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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Notre Dame downs Marquette behind Andie Aldave’s strong play

| Thursday, March 1, 2018

Playing at Arlotta Stadium for the first time this season, No. 18 Notre Dame rode a dominant start to victory over Marquette behind the play of freshman midfielder Andie Aldave.

The Irish (4-2, 0-1 ACC) almost opened the scoring just eight seconds into the game, as Aldave won the opening draw and stormed to the Marquette goal, being fouled for a free position. Although Aldave shot wide and the Irish had another free position saved less than 20 seconds later, Aldave earned a third free position for Notre Dame inside the game’s first two minutes and opened the scoring.

Chris Collins | The Observer

Irish freshman midfielder Andie Aldave looks to shoot during Notre Dame’s 15-10 win over Marquette on Wednesday.

“It was really exciting to set the tone early and often in our first game in Arlotta,” Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “But we really knew there was going to be a response from Marquette too and that we’d need a great second half.”

The Irish soon doubled their lead as junior attack Nikki Ortega found Aldave in front of goal who shot instantly past Marquette sophomore goalkeeper Julianna Horning. Sixty-six seconds later, Ortega added a score of her own, driving to the Marquette goal and finishing from close range. After sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan added a fourth Irish goal, senior midfielder Allison Lane scored from distance to put the Golden Eagles (3-3, 0-0 Big East) on the board, but the Irish added two more goals, including Aldave’s third of the game after barely over 11 minutes of play, eventually going into halftime with a 10-3 lead. Halfpenny said Aldave has already made a serious impact for her team.

“She’s a monster on the draw and she’s giving us every single thing she has, which is huge,” Halfpenny said. “I’m really proud of what she did today; it was an outstanding shooting day for her as well. She’s been getting good looks in all of our games but she really delivered today, just did a great job out there.”

However, the Irish struggled to put the game completely out of the question as the Golden Eagles scored early in the second half and went on a 4-1 run to trail by only four goals at 12-8 with 10 minutes remaining. The final goal of that run came from junior midfielder Grace Gabriel, who entered the game as the third-leading goalscorer in the nation with 20 goals but was stifled offensively and held scoreless for almost 40 minutes. With Gabriel receiving a yellow card on the draw following her goal, the Irish took advantage of the extra player and scored through senior attack Abi Cullinan, ensuring a five-goal lead with five minutes remaining. Two goals in quick succession from Gabriel and Cate Soccodato, followed by a turnover that gave Marquette another scoring opportunity, put the result back into question, but Aldave ensured the victory. With two-and-a-half minutes remaining, Aldave received a pass from Buchanan and — falling to the floor — shot low past Horning to restore the four-goal lead. In the final seconds, Cullinan added one more goal for the Irish to ensure a final score of 15-10.

“What I was really excited about was our ability to respond when adversity hit and put the game away at the end,” Halfpenny said. “We got some important experience and we’ll absolutely need that.”

Aldave ended the game with five goals, one assist and 10 draw controls, while Cullinan and senior midfielder Molly Cobb finished with three goals apiece. Marquette committed 38 fouls, 12 for free positions to 16 for Notre Dame, who gave the Golden Eagles just two free position shots. The Irish took advantage of that disparity with seven free position goals to just one for Marquette. Halfpenny said the team had been working hard on avoiding fouls this season.

“If you take a look at everything from the season so far, we’ve drastically dropped our fouls per game,” she said. “We’re playing really clean defense, we’re really athletic, we’re proud of it and we’ve been able to keep them off the line.”

The Irish will travel to Louisville this weekend hoping for a first ACC win of 2018 against the Cardinals (5-1, 0-0 ACC). Opening draw at U of L Lacrosse Stadium will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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About Daniel O'Boyle

Daniel O'Boyle is a senior sports writer living in Alumni Hall, majoring in Political Science. He is currently on the Notre Dame Women's Basketball, Men's Tennis and Women's Soccer beats. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Daniel spends most of his free time attempting to keep up with second-flight English soccer and his beloved Reading FC. He believes Lonzo Ball is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Contact Daniel