Irish fall short in back-and-forth contest
Observer Staff Report | Sunday, March 30, 2014
There were five ties and four lead changes in Saturday’s contest between No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 11/13 Stanford, but Cardinal sophomore midfield Lucy Dikeou scored her fourth goal of the game with just more than four minutes remaining to give Stanford the 11-10 victory.
Senior midfield Anna Kim scored the first goal of the game for Stanford (8-1) less than two minutes into the contest, and Dikeou followed with an unassisted goal four minutes later. Notre Dame sophomore attack Rachel Sexton put the Irish on the board with her own unassisted score with 22:18 remaining in the first period.Stanford’s junior midfield Hannah Farr scored on a free-position shot to put the Cardinal up 3-1 before the Irish scored the next three goals.
Dikeou ended the Irish run at 10:56 with a goal that tied the game at 4-4 and her teammate, freshman midfield Laura Klein, added another a minute and a half later before Kiera McMullan put the Irish back ahead with her second goal of the game. Notre Dame’s freshman attack Cortney Fortunato hit two goals in the final three minutes of the half to stretch the Irish lead to 7-5, and with 16 seconds left in the period freshman midfield Casey Pearsall assisted freshman attack Grace Muller to send the Irish into the locker room with a three-goal lead.
Stanford struck first in the second half as Farr hit a free-position shot at 25:31 to cut the Irish lead to two goals. Fortunato scored her third goal of the game from a free-position shot four minutes later, but the Cardinal scored the next four goals, taking the 10-9 lead with a goal from sophomore attack Alexandra Crerend at 9:49.
Junior midfield Caitlin Gargan tied the game at 10-10 with 8:23 remaining after receiving an assist from Fortunato, but Dikeou made the winning goal four minutes later on a shot assisted by sophomore midfield Meg Lentz.
Notre Dame freshman goalie Liz O’Sullivan made seven saves, one better than Stanford senior Lyndsey Munoz, who had six stops. The two teams were remarkably similar in many other statistical categories: both committed 16 turnovers, while Notre Dame just barely outpaced Stanford in shot attempts, 24-21. Stanford grabbed 17 ground balls compared to Notre Dame’s 15, and Notre Dame had the slight advantage in draw controls, winning 12 to Stanford’s 10. The Cardinal were successful in 11 of 13 attempted clears, while the Irish were 12 of 14. Even fouls – 35 committed by Notre Dame, 30 by Stanford – were notably comparable.
The game was Notre Dame’s second home game played outdoors in Arlotta Stadium this spring. The Irish have four regular season games remaining before the ACC tournament begins in late April, and three of those contests are against ACC competitors.
The Irish have a week to regroup before they return to conference play against No. 20 Virginia on Saturday. The game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at Arlotta Stadium.