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Women’s Lacrosse: Team risks streak against Cal

Nathaniel Lee | Friday, March 20, 2009

In the midst of a five game homestand and a six game winning streak, Notre Dame hopes to keep its success going Sunday against California at the Loftus Center.  

The No. 11 Irish, fresh off of a dominating victory over Big East opponent Rutgers, are 7-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to No. 1 Northwestern.?

“Our defense has been improving and helping out a lot on offense,” head coach Tracy Coyne said. “We have been stopping opposing offenses and especially causing turnovers that lead to offensive opportunities.”?

The Golden Bears journey to South Bend with a 4-5 record, although the team has performed better on the road (2-1) than at home (2-4). California has never beaten Notre Dame in five all-time meetings between the two schools.

Senior Sam Price leads the Golden Bears offensively with 26 points on 15 goals and 11 assists. Junior midfielder Alex Tickner has 17 goals for California, but has yet to record an assist this season.

Goalkeeper Morgan Dyson and the Golden Bears defense have allowed opponents to an average of 10.83 goals per game.

Under Coyne’s direction, the team is well on their way to their long-term goal of a Big East championship, and a solid run in the National Championship tournament. Already this season senior attack Jillian Byers has set the all-time scoring record, while another record, this time for assists in a game, was matched by attack Gina Scioscia. who tallied six against the Scarlet Knights on St. Patrick’s Day.

Last year, the Irish turned in an impressive performance against California, defeating the Golden Bears in the Rose Bowl after tough losses to Oregon and Stanford on their spring break road trip.  

This season, the team turned in an outstanding 4-0 mark during the break, and now look to build on that success as they continue Big East play next week.?

“We felt really good about how we performed on the spring break trip, especially since our goal was to go undefeated despite playing four games in 11 days,” stated Coyne.  “We feel good as a team right now, people are really settling into their roles effectively.”?

The Irish will face the Golden Bears this Sunday at the Loftus Center with faceoff at 1:00 pm.