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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Notre Dame picks up first two wins on Florida trip

| Monday, February 19, 2018

No. 16 Notre Dame went on a successful Florida road trip, netting the first two wins of its season with overwhelming victories over Jacksonville and Stetson.

Facing Jacksonville on Saturday, the Irish (2-1, 0-1 ACC) proved too much for the Dolphins (1-1) to handle, outscoring them by a margin of 17-6. The win was made possible through strong all-around play and an avalanche of goal-scoring provided by no fewer than 10 Irish players.

While the matchup may have started as a relatively back-and-forth game in the early part of the first half, the Irish were able to secure a 7-3 lead by halftime and never looked back. Notre Dame dominated in the second half. The Irish outscored the Dolphins 10-3 in the second half, firing 25 shots over the course of the period in comparison to Jacksonville’s nine, while also winning 14 ground balls against the Dolphins’ seven.

Notre Dame’s offensive charge, while coming from all different directions, was led by junior attack Nikki Ortega and freshman midfielder Andie Aldave, who each scored a hat trick. Both players posted three goals and three assists on the day.

From a defensive standpoint, the Irish were just as dominant. The Dolphins were allowed only six goals, and Notre Dame’s defense managed to force 14 turnovers over the course of the game. Irish junior goaltender Samantha Giacolone had a strong performance, saving 11-of-17 shots fired her way.

On Sunday, the Irish continued their success with a 21-7 rout of Stetson (0-2) in Deland, Florida. Notre Dame won in much the same fashion as on Saturday, pairing stifling defensive play with a relentless torrent of goals.

By the end of the first half, the Irish were leading by a wide margin, 12-4. Ortega found the net four times in the first half alone. Sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan scored thrice before halftime, with five other teammates also posting goals before halftime.

The Irish were dominant offensively. Once again, 10 different Notre Dame players scored at least one goal over the course of the game. Joining Ortega and Buchanan as hat-trick scorers on the day were Aldave and freshman midfielder Katherine Enrietto. Buchanan made three assists along with her hat trick, while Aldave added two of her own. Aldave also notched 10 draw controls Sunday, tying a Notre Dame record for the most draw controls in a single game.

On defense, Notre Dame played just as tenaciously. The Irish forced 15 Hatter turnovers, and only allowed Stetson to take 14 shots over the course of the entire contest. In goal for the Irish, Giacolone and freshman goalie Bridget Deehan made two saves each.

The Irish will face USC at home this Friday for their next matchup. The game, to be played at Loftus Sports Complex, is set to begin at 6 p.m.

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