April 19, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Winners of three straight games, the No. 6 Notre Dame women's lacrosse team heads to Washington D.C. for a Saturday matchup with BIG EAST rival Georgetown (No. 12). CBS Sports Network will televise the game with first draw scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Multi-Sport Field.
The Irish (11-2, 4-2 BE) enter the contest on a three-game winning streak after decisive victories over Villanova (18-5) and Connecticut (16-9) and a close home win on Wednesday against No. 18 Vanderbilt (12-11).
During the three-game winning streak, several Irish student-athletes have stepped up their games. Starting goalie Ellie Hilling has stopped 24 shots in the last two games alone, while freshman defender Barbara Sullivan has collected 10 draw controls and seven ground balls and forced five turnovers. On offense, four players have scored 10-plus points, highlighted by senior Tewaaraton Trophy candidate Maggie Tamasitis' 16 points (3G, 13A) and junior Jaimie Morrison's 11 points (8G, 3A).
The Hoyas (8-5, 4-2 BE) are coming off a 22-11 setback at No. 2 Syracuse, but did hand No. 3 North Carolina its first loss of the season, 9-8, back on March 17. Sophia Thomas' 32 goals lead the way, but eight players in all have 14 or more goals. The distributers can come from anywhere on the field as 18 different players have recorded assists, with Erin Lovett's 10 tops on the team.
In goal Barb Black has registered 75 saves and sports just a .355 save percentage. She is fourth in the BIG EAST with an 11.12 GAA.
The series has become quite competitive in recent years after Georgetown won the first seven games of the series from 2000 - 2006. However, since then Notre Dame has won seven of 10, including a pair of wins in 2011. The first came, 13-10, on Senior Day at Arlotta, with the second victory coming in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championships, 15-12.
Fans can follow the action in one of two ways. As usual, live stats will be up and running with a link available on UND.com. However, the game will be on CBS Sports Network beginning at 2:30 p.m. and fans can check here to see if they get the channel.
The national television game is the second for the Irish on the year, as they lost to No. 2 Syracuse, 16-10, at Arlotta on April 5.
A FORMIDABLE ONE-TWO PUNCH
Notre Dame attackers Lindsay Powell and Jaimie Morrison have become quite proficient at finding the back of the net this season as the two have combined for 68 goals on 137 shots. Powell leads theteam with 37 goals, and has scored two or more goals in 11 of the 13 games this year. Morrison, who is second on the team with 31 goals, has scored four goals in consecutive games against Connecticut and No. 18 Vanderbilt and has 10 games with two or more goals. In the BIG EAST, Powell sits fourth in goals per game (2.85) and is tied for fourth in goals, while Morrison is 10th in goals pergame (2.38) and tied for ninth in goals.
Senior Megan Sullivan (19 GB, 23 DC, 12 CT), sophomore Margaret Smith (28 GB, 40 DC, 24 CT) and freshman Barbara Sullivan (28 GB, 16 DC, 21 CT) have all been especially impressive on defense this season as they are the only three players on the team to rack up 10 or more ground balls, draw controls and caused turnovers this season. Smith is third in the BIG EAST in draw controls (3.33) and caused turnovers per game (2.00).
CHAMPIONSHIP ADDITION TO THE TEAM
Notre Dame received a welcome addition to the team in the week leading up to the Connecticut game as Irish women's basketball standout Brittany Mallory joined the women's lacrosse team. Mallory, who started all 39 games for the Irish women's basketball squad this past season and ranked eighth in the BIG EAST in steals per game (2.1), was a two-time U.S. Lacrosse honorable mention All-American in high school and will wear No. 32 for the Irish women's lacrosse team.
On the basketball court, Mallory was known as a talented leader who displayed a strong will to win along with an impressive three-point shot.
Mallory grew up in the lacrosse hotbed of Baltimore, Md., and played the sport for her first three years of high school, where she racked up all sorts of accolades. The midfielder led McDonogh School to the IAAM A Conference championship game in 2006 and was a two-time IAAM A Conference All-Star and all-metro/all-county selection in addition to the pair of All-America scrolls. In 2006 she was named to the high school All-Tewaaraton Team, which recognizes some of the nation's top talent.
In her first game in over five years, Mallory scooped up a draw control in Notre Dame's 16-9 victory over the Huskies.
THAT'S JUST OFFENSIVE:
The Irish have found the back of the net in great numbers this season. Averaging 14.54 goals a game, Notre Dame is racing past offensive numbers from previous seasons. The only teams since 2004 that averaged moregoals through 13 games were the `06 (14.69) and `09 (16.08) squads.
Seven players have scored 10 or more goals this season. Lindsay Powell (37), Jaimie Morrison (31), Megan Sullivan (19), Maggie Tamasitis (18), Kaitlyn Brosco (18), Jenny Granger (14) and Margaret Smith (10) have broken the double-digit goal plateau, while Caitlin Gargan (9), Lauren Sullivan (8) and McKenzie Brown (7) are within three goals or less of reaching the 10-goal mark.
The Irish have become especially adept at scoring a high number of goals on a limited number of shots as evidenced by a shooting percentage of .488, which, through 13 games this season, is 0.15 higher than any of the previous eight seasons. Below is a breakdown of offensive numbers since the '04 season:
Goals Per Game
2012 - 14.54
2011 - 11.46
2010 - 10.77
2009 - 16.08
2008 - 13.85
2007 - 12.69
2006 - 14.69
2005 - 9.69
2004 - 12.92
Shots Per Game
2012 - 29.8
2011 - 30.2
2010 - 27.6
2009 - 34.1
2008 - 33.7
2007 - 29.2
2006 - 32.7
2005 - 26.5
2004 - 27.3
2012 - .488
2011 - .380
2010 - .390
2009 - .472
2008 - .411
2007 - .434
2006 - .449
2005 - .366
2004 - .473
HOW CAN I SERVE YOU?:
Having already secured her place in school history after leading the team in assists as a sophomore and junior, senior co-captain Maggie Tamasitis has gone above and beyond so far this season in helping her teammates score goals. The Boyertown, Pa., has notched 48 helpers through 13 games this season. To put that in prospective, Tamasitis had 14 assists in `09, 20 in `10 and 31 in `11 through the same point in the season. With three regular season games to play, Tamasitis has already set a new school standard for assists in a season with 48, which broke her old record of 46 that she set last season. She was also in the top two in the nation in both assists (T-2nd, 46) and assists per game (2nd, 3.83) when the NCAA stats were updated last on April 15. Against Connecticut she set a new school and BIG EAST record witheight assists. The eight helpers also put her into a tie for sixth all-time in NCAA Division I history for assists in a game.
Through April 15, 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 10th in the nation with a 14.75 goals-per-game average, while their +3.83 scoring margin is 14th best. The attack is spearheaded by senior Maggie Tamasitis, whose 3.83 assists per game rank as thesecond-best mark in the land. She also ranks sixth in the country in points per game, averaging 5.25.
IRISH PLAYERS RECOGNIZED BY CONFERENCE
Now fully entrenched in BIG EAST season, 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 (three times),Jaimie Morrison (once), Margaret Smith (three times) and Barbara Sullivan (once) 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.
HILLING PROTECTING THE CAGE
Junior goalkeeper Ellie Hilling has beenespecially dominate as of late in wins over Connecticut and #18 Vanderbilt, as she has recorded 24 saves on 44 shots on goal, good for a .545 save percentage in allowing a total of 20 goals. Hilling currently leads the league in saves per game (8.83), is second in saves percentage (.449) and is third in goalsagainst average (11.08).
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 (368), tied for second in wins (31) and third in total minutes played (2,928:46).
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 10 goals on the current season, while leading the team in draw controls (40) and sharing the lead in ground balls (28) and caused turnovers (24).
Smith has three times been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor roll this season for standout 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). Her third such honor came on the heels of a 1-1 BIG EAST weekend in which she scored three goals along with bringing down 10 draw controls and causing four turnovers.
ASSAULT ON THE RECORD BOOK
Leading the Irish attack is senior tri-captain, Maggie Tamasitis. With her stellar performance so far this season (18 goals, 48 assists, 66 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 (72), points (212, 5th) and games played (71, t-7th). Additionally, Tamasitis moved into first all-time in assists with her 107th career helper during the Boston University victory (14-11). She currently has 140 career assists.
WE'VE GOT THE POWER
In the most recent edition of their 2012 `Power Rankings,' InsideLacrosse.com gave the Irish a No. 10 ranking. InsideLacrosse.com justifies the ranking because of the stellar start the Irish have had on the season, the health of offensive threat Lindsay Powell and theperformance of Maggie Tamasitis.
After improving to 8-0 this season with a 13-12 overtime win over Rutgers, the Irish were one of only two undefeated teams remaining on the Division I level. Only the Northwestern Wildcats joined Notre Dame as an unbeaten heading into the month of April.
With Notre Dame's 8-0 start to the season, head coach Christine Halfpenny became the first coach in BIG EAST history to lead their team to an 8-0 start in their first year with a program. The record not only includes head coaches from BIG EAST teams since the league was formed in 2001, but the entire program history for every team that currently resides in the conference.
Notre Dame's impressive 8-0 start also put the Irish in elite company among the all-time great BIG EAST teams. Only 2011 Loyola (13-0) and 2004 Notre Dame (10-0) have started out with better records to open the year since the league was formed. Loyola went on to win the BIG EAST Tournament title last year, while the 2004 Notre Dame squad lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Northwestern. The BIG EAST did not have a conference tournament in 2004.
IRISH AND YALE TAKE PART IN SPRING FLING
Notre Dame and Yale met for the seventh career time this season when they took 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.
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 EASTinstitutions. 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. SixIrish 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
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.
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. Updated through the Vanderbilt contest, the three captains have played in a combined 202 games, helped their team to 49 wins,scored 126 goals and added 157 assists in their careers.
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 11 of its next 13 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 4-1 .800
Career 12-4 .750
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 16-9 win over Connecticut on April 14 gave the Irish their 10th win of the season, marking the seventh consecutive 10-win season for the program and 10th in school history. Over the last seven seasons, the Irish are 86-40 (.683).
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.
RELAX AT HOME AND WATCH THE LAXERS
The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team has two games broadcast nationally on the CBS College Sports Network this season. The first was theSyracuse game at Arlotta Stadium on April 5, 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 home game streaming and game recaps.