No. 12 Irish Lose Heartbreaker at Rutgers in Overtime

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 24, 2010) – Rutgers senior attacker Brooke Cantwell (Moorestown, N.J.) scored her team-leading eighth hat trick of the season and tallied the game-winning goal as the Scarlet Knights knocked off 12th-ranked Notre Dame (10-5, 5-2 BIG EAST) on Saturday, April 24, in the team's Yurcak Field debut.

Rutgers (10-4, 3-3 BIG EAST) had five Scarlet Knights score two or more goals in the contest as RU snapped a previous two-game losing streak against the Irish and notched its third win over a ranked opponent this season.

“[The win] is great,” said head coach Laura Brand-Sias. “We definitely needed to win this to keep the team in the hunt for the BIG EAST Tournament. We talked every game about going 1-0 and we're undefeated at home this year so we wanted to keep that streak going. The first game at Yurcak Field is always exciting and I think we did a good job from top to bottom. There was that lull in the middle but we didn't break down.”

The Scarlet Knights jumped out to a 7-1 halftime lead, scoring the first six goals of the game. Senior midfielder Mary Cryan (Newtown Square, Pa.) posted back-to-back goals to open the game, followed by scores from freshman midfielder Stephanie Anderson (Wading River, N.Y.), junior midfielder Marlena Welsh (Jarrettsville, Md.) and a pair of tallies from Cantwell.

Welsh and senior attacker Meghan Flanagan (Medford, N.J.) assisted on Cryan's first two scores, while the remaining five goals of the first half came on free position shots.

Notre Dame's Kailene Abt snapped the 6-0 scoring run by the Scarlet Knights with a goal at the 6:03 mark in the first half, while sophomore midfielder Brittany Davis (Wading River, N.Y.) responded with a goal to close out the half at 7-1.

The Irish went on a 4-0 run to start the second half, pulling to within two goals. Welsh and junior midfielder Kristen Anderson (Wading River, N.Y.) scored back-to-back unassisted goals to maintain the RU lead at 9-5. Notre Dame and Rutgers traded scores with Kristen Anderson again finding the back of the net to make it 10-6.

The Irish, however, outscored the Scarlet Knights 5-1 over the final 15 minutes to tie the game and send it into overtime.

After going without a score for almost four minutes of the six-minute overtime period, Cantwell helped put the Scarlet Knights ahead when she scored with 2:02 remaining, giving RU the 12-11 victory and keeping the squad's BIG EAST Championship hopes alive.

“We just knew coming in throughout the whole week we knew we had to win this game,” said Cantwell. “We've been undefeated at home. We wanted to step out on the field and play our game, we know that we're able to win games against teams like [Notre Dame] who are really good, we just haven't been able to put a full 60 minutes together. I don't think we did this game but we were able to come out on top. Even when they were coming back we didn't let down at all, which is something we would have done last year.”

With her three goals against Notre Dame, Cantwell moved into fourth place on the all-time Rutgers list with 127 goals, also moving her into a tie for fifth with 171 career points.

Rutgers will return to action on Friday, April 30, to host BIG EAST foe Louisville at 3:00 p.m. at Yurcak Field.

* * * *

(Piscataway, N.J.) ... Junior midfielder Shaylyn Blaney and senior attack standout Gina Scioscia lead a furious second-half rally as Notre Dame bounced back from a 7-1 halftime deficit to tie the game in regulation only to lose at Rutgers, 12-11, in overtime Saturday afternoon. The overtime game was the third of the season for the Irish.

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