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    Irish Women's Lacrosse Opens 14th Season On Tuesday At Hofstra

    FIGHTING IRISH Senior All-American candidate Gina Scioscia leads Notre Dame into its season opener at Hofstra.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Senior All-American candidate Gina Scioscia leads Notre Dame into its season opener at Hofstra.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 22, 2010

    Notre Dame, Ind. -

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    • The Game: #8/#8 Notre Dame (0-0, 16-5 in 2009) at Hofstra (1-0, 10-6 in 2009)

    • Date/Time/Site: Tues., February 23, 2010 • 3:30 p.m. • James M. Shuart Stadium • Hempstead, N.Y.

    • The Game: #8/#8 Notre Dame (0-0, 16-5 in 2009) vs. Duquesne (0-2, 9-8 in 2009)

    • Date/Time/Site: Sat., February 27, 2010 • 6:00 p.m. • Loftus Sports Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    • Internet: Follow the Notre Dame-Hofstra game via video streaming at the Hofstra website - gohofstra.com. There is a $4.95 charge per game. The Notre Dame-Duquesne game will be available at the Notre Dame website - und.com., and is free of charge. Gametracker live stats are also available on the Irish website.

    A NEW SEASON: The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team enters its 14th season with a pair of games this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Irish will travel to Hofstra University to take on the Pride in a 3:30 p.m. contest. Notre Dame then returns home on Saturday, Feb. 27 for a 6:00 p.m. game against the Duquesne University Dukes. That game will be played indoors at the Loftus Center. The Irish are coming off a season that saw them go 16-5 overall and 5-2 in the BIG EAST. They won their first ever BIG EAST title in April with wins against Syracuse and Georgetown. Notre Dame them advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the program's history and the first time in back-to-back seasons (2008, 2009). There, the Irish defeated Vanderbilt before losing in the quarterfinals at North Carolina. The Irish finished the year ranked sixth in the IWLCA poll, the highest ranking in the program's history. Hofstra opened its season on Sat., Feb. 20 with a 21-3 home win over St. Mary's (CA) and are coming off a 10-6 season in 2009. Following the game with Hofstra, the Irish return home to face the Duquesne at the Loftus Center. The Dukes opened the season on the road in Denver, Colo., where they dropped a 16-8 decision to Stony Brook in a neutral site game on Saturday, then lost to the University of Denver, 20-6, on Monday afternoon.

    THE IRISH ALL-TIME: Tuesday's game at Hofstra opens the 14th season in the Notre Dame women's lacrosse program's history. The Irish will face the Pride with a 126-82 (.606) all-time record. That includes a 62-29 (.681) home mark and a 50-46 (.521) road record. Notre Dame is 14-7 all-time on neutral fields.

    FOR OPENERS: Notre Dame brings an 11-2 all-time record in opening games into the contest with Hofstra. In road openers, the Irish are 12-1 while in home openers they are 8-5 in the program's first 13 seasons.

    IRISH VERSUS THE PRIDE: Notre Dame and Hofstra have met twice in the series history with the Irish winning a pair of close, hard-fought battles. The two schools met for the first time on March 28, 2008 at Hofstra with Notre Dame edging the Pride, 14-13. Last season, the two teams met indoors at the Loftus Center at Notre Dame and played a high-scoring affair, with the Irish taking a two-goal win, 17-15. Notre Dame led the game, 10-8, at halftime and built the lead to 14-9 in the second half but couldn't shake Hofstra as the Pride roared back to cut the lead to two twice, at 15-13 and 16-14. Returning senior Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) had six points (4g, 2a) and junior Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) had four goals in the contest to lead the Irish.

    IRISH VERSUS THE DUKES: Notre Dame and Duquesne have met five times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 5-0 advantage. At home, the Irish are 3-0 versus the Dukes and in Pittsburgh, they hold a 2-0 edge. Last season, Notre Dame opened the season at Duquesne, taking a 22-7 win. Gina Scioscia (4g, 3a) and Shaylyn Blaney (4 goals) led the Irish over the Dukes. Junior Ansley Stewart (Charlottesville, Va.) had the first three goals of her collegiate career in the game and finished with four points as eleven different players got on the scoresheet.

    A WINNING LEGACY: Notre Dame's 16 wins in 2009 are the most in a single season for the Irish, surpassing the mark of 15-4 set in 2006. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 54-22 (.711).

    HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne begins her 14th season at Notre Dame and her 23rd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 240-108 (.690) career record into the 2010 season. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program's history, Coyne is 126-82 (.606) and has guided the Irish to five NCAA tournaments (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009) where her teams have advanced to the Final Four once (2006) and the quarterfinals twice (2002, 2009). The Irish have been in all three BIG EAST Tournaments to date, beginning in 2007 and they recorded their first BIG EAST title last season with wins over Syracuse (16-10) and Georgetown (12-10). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 126-82 in her 13th season at Notre Dame. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native led Denison (1988) and Roanoke (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996) to the NCAA Division III tournament during stops at those schools. Coyne also has coached on the international level as the head coach for the Canadian women's lacrosse national team from 1999-2005. In June of 2005, she led Team Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2005 World Cup, her second, fourth-place finish (2001) as Canada's field boss. Coyne is 2-0 in her career versus Hofstra and 5-0 versus Duquesne.

    THE CAPTAINS: Four members of the 2010 Notre Dame women's lacrosse team will serve as captains this season. Three seniors - Gina Scioscia, Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) and Maggie Zentgraf (Charlottesville, Va.) - will have leadership roles with the Irish. They will be joined by junior Shaylyn Blaney. All four are in their first season as captains.

    SCORING MACHINE: Notre Dame finished the 2009 season with a school record 321 goals (15.29 per game) and records for assists and points. As a team, the Irish had five players with 30 or more goals (a first for the program) and seven players with 15 or more. While losing four-time All-American Jillian Byers `09' 83 goals, the Irish return its next six top scorers. Gina Scioscia is the top returnee with 53 goals and is followed by Kailene Abt (Jr., Huntington, N.Y.) with 46. Shaylyn Blaney was third with 44 while Ansley Stewart (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) had 30. Fellow junior Kaitlin Keena (Vienna, Va.) had 19 goals and sophomore Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) rounds out the group with 15.

    HOMECOMING: Five members of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team are returning home to Long Island for Tuesday's game versus Hofstra. Senior defender Rachel Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.), juniors Kailene Abt (Huntington, N.Y.) and Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.), sophomore Kristin DeRespiris (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and freshman Jenny Granger (East Setauket, N.Y.) make up the Irish Long Island contingent.

    SCOSCIA BY THE NUMBERS: Senior Gina Scioscia is quickly making her way up the Notre Dame scoring charts as she enters her final year.She enters Tuesday's contest at Hofstra ranked among the all-time leaders in goals, assists and points.

    
    Goals 
    1.  Jillian Byers (2006-09)         262
    2.  Crysti Foote (2003-06)          161
    3.  Caitlin McKinney (2005-08)      152
    4.  Danielle Shearer (2000-03)      130
    5.  Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01)    122
    6.  Meredith Simon (2001-04)        109
    7.  Shaylyn Blaney (2007- )          87
        Kerry Callahan (1997-99)         83
    9.  Gina Scioscia (2006- )           77
    10. Natalie Loftus (1999-02)         76
    

    Assists 1. Gina Scioscia (2007-) 82 2. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 80 3. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 76 4. Jillian Byers (2006-09) 74 5. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 68 6. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 66 7. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 63 8. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 49 9. Heather Ferguson (2005-08) 35 10. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 33

    Points 1. Jillian Byers (2006-09) 336 2. Crysti Foote (2003-06) 237 3. Caitlin McKinney (2005-08) 232 4. Danielle Shearer (2000-03) 196 5. Lael O'Shaughnessy (1998-01) 190 6. Gina Scioscia (2007- ) 159 7. Meredith Simon (2001-04) 158 8. Kerry Callahan (1997-99) 146 9. Natalie Loftus (1999-02) 109 10. Shaylyn Blaney (2007- ) 99

    Nationally, she is second among active NCAA players in career assists. She trails Boston University's Erica Baumgartner by second (89-82). She is 10th among active players with 159 points.

    BIG JUMPS: Three members of the Notre Dame offensive attack had huge jumps in their scoring totals from the 2008 season to the 2009 campaign. Leading the way was midfielder Kailene Abt who saw a +46 improvement from her freshman year to last year. As a rookie, she had nine points and saw the number jump to 55 (46g, 9a) a year ago. Her 46-point increase is the biggest in the program's history, just one behind Gina Scioscia's 47-point increase from her freshman to sophomore year. Behind Abt was junior Ansley Stewart who had a 42-point improvement, going from 0 points as a freshman to 42 (30g, 12a) last season. Making her second appearance on the list is Scioscia, who saw her numbers jump 41 points as she went from 55 as a sophomore to 96 (53g, 43a) last season.

    PRESEASON HONORS: Three members of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team were selected to the BIG EAST preseason team in voting by the league's coaches. Senior attack standout Gina Scioscia was a unaminous selection to the all-BIG EAST preseason team and was named the preseason offensive player of the year. Senior defender Rachel Guerrera and junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney join Scioscia on the team. The Irish were selected to finish third by the coaches, getting two first-place votes behind Georgetown and Syracuse.

    NEW HOME: Notre Dame will begin play this season at its new on-campus stadium - Arlotta Stadium. The "Lot" will be the home of the men's and women's teams at Notre Dame and was completed in the fall and dedicated on Oct. 17, 2009. The stadium is a 2,000-seat, lighted stadium that includes an artificial-turf field, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas.The state-of-the-art facility is named after Notre Dame graduate John Arlotta, president and chief executive officer of Denver-based Coram Inc. He and his wife, Bobbie, pledged the lead gift toward the stadium to be built to the east of the Joyce Center as part of the University's new athletics quadrangle. The Arlotta children - Mindy, Andy and Jon - also have pledged an additional gift from The Arlotta Family Foundation toward the project. In addition to their generous donation, alumni and friends of the lacrosse programs have donated over two million dollars. The new stadium replaces Moose Krause Stadium where the Irish women's team played for the first 12 years of the program along with indoors at the Loftus Sports Center. Some games will still be played in Loftus Center due to weather conditions.

    STREAKY IRISH: Four members of the Notre Dame lineup come into the 2010 season with point-scoring streaks that started last season. The list includes:

    Gina Scioscia - 19 games (49g, 40a, 89 pts)
    Kailene Abt - 15 games (32g, 8a, 40 pts)
    Kaitlin Keena - 6 games (9g, 4a, 13 pts)
    Ansley Stewart - 6 games (7g, 3a, 10 pts)
    

    NORTH OF THE BORDER: Irish assistant coach Kateri Linville will serve as an assistant coach for Canada's Under-19 team that will compete in the World Cup in Hannover, Germany in August of 2011. She was named to the position in January. She will serve as an assistant to Canisius head coach Scott Teter. A 2003 graduate of the University of Delaware, Linville is in her fifth season as an assistant at Notre Dame.

    VERSUS THE RANKED: Notre Dame will play eight games this season against teams ranked in the IWLCA top 20. Leading the list is No. 1 ranked Northwestern. The Wildcats are followed by No. 6 Georgetown and No. 7 Syracuse. The Irish are ranked eighth overall and the fourth BIG EAST team on the list is 14th ranked Loyola (Md.). The remaining four ranked teams are: Vanderbilt (11th), Boston University (12th), Dartmouth (15th) and Ohio State (16th). A year ago, Notre Dame played 13 games versus ranked teams and was 8-5 on the season.

    NEW KIDS: Head coach Tracy Coyne announced in November that seven student-athletes had signed national letters-of-intent to attend Notre Dame in the fall of 2009. Here are the seven players who will join the Irish next season.

    
    Name                   Pos.    Ht.
    Hometown/High School
    Kaitlyn Brosco          M      5-2
    Shoreham, N.Y./Shoreham Wading River
    Kristin Cousins         D      5-11
    Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge
    Grace Dooley            M      5-9
    Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy
    Lindsay Powell         M/A     5-3
    Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima Sr.
    Molly Shawhan           M      5-8
    Fulton, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
    Margaret Smith          M      5-7
    Westminster, Md./McDonogh School
    Lauren Sullivan         A      5-5
    Winchester, Mass./Winchester
    

    JUNIOR OFFENSE: Notrer Dame's junior class carried the scoring load as sophomores in 2009 and will be counted on again this season. Five members of the class - Kailene Abt (46g, 9a), Shaylyn Blaney (44g, 3a), Ansley Stewart (30g, 12a), Kaitlin Keena (19g, 15a) and Jackie Doherty (9g, 12a) accounted for 148 goals and 51 assists for 199 points. The five scored 46.1% of the team's goals (148 of 321), had 51 of 150 assists (34.0%) and 199 of the team's 471 points 148 of the team's 311 goals (46.3%), 46 of 143 assists (32.2%) and 190 of 454 points (42.3%) in their second seasons.

    IN THE GOAL: Freshman Ellie Hilling (Rochester, N.Y.) will get the call in goal for the Irish in 2010. The 5-2 goalkeeper is the lone goalie on the Notre Dame roster this season. A two-time honorable mention high school All-American, Hilling was a four-year starter at Brighton High School where she guided her team to a pair of state championship games. She takes over for the graduated Erin Goodman `09 who started every game for the Irish over the last three seasons.

    ALL-AMERICANS: The 2009 season saw four members of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team achieve All-American status. Jillian Byers `09 and defender Shannon Burke `09 where selected first team IWLCA All-Americans. they were joined on the second team by Gina Scioscia and Shaylyn Blaney who along with Burke were first-time selections. Byers finished her career as a four-time All-American, being named second team in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and then first team last season. Burke, Scioscia and Blaney give Notre Dame 12 different players that have been named IWCLA All-Americans.

    2009 - Shannon Burke (first team)
    2009 - Jillian Byers (first team)
    2009 - Shaylyn Blaney (second team)
    2009 - Gina Scioscia (second team)
    2008 - Caitlin McKinney (first team)
    2008 - Jillian Byers (second team)
    2007 - Jillian Byers (second team)
    2007 - Caitlin McKinney (second team)
    2006 - Crysti Foote (first team)
    2006 - Jillian Byers (second team)
    2006 - Caitlin McKinney (third team)
    2005 - Crysti Foote (third team)
    2004 - Meredith Simon (first team)
    2004 - Andrea Kinnik (second team)
    2004 - Abby Owen (third team)
    2003 - Jen White (third team)
    2002 - Kathryn Lam (second team)
    2002 - Danielle Shearer (second team)
    

     

     

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