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Notre Dame Chases Best Start in Almost a Decade

Apr 4, 2013, 12:56 AM EDT

Photo Credit: Matt Cashore

By Rich Hidy ’16

Start the engines of the hype train because it may very well soon be arriving in South Bend. The women’s lacrosse team is now 8-0 following a routine-looking 14-2 victory last Sunday over BIG EAST foe Villanova.

The 14 goals were the third most scored by the team all season as Notre Dame, who seemingly can score goals in its sleep, has scored in double figures in seven out of the eight games. The defensive performance was one of the team’s most skillful of the season. Only once this season has Notre Dame given up less goals on the defensive end (March 5 against Detroit).

Notre Dame has moved up to sixth in the deBeer Media Poll. Maryland deservingly tops the rankings with an impressive 13-0 record. Jenny Granger and Ellie Hilling’s efforts have been noticed nationally as both have been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. Hilling had 12 saves against the Wildcats, and Granger leads the Irish in goals and points with 16 and 26 respectively. Granger and middie Caitlin Gargan stood out in the fourteen-goal performance against Villanova. Granger scored two goals on five shots and Gargan had a season high scoring effort with four goals.

Notre Dame will travel to Kentucky on Friday evening at five for a duel with Louisville. Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny will look to earn her first 9-0 start in her second season at the helm and the program’s first since 2003-04. Although Louisville is unranked, the team is 7-3 overall and 4-0 at home. The Cardinals will be looking to right the ship on their 0-2 conference record against the scorching Irish, who have started out 8-0 in back to back seasons. Junior midfielder Nikki Boltja has compiled 33 goals on the season for Louisville, and her offensive output is supplemented by Kaylin Morissette’s 26 goals on the year. Louisville has six scorers with over 10 goals and midfielder Katie Oliverio has passed for 24 assists. The Cardinals have a powerful offense spearheaded by their athletic midfielders, and the up-tempo style they display will mirror the Irish’s intense barrage.

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Welcome to In The Crease, the official blog providing in-depth and exclusive access to Notre Dame lacrosse. With features, videos, photos, commentaries and news from inside Arlotta Stadium, we are committed to bringing you coverage of the Fighting Irish unlike any you can find elsewhere.

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