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ND Women’s Lacrosse: No. 20 Dartmouth comes to new field

Matthew Robison | Thursday, March 4, 2010

Coming off an impressive scoring display in a 15-10 victory over Duquesne Saturday, the No. 8 Irish will look to continue their winning ways in a home matchup Sunday against No. 20 Dartmouth.

The Big Green (0-1) will be the toughest collegiate opponent Notre Dame (2-0) has faced this season.

Irish coach Tracy Coyne stressed the importance of this non-conference, out-of-region game in the grand scheme of their season.

“This is a really important early season matchup for us,” Coyne said. “In order to get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, we need to beat teams out of our region, and Dartmouth is a nationally ranked opponent.”

Coyne had high praise for the Big Green, but said she felt confident in Notre Dame’s ability to knock off the visitors.

“Dartmouth is a fundamentally sound team,” Coyne said. “They have 11 returning starters and certain style of play that we have to prepare for.”

In order to prepare for such a formidable foe, the Irish will develop their own scheme to attack Dartmouth’s game plan.

Several improvements must be made, however, to beat a stronger opponent.

“I was disappointed we gave up 10 goals [against Duquesne],” Coyne said. “We need to work on defensive shifts, defensive transition and keeping hard pressure on the ball.”

Coyne also said the Irish need to keep pressure on the ball during high-pressure rides, making sure the opposing offense does not get an easy outlet pass. The importance of transition defense is magnified by the fast-paced style of Notre Dame, especially against the fundamentally sound Big Green, Coyne said.

The Irish have a medley of scorers that can put one in the back of the net at any point in the action. Nine different players scored goals Saturday, and eight of Notre Dame’s 15 goals Saturday were assisted by five different passers.

Junior midfielder Kailene Abt had four goals against Duquesne and sophomore attack Maggie Tamasitis had four assists.

The Irish will host Dartmouth Saturday at noon in the new Arlotta Stadium.