March 25, 2015
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – For the first time since 2008, two Notre Dame women’s lacrosse teammates each scored at least five times in the same game as Cortney Fortunato and Rachel Sexton both scored five goals to lead the No. 17 Irish to an 18-8 win over Marquette on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
Fortunato also assisted on three goals, matching her career-high of eight points established on March 14 when she scored eight goals in a win over Virginia Tech. Sexton’s five goals today tied her career-high. The last time Notre Dame had a pair of players score five times in the same game came on Feb. 15, 2008, when Caitlin McKinney and Jillian Byers each scored five times in a 22-10 win over Canisius.
The win is Notre Dame’s third in a row and improves the Irish to 6-4 on the year heading into Sunday’s 1 p.m. EDT showdown with No. 3 North Carolina at Arlotta Stadium. The Golden Eagles dip to 4-6 with the loss.
In addition to Fortunato and Sexton’s offensive contributions, Casey Pearsall had four points on a goal and three assists while Heidi Annaheim also netted a hat trick. Pearsall filled up a particularly robust overall stat line with eight draw controls, three caused turnovers and three ground balls. Liz O’Sullivan made nine saves in the Notre Dame goal.
Notre Dame led the contest just 7-5 with 5:44 left in the first half but the Irish scored each of the next seven goals to take command of the contest. Indicative of Notre Dame’s push to the very end of the game, senior captain Shauna Pugliese scored her first goal of the season with 0:01 left on the clock.
Notre Dame enjoyed a 30-18 advantage in shots on goal, and a commanding 18-9 lead in draw controls. Ground balls were even at 13-13. Notre Dame turned the ball over once more, 18 times vs. 17 for the Golden Eagles, but the perpetually-pressing Notre Dame defense caused 12 of those 17 turnovers.