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    10 Freshmen Set To Join Women's Lacrosse Program

    FIGHTING IRISH Incoming freshman Cortney Fortunato was ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country for her grade by Inside Lacrosse before her junior and senior seasons.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Incoming freshman Cortney Fortunato was ranked the No. 1 recruit in the country for her grade by Inside Lacrosse before her junior and senior seasons.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    July 12, 2013

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Ten high school graduates, highlighted by three Under Armour All-Americans, are set to join the University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse program in 2014, head coach Christine Halfpenny announced Friday.

    The class of 2017 reports to campus in August and will be represented by three attackers, four midfielders, one defender and two goalies.

    "I'm thrilled to welcome the Notre Dame Class of 2017 officially to the University," said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "This group of individuals represents the best of the best both academically and athletically. From the very beginning of their recruitment, they were all impressive individuals that showed strong characteristics that reflect our University's mission. They are hard working, focused and mature young leaders that are driven to excel in the classroom and on the field. They are no strangers to serving their communities and will be a wonderful addition to our Notre Dame family and the South Bend community."

    Highlighting the 10-member class are Alex Dalton (Needham, Mass.), Cortney Fortunato (Northport, N.Y.) and Casey Pearsall (Wilton, Conn.). All three were named Under Armour All-Americans, with Dalton and Fortunato playing in last Sunday's game. Dalton recorded four ground balls and two caused turnovers, while Fortunato earned game MVP honors after tying a game record with eight points (4G, 4A) to help the North squad best the South team, 18-16. Fortunato is one of the most highly regarded recruits to ever sign with the Irish, as she was named the No. 1 high school player in the country for her grade by Inside Lacrosse before her junior and senior seasons. 

    "These individuals, as well as the entire class collectively, will bring speed, skill and a high lacrosse IQ to each area of the field and I anticipate them making an immediate impact on our team this season," said Halfpenny. "Without question this group will give our team great depth as we enter our first season of ACC competition."

    Also signing with the Irish were talented student-athletes Heidi Annaheim (Kinnelon, N.J. - Attack), Jennifer Blum (Euless, Texas - Goalie), Katherine Eilers (Winnetka, Ill. - Midfield), Emma Claire Fontenot (Eden Prairie, Minn. - Midfield), Grace Muller (Ruxton, Md. - Attack), Liz O'Sullivan (New Canaan, Conn. - Goalie) and Hannah Rees (Sykesville, Md. - Defense). 

    The group of 10 signees combined for 12 All-America citations and 15 state championships during their high school lacrosse careers, led by Fortunato's three All-America citations and Eilers' four state championships. Muller, O'Sullivan and Rees all claimed three state titles with their high schools.  

    These 10 will join 24 players, including 2013 IWLCA first team All-American Barbara Sullivan, that return from a 2013 squad that went 12-5 season and appeared in the NCAA Championship.

      

    Heidi Annaheim - Kinnelon, N.J. - Kinnelon High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Kinnelon High School in the spring of 2013 ... lettered and started all four years in lacrosse ... totaled 345 goals and 126 assists for 471 points in four years ... goals and points are both school records ... collected 135 ground balls and 128 draw controls and caused 52 turnovers during final three years ... led team in goals all four years ... scored 153 points as a senior, which was fifth in the state ... team captain as a senior ... during final season was named first team all-state, all-county, all-league, MSG Varsity All-New Jersey and All-Daily Record ... selected for the All Stars & Stripes team ... named the Daily Record Player of the Year and the Suburban Trends Kinnelon Female Athlete of the Year ... given the Kinnelon Coaches' Award for girls lacrosse ... named a U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American ... finished seventh in state in assists (53) and ninth in goals (101) as a junior ... helped team win division ... named team's outstanding offensive player ... selected first team all-league, all-county, all-Daily Record, all-North Jersey and MSG Varsity All-New Jersey ... selected as Kinnelon's Athlete of the Year and the Suburban Trends Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year ... ranked No. 20 on the November Girls' ESPN Top-50 Juniors list ... named to the US Lacrosse School Girls NNJ Team ... finished eighth in the state as a sophomore with 96 points ... named first team all-county, all-league and all-Daily Record ... selected to the ESPN RISE high school girls lacrosse sophomore watch list ... also on the U.S. Lacrosse School Girls NNJ Team and the Under Armour New Jersey All-Star Team ... as a freshman was second team all-conference, honorable mention all-county and named to the Under Armour New Jeresey All-Star team ... played club lacrosse for the Metro Lacrosse Club-Metro Blue squad ... helped team to the 2011 American Showcase Championship ... participated in the Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society and Kinnelon's Varsity Club ... won the President's Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence (NASSP Silver) as a senior ... full name is Heidi Katherine Annaheim ... born in Morristown, N.J., to Scott and Deborah Annaheim ... has an older brother, Nicholas, and a twin sister, Virginia, who will play lacrosse at the University of Albany ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

      

    Jennifer Blum - Euless, Texas - Ursuline Academy 

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas in the spring of 2013 ... earned three varsity letters in lacrosse as the team's goalie ... named a US Lacrosse first team All-American as a senior ... also selected all-state ... named a team captain and earned the team's Spirit of Lacrosse Award ... helped team to first appearance in state title game in school history ... selected all-state as a junior and named to the Texas Lacrosse National Tournament first team ... earned the team's Heart of Lacrosse Award as a sophomore ... prior to junior year was selected as the Most Outstanding Goalie at the Northwestern Elite Goalie Camp ... off the field participated as a Ursuline Academy Ambassador and in the National Honor Society ... earned the Dean of Student Conduct Award and appeared on the Academic Deans List all four years ... played for the XTEAM National Lacrosse Team ... selected as the all-star team goalie at the 2012 Sandstorm Lacrosse Tournament ... full name is Jennifer Lynn Blum ... born in Dallas, Texas to Brent and Lynn Blum ... has an older brother, Ryan ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

     

    Alex Dalton - Needham, Mass. - Notre Dame Academy 

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Notre Dame Academy in the spring of 2013 ... earned four letters in lacrosse and basketball and three in soccer ... helped team to first girl's lacrosse state championship in school history as a senior ... scored 170 goals and collected 143 draw controls and 184 ground balls in leading squad to a 45-4 record and a state title (2013) over last two years ... also totaled 61 caused turnovers as a senior ... selected to and played in the Under Armour Senior All-American game, collecting four ground balls and causing two turnovers ... named to the North squad along with incoming teammates Cortney Fortunato and Casey Pearsall ... named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, ESPN Boston's "Miss Lacrosse," the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Player of the Year and was also selected to the ESPN Boston Girls Lacrosse MIAA All-State Team ... selected a first team all-star by the Eastern Massachusetts Girls Lacrosse Coaches Association (EMGLCA) ... selected to the all-scholastic team for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and the Patriot Ledger ... as a junior was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American and Academic All-American ... selected to the all-scholastic team for the Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Patriot Ledger for lacrosse and the Patriot Ledger for basketball ... helped team to top-25 ranking in Lacrosse Magazine ... selected a first team all-star by the EMGLCA ... helped the Lower New England Team 1 to a national championship at the National Tournament ... selected to the New England Under Armour team at the Under Armour Underclassmen Games ... captain in both lacrosse and basketball as a junior and senior ... coached by Meredith Frank, who won four national championships and was a three-time All-American at Northwestern ... participated in the National Honor Society and the Spanish Language Honor Society ... full name is Alexandra Christina Dalton ... born in Newton, Mass., to Richard and Christine Dalton ... has an older brother, William, who is set to graduate from Notre Dame in the spring of 2015 ... uncle, Kenneth MacAfee, and cousin Kerri Ann White, also attended Notre Dame ... mother, Christine, competed in gymnastics at Northeastern ... uncle, Kenneth MacAfee, played football at Notre Dame ... uncle, Allan Dalton, played basketball at Suffolk University ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.  

     

    Katherine Eilers - Winnetka, Ill. - Loyola Academy (Chicago, Ill.)

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Loyola Academy in the spring of 2013 ... earned three letters in lacrosse and field hockey and one in basketball ... helped Loyola to four state championships ... two-time All-American ... named first team all-state twice and second team all-state once ... senior captain ... totaled 64 points (44G, 22A) as a junior and 72 points (42G, 30A) as a senior ... also totaled 120 ground balls, 69 caused turnovers and 87 draw controls over final two seasons ... earned two all-state citations during field hockey career ... helped team finish third in state as a sophomore and junior and second as a senior ... senior captain ... earned all-academic award as a senior ... played club lacrosse for Wildcat Elite ... was a committee member for the Student Alliance for Homeless Youth and was involved in the Arrupe Service Program ... played at Loyola with current Irish senior Grace Dooley ... full name is Katherine Lynn Eilers ... born in Reston, Va., to Patrick and Jana Eilers ... has an older sister, Elizabeth, a younger sister, Clare, and a younger brother, Patrick ... sister, Elizabeth, is set to graduate from Notre Dame in the spring of 2015 ... father, Patrick, played football for Notre Dame ... family, Anne Eilers Williams, Vince Eilers, Joe Williams and Michael Williams all have attended or are currently attending Notre Dame ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

     

    Emma Claire Fontenot - Eden Prairie, Minn. - Eden Prairie High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Eden Prairie High School in the spring of 2013 … lettered in lacrosse four times and soccer three times … also played basketball for two years … finished lacrosse career with school records in points (378) and assists (182), while starting all four years and winning four straight conference and sectional titles … team finished as state runner-up three times and in third place once … named all-conference and all-state three times each … dished out school-record 61 assists on way to scoring 109 points (second in school history) as a senior … senior captain who was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, received the Minnesota Minute Men Ms. Lacrosse Award and was all-metro … led state in assists (59) and points (106) as a junior … led state in assists with 49 as a sophomore … was a member of the Under Armour Midwest Regional and Worldwide U17 Women’s Lacrosse teams … selected to the Women’s Divisional National Tournament Team as a freshman and named the team’s rookie of the year … competed in the final round of the 2011 U19 U.S. National Team tryouts … two-time U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American … twice named the team’s midfield player of the year ... on school soccer team as a sophomore that won the Class AA section and state championships and was ranked No. 1 in the country … two-year varsity soccer starter … valedictorian of high school class of 802 … was on the “A” Honor Roll for 16 consecutive terms while taking AP and honors courses … involved in numerous off the field activities including student council (four years), National Honor Society, FCA, Key Club, Ignite Leadership Academy, Winning for Life, Lewis Sports Foundation Leadership Training, Washington, D.C., Close Up Foundation Program, Concert Choir, Women’s Concert Chorale, Women’s Concert Chorale Chamber Choir, Spanish Club and Science Club … also very active in community service, participating in some 14 different activities throughout high school career … list of off the field awards include the ExCEL, Triple ‘A’, Doers and Dreamers, Steve Schultz Laurel Scholar, Eden Prairie Lions Club Scholarship, Helen and Calvin Anderson Scholarship, Sandness Family Scholarship, Gold Key Art, President’s and Gold Star awards … was named the homecoming queen … played club with the Minnesota Lakers Select Lacrosse Team, the Eden Prairie Soccer Club, the Tonka United Soccer Club Premiere Team and the Burnsville Fire Soccer Club Premiere Team … two-year lacrosse club team captain … winner of the Bill Slowter Leadership Award (2012) and the Midfield Endurance Lacrosse Award (2010) … named the MVP of the U17 Ken Galluccio Memorial Lacrosse Festival in Hannover, Germany (2011) … was also a youth lacrosse mentor … full name is Emma Claire Fontenot … born in Houston, Texas to Rod and Kimberly Fontenot … has a younger brother, George … enrolled in First Year of Studies.

     

    Cortney Fortunato - Northport, N.Y. - Northport High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Northport High School in the spring of 2013 ... earned six letters in lacrosse and five in soccer ... three-time All-American in lacrosse ... two-time Academic All-American ... four-time all-county ... two-time team captain ... finished six-year lacrosse career with 388 goals and 171 assists for 559 points ... played in the Under Armour All-American Senior Game, earning game MVP honors after tying a game record with eight points (4G, 4A) ... named to the North squad along with incoming teammates Alex Dalton and Casey Pearsall ... ranked as the No. 1 rising senior for the class of 2013 by Inside Lacrosse in 2012 ... played for the Under Armour Underclass Team Long Island squad that won the 2012 championship, earning all-tournament honors at the attack position ... selected team pride MVP at the Champion All-American Showcase as a junior ... played for the Team USA U19 team that won gold at the 2011 Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships in Hannover, Germany ... led the team in goals and points and was selected to the all-world team ... played with current Notre Dame student-athletes Allie Murray and Barbara Sullivan ... was the youngest player on the squad ... entered junior year ranked as the No. 1 rising junior for the class of 2013 by Inside Lacrosse ... as a senior was named to the all-Long Island Team 1 by Newsday ... received the U.S. Lacrosse Jackie Pitts Award for Long Island ... named first team all-metro ... helped team to a semifinal finish in Suffolk County ... 82 goals was third on Long Island and 118 points was fifth highest ... named to the all-Long Island team 2 by Newsday as a junior ... helped team win Suffolk County, Long Island and N.Y. Class A state championships as a sophomore ... in state title game, scored the winning goal with one second left in double overtime to help Northport win first state championship in school history ... named to the all-tournament team ... named all-Long Island team 1 by Newsday ... was second on Long Island in goals (87) and points (136) ... played for the Long Island team 1 champions at the U.S. Lacrosse women's division national tournament as a freshman ... member of the U15 National Championship team ... selected to the all-tournament team ... led team in scoring as the squad won the Empire State Games gold medal ... named second team all-Long Island ... received all-county honorable mention and earned all-tournament team honors ... helped team win Suffolk County championship ... holds Long Island record for an eighth grader with 68 goals ... helped team to two Lax for the Cure championships (2010, 2012) ... in soccer was a two-time all-county performer and earned all-region and all-conference honors once ... named the Suffolk Player of the Year for league 2 as a senior ... scored winning goal with two seconds left to clinch the Suffolk County title as a senior ... helped squad to Long Island championship same year ... played club lacrosse with the Long Island Elite Lacrosse Club Yellow Jackets for six years ... from same hometown and high school as former Notre Dame four-time All-American Jill Byers ... was involved in the National Honor Society and the Foreign Language Honor Society ... full name is Cortney Marie Fortunato ... born in Huntington, N.Y., to Theodore and Chrissy Fortunato ... has two younger brothers, Teddy and Casey ... father, Theodore, played baseball at Clark University ... mother, Casey, was a swimmer at Ohio University ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

     

    Grace Muller - Ruxton, Md. - McDonogh High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from McDonogh High School in the spring of 2013 ... earned three letters in lacrosse, two in field hockey and squash and one in cross country ... went 91-0 in high school lacrosse career ... helped McDonogh earn No. 1 ranking in country with Irish teammate Hannah Rees for three seasons ... started at attack as a senior, scoring at least one point in every game ... named to the ESPN Rise Junior Watchlist in 2012 ... also appeared on the Maryland underclassmen to watch list ... helped team win the New York-Maryland Challenge in 2012 ... won IAAM Championships from 2011-13 ... scored at least one point in every contest as a junior ... started two years for the field hockey team, helping team finished second in the IAAM A Conference as a junior ... one of only two girls to play on the boys squash team and was the No. 1 seed on the girls squad ... helped co-ed squash team to best record in school history as a senior ... played for the TLC 2013 Red club lacrosse team ... helped team win championships at the 2010 All-America Showcase, the 2010 MD Club Championship and the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Tournament ... squad also went undefeated at the 2010 Rivalry Challenge and 2010 Gatorfest ... skilled hiker ... summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 feet above sea level ... also hiked the last 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail, summited Mt. Katahdin, which is the northern terminus of the trail, and summited Mt. Washington ... active off the field, serving as co-president of the McDonogh Chapter of the Model United Nations and president of the German Club ... also active in the Gospel Choir and FCA ... was an active volunteer for a variety of organizations, including the Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen ... appeared on the honor roll every term, while taking at least three AP or honors classes every year ... played at same high school as current Notre Dame All-American Margaret Smith and former Notre Dame basketball and lacrosse player Brittany Mallory ... full name is Grace Ballentine Muller ... born in Washington, D.C., to Clifford and Courtney Muller ... has a younger brother, Mac, and a younger sister, Caroline ... mother, Courtney, played lacrosse at William Smith ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

      

    Liz O'Sullivan - New Canaan, Conn. - New Canaan High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from New Canaan High School in the spring of 2013 ... earned four letters in lacrosse as a goalie ... finished career with a 76-14 record and three state championships ... set the New Canaan High School record for career saves ... ranked the No. 2 goalie recruit and the No. 41 overall recruit by ESPN in 2013 ... named first team All-American, all-FCIAC and all-state as a senior captain in helping the team win the state championship ... named all-FCIAC, all-state and MSG Varsity all-Connecticut as a junior ... selected as the MSG Varsity Connecticut Goalie of the Year ... helped team finish year ranked No. 15 by U.S. Lacrosse in the national rankings after winning state championship with an undefeated record ... named first team all-FCIAC and second team all-state as a sophomore ... helped squad win state championship and finish as runners-up in the FCIAC as a freshman ... played club lacrosse for the Connecticut Chargers ... was the treasurer for the New Canaan chapter of the National Charity League ... received the New Canaan High School Senior Leadership Award ... full name is Elizabeth Margaret O'Sullivan ... born in Stamford Conn., to Peter and Mary O'Sullivan ... has a younger sister, Katie, and a younger brother, Peter ... father, Peter, graduated from Notre Dame in 1978 and played rugby ... mother, Mary, played tennis at Montclaire State ... grandfather, Peter O'Sullivan II, played lacrosse at Army ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

      

    Casey Pearsall - Wilton, Conn. - Wilton High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from Wilton High School in the spring of 2013 ... won four letters in soccer, basketball and lacrosse ... four-year starter in soccer and basketball and three-year starter in lacrosse ... missed senior lacrosse season after knee injury in basketball playoffs ... named to the 2013 Under Armour All-American Senior Game despite injury ... on North squad along with incoming teammates Alex Dalton and Cortney Fortunato ... played in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic (Underclass Tournament), helping regional elite - star New Jersey team take second ... also played at the U.S. Lacrosse All-American Tournament in 2012 ... ranked as the No. 8 girls lacrosse player in the country as a junior by ESPN ... named honorable mention All-American as a sophomore and U.S. Lacrosse All-American as a junior ... two-time first team all-FCIAC, all-state and all-area ... twice named MSG Varsity all-metro second team ... named co-MVP of the FCIAC Championship as a sophomore ...  school single-season records include: most goals by a midfielder (77), caused turnovers (50), draw controls (118) and most points by a midfielder (118) ... two-year captain ... named the Connecticut Sport's Writers' 2013 Hal Levy State of Connecticut High School Female Athlete of the Year ... selected as the Hour Newspaper Female Athlete of the Year in 2011 ... named the 2010 Sports Persons of the Year Award by the Fairfield County Sports Commission ... played for the NewLax Lacrosse Club ... helped team win national championship at the National Lacrosse Tournament ... on the soccer pitch was twice named all-area, all-FCIAC, all-state and MSG Varsity all-CT ... on the basketball court was the team's point guard and earned all-area honors four times ... was also second team all-FCIAC as a junior and first team all-FCIAC as a senior ... selected as the all-area and Hearst Super 12 All-Stars MVP as a senior ... named all-state, all-CT by the MSG Varsity and a Connecticut High School Scholastic Basketball Association Regional All-Star as a senior ... helped squad to a school-record 17 consecutive victories as a senior ... participated in the Wilton High School Marching Band & Wind Ensemble ... played the clarinet and was the vice president and squad leader for two years ... also was in the National and Spanish Honor Societies ... was the Wendy's High School Heisman Award and was one of six female national finalists in 2013 ... won the Melissa Flanders Nickel Scholarship Award at Wilton ... was on the honor roll all 16 semesters ... won the McDonald's and CT Association of Schools CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference-Scholar Athlete Award, the Channel 12 Scholar Athlete Award and the FCIAC Scholar Athlete Award in 2013 ... was also active in the community, working with area youth in lacrosse, basketball and soccer and was a summer life guard ... full name is Casey Joy Pearsall ... born in Stamford, Conn., to Steven and Karen Pearsall ... has a younger sister, Makenna and a younger brother, Liam ... father, Steven, uncle, Brian, and cousin, Austin Kane, all attended Notre Dame ... father, Steven, played lacrosse at Notre Dame and was a team captain in 1984 ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

     

    Hannah Rees - Sykesville, Md. - McDonogh High School

    PREP AND PERSONAL: Graduated from McDonogh High School in the spring of 2013 ... lettered three times in lacrosse and basketball and once in soccer and tennis ... team went 91-0 in high school lacrosse career ... helped McDonogh earn No. 1 ranking in country with Irish teammate Grace Muller for three seasons ... missed senior basketball and lacrosse campaigns after injuring knee in first basketball game of season ... won three IAAM A Conference championships with lacrosse and one with basketball ... won two LaxPower National Championships in 2011 and 2012 ... senior basketball captain ... given the team's McCormik Unsung Hero and Eagle awards ... helped hoops team go 26-1 as a junior and win championship after being down 22 points ... earned the school's Golden Eagle Award for participating in 12 seasons of sports during career ... played club lacrosse with M&D Lacrosse ... helped club squad win two National Draw championships (2009 and 2010) ... also won Galaxy Nationals (2008), Turtle Fest (2007-09), the Evolution Games (2009), Lax Clash (2012), Mid-Atlantic (2010), MD Club (2011) and Champions Cup (2012) ... played at same high school as current Notre Dame All-American Margaret Smith and former Notre Dame basketball and lacrosse player Brittany Mallory ... made Dean's List from 2010-13 ... full name is Hannah Clare Rees ... born in Howard County, Md., to Brad and Cathy Rees ... has two older sisters, Abby and Maggie ... grandfather, Arthur Owens, graduated from Notre Dame in 1948 ... enrolled in First Year of Studies.

    --ND--


     

     

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