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ND Women’s Lacrosse: Irish edge Hofstra in season opener

Kevin Baldwin | Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Irish return from Long Island undefeated following their season-opening victory against Hofstra yesterday. The Irish fought through the rain and cold to emerge ahead of the Pride by a single goal, 13-12.

Though the momentum swung back and forth between the two teams throughout the first half, the Irish showed their depth on offense by setting up plays with numerous players putting points on the board. Going into halftime tied at seven goals apiece, the two evenly matched teams waged a defensive battle throughout the much of the second half.

After securing the lead on an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney, the Irish were able to fend off the Pride for the final grueling 10 minutes.

“I’m really pleased with the win, its always going to be tough [against Hofstra] but they didn’t get flustered when they were down and they handled it really well,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said.

Blaney set the tone offensively, scoring six of the team’s 13 goals, including the game-winner. Junior Jackie Doherty and sophomore Megan Sullivan put on a clinic at defense with some big plays in the second half.

Freshman goalkeeper Ellie Hilling was crucial to the team’s defensive effort, playing the full 60 minutes in the net while tallying seven saves in her first performance at the collegiate level.  “Two years ago it was a one goal win too, they’re a really well coached team,” said Coyne. “I’m happy with the win, it shows our experience and confidence.”

The Irish will host their home opener against Duquesne on Saturday in the Loftus Center at 6 p.m.