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    FIGHTING IRISH

    May 10, 2009

    Recap |  Final Stats

    
    Notre Dame Head Coach Tracy Coyne
    Thoughts about the game...
    "I was pleased with how we played the first half. I wish we were a little more polished and sharper in the second half but considering the fact they have beaten us three years in a row this was a big win for us today."

    How important was it for you to beat Vanderbilt and snap that three-year losing streak to them...
    "I think the loss to Vanderbilt in the regular season (18-11 on April 15) helped propel us to the BIG EAST Championship and this first round win because in that game we got ourselves into such a huge hole early and we weren't able to get out of it. So there were a lot of things we changed about how we play the game from that first lost to Vanderbilt so today it feels really gratifying to get the win."

    Thoughts about the play of your offense and the defense...
    "There was a point early on that we started to click and we were able to gel as a unit. I think when our defense is on it sparks a lot of confidence in everyone. From an offensive standpoint we have multiple threats that we can go to during a game and I think because the scoring is so balanced it's great that you can spread it around."

    Talk about the play of goalkeeper Erin Goodman...
    "I think Erin is relaxed right now and I think she just feels confident when going into a game. She is seeing things develop and she is just really playing her game. I think the turning point for her was the last regular season game against Connecticut. We had a great 40-minute defensive stand where we held them scoreless. That just boosted her confidence and she played really well in the BIG EAST Tournament."

    About being undefeated at home in playoffs (4-0 in the NCAAs in four home games)...
    "At Notre Dame you have traditions and legacies. I think it's nice to continue the tradition of being undefeated at home this year in the playoffs. I think the 2009 team is establishing its own legacy now that they have the most wins (16) in a season in the program's history."

    Next week's match up against another ranked team like North Carolina...
    "We played them in the fall. It's just a fall ball game but we matched up well against them. They're a very athletic, powerful team and quick team. I haven't seen much of them on film but we have a little idea about them. We just have to get to work and get ready for them. We didn't want to look past Vanderbilt to next week because Vanderbilt has beaten us the past three years, including this year. We needed to give them the respect they deserved and we did that in our preparation."

    Players
    Senior Attack Jillian Byers
    Thoughts about the game...
    "We are a revenge team. We've gained revenge on three of our four losses this season. We lost to Syracuse and Georgetown in the regular season and then beat them in the BIG EAST tournament. We got our third revenge game today against Vanderbilt after they beat us in April."

    What did you learn from the first time you played them...
    "We did not play Notre Dame lacrosse when we played at Vanderbilt. We knew that today if everybody went out and did one thing better, made one bigger play, one bigger save, got one more groundball and finish our shots that we were going to come away with a win today against them."

    About the play of the offense...
    "I think our offense has been stepping it up and I think the reason why are offense has been doing so well is because our defense has been coming up with huge plays. We know that if we throw the ball away we don't need to worry about defense because we know they're back ready for a stop to get the ball and get it back down to the offensive end."

    The play of goalkeeper Erin Goodman...
    "Erin has been incredible. She has stepped it up since the BIG EAST Tournament. It's great that you have a goalie that's a wall and we know that if we lose it in the offensive end, she is back there coming up with a big stop."

    Junior Attack Gina Scioscia
    Thoughts about the game...
    "This game was huge for us. I have never been in this position to win a first round game. We're pumped to go down to Carolina next weekend."

    How did being undefeated at home in the NCAAs help the team's confidence...
    "Tracy (Coyne) mentioned that to us but I don't think we really focused on that as a team. We were focused on this game and we definitely got it done and stepped up our play. I thought we played really well especially in the first half but then got a little sloppy in the second half because of the rain. We finished and got the job done."

    What was the difference today from your first meeting with Vanderbilt in April...
    "The first Vanderbilt game was a weird one. Nothing went our way. Our shooting was pretty bad. I think since then it has been the turning point in our season. We've gone undefeated since then, so that loss really was the turning point in our season.

    Vanderbilt Head Coach Cathy Swezey
    Thoughts about the game...
    "It goes in line this year with every game we have lost. Notre Dame played really well and I am not going to take that away from them. I don't think we gave them our best game. I think that's pretty clear by the score and especially the first half score."

    The difference between this game and the first game against Notre Dame...
    "I don't Notre Dame played their best game against us the first time we saw them. I thought this game was going to be a close one today. If we're both firing on all cylinders I think it's a one-goal game. I am sure Tracy (Coyne) felt the first time we played we played really well and they didn't so the scores were just reversed."

    What did Notre Dame do differently...
    "Their game plan was probably similar. I think they were a little more aggressive on their 1 v. 1 and I think more kids were threats today than the first time we played them when they only had two or three.

    Thoughts about the offense and defense...
    "We knew that they were a dangerous team 1 v 1 and our slides were just really late. Jill Byers has very good stick work and we weren't denying her stick and I think those were the critical things defensively. We talked about it but we just didn't do. They knew to shoot the ball low and (goalkeeper) Natalie (Wills) is a very good goalie but that's probably her weakness and they exposed that. At the offensive end we started off just fine. We are a very aggressive offense. We just sat back a lot in the first half. It's just not our normal make-up on offense. I think we had nerves that were involved to be truthful about it. We just didn't look like ourselves, playing fast and aggressive as we usually do. It kind of looked like they mixed up are game plan for Notre Dame and for Northwestern who we played last week."

    Do you think your players were sitting back because they didn't want to give up a goal...
    "We got caught behind so quickly. Like I said they just played such a good game and they kept coming at us in the offensive end and they got a couple fast breaks. In the first game we knew that they had fast break ability so we knew what to prepare for and in the first game they had no fast breaks at all. We slowed it down every single time. Today they had a lot of fast breaks, especially the first half, and they just played great and we didn't play well at all. That pretty much sums it up. It's hard to end this way with some of our seniors but unless you win the championship you go home with a loss."

     

     

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