ND Women’s Lacrosse
Women’s lacrosse bounces back from weekend loss, looks ahead to regular-season finale
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, April 23, 2021
The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team dropped its second-straight game to then-No. 5 Boston College 18-12 on Saturday, April 17.
The Eagles (11-1, 7-1 ACC) got off to a fast start and took an early five-goal advantage, and they carried their momentum to a 11-3 halftime lead. The Irish clawed their way back into the contest though thanks to a 3-0 run early in the second half with goals from sophomore attacker Madison Ahern and graduate student midfielder Katie Enrietto.
However, Boston College quickly responded with a 3-0 run of its own to extend the lead to nine, and the Irish could never catch up. Senior attacker Charlotte North led the Eagles with six goals and one assist, and fifth-year attacker Cara Urbank tallied four goals and two assists for the game.
Notre Dame did not let the back-to-back losses keep them down, as the team responded with a strong performance to defeat Virginia Tech 15-10 on Wednesday. The matchup was a game of runs, as the Irish had two 3-0 runs in the first half to take a 6-2 lead into halftime. Senior goalie Bridget Deehan was sharp in the first half with six saves, and senior midfielder Diana Kelly bolstered the Irish defense by forcing two turnovers.
After the Hokies (4-10, 0-8 ACC) scored first to start the second half, Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run to take a 12-3 advantage. Virginia Tech responded with a 5-0 run of its own to make it 12-8, but two goals from sophomore midfielder Kasey Choma stopped the Hokies’ momentum and put the Irish ahead for good.
Wednesday’s victory was also a career day for many Notre Dame players. Choma tied her career-high with six goals, while sophomore attacker Jackie Wolak had a career-high five points thanks to three goals and two assists. Additionally, Diana Kelly ended the game with four caused turnovers, which was a career-high mark.
The No. 5 Fighting Irish (7-5, 4-5 ACC) will look to build off of their momentum and finish the regular season on a high note Saturday with a Senior Day matchup against the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals.
The Cardinals (5-9, 1-8 ACC) have faced a brutal schedule of late, losing seven of their past eight games with all seven losses coming against top-10 opponents. One of those losses was to Notre Dame on March 21, where the Irish prevailed 15-10, and the Cardinals will be looking to even the season series this weekend.
Defensively, the Irish will have to be aware of senior attacker Ally Hall and senior midfielder Caroline Blalock. Hall leads the Cardinals with 41 points on the season as a result of her 32 goals and nine assists. Blalock is second on the team with 35 points off of 25 goals and a team-leading 10 assists. Hall kept Louisville in the game in its previous matchup with Notre Dame on March 21, as she led the way with three goals and two assists on the day.
Despite Hall and Blalock’s strong play this season, they will have a difficult time scoring against Notre Dame senior goalie Bridget Deehan. She was named as one of the 25 nominees for the 2021 Tewaaraton Award, which honors the top men’s and women’s lacrosse players in the country. Deehan ranks among the top-40 goalies in the country in saves, save percentage, and goals-against average, and the Cardinals will need to be creative on offense to get anything past her.
As for the Irish offense, Notre Dame has multiple attackers that have been highly effective this season. Four players have over 30 points on the year, including graduate student attack Samantha Lynch, sophomore attacker Madison Ahern, sophomore midfielder Kasey Choma and sophomore attacker Jackie Wolak. Senior attacker Maddie Howe is not far behind either with 29 points.
Both Notre Dame and Louisville will hope to use this Saturday’s matchup as a chance to build confidence for the ACC Championship, which begins next Wednesday in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina, Boston College, and Syracuse have clinched the top three seeds in the tournament, but none of the eight seeds will be finalized until after this weekend. Notre Dame is currently fifth in the ACC standings, while Louisville is in seventh place.
Saturday’s game is set to start at 1 p.m. ET at Arlotta Stadium, and the matchup will also be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.