LAX beats fourth-ranked Notre Dame in an OT thriller

By on March 5, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

Eleventh-ranked Louisville capped off a comeback against No. 4 Notre Dame at home Saturday, winning 10-9 in double overtime.  The victory makes U of L 7-0 on the season, the best start in school history. This is their fourth consecutive win over a ranked team.

Louisville trailed most of the game and didn’t get their first lead until three minutes left in the game. Notre Dame’s defense gave U of L fits in the first half and grouped all of their scoring in bunches. After being down most of the game, the Cardinals scored six of the final eight goals of the match.

Coach Kellie Young was all smiles after the game.

“It’s just a phenomenal win for us. Notre Dame is such an incredible program and they’ve played so well this year,” Young said. “For us to just play Northwestern 48 hours ago and still have the legs to execute is really amazing, I’m so proud of this team”

In the first half, ND outscored U of L 6-3 and had five saves to Louisville’s two. Kiera McMullan had a hat trick in the first 30 minutes. The defense was getting to Louisville’s attack and they held long possessions. Louisville had finally been given a taste of their own medicine. Young said they had to make adjustments at the break due to Notre Dame’s “unbelievable chasing” on the defensive end.

The difference after the second half started with goalkeeper sophomore Brittany Read, who only allowed three goals and recording six saves. From the 16:30 mark to 9:08, Louisville went on a 4-1 run. This propelled the Cardinals from being down 7-4, to being tied at eight.

Hannah Koloski scored three goals in just the second half and the lightening-fast junior ended with four. Cortnee Daley carried the team in the first half with her second straight hat trick and Koloski picked up where she left off. The pair had seven of the 10 points. With 3:02 in regulation, Koloski sent in her fourth goal and celebrated the team’s first lead by jumping into Kay Morisettee’s arms.

Under two minutes later, Notre Dame Rachel Sexton knotted the game back up at 9. In the final 64 seconds, ND held possession and took the clock all the way down. With just six seconds remaining they took their chance and were denied by Read.

During the first overtime, Louisville had possession during the first 90 seconds and missed on their opportunities. Notre Dame held the ball ball until the final seconds, but the Irish were stuffed again.

The second overtime lasted only nine seconds as Morisettee found Kelli Gerding for the game winner on a fast break. Morisettee and Koloski upped their total goals on the year during the match to a team-high 17 each.

Young said the game winner was “all a blur then I saw the ball hit the back of the net.”

Against Boston College, Koloski hit the game winner in overtime and said Gerding gave her encouragement right before the shot. Gerding said that Koloski returned the favor afterward.

“It was a fast break and after I hit it she was the first one that came up to me and said, ‘I knew you had it” so it was awesome,” Gerding said. “This win is just huge, seeing the program grow has been amazing this just shows how far we’ve come. We’re the only undefeated team in the ACC right now and I don’t feel like that’s real. I’m so proud of everyone on the team and that includes the people on the field, coaches, trainers, everyone.”

The game was one of the most exciting atmospheres of the year. The biggest crowd of the year showed up on the gloomy and chilly day and gave the team a boost. Gerding gave credit to their hometown support.

“The fans are great, all of our parents always come to the games and are super supportive,” Gerding said. “A lot of the other student-athletes come out and cheer us on. They’re all super loud and that energy comes on the field with us.”

Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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