Fighting Irish beat Huskies, 16-9
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 00:04
The Fighting Irish marched into Storrs on Saturday afternoon and handed the Huskies their fourth consecutive conference loss in a 16-9 Notre Dame win.
Senior M.E. Lapham played in her first home game since breaking the UConn all-time scoring record in the Huskies’ win over Columbia on April 7.
“It’s an honor,” Lapham said. “After four years, it shows a lot of work and I was proud of it.”
She led UConn (7-5, 0-4 Big East) with three goals and an assist. Senior Kiersten Tupper and sophomore Kacey Pippitt each has a pair of goals in the loss.
The Huskies have four conference games remaining and still have an outside chance at clinching the berth in the Big East tournament.
No. 8 Notre Dame (10-2, 3-2 Big East) showcased the versatility of senior Maggie Tamasitis all afternoon. Notre Dame’s leading scorer, Tamasitis recorded nine points including eight assists for the Irish. She ranks first in the Big East and second in the country with 46 assists this season. Sophomore Kaitlyn Brosco scored three goals and junior Jaimie Morrison added four goals to lead Notre Dame in scoring.
Each team wore light blue Lax-4-Life t-shirts during pregame warm-ups to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
Lapham continued on her tear with an unassisted goal 2:26 into game. Her hat-trick brought her goal total to 40 for the season and 161 for her career.
A minute later Tamasitis found senior Megan Sullivan in front of the net to fire on past UConn goalie Brittney Testa. Four minutes later, Sullivan and Tamasitis would duplicate the feat to give the Irish a 3-2 lead.
Junior Chelsea Hauswirth scored her seventh goal of the season to cut the Notre Dame lead in half with just under 16 minutes remaining in the first half.
Pippitt also scored her seventh goal of the game to cut the Notre Dame lead down to 6-4 but that is the closest the Huskies would come to an upset.
Tamasitis would routinely control possession behind the Connecticut goal and find the open play cutting in front of the net. The strategy worked all game but UConn was able to hang with the Irish throughout the first half, trailing 8-5 after 30 minutes.
Notre Dame scored four unanswered goals in a nine minute stretch to open the second half, which pushed the game out of reach.
The Notre Dame run would prove to be the difference as each team scored four goals over the final 20 minutes.
“We fought for 60 minutes, which is something we have been working on and I am proud of,” head coach Katie Woods said.
Testa made eight saves but allowed 16 goals and earned the loss. Lapham was 0-5 and the Huskies as a team were 0-7 on free position shots. UConn held even with the Irish in shots, draw controls and clears.
“It’s kind of a heartbreaker right now,” Lapham said. “The first half, we stuck with them. That was the best we played all season.”
The Huskies will travel to Cincinnati (3-9, 0-5 Big East) to battle the Bearcats this Friday at 3:30 p.m.