May 5, 2011

Blaney's Timely Goals Lead Notre Dame to Upset of Georgetown in Big East Semifinal

from press release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney led Notre Dame with four goals, scoring twice at the end of the first half and twice at the end of the game to lead the Irish to a 15-12 win over No. 16 Georgetown on Thursday night at Georgetown's Multi-Sport Field.

The Notre Dame win sends the Irish to the Big East Championship game on Saturday, May 7 at 1:00 p.m. where they will face Loyola (Md.). The Greyhounds, 15-2 overall, advanced to the title game with a 12-11 win over Syracuse in the other semifinal game. Loyola is ranked ninth in the nation and finished third in the BIG EAST with a 6-2 league mark. That tied them with the Irish who were the tournament's fourth seed as they dropped a 13-10 decision to the Greyhounds on April 3.

Blaney was one of eight Notre Dame players to score in the game as Kaitlyn Brosco, Ansley Stewart, Jenny Granger and Jaimie Morrison each had two goals with Megan Sullivan, Jackie Doherty and Betsy Mastropieri adding one each. Junior playmaker Maggie Tamasitis chipped in four assists on the evening.

Jordy Kirr, Mary Beth Brophy, Dina Jackson, Sophia Thomas and Kathleen Dwyer led the Hoyas with two goals each while Hannah Franklin and Mary Wittlesberger had solo goals.

The win was the fourth in a row for Notre Dame and improved the Irish to 10-8 on the year while Georgetown falls to 9-8 for the season.

The Irish got off to a slow start with the Hoyas scoring four of the game's first five goals, taking a 4-1 lead with 21 minutes left in the game.

Notre Dame's offense seemed to come to life at the 20:06 mark when Stewart scored on a free-position shot, bouncing a shot past Georgetown goalkeeper Barb Black to make it 4-2.
Following a goal by Brophy at 17:45, the Irish cut the lead to 5-4 on goals by Sullivan and Doherty with 16:36 left in the half.

Georgetown countered by scoring three of the next four goals with Jackson, Wittlesberger and Brophy scoring around a goal by Mastropieri to give the Hoyas an 8-5 lead with 14:11 left in the half.

From there, the Irish scored the final five goals of the half. Granger beat Black on a crease roll at 13:23 to make it 8-6. Morrison cut the lead to 8-7 when she scored from the left side at 12:15. Blaney got into the goal-scoring act with 4:49 left in the half scoring her first of the game on a free-position shot to tie the game at 8-8.

Tamasitis set up Morrison's second goal of the game with her third assist of the half. The junior found Morrison on the left side of the goal and Morrison did the rest, putting a spin move on a Georgetown defender before beating Black in close with 4:18 left in the half to give Notre Dame its first lead at 9-8.

Blaney closed the half with her second of the game as she split the Hoya defense and whipped a shot past Black with 2:30 left in the opening half to give the Irish a 10-8 lead at halftime.

The defenses took over in the second half as Irish goalkeeper Ellie Hilling came up big in the Notre Dame goal, making five of her six saves in the final 30 minutes of action.

Dwyer opened the second half with the first goal for Georgetown just like she did in the first to cut the Notre Dame lead to 10-9 with 28:08 left in the game.

The teams would go almost 11 minutes before anyone scored again. Kirr picked up her second of the game for the Hoyas when she whipped a free-position shot past Hilling at 17:14 to tie the game at 10:10.

The Irish didn't let Georgetown enjoy the lead for long as Brosco put Notre Dame ahead to stay just 11 seconds later at 17:03. The freshman got inside the Hoya defense and cut in front of the goal to beat Black for her 31st goal of the season and 11-10 Notre Dame lead.

That started the Irish on a three-goal run that put the Irish ahead, 13-10 with 8:57 left. Granger scored on a free-position shot at 11:50 and Tamasitis picked up her fourth assist on a nifty give-and-go with Stewart as she hit the senior attacker in front and Stewart finished the play for her second goal of the game.

Thomas tried to bring the Hoyas back on her own, scoring twice in a 36-second span at 8:04 and 7:28 to cut the lead to 13-12.

From there, Blaney closed out the scoring. With 5:13 left in the game, she scored her third of the game when she whipped a rocket past Black on a free-position shot to make it 14-12. The Irish converted four-of-five free-position shots in the game.

The first team all-Big East standout closed out the scoring when she converted a feed from Brosco at 2:07 to give Notre Dame the final 15-12 lead.

The Irish were able to run out the clock to lock up the victory. They out shot Georgetown, 33-23, on the evening. Black finished with three saves while Hilling had six.

The win was the second of the year for the Irish over Hoyas as they knocked them off, 13-10, on April 23 at Arlotta Stadium. That's the first time that Notre Dame has won twice in one season against Georgetown.

The Irish are now 3-3 all-time in the Big East Tournament. They won the tournament in 2008 at Georgetown, defeating the Hoyas in the title game.


** Notre Dame's win gives the Irish 10 victories on the year. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Notre Dame has won 10 or more games in a season. Since the start of the 2006 season, the Irish are 75-37 overall (.670).

** With four assists in the game, junior Maggie Tamasitis now has 43 assists on the year. That ties her for the single-season at Notre Dame that was set by Gina Scioscia '10 in 2009.

** Shaylyn Blaney's four-goal game tied a season high set against Connecticut. She takes over the team lead with 33 goals on the year, two more than Kaitlyn Brosco who is second with 31.

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