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ND Women’s Lacrosse

No. 15 Irish fall 15-7 to No. 1 UNC

| Monday, April 4, 2022

The No. 15 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C. where they ultimately fell to No. 1 University of North Carolina 15-7. Despite a hard-fought defensive first half, once the Tar Heels started scoring, the Irish could not slow them down. 

The first quarter started off slow, mostly thanks to graduate student goalie Bridget Deehan. She made seven saves to start the game. It wasn’t until a little over three minutes left in the first quarter that the scoreboard changed to 1-0 UNC. While the Irish took six shots this quarter, all failed to find the back of the net. With 37 seconds left, UNC scored again, notching up their lead 2-0 into the second quarter. 

Again, the second quarter saw some time before the score changed. This time, it was sophomore midfielder Alexandra McHugh who scored with 5:32 left in the half. The Tar Heels, however, answered in full with three consecutive goals. UNC’s leading scorer Jamie Ortega notched one of the tallies. Ortega has 82 goals on the season. The Irish were not done fighting, and with only 25 seconds, junior attack Jackie Wolak scored, cutting the Tar Heel lead at 2-5 going into half. 

It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Tar Heels took their real lead. Although the Irish took eight shots over the course of this quarter, they didn’t score once. On top of that, the Tar Heels extended their lead to 12-2. Although Deehan had an impressive first half with 11 saves, she made only three in the third. Ortega started off the scoring in the third, and secured a hat trick for herself within the first three minutes. Within the first three minutes, the Tar Heels scored four times. 

Irish struggle in draw control, drop contest

Despite being down 10 goals with only a quarter left, the Irish did not give up. Sophomore attack Madison Ahern opened up the scoring of the quarter unassisted within the first minute. This was followed by another UNC goal by Ortega, before the Irish answered. This time it was an unassisted goal by junior midfielder Kasey Choma. Ortega didn’t allow the Irish to close the gap, and with a little over five minutes left she scored, keeping the gap at ten with a score of 14-4.

With only 4:49 left, freshman midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty found Wolak to up the Irish one point. Notre Dame scored again but this time, Ahern found the back of the net. With two minutes left, UNC scored again before Wolak answered, giving her a hat trick on the night, establishing the final score as 15-7. Despite the Irish fighting hard in the fourth quarter, they were ultimately unable to close the gap from the third. 

Although the score does not show it, the Irish kept up with the Tar Heels in other categories. The Irish grabbed more ground balls (13-8), shot only six times less (38-32), while their goalies had equal saves with 16 apiece. However, the Irish suffered, as they have all season, with draw controls. Without possession, it is impossible to score, and if the other team continuously wins the draw control, your defense can grow tired and no longer able to keep up. The Irish are moving into their last few games of the season, if they want to stay relevant they must gain possession and finish on offense. 

The Irish are back in Arlotta Stadium on Tuesday where they host Detroit Mercy at 2 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ACCNX. 

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