ND women’s lacrosse ranked second in final poll
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, March 23, 2020
In what turned out to be the final poll of the season, Notre Dame (7-0, 2-0 ACC) finished second in the nation behind conference foe North Carolina. At the time the poll was posted on March 9, the Irish had a perfect 6-0 record. It should be noted that Notre Dame recorded their seventh victory of the season against Vanderbilt by a score of 16-6 after the poll was released. The Irish were scheduled to face off against the Tar Heels on March 15 in what could have served as a de facto national championship game, but COVID-19 pandemic concerns caused the game, along with the remainder of the season, to be canceled.
This season looked like it was going to be a special one for the Irish. The program’s best finish in the NCAA Tournament was in 2006 when they reached the final four. The first few weeks of the season showed that this 2020 squad definitely had the potential to be the best team in program history and compete for a national title.
The game of the season for the Irish was their 15-17 win on the road against Northwestern, who ended the season ranked sixth in the polls. The Irish also beat No. 16 Duke and Boston College, both by four goals. The other four wins on the season for the Irish were by double digits.
The Irish had a strong core of veterans to lead them to their perfect record. Junior Bridget Deehan proved herself as one of the top goalies in the country by recording 58 saves and a .547 save percentage on the season, which was good for fifth-best in the country. Some of the team’s top scorers were veterans as well. Players with the most goals included junior Andie Aldave (17 goals), junior Maddie Howe (16 goals), graduate student Samantha Lynch (13 goals) and senior Jessi Masinko (10 goals).
To complement the veteran leadership, the Irish also had some of the best young talent in the country. The team’s top scorer was freshman Kasey Choma, who recorded 22 goals on only 33 total shots. Her shot percentage of .667 was tied for eighth-best in the country. Freshman Madison Ahern also recorded 16 goals and a team-leading 11 assists on the season.
Although 2020 unfortunately ended too abruptly for Notre Dame’s liking, this team appears to be primed to compete for a national championship come next year.