Feb. 23, 2010
Hempstead, N.Y. – For Notre Dame junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney (Stony Brook, N.Y.) its safe to say that there is no place like home. Just ask the Hofstra Pride. On Tuesday afternoon at James M. Shuhart Stadium, Blaney returned to her native Long Island and scored a career-high six goals to lead the Irish to a season-opening, 13-12, win over Hofstra on a cold, rainy and windy New York afternoon.
Blaney scored four of her six goals in the second half of the game, including the game winner with 10:09 left in the contest. Senior Gina Scioscia (Sr., Summit, N.J.) added three goals and an assist and sophomore Megan Sullivan (Winchester, Mass.) had two goals in the contest. Kailene Abt (Jr., Huntington, N.Y.) and Ansley Stewart (Jr., Alexandria, Va.) had single goals for the Irish.
The Pride saw Courtney O’Connor lead the way with three goals while Corrine Gandolfi, Stephanie Rice and Liz Falco each had two goals. Ashley Jones, Casey Kellogg and K’Leigh Vanaman picked up a goal apiece.
The victory gives Notre Dame a 1-0 record and improves the Irish to 12-2 all-time in season-opening games. Hofstra falls to 1-1 on the year and the Pride are now 0-3 all-time against Notre Dame with all three losses being by close ones with one or two-goal decisions.
For Notre Dame, it was a homecoming for five players who hail from the Long Island area where they were lacrosse standouts. Joining Blaney were Abt, defenders Rachel Guerrera (Sr., Wantagh, N.Y.) and Kristin DeRespiris (So., Locust Valley, N.Y.) and freshman midfielder Jenny Granger (East Setauket, N.Y.), but it was Blaney who made the most of the trip home.
A preseason all-BIG EAST selection, the talented midfielder scored twice in the opening half as Notre Dame opened a 7-4 lead only to see Hofstra rally with three goals in the final 2:26 of the first half to send the game to the first intermission tied at 7-7.
The Pride wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they took a 1-0 lead just 29 seconds into the game when Vanaman beat Irish freshman goalkeeper Ellie Hilling (Rochester, N.Y.) on a free-position shot, one of five that Hofstra would get on the day.
Notre Dame answered with three consecutive goals in a 2:32 span to make it 3-1. Blaney started the scoring at 27:34 with an unassisted goal and was followed by Sullivan at 26:38 and Abt at 25:02.
Falco converted a free-position shot at 24:09 to make it 3-2 but was answered back as Scioscia, Notre Dame’s top returning scorer, scored a pair of unassisted goals 18 seconds apart at 20:16 and 19:58 for a 5-2 lead.
Hofstra answered back with a pair of free-position goals from Rice to cut the lead to 5-4 with 17:54 left in the half.
The shootout slowed down for 11 minutes as neither team would score until the 6:58 mark when Kaitlin Keena (Jr., Vienna, Va.) set up Stewart with a nice pass and Stewart whipped a shot from in close past goalkeeper Jackie Pandolf for a 6-4 lead. Blaney then closed out Notre Dame’s first-half attack with her second of the opening 30 minutes for a 7-4 advantage.
The Pride rallied for three late goals. O’Connor got her first of three at 2:26 and that gave them some momentum. Falco got her second of the half with 39 seconds and when Gandolfi whipped a shot past Hilling with five seconds left, the game was tied at 7-7.
Hofstra would take an 8-7 lead with their fourth consecutive goal just 38 seconds into the second half to take the one-goal lead. Scoscia set up Blaney’s third goal of the game at 27:35 and the game was tied at eight.
The Pride threatened to break the game wide open with two goals in nine-second span when Vanaman set up O’Connor at 26:31 and Gandolfi broke through the defense to beat Hilling at 26:22 to make it 10-8.
Blaney took matters into her own hands, tying the game at 10-10 with a pair of goals at 25:25 and 23:05, her fourth and fifth of the night. Scoscia then scored her third of the game with 20:49 left in the half to give Notre Dame the 11-10 lead. The two teams would then trade goals over the next 10 minutes.
Jones scored at 18:14 for Hofstra to make it 11-11. Maggie Tamasitis (So., Boyertown, Pa.) made a sweet pass to Sullivan at 17:08 and the sophomore buried it behind Mary Cuddihy who replaced Pandolf following Scioscia’s goal that with 20:49 left in the game. Tamasitis had a pair of assists in the game.
The Pride tied the game for the final time at 12-12 with 13:11 left as Kellogg converted on the fifth free-position shot of the night. That set up Blaney’s final goal of the night when she carried the ball across the front of the goal, appeared to lose control of the ball but got it back before firing the winner behind Cuddihy for the winning goal with 10:09 left in the game.
From there, the teams traded turnovers with the Irish getting possession for the final minute of the game and running the clock out.
Notre Dame out shot Hofstra, 30-26, in the game. Hilling finished with seven saves in her first career start. The Pride’s Pandolf played 39:11 and gave up 11 goals while making eight saves. Cuddihy played 20:49, giving up a pair of goals while making two stops.
The Irish will open the home schedule on Saturday, Feb. 27 when they play host to the Duquesne University Dukes in a 6:00 p.m. game at the Loftus Center.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 - F#8/#8 Notre Dame (1-0) 7 6 - 13Hofstra (1-1) 7 5 - 12
ScoringFirst Half:Time Team Score Goal Assist29:31 HOF 0-1 K'Leigh Vanaman Free-position shot27:34 ND 1-1 Shaylyn Blaney26:38 ND 2-1 Megan Sullivan Maggie Tamasitis25:02 ND 3-1 Kailene Abt Free-position shot24:09 HOF 3-2 Liz Falco Free-position shot20:16 ND 4-2 Gina Scioscia19:58 ND 5-2 Gina Scioscia (2)18:42 HOF 5-3 Stephanie Rice Free-position shot17:54 HOF 5-4 Stephanie Rice (2) Free-position shot 6:58 ND 6-4 Ansley Stewart Kaitlin Keena 4:47 ND 7-4 Shaylyn Blaney (2) 2:26 HOF 7-5 Courtney O'Connor 0:39 HOF 7-6 Liz Falco (2) 0:05 HOF 7-7 Corrine Gandolfi
Second HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist29:22 HOF 7-8 Courtney O'Connor (2) Ashley Jones27:35 ND 8-8 Shaylyn Blaney (3) Gina Scioscia26:31 HOF 8-9 Courtney O'Connor (3) K'Leigh Vanaman26:22 HOF 8-10 Corrine Gandolfi (2)25:25 ND 9-10 Shaylyn Blaney (4)23:05 ND 10-10 Shaylyn Blaney (5)20:49 ND 11-10 Gina Scioscia (3) Free-position shot18:14 HOF 11-11 Ashley Jones Corrine Gandolfi17:08 ND 12-11 Megan Sullivan (2) Maggie Tamasitis (2)13:11 HOF 12-12 Casey Kellogg Free-position shot10:09 ND 13-12 Shaylyn Blaney (6)
Goalkeepers:Notre Dame: Ellie Hilling - 60:00 min; 12 goals against, 7 savesHofstra: Jackie Pandolf - 39:11 min; 11 goals against, 8 saves Mary Cuddihy - 20:49 min; 2 goals against, 2 saves
Total Shots: Notre Dame: 30; Hofstra: 26Ground Balls: Notre Dame: 18, Hofstra: 23Draw Controls: Notre Dame: 16, Hofstra: 11Caused Turnovers: Notre Dame: 8, Hofstra: 9