Ten Freshmen Set to Join Notre Dame's Lacrosse Program

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
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 2011:00 a.m.erican 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.

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