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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

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Irish secure No. 2 seed in ACC Tournament with dominant win over Louisville

Notre Dame earns ninth consecutive win, finishes unbeaten road slate

Going on the road Thursday afternoon for an ACC matchup with Louisville, Notre Dame women’s lacrosse closed out the regular season in style. Behind an explosive third quarter, the Irish earned a resounding, 23-10 victory, propelling them to 7-2 in conference play and 14-2 overall on the season. The win completed an undefeated road slate for the Irish and extended their streak to nine consecutive wins.

The first 30 minutes of play unfolded competitively. The Irish jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from graduate attackers Jackie Wolak and Madison Ahern. The Cardinals battled back, though, and took their first lead of the game when sophomore midfielder Maggie McMahon made it 3-2.

Before the conclusion of the first quarter, Notre Dame regained a 4-3 lead courtesy of goals in quick succession from senior attacker Abby Maichin and graduate midfielder Kasey Choma. Choma scored two more in a back-and-forth second quarter, including a free position shot late in the half that gave Notre Dame a 9-6 lead heading into the half. In the quarter, Ahern tallied her third point of the day and 300th of her career, joining her teammate Wolak to make program history as the only individual duo with 300-plus points on the same roster. 

The eight-goal onslaught from the Irish in the third quarter put the game out of reach. After Louisville fought back to 9-8, Ahern got the second-half scoring started for Notre Dame. Her goal was followed by two consecutive faceoff wins leading to fast-break goals.

In just 21 seconds, the Irish scored three goals and did not look back. They rattled off six more goals unanswered, extending the lead to 18-8 in the early part of the fourth quarter. The Cardinals managed two more goals, but the Irish would add five more in the quarter for a final score of 23-10. Choma’s seven goals and two assists, both season highs for the graduate, led the team on the afternoon. In the cage, senior goalkeeper Lilly Callahan logged 10 saves for her fourth double-digit save total of the season.

The Irish appear primed for a deep postseason run having secured the No. 2 seed in the ACC. They will await their matchup in the ACC quarterfinals on Wednesday, April 24, in Charlotte, North Carolina, following Sunday’s first-round games.