Irish Win 10-9 Thriller at #5 Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Sophomore Andie Aldave netted the game-winner with 1:30 remaining and senior Samantha Giacolone stopped 10 shots as the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team improved to 8-0 overall (2-0 ACC) with a 10-9 road victory at #5 Virginia this afternoon at Klockner Stadium.

Aldave and sophomore Maddie Howe each recorded hat tricks for the Irish offensively, while junior Kathleen Roe collected two ground balls and caused three Virginia turnovers.

For the eighth straight game, the Irish got on the board first with a marker from Aldave 3:18 into play. Virginia evened the score at the 19:37 mark before two goals by Howe and a tally by sophomore Katie Enrietto put the Irish up 4-1 late in the frame.

Virginia scored in the final minute of the half to make it a 4-2 contest entering the break.

Seven of Giacolone’s 10 saves came in the first 30 minutes of play to buoy the Irish defense.

Aldave’s second goal put the Irish up 5-3 just 2:40 into the second half, but the Cavaliers rattled off five straight goals over the next 13 minutes to take a 8-5 advantage.

The resilient Irish answered back with a 4-0 scoring run of their own, which included goals by senior Samantha Lynch, Howe, Enrietto and junior Savannah Buchanan, to retake a 9-8 lead with 4:43 to go.

Virginia answered Buchanan’s tally just 16 seconds later to even the score at 9-9.

The two sides traded chances in the closing minutes before freshman Mollie Carr connected with Aldave for the game-winner with 1:30 to go.

The Irish blocked a shot in the final minute and senior Hannah Proctor picked up a crucial ground ball with 44 seconds remaining to hold on for the victory.

Aldave added a pair of assists to lead the Irish with five points on the afternoon. Howe also added a helper to notch a four-point outing. 

As a team, the Irish went 20-for-20 on clears in the victory, and collected 19 ground balls to Virginia’s 11.

Kathleen Roe’s thoughts:
“We knew this would be a big game for us in the middle of our season, and we did our job. Defensively, Sam (Giacolone) is our quarterback and she really stepped up again today for us. Everyone had each other’s backs, even when Virginia when on a run in the second half, and that’s why we found a way to win.”

Coach Christine Halfpenny’s thoughts:
“I think this group knows who they are and what they want to be. We are a team that’s on a mission to be great and everyone believes in each other so much. We were fantastic with the ball on our stick, going 20-for-20 on clears, and we did a lot of things very well on both offense and defense to get this win. As a coaching staff, we’re really proud of the resilience this team showed today.”


  • This is the first 8-0 start for Notre Dame since 2013. The Irish also started 8-0 or better in 2012 and 2004.
  • The Irish have scored the first goal in each of their first eight contests.
  • Notre Dame improves to 3-1 in contests vs. Virginia at Klockner Stadium.
  • Maddie Howe has scored 3+ goals in three straight contests, and in six of eight games this season.

Notre Dame returns home to take on Vanderbilt on Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. That contest is slated to be played inside Loftus Sports Center and will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.