Notre Dame Eliminates Virginia from the ACC Tournament
April 23, 2015
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – (theACC.com) – The Virginia women’s lacrosse team (11-6, 4-3 ACC) fell 7-6 to Notre Dame (10-7, 3-4 ACC) in a quarterfinal game of the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday (April 23) at KlÃ¶ckner Stadium.
Notre Dame’s Rachel Sexton scored twice in a span of less than two minutes late in the game to give fifth-seeded Notre Dame a three-goal cushion, and the Irish held off the fourth-seeded Cavaliers down the stretch for a 7-6 win at Klockner Stadium.
“After falling twice this year to the Irish, I would say that we don’t match up that well with Notre Dame,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. “Clearly we did a much better job today with our defense because we changed a few things there, but for one reason or another, our attacks were tentative. We were tentative with our passing and with going to the goal as well. Notre Dame also did a great job on draws.”
Notre Dame moved on to face top-seeded North Carolina (14-2) in Friday afternoon’s semifinal matchup (1 p.m.; RSN and ESPN3).
Sexton’s goal off a pass from Grace Muller with 7:01 to play put Notre Dame ahead 6-4. Sexton struck again with an unassisted goal at the 5:16 mark to make it 7-4. Virginia scored the final two goals of the match – an unassisted tally by freshman Kasey Behr with 2:47 left and Kelly Boyd’s third goal of the afternoon off a pass from Casey Bocklet with 20 seconds left – but the Fighting Irish held from there.
In addition to advancing to the semifinals for the first time in two seasons as an ACC member, Notre Dame snapped a two-game losing streak and earned a season sweep of the nationally fifth-ranked Cavaliers. The 11th-ranked Fighting Irish scored a 14-4 win in the regular-season meeting here April 4.
Notre Dame grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first half on Brie Custis’ free-positon goal and Heidi Annaheim’s score off an assist from Cortney Fortunato.
Virginia answered with a pair of goals in the final 3:14 of the half for a tie score at intermission. Boyd scored first to get the Cavaliers on the board, and Courtney Swan’s goal just eight seconds before the break evened things up at 2-2. The score was tied at 3-3 in the second half before goals by Annaheim and Stephanie Toy gave the Fighting Irish a 5-3 lead with 10:24 remaining. Bocklet found Boyd with a pass for a Virginia score that made it 5-4 with 8:11 left, but Sexton’s two counter goals kept Notre Dame in control.
Notre Dame keeper Liz O’Sullivan finished with 12 saves, and Rachel Vander Kolk had 10 for Virginia.