No. 7 Irish Top No. 4 Georgetown 12-9 to Advance

Notre Dame, Ind. -- For six years, the Georgetown Hoyas have stood in the way of the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team in its attempt to win a BIG EAST Conference title. Three times, including this season, the Irish finished second to the Hoyas in the league with their lone loss coming to Georgetown. Now, only the Hoyas stood in the way of Notre Dame in its' bid to advance to the NCAA Finals in Boston, Mass., next weekend.

On Saturday afternoon at Moose Krause Stadium, things would be different. Notre Dame's three big scorers - Crysti Foote (Sr., Suffern, N.Y.), Jillian Byers (Fr., Northport, N.Y.) and Caitlin McKinney (So., Lafayette Hill, Pa.) combined for nine goals and six assists to lead the Irish to their first win in eight tries against the Hoyas, a 12-9 victory at Moose Krause Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Mary Carpenter (So., Rochester, N.Y.), Jane Stoeckert (Fr., Mendham, N.J.) and Heather Ferguson (So., Newtown Square, Pa.) added single goals in the Notre Dame win.

The victory sends the Irish to Boston University's Nickerson Field on Friday, May 26 for an 8:30 p.m. meeting with the Dartmouth Big Green in one of two NCAA semifinal games. Dartmouth, the seventh seed in the tournament, knocked off Princeton, 7-6 in overtime, on Saturday. Top-seed Duke will meet fourth-seed Northwestern in the opening game at 6:00 p.m. on May 26. The NCAA Championship game will be held on Sunday, May 28 at Nickerson Field in a 12:00 noon game.

Georgetown got three goals each from Coco Stanwick and Schuyler Sutton while Lucy Poole, Paige Andrews and Courtney Hubschman each scored once for the Hoyas who fall to 14-4 for the season.

A jubilant Notre Dame team celebrated following its' first-ever win over Georgetown and the first trip to the NCAA Tournament in the program's 10-year history. "I don't think it has sunk in yet," said head coach Tracy Coyne, the program's only coach. "We were very calm all week in practice. I told the team I felt confident. I had confidence in their ability after the way they handled the Cornell game. We just took it as a really important Georgetown game."

Foote, who now has 71 goals and 108 points on the year, called it a great team victory. "We had two goals coming into this season. We had a goal to win the BIG EAST, and they (Georgetown) took that from us, and a goal to win the NCAA championship. When they took the BIG EAST Championship from us, it sunk in. We came back today and wanted to win badly. Everyone stepped up, from the goalie, to the midfield, to the defense, to the attack. We just did an all-around amazing job."

The Irish got off to a fast start in the game thanks to Byers who scored Notre Dame's first three goals on the way to a five-point game (3g, 2a). She put the Irish ahead 2-0 off assists by McKinney (25:10) and Becky Ranck (So., Radnor, Pa.) at 22:06. Hubschman cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal at 19:39 only to see Foote, the nation's leading scorer, set up Byers for her third goal of the game just 31 seconds later at 19:08. The lead would go to 4-1 when Carpenter found Stoeckert sliding down the middle for a close in shot that beat Georgetown's Maggie Koch at 16:49

After falling behind, Georgetown roared right back, scoring the next five goals to take a 6-4 lead. Andrews answered Stoeckert's goal just 38 seconds later at 16:11 to make it 4-2. Sutton cut the lead to 4-3 on a free-position shot at 13:12 and Poole's unassisted goal at 11:32 tied the game at 4-4. Stanwick's first goal of the game at 5:07 gave the Hoya's a 5-4 lead and she then set up Sutton with her second goal at 3:05 for the two-goal lead. The Irish were able to regroup, and Foote got an important goal with 1:32 remaining to cut the Georgetown lead to 6-5 at halftime.

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2006-05-20



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