April 16, 2001
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It was another first for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team as the Irish scored nine unanswered goals to rally from a 4-0 deficit to beat host and seventh-ranked Yale 9-6 for its first-ever win over a top-10 opponent. Notre Dame trailed 4-3 at halftime, held Yale scoreless for over 39 minutes and outscored the Bulldogs 6-2 in the second half to improve to 8-3 with its first win in three meetings with Yale. The Irish had lost five straight games to top-10 opponents before the win and returns to action against another top-10 foe when they play host to fifth-ranked Georgetown at 1:00 p.m. on Sun., April 22, in a battle of the top two teams in the BIG EAST standings.
“This is such a monumental win for our program,” said head coach Tracy Coyne, who started the Irish varsity program five years ago. “Coming off the disappointing loss to Duke, to beat our first top-10 opponent on the road is a great accomplishment. Before the game we talked a lot about earning respect nationally and a win like this does just that.”
Yale opened the game with three goals in the first 7:06 of the contest to build a quick 3-0 lead. Clarissa Clarke opened the scoring at 28:31, before Miles Whitman made it 2-0 at 27:47. Katherine Myers gave Yale a 4-0 advantage with back-to-back scores at 22:54 and 16:24.
The Irish then began their comeback with the first of nine consecutive goals at 15:22 when junior Tina Fedarcyk scored on an assist from senior Lael O’Shaughnessy. Freshman Kassen Delano pulled Notre Dame within 4-2 at 6:38 when she scored a pass from sophomore Anne Riley. O’Shaughnessy scored at 2:19 to put the Irish in a familiar position, down one goal at halftime to a top-10 team — just as they were against Duke when the Blue Devils outscored the Irish 11-0 in the second half of Friday’s 16-4 game.
“We exploited Yale’s defensive lapses, and our defense played great in holding Yale scoreless for 37 minutes,” said Coyne. “We talked about playing a 60-minute game after playing on a 30-minute game against Duke.”
Junior Alissa Moser opened the second half by scoring three goals in a span of 4:28 to rally the Irish from a 4-3 hole to a 6-4 lead. O’Shaughnessy, who assisted on two of Moser’s goal, scored the eventual game-winning goal at 20:28. Sophomore Danielle Shearer continued the run with a goal at 16:19 after a Yale timeout, while senior Maura Doyle converted a free-position shot at 8:06 to cap the 9-0 run and a 9-4 Irish lead.
Yale ended its drought when Kate Flatley scored with seven minutes remaining and Clarke closed out the scoring for the Bulldogs at 3:09. Fedarcyk collected a key groundball with 1:40 left, and the Irish ran out the clock to record their second win over a ranked opponent this season after a March 31 victory over 17th-ranked Delaware.
Irish sophomore goaltender Jen White made eight saves while allowing Yale just six goals, lowering her goals against average to 8.44. Notre Dame out shot Yale 21-19, including 16-6 in the second half, while the Bulldogs controlled nine of 17 draws. The Irish enter the Georgetown contest one win from matching the 1999 team (9-6) for the most wins in the five seasons of varsity women’s lacrosse at Notre Dame.