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Women’s Lacrosse: Irish stay undefeated with win over Buckeyes

Joseph Monardo | Sunday, March 4, 2012

In their first road game of the season, the No. 14 Irish captured a 16-7 win over No. 10 Ohio State in Ohio Stadium.

Notre Dame’s blowout victory continues the team’s undefeated start to 2012 and — after a 17-14 home defeat of then-No. 6 Stanford on Feb. 19 — gives the Irish (3-0) their second victory over a ranked opponent this year.

“I think that we had a total team effort into being prepared, and our goal of improving every time out was really important,” Irish coach Christine Halfpenny said. “We were able to look at the game film and take a look at where we wanted to improve our team and really train hard so we could get ready for we would be able to handle the pressure and the athletic team that Ohio State was going to throw at us.”

The Irish notched the first goal less than a minute into the contest, when senior attack Maggie Tamasitis assisted junior midfielder Jenny Granger’s goal. The Irish added three more goals over the next nine minutes before Ohio State (5-1) answered with two quick scores. The Buckeyes’ run was short-lived, as the Irish responded with four-straight goals to extend their lead to 8-2.

Ohio State scored two more goals before the half to pull within four, but the Irish opened the second with a 5-1 run that effectively put the game out of reach. Seven different players scored for the Irish and junior attack Jaime Morrison, senior defense Megan Sullivan, sophomore attack Lindsay Powell and sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Brosco each scored three goals apiece.

“There’s a lot [for other teams] to worry about on our offense,” Halfpenny said. “This was our third game in a row where we had more than seven point-getters, and I think that’s huge, when we are able to move the ball through a lot of people’s hands.”

Tamasitis recorded five assists in the game, already the second time this season she has reached the mark.

“Her shooting ability, her vision is incredible,” Halfpenny said of the captain. “But I think it is a testament to the players that are around her as well … Yeah, Maggie is amazing, but we are really focused on total team style and the big goal is that everyone is making everyone else look better.”

On the defensive end, the Irish surrendered only seven goals for the second consecutive game. Ohio State entered the game averaging 17.2 goals per game on .506 shooting, but converted seven goals on 29 shots against Notre Dame for a shooting average of .241. Junior goalkeeper Ellie Hilling anchored the Irish defense and collected a career-high 16 saves Sunday.

“Monster game for her, she was phenomenal,” Halfpenny said. “Definitely, if we had a game ball, I think it would have to go to Ellie Hilling … It wasn’t just saves — she picked up ground balls and she caused turnovers as well. She was very focused, very ready.

“[Ohio State has] a very potent offense so we knew they were going to get looks.”

Despite their hot start, Halfpenny said the squad needs to remain focused on the large portion of the season that lies ahead.

“Honestly, we are going to stay focused on Notre Dame, ourselves,” Halfpenny said. “It is still early in the season. We are really excited about the win, of course. Winning builds confidence and it breeds confidence, so that is good, but we definitely know that it is early and we are not going to be resting on our laurels by any means.”

The Irish will return to action when they travel to Boston University on Saturday.


Contact Joseph Monardo at jmonardo@nd.edu