March 13, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - With the score tied at five at halftime, the No. 6/8 University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse team scored seven of the first nine goals to start the second half and held on over the game's final six minutes to take down Vanderbilt, 12-11, Wednesday afternoon at the VU Lacrosse Complex.
Trailing 6-5 just 1:03 into the second half, the Irish went on a 4-0 run to reclaim the lead and go up by three at 9-6. Sophomore Shauna Pugliese scored the second of her team-high three goals to knot the score at six. Caitlin Gargan and Jenny Granger followed suit to make the score 8-6 and Pugliese concluded her hat trick to give the Irish a three-goal lead with 14:18 left in the game.
Vandy moved to within two at 12:14 as Carly Linthicum scored her 31st goal of the season on a free-position opportunity, before Notre Dame scored three more goals to put the game seemingly out of reach. Gargan scored a goal off a feed from junior Lindsay Powell and junior Lauren Sullivan notched a pair of goals within four minutes of each other to give the Irish a 12-7 lead.
However, the Commodores wouldn't go away as they scored four consecutive goals in just over five minutes to move to within one with 36 seconds remaining. Vanderbilt controlled the draw and ran down the field looking for the equalizer, but the Commodores made a critical mistake as they were caught offsides and thus had to give the ball over to the Irish, who ran out the clock to preserve the win.
With the win the Irish remain perfect on the year (6-0) and have a nine-day break in games before opening BIG EAST play against Rutgers Friday, March 22. The opening draw is slated for 7 p.m. at Arlotta Stadium.
Six Irish student-athletes found the back of the net, led by Pugliese's hat trick. Granger, Jaimie Morrison, L. Sullivan and Gargan scored two goals each. Pugliese and Powell both assisted on two goals.
The two teams were pretty even in most categories - the Irish led in shots, 24-19, Vanderbilt led in ground balls, 27-23, and both turned it over 24 times.
Draw controls proved to be part of the difference in the score however, as the Irish dominated in the circle in the second half (10-4) to claim the overall total, 15-10. Leading the charge was sophomore Barbara Sullivan, who tied the school record for draw controls in a game with nine, with all nine coming in the second frame. The mark tied former Irish student-athlete Kaki Orr, who coincidentally also recorded nine against Vanderbilt on May 7, 2006.
Sullivan also had a team-high five ground balls to pace the Irish defense.
In goal senior Ellie Hilling picked up her 39th career win in her 60th career start. The 60 starts is a new school record for goalies, while the 39th win ties her for first in school history. The Rochester, N.Y., native is already the career leader in minutes played (3,547:38) and is third in saves (442).
The teams traded goals in the first half and reached halftime with the score knotted at five. Morrison had a pair of first half goals, including a bizarre one where she looked to pass from behind the cage but Vanderbilt goalie Chelsea Pasfield tipped it down and into her own goal.
Notre Dame trailed 4-2 with 9:09 left after a Commodore goal from Linthicum. The Irish quickly rebounded as Pugliese, freshman Kiera McMullan and Morrison all scored goals to give Notre Dame a 5-4 lead with just 51 seconds remaining in the half. Linthicum answered just 24 seconds later to knot the score at five heading into the locker rooms.