Northwestern Avenges NCAA Tournament Loss to Notre Dame


Selena Lasota scored four goals and corralled a crucial draw control late to lead Northwestern to a 14-13 win at Notre Dame.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Junior Selena Lasota scored four goals, senior Christina Esposito and freshman Megan Kinna each tallied three, and sophomore Mallory Weisse made 10 saves, as No. 9 Northwestern won a top-10 showdown with No. 8 Notre Dame Sunday afternoon, 14-13.

The Wildcats claimed their 18th win in 22 meetings with the Fighting Irish all time, improving to 7-1 in South Bend. The victory avenged the Wildcats' lone road loss to the Irish that ended last season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Despite the victory, inconsistency by the Wildcats at times allowed Notre Dame to remain within reach. After allowing the opening goal of the game, Chicago's Big Ten Team responded by scoring eight of the game's next nine goals, including a 6-0 run.

The Irish tied the game at the 21:54 mark of the first half, 2-2, but the Wildcats quickly took over as Kinna and senior Catie Ingrilli scored back-to-back free-position goals within two minutes to start the 6-0 run. Senior Danita Stroup scored her second goal of the year and Lasota sandwiched a pair of goals around a tally by Esposito to extend the lead to 8-2 with 14:47 to go in the first half.

Kinna's second goal of the day extended the lead back to five, 9-4, but Notre Dame scored five unanswered in less than six minutes to tie the game, 9-9. NU was able to take a 10-9 lead into the break on Esposito's second goal of the game.

The offense and defense synced up for a stellar 20-minute stretch to start the second half, allowing the Wildcats to take back control of the game. Esposito netted her second hat trick in as many games just a minute and a half into the second frame before the Canadian connection of Kinna and Lasota pushed the lead to four, 13-9, with back-to-back goals.

All the while, Weisse made save after save to keep the Irish off the board. The sophomore had eight of her 10 saves in the second half.

Junior Nicole Beardsley scored her first goal of the season on a free-position with 11:23 to play to make it a 14-11 game, but the Wildcats weren't able to put things away without a fight by the Irish.

Notre Dame pulled within two with 1:52 to play on a goal by Savannah Buchanan and the 'Çats were assessed a yellow card. A second yellow put NU two women down at the 1:07 mark, allowing the Irish to cut the deficit to one on a goal by Grace Muller.

Lasota won the ensuing draw control following a timeout and the Wildcats ran out the clock to secure the win. The junior finished with four draw controls, three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers to lead the way. Sophomore Claire Quinn had three draw controls and a caused turnover and junior Sheila Nesselbush netted her first goal of the year.

Duke Survives a Scare

No. 10 Duke dug itself out of a 6-3 hole and scored six of the game's final seven goals to defeat Drexel 9-7 in the both teams' season opener Sunday.

Coach Kerstin Kimel said the Blue Devils were trigger-happy early, a byproduct of the new 90-second possession clock in place for the first time in NCAA Division I women's lacrosse.

“We were trying to push tempo with the shot clock and not having a lot of success in the first half. I think it forced us to settle down,” Kimel said. “You can't let it rush you – you have to get yourself organized in your offense, which is what we did a better job of in the second half. We got some looks that we wanted or got put on the eight-meter and created some shot opportunities that way.”

Sunday Scoreboard

No. 9 Northwestern 14, No. 8 Notre Dame 13
No. 10 Duke 9, Drexel 7
Navy 20, Longwood 3

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