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Women’s Lacrosse: No time to re-lax

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, April 19, 2006

No. 8 Notre Dame lost its second heartbreaker in a row Saturday, as a Coco Stanwick shot eked past Irish goalie Carol Dixon 38 seconds into the third overtime to give No. 4 Georgetown the 11-10 Big East win.

After losing a tough game to Duke last weekend, the Irish (10-3, 2-1 Big East) were unable to take the edge in the close contest with the Hoyas (9-2, 3-0), allowing two unanswered goals at the end of regulation and then the Stanwick overtime winner.

“It was definitely a heartbreaker, because we went in there to win,” sophomore attacker Caitlin McKinney said. “We weren’t satisfied to just play them close.”

Others on the Notre Dame squad were more optimistic, especially stemming from the fact that the Irish have lost their last two games and are still ranked No. 7.

“I think we played a really good game, and were very well-prepared going into the game,” freshman attacker Jill Byers said. “They have killed us the last couple of years and we were able to hang in there for the whole game.”

The Irish goals were well spread out, with the most coming from Byers with three. McKinney and senior attack Crysti Foote each added two, but Foote’s two were key in her chase to be the most prolific offensive player in Notre Dame history.

Foote’s two goals pushed her total to 51 on the season, giving her the most ever by an Irish player, pushing her past Lael O’Shaughnessy’s mark of 50 set in 2001. Foote’s current total of 75 points in a season is already the Notre Dame record as well.

Foote’s performance so far this season has not gone without notice, as she has recently been named one of the 21 nominees for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the nation’s best male and female lacrosse players.

The result for the Irish, although beneficial in showing their team improvement, also may cause trouble for the Irish in the postseason. With only six teams in the Big East who play women’s lacrosse, only the regular season winner goes to the NCAA tournament and with the loss to Georgetown, Notre Dame is hoping for some outside assistance.

But regardless of the result, Notre Dame is still satisfied with its performance recently, as the team has proven its talent against two top-five teams in its last two games.

“I think the fact that we can stay on the field with a team like Georgetown for three overtimes and still play them tough proves we aren’t just a team with a lot of fluke wins,” Byers said.

“We proved we are talented and are coming along nicely.”