Notre Dame: Year Two Under Halfpenny Kicks off at Stanford

Senior Leader in the Cage
Senior goalie Ellie Hilling brings a wealth of experience to the Notre Dame defense as she is entering her fourth year as starter ... heading into the 2013 season, Hilling is second in school history in wins (33) and minutes played (3,205:23), third in games played (54) and fourth in saves (407) ... Hilling in on pace to break all four of those records by midseason ... last year the Rochester, N.Y., native had seven games with 10-plus saves, including a career-high 16 in wins over Ohio State and Georgetown.

Records Watch
Senior Jenny Granger has 58 career goals ... to break into the top 10 she needs 25 ... junior Kaitlyn Brosco has 54 career goals ... to break into the top 10 she needs 29 ... senior Jaimie Morrison (46 career goals) and junior Lindsay Powell (44 career goals) aren't far behind ... Granger is also knocking on the door for career assists ... she currently has 27, just 16 behind 10th place ... senior Ellie Hilling (118) is just two ground balls behind 10th place ... if she reaches her career single-season average, she would move into the top four ... Margaret Smith has 68 draw controls through two years and would break into the top 10 with 23 this season ... Smith is also on pace to break into the top 10 in caused turnovers ... she has 46 through two years and needs just 15 to tie assistant coach Jill Byers for 10th all-time ... sophomore Barbara Sullivan would also move into the top 10 in caused turnovers if she has 29 or more this season after causing 32 as a freshman.

Talented Freshmen
Among the 10 freshmen that will see their first action for Notre Dame in the spring, are a pair of standouts that were named to Lacrosse Magazine's "Freshman 15" ... the two Stephanies, Stephanie Toy and Stephanie Peragallo, were each honored by the magazine back in September.

Team USA
Junior Margaret Smith, sophomore Barbara Sullivan and assistant coach Jill Byers all reached the final round of qualifying for the US National Team this summer ... Byers played for four years on Team USA, while Sullivan was on the 2011 U.S. women's national under-19 team that won a gold medal at the U-19 Women's Lacrosse World Championship in Hanover, Germany.

Second Year for Halfpenny
The transition year from William & Mary to Notre Dame is over for second-year head coach Christine Halfpenny ... Halfpenny didn't seem to have too much trouble transitioning in her first season, as the Irish jumped out to an 8-0 start on their way to a 13-5 season in which they qualified for the Big East and NCAA Championships ... the 13 regular-season wins tied for first in school history, while the 13 wins overall tied for third in school history.

Replacing an Impressive Senior Class
When eight student-athletes concluded their eligibility last season, the Irish lost some talented performers ... among the most notable losses were IWLCA second team All-American Maggie Tamasitis and IWLCA second team West/Midwest all-region performer Megan Sullivan ... Tamasitis ended her career as the school's all-time leader in assists in a half, game, season and career and finished fourth in points ... last year Tamasitis had 82 of Notre Dame's 348 points or almost 24% ... Sullivan had a breakout senior year by doing a little bit of everything in the middle of the field ... she scored 24 goals, collected 23 ground balls and 27 draw controls and caused 15 turnovers ... Sullivan earned second team all-Big East in addition to all-region accolades, while Tamasitis was named first team in both categories.

Homecoming for a Pair of ND Lacrosse Alums
With the addition of new assistants Jill Byers and Jake Marmul, head coach Christine Halfpenny brought in two new coaches with deep Notre Dame roots. Byers, a four-time All-American, is a 2009 graduate that still holds a plethora of school records including goals and points in a career ... Marmul, a 2011 graduate, played for the men's team and specialized in the opening draw.

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