ND Women’s Lacrosse
Irish bounce back with 21-7 win against Brown
Matthew Crow | Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Monday afternoon, No. 12 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse used a huge second half to roll to a 21-7 win against Brown at home. After suffering a narrow loss against No. 11 Virginia just two days prior, the Irish had to make a quick turnaround to face the Bears, but they dominated all facets of the game in a decisive victory. With the win, Notre Dame improves to 7-3 (3-2 ACC) in advance of a tough stretch that will pit the team against a pair of top-10 opponents over the next two weeks.
The Irish attack didn’t need much time to get settled in. Less than a minute into the game, senior midfielder Kasey Choma gave Notre Dame a 1-0 advantage with her team-leading 31st goal of the season. That was quickly followed by scores from junior midfielders Kelly Denes and Keelin Schlageter, and the Irish did not slow down. By the time Brown finally got on the board with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter, five different Notre Dame players had already found the back of the net. The Irish took a 5-1 lead into the second.
After a lopsided first period, the second was far more even. Senior attacker Madison Ahern and Choma kicked off the quarter with scores for Notre Dame. But Brown quickly came back with three of its own to trim the margin to three. After Ahern’s second goal of the day put the Irish ahead 8-4, senior attacker Jackie Wolak extended the lead to five while reaching a significant career milestone.
The goal, her second of the day, was No. 100 of Wolak’s Notre Dame career, placing her in a select group of all-time great Irish scorers. She completed the hat trick later in the quarter to put Notre Dame up 10-5 heading into halftime. Wolak also added three assists in a continuation of her strong six-goal effort in the loss to Virginia.
Notre Dame started strong in the first two quarters, but Brown was the aggressor in the opening minutes of the third. The Bears struck for a pair of goals in the first four minutes to push the score to 10-7. But any hopes they had of a late comeback were dashed by the Irish’s dominance over the final 26 minutes of the game.
In just 47 seconds of game time, the Irish scored three times, with junior midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty, Ahern and junior midfielder Kristen Shanahan each putting shots past Brown’s keeper. Holding a more comfortable 13-7 advantage, Notre Dame continued to apply pressure on the Bears defense. Midway through the third, junior attacker Abby Maichin scored twice in less than a minute. In the final seconds of the period, Ahern did the same, part of a team-high five goals of the day. Less than a quarter after Brown cut the deficit to just three, the Irish led 17-7 and were in full control entering the final quarter of play.
The fourth quarter began the same way the third had ended, as the Irish continued to pad their lead. Denes and Shanahan each scored for the second time in the game. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Choma scored Notre Dame’s 20th goal while joining Wolak and Ahern as Irish players to tally three goals in the game. Choma then assisted freshman midfielder Anna Kenney on a score that made it 11 straight for the Irish. That would be their last, as Notre Dame coasted through the final minutes to seal the 21-7 victory.
The Irish will hope to build on their strong second half as they head into what will likely be their toughest two-week stretch of the season. Notre Dame will host No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday. The following weekend, No. 7 Boston College comes into South Bend to face the Irish at Arlotta Stadium. Playing at home, Notre Dame will look to pick up big conference wins in games that will be crucial in determining the team‘s positioning for both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.