ND Women’s Lacrosse
Irish drop game to Syracuse, dominate two games at home
Olivia Schatz | Tuesday, March 21, 2023
While Notre Dame campus was away for spring break, the No. 11 Irish women’s lacrosse team played three consecutive games, one on the road and two at home.
Notre Dame started their series of games with an away loss against now-No. 1 Syracuse. Despite the 15-7 loss, Notre Dame still flexed their skill. While the Irish controlled the first three draws of the game, it was the Orange who would find the back of the net. Senior attack Jackie Wolak tallied her first assist of the night with junior midfielder Kelly Denes who scored the opening goal for the Irish. However, the Orange would score twice more to bring their lead to 5-1 before the end of the quarter. While Notre Dame would try to close the lead in the second quarter, Syracuse would ultimately outscore them 5-2, taking a 10-3 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw Notre Dame push back. While Syracuse scored the first goal of the half, junior attack Abby Maichin answered for the Irish. Notre Dame kept the Orange to one goal in the quarter, while Irish senior midfielder Kasey Choma scored her first before senior attack Jane McAvoy and Denes scored to close out the third.
However, the momentum wouldn’t last, and Syracuse was able to shut down the Irish in the final quarter.
Even with their faults, multiple Irish players flashed their skills throughout the game. Wolak had a career-high five assists on the night. The Irish also spread their goals between five players, with Denes and junior midfielder Kristen Shanahan scoring two each.
The Irish bounced right back when they faced off against Virginia Tech. They had a dominating performance and held the Hokies to one goal on the night. Notre Dame had 16 shots and eight goals in the first quarter. Starting out early, Choma and senior attack Madison Ahern each claimed a hat trick. Wolak also found the back of the net and notched an assist in the quarter.
While Virginia Tech was able to score in the second quarter, the Irish maintained their lead. Choma found the back of the net both times for Notre Dame, Wolak assisting her first.
The third and fourth quarter saw the Irish play in a similar vein. The Irish extended their lead with three goals in the third by Denes, Wolak and freshman midfielder Anna Kenney, respectively. In the fourth, Choma was the only scorer, finishing off the 14-1 victory. Choma marked a career high in goals with eight on the night. Junior goalie Lilly Callahan had a save percentage of .833 while the defense supported her with 13 caused turnovers and 23 ground balls.
The Irish again had a dominant performance in a 19-8 win against Liberty. It was Ahern’s turn to break records, as six goals and two assists tied her career high in points. Ahern was the first to score for the Irish. While Liberty would score a few seconds later, the Irish were able to go on a 6-1 run for the rest of the quarter, with goals from junior attack Ali McHugh, junior midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty, Wolak, Choma and Shanahan. Notre Dame continued to stretch their lead from 7-2 to 15-3 at the end of the first half.
The second saw Liberty score five goals; however, the Irish were comfortable in their lead and secured the 19-8 win over the Flames.
In addition to Ahern, the Irish saw two players score hat tricks, this time Choma and Maichin. This gave Choma a team-high number of hat tricks with six on the season.
The Irish will look to continue this momentum as they face off against No. 12 Virginia on Saturday. Notre Dame is 2-2 against ranked opponents this year, and their matchup against Virginia will serve as a litmus test for the remainder of the season.
Notre Dame will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia to face off against the Cavaliers. The game will start at noon and will be available to watch on the ACC Network.