ND Women’s Lacrosse
No. 17 Irish hold on against Cardinals for first ACC win
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 6, 2018
The No. 17 Irish hit the road Sunday to take on Louisville for their first ACC road contest. Notre Dame (5-2, 1-1 ACC) came in riding a two-game win streak, and saw out a tense second half to a third-straight win with a 14-9 win against the Cardinals (5-2, 0-1).
Louisville scored two of the first three goals, followed by a ten-minute scoreless streak of strong defense and goaltending by junior Samantha Giacolone for the Irish. The latter part of the first half was all Irish, closing the opening frame on a 7-1 scoring run.
Sophomore midfielder Erin McBride scored a free position shot at 14:58 to tie the game at two and start the landslide, followed by a goal from sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan and two goals from freshman midfielder Katherine Enrietto. Notre Dame was able to continue its run of momentum by causing turnovers, as the Cardinals turned the ball over 10 times in the first half alone, allowing the Irish to capitalize in transition and earn themselves chances from the free position. The Irish entered halftime with an 8-3 lead.
But Louisville stormed back in the second half. After junior attacker Nikki Ortega scored early for the Irish, Louisivlle would dominate the next 15 minutes of play, going on a 7-1 run and cutting the the lead to 10-8.
With Louisville picking up momentum, Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny decided to make a change in net. Halfpenny substituted out Giacolone — who finished with eight saves — in favor of freshman Bridget Deehan. Deehan would give up a goal on the first shot she saw, but would finish the game with three-straight saves to keep the Cardinals off the board late.
The Irish put their foot back on the gas after seeing their lead cut down to just one with 16:35 left. Freshman midfielder Maddie Howe scored her third of the game from the free position to double the Irish lead, and the Notre Dame run would continue through the end of the contest. When the final horn sounded the Irish finished the game with a 14-9 win.
Notre Dame next faces Virginia Tech on the road this coming Sunday in the team’s second-straight conference road test. The opening draw control is set for 1 p.m.