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Women’s Lacrosse: ND to face Cornell in home tilt

Andy Ziccarelli | Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Notre Dame’s season took a stunning turn for the worse on Friday night after the Irish let an early 8-1 lead slip away into what became a 15-14 loss to Georgetown in triple overtime in the Big East conference semifinals. Irish players were visibly distraught after the gut-wrenching loss that had such importance to the season.

Notre Dame’s primary goal for the season, according to coach Tracy Coyne, was to win the Big East championship. But with that now out of the question, the Irish must play for something else in their final regular season game.

The Irish will have a week to regroup and focus, then will take on Cornell. The Big Red come into the game sporting a 10-5 overall record and have been especially hot recently, winning six out of their last seven games. Their only loss in that stretch came at the hands of Syracuse, the winners of the Big East tournament. For their efforts, Cornell is currently ranked No. 14 by Inside Lacrosse.

With their loss in the Big East semifinals, the game takes on extra significance for the Irish. With a win on Friday, Notre Dame could have all but locked up a berth in the 16-team NCAA tournament. But with the loss, the team has put its fate in the hands of the NCAA Selection Committee. Because of the situation, a win is necessary for the Irish, not only to impress the committee but also to regain momentum in case they are selected.

Regardless of the outcome, the season has been a memorable one for the Irish, for better or for worse. The rough spring break road trip to start the year could have defined the season for the Irish, but the squad righted the ship before the season spun out of control. First-ever program wins on the road at both Duke and Georgetown were huge accomplishments and testaments to the team’s resiliency. Now, with one game left, the Irish will look to focus all of their energy towards Cornell and attempt find a way to gain a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior captain Caitlin McKinney talked about “ecstasy or agony” after the team’s loss to Georgetown. Notre Dame’s final game Saturday will cap a season that has seen both.