May 1, 2010
Storrs, Conn. – Senior Gina Scioscia, sophomore Maggie Tamasitis and freshman Jenny Granger combined for 10 of Notre Dame’s 16 goals as the Irish handed the University of Connecticut a 16-9 loss in the regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at the George Sherman Family Sports Complex.
Scioscia, an all-BIG EAST and All-American candidate paced the Irish with seven points (4g, 3a) while Tamasitis added four (3g, 1a) on the afternoon. Granger scored three times with Ansley Stewart adding a pair and Shaylyn Blaney, Kailene Abt, Jackie Doherty and Megan Sullivan getting single goals in the win. Scioscia has now scored in 35 consecutive games, dating back to last season and has 83 goals and 60 assists for 143 points in the run.
Connecticut had three players score two goals each with Lauren Sparks, Kiersten Tupper and Ashley Mitchelides scoring a pair while Jillian Cerar, Morgan O’Rielly and Molly O’Brien scoring once each on the afternoon.
The win gives 14th-ranked Notre Dame an 11-5 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the BIG EAST. Connecticut finishes its season with a 9-8 record and a 2-6 mark in the conference. The win, coupled with Georgetown defeating Syracuse, gives the Irish the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Georgetown is first, Syracuse third and Loyola (Md.) fourth.
Coming off a tough, 12-11 overtime loss, at Rutgers on April 24, the Irish got off to a strong start versus the Huskies, getting the first three goals of the game on the way to a 9-4 halftime lead.
Tamasitis, who now has career highs in goals (17), assists (23) and points (40), got the scoring started just 1:58 into the game when she scored her first of three in the first half.
The score remained 1-0 for over seven minutes until the 20:25 mark when Scioscia beat Jenna Moulton with her first of four on the afternoon.
The lead would go to 3-0 at 17:58 on a strange play. After a turnover in front of the UConn goal, Moulton carried the ball towards midfield with Scioscia in pursuit. Just as she was about to pass the ball, Scioscia stripped her and picked up the ground ball and headed to the empty goal. With the defense moving in, Scioscia bounced a shot at the empty goal that bounced over and went out of bounds. Tamasitis, who was closest to the ball, got it and moved from the back line to an empty goal and dumped it in for her second of the game.
The Huskies got on the scoreboard just 33 seconds later when Mitchelides beat Notre Dame goalkeeper Ellie Hilling from in close at 17:25 to make it 3-1.
Scioscia got her second of the game with 16:11 left on a free-position shot and Tupper cut the lead in half at 4-2 at 15:06.
The Irish then ran off three straight goals to build a 7-2 lead. Doherty picked up a loose ball in her zone and weaved through the defense before skipping a shot past Moulton at 12:14.
Granger got her big game going with 10:59 left when she took a feed from Scioscia behind the net and tucked a shot into the Connecticut goal. For Scioscia, the assist was an historic one as she picked up her 100th career helper, becoming the first player in Notre Dame history to record 100 assists for her career. She also became the first Irish player with 100 career goals and 100 career assists as her totals stand at 111 goals, 102 assists and 213 points.
Sullivan closed out the three-goal run at 8:30 when she converted a feed from Scioscia to make it 7-2.
The Huskies would cut the lead to 7-4 as they scored a pair of goals 27 seconds apart. Tupper connected for her second of the game at 4:07 and Sparks added her first at 3:40 to give Connecticut a spark. Granger answered back just 39 seconds later with 3:01 left and Tamasitis closed her hat trick with an outstanding move to beat Moulton with just one second left on the first half clock to give Notre Dame a 9-4 edge at the half.
The Irish put the game away early in the second half, getting five of the first six goals for a 14-5 advantage with 16:13 left in the contest. Abt, Scioscia with a pair, Granger (her third) and Stewart (her first) did the damage with only O’Reilly beating Hilling (22:56) in the first 14 minutes.
The Huskies would get four of the final six goals, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Irish closed out the 16-9 victory. In the game, they out shot Connecticut by a 36-20 margin. Hilling finished with seven saves in the game while Moulton made 10 saves in the UConn goal.
The 2010 BIG EAST Tournament will be played in Piscataway, N.J., at Rutgers’ Yurcak Field with the semifinals on Thurs., May 6 and the championship game on Sat., May 8. The Irish will face Syracuse 45 minutes following the first game. The first semifinal features Georgetown vs. Loyola at 5:30 p.m. The championship game will be played on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CBS College Sports will televise all three games of the BIG EAST Tournament.
The Irish are the defending BIG EAST champions having captured the 2009 title with wins over Syracuse and Georgetown last season in Washington, D.C.
** IRISH NOTES **
– Junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney had her first multiple-assist game off the season and just the second of her career against the Huskies. The all-BIG EAST and All-American candidate leads the Irish with 36 goals and has three assists for 39 points.
– Notre Dame, Georgetown and Syracuse will all be appearing in the BIG EAST Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. This year, the Irish lost to the Hoyas at Georgetown, 12-10, defeated Syracuse, 6-5, at Arlotta Stadium and beat Loyola, 11-10 in Baltimore.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 - F#14 Notre Dame (11-5/6-2) 9 7 - 16Connecticut (9-8/2-6) 4 5 - 9
ScoringFirst Half:Time Team Score Goal Assist 27:02 ND 1-0 Maggie Tamasitis20:25 ND 2-0 Gina Scioscia17:58 ND 3-0 Maggie Tamasitis (2)17:25 UC 3-1 Ashley Mitchelides16:11 ND 4-1 Gina Scioscia (2) Free-position shot15:06 UC 4-2 Kiersten Tupper Jillian Cerar12:14 ND 5-2 Jackie Doherty10:59 ND 6-2 Jenny Granger Gina Scioscia 8:30 ND 7-2 Megan Sullivan Gina Scioscia (2) 4:07 UC 7-3 Kiersten Tupper (2) Lauren Sparks 3:40 UC 7-4 Lauren Sparks 3:01 ND 8-4 Jenny Granger (2) Shaylyn Blaney 0:01 ND 9-4 Maggie Tamasitis (3)
Second HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist28:18 ND 10-4 Kailene Abt24:26 ND 11-4 Gina Scioscia (3)22:56 UC 11-5 Morgan O'Reilly Kiersten Tupper22:18 ND 12-5 Gina Scioscia (4)21:16 ND 13-5 Jenny Granger (3) Maggie Tamasitis16:13 ND 14-5 Ansley Stewart Shaylyn Blaney (2)15:05 UC 14-6 Lauren Sparks (2)14:22 UC 14-7 Ashley Mitchelides (2)13:31 ND 15-7 Shaylyn Blaney11:58 UC 15-8 Jillian Cerar 6:28 ND 16-8 Ansley Stewart (2) Gina Scioscia (3) 0:40 UC 16-9 Molly O'Brien
Goalkeepers:Notre Dame: Ellie Hilling (60:00 min; 9 goals against; 7 saves)Connecticut: Jenna Moulton (60:00 min; 16 goals against; 10 saves)
Total Shots: Notre Dame: 36, Connecticut: 20Ground Balls: Notre Dame: 16, Connecticut: 21Draw Controls: Notre Dame: 11, Connecticut: 15Caused Turnovers: Notre Dame: 7, Connecticut: 3