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Irish drop tight contest to No. 5 North Carolina, 13-12

March 31, 2018

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By Matt Paras

The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (6-6, 2-4) faced off with its third-straight top-10 opponent when it faced No. 5 North Carolina (8-3, 3-1) Saturday afternoon. The Irish held the Tar Heels to two first half goals and had a 6-2 lead at the half. North Carolina responded in the second half with 11 goals and a late Irish push was not enough as they fell 13-12.

How it Happened

Defense reigned supreme in the first half in the second straight game for the Irish. Notre Dame held the Tar Heels off the scoreboard in the opening 10 minutes of the half. Nikki Ortega scored the opening goal for the Irish.

After North Carolina broke through at the 19:47 mark, the Irish defense clamped down again and the offense went on a run. Notre Dame scored the next three goals from Molly Cobb, Ortega and Maddie Howe to take a 4-1 lead.

The Irish held the Tar Heels scoreless for 15:25 during the run before Hazar broke through for North Carolina. Notre Dame claimed the final two goals of the half from Andie Aldave and Cobb to take a 6-2 lead into the half.

The Irish held the Tar Heels to their fewest goals in a half this season. Samantha Giacolone made nine saves on 11 shots in the opening period.

After both teams exchanged goals to start the second half, North Carolina broke open the game with a 5-0 run to take their first lead of the game with over 20 minutes remaining. Katie Enrietto stepped up and answered for the Irish to make it an 8-8 game off the assist from Cobb.

The Tar Heels had another answer for the Irish, scoring five of the next six goals to claim an 13-9 lead.

The Irish had one last push in them as they scored three goals, two from Buchanan and one from Cobb, in just over a minute to cut the deficit to 13-12 with 1:49 left. North Carolina won the ensuing draw but the Irish forced a turnover and had possession with under a minute on the clock. Notre Dame was unable to get a shot off in the final seconds and fell 13-12 to the Tar Heels.

Stat Leaders

  • Molly Cobb tied a season high with three goals and tied a career high with four points Saturday against the Tar Heels.
  • Samantha Giacolone made 13 saves against the Tar Heels. It was her fifth game this season with double-digit saves and seventh with a save percentage of .500 or higher.
  • Andie Aldave tallied a goal and two assists along with eight draw controls. It is her fourth game with three points or more and eighth with five or more draws.
  • Savannah Buchanan recorded her sixth game with three or more points after recording two goals and an assist on Saturday.
  • Hannah Proctor tied a career high with five ground balls.

Up Next

The Irish return home to face one of the school’s oldest rivals this week. Notre Dame will host Michigan Tuesday night with opening draw scheduled for 7 pm ET. The game will be broadcast on the 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.