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Women’s Lacrosse: Nine different players score for Irish in win over Duquesne

Brian Hartnett | Sunday, February 26, 2012

After struggling early, the No. 15 Irish went on a tear, scoring nine consecutive goals over a 21-minute stretch to pull away from Duquesne and cruise to a 17-7 victory over the Dukes on Saturday at the Loftus Sports Center.

Coming off a victory over a ranked Stanford team, Notre Dame (2-0) struggled out of the gate against Duquesne (1-2), falling behind 4-2 in the early part of the first half. The Irish quickly rebounded with a 5-1 run that included five different players scoring goals.

After Duquesne’s Claire Hurley cut Notre Dame’s lead to 7-6 with a goal at the 1:38 mark of the first half, the Irish went on another run, one that would give them control of the game.

Sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Brosco sparked the scoring streak for the Irish, scoring with 24 seconds left in the first half. The Irish would then score the next eight goals, holding Duquesne without a goal until the 7:19 mark of the second half.

Irish coach Christine Halfpenny credited the team’s 9-0 run to better looks on goal, as well as improved ball movement.

“I think we did a better job seeing the goalie,” Halfpenny said. “Early in the first half, we hit a bunch of pipes and I had to remind the girls that we were doing the right thing, but we just had to move one more step inside to get a better shooting angle.

“We were also moving the ball around better because we had so many people on the team contribute today.”

Notre Dame utilized a very balanced attack, as nine different players contributed goals in the victory. Sophomore attack Lindsay Powell, sophomore midfielder Margaret Smith and junior attack Betsy Mastropieri each scored three goals, while Brosco and junior attack Jaimie Morrison each tallied two scores. The Irish assailed Duquesne with 32 shots en route to scoring 17 goals, the second straight 17-goal performance the team has put up this season.

Halfpenny attributed the team’s balanced attack to its new style of offense, which highly favors team output over individual statistics.

“We play a very unselfish style of offense,” Halfpenny said. “When you have that mentality, everyone on the team knows that when the ball hits the back of the net, it’s a goal for Notre Dame, allowing us to focus on how far the team can go as opposed to individual outputs.”

Junior goalie Ellie Hilling displayed a strong effort in goal for the Irish, notching six saves in her second win of the season. Hilling was bolstered by an aggressive Irish defense, which forced 14 turnovers and helped the Irish gain an 18-11 advantage in ground balls.

“I think ultimately our communication and our athleticism on defense really helped us in this game,” Halfpenny said. “Some of our veteran experience back there, starting with Ellie and including our senior defenders Meg Sullivan, Jordy Shoemaker and Kate Newall, was huge in the second half.”

The Irish will now prepare to go on the road for the first time this year when they travel to No. 14 Ohio State on March 4.

“We’re going to have to get back to work, focus on what we need to do better and then get ready to take on an Ohio State team that is also off to a strong start,” Halfpenny said.

 

Contact Brian Hartnett at

bhartnett@nd.edu