Senior Kaitlyn Mead scored four goals as the Michigan Wolverines women’s lacrosse team defeated No. 5 Notre Dame, 11-7, at Loftus Sports Center, notching a win against the highest-ranked opponent in program history.
The No. 23 Wolverines (2-0) stymied the Irish’s potent offense, with goalie Arielle Weissman making 13 saves and the defense in front of her forcing Notre Dame into bad angles. Michigan’s offense, meanwhile, excelled in spreading out the Irish defense, which had lost some key pieces to graduation. The Wolverines’ speed in transition and crisp passing gave them better looks and ultimately led to slipping more shots past Irish netminder Bridget Deehan. The graduate goalie finished with 7 saves against 18 total shots on goal.
While Michigan never trailed in the game, the two teams traded goals to open the match. Mead scored the Wolverines’ first three goals, while junior midfielder Kasey Choma and senior midfielder Madison Mote responded for the Irish.
The Wolverines ripped off five consecutive goals to extend the lead from 4-3 to 8-3 before Notre Dame capitalized on the yellow card drawn by sophomore defensewoman Maddie Burns, with Madison Ahern burying a free position attempt to cut the deficit to four.
The Irish outscored the Wolverines, 2 goals to 1, in the third period, with Choma and senior midfielder Hannah Dorney slipping it between the pipes.
But Mead and senior midfielder Erin Garvey did not relent, tallying their fourth and third goals, respectively, in the final period.
The Irish had nine chances from the free position (8 meter) line, but could convert just two of them. Notre Dame dominated at the circle, winning 15 of 22 draw controls. But they were sloppier-than-usual with the ball, turning it over 17 times — eight of which the Wolverines caused. The Wolverines also picked up 20 groundballs.
The Irish cleared the ball nine out of 13 tries from their own defensive zone, while the Wolverines went 13 for 17 in the same metric. Both teams committed 27 fouls, with Michigan drawing three yellow cards to Notre Dame’s one.
This is the Michigan’s first win against Notre Dame in four tries.
The Irish travel to Nashville for a 2 p.m. Eastern Saturday matchup with Vanderbilt. The Commodores beat Liberty, 18-13, in their home opener yesterday. Vanderbilt is 11-10 all-time against Notre Dame, with the Irish winning last year’s matchup, 19-5.