Shannon Burke and Kaitlin Keena celebrate a Notre Dame goal.  The duo Irish will host an opening round NCAA Tournament game versus Vanderbilt on May 10. The starting time has not been determined.

Women's Lacrosse To Host First Round NCAA Tournament Game

May 4, 2009

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team makes its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fifth appearance in the last eight years when they play host to Vanderbilt on Sunday, May 10 at Alumni Field. The start time has yet to be determined.

For ticket information, contact the Notre Dame ticket office at 574-631-7356.

The Irish are seeded sixth in the tournament and are ranked sixth in both the IWLCA coaches’ poll and the Inside Lacrosse polls with a 15-4 overall record. Notre Dame was the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament champion and got the conference’s automatic bid to the tourney. Vanderbilt brings a 10-6 record into the opening round game and advanced to the semifinals of the American Lacrosse Conference.

Notre Dame and Vanderbilt met earlier this season on April 15 at Nashville, Tenn., with the Commodores taking an 18-11 victory. The two teams have met 13 times in the all-time series with Vanderbilt holding a 9-4 edge in those games, winning the last three meetings between the two schools. At Notre Dame, the Irish are 3-3 versus the Commodores with the last win coming on May 7, 2006, a 12-11 victory. The teams have never met in NCAA tournament action.

This marks the third time in the Notre Dame program’s history that the Irish have hosted an NCAA Tournament game. In 2002, the Irish defeated Ohio State, 11-7, in the first round game at Moose Krause Stadium. In 2006, Notre Dame defeated Cornell, 16-8, in the first round game and then hosted Georgetown in the quarterfinals, downing the Hoyas, 12-9, to advance to the Final Four.

“We’re thrilled to be playing at home in the first round of the tournament,” said head coach Tracy Coyne.

“We have a chance to face Vanderbilt again this season. We have a great rivalry with them and they have a great program so it should be an outstanding game. With the men also playing on Sunday, it should be a great day for lacrosse.”

This is Notre Dame’s fifth NCAA appearance and marks the first time in the program’s history that the Irish have advanced in back-to-back seasons.

In 2002, the Irish were the seventh seed and defeated Ohio State in the opening round before falling to Princeton, 11-5, in the quarterfinals. In 2004, Notre Dame traveled to Northwestern for an opening round game and dropped a 10-8 decision to the Wildcats. In 2006, Notre Dame was a sixth seed and played its first two tournament games at home, defeating Cornell (16-8) and Georgetown (12-9) to advance to the Final Four in Boston. There, the Irish lost in the semifinals to Dartmouth, 14-8. In 2008, the Irish traveled to top-seed, Northwestern, dropping a 15-7 first round game. All-time, the Irish are 3-4 in NCAA Tournament play.

Notre Dame’s 15-4 record this season equals the best mark in the program’s history, matching the 15-4 record in 2006. Over the last four seasons, the Irish own a 53-21 (.716) record.

The winner of the Notre Dame-Vanderbilt game will advance to the second round of the tournament versus the winner of the Towson-North Carolina game on Saturday, May 16th. North Carolina is the No. 3 seed in the tournament.

2009 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament Pairings
First Round Games (Sunday, May 10)

Massachusetts (11-7) at #1 Northwestern (19-0)
Georgetown (13-5) at #8 Princeton (13-3)
Fairfield (17-2) at #4 Pennsylvania (13-2)
Virginia (11-7) at #5 Duke (14-5)
Vanderbilt (10-6) at #6 Notre Dame (15-4)

Towson (13-5) at #3 North Carolina (13-4)
Boston University (15-3) at #7 Syracuse (13-4)
Colgate (14-4) at #2 Maryland (19-0)
Second-Round Games (Saturday, May 16)
Eight first round winners advance to campus sites
NCAA Semifinals ( Friday, May 22 at Towson, Md.)
NCAA Finals (Sunday, May 24 at Towson, Md.)