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ND Women’s Soccer: Overtime heartbreaker

By Casey Karnes | Friday, October 11, 2013

Under an unrelenting downpour in Charlottesville, Va., No.9 Notre Dame fell 3-2 in a controversial double-overtime nailbiter to No.1 Virginia Thursday night.

Just one minute into the second extra period, Virginia junior midfielder Morgan Brian appeared to head in junior midfielder Danielle Colaprico’s corner kick for the Virginia victory. Officials ruled the play a goal, but Irish coaches and players remained on the field protesting that the Irish cleared it before it crossed the line. 

“Just because you run back and cheer as if you scored a goal doesn’t make it a goal,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said to The Washington Post. “It wasn’t a goal…[the officiating crew] doesn’t need to be doing ACC games.”

Waldrum didn’t return phone calls left by The Observer following the defeat. 

Virginia (13-0-0, 7-0-0 ACC) came in as the only undefeated and untied team in the country.

The Cavaliers, who lead the country in scoring with 3.3 goals per game, wasted no time getting on the board against the Irish (9-3-1, 5-2-1). 

Just over three minutes into the game, Colaprico lofted a perfect pass to set up senior forward Gloria Douglas for a diving header, her second goal of the season.

Virginia continued to press the Notre Dame defense and freshman goalie Kaela Little, scarcely allowing the Irish to get the ball past midfield. Only after switching to a 4-5-1 scheme and moving sophomore forward Cari Roccaro back to midfield were the Irish able to break through Virginia’s pressure. After a few failed probes into the Virginia defense, senior midfielder Mandy Laddish lofted a pass over the Cavaliers defense to freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews, who narrowly missed the net on a header past Virginia’s diving freshman goalkeeper Morgan Sterns. The ball gently ricocheted off the right post towards senior midfielder Elizabeth Tucker, who easily converted the attempt for her second goal of the season and tied the game for the Irish. 

With the goal, the Irish seemed to gain back some momentum, and despite their slow start, they went into halftime tied 1-1 with the Cavaliers. By the middle of the first half, the sky had opened up, making life extremely difficult for the goaltenders and creating a treacherous playing field.

The rain didn’t let up let up in the second half, and neither did the Cavaliers offense. Just as in the first half, Virginia scored early when Colaprico tried to feed Brian in the middle, but her pass instead bounced off the head of Notre Dame’s contesting senior midfielder Rebecca Twining and past Little for an own goal in the 49th minute.

The Irish attempted to respond but struggled to maintain consistent possession of the ball. Notre Dame finally broke through in the 72nd minute when junior midfielder Taylor Schneider sent a cross to Tucker, who hip-checked it past Sterns for her second game-tying goal of the night. 

For the rest of regulation, both teams were unable to score, with the Irish coming close on a pair of free kicks by Andrews. The Cavaliers ended regulation with a 10- 7 shots advantage. 

After each team only managed one shot in the first overtime, the match moved into double overtime, which brought emotions to a high. But the Irish lamentations were for naught, and now they must prepare to visit No. 12 Virginia Tech on Sunday. 

The Hokies (10-1-2, 5-1-1) will be looking to leap past the Irish in the polls with a victory. Behind senior forward Jazmine Reeves, the team’s leading scorer, and senior goalie Dayle Colpitts, who has six shutouts this season, the Hokies haven’t lost since Sept. 12, when they fell to then-No.1 North Carolina. Since then, they’ve won five games and tied one. 

Notre Dame’s losses to Miami and Virginia mean the matchup with the Hokies will be the team’s first game this season following consecutive defeats.

The Irish will look to recover from their sudden losing streak when Hokies host them at Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va., on Sunday at noon.

Contact Casey Karnes at [email protected]