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Women’s Lacrosse: Squad hopes to avoid tiebreaker with win

Chris Allen | Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No. 14 Notre Dame is looking at Saturday’s game at Connecticut as a must-win, Irish coach Tracy Coyne said.

After a road loss to Rutgers, Notre Dame (10-5, 5-2 Big East) must beat the Huskies (9-7, 2-5) to guarantee itself a spot in the Big East tournament. A loss would subject the Irish to a tiebreaker.

“This game, we just need to win,” Coyne said. “If we lose we drop back into a three-way tie and we haven’t even looked at the tiebreaker, which is goal differential, so we just need to go out there and take care of business.”

After reeling off a string of five victories that included a shutout of Villanova — the first ever in conference history — and a defeat of No. 9 Syracuse, the Irish experienced a letdown against Rutgers on the road. Coyne said the defeat was disappointing because the Irish lost control of their own destiny in the seeding by failing to put together a consistent effort.

“When you lose a game the way we did against Rutgers, it is particularly disappointing because we had always said we just needed to win to control our destiny,” Coyne said. “We looked at plays where we executed in the film and went over plays where we didn’t execute right after that. There wasn’t consistency in a number of aspects”

In the upcoming game against the Huskies, Coyne said she will look to her veterans to demonstrate the composure necessary under immense pressure.

“It’s the captains, as well as the junior class, that we look to as leaders,” Coyne said. “The juniors have championship experience too. They’ve been in the big time.”

That experience will come in handy on the road against a Huskies team that is coming off a 12-11 overtime win over Cincinnati. The Huskies will look to slow down an Irish team that is riding the hot hand of junior Shaylyn Blaney.

“I think they’re going to try to stop our fast break game, they’re really going to pack it in defensively,” Coyne said. “We need to be on our game defensively, we need to make sure we’re moving. Other than that, we expect them to double [senior Gina Scioscia] and Shaylyn and to pressure [sophomore Maggie Tamasitis]. We just have to be able to block everything out. We know what’s at stake.”

The Irish take on Connecticut Saturday at noon. The Big East Tournament gets underway in Piscataway, N.J., on May 6.