Mar 8, 2013, 8:54 AM EST
The sixth-ranked Irish continued a scorching start to the year at home in Loftus on Tuesday by making a statement to the rest of the nation with an authoritative 22-1 win over Detroit (1-4). This team has started as well as anyone and is a legit contender right now for the best team in collegiate women’s lacrosse. Not only did the win catapult Notre Dame to a 4-0 record, but the margin of victory was also the most in school history at 21 goals. Notre Dame also surpassed last season’s goal scoring record of 21, showing coach Christine Halfpenny’s up-tempo, high-octane offense.
The underdog, Detroit, didn’t have time to react when they stepped on the field as the Irish jolted out to a 13-0 lead in the first half. This barrage of scoring set the tone for the game as a whole. The Irish outshot their opponent 19-2 in the first half and 35-6 for the game, giving Ellie Hilling a break during the entire contest, in which she only had to make a single save.
Senior attack Jenny Granger scored on each of her four shot attempts, pushing her total goal count at seven on the year. Shauna Pugliese also had four goals and an assist from the bench on a day where twelve total players scored. Junior attack player Kristen Cousins played in her first game of the season and netted three goals. Backup goalie Adele Bruggeman saw over 17 minutes of action as the Irish were able to rotate many bench players into the mix. Freshman Rachel Sextone saw her first minutes of the season and also scored a goal.
The Irish owned every major statistical category. They went four for six on free position shots, cut Detroit’s amount of turnovers in half (26-13), and won both ground balls and draw controls. Basically, everything Coach Halfpenny stresses on a daily basis the Irish succeeded to accomplish. Although Detroit is hardly the opponent Notre Dame would be facing in a deep playoff situation, this favorable outcome has to be a confidence booster for every member of the team.
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