April 21, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

GOAL-ORIENTED:  Notre Dame senior Jillian Byers set a BIG EAST record with 12 points in the Irish’s convincing 20-5 victory over Connecticut on April 18 to secure the No. 3 seed in the upcoming league tournament.

The senior from Northport, N.Y., netted seven goals and dished out five assists in the victory win against the Huskies, and with four goals in a mid-week loss to Vanderbilt, she compiled 16 points and 11 goals for the week.  Byers, who was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this year, paces the league in scoring with 64 goals and ranks second in the nation with 4.00 goals per game.

Byers is Notre Dame’s all-time leader in goals (243), points (307) and draw controls (145).  Her 243 career goals make her the leading active Division I goal scorer in the nation and put her 11th on the NCAA's all-time goal list. She is the 22nd player in NCAA history to reach 300 points in her career and is currently 19th on the NCAA all-time point list.

Ninth-ranked Notre Dame will face No. 8 Syracuse in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship on April 24 in Washington, D.C.

HOLDING ‘EM OFF: North Carolina junior goaltender Logan Ripley sparked the Tar Heels to a 9-7 win over sixth-ranked Duke last week, holding the Blue Devils to a season-low goal total.

The native of Earlysville, Va., notched 13 saves and four ground balls versus Duke, and also recorded nine saves and three ground balls in a 13-10 defeat of Duke.  Ripley garnered Atlantic Coast Conference and WomensLax.com Player of the Week honors for her performances.

The win over the Blue Devils secured the No. 2 seed in the ACC Championship for the Tar Heels.  UNC received a first round bye and will face the winner of Duke and Boston College in the semifinals on April 24.

ROOKIE REWARDED:  University of Pennsylvania freshman Erin Brennan sparked the Quakers to their third straight Ivy League title as she collected five goals and four assists in two wins last week.  The Quakers sealed up the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament with the victories.

The midfielder from Garden City, N.Y., registered a hat trick and two goals to down No. 7 Princeton, and then followed with two goals and two assists versus Brown as the Quakers posted their third consecutive unbeaten season in Ivy play.

Brennan was selected Ivy League Player of the Week and WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week for her contributions in the Quakers’ flawless 13-0 season.  She is the team’s third-leading scorer with 30 points.

The Quakers look to remain perfect against defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Northwestern in a regular season finale against the Wildcats on April 25.  Penn handed Northwestern its only loss of 2008 a year ago last April.  Northwestern, Penn and Maryland are currently the only undefeated teams left in Division I women’s lacrosse.

MOUNTAINOUS FEATS: Lehigh’s Lauren Dykstra topped the Mountain Hawks in scoring in two victories last week as they clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament, capped off by a 15-11 victory over defending league champion Colgate.

The sophomore from Mendham, N.J., collected 10 goals on the week, including six against the Raiders on April 18 as the Mountain Hawks won their 11th game of the season – the most since winning 14 games in 1996. 

Dykstra earned her fourth Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week award this season for her efforts.  She enters the league tournament as the second-leading goal scorer in the nation with 4.00 per game.