April 29, 2011

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Irish Clinch Big East Tourney Berth

from press release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Close games have not been friendly to the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team this season. Coming into Friday afternoon's BIG EAST game at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium, the Irish were just 1-4 in games decided by two goals or less with two losses coming in overtime.

Sophomore midfielder Jenny Granger put those bad memories all in the past when she converted a pass from junior Maggie Tamasitis with 0.8 seconds left on the clock to give Notre Dame a wild, 16-15 win over the Cardinals. The win clinched a spot for the Irish in next week's BIG EAST Tournament that will be held in Washington, D.C.

Granger, who hadn't scored a goal since April 8th, led the Notre Dame offense with four goals in the game. Kaitlyn Brosco, Shaylyn Blaney and Kailene Abt each added three goals while Jaimie Morrison scored twice and Megan Sullivan once in the win.

The trio of Bergan Foley (five goals), Liz Lovejoy (five goals) and Emily Dashiell (four goals) combined for 14 goals and three assists to pace the Louisville attack. Katie Oliverio added the 15th goal for the Cardinals.

The win evened Notre Dame's overall record to 8-8 on the season and improved the Irish to 5-2 in the BIG EAST, clinching fourth place in the conference standings. The loss dropped Louisville to 10-7 overall and 3-5 in conference play.

The Irish trailed 5-2 with 13 minutes left in the first half but rallied to make it 8-6 at halftime. From there, the score was tied four times with Dashiell tying the game with 4:32 left in the contest at 15-15.

Irish head coach Tracy Coyne took a timeout at that point and the Irish won the ensuing draw with Blaney grabbing her second of the day. From there the Irish tried to run out the clock.

They were able to work the clock down to under one minute. Following a loose ball in the waning moments Abt broke down the middle but fired a shot wide that went out of bounds with one second on the clock.

Tamasitis was on the end line and found Granger all alone on the extended goal line and the sophomore from East Setauket, N.Y., fired it into an open goal past goalkeeper Katie Zoeller as time expired. The assist was Tamasitis's fifth of the game.

The game officials conferred following the goal and ruled that Granger's shot crossed the goal line before time expired to give the Irish the win.

As the Irish have done in recent weeks, they fell behind early in the contest and rallied to get back in the game by halftime.

Foley and Lovejoy scored twice with Dashiell getting the fifth goal to give Louisville the 5-2 lead with 13:03 left in the opening 30 minutes.

From there, Notre Dame would score six of the final seven goals of the half to take an 8-6 lead at the intermission.

Granger started the comeback and had two goals in the run while Morrison, Brosco, Abt and Sullivan scored single goals with Foley getting her third of the half for the Cardinals.

The wild second half began with Lovejoy and Granger trading goals to make it 9-7 Notre Dame with 24:28 left in the contest.

Dashiell would start a run of seven goals in a 2:20 span by both teams, including four in 35 seconds when she scored at 23:18 to make it a one-goal game.

Lovejoy tied the game at 9-9 with her fourth of the game just 12 seconds later at 23:06. Abt took 35 seconds put the Irish back on top, 10-9, at 22:31 and Blaney restored the two-goal lead with a free-position goal 15 seconds later at 22:16.

Oliverio took 10 seconds to cut the lead to 11-10 at 22:06 and Lovejoy's fifth of the game knotted the score at 11-11 just nine seconds later at 21:57. Brosco closed out the wild run at 20:58 with her second of the game to give Notre Dame a 12-11 lead.

Both teams slowed down and caught their breath for a moment (1:49) before Oliverio set up Foley for her 64th goal of the season and fourth of the game at 19:09, evening the score at 12-12.

Abt's third goal of the game and Morrison's second gave the Irish a two-goal cushion with 14:28 remaining only to see Bergan get her fifth of the contest with 12:55 left.

Brosco closed out her third consecutive game with three or more goals by getting her third of the game at 9:52 to make it 15-13 only to see Dashiell score twice (7:28 and 4:52) to tie the game at 15 and set up the dramatic, but happy ending for Notre Dame.

The Irish out shot Louisville in the game, 32-29. Notre Dame goalkeeper Ellie Hilling had five saves on the afternoon while Zoeller finished with eight in the Cardinals' goal.

Notre Dame closes out the regular season on Sunday, May 1 with a noon contest at Cincinnati.


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