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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Notre Dame ends break with win

| Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No. 17 Notre Dame went 1-2 over the break, dropping road games to No. 3 Boston College and No. 18 Stony Brook before returning home to defeat Virginia Tech, 15-8, on Saturday.

The 15-6 loss to Boston College and the 9-5 loss to Stony Brook put the Irish (4-4) on a three game losing streak, as they had suffered a defeat at the hands of No. 4 Duke the week before.

“I think heading into BC, ranked No. 3 in the country, we looked at where we were at coming off the Duke loss,” Notre Dame head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “We had a great full week of practice to look at ourselves and prepare, and unfortunately we weren’t able to have it come together.”

Halfpenny attributed the Irish defeats to problems with ball security and shooting.

“[The Boston College game] was a case where there were just too many turnovers. We really lacked the ability to stay competitive in the game because of all our forced errors. That coupled with shooting that has been shaky [caused the loss],” Halfpenny said. “Then we were coming up against a hot Stony Brook team, and again our shooting was something that was an Achilles’ heel for us over spring break.”

However, Halfpenny said she was proud of the effort the Irish put into the games, even when they were behind.

“On the positive side, we fought really, really hard,” Halfpenny said. “We had great fight, great hustle, got a great goal at the final whistle which we were really excited about.”

The performance of sophomore midfielder Cortney Fortunato was a major highlight for the Irish over the break, as she managed a hat trick against Boston College and set a record for most scores in a home game with eight goals against Virginia Tech.

“Cortney is very talented attack player,” Halfpenny said. “She has a lot of dynamic pieces that was she was able to put together. If we need her to get the ball in the back of the net, she’ll do that. If we need her to get draw controls, she’ll do it. She’s just doing everything that we need right now.”

Halfpenny also had praise for sophomore midfielder Casey Pearsall and senior defender Barbara Sullivan.

“Especially on draw controls, Barbara Sullivan had an outstanding day,” Halfpenny said. “It was really nice to see her have an extraordinary performance after she had to sit out so much of last season with an injury.”

Notre Dame was able to break the losing streak with the home victory over Virginia Tech. The game was tied at halftime, but the Irish scored eight to the Hokies’ one in the second half to secure the win.

“We had to come back home and learn from what we did wrong,” Halfpenny said. “Against Virginia Tech, we found a nice edge in our game and we were really able to control the game at home in Arlotta, which is something that was really important to us to start off the spring, playing in nice weather and being done with winter lacrosse.”

Though the break was not as successful as the Irish had hoped, Halfpenny said the team would be able to use the defeats as an opportunity to improve.

“While it wasn’t our goal to go out on the road and come back empty-handed, those games were important for pointing out our weaknesses and addressing them, as well as exploiting our strengths as we go along just like we did against Virginia Tech,” Halfpenny said. “The other big piece of spring break was seeing how strong we are at the draw and taking that into the rest of the season to really define what our offense is going to be about.”

Notre Dame next faces Ohio State at Arlotta Stadium on Saturday at 12 p.m.

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About Renee Griffin

Notre Dame senior, formerly of Farley Hall. Originally from Lake Zurich, IL, majoring in American Studies with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Enjoys talkin' about practice.

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