for Canada’s Under-19 team that will compete in the World Cup in Hannover, Germany in August of 2011. She was named to the position in January. She will serve as an assistant to Canisius head coach Scott Teter. A 2003 graduate of the University of Delaware, Linville is in her fifth season as an assistant at Notre Dame.

VERSUS THE RANKED: Notre Dame will play eight games this season against teams ranked in the IWLCA top 20. Leading the list is No. 1 ranked Northwestern. The Wildcats are followed by No. 6 Georgetown and No. 7 Syracuse. The Irish are ranked eighth overall and the fourth BIG EAST team on the list is 14th ranked Loyola (Md.). The remaining four ranked teams are: Vanderbilt (11th), Boston University (12th), Dartmouth (15th) and Ohio State (16th). A year ago, Notre Dame played 13 games versus ranked teams and was 8-5 on the season.