THREE NOTRE DAME WOMENS LACORSSE PLAYERS NAMED ALL REGION
May 13, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On the heels of a season which saw the Irish advance through to
the second round of the NCAA Tournament, three members of the Notre Dame women’s
lacrosse team, freshman Alex Dalton, freshmen Cortney Fortunato and senior Margaret
Smith, were named to the IWLCA’s All-West/Midwest region teams on Monday.
Smith and Fortunato were first team picks while Dalton was named to the second team.
All three are now eligible for All-American consideration by the sport’s coaching
It is the third straight year that Smith has been a first-team all-region selection
and could be a harbinger of bigger awards to come for the Tewaaraton Trophy nominee
who leads the ACC in both ground balls and caused turnovers. The lone regular senior
starter for the Irish in 2014, leading a young team as a captain, Smith is also
amongst the national leaders in those key defensive statistical categories, ranking
seventh in ground balls and ninth in caused turnovers.
Smith’s 64 ground balls this year broke Holly Manthei’s school record of 63set in
1998. She also set the school’s career caused turnover record with 122. Particularly
crucial after losing 2013 first-team All-American Barbara Sullivan to injury early
on, Smith led Notre Dame with her 47 draw controls this spring.
Smith’s play was especially strong in big games as she caused a total of 21
turnovers in Notre Dame’s seven elite ACC league games. Her next closest competitor
only caused 10 in conference play.
Fortunato came to South Bend after a supremely decorated high school career and
topped Notre Dame in scoring as a freshman, posting team-highs with her 46 goals, 17
assists and 63 points. It was the second-highest point total ever for a Notre Dame
freshman, eclipsed only by Jillian Byers’ 78 in 2006.
Despite facing a steady stream of defenses designed specifically to stop her while
facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule, Fortunato recorded nine hat tricks in
2014. Fortunato showed that she wasn’t just a scorer by also getting 22 ground balls
and 16 draw controls along with nine caused turnovers.
Dalton proved to be a critical piece in Notre Dame’s defense as a freshman, while
also using her speed as an asset in clears. Some of those clears allowed Dalton to
lead all Notre Dame defensive players with three goals and five points on the year.
Dalton started all 19 games and picked up 38 ground balls, caused 19 turnovers and
controlled 22 draws. Dalton’s 2.00 ground balls per game rank sixth in the ACC.