Irish Win Seventh Straight, Top VCU 15-4

RICHMOND, Va. —   Senior Samantha Giacolone became the second goalkeeper in Irish history to reach the 500 career saves mark as the Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team earned its seventh consecutive victory with a 15-4 road win over VCU this afternoon at Cary Street Field

Giacolone currently has 501 career stops in an Irish uniform, which stands 27 behind Ellie Hilling for the most in program history.

The Irish remain undefeated with today’s victory, improving to 7-0 (1-0 ACC) while the Rams fall to 3-3.

Maddie Howe opened the scoring for Notre Dame 46 seconds into play, and after a tying marker from VCU the Irish rattled off eight straight goals to earn a 9-1 advantage.

The scoring run consisted of three more markers by Howe, two by junior Jessi Masinko, and tallies from sophomore Andie Aldave, junior Savannah Buchanan and freshman Mollie Carr.

VCU cut into the Irish lead 2:37 left in the half before senior Nikki Ortega scored with one second remaining to make it a 10-2 contest at the break.

The Irish scored the first five goals of the second half, including a pair by Ortega and one each from Howe, Masinko and senior Samantha Lynch.

VCU scored the final two goals of the contest to account for the 15-4 final.

Masinko led the Irish with six points (4G, 2A) while Howe paced Notre Dame with five goals on the afternoon.

Notre Dame won 17 of 20 draw controls with Aldave leading the way with 12.

As a team, the Irish caused 16 VCU turnovers in the 60 minutes of play. Senior Hannah Proctor led Notre Dame with five of her own, while senior Makenna Pearsall and Ortega each caused a pair.

Samantha Giacolone’s thoughts:
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. You don’t start playing college lacrosse thinking you’ll get to 500 saves, but my teammates put me in position to do this over my four years here at Notre Dame. “

Hannah Proctor’s thoughts:
“This was another great team victory for us after 11 days off. The relentless energy and effort we’ve brought to each of our first seven games will be crucial to our success moving ahead. We look forward to another test Saturday at Virginia.”


  • The Irish have scored the first goal in each of their first seven contests and have only trailed for 3:14 out of the 420 minutes of play this season.
  • The Irish have scored 131 goals and racked up 202 points in their first seven victories.
  • Maddie Howe leads the Irish with 32 points (23G, 9A) while Samantha Lynch paces the team with 24 goals scored.
  • Four players have 20+ points for the Irish so far this season, including Howe, Lynch, Jessi Masinko (13G, 15A) and Andie Aldave (17G, 10A).
  • Notre Dame has caused 102 turnovers in seven games.
  • Aldave leads the Irish with 60 draw controls this season and Savannah Buchanan ranks second on the team with 31.

Notre Dame closes Spring Break with a road tilt against ACC foe Virginia on Saturday, March 16 at noon ET. That contest will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.