DAVIS, Calif. -- Sometimes it is better to be lucky. Sometimes it is better to be good. And sometimes it pays to be both, especially when it matters most.
For Notre Dame, today was one of third as Kelly Horner (Sr., Holland, Mich.) accounted for all of the No. 2 ranked Irish's scoring as the Fighting Irish rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit with a goal in the third period and a pair in the fourth to escape No. 5 UC-Davis and advance to the National Collegiate Club semifinals.
The Irish, who are now guaranteed of finishing no worse than fourth in the final tournament standings, which will be a program record, are two wins away from capturing the program's first national championship.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime following markers by Erica Leima (Jr., Pelham, N.H.) and Kristina Forest (Sr., Santa Barbara, Calif.) at 5:49 and 2:27, respectively, in the first period, Notre Dame got on the board with 1:29 left in the third period as Horner buried a five-meter penalty shot following a call on Davis' Emily Muniz (Sr., Saratoga, Calif.).
The Irish continued to battle back in the fourth period as Horner connected on shot swith 3:13 to tie the score and 2:31 for the game-winner as Notre Dame survived and moved on in the quest for a national title.
The keys to the game for Notre Dame were the play of Horner on offense and the defensive abilties of netminder Betsy O'Neill (Jr., Danville, Calif.) who turned away five shots in the second half and seven in the game to allow her team to climb back into the contest.
For UC-Davis, Elyssa Thome (Sr., Pleasanton, Calif.) and Jenna Bondlow (Fr., Sausauton, Calif.) combined to make 10 saves as the Aggies fall into the consolation bracket and will face No. 7 ranked Utah at 7:30 p.m. this evening (Saturday, May 2) for a shot at the fifth place game.
Notre Dame will continue its drive for the national championship this evening against defending national runner-up and No. 6 ranked University of Oregon at 9:50 p.m. with a berth in the national title game against either No. 1 California Polytechnic State University or No. 10 University of Pennsylvania.
|No. 2 University of Notre Dame||0||0||1||2||3|
|No. 5 University of California-Davis||2||0||0||0||2|
UC-Davis Goals: Kristina Forest; Erica Leima
Notre Dame Goals: Kelly Horner (3)
Saves: UC-Davis - Jenna Bondlow (7), Elyssa Thome (3) ; Notre Dame - Betsy O'Neill (7)
Ejections: UC-Davis - 6 ; Notre Dame - 4
Sprints: UC-Davis - 4 (Kristina Forest - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) ; Notre Dame - 0