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Freshman Scores to Advance in BIG EAST Tournament

Oct 30, 2012, 2:28 PM EDT

The Irish advanced to the BiG EAST semifinals with a 1-0 win over Syracuse this weekend. The goal came late in the game with an open-netted shot from freshman forward Cari Roccaro after she beat the Syracuse goalkeeper. This was Rocarro’s fifth goal of the season – an impressive accomplishment, considering she didn’t join the team until mid-September after helping the United States national team bring home U-20 World Cup championship. Roccaro’s goal helped solidify her role as an impact player this year for the Irish.

Along with Roccaro, several freshmen have stepped up this year, becoming team leaders and helping create the backbone of the team. Self dubbed the “Baby Irish,” the team is relatively young with 12 freshmen, five of whom are starters, and all of whom regularly see playing time. As the Irish advance further into postseason play, they will have to rely heavily on their freshmen to continue to set the pace.

Although they are a young team, the Irish continue to prove that they can compete, by clinching a share of the BIG EAST National Division title, and winning against a difficult Syracuse opponent. With that win, Notre Dame advances to the semifinal game, which will take place Friday, Nov. 2 in Connecticut against Marquette.

The Golden Eagles, who beat the Irish 3-2 last year in the regular season, are traditionally a tough opponent, and this year is no exception, as they are the top seed. Riding the momentum of a double overtime thriller against DePaul, and a big win over Syracuse, the Irish hope to pull off the upset and advance to Sunday’s final.

You can catch Friday’s contest at 4:00 pm ET on CBS Sports Network.

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