March 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Loyola cut a six-goal deficit to two with almost 12 minutes remaining, but it would get no closer, as 11th-ranked Notre Dame held off the Greyhounds for a 13-10 BIG EAST Conference win on Saturday afternoon at the Loftus Sports Center.
The Fighting Irish (6-3 overall, 1-1 BIG EAST) led 10-6 at halftime before Jillian Byers and Kailene Abt scored in the first six minutes of the second half to go ahead by six with 24:12 remaining.
Loyola (3-6, 1-3), however, controlled the next several minutes, cutting into Notre Dame's lead.
Alicyn Brunnett's shot ricocheted off Notre Dame goalie Erin Goodman, but Brunnett corralled therebound and her second shot beat Goodman with 19:34 left.
Grace Gavin, who led all players with a career-high-tying four goals, then scored on a free-position shot just over two minutes later.
Weber cut the Fighting Irish advantage again with 11:59 left in the game, cutting from left-to-right in front of the goal and scoring to make the score, 12-10.
Both teams remained scoreless, however, for the next 11-plus minutes despite several chances for the Greyhounds' offense.
Shaylyn Blaney scored with 65 ticks left to provide the final margin for Notre Dame.
"We stuck to our game plan, and I was proud of our effort," Loyola Head Coach Kerri O'Day said "We continued to execute what we wanted to, but we came up just short in the end."
Notre Dame also had two runs in the first half that helped pad its lead. Sisters Cara and Kate Filippelli teamed up for the first Greyhounds goal, Cara scoring off Kate's assist, but Notre dame scored five of the next six goals to lead 6-2.
Brunnett scored her first off a Bridget O'Keefe assist with 14:51 to play in the first half, but Gina Scioscia tallied Notre Dame's seventh goal three minutes later.
Gavin reeled off two-straight goals, closing the gap to 7-5 with 7:40 left in the first half.
Kaitlin Kenna scored on a free-position goal for Notre Dame with 2:36 remaining. Twelve second later, Jillian Byers won the ensuing draw control and fed Caitlin McKinney for another goal. Byers then capped the 3-0 run with her second goal at the 1:57 mark.
Mary Clare Taylor scored for Loyola on a free-position shot with three seconds left before halftime.
Loyola goalie Meg Steffe finished with 12 saves, while Goodman had seven for the Fighting Irish.
The Greyhounds step out of conference action for their next game. Loyola travels to State College, Pa., for a 1 p.m. game at Penn State on Sunday, March 30.