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ND Women’s Lacrosse: No. 5 Irish defeat Stanford in double OT thriller

Michael Bryan | Monday, February 26, 2007

It was déjà vu all over again for the No. 5 Irish at the Loftus Center Saturday as Notre Dame beat Stanford 12-11 in double overtime for the second year in a row.

Irish junior Caitlin McKinney scored the game-winning goal with seven seconds left in double overtime. It was McKinney’s sixth goal of the game. Sophomore Jillian Byers added three goals in the effort as the Irish improved to 2-0.

Notre Dame defeated the Cardinal by the same score, in double overtime, on Feb. 26, 2006 in Palo Alto, Calif.

The loss dropped Stanford, No. 18 in the preseason poll, to 1-3.

Notre Dame trailed 11-9 with less than eight minutes left in regulation when McKinney scored to pull the team within one. Senior Lena Zentgraf then scored off an assist by McKinney with 4:02 remaining to send the game to extra minutes.

“Caitlin has really worked hard on her game, and now that effort is being rewarded,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said.

Both teams went scoreless in the first three-minute overtime period, with the defenses holding strong. It appeared the game would advance into sudden-death overtime until McKinney netted the unassisted goal for the victory.

Both the Irish and Cardinal exploded offensively in the first half, carrying an 8-8 tie into intermission.

Stanford was led offensively by juniors Daphne Patterson and Megan McClain, who scored three and two goals respectively.

Notre Dame out-shot the Cardinal 40-23. Irish goalie Erin Goodman collected six saves, and Stanford goaltender Laura Shane had 17 stops.

Coyne said she was impressed by the team’s effort through penalties and a lack of flow in the game.

“I think that our confidence, even through adverse circumstances, is what sets us apart,” Coyne said. “We have a confidence in our preparation, mental toughness and fitness that when it comes to the end of these games we can dominate.”

The win for the Irish extended the team’s home winning streak to 10 games. Notre Dame has not lost a home game since the final game of the 2005 season, against Ohio State.

In both Irish games this season the team has won in overtime. Notre Dame defeated James Madison 10-9 in sudden-death overtime in the team’s first regular season game.

The Irish will look to continue their hot start Thursday against Northwestern, winner of the last two national championships. The No. 1 Wildcats are 1-1 after a tough 9-8 overtime loss to North Carolina and a strong victory over Vanderbilt.