Women’s Lacrosse tops No. 3 Northwestern and dominates Central Michigan
Nate Moller | Tuesday, February 18, 2020
The No. 6/7 Irish had a very successful weekend by picking up two victories against No. 3 Northwestern and Central Michigan.
Last year, the Irish (3-0) fell to Northwestern (3-1) in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but the game in Evanston, Illinois on Friday night was a different story. The Irish offense was clicking the whole game, and it propelled the Irish to a 17-15 victory.
Northwestern scored two goals in under five minutes to start the game, and the Irish were on their heels right out of the gates.
The Irish responded well to the slow start, though, and they were able to score the next four goals in a span of four minutes to take an early 4-2 advantage. The Wildcats responded, however, and knotted the score back up at 4 with 17 minutes to go in the first half.
Only halfway through the first half, junior attack Maddie Howe scored to give the Irish a 5-4 advantage and secure a hat trick. Howe would lead the Irish with four goals when all was said and done. Following a free position goal from senior attack Jessi Mansinko, the Wildcats scored three consecutive goals to take a 7-6 lead. After some back-and-forth play, the score was once again tied at eight apiece with just over three minutes to go in the first half.
The last three minutes of the first half proved vital to the Irish as the Irish scored three consecutive goals to take an 11-8 advantage into the break. Two of the goals came from freshman midfielder Kasey Choma and one from graduate student attack Samantha Lynch.
The Irish scored again to start the second half and open up a four-goal lead, but the Wildcats were not about to go down without a fight, and with just over 16 minutes to play the score was once again level at 12.
Despite the 4-0 run by Northwestern, the Irish were once again able to remain calm, and they put together three goals of their own to take a 15-12 lead. These three goals were scored by freshman attack Madison Ahern, Howe and Choma.
From that point on, the Irish never gave up their lead again, and they ultimately won by a score of 17-15 in Evanston.
The Irish likely would not have won if it were not for the stellar performance of junior goalkeeper Bridget Deehan, who had a career-record 12 saves on the night.
The Irish also had success from the draw, an area that is typically Northwestern’s strong suit. Junior midfielder Andie Aldave and senior midfielder Savannah Buchanan both secured six draw controls, and senior defenseman Kathleen Roe secured four.
Other than Howe’s four-goal effort, the Irish had hat tricks from Choma and Lynch as well.
After the exciting victory Friday night in Evanston, the Irish had a quick turnaround for a home game against Central Michigan (0-1) on Sunday afternoon.
The turnaround proved to be a non-issue for the Irish, as they bested the Chippewas by a score of 24-4.
The Irish put pressure on the Chippewas the whole game by having 35 shots on the day. The Chippewas were not able to put together much offensively against the Irish as they only had 10 shots total.
The game was over by the end of the first half, as the Irish put together a string of 11 consecutive goals to take a monstrous 17-2 advantage into the break.
The Irish came out of the gates fast in the second half as well to score three more unanswered goals and open up a 20-2 lead. Although Central Michigan would score two in a row, the Irish closed the game on a 4-0 run to secure a dominating 24-4 win.
The highlight of the game for the Irish was junior Andie Aldave, who set the program record by securing her 270th career draw control Sunday afternoon. Aldave now holds the Irish draw control record for single game, single season and career marks. Aldave had 11 draw controls in Sunday’s game and added four goals and two assists to that tally as well.
The Irish had 10 different players score for them on Sunday, with other multi-goal efforts coming from Maddie Howe, senior midfielder Erin McBride (4), freshman attack Madison Ahern (3), Kasey Choma (2), Jessi Masinko (2) and Samantha Lynch (2).
Aside from controlling the draw and shot count, the Irish dominated in the turnover category as well, winning the turnover margin by 10.
The Irish will spend the week at home and prepare for their game against Ohio State, which will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. in Loftus Sports Center.