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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Notre Dame split West Coast road swing

| Sunday, February 22, 2015

No. 8 Notre Dame split a pair of contests on the West Coast this weekend, falling 12-10 to No. 18 Stanford on Friday night before defeating California, 17-7, on Sunday afternoon.

The Irish (3-1) took an early 2-o lead over Stanford (2-0) on a pair of goals assisted by sophomore midfielder Casey Pearsall — sophomore attack Grace Muller scored 38 seconds into the game and junior attack Rachel Sexton doubled the Irish advantage four minutes later — before the Cardinal stormed back with a trio of goals to take a 3-2 lead midway through the first half.

Sexton snagged her second goal en route to a five-goal performance with 13:32 to play in the first half, but three straight Stanford goals gave the Cardinal a lead they would not relinquish.

The Cardinal were led by fifth-year senior attack Rachel Ozer’s four goals on the day, while freshman goaltender Allie DaCar made eight saves in the Stanford net.

On the stat sheet, the Irish looked well-positioned to grab the win at Cagan Stadium, outshooting Stanford 37-16 while controlling 16 of 24 draws. However, the Cardinal limited Notre Dame’s shots on goal — the Irish got just 18 of those 37 shots through to the net — and took advantage of their free-position opportunities.

Both teams took six free-position shots on the day; Stanford scored on all six while the Irish converted just two.

Trailing 12-7 with just over 12 minutes to play, the Irish rattled off three straight goals but could close the gap only to 12-10. Their last goal came on a free-position shot from junior midfielder Stephanie Toy with 3:28 to play.

Sophomore attack Cortney Fortunato, who led Notre Dame with 46 goals last season, failed to tally against the Cardinal, recording just a single assist in the first half.

It marked the third straight meeting between the teams that Stanford has won — the Cardinal pulled out one-goal wins in the 2013 NCAA tournament and in the 2014 regular-season.

The Irish bounced back Sunday, however, trouncing California (0-1) in Berkley, California.

After coming up empty against Stanford, Fortunato started a two-goal performance on the right foot Sunday, tallying in the game’s first two minutes to give the Irish a lead they would not concede.

Nearing the midway point of the first half with Notre Dame up 3-2, Sexton continued her strong weekend with an extra-man goal — the Irish converted both opportunities on the day — and kickstarted a 5-0 run that blew the game open for the Irish.

En route to a five-point performance, sophomore attack Heidi Annaheim kept the momentum going with a pair of goals before Sexton and Muller completed the run.

After notching just three saves on 14 shots Friday, Irish sophomore goalkeeper Liz O’Sullivan bounced back with a five-save performance Sunday, notching her third win of the season.

Annaheim’s three goals off the bench paced the Irish alongside Toy, who also scored a hat trick, in a game in which nine players scored.

The Irish put 23 of 30 shots on goal and went 5-for-5 on free-position shot opportunities. They again controlled the draws, winning 16 to the Golden Bears’ nine, and were successful on 13 of 15 clears.

The Irish return to action Sunday when they travel to Durham, North Carolina, to take on Duke at noon in Notre Dame’s ACC opener.

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