Feb. 17, 2018
By Matt Paras
JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (1-1, 0-1) notched their first win of the season in a dominant 17-6 win Saturday over Jacksonville (1-1). The Irish had 10 different players score on the afternoon. Defensively, they shut down the Dolphins for long stretches of the game and held them to just six goals.
How it Happened
The Irish jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead to start the game with goals coming from Molly Cobb, Abi Cullinan and Nikki Ortega. The Dolphins would settle in and score three of the next four goals to make it 4-3 Irish with 12:56 left in the first half.
The Irish would respond in a big way, holding Jacksonville scoreless for the rest of the half. Over that span, they would get two goals from Andie Aldave and one from Maddie Howe to take a 7-3 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Aldave picked up right where she left off in the first half. She scored her third goal of the game off another assist from Ortega to give the Irish an 8-3 lead.
Jacksonville got back on the scoreboard at the 16:39 mark of the second half to make it a 9-4 game. It was the first goal for the Dolphins since the 12:56 mark in the first half.
Notre Dame would respond with a 4-0 run following the Jacksonville goal. Jessi Masinko, Diana Kelly and Katherine Enrietto scored their first goals of the game while Ortega added her third during the run.
Coach Halfpenny’s Thoughts
On Saturday’s results:
“I am thrilled with the effort to come out and give our absolute best at this point in the season. It was a really good preparation week and although we had some trouble getting down here, the girls did not let it affect them and they played great today.”
On the offensive performance:
“Just looking at the stats now, we had 10 points come from the bench and on a day where we had 28 points, it is exactly what we are looking for. This team is always ready when their number are called and they have done a great job preparing. I am thrilled with our ability to be deep and see so much production out of our bench.”
On the strong effort from the defense:
“I love our defense and it is something that we have always held our hat on. This defense has evolved with the possession clock and free movement and we are seeing that pay off. Our team buckled down and had great communication out there to give a solid team effort holding them to six goals. Sam Giacolone was outstanding not only with the 11 saves but also the five ground balls.”
Aldave was all over the field for the Irish Saturday afternoon. She scored three goals while tallying three assists and eight draw controls. Ortega was also a force offensively for the Irish. She also scored three goals and tallied three assists along with two ground balls.
Cobb, Howe and Masinko all scored two goals apiece against the Dolphins. Savannah Buchanan caused three turnovers, scooped up three ground balls and won a draw control.
Notre Dame had a strong game defensively, holding the Dolphins to just six goals. The Irish allowed only three goals over the last 42:56 of the game. Samantha Giacolone was dominant in the cage, making 11 saves on 17 shots for a .647 save percentage. She also scooped up five ground balls.
A number of players scored their first career goals Saturday afternoon. Aldave, [Diana] Kelly and Donnelly all notched their first goals in the win.
Notre Dame will head down to Stetson for the second game of their Florida road trip. Tomorrow’s game is set for an 11 am ET start.
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.