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Women’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame rebounds from loss with win over California

Matt Robison | Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No. 11 Notre Dame dropped a 12-8 heartbreaker to then-No. 20 Dartmouth over break but rebounded with a come-from-behind 14-12 victory over California Saturday.

Irish coach Tracy Coyne said she was upset over the loss but was proud of the Irish (3-1) in the way they adjusted to a different West Coast game at Cal.

“We weren’t ready to play,” Coyne said of the loss. “[Dartmouth] came in really inspired.”

Despite being disappointed by a “flat” performance on the attacking end of the field, Coyne said she was happy with the way the defense and goalkeeping played against the Big Green.

The adversity did not stop with the loss, as the Irish were forced to adjust to a different style of play when they visited California. A handful of calls that did not go their way, a hectic pace that they were not quite used to and a three-goal deficit with 10 minutes to play pinned the Irish up against a wall. But they did not crumble, and Coyne said she was pleased with the way the Irish handled themselves.

“I was really happy with the win,” Coyne said. “Our players showed a lot of character.”

With 10 minutes remaining, the Irish called a timeout to reorganize. From there, the game was “never in doubt,” Coyne said.

The Irish managed to pull the game to a tie, then Notre Dame scored first in overtime and never looked back.

“After the timeout, we calmed down,” Coyne said. “We were more composed and handled everything better.”

Coyne also attributed the win to a stern focus on the team’s goals rather than individual statistics.

If history repeats itself, the Irish will use the win over California as a springboard into the heart of their schedule.

“In the past, the California game has been a spark to a good season,” Coyne said. “I feel good about our chances to win the Big East and advancing through the NCAA Tournament.”

Coyne said the final 10 minutes of the Cal game hinged on the team’s execution, as will the rest of the season.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about executing,” Coyne said. “It doesn’t matter what you think or what you feel, you have to go out there and get the job done.”

The Irish return to the field when they travel to Boston to face Boston University Saturday.