ND Women’s Lacrosse
Irish humbled by Blue Devils in 17-3 loss
Renee Griffin | Tuesday, March 3, 2015
No. 16 Notre Dame suffered its second loss of the season Sunday, falling to No. 5 Duke, 17-3, in Durham, North Carolina.
The Irish (3-2, 0-1 ACC) fell into a 6-0 hole within the first 15 minutes of the game, although sophomore attack/midfielder Cortney Fortunato put Notre Dame on the board a little over a minute later with a goal on a free-position shot.
That was the only goal for the Irish in the half, however, while the Blue Devils (6-0, 1-0) managed four more goals to go into halftime with a 10-1 lead.
Notre Dame fared no better in the second half, as Duke scored again about 30 seconds in. Fortunato scored two more goals, but her efforts didn’t narrow the gap as Duke continued to attack the goal.
After Fortunato’s third score, the Blue Devils went on a 4-0 run to secure a final margin of 17-3 at the end of the game.
Junior defender Katherine McManus said that, despite the lopsided loss, the team can still go on and have a successful season.
“[Sunday] wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” McManus said. “A lot can be learned from a loss, and I have a lot of faith in this team and where we will go this season. This loss will help us refocus and redefine as we move forward. We are an extremely talented team with a tough schedule, but when we play our style and execute our system, we are tough to beat.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Blum played the last 18:48 minutes of the second half following a yellow card called against sophomore starting goalkeeper Liz O’Sullivan. Blum had two saves and allowed six goals in the cage, while O’Sullivan tallied six saves and yielded 11 goals.
Duke attempted more than twice as many shots as the Irish (31-14). Fortunato was the only Notre Dame player able to hit the back of the net, scoring all three Irish goals and taking eight shots overall. She now has twelve goals this season.
Six other Notre Dame players had one shot each, including junior attack Rachel Sexton, junior midfielder Stephanie Toy, senior midfielder Caitlin Gargan, sophomore midfielder Katherine Eilers, sophomore midfielder Casey Pearsall and junior midfielder Brie Custis.
Duke dominated across the board, scooping 24 ground balls to Notre Dame’s nine. The Blue Devils also won 16 draw controls, while the Irish took only six. Duke junior goalie Kelsey Duryea recorded eight saves.
The Blue Devils’ offensive production was more spread out than Notre Dame’s, with seven different players notching at least one goal. Senior midfielder Katie Trees was the leading scorer for Duke with five goals.
McManus said that in order to take positives from the match, the Irish have to continue to take each game one at a time.
“We have a lot of strength as a team, and I think in order to learn from this game and capitalize on the loss, we will just continue to improve day by day and take it one game at a time,” McManus said.
Notre Dame’s road swing continues Saturday when it battles No. 7 Boston College in Newton, Massachusetts, at 1 p.m.
“This week we go back to the drawing board and make the adjustments in all areas that we need to make and execute them this Saturday with another great ACC opponent,” McManus said.