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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

No. 5-seed Notre Dame falls to top-seeded Boston College in ACC tournament

After a comeback victory over Virginia, No. 5-seed Notre Dame couldn’t capture that magic again, as top-seeded Boston College comfortably dispatched the Irish with the help of an 8-0 run in a game that finished 17-7.

The Irish (10-9, 3-4 ACC) found themselves behind almost immediately as junior attack Sam Apuzzo of the Eagles (19-1, 7-0) controlled the opening draw and senior attack Kaileen Hart scored after just over 30 seconds of play.

Irish freshman midfield Andie Aldave cradles the ball during Notre Dame's 15-10 victory over Marquette on Feb. 28 at Arlotta Stadium.
Irish freshman midfield Andie Aldave cradles the ball during Notre Dame's 15-10 victory over Marquette on Feb. 28 at Arlotta Stadium.

The Irish tied the score through junior attack Nikki Ortega, but soon Boston College took back a lead they would not relinquish as Apuzzo, who sits second in the nation in points, scored her 72nd goal of the season to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. The Eagles led 4-1 after just over 11 minutes of play, but the Irish started a minor fightback, cutting the score to 5-4 with goals from freshman midfielder Andie Aldave, sophomore midfielder Savannah Buchanan and senior midfielder Molly Cobb. Aldave’s goal was her 30th of the season, giving the freshman — who already holds the Irish single-season draw control record — another place in the Notre Dame record books as she and freshman attack Maddie Howe became the first pair of Notre Dame players to each score 30 goals in their freshman seasons. Howe and Aldave sit first and second, respectively, in both goals and points for the Irish this season.

However, a little over a minute after the Irish cut the Eagles’ lead to one goal, Boston College struck back. Junior midfielder Dempsey Arsenault scored first to make the score 6-4 and just 20 seconds later, Hart won a free position to extend the lead to three goals again. Apuzzo added another goal with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, and her teammates followed with three more goals in the final seven minutes of the half and two in the first two minutes of the second to complete an 8-0 run in less than 15 minutes. Though freshman midfielder Kaci Messier’s fourth goal of the season for Notre Dame ended the run, the Eagles ended any possibility of another unlikely Irish comeback with three more goals within the first 10 minutes of the second half. After Apuzzo added another goal to her impressive total for the season, the Irish held the Eagles without a goal for the final 17 minutes of the game, but by that point the victor of the game was long decided and the Irish failed to add another goal of their own until Aldave scored her second of the game in the final minute to ensure a final score of 17-7.

Aldave was the only Notre Dame player with more than one goal and also added an assist, two ground balls and a draw control to bring her season total to 98. Her three points brought her to 45 for the season, meaning she and Howe combined for 100 in their freshman year.

The Irish will now have to wait to see if they have earned an at-large place at the NCAA tournament. Having made the tournament in each of Christine Halfpenny’s six previous seasons as head coach, Notre Dame’s streak looks to be in danger this year, with the team ranked 29th in RPI and not receiving votes in the Inside Lacrosse Poll before the ACC tournament began.