April 22, 2017
By Megan Golden
NEWTON, Mass. -- On a misty Saturday in the Boston suburbs, the No. 11 University of Notre Dame women's lacrosse team dropped its regular-season finale, 16-10, to No. 18 Boston College.
The Irish (11-6, 4-3) and the Eagles (12-5, 3-4) battled in a game with several lead changes, particularly in the second half.
Notre Dame closes the regular season with a program-high-tying four Atlantic Coast Conference wins.
How It Happened
Seniors Cortney Fortunato and Casey Pearsall opened the scoring as they recorded back-to-back goals to give the Irish a 2-0 lead in a half that featured an aggressive Irish offense.
Notre Dame and Boston College exchanged a pair of goals, and the Irish maintained their lead, 4-2, midway through the half.
With 13:00 remaining on the clock, senior Katherine Eilers collected a critical ground ball, ending a long possession by the Eagles and leading the Irish to a successful clear and goal from senior Heidi Annaheim. The Irish owned a 5-2 lead.
Boston College, trailing by three goals, rallied to tie the game, 5-5, with 2:42 remaining on the clock. Seniors Grace Muller and Alex Dalton each netted their second goals of the game in the final 57 seconds of the half to send Notre Dame to halftime with a 7-5 lead over the Eagles.
With the rain falling steadily, the Eagles erased the two-goal deficit with back-to-back free-position goals to tie the game, 7-7.
"I think the stats completely speak to what happened in the second half," Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny said. "We didn't necessarily come out the way we intended to and gave up two quick goals. That's a trend we have to stop."
The Irish quickly regained their lead, 8-7, courtesy of a goal from Pearsall, who tallied her second goal of the day.
Boston College once again fought back and took its first lead of the game with 17:57 left in the contest. The Eagles tallied seven straight goals to take a 16-9 lead and ultimately win the game, 16-10.
"Going into postseason, we have to stay focused on corralling the ball and staying focused in those first two minutes, which has been a goal of this team's this year," Halfpenny said. "It's really time to knuckle down and reverse giving up two goals at the start of every half.
"Losing the draw 12-3 in the second half is the story of the game. You've got to credit Boston College for getting off the line quicker than us and reacting better than us today. It wasn't just the second half. The first half, we were winning the game because we had a great shooting percentage and were aggressive on offense. They were beating us on the hustle stats, and that's an area we have set as a major focal point for the team this year. It was incredibly disappointing to see us come up short in that area."
- The Irish secured their second straight winning record in ACC regular-season play against Virginia Tech on April 15. Notre Dame closed the regular season with a program-high-tying four ACC victories.
- Notre Dame is 5-4 on the road this season and 7-4 against Boston College in program history.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Samantha Giacolone has made 63 saves over the last four games, averaging 15.75 saves per game during that span. Giacolone is just one save shy of the 300 mark in her career.
- Senior Katherine Eilers matched her career high with four ground balls. Eilers added one caused turnover and one draw control in the game.
Coming Up Next
Notre Dame returns to action in the ACC Tournament from April 27-30 at Sports Backer Stadium (Richmond, Virginia). The Irish will compete in the first round on April 27 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
For a closer, behind-the-scenes look at the Irish women's lacrosse program, follow @NDWomensLax on Twitter and ndwlax on Snapchat.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women's basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.