February 27, 2013

Notre Dame 'D' Shuts Door on Ohio State Women

from press release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The ninth-ranked Notre Dame women's lacrosse team opened the 2013 home schedule with a 13-8 win over 13th-ranked Ohio State Wednesday evening at the Loftus Sports Center.

Junior midfielder Margaret Smith (Westminster, Md.) scored four goals and senior attack Jaimie Morrison (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored twice and added four assists for a six-point night to pace the Irish attack. Betsy Mastropieri (Sr., Richmond, Va.) added a pair of goals while Jenny Granger (Sr., East Setauket, N.Y.), McKenzie Brown (Sr., Greenwood Village, Colo.), Lauren Sullivan (Jr., Winchester, Mass.), Lindsay Powell (Jr., Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) and Kaitlyn Brosco (Jr., Shoreham, N.Y.) scored one goal each in the victory.

Cian Dabrowksi led the visiting Buckeyes with three goals and an assist, Mary Kate Facchina added a pair of markers and Katie Chase, Cara Facchina and Jessica Hassett scored one apiece in the contest.

The win improves the ninth-ranked Irish a 2-0 early-season record while 13th-ranked Ohio State falls to 2-2 for the season.

"This was a good test for us early in the season," said Irish head coach Chris Halfpenny.

"The BIG EAST currently has five teams ranked in the IWLCA top 20. We built a difficult non-conference schedule to help prepare us for the tough stretch in March and April against the teams in the BIG EAST."

The Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first four minutes as Brosco (28:19) and Smith (26:11) with her first of the night got on the scoresheet.

Dabrowski cut the lead to 2-1 at 24:15 with her first of the game before Morrison made it a two-goal game at 3-1 with her first point of the night at 22:39.

Ohio State then went on a three-goal in four-minute run that gave the Buckeyes their only lead of the game at 4-3 as Dabrowski, Chase and Hassett on a free-position shot beat senior goalkeeper Ellie Hilling (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.) between 19:03 and 14:59.

The lead stayed that way until the 7:16 mark when Smith, took matters into her own hands, single-handedly giving Notre Dame a 6-4 lead as she scored three times in a 2:39 span to put the Irish in front to stay at 6:18 of the opening half.

Cara Facchina and Betsy Mastropieri traded goals in the final minute to make it 7-5 in favor of the Irish at halftime as Notre Dame had a 13-9 edge in shots in the opening half.

In the second half, Notre Dame limited Ohio State to just three goals. The Buckeyes opened the half with Mary Kate Facchina scoring at the 28:20 mark to cut the lead to 7-6.

Mastropieri answered just 28 seconds later at 27:52 off Morrison's first of four, second-half assists to make it 8-6. Two minutes later, Dabrowski got her third of the game to make it an 8-7 game.

That would be as close as the Buckeyes would get as the Irish defense led by Hilling, Smith, Barbara Sullivan (So., Garden City, N.Y.), Emily Conner (Alexandria, Va.) and Stephanie Peragallo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) tightened things up and got the Notre Dame transition game firing on all cylinders. The Irish would out score Ohio State, 5-1, over the final 25 minutes.

"You know what, we do what we do. Our defense is the hallmark of our program," said Halfpenny.

"They were the spark that got us going on those runs. They shut the door on Ohio State when they were making a strong push. When push came to shove, our defensive unit was the spark that got the ball in the hands of our offense and our offense just made really smart plays."

With the Irish playing down a player due to a yellow card, Sullivan converted a feed from Morrison at 24:57 to make i a 9-7 game. Sullivan returned the favor at 21:42 as she set up Morrison for her second goal of the night to open a three-goal lead at 10-7.

Powell's unassisted marker at 19:01 made it 11-7 and Mary Kate Facchina's second of the night for the Buckeyes at 11:27 cut the lead to 11-8 and would be as close as Ohio State would get to the lead.

Brown and Granger scored their first goals of the season at 10:11 and 9:31 respectively with help from Morrison on both goals on the way to the final of 13-8.

On the night, the Irish outshot the Buckeyes by a 22-19 margin. Hilling had three saves in the Notre Dame goal while Tori DeScenza had six for Ohio State.

The Irish return to action on Saturday, March 2 when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Duquesne University Dukes in a noon game. They then return home on Tues., March 5 to face Detroit Mercy in a 6:00 p.m. game.

** IRISH NOTES **

** Margaret Smith, a third team IWLCA All-American last season, did a little bit of everything for the Irish in this game as she led the Irish with five shots on goal, had four ground balls, grabbed three draw controls and forced five turnovers on the night.

** With the 13-8 win over Ohio State, Notre Dame now leads the all-time series against the Buckeyes, 11-7.


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