March 7, 2009

Courtesy of Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H ­ It was a tale of two halves in Hanover today as #13 Notre Dame stormed back from an early 6-0 #13 Dartmouth lead to win 16-11.

The Big Green (2-2) was firing on all cylinders in the first half, building an impressive 6-0 lead less than 15 minutes into the contest. After the teams traded two goals each, the Irish (4-1) started an 11-0 run that would span two halves to turn the tables on the Big Green. Notre Dame survived a late Dartmouth run to seal the win. Draw controls proved a difference maker as well with the teams even at seven each in the first half and Notre Dame holding a commanding 12-3 advantage in the second.

After a pair of early turnovers by each team, Dartmouth struck first at 28:10. Greta Meyer (Denver, Colo.) dodged in and out of eight-meter a few times, then kicked it out to Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.), who fed it back to her and she fired a low shot past Irish keeper Erin Goodman. Plumb and Shannie MacKenzie (Greenwich, Conn.) turned Notre Dame over on the next possession and rookie Sarah Parks (Ellicott City, Md.) found her classmate, Plumb, for Dartmouth's second goal at 25:10.

The Big Green kept the pressure on and Meyer drew a free position on the right side but Goodman made the point blank save. The rebound came right back to Meyer in midair and she one-timed it past the keeper to put Dartmouth ahead 3-0 at 23:14. Just minutes later Dana Brisbane (Locust Valley, N.Y.) made a strong move and beat the keeper for her first collegiate goal, putting her team up 4-0 and forcing an Irish timeout.

 Dartmouth completed a beautiful end-to-end sequence for its next score, coming at 16:48. Junior keeper Julie Wadland (Andover, Mass.) stopped a free position shot and cleared the ball quickly up the field. Katherine Chiusano (Medford, N.J.) fed the ball to Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) for her fifth goal of the season and a 5-0 Dartmouth lead. The Big Green extended its lead to 6-0 just 38 seconds later with a good free position goal by Parks.

Notre Dame finally got on the board with a pair of quick goals just 29 seconds apart. The first came after off a free position by Ansley Stewart at 10:37. The Irish won the ensuing draw and Shaylyn Blaney faked out two defenders before sending it in to Jackie Doherty who snuck one past Wadland to make it 6-2 at 10:08.

The Big Green got it right back on its next possession when Meyer fed the ball to junior Eliza Bennett (Darien, Conn.) who made a few slick moves and beat Goodman to make it 7-2 at 9:46. Her former high school teammate, Kat Collins (Darien, Conn.) added another for Dartmouth with an unassisted tally at 7:30.

Notre Dame's Gina Scioscia sliced the lead to four with a pair of goals just 17 seconds apart to make it 8-4 at 6:06. Scioscia kept it up, finding Kaitlin Keena after a Big Green turnover, cutting the lead to 8-5, at 4:46 and forcing Dartmouth to call a timeout.

Wadland came up big as the half wound down, making two point blank saves in last three minutes to preserve the 8-5 lead.

The Irish wasted no time in the second, taking less than five minutes to tie the game with goals from Jillian Byers, Blaney and Scioscia. Notre Dame continued its run when Byers beat Wadland one-on-one off a clear to give her team its first lead of the day, up 9-8 at 23:46.

Notre Dame rattled off four more unanswered goals starting with a nice move by Shannon Burke for her second of the season and capped with a Stewart goal from Byers to take the 13-8 lead at 14:44.

The Big Green was down but not out, fighting back with two goals just 15 seconds apart to bring some life back to the game. Collins tallied an unassisted goal at 10:18 before Chiusano fed the ball to Meyer to make it 13-10 at 10:03. Notre Dame answered right back before Chiusano closed the gap again with her first goal of the day for a 14-11 Irish advantage with 6:36 left for Dartmouth to even it out.

The Irish scored what would prove the biggest insurance goal of all, capitalizing on a Big Green yellow card when Shannon Burke found Kailene Abt to make it 15-11 with 3:39 to play. Abt iced it for Notre Dame with another tally with just 10 seconds to play to take the 16-11 win.

Notre Dame held a slight edge in shots, 32-30, and Dartmouth led the hunt for ground balls, 30-22. Goodman finished with 12 saves in goal for the Irish while Wadland came up with a season-high nine stops for the Big Green.

Dartmouth will take a break for final exams before returning to action at Scully Fahey Field when it hosts ACC power Maryland on Wednesday, March 18 at 1 p.m.