Duck of the Irish: No. 5 University of Oregon Goes to the Final Second in Downing No. 6 University of Notre Dame 6-5 in National Collegiate Club Championship Quarterfinals
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Player of the Game Hillary Wilcox (Jr., Portland, Ore.) ripped a shot that bounced off the arm of No. 6 University of Notre Dame goalie Eileen Flanagan (Sr., Founatain Valley, Calif.) and into the back of the cage as the horn sounded as the No. 5-ranked University of Oregon Ducks floated away with a 6-5 victory over the Irish in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship at Notre Dame's Rolfs Aquatic Center.
The last second victory advances the Ducks to a tournament semifinal meeting with No. 1 ranked and three-time defending National Champion California Polytechnic State University at 6:20 p.m. this evening, while the Irish will clash with No. 4 University of California-Los Angeles at 4:00 with a berth in the fifth place game at stake.
Leading 5-3 at halftime, the Ducks needed to overcome a furious Notre Dame second half onslaught to survive and advance to the next step in claiming the program's first National Collegiate Club Championship.
Notre Dame began chipping away at the lead as Maisie O'Malley (Jr., Chicago, Ill.) managed a marker at 21 seconds into the third period to trim the deficit down to 5-4.
Following seven minutes of no-scoring by either team, Erin Gibson (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) netted the equalizer with 6:38 on the clock in the fourth period to even the scoring at 5-to-5.
Oregon had its chances to put the Fighting Irish down early in the final period as Notre Dame took three-consecutive critical ejections. Victoria Anglin (So., Agoura Hills, Calif.), who finished with a pair of scores for the Irish, received an early trip to the bench with 6:26 remaining in the frame as she drew her third foul. O'Malley was the next to give the Ducks a shot at flying away with the game taking ejections at 4:54 and 4:03. However, the Notre Dame defense in front of Flanagan stiffened to hold Oregon at bay and bring about a series of four consecutive timeouts by the two squads.
Notre Dame, which called a full timeout at 2:19, and UCLA, which elected to ask for full timeouts at 2:07 and 25 seconds with a 20-second break at 1:14, could not solve the others' last line of defense until Wilcox drew a foul outside the five-meter line and uncorked the game-winner with one second on the clock.
A key to the game was fouls as the Ducks drew eight ejections, converting on one, while Notre Dame managed to cash in on two-of-three chances with an extra-swimmer in the tank.
Wilcox led the way for both clubs with three goals, while O'Malley, Anglin and Oregon's Beth Gordon (Sr., Walnut Creek, Calif.) registered pairs of markers.
Flanagan nearly earned Player of the Game honors as her 12 saves in the contest kept the Irish in the game and Oregon off the board late in the game to give Notre Dame a chance at victory.
Kelsey Fanshier (Sr., Beaverton, Ore.) claimed the win for Oregon with five saves, including three in the second half, as the Ducks will get a chance at revenge against Cal Poly.
For Oregon, its meeting with Cal Poly will mark the second time this season the two programs will lock-up as the Mustangs defeated the Ducks 11-5 in tournament play earlier this season.
In addition, the Ducks are now guaranteed to claim their fourth consecutive Top Four finish as Oregon previously placed second (2008), third (2009) and fourth (2010) following fourth (2001), 10th (2002), eighth (2005), 13th (2006) and fifth (2007) in five past trips that preceeded their current string of success.
|No. 5 University of Oregon||2||3||0||1||--||6|
|No. 6 University of Notre Dame||2||1||1||1||--||5|
Notre Dame Goals:
Maisie O'Malley (2); Victoria Anglin (2); Erin Gibson
Oregon Goals: Hillary Wilcox (3); Beth Gordon (2); Jeanette Lo
Saves: Notre Dame - Eileen Flanagan (12) ; Oregon - Kelsey Fanshier (5)
Exclusions: Notre Dame - 8 ; Oregon - 3
Advantage Opportunities: Notre Dame - 2-for-3 ; Oregon - 1-for-8
Sprints: Notre Dame - 4-for-4 ; Oregon - 0-for-4
Wall, Josh Kratz
University of Notre Dame's