May 11, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. - A Hannah Farr free position goal with four seconds remaining in regulation completed a Stanford comeback that overshadowed a late Notre Dame rally as the Cardinal advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship with an 8-7 win over the Irish Friday night at Northwestern's Lakeside Field.
Having trouble on the offensive end all day, the Irish trailed 6-3 after a Julia Burns goal with 17:06 left in the second half gave the Cardinal a three goal lead. However, Notre Dame didn't give up as it put together a remarkable comeback. Having scored only three goals in the game's first 49 minutes, the Irish offense came alive as they proceeded to score four goals in the next six minutes to take a 7-6 lead with 5:07 remaining in the game.
Junior Lindsay Powell got the comeback started with an eight-meter goal at 11:15. Senior Betsy Mastropieri came off the bench and scored the next two goals for Notre Dame, putting one in on her own accord, while receiving help from Powell on the other. Both goals came within 1:22. With the score tied at six, junior Kaitlyn Brosco gave Notre Dame its first lead since the game's opening minutes as she swiveled around and powered the ball past Stanford goalie Lyndsey Munoz.
The Cardinal didn't give up though as they took possession with under two minutes remaining and were rewarded as Lucy Dikeou scored her third goal of the game to knot the score at seven.
Stanford again regained possession with under a minute remaining and caught a break as shooting space was called on the Irish defense with seven seconds remaining in the game. That penalty gave Farr a free position attempt to win the game. She capitalized, finding the back of the net with just four seconds remaining in regulation.
"Obviously it's incredibly disappointing to have a first round NCAA Tournament exit," said head coach Christine Halfpenny. "After fighting incredibly hard all game, especially in the final 11 minutes, it's disappointing to have such an evenly contested game decided on an eight-meter goal with seven seconds left.
"The fight, heart and execution shown in the last 11 minutes of the game in the comeback attempt will certainly help build a foundation for the young players on this year's team for them to remember and build off of for next season."
With the loss the Irish finished the year at 12-5. The year saw several highlights, including a 10-0 start and five all-BIG EAST and all-region performers with All-America teams still to be announced in the coming weeks.
Notre Dame was led by Powell's three points (2G, 1A) and Mastropieri (2G) on offense and sophomore Barbara Sullivan's remarkable game on the defensive end as she collected eight ground balls and five draw controls and caused two turnovers. She led the team and had a game high in all three categories.
The Garden City, N.Y., native ends her potential first-team All-America season with 57 ground balls (tied for fifth in school history), 67 draw controls (first in school history) and 34 caused turnovers (tied for seventh in school history). She is the only player in Notre Dame history to finish in the top seven in all three categories in one season. Just two seasons into her Irish career, Sullivan is already eighth in school history with 99 draw controls and tied for eighth in the school history books with 66 caused turnovers.
"Once again Barbara has an All-America-caliber night," said Halfpenny. "She came up with crucial possessions when we needed it most. Her ability to contest every single play allowed us to capture momentum for the comeback run. Tonight not only was her physical play noticed by every person in the game, but her leadership set her apart from her peers."
Stanford was led by Dikeou's three goals and two goals each from Burns and Farr. Munoz picked up the win with six saves.
The Cardinal took a 4-2 lead into the halftime break. The first half started off with a bang with three goals in less than six minutes before the game slowed down as the two teams worked the ball around the crease. The first half saw the Irish turn the ball over seven times and commit 14 fouls to just three in each category for Stanford. Notre Dame had the decided edge in the draw circle due to B. Sullivan, but had trouble turning that advantage into goals.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead just 1:13 into the half as Gargan drilled the ball past Munoz. Stanford answered with three goals from Farr, Kim and Dikeou. The Irish trimmed the lead to 3-2 after Powell weaved through the Cardinal defense to score with 11:53 left in the half. Stanford closed out the first period with a goal from Burns with 7:39 left to give the half its final margin.
"I felt at our offense was stagnant and didn't come out as fast or as strong as we had been preparing to do these last two weeks," said Halfpenny. "Ultimately having to play from behind was too much for us to overcome. Our Achilles heel all year has been our slow starts on offense and tonight we were unable to overcome the two-goal first-half deficit. While I'm proud of how hard we fault in the second half tonight and all season, unfortunately it wasn't enough to advance on to the second round."