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Irish defeat Ohio for ninth victory

Matt Mooney | Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Mix eight parts balanced offence with eight parts stingy defense, and the result is a recipe for success good for nine servings.The third-ranked Irish (9-0) used the same formula they have employed throughout the season to beat the Ohio Bobcats (5-4) Tuesday afternoon by a 13-8 score. Eight different players tallied goals for the Irish, led by midfielder Meredith Simon’s three scores. Five other players had two or more points for Notre Dame.The defense continued its subjugation of opposing offenses – holding Ohio without a goal for over 16 minutes during one second-half stretch. Stifling yet another opposition offense, Notre Dame kept its seventh opponent under double-digit goals. Only California and Virginia Tech have managed to chalk up more than 10 points against the Irish.However, talented Ohio freshman Dana Dobbie provided a challenge to the miserly Notre Dame defenders. Having scored 11 goals in her last two games, veteran midfield Andrea Kinnik shadowed the rookie all game.”She’s a very good player,” Kinnik said, “But it was a whole team effort to try and keep her out. It’s just basic, basic team defense.”Though Dobbie scored a game-high four goals on the day, her total accounted for half of her team’s points, as the Irish severely restricted the rest of the Bobcat offense.The win stretches the team’s perfect record to 9-0, and the Irish have won a school record 13 consecutive games dating back to last season. Kinnik feels that the team’s success is the fruition of confidence that has always there.”It’s given us some confidence but I think we had that from the get-go,” she said. “Now that we’ve actually been winning games, it’s a tangible accomplishment for us now.”Notre Dame was slow to get out of the gate against the Bobcats, often stuck in its defensive end. Ohio’s sustained attack kept the Irish offense at bay, but the Bobcats trouble scoring as well. With the game tied at two, the floodgates opened when midfield/defender Kassen Delano put the ball in the back of the net with 17:54 left to go in the half. Notre Dame then scored four of the next five goals to extend its advantage. After a Bobcat goal, the Irish went into halftime with a 7-4 lead. After the break, the Irish scored five of the next six goals to provide all the margin they would need.The Bobcats never got closer than three points in the second half, but coach Tracy Coyne felt like the Irish did not establish complete control. “It’s a win, but I just don’t feel like we ever had a flow to the game,” she said. “I wish we would have controlled it a little bit more.”Coyne’s refusal to sit on the laurels of current accomplishments is a sentiment shared by her team as well. “I think we did pretty well [but] we could have done a lot better,” Kinnik said. “We just need to keep pushing forward to the next games and not focus on our rankings or what our record is.”And that is the type of leadership that Coyne feels makes this team special and capable of achieving even more as the season progresses.”I’ve been coaching for a long time and sometimes there’s that intangible that you recognize in a great team, and I think we have that,” she said. “We have the athleticism, the speed, the heart, but most of all we have the leadership and the desire to get it done.”