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Women’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame falls 15-5 on the road at No. 1 Northwestern

Luke Mansour | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The No. 14 Irish knew they would have to put together a complete effort from the outset to beat No. 1 Northwestern. Unfortunately, after falling behind early, they never got the chance to recover, falling by a score of 15-5 in Evanston, Ill. Tuesday night.

“There were moments where we did some good things,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “We just didn’t string together enough sustained attacking opportunities.”

It was the ninth straight loss for the Irish (5-3, 1-0) against the Wildcats (8-0). Northwestern now holds a 9-2 advantage since the teams began competing in the 2003 season.

The Irish were led by senior attack Gina Scioscia, who recorded two goals and an assist. Junior Shaylyn Blaney, sophomore Kate Newall and freshman Betsy Mastropieri also scored for the Irish.

Northwestern jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never relented, notching a 9-2 lead by halftime. Danielle Spencer and Shannon Smith led the Wildcats with four goals apiece.

“Spencer and Smith played well and some of their secondary personnel stepped up,” Coyne said. “They’re relentless in what they do, it just forces you to play out of your comfort zone.”

The Irish were able to produce a fair amount of quality chances, but they were turned away by Wildcats sophomore goalkeeper Brianne LoManto, who notched a career-high 11 saves. Northwestern outshot Notre Dame overall by a tally of 29-21.

“We were getting chances and [not finishing] has been a problem for us in other games,” Coyne said. “They’re good, don’t get me wrong. I thought we had to good chance to win or at least keep it close so it wasn’t the result we were looking for.”

Despite the loss, Coyne said she expects there to be no carryover from Tuesday’s bad result when the Irish resume their Big East slate against Georgetown on Saturday.

“I wish we competed better, but I don’t think how we played to do has anything to do with Georgetown,” Coyne said.

The loss to the nation’s top-ranked team will do nothing to dampen the hopes of the Irish, who are still aiming for the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament this year.

“If we work on our game, our goal is to win another Big East championship and try to be the No. 1 seed in the tournament,” Coyne said.

The Irish will attempt to take another step toward that goal when they travel to Washington D.C. to take on Georgetown at 1 p.m. on Saturday.