Notre Dame Women's Lacrosse 17-14 victory over Stanford on February 19, 2012.
Sarah Dalton makes her return to the Golden Dome after a year away from coaching where she worked for the national nonprofit organization College for Every Student, which is committed to raising the academic aspirations and performance for underserved youth in low income communities.
With the Irish in 2012, the Cornwall, Vt., native oversaw Notre Dame's offensive unit as the Irish finished 13-5 and qualified for both the BIG EAST and NCAA Championships. Under Dalton's tutelage, the Irish finished 14th in the country in points (348) and 15th in scoring offense (13.39). She also helped coach second team All-American Maggie Tamasitis, who placed second in the country in assists (59), third in assists per game (3.28), 11th in points per game (4.56) and 13th in points (82).
"I am beyond excited to be able to return to Notre Dame and work with Chris (Halfpenny) and Katie (Linnertz)," said Dalton. "In my year away from the sidelines I really missed working with the student-athletes daily and competing on a national level. Notre Dame has quickly become home to me and I'm looking forward to this coming year as we enter the ACC where we'll quickly look to compete for conference and national championships."
Prior to Notre Dame she served as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at William & Mary for two years under Halfpenny.
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. In 2011, 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 in 2011, 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.
"Having Sarah Dalton back on staff is exciting as she brings experience with coaching the current team and great knowledge regarding our incoming freshmen class that she helped recruit in her first year at ND," said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "The reaction that the team had regarding Sarah's return speaks volumes to the level of coach that she is and to her overall character. She brings passion, purpose and enthusiasm to the office and field every day, which directly translates to our players. We expect Sarah to pick up where she left off, guiding our offense to a high shooting percentage and an overall creative and potent offensive unit. I couldn't be happier to join forces again as we enter a new chapter in the ACC."
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 Championship 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. She graduated with a B.A. in psychology in 2009.