May 3, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – The eighth-ranked Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team showed their never say die attitude on Friday afternoon at Moose Krause Stadium by scoring three goals in the final 1:55 to wipe out a 9-6 Vanderbilt lead and send the game to overtime.
A goal by midfielder Eleanor Weille and two by top scorer Danielle Shearer, the second coming on a free position shot with 20 seconds left, tied the game at 9-9. That set up overtime where senior midfielder Natalie Loftus got the only goal the Irish would need for a hard-fought 10-9 win over the Commodores.
The victory gives the Irish their best record ever with a 12-4 mark while Vanderbilt goes to 9-5 on the year. Notre Dame must now wait until Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. for a bid to the NCAA tournament and a possible home game next Thursday, May 8.
Being down by three goals with less than two minutes left did not discourage head coach Tracy Coyne. “We came back against Duke and I knew we could score. That’s just the way this team has played all season, with lots of heart and character. Our seniors really took over at the end to spark us,” said Coyne.
Playing the final game of their careers, Notre Dame’s seniors were on a mission to get the Irish into the NCAA tournament and they came through with big plays all day.
Senior midfielder Alissa Moser scored three goals and added an assist for four points and Loftus scored a pair and added an assist for three points in the game. When the game was on the line, the Irish defense, led by Maureen Henwood, Kathryn Lam and Tina Fedarcyk (all seniors) stopped the Vanderbilt attack. The trio combined for 14 ground balls and forced 10 turnovers with several key plays late in the game.
“This has been the focus for our seniors and they showed great leadership today. They are the heart and soul of this team,” said Coyne.
As has been the case most of the season, the Irish wasted little time getting on the board when junior Eleanor Weille scored the first of her two goals on the game on a Kassen Delano set up.
The Irish would score three more times, Loftus, Moser and Meredith Simon getting their first goals of the game, to build a 4-0 lead less than halfway through the first half. Notre Dame continued to dominate the first half, but could not get the ball past Vanderbilt’s Ashley Bastinelli.
With 10:47 left in the half, the Commodores got on the board with Jess Roguski getting the first of her two goals. Tara Schmucker (4:53), Mary McCeney (2:53) and Jeannie Crawley (1:02) each scored to pull Vanderbilt into a 4-4 tie at halftime.
The string of unanswered goals went to five when Schmucker scored her second of the game for Vanderbilt just 4:38 into the second half.
Moser answered back with goals at 22:16 and 18:14 (free position shot) to put Notre Dame back on top at 6-5. That lead lasted just 10 seconds as Crawley grabbed the ensuing draw and outraced the Irish defense, beating Notre Dame goalkeeper Jen White from 10 yards out to tie the game at 6-6.
That goal seemed to give Vanderbilt the spark they needed as the Commodores added three more unanswered goals to build the lead to 9-6. Crawley completed her hat trick with 14:28 left, Roguski scored her second of the game with 13:47 on the clock and Kinsey Osberg scored Vandy’s final goal with 11:37.
That set up Notre Dame’s final assault as time ran down. Weille was fouled in close and scored on a free position shot with 1:55 left.
Following Weille’s goal, Vanderbilt controlled the draw and carried the play into the Notre Dame end looking to run out the clock. Fedarcyk and Lam forced a turnover deep in the zone and were able to work the ball to Loftus who raced down the field. She found Shearer, Notre Dame’s top scorer who had been quiet all day, on the left side and fed her the ball. The author of 34 goals coming into the game, Shearer slipped through the Commodore defense and fired a shot past Bastinelli to make it 9-8 with 1:08 left.
Henwood got possession off the following draw in the Notre Dame zone and headed down field as time wound down. She too found Shearer to the right of Bastinelli and fed her the ball. Shearer cut to the front and was knocked down receiving a free position shot. On her first attempt, she missed, but a Vanderbilt player moved to soon giving her another shot. She buried that shot to tie the game with 20 seconds left.
“Danielle is capable of scoring any time she wants,” said Coyne. “When she lets the game come to her, she has all the ability to get the job done.”
In overtime, the Irish scored in the first of the two three-minute stanzas. The winning goal was all Loftus as she forced a turnover at midfield, carried the ball deep into the Vanderbilt zone, beat a triple team and scored her second goal of the game for the 10-9 advantage with 1:49 left in the first overtime. From there, the Irish controlled play, giving up just one shot in the extra period to hold on to the win.
On the day, the Irish outshot Vanderbilt, 33-16. Bastinelli made 11 saves in 66 minutes for the Commodores while White had six saves on the afternoon for the Irish.
Game SummaryFirst-Half ScoringTeam Time Score Goal AssistND 29:06 1-0 Eleanor Weille Kassen DelanoND 24:05 2-0 Natalie LoftusND 20:50 * 3-0 Alissa MoserND 15:18 4-0 Meredith Simon Alissa MoserVU 10:47 4-1 Jess Roguski Liz DrennanVU 4:53 4-2 Tara SchmuckerVU 2:53 4-3 Mary McCeneyVU 1:02 4-4 Jeannie Crawley Kinsey Osberg
Second-Half ScoringTeam Time Score Goal AssistVU 25:22 4-5 Tara Schmucker - 2ND 22:16 5-5 Alissa Moser - 2 Natalie LoftusND 18:14 * 6-5 Alissa Moser - 3VU 18:04 6-6 Jeannie Crawley - 2VU 14:28 6-7 Jeannie Crawley - 3 Michelle AllenVU 13:47 6-8 Jess Roguski - 2 Kelly DevlinVU 11:37 6-9 Kinsey Osberg Liz DrennanND 1:55 * 7-9 Eleanor Weille - 2ND 1:08 8-9 Danielle ShearerND 0:20 * 9-9 Danielle Shearer - 2
Ovetime ScoringTeam Time Score Goal AssistND 1:49 10-9 Natalie Loftus - 2
* indicates free position goal
Scoring: 1st 2nd OT FinalNotre Dame (12-4) 4 5 1 10Vanderbilt (9-5) 4 5 0 9
Shots on GoalND 33VU 16
GoalkeepersND: Jen White, (66:00 min., 9 goals, 6 saves)VU: Ashley Bastinelli, (66:00 min., 10 goals, 11 saves)