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ND Women’s Lacrosse: Irish try to bounce back in Baltimore

Michael Bryan | Friday, March 23, 2007

No. 12 Notre Dame will look to earn its first Big East victory of the season Sunday in Baltimore against Loyola.

The Irish (6-2) will face the struggling Greyhounds (1-5) in the conference opener for Loyola. Notre Dame opened its Big East schedule with a 16-13 loss at Syracuse Sunday.

The Greyhounds, who finished 7-8 last season, have started the season slow after the loss of several seniors from the 2006 campaign. Facing No. 10 Princeton Wednesday, Loyola fell 14-6 on the road despite three goals from junior Kate Flippelli.

The only win of the season so far for the Greyhounds came in a 10-9 victory over mid-major Maryland-Baltimore County.

Notre Dame coach Tracy Coyne said despite Loyola’s recent struggles the Greyhounds are still a dangerous team.

“It’s scary because I don’t think they’ve played up to their full talent level,” Coyne said. “They have too much tradition and history not to turn their season around – we’re just making sure it won’t happen on Sunday.”

In last year’s matchup, the Irish defeated the Greyhounds 13-9 in Florida. Caitlin McKinney and Jillian Byers scored three goals each in the victory.

Notre Dame is coming off a dominant performance Wednesday at home against Ohio State, routing the Buckeyes 16-9. After several games in a row where the Irish trailed early, Notre Dame stormed out of the gate to take a 9-1 halftime lead.

After the half the Buckeyes made a quick run to cut the deficit to 9-5, but Notre Dame quickly responded to put the game out of Ohio State’s reach.

In a balanced offensive attack, nine different Irish players scored a point in the victory. Sophomore Jane Stoeckert and senior Meghan Murphy had four points apiece.

The Irish hounded the Buckeyes defensively, forcing 16 turnovers on the game. Notre Dame also out-shot Ohio State 33-16.

“It was a very good game Wednesday, but we’re not happy with just a win over Ohio State” Coyne said. “We have to go game by game, and we have to win. With the goals we have, losing is not an option.”

Against Loyola Sunday, the Irish will key its defense on Greyhounds junior Maura Kenny, leading her squad in scoring for the second season in a row.

On the offensive end, Notre Dame will look to take advantage of the sophomore Byers and junior McKinney. Both goal-scorers were recently named to the Tewaaraton Trophy watch list for the best player in women’s lacrosse.