#20 Irish Down Canisius, 21-4

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior Samantha Lynch netted five goals and the No. 20 Irish racked up 33 points and 18 caused turnovers en route to earning a 21-4 victory over Canisius in its home opener inside Loftus Sports Center.

The Irish improved to 2-0 with the win, while Canisius drops to 0-1.

The Irish took control early, scoring the first six goals of the contest in the opening 13:27 of play. Makenna Pearsall opened the scoring 1:21 into regulation before Kathleen Roe went coast-to-coast for Notre Dame’s second marker. Goals from Lynch, freshman Mollie Carr and a pair by senior Nikki Ortega capped off the early Irish scoring run.

After Canisius got on the board, junior Jessi Masinko scored and Ortega completed her hat trick to give Notre Dame an 8-1 advantage. The Griffins converted back-to-back goals before Roe and Lynch each scored in the final 2:57 of the half to give the Irish a 10-3 lead entering the break.

The Griffins got the first goal of the second half, but the Irish responded with 11 consecutive markers in the final 28:17 of play. The scoring run began with three straight goals by Maddie Howe and three straight goals from Lynch.

Freshmen Hannah Dorney and Cailin Field each converted their first collegiate goals in the second half. A second marker by Dorney, along with tallies by sophomores Katie Enrietto and Diana Kelly in the closing minutes, accounted for the 21-4 final.

Senior Samantha Giacolone recorded six saves to earn her second straight victory in goal for the Irish. Sophomore Bridget Deehan made one stop in relief.

As a team, the Irish caused 18 Canisius turnovers, recorded 23 ground balls and collected 16 draw controls over the 60 minutes of play. Junior Savannah Buchanan and sophomore Andie Aldave led the Irish with six draw controls apiece.


  • The Irish have scored 40 goals and recorded 61 points in their first two games of the season.
  • Samantha Lynch has a team-high 11 goals and 12 points in two contests. Jessi Masinko follows her with 10 points (5G, 5A) and Maddie Howe has nine points (6G, 3A).
  • 15 different players have recorded a point in Notre Dame’s first two victories.
  • Notre Dame has caused 33 turnovers in two games.
  • The Irish have collected 34 draws in their first two contests. Savannah Buchanan is pacing the Irish with 14 with Andie Aldave close behind at 12.
  • Samantha Giacolone has recorded 10 saves in two games with a save percentage of .556.
  • The Irish have gone 22-24 on clear attempts in their 120 minutes of play, which accounts for a percentage of .917.

Coach Christine Halfpenny’s thoughts:
“Keys to these first two games were all effort-based. We felt like we controlled the tempo in each of our two games this weekend. I was really pleased with our performance on both offense and defense and how both facets of the game led to increased time of possession.”

Samantha Giacolone’s thoughts:
“Our team has worked really hard from the summer until now, and it feels great to go 2-0 on opening weekend. We look forward to continue working together and building on what we’ve accomplished in our first two games.”

Kathleen Roe’s thoughts:
“We focus a lot on our transition game being fast and I think we nailed it. It was a complete team effort beginning with Sam in goal, our defensive effort and then our attackers putting the ball in the back of the net.”

The #20 Irish return to action next Sunday (Feb. 17) on the road against Liberty. Opening draw is set for noon ET from Lynchburg, Virginia.