Nov. 10, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s lacrosse coach Tracy Coyne has announced the signing of nine high school lacrosse players to national letters-of-intent to attend the University for the 2005-06 season. The group of nine will fill the void left by the current senior class of six who will graduate in May of 2005.
Signing letters-of-intent in the early-signing period are: Alicia Billings (Potomac, Md.), Shannon Burke (Baltimore, Md.), Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.), Lauren deMello (Manlius, N.Y.), Kelly Gaudreau (Annapolis, Md.), Erin Goodman (Cortlandt Park, N.Y.), Annemarie McGrath (Wayne, Pa.), Jane Stoeckert (Mendham, N.J.) and Mary Veith (Silver Springs, Md.).
In making the announcement, Coyne said, “I’m very excited about this group of players joining our program at Notre Dame. This is the best class, athletically, that we have ever recruited. This class gives us greater flexibility on the field with their speed and stick skills. They have a tremendous upside and all seem to be a perfect fit for Notre Dame. All 10 have accepted the challenge of making Notre Dame lacrosse one of the premier programs in the country.”
This year’s recruiting class includes five players from Maryland, three from New York, one from New Jersey and one from Pennsylvania.
Alicia Billings, a attack/midfield player, joins the Irish from Georgetown Visitation High School where she is a two-sport standout in field hockey and lacrosse. An all-league, all-Metropolitan honorable mention and an honorable mention all-American as a junior in lacrosse, she serves as captain of both teams during her senior year. She played for Mid-Atlantic 2 in the 2004 national tournament. Billings is a member of the Future Elite lacrosse club team. This field hockey season she has led Georgetown Visitation to an eighth-place ranking in the Washington Post poll. She will be joined at Notre Dame by high school teammate, Mary Veith.
Coyne on Billings: “Alicia is a highly skilled athlete with exceptional stick skills. Her tremendous speed and lateral quickness really excite me. When you combine those things with her ability to catch in a tight space, it makes her extremely dangerous in the critical scoring area. I really love the way she plays. She should come in and make an immediate contribution to our program. Alicia made an immediate connection with Notre Dame and never looked back.”
Shannon Burke is a three-sport standout in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse at Roland Park Country School. A four-year starter in all three sports, she serves as captain of the field hockey and basketball teams during her senior year. After a banner spring season as a defensive midfielder in lacrosse, Burke was selected all-city and all-county for 2004, as well as an IAAM all-star. A two-time Towson Times and Baltimore Messenger first team selection in 2003 and 2004, she took the Messenger’s player of the year honors in 2004. Roland Park was ranked 15th among high school teams by Lacrosse Magazine for 2004. A member of Skywalkers `05 Club Team she also played for the Mid-Atlantic 1 that won the U.S. Lacrosse national schoolgirls title in 2004.
Coyne on Burke: “Shannon is a naturally gifted athlete who has the speed, quickness and toughness to become a dominant Division I player. She’s incredibly competitive and does whatever it takes to win. Shannon will have a major impact here. Whenever I watched her play, she always caught my eye because she carries herself like a champion. Shannon chose Notre Dame over other prominent programs because she believes we can be successful at the highest level.”
Jillian Byers joins the Irish from Northport High School on Long Island where she plays soccer, basketball and lacrosse. A midfield/attack standout, Byers has led Northport to back-to-back Suffolk County titles and two trips to the New York State final four. A 2004 high school all-American, Byers has played in two Empire State Games, winning the gold medal in 2003 and the silver in 2004. A two-time Northport offensive most valuable player, she has also been named all-county and all-league the past two seasons. Byers has also played four seasons for the Yellow Jackets Elite club team. She played for the New York 1 that lost in the U.S. Lacrosse national championship finals to Shannon Burke and Mary Veith’s Mid-Atlantic 1 squad.
Coyne on Byers: “Jill is a phenomenal athlete. She’s an exciting player to watch. Her speed, quickness and scoring ability sets Jill apart. I expect her to have an immediate impact on our program. Most importantly though, she is a total team player. That’s one of the important things about Jill that has stood out to me throughout the recruiting process.”
Lauren deMello, an attack player, at Christian Brothers Academy will join her sister, Meghan, a junior midfielder, at Notre Dame. A three-year starter, deMello has helped lead Christian Brothers to the Section 3 Class B finals in each of the last three seasons, winning the Section 3 title in 2002. A second team all-league selection in 2003 and 2004, deMello scored 38 goals and 11 assists as a junior last season. She is also a member of the Star-Riders Lacrosse Club and represented New York in the national tournament as a member of New York 3.
Coyne on deMello: “Lauren has the skills and desire to be a solid contributor to our program in her first year. She’s one of those players that’s always around the ball, making a key play. She makes things happen on the field. Lauren has a solid understanding of our system and chose to come to Notre Dame over some other great programs.”
Kelly Gaudreau is a midfielder who has played her high school career at one of the top high school programs in the nation – St. Mary’s in Annapolis, Md. She joins a long line of St. Mary’s players to attend Notre Dame, including older sister, Kristen, a 2004 Notre Dame graduate. A two-sport performer at St. Mary’s in field hockey and lacrosse, Gaudreau served as captain of the field hockey team as a senior and was selected all-conference and to the Maryland State High School Field Hockey Coaches Association senior all-star game. Gaudreau joins a long line of family members to attend Notre Dame joining her grandfather, Bill (`53 – who played football under Frank Leahy), her father, Bill (`78), her uncle, Dave Gaudreau (`85), her sister, Kristen (`04) and her brother, Andrew (class of 2006).
Coyne on Gaudreau: “Kelly is a solid, all-around player who should contribute to our midfield rotation in her first season. She has the endurance and stick skills to handle the responsibilities of that role. We’ve had a lot of success with players from St. Mary’s and I expect Kelly to continue this tradition. Notre Dame was her first choice. Coming from a Notre Dame family, Kelly understands what a special place Notre Dame is.”
Erin Goodman is a goalkeeper at Lakeland Panas High School where she anchored her team to league and section titles in each of the last two seasons. An all-league selection as a sophomore and junior, Goodman was an honorable mention all-section choice as a sophomore and then took all-section honors last season. She has played two seasons in the national tournament, playing for New York 5 in 2003 and New York 2 last year. In field hockey, Goodman helped Lakeland Panas to the New York State Class A championship in 2003, as an all-league defender. She is a Wendy’s High School Heisman nominee and was a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American for 2004.
Coyne on Goodman: Erin has the size and skill to be an outstanding collegiate goalkeeper. She’s quick and athletic with excellent hand-eye coordination. She’s got a lot of natural ability and the potential to develop into one of the best at that position. She caught our eye at the national tournament last spring. She’s been tested at the highest level of competition and should be ready to play for a top Division I program.”
Annemarie McGrath becomes the third Irish recruit to follow her sister to Notre Dame as she follows her sister, Mary, a junior on the 2004-05 team. The younger McGrath is a midfield/defender at Radnor High School where she will serve as team captain this season. A two-sport athlete, McGrath has been a two-year starter at midfield/defense, helping the team to a pair of second-place finishes in the Central League. In lacrosse, Radnor finished second in the Central League last season after winning the league, District 1 and Pennsylvania State AAA Championship in 2003. She was selected as a U.S. Lacrosse high school Academic all-American following the 2004 campaign.
Coyne on McGrath: “Annemarie is a solid, all-around player from a traditional lacrosse powerhouse, Radnor. We’ve had a great deal of success with players from Radnor and I expect no less from Annemarie. She’s had good coaching and has outstanding fundamentals. She knows how to play the game. She’s an outstanding student and has chosen Notre Dame for all the right reasons. I think Notre Dame is a perfect all-around fit for Annemarie.”
Jane Stoeckert is a proven goal scorer who comes to Notre Dame from West Morris Mendham High School in New Jersey. She has a unique tie to Notre Dame as her coach, Jessica Grom-Shoulberg, played on the first two women’s lacrosse teams at Notre Dame in 1997-98 for head coach Tracy Coyne. In three seasons at West Morris Mendham, Stoeckert has scored 168 goals in 62 games. A three-time all-conference, all-county and all-area selection, Stoeckert was a second team all-state choice in 2003 and an honorable mention All-American in 2004. She played for the STEPS Elite club team and was on Upper Mid-Atlantic 1 that lost in the U.S. Lacrosse national semifinals. A talented and versatile athlete, she also plays soccer, basketball and runs indoor track, recording nine letters going into her senior year. A two-time team captain in soccer, Stoeckert has been a three-time all-conference, all-county, all-area and all-state selection while helping West Morris Mendham to two Iron Hills, Hills Division Conference Championships (2002 and 2003).
Coyne on Stoeckert: “I love the way Jane plays the game. She’s got great speed and quickness and has a definite presence on the field. Her style of play creates offensive opportunities. I think she will develop the ability to control the midfield, which will be a key to our success. She’s very team oriented and has a total commitment to her teammates.”
Mary Veith joins her teammate Alicia Billings at Notre Dame from Georgetown Visitation High School where she has been a four-year starter in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. She will serve as team captain of each team in 2004-05. A talented midfielder, Veith has been selected first team all-ISL three straight seasons and was a second team all-Met choice in 2004. She took first team all-American honors and was her team’s most valuable player last season. She was a member of the Mid-Atlantic 1 team along with Shannon Burke that went on to win the U.S. Lacrosse schoolgirls national championship in 2004. She and Billings played last season for the Future Elite club team. In field hockey, Veith was named all-ISL in 2002 and 2003 and second team all-Met in 2003. In basketball, she was all-ISL last season and the team MVP. She was recently selected as Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winner for Washington, D.C.
Coyne on Veith: Mary has outstanding athletic ability and just loves to compete. As a three-sport athlete in high school, she has developed outstanding mental toughness and that driving will to win. Once she has a chance to focus solely on lacrosse, she has the potential to become a dominant player on the Division I level. I expect her to have an immediate impact on our program. Mary embraces all that Notre Dame is. Not just athletic excellence, but the true spirit of the Notre Dame community.”
2005-06 Notre Dame Women’s Lacrosse Recruits
Player Pos. Ht. Hometown/SchoolAlicia Billings A/M 5-7 Potomac, Md./Georgetown VisitationShannon Burke D/M 5-9 Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country SchoolJillian Byers M/A 5-7 Northport, N.Y./NorthportLauren deMello A 5-5 Manlius, N.Y./Christian Brothers AcademyKelly Gaudreau M/A 5-8 Annapolis, Md./St. Mary'sErin Goodman GK 5-10 Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Lakeland PanasAnnemarie McGrath M/D 5-4 Wayne, Pa./RadnorJane Stoeckert M 5-9 Mendham, N.J./West Morris MendhamMary Veith M 5-7 Silver Springs, Md./Georgetown Visitation