March 31, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team returns home looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it plays 13th-ranked Vanderbilt on Sun., April 2, in a 1:00 p.m. game at Moose Krause Stadium. The Irish will travel to sixth-ranked Georgetown on Wed., April 5 for a 3:30 p.m. game. Notre Dame has lost its last two games by a total of three goals in a 10-9 loss at Ohio State and a 9-7 defeat at Johns Hopkins.
IRISH MEET COMMODORES, HOYAS: Notre Dame returns from a three-game road stand with a home game against 13th-ranked Vanderbilt on Sun., April 2. The Commodores enter the weekend with a 4-4 record and will play Cornell on Friday night at Johns Hopkins before traveling to Notre Dame. Vanderbilt has won its last two games with a 19-16 win against Virginia Tech and a 9-8 double overtime victory over Boston University. Senior Sue Napolitano leads the Commodores in scoring with 24 goals in eight games and is 15th in the country with an average of three goals per game. Vanderbilt has won all three previous meetings with Notre Dame, including an 18-9 win in 1999. Georgetown has a 5-2 record and will play host to Rutgers on Sat., April 1 before facing Notre Dame. The Hoyas — ninth in the country in scoring offense and 12th in defense — are led by junior Sheehan Stanwick, who has scored 18 goals in six games to join Napolitano at 15th in the NCAA in goals per game. Junior goalkeeper Bowen Holden has the sixth-best save percentage in the country at .634 and is 14th in goals against average with a 7.76 mark. The game will mark the first meeting between Notre Dame and Georgetown.
WEEK IN REVIEW: Notre Dame played two road games at Ohio State and Johns Hopkins and lost a pair of close games. The Irish led the Buckeyes 9-7 but Ohio State scored the final three goals of the game to rally for a 10-9 win on Thurs., March 23. Junior Lael O’Shaughnessy and sophomore Natalie Loftus each scored twice, and junior goalkeeper Tara Durkin made 19 saves. Against Johns Hopkins, freshman Kelly McCardell scored twice to give the Irish a 2-0 lead, and O’Shaughnessy had three goals, but the Blue Jays rallied to a take a halftime 4-3 lead they would never relinquish. Durkin had 17 saves against Hopkins.
DURKIN AMONG NCAA LEADERS: Junior goalkeeper Tara Durkin — on pace for 200 saves this season — stands 10th among NCAA Division I goalkeepers with a .620 save percentage, according to the latest national statistics. She has 80 saves against 49 goals allowed, and the 80 saves are the most among the top 10 goalkeepers with the best save percentage. Durkin is on pace to set single-season Irish records for saves, save percentage and goals against average.
O’SHAUGHNESSY ON ATTACK: Junior captain Lael O’Shaughnessy — the third-highest returning scorer among NCAA Division I schools from the ’99 season — leads the team once again with 16 goals in six games. She already has set the school record for career goals with 93 and needs just seven more to reach the 100-goal milestone. O’Shaughnessy scored a school-record 50 goals last year and has scored at least one goal in each of the last 16 games and in all but one game in which she played in her career.
DEPTH SPARKS IRISH: While 11 different players scored in Notre Dame’s win over Ohio — the most players ever to score in a single Irish women’s lacrosse game — Notre Dame’s bench players accounted for nine goals and five assists. The 22 goals scored in that game by the Irish are the third most by any team this season. Through six games of the 2000 season 14 players have scored at least one goal, with 16 players having recorded at least one point.
BIG EAST WOMEN’S LACROSSE: When Notre Dame and Georgetown meet on Wednesday, the game will mark the first and only between the teams as independents. The 2001 women’s lacrosse season will mark a new era in the brief history of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse when the sport becomes the 20th sponsored by the BIG EAST Conference. Boston College, Connecticut, Georgetown, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech will join Notre Dame in the formation of BIG EAST women’s lacrosse. Five of the six teams will be on Notre Dame’s schedule in 2000. The teams will play a round-robin schedule against each of the other six teams. The BIG EAST also has applied for an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship for the conference winner. “We now will have opportunity to compete in a quality all-sports conference and develop conference rivalries,” says Tracy Coyne, a large part in the driving force among the coaching community for the inclusion of women’s lacrosse under the BIG EAST Conference umbrella. “I expect the BIG EAST to become a very influential conference on the national level, particularly with the success a number of the teams have had already and the support that the newer programs receive. We can be as powerful as any other lacrosse conference.”
2000 SCHEDULE: Games against three of the 12 1999 NCAA tournament teams and five home games highlight the 15-game, Notre Dame women’s lacrosse schedule for the 2000 schedule. In addition to Sunday’s game against 13th-ranked Vanderbilt and Wednesday’s contest at sixth-ranked Georgetown, the Irish also will face two more teams currently ranked top 25.