ND Women’s Lacrosse
Irish to take on Flames and Cardinals
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, March 19, 2021
The No. 4 ranked Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team is hoping to bounce back in games against Liberty and the No. 17 ranked Louisville Cardinals this weekend. The Irish dropped two close games last week at No. 2 Syracuse and will be hoping to bounce back this weekend.
The Irish will host Liberty at 5 p.m. on Friday and will have the opportunity to regain some traction as their gear up for their more formidable foe in Louisville on Sunday. The Flames and the Irish have met three previous times and Notre Dame has won all three matchups in the series all-time history. The last contest was back in February 2019 where the Irish came out on top, 14-10 on the road and were fueled by four goals apiece from senior midfielder Andie Aldave and graduate student attack, Samantha Lynch.
Through their four games this season Lynch and sophomore midfielder Kasey Choma are tied for most goals at 11, while Lynch is pacing the team in points at 14. Senior and sophomore attacks Maddie Howe and Madison Ahern follow close behind at 13 and 12 respectively.
The Irish offense has been managing the ball well recently and as such are ranked the tenth best scoring offense in the nation averaging 15.25 points per game. They are also fifth-best in the fewest turnovers allowed albeit through just for games with an average of 12.25 turnovers per contest. The other side of the field isn’t slacking behind either as the Irish are also tenth in caused turnovers per game with an average of 11.25 takeaways and 11th in clearing percentage at .913. The Irish are hoping to improve on their draw controls however as they lag far behind the pack, 79th in draw control percentage at .454.
Liberty will be rolling into South Bend on a 3-game win streak. The Flames defeated Radford at home to start the month and went on to take down Old Dominion and William and Mary on the road the next weekend.
The Flames are led by two sophomore attacks; Leah Ruby, who has 13 goals and six assists this season and Brooke Bryan who leads the Flames in goals with 14. Leah however, is prone to turnovers and will have to tighten her game up if she wants to see her team compete against the Irish defense. She is shooting at a .351 percent clip and has accumulated 17 turnovers through the Flames seven contests.
Liberty’s backfield is tenacious though and will be applying constant pressure to the Irish throughout the game, the Flames lead the nation in caused turnovers per game with an impressive 120 and counting at an average of 17.14 per game. Bucknell is second with 13.5 per game. Ball security will be a key in this matchup for the Irish.
The Cardinals are on a 2-game win streak themselves but are poised for an intense weekend as they play host to two ranked teams in No. 1 North Carolina and No. 4 Notre Dame. The Tar Heels played in Cardinal Stadium and dominated the Cardinals in a 19-7 win. The Irish will head to Louisville on Sunday and play at noon in the UofL Lacrosse Stadium. The Cardinals have four players with at least 14 goals so far this season. Junior attack Hannah Morris, senior attack Ally Hale and senior midfielder Caroline Blalock all have at least 15 points this year while Blalock leads the way with 23, she had added a goal and an assist to that total against Louisville. Although the Cardinals offense might not be as efficient as the Irish they are not afraid to take their shot as they come in at 11th in the country in shots per game.
The first game of the weekend will start at 5 p.m. on Friday at Arlotta Stadium as Notre Dames hosts Liberty. The Sunday matchup against Louisville will start at noon and both games can be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.