March 21, 2009
Notre Dame, Ind. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The Game: #10/#10 Notre Dame (7-1/1-0) vs. California (4-5/2-5)
Date/Time/Site: Sunday, March 22, 2009 1:00 p.m. Loftus Sports Center Notre
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CALIFORNIA DREAMING: The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team returns to action on Sunday, March 22 when the Irish play host to the California Golden Bears at the Loftus Center. The opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m. For Notre Dame, the California game is the middle game of a five-game homestand that so far features wins over Hofstra (17-15) and Rutgers (18-9). The stand ends next weekend with BIG EAST games against Georgetown (3/27) and Loyola (Md.) on March 29. The Irish enter the California game with a 7-1 overall record and a six-game winning streak that started on Feb. 22. Notre Dame is currently ranked 10th in both the IWLCA coaches' poll and by Inside Lacrosse.com. California is 4-5 on the year and 2-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). The Bears have lost their last two games, falling at home to William & Mary (17-11) and Vermont (15-11). Cal owns wins versus Fresno State, Albany, Temple and UC-Davis. The Golden Bears other three losses have come to ranked teams - Duke Syracuse and Penn. After playing the Irish, Cal travels to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State on Tuesday, March 24.
IRISH VERSUS GOLDEN BEARS: Notre Dame and California have met five times in the all-time series with the Irish holding a 5-0 advantage. Notre Dame is 2-0 at home, 2-0 at Berkeley and 1-0 on a neutral field. Last season, the the two schools met at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., as part of the East-West Challenge. Notre Dame won the game, 18-8.
A BIG EAST WIN: Notre Dame's game against California is the second contest of the week for the Irish. On Tuesday, March 17, they celebrated St. Patrick's Day with an 18-9 win over Rutgers at the Loftus Sports Center to open the BIG EAST Conference schedule for both teams. Notre Dame was led by junior attack Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) who set a personal mark with eight poings in the game, scoring twice and dishing out six assists. The six-assist game tied a Notre Dame record held by Kerry Callahan `99. Joining Scioscia on the score sheet were Jillian Byers (Sr., Northport, N.Y.) who had four goals, sophomore Ansley Stewart (Alexandria, Va.) added three goals and one assist, while Kaitlin Keena (So., Vienna, Va.) had three points (2g, 1a). Freshman Megan Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) had the first two-goal game of her career and Maggie Tamasitis (Fr., Boyertown, Pa.), Shaylyn Blaney (So., Stony Brook, N.Y.), Jackie Doherty (So., Ellicott City, Md.), Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.) and Beth Koloup (Sr., Phoenix, Md.) rounded out the goal scoring. The Irish scored the first five goals of the game on the way to a 10-3 halftime lead. They went on to score three of the first four goals of the second half to make it 13-4 and built the score to 18-7 before the Scarlet Knights picked up the last two goals of the game. Notre Dame out shot Rutgers, 31-22. Erin Goodman (Sr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) gave up six goals and made seven assists in the first 43 minutes. Junior Amy Winik (Freehold, N.J.) played the final 13 minutes, giving up three goals while making one assist.
WEARING THE GREEN: Notre Dame's win on St. Patrick's Day against Rutgers improved the Irish record to 4-0 in games played on March 17. The 18-9 win over Rutgers marked the first time that Notre Dame has played on St. Patrick's Day since March 17, 2002.
PREMIER PLAYMAKER: Gina Scioscia's eight-point game versus Rutgers was a career best for the Irish playmaker. Her previous best was a seven-point game last season set against Rutgers (4/20/08) where she had two goals and five assists. She also had a seven-point game this season versus Duquesne in the season opener, scoring four goals with three assists. Her six-assists were the most in a game since Kerry Callahan `99, had six assists in a 20-10 win over Gannon on March 17, 1999. Callahan had nine points in that game.
FAST START: Notre Dame's 7-1 start is the best for the Irish since starting the 2006 campaign with a 9-1 record. The current six-game winning streak is Notre Dame's longest since starting the 2006 season with seven straight wins. The longest Irish win streak is 14 games and was set between the end of the 2003 season and the start of 2004.
PASSING FANCY: While one would expect to see Jill Byers among Notre Dame's scoring leaders, you might be surprised by who is the team's top scorer through the first eight games. tied for the lead. Gina Scioscia leads the Irish with 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points while Byers comes into the California game with 28 goals and six assists for 34 points. Scioscia's 22 goals are a career high, already passing her career high of 20, set last season. During Notre Dame's six-game winning streak, Scioscia has three or more points in all six games and three-or-more goals in five of them. During her six-game point streak, the playmaker has 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points. Her 13 assists lead the team. Scioscia has also moved into the all-time top 10 at Notre Dame in points as she now has 46 goals and 55 assists for 101 career points. Her 55 assists rank her sixth on the all-time assist list.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Notre Dame's All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Jillian Byers continues her assault on the Irish record books. After setting the Notre Dame goal-scoring record on Feb. 28, Jillian Byers continues to score at a torrid pace for the Irish. In the win over Hofstra, she recorded her 200th career goal and 250th career point. She is now close to breaking the all-time mark for draw controls as she ranks second on that list.
HEAD COACH Tracy Coyne: Tracy Coyne is in her 13th season at Notre Dame and her 22nd year in collegiate lacrosse. Coyne brings a 231-104 (.690) career record into Sunday's game with California. On Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, she recorded her 100th career win at Notre Dame with a 16-4 win over Duquesne. As the only head coach in the Notre Dame program's history, Coyne is 117-78 (.600). A 1983 Ohio University graduate, Coyne recorded her 200th career win at the end of the 2006 season with a 16-8 win over Cornell in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. She has guided Notre Dame to four NCAA tournament appearances (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) in the last seven seasons, including the school's first-ever NCAA finals appearance in 2006. In her first 22 years of coaching, Coyne was 23-5 in two seasons at Denison (1988-89), 91-21 in seven years at Roanoke (1990-96) and 115-78 in this, 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 5-0 in her career against California.
SUPER SOPHOMORES: The Irish have gotten strong play from their sophomore scorers this season. The group of five - Shaylyn Blaney (20g, 2a), Ansley Stewart (14g, 6a), Kailene Abt (14g, 1a), Jackie Doherty (5g, 6a) and Kaitlin Keena (6g, 7a) have accounted for 59 goals and 22 assists for 81 points. They five have 59 of the team's 125 goals, 22 of 56 assists and 81 of 181 points this season.
RAPID IMPROVEMENT: As a freshman, Ansley Stewart, now a sophomore, saw action in just two games for the Irish, getting just one shot on goal. This season, the Alexandria, Va., native has started all eight games to date and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 14 goals and six assists for 20 points. She teams with senior Jillian Byers (28-6) and junior Gina Scioscia (22-16) to give Notre Dame a potent trio on attack as they now have 64 goals and 28 assists this season.
THE IRISH ALL-TIME: The 2008-09 season is the 13th campaign for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse program. The Irish (7-1 this year) come into the weekend with a 117-78 (.600) all-time record. That includes a 58-28 (.674) home mark and a 46-43 (.517) road record. Notre Dame is 14-7 all-time on neutral fields. The win in the season opener at Duquesne gives the Irish an 11-2 mark in season-opening games.
MAKING THE STOPS: Senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman has now won six straight games in goal for the Irish and continues to move up the charts among Notre Dame netminders. She has now started in 44 consecutive games since the start of the 2007 season and has won 30 of them. Her 30 wins moves her into a tie for second with Carol Dixon `06 and she is just one behind all-time leader Jen White `03 who had 31. Goodman ranks among the top Notre Dame goalkeepers in several different categories.
GP - t1st (19) - 2008
Wins - t3rd (12) - 2008
Minutes - 1st (1,117:21) - 2008
Saves - 4th (172) - 2008
SV% - 9th (.454) - 2008
GAVG - 7th (10.74) - 2008
GP - 3rd (44)
Wins - tie2nd (30)
Minutes - 3rd (2,641:55)
Saves - 3rd (381)
GAVG - 3rd (10.96)
KARDIAC KIDS: The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team is developing a unique personality during the 2009 season. In their games versus Dartmouth and James Madison, the Irish fell behind in the first half, then rallied to win the game. Versus Dartmouth, Notre Dame gave up the first six goals of the contest and trailed 8-2 late in the first half before coming alive. They scored three late goals in the opening half and then rolled off eight more in the second before Dartmouth responded for a total of 11 consecutive goals. Bouncing back from the six-goal deficit was the largest deficit that the Irish have ever recovered from. Against James Madison, Notre Dame's biggest deficit was three goals in the first half. The Irish trailed 5-2 with over 18 minutes left in the first half before they rallied to trail just 9-7 at halftime. They then opened the second half with four consecutive goals for an 11-9 lead. The closest that the Dukes would get was 11-10 as Notre Dame pulled out a second close win. In the 18-9 win against Rutgers, the Irish turned the tables and scored the first five goals of the game on the way to a 10-3 halftime lead.
CAREER YEARS: Through the first eight games of the season, several Irish players have already achieved career seasons. Sophomore Ansley Stewart has career bests in goals (14), assists (6) and points (20). Kailene Abt has career bests with 14 goals and 15 points after a getting seven goals with two assists for nine points as a freshman. Jackie Doherty has career highs in assists (6) and points (11) after getting six goals and one assist for seven points in 2008. Maggie Zentgraf has career highs with three goals and four points after getting one goal and two assists last season.
TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: Two members of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team have been named to the Tewaaraton Trophy "Watch List" for the 2009 season. Senior Jillian Byers and sophomore Shaylyn Blaney were among the 45 players selected to the watch list. That group will be cut down later in the season to a candidates list followed by a list of finalists. For Byers, this is her third year on the watch list while Blaney is making her first apperarance. She is the sixth Notre Dame player to be named to the Watch List in the 13-year history of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse program.
FRESHMAN MAKING THEIR MARK: Several members of the Notre Dame freshman class have performed well in their rookie seasons. Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, N.Y.) leads the class in scoring with five goals and eight assists for 13 points in her first eight games. Her eight assists are second on the team. Megan Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) has scored three goals, getting a pair of markers in the win over Rutgers on March 17. Kate Newall (Middlesex, England) has moved into the starting lineup at defensive midfield. She made her first career start versus Rutgers on March 17.