Oct. 12, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Just days before its first home fall ball scrimmage, the University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse program announced its 2017 team captains. Fighting Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny today revealed that seniors Alex Dalton, Katherine Eilers, Cortney Fortunato and Casey Pearsall were each selected by their peers to captain the team this spring.
"The four captains that have been selected by the team are all outstanding ambassadors of ND Women's Lacrosse," Halfpenny said. "Alex, Katherine, Cortney and Casey are strong student-athletes that have a mature balance of academics, athletics and campus life. They are great communicators and have strong relationships with their teammates and all members of the staff. They are loyal teammates that respect the goals of each individual and the team's process for achieving success."
IWLCA All-Region Second Team and ACC All-Academic Team honoree in 2016, midfielder Alex Dalton (Needham, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) finished last year's campaign with 10 assists and 16 goals, including a career-high three goals on February 13 versus Stanford. Dalton was named IWLCA second-team All-American as a sophomore and also was selected to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List last season.
Defender Katherine Eilers (Winnetka, Illinois/Loyola Academy) had her best season last spring, starting 16 games for the Irish and recording a career-high four draw controls on February 6 at Jacksonville. She collected 21 ground balls and 21 draw controls in 2016.
Attack Cortney Fortunato (Northport, New York/Northport), a two-time Tewaaraton Award Nominee, led the league in goals (64), goals per game (3.05) points (91) and points per game (4.33) in 2016. She is a three-time IWLCA All-American, including twice being selected as an IWLCA First-Team All-American. Fortunato's 64 goals in 2016 mark the fourth-most goals in a single season in Notre Dame history. She also received All-ACC First-Team and ACC All-Academic Team honors.
A two-time IWLCA All-America Third Team and ACC All-Academic Team selection, midfielder Casey Pearsall (Wilton Connecticut/Wilton) had a standout season in 2016. She started 21 games and scored 30 goals. Her 122 career draw controls, including 42 in both 2015 and 2016, rank seventh in program history.
"They have all been fixtures on the field in each of their first three seasons and will again look to make a major impact on the team's success this season in their senior campaigns," Halfpenny said. "They play with great passion, have a `never give up' attitude, and consistently exude pride in what they are achieving through their hard work ethic. Having captains with so much game experience at each position (offense, midfield, defense) will be a great asset for our team in 2017."
The four captains represent a program that last season made its first run to the NCAA Quarterfinals since 2009. The 2016 team finished 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the ACC.
"Overall, I am so excited for each of them to showcase their leadership skills through their actions and words," she said. "They have been fortunate to have great leaders before them and can now take the reigns of the 2017 team."
The Irish are scheduled to host Stanford for a fall ball scrimmage at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 at Arlotta Stadium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women's basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.