Notre Dame Women's Lacrosse 17-14 victory over Stanford on February 19, 2012.
Sarah Dalton enters her first year as an assistant coach with the Notre Dame women's lacrosse program after serving as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at William & Mary for two years under first-year Notre Dame head coach Christine Halfpenny. Dalton will have primary responsibility over the attackers.
"I'm really excited to join the Notre Dame family," said Dalton. "The University has such a tremendous reputation for academics, tradition and athletics across the board. I look forward to the future of the Irish women's lacrosse program."
Over her two-year stint at William & Mary, Dalton helped guide the Tribe to two of the most productive seasons offensively in the program's history, as the team's points and goal totals ranked among the school's single-season top-10 lists in each of the two campaigns under her direction.
With a better understanding of the offensive structure, 2011 was a banner year for the Tribe in terms of offensive efficiency as they scored 12.53 goals per game (213 goals/17 games), bettering the previous season's total. With the help of a drop in turnovers by 12%, the team's shot percentage (goals/shot attempts) was the highest conversion rate (.465) for the program since the turn of the century.
Individually, a number of Tribe players also benefited from Dalton's tutelage, as six Tribe attackers earned all-conference honors over the past two seasons. Last spring, Taelor Salmon was honored as the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year, while Ashley Holofcener garnered second-team all-league honors. In 2010, Mary Zulty earned all-region and all-conference accolades, while Kyrstin Mackrides was selected to the CAA All-Rookie Team.
In her first season assisting with W&M's midfielders last spring, Dalton helped a number of Tribe standouts achieve tremendous success. Grace Golden was honored as the CAA Player of the Year and was one of three W&M midfielders who garnered all-conference distinction. One of the most productive players in the program's history, Golden was also selected as an All-American by three organizations following her senior season.
"I am thrilled to have Sarah assist me here at Notre Dame," stated Halfpenny. "She is hands down the best fit for our program. She is a rising star as one of the top assistant coaches in the country and has proven ability to take this next step in her career. During the past two seasons at William & Mary, she was a tremendous role model to the student-athletes, she makes the game fun, understands the art of the balanced lifestyle and helps to transition players to the college game and college life. She has a creative mind and exudes her passion for the game through her individual and collective teaching style. I am excited to see her make an immediate impact as she helps players continue to develop their games at this high level."
A four-year starter at Boston University from 2006-09, Dalton finished her collegiate career as the most decorated player in the program's history. Selected to the U.S. Developmental Team for two consecutive years (2008-09), Dalton was a three-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-American, earning first-team honors each of her last two seasons. Additionally, she garnered first-team all-region distinction during her final three seasons and was chosen as the America East Conference Player of the Year twice. Along the way, she helped lead the Terriers to four America East Conference championships and trips to the NCAA Tournament all four years.
Dalton finished her outstanding collegiate career with a school record 247 goals, 284 points and 191 draw controls. As a senior, she led the nation with 91 goals - fifth most in NCAA history - shattering her own previous BU single-season record of 71 goals. In addition to being recognized by the IWLCA, the BU team captain also garnered All-America honors from WomensLax.com and WomensLacrosse.com.
Dalton's long list of accolades also includes being named to the America East All-Conference Team three times, as well as to the All-Rookie team as a freshman. A two-time AEC All-Tournament Team selection, she was tabbed as the event's Most Outstanding Player as a senior after establishing league records with six goals in the championship game and 11 in the tournament. Dalton also earned the BU Terrier Pride Award in 2009 and was chosen as the Vermont Female Athlete of the Year.
The Cornwall, Vt., native graduated with a B.A. in psychology in 2009.