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ND Women’s Lacrosse: Irish name captains, recruit new players, ready to start

Allan Joseph | Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Irish have been busy over the last couple weeks as they prepare for the quickly approaching spring season. Notre Dame has already scrimmaged with the U.S. national team, added recruits for next year and named its captains to make for a strong campaign.
In late January, the team traveled to Florida for the Champion Challenge sponsored by U.S. Lacrosse. The Irish opened against the National Elite team, quickly falling behind 12-1 within 20 minutes en route to a 23-7 loss. The loss was highlighted by the strong debuts of freshman attack Betsy Mastropieri with one goal and freshman goalkeeper Ellie Hilling, who had 10 saves.
The Irish finished the weekend with a much more competitive 15-11 loss to the U.S. National Developmental team. Senior attack Gina Scioscia scored three goals, while sophomore attack Maggie Tamasitis and freshman midfielder Jenny Granger each had three-point performances in the loss. Notre Dame showed its ability to score with nearly any player as nine different players scored at least once.
Prior to their trip to Florida, the Irish selected three seniors — defenseman Rachel Guerrera, midfield Maggie Zentgraf and Scioscia — and a junior, midfield Shaylyn Blaney, to serve as the team’s captains for the upcoming season.
None of the players have served the team as captain before, but all have led the team on and off the field. Scioscia and Blaney earned second-team All-American honors last year, while Guerrera was named all-region. Scioscia was selected as the 2010 preseason Big East offensive player of the year, while Scioscia, Blaney and Guerrera were preseason all-Big East selections.
Irish coach Tracy Coyne also announced that seven recruits signed letters of intent during the early signing period, including one defender, one midfield/defender, four midfielders and one attack. All of the recruits save one hail from the traditional lacrosse hotbed of the East Coast, especially the Northeast — areas in which Notre Dame has had a strong recruiting presence.
The Irish were chosen to finish third in the league in a preseason poll of the conference’s coaches, but were one of three teams that far outpaced the rest of the league alongside regular-season defending champion Georgetown and Syracuse. In addition, both the national coaches and media slotted Notre Dame in the No. 8 spot in a preseason national poll, giving the team weighty expectations for the season to come.
The Irish will be tested this spring, as eight of the teams they face are in the top 20 in the nation.