May 12, 2002
Princeton, N.J. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team’s dream season came to an end Sunday afternoon at Princeton, New Jersey as the Irish fell to the nation’s top team, the Princeton Tigers, by an 11-5 score in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The loss ends Notre Dame’s year with a 13-5 record, the most wins in the six-year history of the program. Princeton goes to 17-1 on the year and moves on to the NCAA semifinals next weekend at Loyola College in Baltimore, Md. Princeton will play North Carolina in one sem-final game while Georgetown will meet Cornell in the other match-up.
Princeton’s offense was led by Whitney Miller, Lauren Simone and Charlotte Kenworthy as each player scored three goals with two assists for five points on the afternoon. Notre Dame got two goals from Danielle Shearer and Meredith Simon and a single marker from Natalie Loftus for their goals.
“We knew Princeton had a very good team and I thought we were focused and ready to play,” said Irish head coach Tracy Coyne.
“I thought we played strong defensively in the first half, but struggled to get the offense going. You can’t keep giving good teams like Princeton so many good offensive chances.”
Irish goalkeeper Jen White kept the game close in the first half with several spectacular saves, but Princeton took a 5-1 lead into the first intermission.
Miller and Kenworthy had a hand in all five goals with Miller getting two goals and two assists and Kenworthy two goals and an assist. The Tigers scored the game’s first four goals before the Irish would get on the board.
Shearer, Notre Dame’s top scorer all season, made a great spin-move in front and whipped a shot past Princeton’s Sarah Kolodner for her 38th goal of the season, but that would be all the Irish would get in the first half.
In the second half, Princeton would make it 6-1 as Simone scored her second goal of the game just 1:12 into the final stanza.
For there, the Irish made their run. Loftus scored what would be the final game of her Notre Dame career off an Eleanor Weille feed from behind the net just 32 seconds after the Princeton goal to make it 6-2.
Simon cut the lead to 6-3 just over a minute later as she walked out from behind the net, spun in front and shoveled a shot past Kolodner to get the Irish back in the game.
“I thought we found our offense to start the second half and started to get into the flow,” said Coyne.
“I was happy with the way we were playing and thought we could get back into the game.”
The scored stayed 6-3 until the 16:31 mark when Miller scored on a free position goal to give the Tigers a four-goal lead at 7-3. Mary Beth Hogan made it 8-3 when she scored from in front with 14:17 left.
Shearer answered that goal with her 39th of the season with 12:16 left to cut the lead to 8-4, but that was as close as Notre Dame would get.
Simone (free position at 8:50), Kenworthy (6:27) and Lindsey Biles (0:05) closed out the Princeton scoring. Simon got her second of the afternoon for Notre Dame off a Loftus assist for the final of 11-5.
The Irish were outshot in the game, 36-20. White made 11 saves for the Irish while Kolodner made five stops, three on free position chances, in the game.
While the 2002 season ended on a disappointing note, Coyne and her team have a bright future to look towards.
“We had an outstanding year,” said Coyne following the game.
“Our seniors have been the heart and soul of this team. They’ve played a lot over the past four seasons and have gotten the program where it is today. They were the first class that I could evaluate and recruit. They took a chance on us four years ago and along with the support the university has given us are responsible for getting us here today.”
IRISH NOTES: Seven seniors played their final games for the Irish. Maureen Henwood (Marlton, N.J.), Kate Scarola (Windsor, Conn.), Natalie Loftus (Baltimore, Md.), Tina Fedarcyk (Millersville, Md.), Maureen Whitaker (Doylestown, Pa.), Kathryn Lam (Plainsboro, N.J.) and Alissa Moser (North Wales, Pa.) finished their Notre Dame careers with a 37-26 record.
1 2 - FNotre Dame (13-5) 1 4 - 5Princeton (17-1) 5 6 - 11
First Half ScoringTeam Time Score Goal AssistPR 27:17 0-1 Charlotte Kenworthy Whitney MillerPR 25:07 0-2 Lauren Simone Whitney MillerPR 17:16 0-3 Whitney Miller Charlotte KenworthyPR 13:06 0-4 Charlotte Kenworthy - 2 Meghan HammerbergND 11:18 1-4 Danielle ShearerPR 2:34 1-5 Whitney Miller - 2
Second Half ScoringTeam Time Score Goal AssistPR 28:48 1-6 Lauren Simone - 2 Charlotte KenworthyND 28:16 2-6 Natalie Loftus Eleanor WeilleND 27:10 3-6 Meredith SimonPR 16:31 * 3-7 Whitney Miller - 3PR 14:17 3-8 Mary Beth Hogan Lauren SimoneND 12:16 4-8 Danielle Shearer - 2PR 8:50 * 4-9 Lauren Simone - 3PR 6:27 4-10 Charlotte Kenworthy - 3 Lauren SimoneND 0:47 5-10 Meredith Simon - 2 Natalie LoftusPR 0:05 5-11 Lindsey Biles Mary Beth Hogan
* denotes free position goal
GoalkeepersND: Jen White (60:00 min; 11 goals against; 11 saves)PR: Sarah Kolodner (60:00 min; 5 goals against, 5 saves )
Shots On GoalND: 20PR: 36
Ground BallsND: 20PR: 26
Caused TurnoversND: 6PR: 15
TurnoversND: 14PR: 19
Draw ControlsND: 8PR: 10