March 11, 2018
By Matt Paras
BLACKSBURG, Virginia - The Notre Dame women's lacrosse team (5-3, 1-2) hit the road for its spring break trip and had a tough matchup to start with No. 24 Virginia Tech (6-3, 2-0). The Irish scored one goal in the first half but began to mount a comeback in the second half. In the end, the halftime deficit proved to be too much to overcome and they fell to the Hokies 9-6.
How it Happened
A slow start plagued the Irish as Virginia Tech jumped out to a 3-0 lead to open the game. The Irish called timeout to stop the momentum but Virginia Tech tallied the next two goals for a 5-0 lead with six minutes remaining in the half.
A green card gave the Irish life as they held a woman-up opportunity and took advantage. Andie Aldave scored on the free position to cut the deficit to 5-1 with 4:32 left in the half. The Hokies scored the final goal of the half and took a 6-1 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Hokies continued to cause fits for the Irish offense. Virginia Tech scored two more goals to open the second half, causing the Irish to use a time out at the 20:27 mark.
Following the timeout, Notre Dame got a few stops and started to gain some momentum. At the 14:45 mark, Aldave scored her second goal of the game off of a great pass from Nikki Ortega. Less than two minutes later, Molly Cobb scored for the Irish off the feed from Ortega and it was an 8-3 deficit with 12:29 left.
Notre Dame had a woman-up opportunity and took advantage once again when Savannah Buchanan was awarded a free position attempt. She scored to cut the deficit to 8-4 and the Irish weren't done there. Aldave scored her third goal of the afternoon off the assist from Nikki Ortega to bring the score to 8-5 with 9:02 left and Virginia Tech called timeout.
Marissa Davey responded for the Hokies, as she scored her first of the afternoon to stop the 4-0 run for the Irish.
Abi Cullinan looked to get another run started for Notre Dame when she scored off the assist from Buchanan to make it a 9-6 game with just under five minutes to play. That would be the final goal of the game as the Irish couldn't muster another goal and dropped the contest 9-6, ending their three-game win streak.
- Andie Aldave led the Irish attack with three goals on the afternoon. It was her fourth career hat trick and second in the last three games.
- Aldave also tied for the team lead in draw controls with four. She is the team leader on the season with 56.
- Samantha Giacolone made nine saves on 18 shots against the Hokies. It is her seventh game this season with a save percentage at .500 or higher.
- Makenna Pearsall tied a career high with three caused turnovers on the afternoon.
- Savannah Buchanan tied for the team lead in caused turnovers with three.
The Irish will look to bounce back when they travel down to Greensboro, N.C. for a mid-week contest. Notre Dame will take on High Point Wednesday afternoon with opening draw set for 4 pm ET.
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.