March 15, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team faces its first ranked opponent this weekend in Cocoa Beach, Fla., when it faces 15th-ranked Syracuse on Thurs., March 16. The Irish beat Ohio University 22-3 and Richmond 14-13 at home last weekend.

IRISH HEAD SOUTH: Notre Dame will spend its spring break in Florida for the second consecutive year as the Irish play 15th-ranked Syracuse at 6:00 p.m. on Thurs., March 16, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Notre Dame beat Richmond in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1999. The Orangewomen enter the game with an 0-3 record after losses to three top-ten teams to open the season. Lauren Brady leads the team with seven goals and also has one assist for eight points. The game will mark the third meeting between Notre Dame and Syracuse after the Orangewomen won 20-9 at Moose Krause Stadium in ’98 and 18-11 at the Carrier Dome in ’99.

WEEK IN REVIEW: Notre Dame opened its home schedule with a pair of wins against Ohio University and Richmond in the Loftus Sports Center. Against the Bobcats, 11 different players accounted for a school-record 22 goals in the 22-3 win over Ohio on Saturday. The Irish had scoring streaks of 10 in the first half and eight in the second half in beating head coach Tracy Coyne’s alma mater. Junior goalkeepers Tara Durkin, Carrie Marshall and freshman Jen White combined to hold the Bobcats to three goals on 12 shots.

The Irish built a 9-4 halftime lead and held off a late Richmond rally to beat the Spiders 14-13 on Sunday. Junior Kathryn Perrella and freshman Danielle Shearer each scored three goals to lead Notre Dame. Richmond scored three goals in the final 2:14 of the game and pulled within one goal with 17 seconds left before sophomore Tina Fedarcyk won the final draw to run out the clock. Richmond built an early 4-2 lead at the 12:22 mark of the first half before Notre Dame scored the final seven goals of the first half, including five in the last 2:10 and three in the last 36 seconds. Sophomore Kathryn Lam tied the game at 4-4 at 5:42 to spark an offensive explosion to end the first half. Freshman Kelly McCardell’s first career goal gave the Irish the lead for good at 2:10. Notre Dame then won a series of draws and then netted quick transition scores from sophomore Natalie Loftus, Perrella, Shearer and another by McCardell with three seconds left in the first half to lead 9-4. After junior Lael O’Shaughnessy scored a free-position goal with 16:01 left in the game, the Spider defense kept the Irish scoreless for the next 13 minutes to pull within 13-10. After Shearer scored Notre Dame’s final goal at 2:58, Richmond pulled to 14-13 but Fedarcyk helped the Irish seal the win by controlling the final draw.

IRISH LOOK FOR BEST START: In each of the last two seasons, Notre Dame has won the first three games of the season before losing to Colgate in 1998 and Syracuse last year. A win over the Orangewomen on Thursday would put the Irish at 4-0 for their best start in the four-year history of the program.

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. Through three games of the 2000 season 14 players have scored at least one goal, with junior Lael O’Shaughnessy leading the team with 10 goals.

BIG EAST WOMEN’S LACROSSE: When Notre Dame and Syracuse meet on Thursday, the game will mark the final time the two teams meet 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. The Irish also will face six teams ranked in the preseason top 25, including second-ranked Duke and sixth-ranked Georgetown.