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Friday, Feb. 23, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame decisively defeats Ohio State, Kent State

The No. 19 Irish continued their undefeated season as they hit the road to take down Ohio State convincingly before heading home to defeat Kent State, 27-0.

Ashley Hernandez | The Observer
Irish freshman attack Mollie Carr looks to pass during Notre Dame's 27-0 win over Kent State on Sunday at Loftus Sports Center.

Against Ohio State (3-1), Notre Dame (5-0) opened the scoring as freshman attack Mollie Carr scored just over a minute into the game, although the Buckeyes answered quickly on a shot from sophomore midfielder Ali Beekhuizen to tie it. However, Irish sophomore attack Maddie Howe scored again minutes later, as she bounced a goal through the legs of Ohio State junior goalkeeper Jill Rizzo. Ohio State took the next two goals to take a 3-2 lead, but junior attack Jessi Masinko found senior attack Samantha Lynch, the team’s leading scorer, from behind the net, who lobbed a shot up and in to tie the game, just before junior midfielder Erin McBride scored to grab control of the lead again for Notre Dame.

Again, the Buckeyes went back-to-back, but the Irish answered with a 5-0, nearly 10-minute run led off by junior midfielder Savannah Buchanan, who scored the first goal and assisted on three of the next four. All three of those goals were scored by Howe, and the remaining goal she set up for sophomore midfielder Andie Aldave. The Irish finished their run up by a margin of 9-5.

Ohio State’s leading scorer, junior midfielder Liza Hernandez, put up her first goal of the game with just over five minutes to play in the first half, and the Buckeyes defense appeared to have the Irish under control for the rest of the half, at least until Howe escaped pressure in the crease and passed to a wide-open Carr just outside the arc with seven seconds remaining to put Notre Dame up 10-6 at half.

The Irish opened the second half with another set of back-to-back goals, as senior attack Nikki Ortega scored on a pass from Howe, and then Howe scored five minutes later with the roles reversed.

The Irish continued to add to their goal total as the game went on, with Masinko scoring on a goal from Howe, and Carr scoring twice after getting the ball from Aldave, just over a minute apart, the second of the two goals making the game 15-8. Buckeyes senior midfielder Baley Parrot scored her third goal of the game for Ohio State with 18 minutes remaining, but the game was pretty much delivered for the Irish, as Lynch notched her second of the game.

Parrott capped Ohio State’s scoring for the day with her fifth goal, but Notre Dame went on to add three more to the scoreboard as sophomore midfielder Katie Enrietto scored twice and Howe wrapped up her record-setting day with her sixth goal.

Howe’s six goals and six assists — 12 points — ties the program record for most points recorded in a single game, which was set by Jillian Byers in 2009. The Irish also set a program record for assists with 17 and draw controls, as Aldave recorded 16 draw controls, breaking her own single-game record of 11, which she tallied twice as a freshman. Her 16 draws added to the Irish total during the game of 23, which was one greater than the previous Irish record of 22 in a game.

Notre Dame’s next game against Kent State was a bit of a different storyline, with no back-and-forth in the first half, as Notre Dame dominated from the opening draw.

Thirteen different members of the Irish roster scored in the 27-0 routing of the Golden Flashes (0-4), as the Irish set even more program records.

This was the first time the Irish have shut out another team since 2010, when they blanked Villanova. However, Kent State was never given much of a chance as Notre Dame did not allow a single shot on goal throughout the game.

The game’s first nine minutes saw six goals — Aldave opened scoring just over three minutes in, and she, Masinko, Enrietto and Howe each added to the total, with only one assisted goal in that time span. Eighteen of Notre Dame’s 27 goals came in the first half, with Aldave scoring all four of her goals on the day in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Irish junior midfield–attack combo Cassie Ford and freshman midfielder Hannah Dorney each tallied hat tricks, while seven players recorded two goals apiece.

One notable moment was with 12:58 minutes remaining in the game, when sophomore midfielder Olivia Jacobsen scored her first-career goal.

Senior Samantha Giacolone, sophomore Bridget Deehan and junior Grace Steffens alternated in goal.

Notre Dame’s 27 goals and 27-goal margin of victory are both program records.

This is Notre Dame’s first 5-0 start since 2016, and so far, the Irish have only trailed for 3:14 in their first five games.

The Irish will begin conference play at home Saturday against Louisville, with opening draw scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will take place at Loftus Sports Center.