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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish open home schedule

Allan Joseph | Friday, February 26, 2010

The Irish returned home from their season-opening win at Hofstra and are preparing to face Duquesne in the squad’s home opener Saturday.

The Dukes are looking for their first win of the season, while Notre Dame focuses on fixing flaws from the film it broke down following its victory over the Pride.

“Obviously, it’s a long season and right now, we’re not doing enough things well,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “We need to figure out what aspects of our game we’re going to focus on.”

The Irish (1-0) and Dukes (0-2) have met five times before, with Notre Dame winning each time. Most recently, Notre Dame opened its 2009 season at Duquesne with a 22-7 win en route to a 16-5 season, while the Dukes finished 9-8 on the year.

Duquesne, however, returns the core of their team, including senior attack Meghan Frederick, the reigning Atlantic-10 Offensive Player of the year, and all-conference redshirt senior attack Kat McNish, who has the second-most assists of any active college player.
In addition to Frederick and McNish, the Irish will have to contend with freshman midfielder Lauren Johnson, who has tallied five goals in the Dukes’ two games.

Though Notre Dame will tailor its game plan to Duquesne’s strongest players, Coyne is more concerned with her own team’s play at this early part of the season before Big East play starts.

The Irish’s first game revealed some of those aspects Coyne said her team could improve.
“We didn’t feel we capitalized enough on our opportunities on both sides of the ball,” she said, among other flaws.

Notre Dame will focus on pushing the pace of the game to dictate the flow to their advantage. On both ends of the field, the Irish will try to keep the tempo up while harassing the Dukes.

“We want to take advantage of fast break opportunities, not so much force the issue, but not settle right away into the slowdown game,” Coyne said. “From the defensive standpoint, we want to shut down some of our opponent’s options in the transition and put more pressure on our opponents to make it more difficult to get into their settled offense.”

Notre Dame looks to win its home opener against Duquesne Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Loftus Sports Center.