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Women’s Lacrosse: Golden goals

Jay Fitzpatrick | Monday, March 27, 2006

Kaki Orr’s two quick goals in the first half put Notre Dame on top of Canisius early, and the Irish never looked back en route to an 18-2 victory Saturday at Moose Krause Stadium.

The Golden Griffins struck first on a Whitney Card goal less than 30 seconds into the game, but Orr retaliated quickly, scoring her first of four goals only seconds later. She would score an unassisted second goal within five minutes to give the Irish a lead they would not relinquish.

After surrendering the early goal to Canisius, the Irish defense stepped up and stopped any attempts on goal by the Griffins. Canisius had only four shots total in the game, none of which were taken in the second half.

The Notre Dame defense was also important in starting the attack, forcing 34 turnovers.

The tough defense impressed Irish coach Tracy Coyne, who worked on improving her team’s defensive tenacity after Notre Dame’s 21-12 loss to Northwestern March 18.

“One of the things we really wanted to work on in this game was extending our limits,” Coyne said. “I definitely think we did that with the interceptions and causing those turnovers on defense.”

Coyne said the offense matched the defense’s level of play.

It was the team’s third highest goal total on the season, but in neither of the top two goal-scoring games was it so dominant, Coyne said.

The difference was evident as the team utilized a more risk-taking style of attack that it lacked against Northwestern.

“I was definitely pleased with the attack today,” Coyne said. “We were taking a lot more risks, and really thinking outside the box.”

The one goal that most epitomized what Coyne wanted from her team came at the end of the first half, when attack Meghan Murphy shot and scored over her shoulder with her back to the goal to give Notre Dame an 11-2 halftime lead.

Murphy was one of 10 Notre Dame scorers, including four Irish players with multiple goals. Orr’s four goals led all scorers, followed by three from both Murphy and attack Caitlin McKinney, and attack Jill Byers added two.

Notre Dame midfielder Crysti Foote, the team’s leading scorer, was shut down for most of the game, contributing only one goal in the second half. But that one goal was the 123rd of her career, moving her ahead of Lael O’Shaughnessy as the second-leading scorer in Irish history.

Orr said a major reason for Notre Dame’s win was its method of practice, which focuses more on itself than on opponents.

“All week in practice we worked on how we could complicate our offense, doing things like feeding the ball in the middle and running different offensive sets,” Orr said. “It was more important for us to know what we had to improve on than to know what our opponents might do – and that definitely helped us win.”

Next up for the Irish is a challenging five-game road swing, as Notre Dame travels to No. 2 Duke, No. 11 Georgetown and No. 13 Syracuse all in the next month.

“The level of talent in our next few games is much higher than it has been so far,” Orr said. “The Canisius game was a good building block, but there are still a lot of tough games coming up that we can win.”

The Irish begin the road stretch Friday at 1 p.m. against Connecticut.