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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

Irish lose to Virginia Tech 12-13 before dominating Jacksonville 20-5

Last Thursday, the No. 15 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team traveled and lost 12-13 in a tight game to No. 24 Virginia Tech. The Irish then played No. 20 Jacksonville Saturday to Charlotte N.C., dominating 20-5.

Despite ending the first quarter of the Tech game with a 5-2 lead, this would be the last time the Irish would outscore the Hokies. The game opened up with four straight Irish goals within the first five minutes. In fact, in the opening minute sophomore midfielder Kasey Choma found the back of the net.

This was followed by goals from freshman midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty, sophomore attack Madison Ahern and sophomore attack Jackie Wolak. Wolak would score again unassisted in the last minutes of the quarter to end it 5-2 Irish. The diversity of scoring would not stop, as the 12 Irish goals were scored by seven different women. 

Scoring would open up again with the Irish, but this time by freshman midfielder Kelly Denes. This was answered by three Hokie goals to close the gap to 6-5. The rest of the half would see scoring go back and forth between the two teams before senior attack Maddie Howe scored unassisted. This put the Irish up 8-5. 

The third quarter would see the Irish lose some steam. For the first time this game, the Hokies opened up scoring with Olivia Vergano who earned a hat trick. This was followed by two more Virginia Tech goals before Choma scored. Choma would then assist sophomore attack Jane McAvoy’s goal. That would be the last time the Irish would score in the quarter, with the Hokies finding the back of the net two more times.

The game was tied at 10-10 going into the fourth quarter. Although the Hokies outscored the Irish, Virginia Tech had 11 shots and only made five of them. The switch in the lead could be attributed to the Irish no longer winning draw controls. While in the first half the Irish won 12 to the Hokies three, this quarter the Irish won only three to the Hokies’ five. 

Virginia Tech scored the first two goals, putting them up 12-2. It would take almost half the quarter for Notre Dame to score, but they would see two goals back to back to tie the game back up. However, Virginia Tech would score within the last four minutes to put them up 13-12. 

Despite this loss, the Irish had to rally for their game on Saturday. Rally they did. Almost immediately, Ahern scored unassisted before another goal by Wolak. Jacksonville would see one goal before another four unassisted goals by the Irish. Although the Dolphins would score once more in the quarter, this was answered by another two Irish goals. 

Jacksonville opened up scoring for the second quarter, followed by an Irish goal by junior midfielder Hannah Dorney. Another Dolphin goal followed, though it marked the last time Jacksonville would score in this half. The Irish would score five more times in this quarter, with three of those goals attributed to Choma. At halftime, the Irish were up 14-4. 

Although the Irish would slow down scoring, they would not back off on defense. After halftime, Ahern would start the scoring off again with a goal assisted by Choma. Jacksonville would score before the Irish would answer two-fold. The fourth quarter would see significantly less scoring action. The Irish would find the back of the net three times while Jacksonville would fail to score. At the end of the buzzer, the Irish won 20-5. The Irish crushed the Dolphins in almost every category: They outscored 47-19, won 22-7 draw controls and had 13-11 ground balls. 

Despite starting the season ranked No. 4, the Irish are currently sitting at No. 15 and have had some tough losses throughout this season. However, they hope to use this win to boost momentum going into the rest of the season. The Irish’s current record is 3-5, but out of the five losses all but one was by less than two goals.

The Irish next face Yale who is unranked, but this does not mean their season is getting any easier. After Yale, the Irish will play No. 8 Duke, followed by No. 2 North Carolina, then No. 1 Boston College. If the Irish wish to maintain their status, they must go into these next few games ready to play. 

Notre Dame is back on the road at a neutral site in Naples, Florida, where they will play Yale Sunday at 12:00 noon EST. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and Live Stats will be available.