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Women’s Lacrosse: Blaney’s five goals carry ND

Luke Mansour | Monday, April 26, 2010

No. 12 Notre Dame split a pair of close contests against tough opponents in the final portion of its regular season schedule. The Irish (10-5, 5-2 Big East) defeated regional rival Ohio State 12-11 Thursday, but lost a heartbreaker to conference opponent Rutgers 12-11 in overtime Saturday.

Sophomore attack Maggie Tamasitis was the hero for the Irish at Ohio State, tallying the winning score with just 24 seconds left on the clock. Junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney scored five goals, including four in the second half to keep the Irish close.

The win at Ohio State was huge for an Irish team with NCAA Tournament aspirations, Irish coach Tracy Coyne said.

“Ohio State is a tough place to play,” she said. “They’re trying to play their way into the tournament and playing a game like that helps you know where you stand nationally.”

Notre Dame started the second half strong and jumped out to a 9-5 lead 10 minutes into the second half before Ohio State responded, scoring three unanswered goals to cut the lead to 9-8, before eventually tying the game at 11.

“The game wasn’t pretty, but in the end with Ohio State we just found a way to win,” Coyne said. “It was a big win for us.”

Notre Dame was unable to keep the momentum going from the big win against the Buckeyes, as they saw their five-game winning streak snapped in a hotly-contested 12-11 overtime loss to Rutgers.

A poor first half killed the Irish as Rutgers scored the first six goals and went ahead by a score of 7-1.

“The first half was less than optimal. We just did not perform,” Coyne said. “We didn’t come out ready to play and compete.”

Coyne said Notre Dame’s lackadaisical performance surprised her on many fronts.

“I wish I had the answer but I can’t explain it, quite frankly it was shocking to see them not get it together,” Coyne said. “There was a lot riding on this game so [their lack of performance] makes it difficult to answer.”

The Irish roared back in the second half, outscoring Rutgers nine to four and sending the game into overtime. Blaney and senior attack Gina Scioscia had seven total tally’s in the second half to get the Irish back into the game. The Irish comeback was jumpstarted by four goals in a span of 1:36.

“We’ve demonstrated throughout the season that we can play with everyone,” Coyne said. “The way we played in the second half is the way we’re capable of playing.”

Despite a couple of good scoring chances in the game’s final minutes, the Irish were unable to find the tiebreaking goal, and in overtime, Rutgers star Brooke Cantwell scored the game-winner with just 2:02 remaining.

“Despite everything that happened we still had a good opportunity to win the game at the end,” Coyne said. “We didn’t show up for 60 minutes and now we lost control of our own destiny [in the conference standings].”

The Irish loss was a tough setback for a team that has its sights on a possible conference championship. With one game remaining in the regular season, the Irish will hope to get back to their winning ways against Connecticut Saturday at noon.