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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Irish fall to Vanderbilt, look to regain momentum with upcoming series

| Tuesday, February 22, 2022

This past Sunday, the No. 4 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (1-2) fell 12-14 to previously unranked Vanderbilt (2-0). This breaks a five-game winning streak the Irish held in the series. What started off with an Irish-dominated first quarter quickly turned around on Notre Dame.

Coming out hot, sophomore attack Madison Ahern scored two goals back to back within the first three minutes. This was quickly followed by another Irish goal from junior midfielder Madison Mote. Halfway through the first quarter, junior attack Cailin Field scored unassisted, pushing the Irish 4-0. While the Commodores started to come back with two retaliating goals, sophomore midfielder Kasey Choma and Mote closed out the first quarter with clear Irish domination 6-3. However, this would be the last time the Irish outscore the Commodores.

It was the second quarter when Vanderbilt started gaining their speed. While the Irish outshot the Commodores, Vanderbilt scored three goals in the second quarter, quickly closing the gap. However, with 14 seconds left Ahern scored the only Irish goal to keep Notre Dame’s lead going into the half.

Although the Irish started off hot, the Commodores were able to keep a consistent scoring pace throughout the entirety of the contest. The third quarter saw two initial unassisted Commodore goals before Mote found the back of the net and tied it up. Scoring went back and forth, with a Vanderbilt goal and then an unassisted one from Irish junior midfielder Hannah Dorney. It wasn’t until the last two minutes that Vanderbilt took an official lead with a goal from senior attack Maddie Souza. The score was 10-9 Vanderbilt going into the fourth quarter.  

While the fourth quarter was closer than any previous one, the Commodores still outscored the Irish 4-3. The start of the fourth quarter was slow. Once scoring began, though, at the 11-minute mark, it was consistent to the end. Vanderbilt found the back of the net first, but only a minute later Irish sophomore attack Jackie Wolak returned the favor. This was followed by two Commodore goals, and then by two Irish ones from Dorney and Wolak.

With four minutes left in the contest, the Irish were only down by one goal. But at 2:40, graduate student Diana Kelly received a yellow card which Vanderbilt took advantage of. With a little over a minute left, the Commodores scored the last goal, ensuring a victory with a final score of 14-12.

Although Vanderbilt outscored the Irish, Notre Dame outworked them in almost every other category. Notre Dame outshot Vanderbilt (26-19), grabbed more ground balls (22-14) and won more draw controls (18-12). Ahern had the leading number of shots, while she and Mote both earned a hat trick in this contest. Freshman midfielder Kelly Denes won 10 draw controls and Dorney led the Irish with four ground balls.  

However, Vanderbilt’s defense proved worthy as they earned more turnovers (21-19) and Commodore junior goalkeeper Paige Gunning out-saved Irish senior goalkeeper Bridget Deehan 11-3. 

Although this is a tough loss for the Irish, they hope to rebuild with a series of three home games against top-10 teams: No. 5 Northwestern, No. 3 Syracuse and No. 10 Virginia. Notre Dame was ranked fourth in the preseason. But after losses to Michigan and Vanderbilt, they have dropped 12 spots to No. 17. 

The Irish return home on February 23rd to host the Northwestern Wildcats. The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be available on ACC Network Extra.

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