April 19, 2012

Hilling Stops 13 Shots as Notre Dame Edges Vandy

from press release

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Junior goalie Ellie Hilling stopped 13 Vanderbilt shots and four Notre Dame players scored two or more goals as the No. 6 Irish earned a thrilling 12-11 win over the No. 18 Commodores on Wednesday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium.

The Irish (11-2) took a 6-3 lead into the halftime break, but the Commodores (7-7) wouldn't go away as they opened the second half with three straight goals to knot the score at six. The tied score proved to be the lone of the game as the teams traded scores for much of the rest of the game.

A pair of goals by seniors Maggie Tamasitis and Megan Sullivan gave Notre Dame an 8-6 lead. A free-position score by Ally Carey cut the lead to 8-7, before M. Sullivan made it 9-7 on an unassisted goal. Carey again found the back of the net to trim the lead to one, but sophomore Lindsay Powell ripped off two consecutive goals to give the Irish an 11-8 lead with 10:37 left in the contest.

Vanderbilt chipped away at the margin as Katie Mastropieri and Casey Baker used a pair of free-position opportunities to make it an 11-10 game. Finally with 5:31 left in the game, sophomore Kaitlyn Brosco scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Irish on a free-position attempt.

Even facing a two-goal deficit with two minutes remaining, the Commodores held strong, as Alex Priddy scored a goal with 1:43 left to trim the lead to 12-11. Vandy controlled the ensuing draw, but a Carey foul and turnover gave Notre Dame the ball back with 43 seconds remaining. The Irish attempted to run out the clock, but Powell took a shot with 23 seconds remaining that was saved by goalie Natalie Wills to give Vandy one final opportunity. The Commodores roared down the field, but with five seconds remaining, Alyssa Dunlap turned the ball over in front of the Irish goal and B. Sullivan picked up the ground ball to clinch the victory.

Vanderbilt controlled much of the final stats minus the score and saves, as the Commodores had 12 more shots (35-23), collected six more ground balls (23-17) and three more draw controls (14-11) and committed less fouls (29-27) and turnovers (18-16). Both teams fared well on free-position opportunities, as Vandy was a perfect 5-for-5, with all five coming in the second half, while Notre Dame was 3-for-3.

Leading the way offensively for the Irish was junior Jaimie Morrison, who tallied four goals in 6:07 in the first half. Brosco had two goals and two assists, while Sullivan and Powell also found the back of the net twice. Powell also added an assist, which was the first of the season for her to go along with a team-high 37 goals.

Tamasitis chipped in a goal and two assists to extend her streak of consecutive games with at least one point to 50, just one shy of tying the school record held by former great Caitlin McKinney (51). The Boyertown, Pa., native also set a new Irish standard for assists in a season with 48, breaking her own school record by two. Tamasitis has three regular-season games left to add to that total.

Hilling paced the defense, nabbing 13 Commodore shots and collecting six ground balls. She has now saved 10 or more shots six times this year. The six ground balls tied a season high. Elsewhere on defense, B. Sullivan collected five key draw controls, many coming while taking the draw, while Margaret Smith forced four turnovers.

The Irish opened the game on fire, scoring five goals in the first 12:16 of the game to take a 5-0 lead. Senior Kelly Driscoll got Notre Dame started with a goal at the 25:44 mark, before Morrison scored four consecutive goals in 6:07. Included in the four goals was a nifty little behind the back shot off a feed from Brosco. From there the Commodores scored six of the next seven goals to tie the score at six with 25:12 left in the game.

Notre Dame hits the road this weekend, as they pay a visit to Washington, D.C. and No. 12 Georgetown in a 2:30 p.m. Saturday contest that will be televised by CBS Sports Network.


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