published Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Irish upset: Notre Dame girls fall 2-1 in Class A/AA soccer tournament

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    White House's Allie Reynolds and Notre Dame's Emma Higgins collide during a Class A/AA state soccer quarterfinal Wednesday at Chattanooga Christian School. White House defeated Notre Dame 2-1 and will advance to the semi-finals Thursday.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

Class A/AA State Quarterfinals

WHITE HOUSE 2, NOTRE DAME 1

Halftime score: White House, 1-0. Goals: Kate Carney, Kendall Morrison (WH); Blair Barker (ND). Assists: Alicia Callis, Kaleigh Tuttle (WH); Emma Higgins (ND). Shots on goal: Notre Dame, 8-5. Saves: Mollie Curtis 7 (WH); Natalie Graham 2 (ND). Records: White House 14-6-1; Notre Dame 11-3-5.

The first 20 minutes of Notre Dame's Class A/AA state quarterfinal didn't go necessarily as planned. The Lady Irish shook it off, but as it turns out, the results of the last 20 weren't any better.

White House's Kendall Morrison scored in the 58th minute, and the Lady Blue Devils advanced to the state semifinals by shocking the third-ranked Lady Irish 2-1 at Chattanooga Christian. Notre Dame won the shot battle 8-5, but weren't able to overcome a slow start predicated on nerves.

"We made some young mistakes," Notre Dame coach Jim Schermerhorn said. "The first 20 minutes, we gave up the goal and had to fight our way back in it."

Kate Carney gave the Lady Blue Devils (14-6-1) a 1-0 edge when she knocked in a shot from Alicia Callis in the 16th minute, but the Lady Irish had the better of the possession the rest of the half. They remained on the offensive going into the second, and tied the match on a corner kick set piece Schermerhorn called "Arsenal."

Blair Barker took the kick and received a return pass back from a teammate. She fired a cross to Emma Higgins, who headed it back into her senior teammate for a quick touch and score to tie things up.

"I really thought we had it," Schermerhorn said about the tying goal. "I thought we'd step up and play; it's up to us now.

"I don't know if we battled the way we should have."

Notre Dame (11-3-5) continued to control possession after the goal, but in the 58th minute, Morrison took a pass from Kaleigh Tuttle and fired a shot through for eventual game-winner.

"We showed a lot of confidence on the field to beat a quality opponent," White House coach Mike Felzien said. "We knew we were strong on defense, and had to limit the opportunities of No. 2 [Emma Higgins].

"For right now, the relief is over, but we have to start preparing in a few minutes to do it all over again tomorrow."

Notre Dame loses six seniors off a team that won the 2010 state championship, and had a state finalist and semifinalist appearance in their careers.

"We had a good year, but this wasn't the way we wanted it to end," Schermerhorn said. "We played well in a lot of games against a high level of play, but it just didn't happen today and that's the frustrating part.

"If you don't step up and play against a decent team, this here is going to happen."

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