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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

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Irish finish regular season play on the road against Louisville

The Notre Dame women's lacrosse finishes regular season with conference matchup against Louisville.

The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has been a picture of consistency all season long. Their win last weekend against Virginia Tech marked a milestone 150th win for head coach Christine Halfpenny. Now sitting at 13-2 on the season and 6-2 in the ACC, the Irish — ranked No. 3 in the nation — enter their final game of the regular season against Louisville. They will look to finish strong with the ACC and NCAA tournaments on the horizon. 

Struggling in a stacked ACC, the Cardinals have sputtered to a 2-6 conference record and 7-9 overall, placing them second-to-last in the conference. The bright spot has been senior Kokoro Nakazawa, who has carried Louisville’s attack with 76 points on 55 goals and 21 assists, all team-highs. Her point and goal totals are tied for third and second-best in the ACC. The rest of the attack doesn’t near her production. Nicole Perroni is the closest, the graduate student logging 48 points on 40 goals and eight assists on the year. Taking the ball out of Nakazawa’s hands will be the first point on the defensive game plan for the Irish. On the other end, the Louisville defense ranks last in the ACC and 86th in the nation, allowing 13.25 goals per game.

The trio of graduate students — Jackie Wolak, Madison Ahern and Kasey Choma — have been brilliant all season for the Irish offense. Wolak leads the team in every category with 77 points on 47 goals and 30 assists. Ahern has 60 points of her own, the attack duo combining for 137 of the team’s points on the season. Choma’s 58 points have come from midfield, where the graduate student has contributed 39 goals and 19 assists. The Cardinals will have their hands full dealing with these three experienced attackers. Defensively, Notre Dame’s 8.52 goals allowed per game average is second-best in the conference behind only No. 6-ranked Boston College. The Irish are primed to continue their momentum after a historic win in resounding fashion over Virginia Tech. A win Thursday would be their ninth in a row, the perfect way to enter the postseason. 

The game will take place on April 18 at noon. with ESPN+ providing the broadcast.