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Women’s Lacrosse: Tamasitis earns mark in record books; Irish top UConn

Matthew DeFranks | Monday, April 18, 2011

Nothing could stop Irish junior attack Maggie Tamasitis — not the wind, not the rain, and certainly not the Connecticut defense. Tamasitis turned in an impressive performance, as the attack dished out six assists in Notre Dame’s 15-5 win over the Huskies Saturday.

Tamasitis tied a school record for assists in a game while also extending her points streak to 31 games, the fourth longest stretch in Irish history. In 2009, Notre Dame attack Gina Scioscia handed out six assists and Kerry Callahan accomplished the same feat in 1999.

“Anytime you have an athlete that ties a long-standing record, they’re in the zone that day,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “Assists are hard to get, but she was seeing things very well.”

Senior midfielder Kailene Abt and senior attack Ansley Stewart each provided three goals of their own to pace the Irish offensive outburst.

Not to be overshadowed by Tamasitis’ big day was senior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney. Blaney filled up the stat sheet, tallying four goals, one assist, five ground balls, three draw controls and five caused turnovers.

“This was a complete game for her and she hasn’t had one of those in a while,” Coyne said.

Notre Dame (6-7, 3-2 Big East) peppered the Husky defense with 37 shots in the game, nearly doubling the number by Connecticut (6-6, 0-4). Irish sophomore goalie Ellie Hilling followed up a career performance by making seven saves. Of the five goals allowed, three of them came from free-position shots.

With a combined 68 goals coming into the game, Connecticut’s M.E. Lapham and Lauren Kahn posed a tough challenge for the Irish, who passed the test with flying colors. Lapham scored a team-high three goals and Kahn was held pointless for the first time in her career.

“They weren’t expecting our defensive strategy and we did a good job disrupting some of the stuff they were doing,” Coyne said. “We played well as a unit.”

During a nearly 20-minute stretch spanning both halves, the Irish scored seven consecutive goals, including the first five in the second half. Blaney scored three of her four goals during this run.

With the win, Notre Dame remains in contention for one of the four Big East tournament spots. The Irish are currently tied in fourth place with Louisville.

“The atmosphere on campus was great and we played the best that we’ve played in a while,” Coyne said. “I hope we can get a streak going.”

The Irish look to continue their winning ways when they take on Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday.