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ND WOMEN’S LACROSSE: Notre Dame suffers a heartbreaking 10-9 loss

Matt Puglisi | Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The calendar may have said “Easter” this weekend, but it was more like “Groundhog Day” for Notre Dame.

For the second time this season, the Irish (2-5, 0-1 conference) rallied to tie the contest in the game’s waning minutes, only to fall in overtime as the Notre Dame dropped a 10-9 heartbreaker to Boston College in its Big East opener in Waltham, Mass., Saturday afternoon.

The Irish lost by the same score in overtime to No. 19 Vanderbilt three weeks ago on March 9 in Nashville, Tenn.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Boston College, but I definitely felt like there were things that we did in our lack of execution that they were able to capitalize on,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “It was more our own mistakes.”

Trailing 9-8 with just 1:07 on the clock, standout Irish attack Crysti Foote beat Eagle goalkeeper Tara McKennett for her first goal of the afternoon – to go along with a trio of assists – to knot the game at 9-9 and send it to overtime.

However, after leading most of the contest, Boston College wouldn’t accept defeat.

Katherine Wagoner’s unassisted goal 26 seconds into the extra frame proved to be the difference as Boston College moved to 1-1 in the Big East and 5-1 overall on the year.

“In the second three minutes of the overtime, we had five shots on goal, so it’s not like we couldn’t have won the game,” Coyne said. “Crysti had a shot that we thought went in, but they didn’t call it. We had our chances to win.”

The victory marked the first time in seven meetings that the Eagles have knocked off the Irish.

The season-long trend of falling behind early continued to plague the Irish Saturday.

After the Eagles netted a pair of goals in the game’s first four minutes for a quick 2-0 lead, Irish midfielder Lindsay Shaffer put visiting Notre Dame on the board seven minutes later.

The Irish would find the back of the net only once more in the first half on a tally by attack Mary McGrath with 1:11 remaining in the half.

The Eagles, on the other hand, posted four goals in the same span to take a 6-2 lead at the break and put the Irish in a familiar position this season – behind.

“We are spotting teams big leads in the first half, and then we make these furious comebacks, and we outscore people in the second half, but we give them too much of a cushion,” Coyne said. “We’re not coming out completely ready to play in the opening minutes of the game.”

Mirroring previous games, despite the four-goal deficit, Notre Dame refused to roll over and hand the contest to Boston College.

Beginning only 44 seconds into the second half, McGrath spearheaded an Irish uprising that saw Notre Dame net four consecutive goals to tie the game 6-6 at the 7:47 mark.

After McGrath drew the Irish within three with her second goal of the game, freshman midfielder Caitlin McKinney scored a pair of goals and attack Jackie Bowers finished off the run with her only goal of the game to even up the score.

Foote assisted on both of McKinney’s tallies and added a helper on Bowers’ game-tying goal.

Following the Notre Dame rally, the Irish and Eagles traded goals for the remainder of regulation time, with Foote tying up the score after Boston College’s Courtney LeGrath temporarily put the Eagles in front at the 25:54 mark.

The Irish hope Moose Krause Field and Loftus have better things in store – they are a disappointing 1-4 on the road this season – as Notre Dame returns home for five consecutive home games starting Friday when Big East opponent Connecticut visits for a 7 p.m. match at Moose Krause Field.