Feb. 10, 2018
By Matt Paras
NOTRE DAME, Indiana - The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team (0-1, 0-1) faced a tough season opener Saturday afternoon with No. 6 Boston College (1-0, 1-0). The game was back-and-forth from the start but the Eagles used a 5-0 second half run to stretch the lead out and win, 13-11.
Following the game, head coach Christine Halfpenny was pleased with the team's effort that they brought throughout the game.
“We absolutely won’t be satisfied at all with the outcome of this game,” said Halfpenny. “However, with the effort that we put it and the attitude that we brought, we are really excited to sharpen up, continue to grow and get better every day. I am overwhelmingly excited about the culture and character of this team and we will grow from this result.”
How It Happened
The Irish opened the game with goals from Maddie Howe and Nikki Ortega to build a 2-0 lead. It would not last long, as Boston College scored two straight goals to level the game with 17:58 left in the first half.
After that point, neither team would have more than a one-goal lead until the 19:11 mark in the second half.
The Irish and Eagles exchanged goals for the rest of the first half. Boston College scored the last two and took a 7-6 lead into the break. Ortega, Molly Cobb, Savannah Buchanan and Katherine Enrietto would score for the Irish in the first half.
Jessi Masinko scored the first goal of the second half to tie the game at seven but Boston College would respond in a big way. They scored the next five goals of the game to build a 12-7 lead.
The Irish kept fighting, as they got the next two goals from Buchanan and Howe to make it a 12-9 game.
Following Howe’s goal, the Irish had a great opportunity to get another one and put the pressure on the Eagles. Haley Schultz won the draw control and Kathleen Roe was fouled shortly after. Taking advantage of the new freedom of movement rule, Roe used her speed to rush into the attacking third and fired a shot on goal. Lauren Daly would stand tall for the Eagles, making the save and ending the threat.
Notre Dame got the deficit down to three goals once again following Howe’s third goal of the game with 7:30 remaining. The Irish were not able to cut the lead down any further until the final minute, ending in a 13-11 loss.
A number of Irish athletes made their collegiate debuts Saturday afternoon and did not disappoint.
Howe led the way for the freshmen as she scored three goals and added an assist. Enrietto scored her first career goal in the first half against the Eagles. Andie Aldave, Olivia Jacobsen and Kaci Messier got their first career starts and played at midfield. In total, six Notre Dame freshmen made their college debuts in the opener, with four making their first career starts.
“We are thrilled with how the freshmen did today,” said Halfpenny. “We thought they set the tone for themselves and their careers by coming out and giving us everything that they had. I think that they really showcased their IQ, their skill, their speed and their effort today.”
Ortega tied Howe for the team lead in goals (3) and points (4) on the afternoon. Buchanan also had four points against Boston College with two goals and two assists. She also tallied four ground balls, five draw controls and caused two turnovers to lead the team.
Preseason All-ACC goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone started where she left off last season with a strong performance in net. She made 15 saves and tallied a .536 save percentage against one of the toughest offensive units in the country.
“She had a great game against a very tough Boston College team today,” stated Halfpenny. “She has really transformed herself over the offseason and trusts her abilities more. She made extraordinary plays in the crease and kept us close in this game."
Notre Dame will head south next weekend for a two-game road trip. They will face reigning Atlantic Sun champion Jacksonville next Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The next day, Notre Dame will battle with Stetson at 11 a.m. ET before returning to South Bend.
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.