May 26, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Two of Notre Dame’s newest alumnae will continue their lacrosse careers as professionals -- and teammates -- after being drafted by the United Women’s Lacrosse League’s Long Island Sound.
Fortunato and Pearsall mark the program’s second and third draft selections, joining Irish alumna and Philadelphia Force defender Barbara Sullivan.
Pearsall, who was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List and received Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association First Team All-America and First Team All-ACC honors, totaled 57 points on 28 goals and 29 assists and collected a team-high 61 draws and 38 ground balls in 2017.
A three-time All-American, Pearsall owns sole possession of second place in the Irish record book with 183 career draw controls.
Pearsall set the Irish single-game record with 10 draw controls on April 6 and tallied seven points with six assists against Towson on March 15. She ranked fourth in the ACC with 1.61 assists per game and 10th in points per game (3.17) in 2017.
In 76 career games, Pearsall tallied 167 points on 86 goals and 81 assists. The Wilton, Connecticut, native recorded 116 ground balls, 183 draw controls and 77 caused turnovers.
“I am very excited that I have been given the opportunity to play lacrosse at the next level and even more excited to do it alongside Cortney,” Pearsall said. “She is a fabulous player and playing with her the past four years has been so much fun. There is something really special about continuing to play with one of your best friends, and I am very fortunate.”
A Tewaaraton Award nominee, IWLCA Second Team All-American and First Team All-ACC selection, Fortunato finished the season ranked 21st nationally in points (81) and tied for 21st in goals (59). She also ranked second in the ACC in points per game (4.26), second in goals per game (3.11) and 10th in assists per game (1.16).
Fortunato scored at least one goal in 18 games and contributed 15 multi-goal performances. The Northport, New York, native also recorded 11 hat tricks in 2017 (42 career), helping the Irish to a 7-4 record in those games.
Fortunato averaged 2.71 points per game in ACC play and recorded 2017 ACC single-game-highs in points (11) and goals (8) on April 6.
In her career, Fortunato totaled 311 points on 225 goals and 86 assists and posted 106 ground balls, 94 caused turnovers and 52 draw controls. Fortunato wraps up her storied career ranked second all-time in points and goals and third in assists in Notre Dame history.
Pearsall and Fortunato led an Irish squad that finished the season 11-8 overall and 4-3 in the ACC, matching the program’s best record in ACC play since joining the conference four years ago.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to continue playing with Casey this summer,” Fortunato said. “I think it’s great for the program to have two seniors drafted and representing Notre Dame in the league this summer along with other Notre Dame graduates.”
For Long Island’s complete schedule, click here. In its second year, the United Women’s Lacrosse League features four teams: the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound and Philadelphia Force. The Sound open their season on May 27 at Baltimore at 7 p.m. ET at Attleboro High School.
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.