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Women’s lacrosse opens 2019 at home against Notre Dame

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Women’s lacrosse opens 2019 at home against Notre Dame

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

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Marquette women’s lacrosse kicks off National Marquette Day weekend Friday at 2 p.m. with one of its hardest matchups this season, facing off against head coach Meredith Black’s alma mater, Notre Dame.

“I’m going to say (Notre Dame) will be our toughest opponent all year,” Black said. “(Notre Dame) being our first game without having any experience and we’re going against, which I think will be a top 10 team this year.”

The Fighting Irish are ranked No. 20 in the IWLCA Division I Preseason Poll and are receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse Poll top 20. Marquette has never won against the Fighting Irish in program history.

All four Fighting Irish who were selected last season for the IWLCA West/Midwest All-Region teams are returners: junior Savannah Buchanan, seniors Samantha Giacolone and Hannah Proctor and sophomore Andie Aldave.

Buchanan was selected Wednesday for the 2019 Preseason All-ACC Team. She contributed 27 goals, 16 assists, 38 ground balls and 67 draw controls.

Proctor is an honorable mention for the 2019 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American team. The senior defender started every game last season and accounted for 28 ground balls and 16 caused turnovers.

“Obviously (I’m) going to get scored on, especially with the shot clock and the competition we’re facing are really talented shooters.” goalie Julianna Horning said.

Black said her team realizes Notre Dame is not going to be easy, but her plan is to play with confidence and as if the team has nothing to lose.

“It’s exciting because they’re a really talented team,” Horning said. “We’ve been preparing for them (by) playing at game speed. Seeing game-speed shots.”

“Going into this week is to definitely play fast and be aggressive,” senior Grace Gabriel said. “If we can conquer those things, then we’ll beat them.”

Without Allison Lane, who graduated, Black said having someone like freshman defender Ellie Henry who can control the ball and pass it to Gabriel will be important against Notre Dame.

“She’s got really quick hands,” Black said. “She was out this fall with an injury, so we’re going to do our best to throw her in and see what she can do.”

Friday will be the seventh time these two teams have met. The Golden Eagles are 0-6 all-time against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame won 17-9 in its last trip to Valley Fields in 2016.

“I would love to beat them,” Black said. “It’s a Midwest rivalry. It’s a Catholic rivalry. They’re a great team to play. … It’s good for our team to get better. But also, when we beat them, it’s going to be that much better.”

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