Sept. 16, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the team’s fall practices beginning yesterday, the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse squad has its leadership group for the upcoming spring already in place. Fourth-year head coach Christine Halfpenny announced today that seniors Leah Gallagher, Shauna Pugliese and Barbara Sullivan will serve as Notre Dame’s 2015 team captains as the Irish vie for a school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance.
“I’m excited to announce this year’s trio of captains,” Halfpenny said. “The team went through a thorough voting process and identified each of the selections as student-athletes that they wanted to lead them this season. Each selection brings a unique leadership style to the team; however, all three have strong interpersonal relationships and communication skills which will be very important as we work to get better every day.”
A native of Radnor, Pa., Gallagher played in 18 games last spring with 17 starts on defense. She scooped up 16 ground balls and caused seven turnovers while controlling two draws. Gallagher has appeared in 49 games over her three-year Irish career with 34 starts on defense. Over that time, she has 42 ground balls, 19 caused turnovers and three draw controls for Notre Dame.
“Leah has been a fixture on defense for the past few seasons at Notre Dame and has helped our team to be one of the strongest defensive units in the country,” Halfpenny said. “She has earned trust and respect as a leader of the defense and that experience will, without a doubt, help her step into this role as captain for the entire team. Leah exudes a confidence that is unique and contagious and I look forward to seeing that translate to our team’s identity this season.”
A native of Webster, N.Y., Pugliese has battled through injuries to play in 21 games on attack over her Irish career with nine starts. In 2014, Pugliese scored four goals and added two assists for six points on the year. In her career, Pugliese has scored 14 goals and contributed eight assists for 22 points.
“Shauna is, without a doubt, a passionate, charismatic and positive leader,” Halfpenny said. “She is a huge motivator and can change the ions in a room to an incredible positive vibe. The team always knows who to look to for inspiration and her ability to facilitate a fun atmosphere is remarkable. She is a tireless worker on the field and will be a great example to the younger players this season as we work towards our team goals.”
A native of Garden City, N.Y. and a first-team All-America selection in 2013, Sullivan was also named as a team captain for the 2014 season but was limited to just six games played due to a back injury. As a sophomore in 2013, Sullivan was a nominee for the Tewaaraton Award after a campaign which saw her post a school-record 67 draw controls, rank second in the nation with 3.35 ground balls per game and top the BIG EAST with her 2.00 caused turnovers per game. Sullivan’s 121 career draw controls rank sixth in school history and her 69 career caused turnovers stand ninth in Irish lore as she embarks on her senior season.
“Barbara has been selected to lead the team as a captain for the second straight year,” Halfpenny said. “While she was sidelined due to injury last season, Barbara learned a lot and grew in her role. One of the most unique pieces to Barbara’s style of leadership is her ability to raise the level of play and intensity of her teammates. She instills confidence and demands the best of everyone around her. I am excited for Barbara to once again lead this team with her confidence, aggressive skill and passion for Notre Dame lacrosse.”