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Women’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame tops Duquesne in season opener

Chris Allen | Monday, March 1, 2010

Junior midfielder Kailene Abt led the No. 8 Irish to a 15-10 victory over Duquesne Saturday in Notre Dame’s home opener.

The Irish (2-0) jumped out to an early lead in the game on a goal by junior midfielder Shalyn Blaney and then proceeded to score four more goals in a row after Duquesne (0-3) tied up the game at 1-1. Duquesne, however, answered with four goals of its own midway through the first period to tie the score at 5-5.

“We built an early lead, but from there we lacked a lot of discipline defensively,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “We could have really put them away after our four goals in a row but we didn’t finish them.”

Coyne said she believed her team lost track of the game plan, and needed to work on that going forward.

“Honestly, as a coaching staff we were pretty disappointed with the team,” Coyne said. “The game was never really in doubt but I feel like we could have really dominated. We need some discipline to stick with the game plan.”

After Duquesne pulled even, Abt led the charge as Notre Dame scored six goals in a row to end the quarter with the score 11-6. The Irish then rode two goals from Abt and goals from freshman attack Betsy Mastropieri and sophomore midfielder Megan Sullivan, as well as improved play of freshman goalie Ellie Hilling, to the win.

“I have a lot of confidence in Ellie,” Coyne said. “She’s going to be a great goalie for us. Just in the short span between this game and the last game she’s implemented a lot of the things we’ve been working on. She regrouped nicely and her play was a lot better in the second half.”

The Irish outshot the Dukes 44-17, but Coyne sees the 4-for-23 shooting performance in the second half as a cause for concern that needs to be worked on.

“Shooting will be a focus of practice this week,” Coyne said. “We also weren’t happy with the crease defense so we’ll do some crease drills. At this point it’s about moving forward with the things we’ve done well and fixing the problem areas. Fitness-wise I think we’re in a good place.”

The Irish will continue their non-conference schedule with a noon game at Loftus Sports Center against Dartmouth on March 7.