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ND Women’s Lacrosse: ND splits pair of games

Matthew DeFranks | Monday, April 4, 2011

The Irish got back to their winning ways in a victory over Rutgers Friday night, but lost to No. 4 Loyola Sunday in a close match.

Notre Dame (4-6, 1-1 Big East), sparked by freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Brosco, opened its Big East schedule with an 11-6 win over the Scarlet Knights (6-4, 1-2). Brosco continued her stellar freshman year with a three-goal, four-ground ball performance, helping the Irish snap their brief two-game losing streak.

Notre Dame outshot the visiting Scarlet Knights 37-17, marking the seventh time in nine games that the Irish have outshot their opponent. While the Irish never trailed, they only put away the game with a 4-0 scoring run that spanned 3:48 in the second half.

“I am very pleased with how we played,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “We had great execution and capitalized on strong defense. We also did a great job of fast-breaking off the face-off.”

Senior defender Jackie Doherty led the Irish defensively, scooping five ground balls and forcing six Rutgers turnovers. Rutgers attack Kristen Anderson scored three goals in a losing effort.

On Sunday, however, the Irish caused just four turnovers in a 13-10 loss to the Greyhounds (10-0, 2-0). The Irish had trouble containing reigning Big East Attack Player of the Year Grace Gavin, who scored four goals and assisted on three others. The seven-point game for the senior was only one away from tying her career-high.

“We knew that she was that kind of player,” Coyne said. “She is exceptional and that’s why they won the game.”

Junior attack Maggie Tamasitis extended her point-streak to 28 games over the weekend, chipping in two goals and two assists against the Greyhounds.

The Irish led early in the first half following unassisted goals from Tamasitis and senior midfielder Kailene Abt. The Greyhounds, however, responded with three goals in 58 seconds, grabbing a two-goal lead.

Notre Dame fought back in the second half, tying the game at six with two goals in just over two minutes. Loyola answered with a 4-1 spurt keyed by three free-position shot goals. The Greyhounds converted on 4-of-8 free-position shots and capitalized on 34 Notre Dame fouls.

“We played with a lot of heart today and we are all bitterly disappointed,” Coyne said. “The team was really intense and focused and everybody really stepped up.”

The defeat marks the third time the Irish have lost by three goals or less to a top-10 team this season.

“All the girls are disappointed but they want to play them again in the Big East tournament,” Coyne said. “These are the weekends that prepare you for a championship.”

The Irish return to action Friday in a Big East contest at Villanova.