No. 13 Notre Dame Prevails in Battle with Louisville

Fortunato gave the Irish a lead it would not relinquish at 11:25. Holding the ball behind the Louisville net following a time out, Fortunato came around the right side of the night, rolled off of her defender and beat the goalie low, giving Notre Dame a 9-8 lead. Brie Custis took the ensuing draw for the Irish and flipped it straight to McMullan who ran down the field and scored just 12 seconds later to give Notre Dame a 10-8 lead with 11:13 left in the game.

Fortunato and McMullan connected for one of the prettiest goals of the year at 9:42. McMullan held the ball even with the side of the goal and whipped a centering pass to Fortunato who dove and redirected it into the Cardinal net. Gargan capped the home team's scoring at 7:24 with a goal from Custis.

Notre Dame split time in the net on Saturday and both made critical saves. Murray started and made five stops in the first half while allowing seven goals. O'Sullivan played the second half of the game and turned away four shots while permitting a pair of goals. It was the third game in a row and the fifth in seven games this year where the Irish have held their opposition to nine goals or less.

"We split goalkeepers with Allie and Liz and they were both able to come up with big saves," Halfpenny said. "They made nine saves and we kept our opponent to single digit goals. Kudos to the defense in front of them and our goalies for being the final line of defense."

The Fighting Irish will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they face Richmond on the road at 3:00 p.m.

* * * *

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Louisville held a three-goal lead over No. 13 Notre Dame at the half, but the Cardinals' lead slipped away and the Fighting Irish went on for a 12-9 victory on Saturday at the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind.

In the opening period, Kaylin Morissette, Nikki Boltja, and Faye Brust each scored two goals in helping establish a 7-4 lead.

The Cardinals (4-3) quickly set the tone in the first 10 minutes of the game, as Colleen O'Malley and Brust registered goals within three minutes of the opening draw. O'Malley took a pass from Boltja at the 28:42 mark and then Brust had an unassisted score a minute later.

Notre Dame responded with its first goal at the 24-minute mark its only goal in the first 12 minutes of play before Louisville rattled off two more goals to push its lead to four. Brust tacked on her second goal of the game, and then Boltja gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead in moments after.

The back and forth contest continued. The Fighting Irish's Kiera McMullan found the back of the net on consecutive opportunities and Courtney Fortunato evened the match at four apiece to cap the run.

Louisville's offense didn't rest, though. The Cardinals, ranked in the top-10 nationally in points, closed the first half with three unanswered goals. Boltja scored on a free-position shot, and Morissette had back-to-back scores, including one with 15 seconds remaining, to push Louisville's lead to three at 7-4.

Much of the Cardinals' success in the opening period came on possession, as Louisville held an impressive 11-1 advantage on the draw. The bulk of that came from Morissette, who totaled five of her eight draw controls in the first half. Those five pushed her into the No. 3 spot on the school's career chart, and her three in the second half gave her 118 for her two-year career.

The second half momentum swung in Notre Dame's (5-2) favor, though, the same team that was coming off a stunning upset over No. 4 Northwestern.

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2014-03-08



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