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Notre Dame falls to No. 8/7 Virginia, 17-10

March 17, 2018

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By Matt Paras

NOTRE DAME, Indiana –
For the first time in 17 days, the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (5-5, 1-3) was back at Arlotta Stadium for a home contest on St. Patrick’s Day. Donning the all green uniforms, the Irish faced one of the highest scoring offenses in the ACC, the Virginia Cavaliers (6-2, 2-1).

Facing an 11-6 halftime deficit, the Irish began to comeback early in the second half and gained some momentum by scoring three of the first four goals. The Cavaliers answered with a 5-1 run to close the game and defeated the Irish 17-10.

“I’m really proud of how our team battled today from the first draw to the final whistle against an experienced UVA team,” said head coach Christine Halfpenny. “We played hard, we played together and we never quit. The draw game was critical and it went UVA’s way which, unfortunately at times, made it a ‘make it take it’ game for UVA. There’s a ton of fight in this team and we look forward to a great week ahead as we set our sights on preparing for Syracuse.”

How it Happened

Virginia opened the afternoon with the first goal of the game from Sammy Mueller at the 27:01 mark.

Notre Dame evened the game after Maddie Howe kept up her strong play with her first goal of the game. Diana Kelly and Katie Enrietto scored two more goals in a two-minute span and the Irish held a 3-1 advantage.

The Cavaliers answered the Irish run with one of their own to take the lead back. Virginia ripped off six-straight goals to take a 7-3 lead with 13:08 left in the first half. Howe scored her second goal of the afternoon to stop the run but three more goals for the Cavaliers extended their lead to 10-4.

Enrietto and Savannah Buchanan both scored coming off assists from Nikki Ortega to cut into the deficit before the half.

Notre Dame came out strong in the second half and it was Howe that got it started. She tallied her second straight hat trick at the 28:49 mark. Following a Virginia goal, the Irish scored two more goals from Buchanan and Howe to make it a 12-9 game with 25 minutes remaining, forcing the Cavaliers to call a timeout.

That was the closest the Irish got as Virginia clamped down on defense and finished the game on a 5-1 run to clinch the 17-10 result.

Stat Leaders

  • Maddie Howe scored four goals for the third time this season and tallied her fourth hat trick on the year.
  • Savannah Buchanan tied a season high with three goals on the afternoon. She had four points for the game, tying Howe for the team high.
  • Nikki Ortega tied a season-high with three assists.
  • Katie Enrietto scored two goals, her fourth multi-goal game of the season.
  • Bridget Deehan made nine saves on 17 shots for a .529 save percentage.

Up Next

The Irish will have a week off before the get back on the field again. Notre Dame will host Syracuse next Saturday at Arlotta Stadium. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. 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.