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University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Athletics
C113 Joyce Center Notre Dame, IN 46556
Division 1 Indiana Midwest
Private Medium National competitor

Coaches

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Christine Halfpenny

Christine Halfpenny enters her 11th season as head coach of the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program in 2022 after leading the Irish to the NCAA tournament in eight of the previous nine completed seasons.


Halfpenny helped guide the Irish to the Elite Eight for the fifth time in program history in 2021 and sixth ranked wins, including a trio of top-1o victories against Duke (2x) and Virginia. Bridget Deehan was named a First Team IWLCA All-American while Kasey Choma earned Second Team IWLCA All-American honors. En route to the NCAA Quarterfinals, the Irish won two home NCAA Tournament contests for the first time in program history and notched the first-ever shutout in the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Tournament with a 16-0 triumph over Robert Morris in the opening round.


In a 2020 season that was shortened due to CoVID-19, Halfpenny led the Irish to a 7-0 record and a #2 national ranking, which tied the 2004 squad for the highest ranking in program history. Four Irish earned Inside Lacrosse All-American honors in the abbreviated season, including Andie Aldave (First Team), Kasey Choma (Third Team), Bridget Deehan (First Team) and Madison Ahern (Second Team). Ahern was also named IL’s Freshman of the Year and Deehan was named Goaltender of the Year.


The Irish returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 after going a program-best 5-2 in ACC play. Notre Dame finished the 2019 campaign with a 14-5 mark, and the 14 victories tied the 2016 Irish squad for the third-most in a single season in program history. Notre Dame’s season included a 9-7 triumph over North Carolina, marking Notre Dame’s first-ever win over the Tar Heels.The Irish landed three IWLCA All-Americans, including Andie Aldave (First Team), Samantha Giacolone (Third Team) and Maddie Howe (Honorable Mention). Aldave, Giacolone and Howe joined Hannah Proctor as First Team All-ACC selections, while Savannah Buchanan earned Second Team All-ACC accolades. The four First-Team All-ACC selections are the most the Irish have earned since joining the conference in 2014, and the five total honorees tie the 2016 Irish squad for the most recognitions since becoming an ACC member.


Notre Dame made its sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships in 2017. The Irish ultimately finished the season 11-8 with a 4-3 record in ACC play, matching the program’s best record since joining the conference in 2013-14. Notre Dame, which finished third overall in the ACC, led the conference in ground balls and caused turnovers per game. Notre Dame’s season was highlighted by a 16-7 victory over then-No. 4 Syracuse in which the Irish seniors tallied 13 points. The Irish landed three All-ACC selections, including Casey Pearsall (first team), Cortney Fortunato (first team) and Alex Dalton (second team). Both Casey Pearsall and Cortney Fortunato were named to the Tewaaraton Watch List, and both players received All-America honors.


The 2016 Irish earned a trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2009. Notre Dame finished 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Halfpenny’s team played a schedule that featured five regular-season, top-10 opponents and 12 teams eventually selected to play in the NCAA Championship. She coached her team to an 8-2 record on their home turf, including two top-10 wins at Arlotta Stadium. Her squad included three IWLCA All-Americans: Cortney Fortunato (first team), Barbara Sullivan (first team) and Casey Pearsall (third team). Three Irish players, including Alex Dalton, Cortney Fortunato and Barbara Sullivan, landed on the Tewaaraton Watch List. Halfpenny’s roster received five All-ACC accolades, the most all-conference picks by an Irish team since 2004 (six Big East selections).


The 2015 Irish continued striding towards Halfpenny’s lofty goals for the program as the Irish beat three top-seven teams on the road en route to an ACC semifinal berth and another trip to the NCAAs. The squad saw four of its members pick up All-America honors in Cortney Fortunato (first-team), Barbara Sullivan (first-team), Alex Dalton (second-team) and Casey Pearsall (third-team). Sullivan also became the school’s first-ever defensive finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy and just its second finalist overall. Meanwhile, Katherine McManus earned the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award for her well-rounded contributions to the community and Caitlin Gargan became the latest in a succession of IWLCA Academic Honor Roll recipients.


That success built off of a 2014 season which saw Notre Dame earn a top-eight NCAA Championship seed and play host to its NCAA regional for the first time since 2009. Margaret Smith picked up first-team All-America honors while Cortney Fortunato claimed a second-team award along with WomensLax.com Rookie of the Year award. Smith was a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee and the co-Defensive Player of the Year nationally. Senior Molly Shawhan earned her second consecutive Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero finalist spot for her tireless work off of the field as well.


The Irish suffered no sophomore slump under Halfpenny in 2013 as the team went 12-5 and again secured a berth to the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame beat three ranked foes in 2013 and opened the season on a 10-game winning streak, matching the 2004 school record. Barbara Sullivan was named a first-team All-American after the season, leading a defense that ranked amongst the top five teams nationally in both caused turnovers and ground balls. Overall, the 2013 Irish featured five All-BIG EAST players, five IWLCA West/Midwest all-region picks and 18 BIG EAST Academic All-Stars.


The Irish turned in quite a year in Halfpenny’s first campaign at the helm of the program as they finished 13-5 in 2012 and earned bids to both the BIG EAST and NCAA Tournaments. The 13 regular season wins was tied for first in school history, while the 13 wins overall was tied for third in school annals. Notre Dame knocked off five ranked teams during the year as it raced out to an 8-0 start, which was the second-best start in school history and the best since 2004. Halfpenny became the first coach in BIG EAST history to start out 8-0 in their opening year at the helm of their program.


Halfpenny helped tutor five All-BIG EAST and IWLCA West/Midwest all-region performers and two All-Americans. Earning All-BIG EAST and All-Region honors were Maggie Tamasitis, Margaret Smith, Barbara Sullivan, Megan Sullivan and Lindsay Powell. Tamasitis went on to earn second team All-America honors, while Smith was a third teamer.


In the classroom, the 2012 squad was an IWLCA Academic Squad team (combined GPA of 3.0 or higher), while three student-athletes made the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll (Kelly Driscoll, McKenzie Brown and Adelle Bruggeman).


Halfpenny came to Notre Dame from William & Mary, where her teams achieved four straight 10-win seasons and a pair of regular-season conference titles over her final four seasons with the program.


Halfpenny’s Tribe squads captured Colonial Athletic Association regular-season titles in both 2008 and 2009 – and she merited CAA coach-of-the-year honors in 2008. Her teams combined for a 20-8 record in league play (including four straight conference tournament bids) – as William & Mary reached double digits in victories each of the last four seasons (10-7 in 2011 and 2009, 10-8 in 2010, 10-9 in 2008). Those four consecutive 10-win seasons matched the best previous stretch in program history.


“Chris brings to Notre Dame the experiences of having been involved with multiple programs and teams that have been to the NCAA final four, won conference titles and produced All-Americans,” said Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick at the time of her hire. “From a coaching, recruiting and academic standpoint, she understands exactly what the expectations are here at Notre Dame and what it will take for our program to take the next set of steps forward.”


Notre Dame’s newest head coach tutored two All-Americans at William & Mary, to go along with 26 all-conference selections and 10 all-region honorees. Her 2011 squad became the first in CAA history to receive awards for player of the year, defensive player of the year and rookie of the year in the same season.


Her five seasons with the Tribe produced single-season records for points (347 in 2009), goals (244 in 2009), draw controls (269 in 2009), caused turnovers (third nationally in 2010 at 12.61 per game) and saves (211 in 2008).


In the classroom Halfpenny’s players earned 59 combined CAA Commissioner’s Academic Awards from 2007-2010, as well as five William & Mary Provost Awards.


Halfpenny went to Williamsburg in the summer of 2006 after three years (2004-2006) as the top women’s lacrosse assistant coach at Duke University.


The Blue Devils won the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference postseason tournament title, won or shared three straight ACC regular-season crowns and made three straight NCAA Championships appearances, advancing to the national semifinals in both 2005 and 2006.


Halfpenny worked specifically with goaltenders at Duke, assisting Megan Huether in 2005 in earning first-team All-America honors. She played a key role in producing three recruiting classes at Duke that ranked among the top four in the nation (including the number-one-rated class in 2005 by Inside Lacrosse). The 2004 Duke team produced the top women’s lacrosse grade-point average in the country (3.46).


Halfpenny also spent a season as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at her alma mater, Virginia Tech, in 2003, directing recruiting and serving as offensive coordinator. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Brown University in 2001 and 2002.


Off the field Halfpenny has worked with several national committees including the IWLCA All-American committee, NCAA regional advisory committee, the Tewaaraton Award committee and the IWLCA North-South Game selections.


Before joining the college coaching ranks she spent one year as boys’ and girls’ swimming coach and assistant varsity tennis coach (winning the Virginia Boys AAA state swimming title) at Cave Spring High School in Roanoke, Va.


A four-year letter-winner in women’s lacrosse at Virginia Tech, Halfpenny started on the 1999 Hokie team that won the Atlantic 10 Conference championship, finished 11-6 and achieved a program-first top-20 ranking. She received the coaches award that year and was a two-time member of the athletic director’s honor roll (1998, 1999). She graduated in 1999 with a degree in health and physical education.


Born in Latham, N.Y., Halfpenny and her husband Matt are parents of two sons – Jackson and Cole.

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Katie Powell

Katie Powell enters her eighth year on the Irish coaching staff after helping Notre Dame reach the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven completed seasons.


During her time at Notre Dame, the Irish have led their conference in caused turnovers in six different campaigns.


The 2017 squad featured two IWLCA All-Americans: Casey Pearsall (first team) and Cortney Fortunato (second team). In 2015, Sullivan became Notre Dame’s first-ever defensive finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy, and Sullivan repeated as a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist in 2016. Among other accolades awarded to Irish players, Margaret Smith was named a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee and the co-Defensive Player of the Year nationally following Powell’s first season.


Powell spent three seasons at James Madison as the associate head coach and defensive coordinator. While with the Dukes, Powell helped JMU win the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Championship to secure an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship. She helped mentor four all-CAA defenders, including Cally Chakrian, who twice earned a spot on the IWLCA All-South second team and was named the 2012 CAA Defensive Player of the Year.


The 2007 George Mason alum helped the Dukes’ defense rank in the top 30 nationally for scoring defenses in all three seasons, including a No. 9 ranking during the aforementioned 2011 season. In addition to her on-the-field coaching duties, Powell was the recruiting coordinator, the director of camps, clinics and fundraising and planned the travel for the team during the season among many other tasks.


Before coaching at James Madison, Powell spent three seasons at Boston University (2008-10) as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator. While in Boston, Powell helped the Terriers to three America East championships and three appearances in the NCAA Championship. She coached four all-conference performers, three IWLCA All-North Region players in Rachel Collins, Corcoran Downey and Kelly Munroe and a developmental participant on the U.S. National Team in Munroe.


Similar to JMU, Powell coached the defense to impressive national rankings as all three squads were ranked in the top 20 for scoring defense, including a high of No. 8 in 2008. Powell also played a key role in the program’s recruiting and camps and clinics.


As a four-year student-athlete at George Mason, Powell started 59 of 60 games for the Patriots at defense, totaling 104 ground balls and 93 caused turnovers in her career. A standout in the classroom, Powell earned a spot on the IWLCA National Academic Honor Roll twice before graduating in the spring of 2007 with a degree in government and international politics.


A native of Syracuse, N.Y., the former Katie Linnertz married Brian Powell in August of 2013. The couple has three sons, Cooper, Brooks and Fitz.

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Jenna Slowey

Jenna Slowey has joined the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse program as an assistant coach entering the 2022 campaign.


“I’m excited to announce Jenna Slowey as our offensive coordinator for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team,” said Halfpenny. “Jenna brings great passion, intensity and enthusiasm for coaching to Our Lady’s University. She has helped guide her offenses to program-setting firsts, while developing skill sets for her individual players as well. Her reputation precedes her and she is a great fit for both the values and goals of our University and program. We can’t wait to get started with Jenna!”


Slowey comes to Notre Dame from Richmond, where she helped guide the Spiders to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018-19 and a top-10 national ranking in the CoVID-shortened 2020 campaign.


Slowey’s 2019 Richmond squad set a new program-record with 17 wins and a second consecutive Atlantic 10 title after the program reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 the season prior.


During Slowey’s time at Richmond, the program broke three single-season records, including draw controls (298 – 2017) points (455 – 2019) and goals (314- 2019).


A native of Moorestown, New Jersey, Slowey was a student-athlete at Fairfield for four seasons, serving as team captain as a senior in 2014. She was named to the All-MAAC Second Team, as well as the All-Tournament Team in 2013. As a freshman, Slowey was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week twice.


One of 10 players all time to play in 70 or more games during career at Fairfield, she finished her career ranked 13th all time in points, 12th all time in goals, 12th all time in assists and still sits in the top 20 in all three categories.


She graduated from Fairfield in 2014 with a degree in Marketing and earned a master’s in non-profit studies from Richmond in 2020.

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