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ND Women’s Lacrosse

Irish edged out by top-10 Wildcats

| Friday, February 17, 2023

On Thursday night, No. 14 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse dropped their first game of the season, falling 18-14 to No. 5 Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. Izzy Scane proved unstoppable for the Wildcats, tearing up the Irish for 10 goals and two assists. One of the best players in the country, Scane’s 10 goals on the night tied both a personal and program record.

Senior midfielder Kasey Choma led the way for Notre Dame in the defeat, notching six goals of her own, including the game’s opener less than 90 seconds in. But they struggled to keep pace with the home side afterward.

After Notre Dame’s early 1-0 lead, Northwestern quickly responded with three goals of their own. The Irish would then score a pair of goals to equalize. But the Cats would once again surge forward to a three-goal lead, a trend that would become the story of the game. Northwestern would take the lead. Notre Dame would close the gap. And then the Wildcats would pull ahead as soon as the Irish got within striking distance.

Northwestern put together three separate runs of two unanswered goals, two runs of three and one long final stretch of five early on in the fourth quarter to bury the Irish. Scane would have four of those five early-fourth-quarter goals, ballooning an already solid Wildcat lead from four goals to nine.

Notre Dame, to their credit, clawed back in the waning moments of the game. A flurry of goals in the final two minutes from senior attacker Jackie Wolak, Choma, junior midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty and junior midfielder Keelin Schlageter helped get the difference to four points with 45 seconds left.

But the clock would eventually run out, allowing Northwestern to defend their home turf and top-five ranking. The Irish were competitive with one of the best teams in the country, which is a positive. But ultimately didn’t have the firepower to keep up with an attack headlined by the best of the best.

Notre Dame will now head back to South Bend to complete a two-game homestand that will finish the opening month of the season. Their turnaround from the defeat will need to be quick, as they’ll face Central Michigan in just three days. However, the Irish did blitz the Chippewas 24-5 in their season opener at Loftus last season. They can likely enter Sunday’s showdown with relative confidence their defeat to a top-ranked Northwestern side won’t be a sign of what is to come as a result.

After Central Michigan, Notre Dame will then host a high-flying Clemson squad for their final game of February. The Tigers are currently 2-0 in 2023, with gaudy wins over Wofford (23-1) as well as Furman (19-3). However, the Irish will be the first power-five team Clemson faces after four games against mid-major opposition. So there is potential for rust to still be there in the Tigers’ first test against ranked competition.

Notre Dame women’s lacrosse will be back in action Sunday against Central Michigan. It is yet to be announced whether the game will be played outdoors or indoors. However, it will begin at 3 p.m. regardless. The contest will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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About J.J. Post

J.J. Post is a junior in Fisher Hall. Hailing from Mountainside, New Jersey, he's currently working his way towards being the nation's foremost expert on college soccer. Whether via the button below or his overly active Twitter (@JayJayPost), feel free to reach out and talk about Notre Dame soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, baseball or softball. Or any other Notre Dame sport you can think of. Odds are he watches it as well.

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