Feb. 21, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. - With the 2008 women's lacrosse season less than a week old, preseason honors continue to pour in for senior midfielder Caitlin McKinney (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) and junior attack Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.).
Both players were named preseason All-Americans by Inside Lacrosse magazine on Feb. 19 with Byers being named to the preseason first team and McKinney the second team.
Earlier today, both players were named to the Tewaaraton Trophy's preseason "Watch List." They are two of 44 players that the women's selection committee has named to their preseason watch list. The players on the list were nominated by coaches from all three Divisions and are early-season hopefuls for the 2008 Tewaaraton Trophy sponsored by Warrior. The Trophy is presented each year to the top male and female lacrosse players.
Both McKinney and Byers were unanimous preseason all-BIG EAST selections prior to the start of the season and are coming a 2007 season that saw both of them named IWLCA second team All-Americans. Inside Lacrosse named both of them third team All-Americans last year.
McKinney, one of Notre Dame's team captains as a senior, finished second on the team in scoring in 2007 with 44 goals and 21 assists for 65 points and was fifth in the BIG EAST scoring race. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection for the second year in a row, McKinney has gotten her final year off to a fast start with six goals and two assists for eight points in wins over Canisius and Duquesne. She has extended her Notre Dame record point-scoring streak to 41 games (100 goals, 46 assists), a streak that started during her freshman year. For her Notre Dame career, McKinney ranks fifth in goals (120), fourth in assists (57) and fourth all-time in points with 177.
In her first two seasons at Notre Dame, Byers has put up some impressive numbers and the start to her junior year has been more of the same. In her first two years, Byers had 54 and 58 goals respectively to start this season with 112. In her first two games in 2008, she has 11 goals and two assists for 13 points. She led the Irish in scoring in 2007 with 66 points and was fourth in the BIG EAST. The talented goal scorer is the only player in Notre Dame history to have two seasons with 50 or more goals. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection in each of her first two years, Byers reached both the 100-point plateau and the 100-goal mark quicker than any player in Notre Dame history, hitting the "Century" mark for points in 24 games and goals in 33. In 38 career games, Byers has 123 goals and 34 assists for 157 points. She already ranks fourth in goals and sixth in points on the Irish all-time scoring lists.
McKinney, Byers and the Irish will take a 2-0 record to Columbus, Ohio when they face the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday, Feb. 24. Game time is 2:30 p.m.