The No. 3 North Carolina women’s lacrosse team (9-2, 5-1 ACC) fell to No. 12 Notre Dame (8-3, 4-2 ACC), 16-12, at Arlotta Family Stadium in South Bend, Ind. on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams came firing out of the gate with the Fighting Irish drawing first blood on a goal from midfielder Kasey Choma. UNC first-year attacker Marissa White quickly answered with a score off an assist from first-year attacker Caroline Godine.
Notre Dame midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty assisted on the Fighting Irish’s next two goals that took place in a span of two minutes. After a scoreless eight minutes from either side, Notre Dame attacker Madison Ahern found the back of the cage.
UNC junior attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger connected with junior midfielder Sophie Student for a goal to cut the deficit to 4-2, but the Fighting Irish closed out the first quarter with a free position goal from attacker Jane McAvoy.
White scored early in the second frame, but Doherty and attacker Jackie Wolak answered with a pair of goals. UNC junior midfielder Alyssa Long nailed a free position shot, but the Fighting Irish closed out the quarter with another pair of scores to hold a commanding 9-4 lead at halftime.
Choma scored in the first minute of the second half while Long soloed an unassisted goal. Wurzburger and Student combined for three successful free position shots to give North Carolina life at a 10-8 deficit midway through the third quarter, but Choma and midfielder Kristen Shanahan slowed the Tar Heels’ momentum with two goals. Godine scored on a man-up opportunity to close out the third quarter and UNC trailed 12-9.
Ahern scored unassisted to make a statement early in the fourth quarter for Notre Dame, but redshirt first-year attacker Reilly Casey hit a free position shot on a man-up opportunity. However, Ahern all but sealed the bout with two more goals to give Notre Dame a 15-10 lead with under 10 minutes to play.
Wurzburger found Godine for a score and graduate attacker Lauren Figura converted a man-up free position shot with just under seven minutes to play. However, UNC was held scoreless for four crucial minutes and from there, the Fighting Irish milked the clock and never looked back.