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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish and Bucks to tangle in Ohio

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, April 5, 2006

No. 10 Notre Dame meets a familiar opponent today as the Irish (9-1) travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the struggling Buckeyes (1-8) at Jesse Owens Memorial Field, in Columbus, Ohio.

It will be the 11th match between the two programs – a Notre Dame team record. Ohio State has won six of the previous 10 meetings.

Notre Dame hopes its high-powered offense will continue to produce against Ohio State. The Irish have already surpassed last year’s season total of goals scored (145) with 158 goals in 10 games for an average of 15.8 per game, good for second in the na-tion.

But the Irish are looking to continue to mount offensive attacks.

Notre Dame freshman Jill Byers enters today’s game five goals shy of the single-season Irish record for a freshman. Her 33 goals and 45 points are second on the team this year only to senior attack Crysti Foote.

Foote, who was named Big East player of the week for the third time this year Tuesday, has 41 goals and 20 assists.

Despite an overall losing record, the Irish have faired well against Ohio State recently. Notre Dame has won three out of its last four games against Ohio State. In 2002, Notre Dame’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, the Irish were defeated by Ohio State in regular season play before beating the Buckeyes in their post-season run.

Ohio State dropped its first eight games of the season before beating Davidson 16-5 at home Sunday.

Buckeyes senior midfielder KC Carter and sophomore attack Jessica Patane lead the Ohio State offense with 21 and 17 points, respectively.

Ohio State sophomore attack Kristen Slahor is the team’s most efficient threat in the starting lineup. Slahor has eight goals on 15 shots and has added seven assists in nine games.

Buckeyes freshman Kristen Gilwee leads Ohio State in the net with a 10.34 goals against average.

In the next few weeks, the Irish face a gauntlet of tough opponents. Duke, Georgetown, Vanderbilt and Syracuse are all ranked and noble opponents to the resurgent Notre Dame squad.

Notre Dame and Duke clash Sunday at 1 p.m. at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C.

Georgetown hosts the Irish April 15 in Washington, D.C., and Notre Dame ends its regular season at home against Vanderbilt May 7.

The Observer was unable to contact tenth-year Irish head coach Tracy Coyne Tuesday.