Feb. 16, 2018
By Matt Paras
JACKSONVILLE, Florida — The 16th-ranked Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team is heading to the Sunshine State for a two-game road trip against Atlantic Sun foes. The Irish will face reigning A-Sun champion Jacksonville on Saturday and Stetson on Sunday.
The Irish look to bounce back following their season-opening loss to No. 6 Boston College last weekend. Although they did not get the result they were looking for, the Irish had plenty of bright spots from the game.
The depth and youth of the squad was on full display against the Eagles as six freshmen made their collegiate debuts. Andie Aldave, Maddie Howe, Olivia Jacobsen and Kaci Messier got their first career starts while Diana Kelly and Katherine Enrietto made appearances off the bench.
Howe led the way for the Irish, tying the team high for goals (3) and points (4) on the afternoon. Enrietto was another Irish newcomer to score her first career goal in the first half.
Nikki Ortega (3 goals, 1 assist) and Savannah Buchanan (2 goals, 2 assists) also tied for the team lead in points. Buchanan had a strong all-around performance, tallying five draw controls, four ground balls and two caused turnovers on top of her four points. Samantha Giacolone was a force in the cage for the Irish. She made 15 saves and had a .536 save percentage against one of the strongest offenses in the country.
Scouting the Dolphins
Jacksonville heads into Saturday’s contest 1-0 following a 14-9 season-opening win against Michigan. Ashtyn Hiron led the Dolphins offensively with five goals against the Wolverines while Jenny Kinsey added a hat-trick of her own. Emily Poelma made three saves in the cage.
The Irish and Dolphins last met in the season-opener for the 2016 season. Notre Dame won 18-5 and claimed its largest margin of victory in a road game since 2011. This will be just the second meeting between the two teams with both games taking place in Jacksonville.
Scouting the Hatters
Stetson will bring a 0-1 record into Sunday’s matchup after a 15-13 defeat to Arizona State. Shelby Lehmann led the Hatters offensively with five goals and six points. Karli Maguire and Taylor Patrizi added two goals apiece. Liza Diamond played all 60 minutes in the cage and made 16 saves on 31 shots.
This will be the first game all-time between Notre Dame and Stetson. The Irish hold a 2-0 record against the Atlantic Sun and it will be the third-straight season facing an opponent from the A-Sun. Last season, the Irish defeated Kennesaw State 22-4 on the road.
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.