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Women’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame to take on winless Huskies

Matt Gamber | Friday, March 28, 2008

No. 13 Notre Dame (7-4, 1-1 Big East) looks to keep Connecticut (0-8, 0-2) winless for at least another day.

“The big thing is that it is a Big East game, and any time you play a Big East team it’s a battle, it’s a game you have to win and can make an impact,” senior captain Caitlin McKinney said. “We hope we’ve learned our lesson not to take teams lightly…. The biggest thing is to keep the game about us and not about them, to come out early and get it done from the beginning.”

The Huskies will host the Irish in Storrs, Conn., for tomorrow’s noon game looking to shut down Notre Dame’s high-powered offensive attack. The Huskies have been blown out in each of their last two games, losing 24-4 at Syracuse and 18-3 at Yale in the last week.

The Irish offense, led by junior Jillian Byers (42 goals, 10 assists) and McKinney (25 goals, 13 assists), will look to capitalize on a reeling Connecticut team.

“We just need to play the way we’ve played all year – I’m not going into it thinking it’s time to rack up goals or anything like that,” McKinney said. “It’s important that we keep everyone involved in the play, shooting and getting looks because when we play the teams that don’t get scored on as much, it’s important to have more people shooting.”

Though Byers and McKinney have been steady through the team’s first 10 games, the Irish have gotten significant contributions recently from freshman Shaylyn Blaney (21 goals, 7 assists), sophomore attack Gina Scioscia (9 goals, 15 assists) and senior attack Heather Ferguson (11 goals, 10 assists).

“It’s humongous,” McKinney said of the spread-out scoring. “It really started in California [over spring break] when we had people stepping up, and that was really big. It just makes us a better team. The good teams have a bunch of people assisting and scoring because people have bad days, people get face-guarded.

“The fact that our offensive is diversifying more is definitely a positive thing, and I hope we do even more of it in the future.”