March 2, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Ohio women's lacrosse team opened its seven-game road stretch with an 18-6 loss at No. 17 Notre Dame on Thursday, March 2. The Bobcats are now 1-3 on the season, while the Fighting Irish improved to 3-0.
In her first game of the season, sophomore Frannie Sullivan (Davidsonville, Md.) scored a team-high two goals. Sullivan missed Ohio's first three games with an ankle injury. Sophomore Shannon Hadaway (Pasadean, Md.) had two points on a goal and an assist despite playing on an ankle she injured in the Bobcats' last game against Howard. Freshman Kiersten McLouth (Centreville, Va.) tallied a goal for the fourth straight game. Sophomore Kelley Windle (Columbus, Ohio), playing with a broken hand, scored her first goal of the season, and sophomore Katie Smith (Ohsweken, Ontario) also found the back of the net for the Bobcats.
"It was great to get Frannie back," Ohio Head Coach Allison Valentino said. "We've got some people playing with injuries right now, but she was aggressive. She's our offensive leader."
Sophomore goalkeeper Jen Heup (Davidsonville, Md.) made 15 saves, tying her career high. It was the third time in four games that Heup registered double-digit stops. She also led the team with four ground balls. Smith paced the Bobcats with two caused turnovers.
Crysti Foote led the Fighting Irish with eight points on four goals and four assists. Jill Byers chipped in three goals and two assists, while Caitlin McKinney had four points on two goals and two assists. Carol Dixon made seven saves in goal for Notre Dame.
The Bobcats turned the ball over a season-low 16 times, but were on the short end of a 21-4 deficit in draw controls. The game also had a combined 74 fouls.
Notre Dame scored the first five goals of the game in the first 17 minutes of the contest. Ohio got on the scoreboard with 11:34 left in the first half when Smith took a feed from Hadaway to make it 5-1. After a Byers goal made it 6-1, Sullivan registered her first score of the season. Back-to-back goals by the Fighting Irish, made it 8-2, but Windle scored off a free position with 4:21 remaining and Sullivan scored with just six seconds left to cut the Notre Dame advantage to 8-4 at the break.
The Irish and Bobcats traded goals to start the second half, but following Hadaway's free position goal with 25:11 left, Notre Dame outscored Ohio 5-0 over the next 13 minutes. McLouth scored her team-leading fifth goal of the season to stop the run, but the Irish scored the final four goals of the game, including three by Brittany Fox, to set the final score.
"I was proud of the way we came out," Valentino said. "We were really aggressive, and we felt like were right there in the first half. Notre Dame is a fast team and really hurt us in transition in the second half. They scored quickly and we couldn't recover."
Ohio's schedule doesn't get any easier as the Bobcats will play at defending national champion and top-ranked Northwestern on Saturday, March 4. It will be the Bobcats' third game against a top-20 team in the first five contests of the season.