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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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Irish face No. 3 seed Boston College with a trip to the ACC Tournament Championship on the line

Coming off a victory in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinal over No. 7 seed Clemson, the Irish set their sights on No. 3 seed Eagles in the semis

The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team continued their dream season on Wednesday with a victory in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinal over No. 7 seed Clemson. The game marked a 10th straight win for the Irish, who have not lost a game since March 9. They will have a date with No. 3 seed Boston College in the semifinals on Friday. They met once in the regular season, where Notre Dame pulled out a 15-14 victory in a high-scoring thriller.

The Eagles entered the tournament with great momentum, winning eight of their last 10 games, including an overtime victory over No. 1 seed Syracuse in the regular season finale. Playing after the Irish on Wednesday, they dominated No. 6 seed Duke in their quarterfinal matchup. The 19-5 win was the largest margin of victory of any tournament game thus far. After a 4-2 first quarter, Boston College put the game to bed early with a seven-goal second quarter that put them up 11-3 heading into halftime.

Their defense, which held the Blue Devils to only five goals, has been one of the nation’s best units for the entire season. Playing in a stacked ACC, the Eagles managed to allow only 7.88 goals per game, which ranked second in the nation. Their offense was arguably just as brilliant, however, putting up 17 goals per game, which ranked third in the nation. The prolific group has been spearheaded all year by a trio of junior attackers in Rachel Clark, Mckenna Davis and Emma LoPinto. Clark has 76 points on 62 goals and 14 assists this season, leading the team in both points and goals. Davis, who is at 71 points for the season, has a team-high 55 assists. LoPinto’s production is not far behind, tallying 67 points of her own on the year. All three were outstanding against Duke, combining for nine of the team’s 19 goals.

It is well-documented that the Irish have their own star attacking trio in graduate students Jackie Wolak, Madison Ahern and Kasey Choma. They stepped up as they have all season against Clemson, which was a closer contest for the Irish. In a 14-12 victory, the big three accounted for nine of the team’s 14 goals. They have been responsible for leading an Irish offense that averages 16.35 goals per game, ranking seventh in the nation. On the other end of the field, an Irish defense that has allowed 8.18 goals per game this season, ranking sixth in the nation, did not play as strong against the Tigers as it has at times throughout the season. They will have their work cut out for them in a rematch against the Eagles, who managed 14 goals in their sole regular season meeting. The Irish offense was enough to overcome Boston College then. Only time will tell if it will be enough this time around.

The game will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 26, with ACC Network providing the broadcast.