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ND Women’s Soccer: Irish try to remain hot this weekend

Fran Tolan | Friday, October 12, 2007

After outscoring Syracuse and St. John’s by a combined 7-1 in road games last weekend, Notre Dame looks to remain unbeaten in Big East play when it hosts Georgetown and Villanova this weekend.

Since falling to non-conference foe Penn State on Sept. 23, the Irish (7-4-1, 5-0-0 Big East) have won four straight against conference foes. With freshman Lauren Fowlkes anchoring the defense, the Irish have allowed only two goals during their four-game winning streak.

“We are playing well and we got a few of the problems solved on our back line,” Irish assistant coach Ben Waldrum said. “Lauren has fit in nicely at center back for us.”

When they face Georgetown tonight, the Irish will try to extend their home winning streak over the Hoyas to eight games. Notre Dame has outscored its conference rival 46-2 at Alumni Field in that span.

But Georgetown defeated No. 24 Marquette in Milwaukee Sunday to improve to 9-3-0 overall and 2-2-0 in conference play.

“I think that this is the best Georgetown team I’ve seen,” said Waldrum, who is in his fifth season as a member of the Irish coaching staff.

On Sunday, the Notre Dame offense will have its work cut out for it when the Irish face Villanova (7-1-5, 1-1-3). In a scoreless draw against South Florida last weekend, Wildcats senior goalie Jillian Loyden recorded eight saves en route to her 33rd career shutout.

“[Loyden] is a good size, she’s athletic,” Waldrum said. “She takes a lot of shots so her stats look good.”

But the Irish have been rolling over opposing defenses lately. Irish junior Brittany Bock, who recently switched from midfielder to forward, was named the NCAA national player of the week after scoring four goals and notching an assist in the victories over Syracuse and St. John’s.

“Moving [Bock] up front gives us another dimension on offense,” Waldrum said. “Just as far as holding the ball for us, she does a great job.”

Bock was also named the Big East offensive player of the week, while Irish junior defender Elise Weber was also named to the Big East weekly honor roll after helping set up goals in both of the team’s contests last weekend.