May 16, 2009
Chapel Hill, N.C. – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team saw its 2009 season come to an end at the hands of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of the NCAA Tournament played at hot, muggy Fetzer Field on the UNC campus Saturday afternoon.
The Tar Heels used a balanced attack, strong goalkeeping and a stingy defense as they held the Irish to just 10 goals in a 16-10 loss.
Senior Jillian Byers (Northport, N.Y.), playing in her final game for Notre Dame, led the Irish with five goals and one assist, including all four Notre Dame goals in the second half. Kailene Abt (So., Huntington, N.Y.) scored twice while Kaitlin Keena (So., Vienna, Va.) added a goal and two assists. Junior Gina Scioscia (Summit, N.J.) and Jackie Doherty (So., Ellicott City, Md.) added a goal and an assist in the game. Sophomore Ansley Stewart (Alexandria, Va.) assisted on a pair of goals.
North Carolina’s balanced attack featured three players with three goals each as Corey Donohue, Jenn Russell and Megan Bosica led the Tar Heels offense. Kristen Carr and Chelsea Brooks each had two goals with Laura Zimmerman, Kristen Taylor and Katie Brooks added a goal each. Taylor added three assists while Russell had one to lead Carolina with four-point games.
The Tar Heels out shot the Irish, 34-28, in the game. Junior goalkeeper Logan Ripley made 12 saves in the game while Erin Goodman (Sr., Cortlandt Park, N.Y.) had nine stops in the Irish goal.
The loss ended one of the best campaigns in the Notre Dame program’s history as the Irish finished the year with a 16-5 overall record. North Carolina improved to 15-4 on the year and will advance to the NCAA semifinals next weekend. The Tar Heels will face ACC rival, Maryland in one of the semifinal contests.
“I thought North Carolina played a great game today,” said Irish head coach Tracy Coyne.
“They are fundamentally sound at every position, they are experienced; they’ve been to the quarterfinals the last four years. They know what it takes to win and they showed it today.”
Sophomore Jackie Doherty battles for a loose ball versus North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame wasted little time getting on the scoreboard just 33 seconds into the game when Keena converted a feed from Stewart and tucked a shot past Carolina goalkeeper Logan Ripley.
The Tar Heels answered with three goals in a 2:36 span with Donohue (27:51), Russell (25:26) and Parks (25:15) scoring to give North Carolina a 3-1 lead.
Doherty cut the lead to 3-2 at 22:34 as she snuck in from the right side of Ripley, took a feed from Stewart; her second assist of the half and whipped a shot over the Carolina goalkeeper’s stick to make it a one-goal game.
The score stayed that way until the 15:36 mark when Zimmerman made it 4-2 as she rolled the crease from the right side and beat Irish goalkeeper Erin Goodman for her first of the game.
The Irish offense came back less than a minute later. Byers ripped a shot off the crossbar that was recovered behind the goal. Abt took a pass from the left side and drove on goal beating the UNC defense before bouncing a shot past Ripley to make it 4-3.
Russell would score her second of the game at 12:54 to make it 5-3. The two team’s top scorers answered back with Byers converting a Scioscia set up at 11:24. Bosica re-established the two-goal lead for North Carolina, scoring on a free-position shot at 11:04.
The teams traded goals to end the opening half with Abt getting her second of the half and Scioscia her first to offset goals by Parks and Bosica to make it 8-6 in favor of the Tar Heels after 30 minutes.
The Irish pressured early in the second half causing turnovers that resulted in good scoring chances, but Ripley made two keep stops, one on Byers and one on Blaney to keep the score at 8-6.
Bosica broke through on Goodman at 25:36 with her second of the game only to see Byers answer 54 seconds later at 24:42 to make it 9-7.
Donahue would up the lead to 10-7 converting a Kristen Taylor feed at 23:56 but again Byers had an answer as she and Keena converted a fast break goal just 13 seconds later at 23:56 for a 10-8 North Carolina advantage.
From there the Tar Heels methodical offensive attack took over the game as they broke open the game with five straight goals in a 9:20 span. Taylor (18:24), Brooks (from Taylor) at 11:45, Carr (from Taylor) at 11:23, Carr on a free-position shot at 10:43 and Donohue with her third made it a 15-8 game with 9:04 left.
Byers and the Irish mounted one last charge, as Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer scored off an assist from Keena at 6:12 and then got her fifth of the game at 5:32 to cut the Carolina lead to 15-10. Russell closed out the scoring with the final goal of the game at 3:45.
The 10 goals for Notre Dame marked just the second time in 21 games this year that the Irish had less than 11 goals in a game as the Tar Heel defense and Ripley in goal slowed down the potent attack.
“I thought we were too conservative on attack,” said Coyne.
“I think defensively we were fine in the first half and started to loosen up late in the half and forced some big turnovers. I wanted to be more up tempo on offense and we were way too conservative and that was the difference in the game.”
** Jillian Byers’ six -point game (5g, 1a) gives her 83 goals and 28 assists for 111 points on the season. She finishes three points off the Notre Dame record of 114 set by Crysti Foote `06 in 2006.
** This was Notre Dame’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last eight years and the third in the last four. It marked the third time that the Irish have advanced to the quarterfinals. They lost in 2002, won in 2006 to go to the Final Four and lost in 2009.
** The Irish are now 4-5 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, going 4-0 in home games and 0-5 on the road.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 - F#6/#6 Notre Dame (16-5) 6 4 - 10#3/#5 North Carolina (15-4) 8 8 - 16
ScoringFirst Half:Time Team Score Goal Assist29:27 ND 1-0 Kaitlin Keena Ansley Stewart27:51 UNC 1-1 Corey Donohue25:26 UNC 1-2 Jenn Russell25:15 UNC 1-3 Chelsea Parks22:35 ND 2-3 Jackie Doherty Ansley Stewart15:36 UNC 2-4 Laura Zimmerman14:02 ND 3-4 Kailene Abt12:54 UNC 3-5 Jenn Russell (2)11:24 ND 4-5 Jillian Byers Gina Scioscia11:04 UNC 4-6 Megan Bosica Free-position shot 9:38 ND 5-6 Kailene Abt (2) Free-position shot 5:18 UNC 5-7 Chelsea Parks (2) 5:08 ND 6-7 Gina Scioscia Jillian Byers 0:37 UNC 6-8 Megan Bosica (2)
Second HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist25:36 UNC 6-9 Megan Bosica (3)24:42 ND 7-9 Jillian Byers (2) Jackie Doherty23:56 UNC 7-10 Corey Donohue (2) Kristen Taylor23:43 ND 8-10 Jillian Byers (3) Kaitlin Keena18:24 UNC 8-11 Kristen Taylor11:45 UNC 8-12 Katie Brooks Kristen Taylor (2)11:23 UNC 8-13 Kristen Carr Kristen Taylor (3)10:43 UNC 8-14 Kristen Carr (2) Free-position shot 9:08 UNC 8-15 Corey Donohue (3) Jenn Russell 6:12 ND 9-15 Jillian Byers (4) Kaitlin Keena (2) 5:32 ND 10-15 Jillian Byers (5) 3:48 UNC 10-16 Jenn Russell (3)
Goalkeepers:Notre Dame: Erin Goodman - 60:00 min; 10 goals against, 7 savesNorth Carolina: Logan Ripley - 60:00 min; 16 goals against, 12 saves
Total Shots: Notre Dame: 28; North Carolina: 34Ground Balls: Notre Dame: 15, North Carolina: 18Draw Controls: Notre Dame: 12, North Carolina: 16Caused Turnovers: Notre Dame: 4, North Carolina: 5