Feb. 22, 2015
BERKELEY, Calif. – One theme of the young season for No. 12 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse has been players stepping up all around 2014 national freshman of the year Cortney Fortunato and Sunday was Heidi Annaheim’s turn as she netted her first career hat trick and also chipped in a pair of assists as the Irish rolled to a 17-7 win at California.
Stephanie Toy also recorded her first career hat trick as a point of a four-point day for her. Annaheim and Toy give the Irish six players who have scored a hat trick during the team’s first four games of the year, joining Fortunato, Kiera McMullan, Grace Muller and Rachel Sexton.
Notre Dame led Cal just 3-2 after 10 minutes but scored each of the next five goals and 10 of the next 11 overall to improve to 3-1 while the Golden Bears stand at 0-1 after their 2015 season opener.
The Irish wasted little time taking a lead in the game as Fortunato ran to the net for a goal just 1:33 into the contest. When the game was 3:28 old, Casey Pearsall made it a 2-0 Notre Dame lead when she converted on a feed from McMullan. Cal sandwiched a par of scores around a Katherine Eilers free position goal to make it a 3-2 game before the Irish took charge.
Sexton began the first five-goal string with 17:49 to play in the half when she took a pass from Toy and deked for a goal. Barbara Sullivan controlled the ensuring draw, one of five on the day for her, and pushed it up field, feeding Annaheim for her first goal of the game and Notre Dame’s second in 18 seconds, making the score 5-2.
Annaheim scored again on a free position at 14:24 followed by a Sexton goal from Fortunato at 13:28, making it 7-2 for the Irish. Once again, Notre Dame scored a second goal quickly to carry its momentum. In the 13 seconds after Sexton’s goal, Sullivan controlled a draw, got it to Annaheim in transition who found Muller for the first of her two goals on the day.
Cal snapped the run with a Gaby Christman goal at 11:53, but the Irish scored thrice more before halftime to take an 11-3 lead into the break. McMullan scored after a bobble by the Cal goaltender, Toy tallied on a free position and Annaheim sent a centering pass from behind the net to Muller for the half’s final score.
After opening the first half with a goal after just 1:33 of play, the Irish did even better in the second half when Pearsall scored from Sexton after 1:24 of action. Again like the first half when the Irish scored a second time at 26:34, the second goal of the second half was scored by Notre Dame at 26:55, this one by Caitlin Gargan on a free position, making it 13-3 and allowing the clock to run free.
The Irish and Golden Bears each scored four times apiece over the final 26 minutes of the contest to account for the 17-7 Notre Dame win. Toy scored twice while Fortunato and Annaheim each added free position goals.
The Irish will return to action on March 1 when it travels to face No. 8 Duke in its ACC opener.