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Irish Upset No. 7/9 Syracuse 11-10 in Overtime

March 24, 2018

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By Matt Paras

NOTRE DAME, Indiana – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (6-5, 2-3) faced another high-scoring ACC opponent when they took on No. 7/9 Syracuse (6-3, 0-2) Saturday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium. 60 minutes was not enough to decide the game so overtime was needed and the Irish came up big. Following a stop on defense, Andie Aldave scored the game-winner to give Notre Dame the 11-10 upset win.

Coach Halfpenny’s Thoughts

On the team effort throughout the game:
“Really, really proud of our group for the resiliency they showed even when Syracuse was coming back. For us to have the opportunity to stay in the game, play it the way we did and stand up the way we did on the first possession in overtime shows the toughness of this team. I couldn’t be prouder, we had a great week of preparation, we competed hard, we contested everything and this young group is growing every time out. It was nice for them to get the result that they earned with how hard they played.”

On the defense limiting Syracuse to a season-low 10 goals:
“We held their leading scorer to zero goals so it was awesome. Our line defense back there of Kathleen Roe, Caroline Doyle, Hannah Proctor and Makenna Pearsall have just been fantastic. They are using their experience, they are incredibly athletic and have a high IQ. Along with Sam Giacolone back there, they bring us a lot of strength by sustaining these 90-second possessions. We knew going in what we had to limit for Syracuse and we did just that today.”

How it Happened

Savannah Buchanan started it off for the Irish and Molly Cobb quickly followed to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead. Following a Syracuse goal, Maddie Howe and Buchanan both scored and the Irish held a 4-1 advantage with 23:47 left in the first half. Abi Cullinan added another goal for the Irish at the 15:07 mark and Syracuse called timeout to regroup.

Nicole Levy stopped the Irish run with her first goal of the game but the Irish would get the final goal of the half. Aldave converted on the free position opportunity and the Irish held a 6-2 lead at the break.

Samantha Giacolone made four saves on six shots in the first half, holding the Orange to two goals. Heading into the game, Syracuse was second in the nation offensively averaging over 17 goals per game. The Irish also held an 8-1 draw control advantage at the half thanks to the stellar midfield play of Aldave and Buchanan.

In the second half, the Irish continued to control possession and scored two of the first three goals. Both goals came from Erin McBride off of assists from Buchanan.

Syracuse would respond with a run of their own, scoring six of the next seven goals to tie the game. Sam Swart’s goal at the 4:14 mark tied the game at nine.

On the ensuing possession, Jessi Masinko found Molly Cobb streaking to the cage and she beat the Syracuse keeper to regain the lead for Notre Dame. The Irish led 10-9 with 3:09 left.

The Orange responded less than a minute later, tying the game at 10 after the goal from Nicole Levy. The Irish had the final possession but did not score and the game was headed to overtime.

Syracuse won the opening draw and immediately called timeout to draw up a play. Swart ended up with the shot for the Orange but Giacolone made a huge save. After the shot, the Irish beat Syracuse to the end line to gain possession.

Following the Irish clear, they settled into their offensive end and Buchanan had the ball on the goal-line extended to the left of the goal. Buchanan sent a pass to Aldave inside the eight-meter and she fired the shot past the goalkeeper for the game-winning goal.

Stat Leaders

  • Savannah Buchanan was all over the field Saturday against Syracuse. She tallied five points on two goals and three assists. She also caused two turnovers, scooped up two ground balls and collected a season-high seven draw controls.
  • Andie Aldave also had a strong game in the midfield for the Irish. She scored two goals, including the game-winner, won five draw controls and collected two ground balls.
  • Molly Cobb scored two goals in the win, her fourth multi-goal game of the season.
  • Erin McBride tied a career high with two goals on the afternoon.
  • Kathleen Roe tied a career high with three caused turnovers.
  • The Irish held the Orange to their lowest goal total of the season. Their previous low total came in an 18-11 loss to Maryland.
  • Notre Dame beat a top-10 opponent for the first time since last March when it defeated No. 4 Syracuse on the road 16-7.

Up Next

The Irish will have another week off before they are back in action again. Notre Dame will travel to Chapel Hill to take on North Carolina next Saturday. Opening draw is set for noon ET and 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.