May 7, 2011
Washington, D.C. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team came up just short in it’s bid to win a second BIG EAST title on Saturday afternoon at Georgetown’s Multi-Sport Facility, dropping a 12-10 decision to the Loyola Greyhounds.
Loyola was led by BIG EAST offensive player of the year Grace Gavin and fellow senior Mary Heneberry as each had four-point games with three goals and an assist in the victory. Abby Rehfuss and Marlee Paton added two goals each with Carolyn Hager and Taryn VanThof scoring one apiece.
Greyhound’s goaltender Kerry Stoothoff was named the tournament’s most valuable player as she made 10 saves in the game, six in the second half, to preserve the win for Loyola. Notre Dame goalkeeper Ellie Hilling finished the contest with five saves.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Irish, as Notre Dame is now 10-9 on the year. The win improved Loyola to 16-2 on the season. The Greyhounds, ranked ninth to start the week, will advance to the NCAA Tournament next weekend as they take the BIG EAST automatic bid. The championship was the first for Loyola since joining the women’s lacrosse conference as an associate member in 2006.
Notre Dame got off to a fast start scoring twice in the first 21 seconds to take a 2-0 lead. Blaney set up Keena who drove down the left side and beat Stoothoff up high just 12 seconds into the game.
Nine seconds later, Abt grabbed a draw at midfield and carried it through the Loyola defense, firing a shot past Stoothof from inside the eight-meter arc and the Irish were ahead by two.
Just a minute and 30 seconds later, Loyola would break through on Hilling as Gavin got her first of the game at 28:09 to cut the lead in half, 2-1, before the teams got into their game plans.
The next goal came over six minutes later when Hager took a feed from Heneberry and bounced a shot past HIlling at 22:08 to make it 2-2.
The Irish would retake the lead on an outstanding run by Lauren Fenlon who carried the ball out of the Notre Dame zone all the way to the restraining line where she hit Brosco with a pass. The freshman midfielder drove straight to the goal and beat Stoothoff inside the left post for a 3-2 Irish lead.
Rehfuss answered back for the Greyhounds with her first of the game at 17:58 to tie the score, 3-3.
Notre Dame would get the next two goals to build a 5-3 lead. Stewart took a pass from Keena off a free-position to the left of Stoothoff and beat her with a shot under the cross bar at 14:58 and Granger gave Notre Dame its second two-goal lead at 9:03 when she converted a feed from Tamasitis from behind the goal. The assist was the first of three for the Irish playmaker as she had seven in the tournament. She also set the single-season assist mark at Notre Dame with 46 for the year.
Loyola answered with the next two goals inside the four-minute mark, 17 seconds apart as they got players behind the defense for breakaway chances.
Rehfuss took a long pass from Hager and went in alone on Hilling bouncing a shot past her at 3:33 to make it 5-4. Off the ensuing draw, Gavin sent Heneberry in all alone and she beat the Irish goalkeeper with another bouncing shot at 3:16 to tie the game at 5-5.
Gavin then scored on a free-position shot with 1:48 left to give Loyola its first lead of the game at 6-5. Notre Dame closed the half with Keena scoring her second of the game off the ensuing draw, racing down the field between the defenders to score with 1:41 left.
Blaney put the Irish ahead at halftime when she rifled a free-position shot past Stoothoff with 23 seconds left for a 7-6 advantage.
In the second half, goals were at a premium early as neither team scored until the 19:12 mark when Heneberry scored her second of the game to tie things at 7-7.
Paton got her first of two with 13:16 left off a feed from Hager to give the Greyhounds an 8-7 advantage.
The Irish would go 17:27 without a goal (since Blaney’s free position goal at the end of the first half) before Morrison scored off a Tamasitis setup with 12:56 tie matters at 8-8.
Gavin answered with a free-position goal at 11:43 and Paton picked up her second in a three-minute span to make it 10-8 at the 10:06 mark.
The Irish didn’t panic and continued to work for scoring chances. Morrison and Tamasitis partnered for a second time with 6:15 left to make it 10-9 only to see Heneberry get her third of the game 19 seconds later at 5:56 to make it 11-9.
Blaney cut it to one at 11:10 off a free-position goal at 5:29 but VanThof answered with a Loyola free-position goal at 4:37 for the final tally of the afternoon to give Loyola the 12-10 win.
Notre Dame out shot the Greyhounds, 28-24 in the game. The Irish will now have to wait until Sunday evening to see if they have any chance of advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
** IRISH NOTES **
** The 2011 BIG EAST Tournament marked the first time the Irish lost in the title game. The only other time they advanced to the championship was in 2009 when they captured their first BIG EAST title. The loss to Loyola was the first versus the Greyhounds in the tournament and leaves Notre Dame with a 3-4 all-time mark in five BIG EAST Tournaments.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 - FNotre Dame (10-9) 7 3 - 10#9/#8 Loyola (16-2) 6 6 - 12
ScoringFirst Half:Time Team Score Goal Assist29:48 ND 1-0 Kaitlin Keena Shaylyn Blaney29:39 ND 2-0 Kailene Abt28:09 LOY 2-1 Grace Gavin22:08 LOY 2-2 Caroline Hager Mary Heneberry20:41 ND 3-2 Kaitlyn Brosco Lauren Fenlon17:58 LOY 3-3 Abby Rehfuss14:58 ND 4-3 Ansley Stewart Kaitlin Keena 9:03 ND 5-3 Jenny Granger Maggie Tamasitis 3:33 LOY 5-4 Abby Rehfuss (2) Caroline Hager 3:16 LOY 5-5 Mary Heneberry Grace Gavin 1:48 LOY 5-6 Grace Gavin (2) Free-position shot 1:41 ND 6-6 Kaitlin Keena (2) 0:23 ND 7-6 Shaylyn Blaney Free-position shot
Second HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist19:12 LOY 7-7 Mary Heneberry (2)13:16 LOY 7-8 Marlee Paton Caroline Hager (2)12:56 ND 8-8 Jaimie Morrison Maggie Tamasitis (2)11:43 ND 8-9 Grace Gavin (2) Free-position shot10:06 LOY 8-10 Marlee Paton (2) 6:15 ND 9-10 Jaimie Morrison (2) Maggie Tamasitis (3) 5:56 LOY 9-11 Mary Heneberry (3) 5:29 ND 10-11 Shaylyn Blaney (2) Free-position shot 4:37 LOY 10-12 Taryn VanThof Free-position shot
Goalkeepers:Notre Dame: Ellie Hilling (60:00 min; 12 goals against, 6 saves)Loyola: Kerry Stoothoff (60:00 min; 10 goals against, 10 saves)
Total Shots: Notre Dame: 28; Loyola: 24Ground Balls: Notre Dame: 19; Loyola: 20Draw Controls: Notre Dame: 15; Loyola: 9Caused Turnovers: Notre Dame: 8; Loyola: 11