Irish Move To 9-0, Defeat Vandy 18-6

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Sophomore Andie Aldave netted five goals and senior goaltender Samantha Giacolone stopped 10 shots as the No. 12/8 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team improved to 9-0 (2-0 ACC) with a 18-6 win over Vanderbilt (7-2, 0-0 AAC) tonight at Loftus Sports Center.

Junior Savannah Buchanan, sophomore Maddie Howe, senior Samantha Lynch and senior Nikki Ortega all collected two goals and an assist for the Irish. Freshman Madison Mote also scored her first two career goals in an Irish uniform in the victory.

Senior Makenna Pearsall paced Notre Dame defensively with a pair of caused turnovers in addition to collected three ground balls. Buchanan and Giacolone also recorded three ground balls in the contest.

As a team, the Irish outshot Vanderbilt 36-25 and held a 19-6 advantage in draw controls.

Aldave led Notre Dame with nine draw controls, bringing her season total to 73. Junior Kathleen Roe and Buchanan each notched four draw controls for the Irish as well.

Scoring was at a premium early on, with Ortega finally opening the scoring 7:54 into play. The Irish held Vanderbilt off the board for another 6:09 after Ortega’s tally before the Commodores evened the score.

Just 37 seconds after Vanderbilt’s equalizer, Ortega’s second goal restored a 2-1 lead for the Irish. Vanderbilt netted a game-tying marker again with 11:54 left before Aldave put the Irish up 3-2 just under a minute later.

After the Commodores evened the score again, the Irish closed the half on a 4-0 run that included two goals by Howe along with tallies by Buchanan and Lynch.

Vanderbilt cut the Irish lead to 7-4 5:12 into the second half before Aldave restored a four-goal advantage for the hosts just over a minute later.

After Vanderbilt made it an 8-5 contest, the Irish took control of the game with a 6-0 scoring run. That streak included the first two career goals by Mote in addition to two more markers from Aldave and goals by junior Erin McBride and Buchanan.

Vandy broke the streak with 6:55 remaining, but the Irish closed the contest with four straight goals to account for the 18-6 final.

Tallies by sophomore Katie Enrietto, freshman Hannah Dorney, Aldave and Lynch rounded out the Irish scoring down the stretch.

Madison Mote’s thoughts:
“It’s a really special feeling to score my first two career goals and help this team earn a victory. As a team, we continue to push each other everyday to play to our standard and we look to keep our relentless effort going into the second half of the season.”

Makenna Pearsall’s thoughts:
“We really focused on winning the hustle plays and limiting their second-chance opportunities. I thought that defensively we played with attention to detail and passion for a full 60 minutes.”


  • This is the first 9-0 start for Notre Dame since the Irish opened the 2013 season at 10-0. The Irish also started 10-0 in 2004.
  • The Irish have scored the first goal in each of their nine contests.
  • Andie Aldave has now posted back-to-back five-point efforts and has recorded at least five points in four of the last five games dating back to Kent State (Feb. 24).
  • Samantha Giacolone now sits at 521 career saves, just seven shy of tying Ellie Hilling for the all-time program mark.

Notre Dame hits the road for a matchup against #4 Syracuse this Sunday, March 24 at noon ET. The contest is set to be played at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York, and will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.