May 3, 2008
Notre Dame, Ind. – Jillian Byers, Shaylyn Blaney and Jane Stoeckert combined for 11 of Notre Dame’s 15 goals on Saturday afternoon to lead the Irish to a crucial 15-11 win over No. 15 Cornell at Alumni Field. The win helped improve Notre Dame’s chances for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The pairings will be announced on Monday evening.
Byers led the way with a six-point game (5g, 1a) with Blaney adding four points (3g, 1a) and Stoeckert three goals on the afternoon, including a goals 32 seconds a part with just over 10 minutes left to put the Irish ahead to stay. Alicia Billings, Gina Scioscia, Kaitlin Keena and Kailene Abt added single goals in the win.
Courtney Farrell paced Cornell with three goals while Noelle Dowd and Katherine Simmons added two goals apiece. Tissy O’Connor, Libby Johnson, Charlotte Schmidlapp and Halsey Diakow had solo goals for the Big Red.
The victory improves the 10th-ranked Irish to 12-6 on the year while Cornell falls to 10-6 on the season. The 12-win season marks the fourth time in the program’s 12-year history that Notre Dame has recorded 12 or more wins in a season.
Coming off their heartbreaking 15-14 triple-overtime loss to Georgetown in the BIG EAST semifinals on April 25, the Irish started out slow on Saturday afternoon, falling behind 3-0 in the first five minutes of the game.
Simmons opened the scoring at 27:23 and was followed just nine seconds later by Dowd to put the Big Red ahead, 2-0. Johnson’s goal at 25:04 gave Cornell the 3-0 lead.
The Irish offense got untracked at 22:06 as Billings converted a nice pass from Scioscia to cut the Cornell lead to 3-1. That put life into the Notre Dame attack and Stoeckert’s first goal of the day off a Caitlin McKinney feed at 19:06 made it 3-2. Byers collected her first of the game at 16:26 and the Irish had rallied to tie the game at 3-3.
Cornell answered right back, retaking the lead at 15:37 as Simmons scored her first of the game, beating Irish goalkeeper Erin Goodman from in front of the cage.
Notre Dame would run off three consecutive goals to take the lead for the first time in the game. Byers grabbed a loose ball behind the Cornell goal and powered her way in front to score at 13:12 to make it 4-4.
The leading scorer for the Irish proved that she can set them up just as well as she connected with Blaney for her first of the game with 7:31 left for Notre Dame’s first lead of the day at 5-4.
Abt, who moved into the lineup to negate Cornell’s strong first half on the draw (8-4 advantage) found the back of the net behind Big Red goalkeeper Kristen Reese with 4:35 left to make it a 6-4 advantage for the Irish.
Cornell closed the first half scoring as Dowd converted a pass from Johnson with 3:52 left to cut the Notre Dame lead to 6-5, a score that would remain as the teams headed into intermission.
Just as the first half started, the Big Red controlled the play at the start of the second half. Schmidlapp (28:48) and Diakow (27:02) scored 1:46 apart to put Cornell back into the lead at 7-6.
From there though, Notre Dame would rattle of four consecutive goals to take the lead for keeps.
Blaney converted a free-position shot at 26:19 to tie the score at 7-7. Abt controlled a draw (one of four in the game) and carried down the field and found Byers in front for her third goal of the afternoon just 13 seconds later at 26:06 to give the Irish the lead again at 8-7.
Scioscia made it 9-7 with a solo effort at 23:19 and Keena closed the run at 17:07 when she scored off a feed from Beth Koloup who made a steal at Notre Dame’s end of the field and carried the ball down the left sideline before setting the freshman midfielder up in front for a 10-7 Irish lead.
Farrell stopped the Notre Dame run with her first of three in the second half at 14:40 to make it 10-8 only to see Stoeckert reel off a pair of goals in 32 seconds. The first came at 10:14 unassisted and the second, a free-position shot at 9:42, proved to be the game winner as it gave the Irish a 12-8 lead.
Byers’ fourth goal of the game came at 8:19 and the Irish had their biggest lead of the day at 13-8.
The Big Red weren’t done though. Farrell and Blaney traded goals at 7:04 and 6:12 respectively before Farrell closed out her hat trick with 2:55 left to cut the Irish lead to 14-10. O’Connor’s goal with 48 seconds left would be as close as Cornell would get at 14-11 and Byers closed out her big day with 23 seconds on the clock for the final score of 15-11.
In the game, Cornell had the edge in shots on goal, outshooting the Irish, 28-27. Goodman finished the game with nine saves, but came up big with seven in the first half, keeping Notre Dame in the game until the offense kicked things into gear. Reese had eight saves in the Big Red goal.
The Irish will now have to wait until Monday evening to find out their status for the NCAA Tournament. They came into the week ranked 10th in both national polls and were 13th in the NCAAs RPI ratings. The win over Cornell gives the Irish three wins this season versus ranked teams – at Duke, at Georgetown and Cornell. They were 3-4 on the year against the nation’s best teams.
** A power outage with 17:07 left in the second half delayed the game for 14 minutes, shutting down the scoreboard and press box. The power was never restored and the game resumed with back up clocks for the timing.
** Jillian Byers five-goal, one-assist game marked the seventh time this season that she has scored five or more goals in a game and her 10th game of the year with five or more points in a contest. She now has 67 goals and 14 assists for 81 points, the second-highest single-season mark in the program’s history.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 - F#15 Cornell (10-6) 5 6 - 11#10 Notre Dame (12-6) 6 9 - 15
First HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist27:23 COR 0-1 Katherine Simmons27:14 COR 0-2 Noelle Dowd25:04 COR 0-3 Libby Johnson Free-position shot22:06 ND 1-3 Alicia Billings Gina Scioscia19:06 ND 2-3 Jane Stoeckert Caitlin McKinney16:26 ND 3-3 Jillian Byers15:37 COR 3-4 Katherine Simmons13:12 ND 4-4 Jillian Byers 7:31 ND 5-4 Shaylyn Blaney Jillian Byers 4:35 ND 6-4 Kailene Abt Gina Scioscia 3:52 COR 6-5 Noelle Dowd Libby Johnson
Second HalfTime Team Score Goal Assist28:48 COR 6-6 Charlotte Schmidlapp Katherine Simmons27:02 COR 6-7 Halsey Diakow Noelle Dowd26:19 ND 7-7 Shaylyn Blaney Free-position shot26:06 ND 8-7 Jillian Byers Kailene Abt23:19 ND 9-7 Gina Scioscia17:07 ND 10-7 Kaitlin Keena Beth Koloup14:40 COR 10-8 Courtney Farrell10:14 ND 11-8 Jane Stoeckert 9:42 ND 12-8 Jane Stoeckert Free-position shot 8:19 ND 13-8 Jillian Byers Caitlin McKinney 7:04 COR 13-9 Courtney Farrell 6:12 ND 14-9 Shaylyn Blaney Caitlin McKinney 2:55 COR 14-10 Courtney Farrell 0:48 COR 14-11 Tissy O'Connor 0:23 ND 15-11 Jillian Byers Shaylyn Blaney
Goalkeepers:Cornell: (Kristen Reese; 60:00 min; 15 goals, 8 saves)Notre Dame: (Erin Goodman; 60:00 min; 11 goals, 9 saves)
Total Shots: COR - 28; ND - 27Groundballs: COR - 20; ND - 25Draw Controls: COR - 11; ND - 17Caused Turnovers: COR- 17; ND - 17