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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish get Big East road win at winless UConn

Andy Ziccarelli | Monday, March 31, 2008

Notre Dame (8-3, 2-1 Big East) stormed out to an early 6-0 lead and maintained its momentum throughout, beating the winless Connecticut 18-11 Saturday in Storrs, Conn.

Coming out to a fast start was something the Irish had focused on throughout the week, coach Tracy Coyne said.

“Out of the gates, we needed to come out with more intensity,” she said.

Freshman Shaylyn Blaney opened the scoring for the Irish, and she was followed by Jillian Byers just 15 seconds later, taking an immediate 2-0 lead. Throughout the run, Byers would pick up two more goals, but she was not done. She added three more in the first half to bring her total to six and would finish the game with seven goals, bringing her season total to 49, which leads the team by 21 goals.

Robin Pastuch led the Huskies with three goals, while Whitney Michele and Laura Eichert each scored twice.

The game was decided in that first half, which saw Notre Dame take a 14-4 lead into the break, which allowed Coyne, among other moves, to give sophomore goalie Amy Winik a chance to see action for the second time in her career.

All season long, Coyne has stressed the importance of conference games, noting that the team’s main goal is to win the Big East. The Irish are a half-game behind first-place Georgetown and Syracuse, who each sport 2-0 conference records.

Notre Dame will play at Duke on Thursday, followed by a trip to top-ranked Northwestern and then a Big East showdown with Georgetown on April 12.