April 18, 2009

Notre Dame Gets Back to Winning in Big Way

from press release

Notre Dame, Ind. - The Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's lacrosse team closed out the 2009 regular-season schedule on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field, running away from the University of Connecticut in a 20-5 victory.

Senior attack standout Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.), playing in her final regular season game for the Irish delivered a performance that won't soon be forgotten as she set a Notre Dame single-game point record, notching 12 points on seven goals and five assists. Her performance broke the mark of 11 points (nine goals and two assists) set by Crysti Foote `06, on Feb. 24, 2006, in a 23-11 win over California.

Joining Byers on the Notre Dame score sheet were Gina Scioscia (Jr., Summit, N.J.), who had 10th game of the season with five or more points, as she scored two goals and added three assists. Sophomore Kaitlin Keena (Vienna, Va.) had the first three-goal and four-point game of her career and freshman Maggie Tamasitis (Boyertown, Pa.) also chipped in three goals in the win. Shaylyn Blaney (So., Stony Brook, N.Y.) scored twice while Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.), Ansley Stewart (So., Alexandria, Va.) and Maggie Zentgraf (Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) added single goals in the win.


Katy Ryan with two goals led the Connecticut scoring while the Huskies got single goals from M.E. Lapham, Jillian Cerar and Amanda Pollock. Kiersten Tupper chipped in a pair of assists.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the ninth-ranked Irish and improves Notre Dame to 12-4 overall and 5-2 in conference play. Connecticut falls to 3-13 on the year and 2-5 in the league. The Irish finish third in the BIG EAST standings and will face second-place Syracuse in one semifinal game on Friday, April 24 in the BIG EAST Tournament that will be hosted by Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

For Byers, who paced the Irish with 13 shots on goal in the game, the seven goals tied her career high that was set last year versus Connecticut. Her five-assist afternoon was a career high for the all-BIG EAST and All-American candidate. The seven goals give her 243 career goals, the most for any active Division I player in the country and the 11th highest in NCAA history.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 10-0 first-half lead on the way to scoring the first 14 goals of the game. Byers wasted little time in getting the scoring started as she scored just 34 seconds into the game off a Scioscia set up. The first half scoring was spread around equally as Byers and Blaney scored two each with Stewart, Tamasitis, Zentgraf, Abt, Keena and Scioscia getting single goals. The Irish out shot the Huskies, 28-8 in the opening 30 minutes with UConn's starting goalkeeper, Anna Wallingford, making 12 saves in the half.

Byers and Keena each scored a pair of goals to open the second half, making it 14-0 in favor of Notre Dame with 24:43 left in the game.

The Huskies snapped Erin Goodman's (Sr., Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) shutout bid at 22:09 when Cerar's shot was stopped by the Irish senior goalkeeper but managed to roll across the goal line to make it 14-1. Byers answered back with her fifth of the game at 19:58 and Scioscia finished off a neat feed from the Tewaaraton Trophy candidate at 19:03 to make it 16-1.

Connecticut got on the board again at 17:05 with Ryan converting a feed from behind the net from Tupper to make it 16-2. That would be the final goal given up by Goodman as she came out with 13:32 left in favor of junior Amy Winik (Freehold, N.J.). Goodman finished the game with six saves on the afternoon in 46:28 minutes of work.

Tamasitis got her second and third goals of the game just 1:47 apart at 12:52 and 11:05 off of a pair of Byers' assists for an 18-2 advantage.

Ryan and Lapham scored consecutive goals for the Huskies against Winik before Byers closed out the Notre Dame scoring with unassisted tallies at 3:19 and 1:09 to set the Notre Dame point mark. Pollock beat Winik with one second left in the game for the final score of 20-5.

On the afternoon, Notre Dame fired 43 shots on the UConn goal. Jenna Moulton played the second half for Connecticut and finished with three saves in the game. Winik had a pair of saves in 13:32 minutes of the second half.

The Irish will face Syracuse in the first game of the BIG EAST Tournament on April 24 with a start time at Georgetown's Multi-Sport facility at 5:30 p.m. Top-seed Georgetown will meet fourth-seeded Louisville in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

IRISH NOTES

** Notre Dame honored its four-member senior class and their parents prior to the start of the game. Honored were defender Shannon Burke (Timonium, Md.), Byers, Goodman and defender Beth Koloup (Phoenix, Md.). The four players are members of the most successful class at Notre Dame as they improved to 50-21 (.704) in their four years with the Irish.

** With her 12-point game, Jillian Byers now has 307 career points and is just the 22nd player in NCAA women's lacrosse history to score over 300 points in her career.


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