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ND WOMEN’S LACROSSE: Foote leads Notre Dame past OU

Matt Puglisi | Monday, February 28, 2005

Flooded with questions regarding who will replace the goal-scoring prowess of graduated All Americans Meredith Simon and Abby Owen, current Irish teammates Crysti Foote, Caitlin McKinney and Meghan Murphy provided some answers-and career highs-Sunday afternoon. The trio combined for 13 goals in a 16-10 victory over Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Foote netted five goals and three assists while McKinney and Murphy scored four times each.

The 16 total Notre Dame goals are the most tallied by the No. 20 Irish since a 17-7 thrashing of Big East rival Boston College last March.

The Irish didn’t waste time jumping out to an early lead on the host Bobcats, finding the back of the net four times in the game’s opening five minutes.

The quick start didn’t last, however, as Ohio netted three consecutive goals to pull within 5-4 with 7:22 remaining in the first half before trimming the Irish lead to one at 6-5 with just over four minutes left.

“We came out really strong in the opening 10 minutes of the game – we were definitely dominating,” coach Tracy Coyne said. “There was a period there in the first half where I think we allowed them to get back into the game – we didn’t control the tempo and some other things as well as we wished that we would have.”

The temporary lapse in the first half never came back to bite Notre Dame as a three-goal run to start the second half put some distance between the Irish and Bobcats.

After Dana Dobbie’s team-high fifth goal brought Ohio within four tallies at 13-9 with just more than seven minutes remaining, a second three-goal rally by the Irish put the game out of reach.

While Foote’s career-best eight points were instrumental in the season-opening victory, Coyne pointed to the play of sophomore Murphy and freshman McKinney as particularly important, yet not surprising.

“From what we were seeing in practice, [I expected the high goal output],” Coyne said. “I was very pleased that Meghan and Caitlin both had four goals each – I think that was a good way for the season to start off.”

The opening day victory celebration won’t last long as the Irish return home to play a pivotal early-season contest against rival No. 3 Northwestern Thursday at Loftus.

The match-up against the Wildcats will be the first between the two squads since Northwestern knocked Notre Dame out of the NCAA tournament with a 10-8 victory in Evanston, IL May 13 last season.

Contact Matt Puglisi at mpuglisi@nd.edu