July 31, 2015
Keyed by a trio of Notre Dame women’s lacrosse’s incoming freshmen, the United States Under-19 National Team is just 60 minutes away from claiming its fifth gold medal at the sport’s World Championships in Scotland.
After sweeping through pool play and both its quarterfinal and semifinal matches, Team USA will face Canada on Saturday at 10 a.m. EST for what would be the Americans’ fifth consecutive gold medal in the event, joining crowns in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.
Nikki Ortega has started six of the team’s seven games in attack and has scored 18 goals with 10 assists for 28 points, an average of 4.67 per game in those starts. Ortega has at least a hat trick in four of her six starts and was named the Player of the Match after her six-goal, two-assist showing on July 25 against Australia. She has scored the game-winning goal in three of her six games started, including Team USA’s 15-9 win over Canada in pool play.
Hannah Proctor has started six of the seven games on defense, missing just the July 24 matchup with Wales. She also chipped in on offense, scoring a pair of goals in her country’s July 26 victory over Israel.
Samantha Giacolone has split time in the Team USA net with Mallory Weisse who will be a freshman at Northwestern in the fall, helping propagate the best women’s lacrosse rivalry in the Midwest. Giacolone has started four of the team’s seven games with Weisse starting the other three and the players regularly replacing each other at halftime. The tandem has yielded just 24 goals in seven games, an average of 3.43 goals against per contest.