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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Irish dominate Central Michigan, fall to Wolverines to open season

| Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Notre Dame women’s lacrosse opened its season by splitting a pair of contests at home this weekend. The Irish, who had been ranked 5th in the Inside Lacrosse poll to open the season, dominated Central Michigan Friday night to open the campaign. 

Junior attack Madison Ahern scored a career-high six goals to lead Notre Dame past the Chippewas 24-5. The Irish scored the first 23 goals of the contest, and Central Michigan didn’t score until the final quarter of play after Notre Dame pulled their starting goalie, graduate student Bridget Deehan. She was forced to make just two saves while shutting out the Chippewas over the first three quarters of action. 

In addition to Ahern, graduate student attack Maddie Howe was excellent for the Irish, with five points on four goals and an assist. 13 players tallied points for the Irish, and they outshot Central Michigan 40-13 on the night. 

The team couldn’t carry their momentum over to Sunday night’s contest, however, falling 11-7 to No. 23 Michigan. Ahern, senior midfield Madison Mote, and junior midfielder Kasey Choma each scored twice for the Irish, but their contributions weren’t enough to overcome the Wolverines’ strong defense. Deehan made 7 saves on 18 shots on goal. 

The Irish ultimately had more shots, shots on goal, and draw controls than their opponent, but Michigan made the most of their opportunities, and goalie Arielle Weissman made 13 saves, denying the Irish time and time again. Notre Dame didn’t take advantage of Michigan’s fouls, either; they were just 2-9 from free position shots. 

Michigan opened the match with a goal just 17 seconds into the contest, setting the tone for what was to come. The teams traded goals for the rest of the first quarter. Choma tied it at one, and when Michigan retook the lead, Mote answered for the Irish. Michigan scored two consecutive goals, but Ahern responded with her second of the night just before the end of the quarter. 

In the second frame, Michigan came out red-hot, scoring the first four goals to open up an 8-3 advantage that proved too large for the Irish to overcome. Ahern brought one back on a free position shot just before the break, and Notre Dame trailed by four heading into halftime. 

Notre Dame outscored the Wolverines in the third quarter 2-1 thanks to goals from Choma and senior midfield Hannah Dorney, but Michigan scored twice to open the final quarter to effectively seal the game. 

The Irish fell to 12th in the Inside Lacrosse poll after the loss, while Michigan jumped them to 11th. Notre Dame will try and regroup as they head south to Nashville for their first road game of the season Saturday afternoon against Vanderbilt.

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