June 8, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. -
The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team has announced it's major award winners for the 2006 season. In voting done by the players, senior attack/midfielder Crysti Foote (Suffern, N.Y.) was selected as the team's Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player. Sophomore attack Heather Ferguson (Newtown Square, Pa.) was chosen as the team's most improved player while junior Meghan Murphy (Centennial, Colo.) was awarded the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award.
Foote adds to her long list of post-season awards as a unanimous choice as the team's most valuable player. She closed out her Notre Dame career with the best individual season in the program's history. During 2006, Foote set single-season records for goals (74), assists (40), points (114) and draw controls (44). She finished the year fourth in ground balls (31) and fifth in caused turnovers with 17. A unanimous first team all-BIG EAST selection, she was also named the conference's attack player of the year. She followed that by being named first team All-American by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA), Inside Lacrosse and womenslacrosse.com while also picking up attack player of the year honors from the latter two. The marketing major led the nation in goal and point totals while finishing second in the NCAA rankings with 6.00 points and 3.86 goals per game. In the NCAA tournament, Foote led all players in scoring with 18 points (10 goals and eight assists) in three games and was selected to the all-tournament team. For her career, Foote is Notre Dame's all-time leader in goals (161), assists (76), points (237) and games played (66).
"For all the awards that Crysti has received this spring, being a unanimous selection by her teammates as the team's most valuable player, speaks volumes of how much they respect her," said head coach Tracy Coyne.
"What she has accomplished this season has been remarkable and her teammates appreciate what she has done. She's a total team player and team leader and she is going to be missed next year both on and off the field. She has definitely left her mark on the program and has been a role model for the younger players on the team."
Ferguson became a key player in the Irish attack in 2006, playing in 19 games with 11 of them in a starting role. She finished fourth in team scoring with 25 goals, 11 assists and 36 points, all career highs after getting four goals and five assists in her freshman year in 2005. Ferguson also added 18 ground balls; two draw controls and was fourth with 19 caused turnovers for the year. During the year, the psychology major picked up points in 17 of the team's 19 games and finished the year with a 13-game point streak (20-9-29). She had eight games with two or more goals and 13 contests with two or more points, including career-high four-point games versus Canisius (1g, 3a) and Syracuse (3g, 1a).
"I am really pleased with the way Heather's game continued to improve throughout the year," said Coyne.
"We saw flashes of what she could do as a freshman last year and this season she really came into her own as she developed confidence in her game. She scored some big goals for us all season long, especially late in the year. We haven't seen the end of her development. I think next season will be a breakout year for Heather Ferguson."
Murphy receives Notre Dame's Rockne Scholar-Athlete award with a 3.70 grade-point average with a double major in anthropology and pre-professional studies. The junior attack player has also been selected to ESPN The Magazine's Academic all-District Five At-Large team and is on the national ballot for Academic All-American honors that will be released on June 15. Murphy is the first Notre Dame women's lacrosse player to receive Academic all-district honors since Kerry Callahan `99 was an all-district and second team Academic All-American as a senior in 1999.
Murphy, who bounced back this year from a season-ending knee injury in 2005, finished the 2006 campaign ranked fifth in scoring for the Irish with career highs in goals (14), assists (9) and points (23) while helping the Irish to the best record in program history (15-4) and a trip to the NCAA championship where they lost in the semifinals to Dartmouth, 14-8, on May 26. Two of her goals were game winners, including a goal as time ran out in an 11-10 win over Syracuse on April 29.
During the spring, Murphy became the first Notre Dame women's lacrosse player to receive the prestigious Christopher Zorich Service Award for her role in community service work in both the South Bend community and her hometown of Denver, Colo.
"Meghan totally embodies what a Notre Dame student-athlete is with her dedication to community service, academics and athletics. She is the ultimate team player who enjoys the success of her teammates as much as her own personal success. She is a very committed person and that is exemplified by the academic excellence she has achieved," said Coyne.
"She devotes a lot of time and energy to all aspects of being a Notre Dame student-athlete. Meghan is truly deserving of this honor for her success in the classroom."