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Irish come from behind to beat Elon 11-9

Feb. 25, 2018

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By Matt Paras

NOTRE DAME, Indiana – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (3-2) had its back against the wall at halftime Sunday afternoon. The Irish trailed Elon 7-3 after a first half where they struggled to find the back of the cage. It all changed in the second half, as the Irish found their offensive spark. Notre Dame outscored Elon 8-2 in the final 30 minutes to earn a hard-fought 11-9 win.

Coach Halfpenny’s Thoughts

On the keys to the second half comeback:
“I think a lot of credit goes to Elon for how they came out. They started the game blazing and really took it to us. Have to give them credit but look at what we just did. I am really, really proud at how they responded to the adversity, dug their heels in and got back to what they do, which is huge. On a two-game swing like that, for the team to feel the victory and how their career-best effort payed off, was massive. I am thrilled with how they really battled through the adversity and flipped the switch.”

On how everyone stepped up to help win today:
“Again, when your number is called, we expect you to be ready. We are all preparing whether you are on the field starting or on the sidelines ready for your number to be called. When your number is called, do what you do. I think that is how we will continue to grow into a really, really powerful team. Every time out we have learned how important it is to be game ready on game day. It seems to be a different person every time out but everybody is stepping up. We are a team, there is no individual efforts we are going to showcase over one or the other. We are thrilled with everything that everybody brought to the table today.”

How it Happened

Elon opened the scoring Sunday afternoon with the first three goals of game. The Phoenix had a 3-0 lead within the first five minutes, forcing the Irish to use an early timeout.

Notre Dame responded out of the timeout, scoring the next two goals. Jessi Masinko got the first Irish goal off the assist from Maddie Howe. Molly Cobb scored next on the free position to make it a 3-2 game with 19 minutes left in the half.

Elon answered, scoring three straight goals to increase their lead to 6-2. The Irish would make a switch in the cage, as Bridget Deehan entered the game following the Phoenix goal from Stephanie Asher.

Both teams exchanged a goal over the final 10 minutes of the half to give Elon a 7-3 advantage at half. Diana Kelly scored the Irish goal with the assist coming from Howe.

The Irish looked like a different team in the second half and had a strong push to begin the half. Masinko scored the first goal with 24:48 on the clock and the Irish wouldn’t stop there.

They scored the next four goals to claim their first lead of the game. Kelly scored the first two and senior captain Sydney Cardozo scored the next two. Cardozo’s goal at the 19:33 mark gave the Irish the lead at 8-7.

The score stayed 8-7 for the next 10 minutes as both defenses buckled down, knowing the next goal would be crucial in the game.

Elon broke through the defensive stretch to level the game with 9:32 left. Maeve Cowley scored her third goal of the game on a free position opportunity.

The Irish responded, winning the next draw control and pushing the play into the offensive end. Cobb drew a foul in the eight-meter and had a free position attempt to regain the lead for the Irish. She buried the shot in the back of the cage and the Irish held a 9-8 lead with 9:02 left.

Katherine Enrietto scored less than a minute later to give the Irish a two-goal lead with eight minutes to play.

Elon had one last push in them, scoring with 3:02 left to make it a one-goal game. The Phoenix won the ensuing draw control but Cobb stepped up and caused a turnover with two minutes left.

Following an Irish timeout, Masinko found Kelly in the eight-meter and she scored her fourth goal of the afternoon to put the game out of reach and clinch the 11-9 win.

Stat Leaders

  • Diana Kelly scored four goals to lead all scorers. She is the fourth freshman to record a hat trick this season.
  • Maddie Howe tallied four assists, the most an Irish has had in a game this season.
  • Savannah Buchanan tied her season high in draw controls with five.
  • Andie Aldave tied Buchanan with five draw controls on the afternoon. It is her fourth-straight game with five or more and she leads the team with 36 on the year.
  • Makenna Pearsall set a career high with three caused turnovers.
  • Kathleen Roe also set a career high with three caused turnovers.
  • Bridget Deehan made five saves, scooped up five ground balls and earned her first career win.

Up Next

The Irish will be back Wednesday night for their final game of the home stand. Notre Dame will face Marquette at 5 pm ET and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.


Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse and cross country/track & field programs. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women’s soccer and lacrosse programs.