SU Women's Lacrosse: Syracuse vs Notre Dame

No. 15 Notre Dame cruises past No. 4 Syracuse women's lacrosse

Fighting Irish use second half run to pull away from Orange at the Carrier Dome.

The No. 15 Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team (9-4, 3-1 ACC) trampled No. 4 Syracuse (8-3, 2-1 ACC), 16-7, Sunday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. This was the Orange’s first home loss of the season after winning six straight to start the year. Notre Dame had lost three straight entering the game.

The contest was tight in the first half, with back and forth play that saw each team score several goals. But with 1.6 seconds to go Notre Dame’s Cortney Fortunato capitalized on a miscue by the Orange, giving her a clear breakaway to the goal. She wouldn’t miss, scoring her 39th goal of the season to deflate the Orange and give the Irish a 7-4 lead.

Photo: Nathan Baldry
Players collide in front of the Notre Dame net during the women's lacrosse game on Sunday.

This is the second time Notre Dame has scored a buzzer-beater at the Carrier Dome in recent years; Rachel Sexton scored with tenths of a second remaining on the clock to tie the game 4-4 on April 7, 2015. Notre Dame eventually won that game 12-11 in overtime.

“It helps to affirm your belief in what you can do”, Notre Dame head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “Syracuse doesn’t lose in the Dome very often. When things start to break your way…it’s huge for us.”

An illegal stick penalty on Syracuse four minutes into the second half saw Notre Dame increase its lead. The Fighting Irish scored three goals during the advantage, ultimately going on a five-goal run to lead 12-4 until Tori Wehner scored a free position goal for Syracuse midway through the second half.

“From the opening whistle it looked like we lacked a little intensity, communication, and chemistry,” said Syracuse head coach Gary Gait. “We never really got that run that we had in the past where we get a little spark. You play a team like Notre Dame…they came in here with tons of energy…backs against the wall, and got the best of us today." 

Though the game ended in a lopsided, nine-goal victory for Notre Dame, Halfpenny said she never relaxed.

“I saw what [Syracuse] did to Virginia [Syracuse won 16-15 after being down 11-4],” Halfpenny said. “I don’t think my timeouts showed that I was comfortable. I know what these kids are capable of. You can’t relax on ACC teams. It’s the best conference in the country.”

The Orange travel to New Jersey to face Princeton (6-1) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Syracuse will resume ACC play on April 2 when it travels to take on rival Duke.

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