Notre Dame women’s lacrosse coach Tracy Coyne opened the 2001-02 school year by welcoming six new players to her roster for the coming season. The Irish are coming off a year that saw them go 10-5 overall and 4-2 in BIG EAST play. Coyne lost five players to graduation and feels she has a strong group to replace them.

Joining the Irish for the 2002 campaign are goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Pennsauken, N.J.), defender Jess Mikula (Chester, Md.), attack player, Jacqueline Bowers (Springfield, Pa.) and three midfielders Lisa Lombardi (Milton, Mass.), Maura Costello (Manhasset, N.Y.) and Megan McGinty (Freehold, N.J.).

“Overall, we’re pleased with the players that we’ve brought in for the 2002 season. They all had outstanding high school careers and should develop into top-notch players at the Division I level,” says Coyne now in her sixth season at Notre Dame.

“Most importantly, our program is to the point where we have the luxury of letting these players come in and adjust to the college game without the pressure of having them play key roles right away.

Dixon played four seasons as the starting goalkeeper at Moorestown Friends School. As a senior she was selected first team all-county, first team all-league and second team all-South Jersey. Her school’s scholar-athlete and defensive MVP, Dixon participated in the S.J.G.S.A. all-star game. During her career, she helped Moorestown to a pair of Friends League championships. In 1998, as a freshman, she made the game-saving stop on a penalty shot in the final minute to clinch the league championship. She gives the Notre Dame lacrosse program its second sister duo as she joins her sister, Angela, a two-time monogram winner, on the Irish roster.

“Carol is quick and athletic, a natural athlete, who will be a contributor to our program this season,” says Coyne. She’s a solid all-around player who has the potential to be an excellent collegiate goalkeeper.”

Mikula joins the Irish defense after a standout career at St. Mary’s High School. She is the fourth member of the Irish roster to have come via national power St. Mary’s, joining Tina Fedarcyk, Kristen Gaudreau and Jen White who are all regular contributors. A quick, aggressive defender, Mikula will see playing time as a freshman.

“Jess is a hard-worker who really gets after it on the field. She is good at denying the ball and and is strong on the ball. We have had success with all of our players from St. Mary’s and I expect her to continue that tradition this season,” says Coyne.

Bowers plays attack and brings speed and quickness to the Irish offense. She scored 55 goals with 15 assists at Springfield High School during the 2001 season. For her career, she accounted for 152 goals. A two-time all-county and Central League all-star, Bowers participated in the U.S. Lacrosse Association National Tournament for the Upper Atlantic III team.

“Jackie is a finisher with a wide variety of shots and that’s something we’ve lacked the past few years,” says Coyne. “She has good stick skills and should really help our offensive attack.”

Lombardi comes to Notre Dame after a standout career in lacrosse and ice hockey at Milton Academy. In lacrosse, she led the team in scoring three years in a row, finishing her career with a 48 goal – 18 assist season in 2001. The team’s Most Valuable Player, Lombardi was nominated for the MVP in the Independent School League following her senior year. A New England all-star for three years, she participated in the USLA National tournament playing for the Lower New England region team. In hockey, Lombardi served as team captain and was a first team all-league selection while helping Milton to its best hockey season ever.

“Lisa is very athletic with good size and speed that will help us at midfield this season. She is very competitive and will help us match up better against some of the bigger teams. I really believe she will make a contribution as a freshman,” says Coyne.

Costello is an attacking midfielder who played at perennial lacrosse powerhouse Manhasset High School on Long Island. As a senior captain she scored 53 goals with 20 assists in helping Manhasset to a No. 17 national ranking. An all-county selection in both lacrosse and field hockey, Costello was a high school academic all-american.

“Maura has solid stick skills and handles the ball well. She will have an impact on our attack. She does a great job controlling the play between the restraining lines,” says Coyne.

McGinty comes to Notre Dame after a standout career at the Peddie School in New Jersey where she played lacrosse and soccer. As a senior, she was team captain of the lacrosse team and received the Coaches’ Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player after helping her squad to its third consecutive trip to the state finals. In soccer, she played forward on three New Jersey state championship teams. A lefthanded midfielder, McGinty has excellent speed and potential and should develop into a solid all-around player during her career at Notre Dame.

“Megan is a natural lefthander with excellent speed which will make her tough to defend. Her speed will open things up for our offense. She is very enthusiastic and works hard at improving her game,” says Coyne.

2002 Notre Dame Women’s Lacrosse Recruits

Player Pos. Ht. Hometown/School

Jacqueline Bowers A 5-7 Springfield, Pa./Springfield High School

Maura Costello M 5-5 Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset High School

Carol Dixon GK 5-7 Pennsauken, N.J./Moorestown Friends School

Lisa Lombardi M 5-11 Milton, Mass./Milton Academy

Megan McGinty M 5-4 Freehold, N.J./The Peddie School

Jess Mikula D 5-7 Chester, Md./St. Mary’s High School