May 1, 2004
Notre Dame, Ind. - Two of the premier players in women's collegiate lacrosse - Notre Dame standout Meredith Simon (Sr., Flemington, N.J.) and Syracuse midfielder Leigh-Ann Zimmer - got together on Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame's Loftus Center to put on a show. Simon out-pointed Zimmer, 8-7, in the game and the 13th-ranked Irish snapped a four-game losing streak with a 13-11 win over the 14th-ranked Orangewomen.
Simon, who needs two more points to break Notre Dame's single-season point mark, scored four goals and set up four others in her eight-point afternoon while Zimmer racked up five goals and two assists for her seven-point game. Both players are all-BIG EAST and All-American candidates and are among the top 20 nominees for lacrosse's prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy.
The victory keeps Notre Dame's hopes for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament alive as the Irish improve to 11-4 on the year and 4-2 in the BIG EAST. Syracuse falls to 9-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play as the teams share second place in the final BIG EAST standings behind Georgetown.
The two teams traded goals over the first nine minutes of the game as the Orangewomen took a 3-2 lead. Abby Owen (Sr., Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) opened the scoring just 1:19 into the game off a Simon feed. Zimmer answered back at 24:46 with her first of the day to even the score at 1-1. Melody Agnew, who scored a pair for Syracuse, gave the Orange a 2-1 lead just 43 seconds later.
Notre Dame tied the game 2-2 as Simon collected her first goal off a Jackie Bowers (Jr., Springfield, Pa.) assist (one of three on the game) at 22:42 but Syracuse came right back on Danielle Lillis' first of three goals at 21:25. That would be the last goal that Syracuse would score until the 26:47 mark of the second half as Notre Dame's offense took over.
The Irish would run off eight straight goals to build a 10-3 lead early in the second stanza. Simon started the run with 18:53 left in the opening half, tying the game, 3-3. Meghan Murphy (Fr., Centennial, Colo.) put the Irish ahead on a free-position shot at 14:57. Owen made it 5-3 with another free-position shot at 11:14. Lauren Fischer (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.), who scored three goals in the game, scored two in a row (both off Simon feeds) at 10:27 and 7:51. Simon added a free-position goal with 6:36 left to make it 8-3 and Crysti Foote (So., Suffern, N.Y.) made it 9-3 with 5:18 left to close the first-half scoring with the Irish in the lead, 9-3.
Foote was at it again just 1:35 into the second half when she beat Syracuse goalkeeper Jennifer Kasel for her second goal of the game and a 10-3 Irish lead.
That goal woke up the Orangewomen with Zimmer leading the charge. She got her first of four in the half with 26:47 left in the game to make it 10-4. Lillis got her second of the game with 22:30 left and the momentum looked like it was ready to swing in Syracuse's favor as the Irish lead was cut to 10-5.
Simon answered that goal with her fourth of the game less than one minute later (21:35) and the goal seemed to slow the Orange charge.
Over three minutes passed before Lillis capped her three-goal effort with a free-position goal at 18:12. Zimmer beat the Irish defense off the draw and whipped a shot past goalkeeper Carol Dixon (Jr., Pennsauken, N.J.) just 10 seconds later to make it 11-7. Jill DePetris scored off a free-position chance at 15:31 and Zimmer made it a two-goal game with her fourth goal at 14:45 for an 11-9 score.
Foote slowed the Orange with a free-position tally with 10:55 left to make it 12-9 in favor of the Irish. That lead would dwindle to 12-11 when Zimmer set up Agnew with 7:01 left and then added her fifth with 5:48 remaining.
The Irish answered just 13 seconds later when Bowers (third assist) set up Fischer in close to give Notre Dame a 13-11 lead with 5:35 left in the game.
Syracuse got possession of the ensuing draw but lost the ball with 4:29 remaining. From there the Irish went into a stall and held the ball the remainder of the game to seal the 13-11 win.
The Irish outshot Syracuse, 31-21, in the game. Kasel finished with 12 saves for the Orangewomen while Dixon was credited with five saves in the Notre Dame goal.
The Irish close out the regular-season schedule on Saturday, May 8 when they play host to the Vanderbilt Commodores in a 1:00 p.m. game at Moose Krause Stadium.
Game Summary: 1 2 - F #14 Syracuse (9-5/4-2) 3 8 - 11 #13 Notre Dame (11-4/4-2) 9 4 - 13
GOALS: Leigh-Ann Zimmer (5), Danielle Lillis (3), Melody Agnew (2), Jill DePetris.
ASSISTS: Leigh-Ann Zimmer (2).
First Half Scoring
SU: Jennifer Kasel (60:00 min; 13 goals against; 12 saves)
ND: Carol Dixon (60:00 min; 11 goals against; 5 saves)