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Women’s Lacrosse: Team splits pair of close contests at Georgetown, Loyola

Chris Allen | Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The No. 15 Irish recorded plenty of experience in close end-game situations over Easter weekend as they split a pair of games, losing to No. 14 Georgetown, 12-10, and pulling out a last-second victory over No. 13 Loyola, 11-10.

The game against Georgetown (5-5) featured runs by both teams, as the Irish (6-4) rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the first half, scoring five of the final six goals of the period to close the deficit to 7-6.

The teams traded goals in the second half, but after junior Kailene Abt’s fourth goal of the game tied it 10-10 with 11:27 left to play, Georgetown netted two goals over the remaining minutes to pull out the close victory. Georgetown outshot the Irish 32-21 and won 18 of 24 draw controls in the contest, which gave the Hoyas a decided edge.

“The draw controls against Georgetown were horrible,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “We’ve struggled with that, and the girls know that. We worked on it on Sunday, and there was a huge improvement in the second half against Loyola.”

While the Irish struggled with draw controls, they lowered their turnovers to six against the Hoyas. Coyne was happy with her team’s effort on the road against a ranked opponent.

“It is traditionally this kind of game against Georgetown,” Coyne said. “They had great looks and converted them. We had two yellow cards and that can always hurt you in games like this. Overall, I think it was a well-played game on both sides.”

The Irish found themselves yet again in a late-game situation with the score tied 10-10 against the No. 13 Greyhounds (8-4). Junior Ansley Stewart scored a goal with six seconds left in the game to give the Irish the 11-10 victory. Coyne had nothing but praise for her team’s effort.

“Playing two nationally ranked programs on the road, back-to-back, in the heat, this was a huge weekend for us,” Coyne said. “We played great defense at the end of the game. We had great passing too. [Senior Gina Scioscia] has excellent field vision and she found Ansley, who stayed composed and put two moves on the goalie and nailed her shot.”

As the Irish head into a three-game homestand, Coyne said the Irish will continue to improve after getting through a grueling road portion of their schedule.

“We certainly wanted to be in a different place than being 6-4,” Coyne said. “But we’re totally looking forward. We have no bad losses on our schedule, as we lost to top-10 teams. We’ve had disappointing close losses, but it’s helped us out in close games like the Loyola game and we’ll continue to focus on making the Big East tournament and achieving our goals.”

The Irish will get back on the field at Arlotta Stadium against Villanova at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.