March 26, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
By Leigh Torbin
The first matchup of top five teams involving Notre Dame women's lacrosse since 2004 lived up to the billing as the No. 4 Irish (9-2, 3-2 ACC) and No. 5 Syracuse (8-3, 2-1 ACC) had four ties and three lead changes over the final 21:34 before the Orange escaped from Arlotta Stadium with a 12-11 win.
All-American midfielder Casey Pearsall had career highs for the Irish with her five goals and six points. She also exerted herself on draws, a category where the Irish held a 14-11 advantage over an Orange team which ranked third nationally. Pearsall controlled four herself while holding fellow All-American Kayla Treanor to a season-low three for Syracuse.
All-American midfielder Alex Dalton had a career-high four points for the Irish (two goals and two assists) along with a season-high five draw controls while all-region selection Stephanie Peragallo caused four turnovers. Nicole Levy led the Orange with four goals while Treanor ended up with four points on a pair of goals and a pair of assists.
The Irish led 6-4 at halftime and 7-5 after an unassisted Pearsall goal with 25:20 to play. Syracuse scored goals 12 seconds apart by Halle Majorana (21:46) and Levy (21:34) to knot the score at 7-7. The Orange took its first lead at 19:56 on a Gabby Jaquith free position shot.
Notre Dame refocused during the media timeout and scored 24 seconds later. Dalton secured the draw and Kiera McMullan found Pearsall to scored her fourth of the day to that point, making it 8-8. Pearsall scored again to make it 9-8 a minute later. Syracuse against tied the score, 9-9, at the 17:53 mark but the Irish reclaimed the lead at 10-9 with 16:53 to go on a Grace Muller goal set up by Dalton.
Syracuse, however, would score each of the next three goals to claim a 12-10 advantage. Cortney Fortunato tallied on a free position shot after a particularly hard foul with 4:14 to go but the Irish could not obtain an equalizer despite several good opportunities in the final seconds.
The Irish will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday when they travel to Milwaukee for a 3 p.m. ET contest against Marquette.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse team while serving as the football publicity team's top lieutenant. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.