December 10, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team, set to begin its third varsity season in March, 1999, has signed six high school seniors to national letters of intent, Irish head coach Tracy Coyne announced Thursday. Elizabeth Knight, Kelly McCardell, Meredith Potempa, Anne Riley, Danielle Shearer and Jennifer White will comprise Notre Dame’s class of 2003.

“This is the best class we’ve had in the early signing period in terms of the size of the class and the overall talent,” said Coyne. “They will have a huge impact on the program. We now are attracting top players who want to play at Notre Dame and come from the best high school programs in the country.”

Coyne will be directing the Irish into their third season of varsity women’s lacrosse in 1999. Notre Dame finished 5-4 in its inaugural season in ’97 and went 7-6 in ’98 with two wins over teams that had beaten the Irish in ’97. Notre Dame’s schedule continues to improve as the 1999 slate features 15 games and six home games.

Knight will come to Notre Dame from The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Md., where she has played on the varsity team in each of her three seasons. The Baltimore native was selected to play for the 1998 South I region team at the United States Women’s Lacrosse Association tournament and named to the Baltimore Sun’s 1998 all-Baltimore city and county girls lacrosse second team. Knight also played for the STX Lacrosse Festival AIS Junior all-star team.

“Elizabeth has great enthusiasm and a very positive attitude,” said Coyne. “She will play low defense and has been very well-coached in high school in terms of being prepared for playing college game. She will be a great spark for the program.”

McCardell has starred at Henderson High School in her hometown of West Chester, Pa., where she led her team to consecutive state district titles. She has garnered all-state honors and played in the ’97 STX Lacrosse Festival. McCardell also played on the Philly II region team at the USWLA tournament.

“We are very exited about Kelly,” said Coyne. “She has great speed, excellent stick skills and defensive instincts. Kelly plays on a very competitive high school team, and the championship game experience that she will bring will really help us.”

Potempa is starter at line defense for Notre Dame Preparatory School in Towson, Md. The Towson native was key in helping her school capture the championship at the 1997 Association of Independent School tournament.

“Meredith has good speed and will add depth in the defensive midfield,” said Coyne. “She plays for one of the top programs in Baltimore and one of the best coaches in the country. Meredith has been in championship game situations and will bring competitiveness and spirit to our team.”

Riley attended Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pa., where she was named to the Philly I region team at the USWLA tournament before moving to Marblehead, Mass., this past summer. The three-sport athlete also has played No. 1 singles on the tennis team in addition to being a member of the swimming team.

“Anne is tall, attacking midfielder with good speed and stick work,” said Coyne. “We don’t have much depth in the midfield, and Anne will immediately impact our midfield game.”

Shearer was named to the all-county first team and to the Baltimore Sun first team in 1997 after helping North Carroll High School to an undefeated season and the county championship in ’97. The Hampstead, Md., native, was second in the county in scoring with 19 goals and 19 assists and scored in all but one game in 1998.

“Danielle has pure speed, and the opportunities she will create for us in the midfield are going to be tremendous,” said Coyne. “She doesn’t come from a high profile high school team but she has all of the tools of successful collegiate players. We feel that what Danielle has to offer will be a great match for us.”

White served as the starting goalkeeper for St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis, Md., a team that was ranked second in the country in the spring of 1997, and saved 60 percent of the shots she faced. She led the Chesapeake I region team to the championship in USWLA national tournament. White was named to her regional touring team to Canada this past summer.

“Jennifer is athletic and very technically sound,” said Coyne. “She plays for a competitive high school, has played in pressure situations and has come up with some big saves. We expect her to come in and challenge for a starting role.”