April 15, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Caitlin Gargan scored a hat trick for the No. 9 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team but it would be in a losing effort as No. 13 Ohio State claimed a 12-9 win over the Fighting Irish on Tuesday evening at a cold, blustery and briefly snowy Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Kaitlyn Brosco continued her strong offensive play of late, recording a three-assist game to tie her career high. Cortney Fortunato also had three points in the game with a goal and two assists. Mary Kate Facchina and Kelsea Ayers both had three goals and two assists to lead the Buckeye offense.
“Today was a disappointing loss,” Notre Dame head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “We were able to improve upon the draw control, a huge focus for us, and we battled in all of the `hustle’ categories. Ultimately, today’s game was settled on goals scored. We had some really good possessions and plenty of chances. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish our shots when we needed to or get a momentum-changing stop on defense when we needed it.
“Ohio State is an athletic and talented group. Credit to them for taking advantage of our mistakes and finishing on their opportunities. We’ll quickly regroup, fine-tune the details of our game and move forward. We are looking forward to hosting our final regular season game on Saturday against ACC opponent Syracuse.”
The Irish scored each of the game’s first two goals, claiming a 2-0 lead at the 16:37 mark. Fortunato scored the first goal at 21:51 with a tremendous individual effort, forcing a Jennifer Porretto turnover, grabbing the ground ball and then scoring to pick up her milestone 50th point of the year. The Irish lead doubled about five minutes later when Brosco sent a feed from behind the net to Gargan who converted for the first of her three goals on the night. Ohio State scored each of the game’s next four goals over the next 13 minutes With the Buckeyes up 4-2 at 3:36, Casey Pearsall provided an answer for Notre Dame just 10 seconds later. The freshman controlled a draw which she had taken, sprinted upfield, and scored to make it a 4-2 game at 3:26. An Ohio State free position goal by Ayers in the final minute made the score 5-3 for the Buckeyes at intermission.
Notre Dame charged out of the gate in the second half. Pearsall controlled the draw and the Irish would eventually make it a 5-4 game at 28:21 when Gargan scored unassisted. After a quick pair of Buckeye goals made it 7-4 at 26:48, the Irish again flashed their trademark fight, scoring three straight goals to knot the score at 7-7 by the 20:43 mark. Pearsall scored the first goal on another tremendous individual effort, grabbing a midfield ground ball and rushing in for her second goal of the game at 25:16. Brosco’s distribution ability helped Kiera McMullan pick up a goal at 22:22. Gargan tied up the game when she completed her hat trick off of a Fortunato assist.
With a new game on the scoreboard over the final 20 minutes, Ohio State jumped on top quickly, scoring goals at 19:26 and then 15:33 to take a 9-7 lead. Brosco get her assist hat trick at 14:18 when her pass from the top of the 8-meter fan found the stick of Grace Muller who steered it right into the goal at 14:18 to trim the Buckeye lead to 9-8. The Irish would get no closer, however. Ohio State scored three straight goals to go up 12-8 at 3:44. Lauren Sullivan scored for Notre Dame off of a Fortunato assist at 1:07 to account for the 12-9 final.
The Irish held a 29-19 advantage in shots on the night. Ground balls and draw controls were nearly even with the Irish holding margins of 24-23 and 12-11, respectively. Goalies Allie Murray and Liz O’Sullivan each allowed six goals in the Notre Dame net while Tori DeScenza made 11 saves for the Buckeyes.
The Fighting Irish will wrap up their regular season on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. when they play host to No. 1 Syracuse at Arlotta Stadium