March 9, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - As has been the case in other games this year, the No. 6/10 University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse team watched Boston University take an 8-4 lead into the half before exploding for 12 second half goals and pulling away for a 16-11 win over the pesky Terriers Saturday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium.
With the win the Irish become just the fourth team in school history to open a campaign 5-0, joining the 2006, 2009 and 2012 squads.
"We are really excited to come away with a win over a strong BU team," said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "They put a lot of pressure on us on both ends of the field which helped them swing the momentum in their favor in the first half.
"But I'm really proud of our team. We are the comeback kids. We had an amazing half, exploding for 12 goals. We showed a lot of resilience out there today. It shows we have the ability to change the course of a game in 30 minutes. We continue to display nice depth and we saw some amazing performances out there from Barbara (Sullivan) and our senior offensive leaders Jaimie Morrison and Jenny Granger. I was also impressed with Stephanie Toy's and Betsy (Mastropieri)'s ability to come off the bench and make a positive impact on our team."
Down 8-4 at the half, the Irish got off to a quick start in the second half, finding the back of the net twice in the first four minutes. Notre Dame scored its first goal on a brilliant series of plays by sophomore standout B. Sullivan. The Garden City, N.Y., native caused a turnover of Christina Sheridan, picked up the ground ball, sprinted up the field and found teammate Morrison, who put the ball in the back of the net to move the score to 8-5.
Toy scored her second goal of the season at 26:10 to put the Irish within two. Mastropieri completed the Irish comeback with back-to-back goals at 21:46 and 20:56 to knot the score at eight.
Boston jumped back in front at 17:04 with a goal from Becca Church, but the Irish churned out three more goals to push their lead to 11-9. A Terrier goal at 10:05 cut the lead to one at 11-10, but the Irish clinched the win by scoring three goals from 6:29-5:13. Toy found the back of the net at 6:29 followed by two quick goals from Morrison. All three goals came within 1:16, including just 19 seconds between Morrison's first and second goals.
After Nell Burdis scored to cut the lead to 14-11 with 3:20 left, junior Lauren Sullivan scored two goals in the final three minutes to give the game its final margin.
A balanced offense paced the Irish, led by Morrison's four goals and two assists. Fellow senior Granger tallied three goals and one assists, while L. Sullivan and Toy each recorded a hat trick.
B. Sullivan had a monster game all over the field, collecting eight ground balls and causing five turnovers. She also had two draw controls and the first assist of her career.
In goal Ellie Hilling had nine saves while facing intense Terrier pressure all day. The Rochester, N.Y., native continued her climb in the goalie career record books as she is now tied for first in school history for games played (59) and third in saves (439). She is also eighth in school history for ground balls (124).
Shots, ground balls, saves and fouls were all even, but the Irish did gain a sizable advantage in the draw, collecting 18 draws to just 11 for the Terriers.
The Irish jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first half on the strength of back-to-back goals by Granger. However, the Terriers got their offense going by using a pressure defense to force 16 Irish first-half turnovers. What followed were six consecutive goals that turned a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 halftime lead. Kristen Mogavero tallied a pair of goals during the scoring burst, while Boston's leading goal scorer Danielle Etrasco found the back of the net with just seven seconds left to move the score to a four goal margin.
Notre Dame hits the road over spring break to Nashville, Tenn., for a 4 p.m. Wednesday matchup with the Vanderbilt Commodores. Fans can follow the game through live stats. A link can be found on UND.com.