ND Women’s Lacrosse
Notre Dame struggles to win possession at the draw in loss to Northwestern
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 10, 2018
No. 7 Northwestern dominated Notre Dame on the draw Sunday, as a recent strong run of form came to an end for the Irish in a 20-10 defeat.
The Wildcats (11-3, 3-0 Big Ten) were led by senior attack Shelby Fredericks, who entered the game with 74 draw controls in just nine games played after missing time early in the season. On the other side, the Irish (7-7, 2-4 ACC) appeared capable of making the draw a battle with freshman midfielder Andie Aldave, who had 75 draw controls in her first 13 games. But Fredericks gave the Wildcats a decisive advantage in the contest, as she added 12 more draw controls to her season total while Aldave added just four. Overall, Northwestern won 26 possessions on the restart to just six for Notre Dame.
The Irish did all they could to win back possessions by other means with 12 caused turnovers and a season-high 28 ground balls, but the difference on the draw was too much to overcome.
The Wildcats stormed out to a 4-0 lead thanks to four goals in just over four minutes and led 7-1 just beyond the halfway mark in the first period. The Irish worked their way back into the game late into the first half and early in the second, cutting the Wildcats lead to 9-6 just two minutes into the second half. And this was despite Fredericks’ domination on the draw, as during the 5-2 Irish run to cut the lead, the Wildcats had still won six of the seven draws. However, Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny’s team could not keep overcoming that disadvantage. The Wildcats began to pull away again, continuing to dominate on the draw by winning 19 of the game’s first 21 draws and building a double-digit lead on their way to the eventual 20-10 victory.
Irish freshman midfielder Maddie Howe was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing game for Notre Dame, scoring four goals — including three of her team’s first four — to keep her team alive during the first half before adding her 30th goal of the season in the final five minutes of the game. Irish sophomore attack Jessi Masinko also pitched in offensively with a goal and two assists. Defensively, sophomore Kathleen Roe and junior Hannah Proctor fought the barrage of Wildcats possessions by causing turnovers and picking up ground balls; Proctor ended the game with five ground balls and three caused turnovers while Roe picked up four of each.
For the Wildcats, junior attack Selena Lasota and senior midfielder Sheila Nesselbush did most of the damage outside of the draw, scoring five goals each, while Lasota also added two assists.
Still needing one more win to secure a .500 regular-season record, the Irish will host No. 19 Duke on Sunday at Arlotta Stadium. Opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m.