April 7, 2013
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Five University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse players scored two goals each and all 31 student-athletes saw game action as the No. 6/7 Irish defeated Cincinnati, 13-6, in Sunday BIG EAST action at Sheakley Athletic Center.
With the win the Irish (10-0, 4-0 BIG EAST) tie the 2004 squad for the best start in school history (10-0), while the 4-0 record in BIG EAST play ties the 2002 squad for the most league wins without a loss to begin the season. Notre Dame looks to break the record next weekend as they welcome in a pair of top-20 teams in No. 15/15 Loyola and No. 9/9 Georgetown to Arlotta Stadium. Notre Dame and the Greyhounds play at 7 p.m. Friday, while the Hoyas come to town at 2 p.m. Sunday. Fans can follow both critical contests through live stats and UND.com's free online broadcast.
"I'm proud of our overall effort throughout the weekend, said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "Coming off a critical overtime win Friday, I thought our team did a great job staying focused to complete the two win weekend.
"We struggled with our shooting today and that's an area that we need to be more consistent with as a team. But credit to their goalie, she made some impressive saves throughout the course of the game. I'm excited for the team to get back to work this week to prepare for the second half of the BIG EAST season. Without a doubt we will continue to see everyone's best game, therefore we need to be sure to bring ours."
The Irish methodically took down the Bearcats, scoring seven goals in the first half and six in the second, while allowing just three in each frame. Notre Dame out-shot Cincinnati, 33-16, collected more ground balls, 14-10, and draw controls, 12-9, and forced the Bearcats into nine more turnovers, 23-14. The Irish were also 3-for-4 in free position opportunities.
Every time the Bearcats would score a goal, the Irish would answer with at least two in a row. Notre Dame had runs of three goals in a row three times and runs of two goals in a row twice, while Cincinnati never scored more than a single goal before the Irish would score again.
Senior Ellie Hilling picked up her ninth win of the season in goal for the Irish, stopping four shots and allowing four goals in 45:04 of action.
Cincinnati jumped out to the early 1-0 lead just 1:02 into the contest as Katie Kiriazoglou found the back of the net off a free position opportunity. The Irish answered with a flurry of goals, scoring three times in 1:43. Senior Jenny Granger scored first, followed by two goals from Powell. After Megan Bell trimmed the margin to 3-2 with a goal at 20:23, senior Betsy Mastropieri and freshman Stephanie Toy tallied goals to move the score to 5-2 with 15:50 remaining in the first half.
The Bearcats answered with a goal from Courtney Curtis at 12:18 to make the score 5-3. However, Notre Dame closed out the half with goals from Granger and Mastropieri and opened the second half with a score from junior Grace Dooley to put the game out of reach at 8-3. Later in the second half both Rachel Sexton and Lauren Sullivan found the back of the net twice within 8:21 (19:23-11:02) and junior All-American Margaret Smith rounded out the Irish scoring with a goal at 10:15.