Feb. 28, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- For the third straight season, the No. 7 University of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has at least two players on the preseason Tewaaraton Award watch list. The Tewaaraton Foundation announced on Tuesday in New York that senior co-captains Cortney Fortunato and Casey Pearsall have been named to the annual watch list, which includes the top 50 men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse players in the country.
The Tewaaraton Award, presented by Under Armour, honors the top male and female college lacrosse player in the United States. The selection committees are made up of premier collegiate coaches and are appointed annually by The Tewaaraton Foundation.
Fortunato, a three-time All-American and two-time Tewaaraton Trophy nominee, ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference with an average of 3.86 goals per game and 5.00 points per game. Fortunato has recorded a team-high 27 goals and 35 points in just seven games this season. The Northport, N.Y., native also has collected 11 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers.
Fortunato, who trained as a member of U.S. Lacrosse’s World Cup Training Team this past winter, owns 36 career hat tricks, guiding Notre Dame to a 30-6 record in those games. She has led the team in points, goals and assists in each of the last three seasons. Her 193 career goals rank second in program history to Jillian Byers (262).
Fortunato is the first Irish player to appear on the watch list three times since Barbara Sullivan.
Pearsall, a two-time All-American midfielder, has scored 10 goals and dished out nine assists, totaling 19 points over Notre Dame’s first seven contests. The watch list appearance marks the first of its kind for the Wilton, Conn., native, who also has gathered 17 draw controls, 13 ground balls and nine caused turnovers this season.
Pearsall collected a career-high seven points on three goals and four assists in Notre Dame’s win against Elon at Rudd Field on Thursday. The midfielder also recorded three draw controls, two caused turnovers and a ground ball in the team’s 16-7 win against the unbeaten Phoenix.
Pearsall’s 139 career draw controls rank fifth all-time in the Notre Dame record book.
Players not named to the initial lists have several opportunities to play their way into a spot as the season progresses. Watch list additions, if applicable, will be announced on March 16 and April 6. On April 27, the field will be narrowed to 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees. Nominees can be players on the watch lists or players not on the watch lists, effectively allowing for a third round of additions.
Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced on May 11 and invited to the 17th annual Tewaaraton Award Ceremony, which will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 1.
The Irish return to action against No. 20 Louisville at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. Admission to all regular-season Notre Dame women’s lacrosse games is free for all fans.
For a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the Irish women’s lacrosse team, follow @NDWomensLax on Twitter.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.