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Notre Dame earns No. 5 seed in ACC tournament

| Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Irish earned the fifth seed in the ACC women’s lacrosse tournament and will face off against fourth-seeded No. 20 Virginia Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament.

After defeating San Diego State in their last time out, the Irish (9-8, 3-4 ACC) will be looking to avenge a 17-10 loss against the Cavaliers (9-8, 4-3) on March 17.

Chris Collins | The Observer
Irish junior goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone stands in the net during Notre Dame’s 15-10 victory over Marquette on Feb. 28 at Arlotta Stadium.

The Irish will look to reach the second round of the tournament after losing in the first round to Boston College last season. Notre Dame is led by the team’s three all-ACC selections. Junior goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone was first team All-ACC, backstopping a team that gave up just 10.7 goals per game. Junior defender Hannah Proctor has started all 18 games for the Irish and has caused 14 turnovers this season. Sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan is third on the team with 23 goals and has also been a factor on the defensive end.

The Irish will enter the tournament with momentum coming off the heels of a 16-7 win over the Aztecs (9-8, 1-1 MPSF). The 16 goals were the most the Irish scored in a game since Feb. 18. The team will need its offense to click against a Virginia team that sometimes struggles on defense. The Cavaliers haven’t allowed single-digit goals in a contest since March 28, and the Irish will be trying to fill up the scoresheet.

At the center of the Irish offense will be freshman midfielder Maddie Howe. The Fairpoint, New York, native scored 38 goals, 12 more than anyone else on the team. The Irish will look to get Howe going in order to help spark the offense.

The winner of the game will earn a date with the winner of Louisville and Boston College. Boston College earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament with an undefeated 17-0 season. The Irish opened their season with a 13-11 loss to the Eagles, and Notre Dame would like to get into the second round to set up a rematch against the Eagles.

The Irish will face off against Virginia on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Opening draw is set for 2 p.m. on Thursday.

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