Durkin Dunks No. 13 University of Texas as No. 6 University of Notre Dame Frolics 10-7 in National Collegiate Club Opening Round

Eileen Flanagan
Eileen Flanagan

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Ali Durkin (Sr., Chicago, Ill.) scored once and drew eight ejections to earn Player of the Game laurels as No. 6 University of Notre Dame edged No. 13 University of Texas 10-7 at home in Rolfs Aquatic Center during the opening round of the 2011 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship tournament.

The Irish advance to meet No. 5 University of Oregon at 10:10 a.m. with a berth in the semifinals at stake, while the Longhorns will clash with No. 16 Lindenwood University at 6:20 p.m. this evening in the consolation bracket.

Luck was with the Irish early in the game as Durkin converted on a man-up chance 49 seconds into the game to give Notre Dame the lead.  Maisie O'Malley (Jr., Chicago, Ill.) tacked on a five-meter penalty shot at 4:23 to push the margin to 2-0, before Texas hit the back of the cage with a blast by Becca Lewis (Sr., Houston, Texas) at 3:18 to return the spread to a single point.

Notre Dame closed out the period with the last laugh, however, as Erin Gibson (Jr., Naperville, Ill.) pumped and popped a ball into the side of the netting with 13 ticks on the clock to make it 3-1 through seven minutes of play.

The Longhorns one again lowered their heads and speared the Irish for a score as Kara Parker (So., Houston, Texas) floated a ball that drew nothing by net and water on a man-up opportunity with 1:15 remaining in the second period to make it 3-2.  Notre Dame put up with no blarney of a tie at halftime as O'Malley managed to convert a five-meter penalty shot with 45 seconds left in the half before Texas' Caity Martin (So., Albuquerque, N.M.) pushed a ball across the plane of the cage 10 seconds later to make it 4-3 in favor of the Irish at the break.

However, the Longhorns finally kissed the Irish lead goodbye as Hillary Rodriguez (Sr., Midway, Texas) deposited a shot between the iron 45 seconds into the third period to knot the game up at 4-to-4.

Needing an immigration of offense to put the hamper the Longhorns' upset bid, Notre Dame reeled off six consecutive scores over the next six minutes to turn a tie game into a 10-4 Irish lead.

O'Malley started the scoring spurt with a man-up goal at 5:07 before burying a five-meter penalty shot at 3:54 to make it 6-4.  Gibson and Colleen Middleton (Jr., Western Springs, Ill.) followed with even-strength goals at 3:54 and 3:17 to push it out to 8-4, before Middleton netted a man-up marker at 1:12 to go up 9-4. Victoria Anglin (So., Agoura Hills, Calif.) closed out the onslaught with an even-strength goal with 44 seconds left in the period. 

With the clock ticking away and Notre Dame running away the game, Texas tried to pose a comeback as Jessie Koverman (So., Hermosa Beach, Calif.) started a 3-0 spree by the Longhorns with a marker at the 18 seconds mark of the third period.

Stephanie Liederbach (Jr., Ypsilanti, Mich.) and Parker closed out the game's scoring at 5:41 and 4:23, respectively, to set the scoreboard at the 10-7 final.

Eileen Flanagan (Sr., Fountain Valley, Calif.) notched the win for Notre Dame between the iron with eight saves, while Bridgette McMahan (Fr., Houston, Texas) turned aside six saves in claiming the loss for the Longhorns.

1 2 3 4 -- Final
No. 13 University of Texas
-- 7
No. 6 University of Notre Dame
-- 10

Notre Dame Goals: Maisie O'Malley (4); Colleen Middleton (2); Erin Gibson (2); Ali Durkin; Victoria Anglin

Texas Goals: Kara Parker (2); Jessie Koverman; Becca Lewis; Stephanie Liederbach; Caity Martin; Hillary Rodriguez

Saves: Notre Dame - Eileen Flanagan (8) ; Texas - Bridgette McMahan (6)

Exclusions: Notre Dame - 3; Texas - 12

Advantage Opportunities:  Notre Dame - X-for-12 ; Texas - X-for-3

Sprints: Notre Dame- 1-for-4 ; Texas - 3-for-4

Cards: None

Officials: Kristin Stanford, Josh Kratz

Becca Lewis of the University of Texas defends Lizzie Gormley of the University of Notre Dame

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