Women’s Lacrosse: Halfpenny, Tamasitis to face off with Duquesne
Joseph Monardo | Thursday, February 23, 2012
After capturing a 17-14 victory over then-No. 6 Stanford in the season opener, the No. 15 Irish will host Duquesne on Saturday in their second game under first-year coach Christine Halfpenny.
In Halfpenny’s first game, the Irish (1-0) scored 12 goals in the opening half and recorded nine assists in the game. Senior midfielder Maggie Tamasitis notched a career-high seven points and tied the school-record six assists, en route to being named Big East Offensive Player of the Week.
Despite the team’s offensive success in the season-opening contest, Halfpenny said the Irish still have plenty to work on.
“Defensively, we would like to get closer to our goal of keeping our opponents in single digits,” she said. “That’s absolutely one of our goals this year. We would like to limit some of the unforced errors that we had, limit some of the fouls … win the ball control battle.
“We are really honing in on the few mistakes that we made and fixing those because we see the kids having ‘a-ha’ moments right now. That is what this week is about — looking back, seeing what went well and seeing what we want to improve on.”
Against Duquesne (1-1), Notre Dame’s defense will face a challenge right away. In their first game of the season, the Dukes used an overpowering offense to hand Bucknell an 18-4 loss.
“They are very scrappy, aggressive … they have some really nice one vs. one drivers,” Halfpenny said. “They are certainly going to compete in their conference. They compete in the top four of [the Atlantic-10] for a bid to the tournament, so we are expecting a battle. We are expecting them to give us all they’ve got.
“They opened it up [against Bucknell,] so they can score goals. We are well aware of how much offensive power they have, so we have some things to fix.”
Following their impressive season debut, Duquesne dropped their next contest on the road, suffering a 16-5 loss to No. 20 Penn State.
Regardless of their opponent’s early season results, Halfpenny said the Irish will concentrate on getting ready to play Saturday.
“We are really focused on what we are doing and what we can control,” she said. “We are not as focused on the opponent. It is mostly, ‘This is what they do, and this is the brand we are going to play.’
“We scout our opponents, but again, we feel confident in the style that we are going to play, and we are going to control what we can control. We are showing up and being consistent, [and] we are staying away from looking too far ahead.”
As they head into the second game of the e Halfpenny era, the Irish have managed to avoid any external pressure to perform.
“The only pressure that we should feel the whole season is the pressure we put on ourselves, and we don’t really have any pressure,” Halfpenny said.
Looking to improve to 2-0, Notre Dame will host Duquesne in Arlotta Stadium on Saturday at noon.
Contact Joseph Monardo at [email protected]