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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish come up short in narrow loss at ‘Cuse

Meaghan Veselik | Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Despite a 10-point second half rally, the No. 10 Irish fell one goal short Saturday in their 14-13 loss to No. 8 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, as sophomore midfielder Shaylyn Blaney’s last-minute attempt to tie the game was blocked by the Orange defense.

The Irish (11-3, 4-2 Big East) were down 12-3 at the half, but came back to outscore the Orange (10-3, 5-1) 10-2 in the second period. Blaney led the comeback with four goals, three in the second half. Senior captain Jillian Byers added three goals and an assist in the game, along with two goals each from sophomore midfield/attack Kaitlin Keena and sophomore midfield Kailene Abt. Junior Gina Scioscia and sophomore Ansley Stewart both had a single goal for Notre Dame with Stewart earning two assists as well.

Senior attack Katie Rowan led the Orange offense with four goals and two assists, followed by three apiece from junior midfield Christina Dove and junior attack Halley Quillinan.

Syracuse opened up the match with a goal from Quillinan in the first minute of play. Blaney responded with a goal on an assist from Byers a minute later to bring the game to 1-1.

Dove answered for the Orange by starting a scoring run with 10 straight goals in 15 minutes, bringing it to 11-1. Dove had three total goals in the run, followed by senior midfield Bridget Looney and Rowan each with two, and single goals from Quillinan, sophomore attack Tee Ladouceur and senior attack Awehiyo Thomas.

With six minutes left in the half, Notre Dame managed to stop Syracuse’s scoring drive when Byers scored off a low shot on Orange sophomore goalkeeper Liz Hogan to put the Irish at 11-2. Byers scored the final Irish goal of the half with less than two minutes left off of an assist from freshman attack Maggie Tamasitis. Rowan countered for the Orange by scoring her third goal of the half with four seconds left, moving the Syracuse lead to 12-3.

The Irish team that came back on the field after the intermission seemed like a different one that had gone into the locker room 15 minutes before as they quickly took control.

Keena jump-started the Notre Dame attack just more than a minute into the half as she scored off an assist from Stewart. Abt’s first goal came soon after as she broke away from the pack to net her shot at 26:34. Quillinan broke the Notre Dame run briefly with her third goal of the day at 25:45 to bring the game to 13-5.

After Quillinan’s interruption, Blaney re-started the Irish drive when she netted her second game goal off of an assist from Keena at 24:47, the first of six unanswered goals. Scioscia followed with her first goal just more than a minute later before Blaney drove back up to the net a minute after put the game at 13-8. Stewart next scored with help from Scioscia, followed two minutes later by Abt with her second goal to make it 13-10. Syracuse held off free-position shots by Blaney and Byers before Blaney came back with her fourth goal of the day at 7:21, cutting the Orange lead to 13-11.

After stalling the game with two minutes left, Notre Dame failed to force a turnover and Rowan scored on an open net with 1:55 to play, moving them up 14-11. However, the Irish made one last scoring run as Byers netted a goal with 1:08 left and Keena scored her second goal with 58 seconds left to move the score to 14-13.

In the final draw, the Irish worked the ball to Blaney, whose shot was blocked by Hogan with 31 seconds left. The Orange stalled and held onto their one-goal lead and win 14-13.

Notre Dame outshot Syracuse 30-27 in the game and had 15 ground balls to Syracuse’s 13, but fell behind on draw controls 18-11. Irish senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman had seven saves and Hogan eight.

Next up for the Irish is the closing game of their four-game stretch on the road as they take on No. 11 Vanderbilt (8-4) today in Nashville at 3:30 central time in a non-conference match-up.