The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team has jumped out to first period leads against the Syracuse Orange for two consecutive years, only to see their ACC rival dominate after halftime.
Last year, the Irish outlasted the seventh ranked Orange at home in overtime. On Sunday, fourth ranked Syracuse (10-2, 3-1 ACC) spoiled eighth ranked Notre Dame’s previously unblemished season by scoring five second period goals and prevailing 10-9.
The Irish (9-1, 2-1 ACC) controlled the first half of the game, paced by sophomore midfielder Maddie Howe and senior attack Samantha Lynch with three goals each. Notre Dame won 8 of 14 draw controls in the first, turned the ball over fewer times than their opponent and ripped off 13 shots on goals to Syracuse’s 7.
Senior goaltender Samantha Giacolone yielded four goals in the first four shots she faced, but then saved two of the next three to help Notre Dame to an 8-5 halftime lead.
Giacolone, who set the program record for most career saves, denied Syracuse attackers in the second half as Irish’s offensive push experienced a power outage. The Manorville, N.Y. native stopped six of 11 Syracuse shots in the second half, as the Orange offense found a higher gear.
Syracuse outshot Notre Dame, 11-7, won more draw controls and turned over Notre Dame more than the Irish did to them in the second half. Junior midfielder Emily Hawryschuk scored four goals for the eighth consecutive game, including the game-tying goal and the deciding score with 3:38 remaining.
“I thought our defense, again in the second half, really shut things down and gave us a chance to make that run and get a comeback going,” said Syracuse Coach Gary Gait. “Emily (Hawryschuk) came through at the end, buried her last couple of shots and stepped up when we needed her. I’m proud of this team for making plays when we needed them.”
Andie Aldave had nine draw controls, three caused turnovers and two ground ball pickups for the Irish. The sophomore midfielder set the school’s single-season draw control record last year at 98. She has 82 so far this year, with six regular season games remaining.
Savannah Buchanan led Notre Dame with four caused turnovers. The junior midfielder also had three ground ball scoops and a draw control win.
The game was moved to Christian Brothers Academy and pushed back one day from the schedule, after the Syracuse women’s basketball team earned the right to host its first two NCAA Tournament games in the Carrier Dome. The Syracuse area received snow Friday and had a high that hovered near freezing Saturday.
The Irish continue their gauntlet with a 1 p.m. Sunday game against No. 3 North Carolina (8-2, 1-1 ACC), looking to exact revenge for last year’s close Easter weekend loss. That game will be played at Arlotta Stadium, weather permitting.
Notre Dame then plays at No. 1 Boston College (11-0, 2-0 ACC) on Wednesday, April 3 before hosting Virginia Tech (8-4, 1-1 ACC) on Saturday, April 7.