March 2, 2013
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Down 4-0 just 3:08 into the game, the No. 7/9 University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse team didn't give up as it out-scored Duquesne 7-3 in the second half to earn a hard-fought 10-8 win over the Dukes Saturday at Rooney Field.
"I give all the credit to Duquesne," said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "They came out confident and ready to go and played really well in the first five minutes. We came out a bit flat and didn't get started like we wanted. But I also give credit to our team. After we called the timeout five minutes in, we got back to what we needed to do. We made some changes on the draw and that helped us out-score them 3-1 the rest of the half.
"I felt like our depth was a huge resource for us as we went on the 10-4 run to end the game," said Halfpenny. "Jenny (Granger) and Jaimie (Morrison) did a great facilitating the offense and putting pressure on the defense. Margaret (Smith) was a difference maker on offense and defense and Barbara (Sullivan) was huge on the draws. I felt like the draw control was a game changer for us."
After going down early 4-0, the Irish rallied to trail by just two entering halftime, 5-3. In the second half Notre Dame wasted no time in taking the lead as it scored the first five goals of the second frame all in the first 12 minutes. Senior Jenny Granger bookended the scoring by finding the back of the net just 36 seconds into the second half and then again with 18:00 left off a feed from freshman Brie Custis. The run also featured a pair of assists from junior Kaitlyn Brosco. The first assist came 2:47 seconds into the half as senior Betsy Mastropieri buried one in the back of the net. The second was just under six minutes later when Brie Custis scored her second goal of her career at 21:18. Brosco now has four helpers on the year after entering the season with 15 for her two-year career.
From 18:22 left in the first half to 18:00 left in the second half the Irish went on an 8-1 run that gave them an 8-5 lead.
However, the Dukes wouldn't go away as a pair of quick goals by Meredith Dunn and Amanda Kidder pulled Duquesne (2-2) to within one with 15:10 left in the contest.
Junior All-American Margaret Smith wouldn't let the comeback happen though as she powered home a pair of goals within 2:19 of each other to seal the win for Notre Dame. Smith first scored with 9:36 left on a free position shot to make the score 9-7. Just a few minutes later Granger found Smith to run the score to 10-7.
Duquesne tallied a late goal off the stick of Haley Marafioti with 1:06 left, but the Dukes couldn't get any closer as the Irish left Pittsburgh with the close 10-8 victory.
Granger led Notre Dame's offensive attack as the co-captain had five points, tallying two goals and dishing out three assists. Fellow senior Jaimie Morrison and Smith scored two goals each. In total seven Irish players found the back of the net.
In goal senior Ellie Hilling stopped 12 Duquesne shots to establish a new season high. The Rochester, N.Y., native now sits first in minutes played (3,385.23), second in games played (57), second in wins (36) and fourth in saves (429) for goalies in school history.
Notre Dame peppered the Duquesne goal all day as they recorded 37 shots, including 27 in the second half. As a result Dukes' goalie Kristen Gregory stopped a game-high 15 shots, with 10 of the saves coming in the second half.
Notre Dame (3-0) has a quick turnaround as it welcomes in Detroit for a 6 p.m. Tuesday matchup. Weather permitting fans can follow the match live from Arlotta Stadium through live stats or UND.com's free live video. Links for both can be found on UND.com.
With the win the Irish improve to 9-0 all-time against the Dukes, including 4-0 on the road.
The Irish found themselves in a hole early, trailing 4-0 to the Dukes just 3:08 into the game. The run included goals at 27:20, 27:02 and 26:52 after two consecutive draw controls by Kidder.
Down 4-0, Notre Dame rallied, scoring three of the final four goals to head into the locker room trailing 5-3. Sophomore Shauna Pugliese got the Irish on the board with her first career goal, a free position goal with 18:12 remaining in the half. Goals by Lauren Sullivan and Morrison at 12:59 and 11:48 brought the Irish to within one before a Duquesne goal by Meredith Dunn at 8:34 gave the half its final score.