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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish hope to continue hot streak

Joe Meixell | Thursday, March 2, 2006

Riding a wave of momentum after emotional victories over California and Stanford, the No. 17 Irish (2-0) host Ohio (1-2) today at 4:30 p.m.

A revamped offense and a strong recruiting class created buzz in the offseason and two convincing wins over top programs have the Irish feeling confident.

“We really wanted to win, and we wanted to forget last season,” senior attack Crysti Foote said. “The Cal game was a great win because the whole team got to contribute and it was a great way to open the season. The Stanford game was intense, but I think it was good for us to see that we can come back in any game and any circumstance, and it came down to heart.”

Against Stanford, the Irish twice overcame 5-point deficits, eventually winning 12-11 in triple overtime. Though Notre Dame has performed well in its early season games, it is not overlooking the Bobcats.

“Ohio always considers us a rival,” Foote said. “The past couple years they’ve always played us hard, wanting to win.”

Foote set Notre Dame’s single game scoring record Sunday, tallying nine goals and two assists for 11 points.

“To be honest I didn’t even realize how many goals I had scored until the end of the game,” Foote said. “My teammates just set me up nicely and I just shot and scored. I think that it was a great feeling because our team played so well together that day.”

Beyond Foote’s performance, the freshman class made an impressive debut. Rookie Jillian Byers also set a Notre Dame record as she notched five goals and two assist – giving her the freshman scoring record.

“Our freshmen are awesome,” Foote said. “We had the number one recruiting class in the country and it shows. They are great contributors on and off the field and we couldn’t have gotten a better group of girls. I am so proud and impressed by all of them.”

With scorers already emerging, Notre Dame matches up favorably with the struggling Bobcats, as the Irish hope to implement a smothering offensive and defensive game plan.

“We must come out tomorrow play a full sixty minute game without stupid mistakes,” said Foote. “This is our first home game, so everyone will be excited. Offensively, we can definitely beat them in a fast break. Defensively, we hope to implement an aggressive attack to force turnovers.”

Though the Irish have had a strong start, they are careful not to get overconfident so early in the season.

“It is evident from the past two games all the hard work is paying off,” Foote said. “We still know, however, that it’s only two games and we have so much more to improve. Everyone is willing to sacrifice at all times.”

With two wins already, this year’s squad is likely to improve on the record of the 2005 team that finished 3-12. Foote, for one, is hoping the strong start will carry on throughout the season.

“I made school history doing what I love on a field in 70 degree weather, what could be better than that?” Foote said. “But I really hope our team wins [the national championship]. A ring on my finger would be more fulfilling then scoring goals.”