March 29, 2012
#6/6 Notre Dame (7-0, 1-0)
Rutgers University (5-3, 0-0)
Friday, March 30 4:00 p.m. (ET)
Yurcak Field Piscataway, N.J.
#6/6 Notre Dame (7-0, 1-0)
#15/18 Loyola University (Md.)(5-3, 1-0)
Sunday, April 1 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Ridley Athletic Complex Baltimore, Md.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Looking to keep its perfect record intact, the No. 6 Notre Dame women's lacrosse team heads east for a pair of BIG EAST showdowns with Rutgers and No. 15 Loyola (Md.) this weekend.
The Irish (7-0, 1-0) meet the Scarlet Knights (5-3, 0-0) at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday in Piscataway, N.J., and then travel to Baltimore for a 1:00 p.m. Sunday matchup with the Greyhounds (5-3, 1-0).
Notre Dame is off to its best start since 2006, and is coming off a 13-11 come-from-behind victory over Louisville last Saturday. Senior Maggie Tamasitis and sophomore Lindsay Powell continue to be Notre Dame's top distributer and scorer, as Tamasitis has a league-leading 27 helpers and Powell is third with 23 goals.
Winners of four straight games, Rutgers defeated Fairfield, 11-10, in double overtime on Saturday. The only common opponent so far this season is Cornell, whom the Scarlet Knights lost to 8-7 on Feb. 25 and the Irish beat 17-13 on March 17. They have three double-digit goal scorers, with Ali Steinberg leading the way with 19 goals. In the cage, Lily Kalata sports a 9.59 goals against average and has 48 saves on the year.
The Greyhounds are coming off an exciting 15-14 overtime win at No. 13 Georgetown on Saturday. Loyola is 3-1 on the year against ranked teams, but has only played one top-10 opponent this year - a 14-9 loss at No. 10 Virginia. A pair of dynamic performers lead the Greyhounds as Marlee Paton and Annie Thomas each have double-digit totals in points and assists. Paton leads the squad with 17 goals and has chipped in 10 assists, while Thomas has 12 goals and a team-leading 12 assists.
Fans can follow the Rutgers contest by live stats and the Loyola game by live stats, audio or video, with links provided on UND.com.
Notre Dame (7-0) now stands as one of only two Division I lacrosse teams which remain perfect on the 2012 season. Only Northwestern (9-0), the unanimous No. 1 team in the country in both the IWLCA and daBeer/InsideLacrosse Media Poll, accompanies the Irish in the land of the unbeatens.
It has been since the 2006 season that the Irish have reached this deep into a season without a blemish, while the overall program best streak remains 10 consecutive wins to start the 2004 campaign.
Through March 26, the Notre Dame offense is among some of the tops in the land, wreaking havoc on opposing goalies and defenders. Entering the week, the Irish rank fifth in the nation with a 15.57 goals-per-game average, while their +5.29 scoring margin is 8th best. The attack is spearheaded by senior Maggie Tamasitis, whose 3.86 assists per game rank as the second-best mark in the land. She also ranks fifth in the land in points per game, averaging 5.29.
IRISH AND YALE TAKE PART IN SPRING FLING
Notre Dame and Yale met for the seventh career time this season when they take part in the "Spring Fling," in Delray Beach, Fla. The event brings women's lacrosse teams from throughout the country to Florida from March 3-18. Since its start in '97, the tournament has hosted more than 160 NCAA teams, 25 prep school teams and a dozen high school squads. Originally set in Panama City Beach, Spring Fling moved to Palm Beach County in '04 and the Notre Dame-Yale matchup will mark the first at Delray Beach's Hilltopper Stadium.
IRISH PLAYERS RECOGNIZED BY CONFERENCE
In just three weeks of regular season action, the University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse players have been recognized several times by the BIG EAST Conference for their stellar play on the field. Two players - Maggie Tamasitis and Ellie Hilling - have been named BIG EAST Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, while Tamasitis (twice), Jaimie Morrison (once) and Margaret Smith (twice) have found themselves on the weekly honor roll.
In addition to conference recognition, Tamasitis also was billed as the WomensLax.com National Player of the Week after her one-goal, six-assist performance in the season opener against Stanford.
A (HALF)PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
The 2012 season marks a new era in Notre Dame women's lacrosse, as Christine Halfpenny takes the reigns as just the second head coach in program history since the team earned varsity status back in 1997. The former standout for the Virginia Tech Hokies lacrosse team comes to the Irish after a five-year stint as head coach at William & Mary where she compiled 43 victories, including reaching double-digit wins in each of her final four seasons. Additionally, her teams garnered the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season league title in both '08 and '09, while she copped CAA Coach-of-the-Year honors in '08.
While team success has been noticed under Halfpenny's watch, her players' individual successes have also been abundant. During her stay with the Tribe, she saw two players tabbed IWLCA All-Americans, while helping 26 to all-conference citations and 10 to all-region honors. Her 2011 campaign also saw history made, as William & Mary captured player of the year, defensive player of the year and rookie of the year, marking the first time in CAA history that one school claimed all three top honors in the same season.
Junior goalkeeper Ellie Hilling took home the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week award (March 5) after her career-high 16 save and career-high tying six ground ball performance in an upset of then-No. 10 Ohio State. The award was Hilling's third such honor being handed down from the BIG EAST.
This season the backstop has already seen her climb up the Irish record books get underway, now placing fourth all-time in saves (322), fourth in wins (28) and fourth in total minutes played (2,629:53) while playing in an astounding 96.4% of the possible minutes played.
Hilling found herself between the pipes last year in over 96% of the possible game minutes she could have played. While in net, Hilling led the Irish to a 10-9 record, allowing 9.67 goals per game.
Hilling burst on to the scene in her freshman campaign (2010) where she led the team to an 11-7 record while stopping 131 shots in over 1,110 minutes of action including registering the only shutout of her career and the first in BIG EAST conference history in a win over Villanova (4/9/2010).
SMITH ALL OVER THE FIELD
Sophomore midfield Margaret Smith has wasted little time showing her versatility in the Irish lineup. The Westminster, Md., product has registered seven goals on the current season, while leading the team in ground balls (16), draw controls (21) and caused turnovers (14).
Smith has twice been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor roll this season for stanout performances against Duquesne in the second game of the season (3 G, 3 GB, 5 DC, 2 CT) and most recently against Boston University (1 G, 1 A, 4 GB, 5 DC, 6 CT).
WE'VE GOT THE POWER
In the most recent edition of their 2012 `Power Rankings,' InsideLacrosse.com gave the Irish a top-10 ranking, coming in at fifth. InsideLacrosse.com justifies the ranking because of the stellar start the Irish have had on the season (7-0 for first time since `06), the health of offensive threat Lindsay Powell and the performance of Maggie Tamasitis.
ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOK
Leading the Irish attack is senior tri-captain, Maggie Tamasitis. With her stellar performance so far this season (10 goals, 27 assists, 37 points) combined with her play in her first three seasons on campus, Tamasitis is climbing the Irish record books in many statistical categories including goals (64), points (183, 8th) and games played (64). Additionally, Tamasitis moved into first all-time in assists with her 107th career helper during the Boston University victory (14-11). She currently has 119 career assists.
Tamasitis' opening-game performance in 2012 against the Cardinal also placed her in the single-game annals, setting a new single-game record for assists in a half with five helpers in the first half against Stanford, while tying the single-game record for assists in a game with six.
TAMASITIS ON TEWAARATON RADAR
Senior attacker Maggie Tamasitis continues to garner recognition heading into her final campaign with the Irish. The Boyertown, Pa., native was named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, as announced Feb. 15. Tamasitis joins a group of 53 fellow women's lacrosse players, including 48 from Division I schools and eight from other BIG EAST institutions. This list, along with additional names added throughout the season, will be trimmed down to 25 who have been chosen as Tewaaraton Trophy Nominees before a final five is selected as finalists come seasons end. Six Irish players have been named nominees over the programs history, with Jillian Byers representing the only two-time recipient. Here is a listing of all the past Irish nominees:
2009 Shaylyn Blaney
2009 Jillian Byers**
2008 Jillian Byers
2008 Caitlin McKinney
2006 Crysti Foote**
2004 Meredith Simon
** - named Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist
TRI-CAPTAINS TO LEAD IRISH
The triumvirate of midfielders Jordy Shoemaker and Megan Sullivan and attacker Maggie Tamasitis have been selected as the Notre Dame women's lacrosse captains for the 2012 campaign. The three captains have played in a combined 143 games, helped their team to 38 wins, scored 89 goals and have added 107 assists.
DON'T SLEEP ON THE IRISH
Despite coming off of a 10-9 season that saw the Irish fail to reach the NCAA Tournament and graduate several key senior contributors from the 2011 campaign, Insidelacrosse.com warns, "don't sleep on the Irish." According to the online story on ilwomen.com, the Irish have been declared the sleeper team in the BIG EAST Conference to claim the league title with the return of offensive weapons, senior Maggie Tamasitis and sophomore Kaitlyn Brosco as well as junior Ellie Hilling manning the net for the third straight season.
NOTRE DAME'S GOLDEN GIRLS
Joining the fold for the Irish this season are a pair of touted freshmen: goalkeeper Allie Murray (Exton, Pa.) and defender Barbara Sullivan (Garden City, N.Y.), who gained invaluable experience during the summer of 2011 as members of the U.S. U-19 squad at the Women's Lacrosse World Championship. In addition to helping the U.S. win the crown for the fourth consecutive year, Sullivan anchored a stingy American defense that allowed a championship-best 5.38 goals per game and Murray appeared in six of eight contests, recording one win along with 20 saves.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Since Arlotta Stadium opened its doors on March 7, 2010, the Irish women's lacrosse team has found a growing comfort in their new confines. After starting with a pair of losses to open the new building, Notre Dame has proceeded to capture wins in 10 of their next 11 home jaunts. Here is a year-by-year breakdown of the Irish at Arlotta Stadium:
Year Record Percentage
2010 4-2 .667
2011 4-1 .800
2012 2-0 1.000
Career 10-3 .769
The Notre Dame women's lacrosse program has a long history of sisters playing for the blue and gold. This season is no different as Notre Dame senior midfielder Megan Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) and her younger sister, Lauren Sullivan, a sophomore on this year's roster, are the ninth set of siblings to play for the Irish `Laxers'. The Sullivan's join eight other sister duos to play at Notre Dame - Maggie `10 and Lena Zentgraf `07, twin sisters Heather and Lindsey Ferguson `08; Julie `08 and Crysti Foote `06; Lauren `09 and Meghan deMello `06; Kelly and Kristen Gaudreau `04; Carol `06 and Angela Dixon `03 and Annemarie `09 and Mary McGrath `06. The sisters who started the tradition are Amy `98 and Mara Grace `98. They played in 1997 and 1998, the first two years of the program.
Notre Dame's 10-win season in 2011 gives the Irish six consecutive seasons with double-digit wins for the first time in the program's 16-year history. Over the last six seasons, the Irish are 75-38 (.664).
BIG EAST ANNOUNCES PRESEASON RANKINGS, AWARDS
Despite losing over 415 goals and 140 assists to graduation, the Irish were picked to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll due in large part to their two preseason All-BIG EAST team selections, midfielder Kaitlyn Brosco and attacker Maggie Tamasitis.
The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team will have two games broadcast nationally on the CBS College Sports Network this upcoming season. The first televised game will take place at home on April 5 against Syracuse at Arlotta Stadium, while the second game takes place on April 21 as the Irish travel to the nation's capital to take on Georgetown.
Check your local listings to find out if your local provider offers the CBS College Sports Network.
For all other video of the Irish women's lacrosse team visit UND.com for all live match streaming and game recaps.