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LACROSSE: Rix, BC Upset No. 11 Notre Dame In South Bend Season Opener

For The Heights

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 03:02

Mikaela Rix was ready to welcome the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the ACC. Fueled by Rix’s six-goal outburst, the Boston College women’s lacrosse team outlasted Notre Dame in a 15-10 win. This was the first match of the season for the Eagles, ranked No. 20 in the country.

The Eagles wasted no time getting started, striking first just over a minute into the first half. It didn’t take long for the Irish to respond, however, as ND midfielder Caitlin Gargan drove to the net and found an opening top shelf to even the score.

Just minutes later, Gargan found herself at the goal line and once again converted, giving the Irish their first lead of the day. Teammate Steph Toy capped a three-goal run for the Irish, scoring an eight-meter shot and stretching the Notre Dame lead to two goals.

BC went on a streak itself, scoring its second goal at 21:25. Less than two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Sarah Mannelly added another tally to tie the game again.

Forty-five seconds later, BC scored again to take back the lead on a shot from Rix. The lead would be short-lived, though, as ND’s Cortney Fortunato capitalized on a fast-break opportunity to bring the Irish even.

Gargan was on fire for the Irish, and following Fortunato’s goal she had a chance to go for the first half hat trick, but rang a shot off the post. Following the miss, BC’s Moira Barry benefitted from a good pass from Rix and scored, giving the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

Gargan would not be kept off the scoreboard for long, however, as she converted on another eight-meter shot. That goal was enough to even the score and give her a quick hat trick.

Boston College attacker Covie Stanwick was sent off temporarily with a yellow card, which requires the team to play man down for two minutes. Notre Dame took advantage of the opportunity on a play started by midfielder Brie Custis, who checked a BC player and allowed Molly Shawhan to pick up the ground ball. Eventually the ball found Gargan, who found an open Rachel Sexton on the fast break. Sexton took a shot and beat the Eagles’ defenders, giving the Irish a 6-5 lead.

ND’s Shawhan then drew a yellow card of her own, giving BC a man advantage as the teams reached the closing minutes of the first half. Rix capitalized on the scoring chance and ripped a shot in to tie the game once again.

The BC defense was not able to keep Sexton from scoring again as she grabbed her own rebound and scored on the follow-up. With 2:57 remaining, Mannelly got a late, unassisted goal to even the score for the sixth time. The score would remain 7-7 at the end of the half.

Rix got the second half started quickly, answering with a fast break goal for a hat trick of her own. The only person keeping the Eagles from scoring again was ND goalie Allie Murray, who made two big saves on the next BC possession to keep the Irish deficit to one.

At 26:55 the Eagles were finally able to sneak a ball past Murray with a goal from Caroline Margolis. Her first goal of the contest gave the Eagles their first multi-goal lead of the game.

The lead didn’t last long—following a common theme in this match, Sexton became the third player in the game with a hat trick off an eight-meter shot to close the lead to one with 23 minutes remaining in the contest.

Another Notre Dame yellow card led to another BC goal, this time scored by Brooke Blue and assisted by Kate Rich. Kiera McMullan responded this time for the Irish, scoring from the center hash to cut the BC lead to one.

Rix scored two more goals in the second half, sandwiching another ND goal by Gargan, bringing the score to 12-10 in favor of BC. Her most recent goal forced Notre Dame to make a goalie change, bringing in Liz O’Sullivan to replace Murray. Stanwick welcomed her by scoring lucky number 13 for the Eagles, and following two more goals from Mannelly and Rix, the lead was extended to five. It would remain that way until the end of the game.

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