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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish take focus into spring break

Cory Bernard | Thursday, March 7, 2013

No. 10/6 Notre Dame will look to continue its momentum over spring break after routing Detroit 22-1 on Tuesday. The Irish (4-0) host Boston on Saturday before traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt on March 13.

Against the Titans at the Loftus Center, 12 different Notre Dame players scored. Irish coach Christine Halfpenny said her team will utilize its deep roster to continue producing offensively against the Terriers (1-1) and Commodores (1-6).

“I think when you use our depth the way we use it and we find the chemistry, sometimes it’s not the best seven out there, it’s the best seven together,” she said. “I think that the beauty is the healthy competition on this team and everyone is starting to understand their roles.”

Though two games, Boston has already played two ranked teams. It beat No. 17/14 Massachusetts on Feb. 27 before falling to No. 13/13 Dartmouth on Wednesday. The Terriers finished 11-6 last season, including a perfect 6-0 in the American East conference. Senior attack Danielle Etrasco led Boston with 58 goals last season and leads the team again with five goals so far this season.

“They’re very well coached, they’re tough, they’re physical,” Halfpenny said of the Terriers. “I think that they utilize their personnel, they have a very high IQ. They know what they’re doing, they know why, they stick to the game plan and make great adjustments.”

Last season, Notre Dame held off a second-half charge to beat the Terriers 14-11 in Boston. Halfpenny said her familiarity with Terriers coach Liz Robertshaw in addition to last season’s history will make for another tough contest.

“Last year we had a really strong start against them and they never gave up,” Halfpenny said. “We’re ready for a 60-minute fight with them, this is going to be a slugfest. I know the head coach really well, as a matter of fact we started our coaching careers together as assistant coaches at Brown, so it’s always a fun game when you have a positive rivalry, a friendly rivalry there. But we want this game.”

Vanderbilt has struggled this year after finishing last season 8-8. Despite the discrepancy in team records, Halfpenny said the Irish are excited to focus solely on lacrosse in preparing for the Commodores.

“Our team has really good structure, we have great leadership so I think our girls know exactly what we need to do to come out and be ready for [Vanderbilt],” she said. “We’re all set to prepare hard … Thursday, have a great pregame practice on Friday, and kick off an awesome spring break where we get to almost act like professional lacrosse players for a week, so we’re actually really excited.”

Notre Dame hosts Boston at 3 p.m. on Saturday before facing Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., at 4 p.m. on March 13.

Contact Cory Bernard at cbernard@nd.edu