NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Jackie Wolak collected six points (4G, 2A) and Bridget Deehan made 10 saves as #5 Notre Dame earned a 13-8 victory over Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Arlotta Stadium.
With the victory, Notre Dame (11-6) has earned its fifth trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals (2002, 2006, 2009, 2016, 2021) and will meet #4 Boston College next weekend (May 22 or 23). The Irish will be aiming to reach the National Semifinals for just the second time in program history (2006). Date, time and coverage for that matchup is still to be announced.
“Today was another total-team effort that was led by our graduates and seniors and their unwavering belief in where this program is going,” said Irish head coach Christine Halfpenny. “I think the performance today and the outcome we earned came off of an incredible week of preparation. I’m really proud of this group, who has now played every ACC program except for Virginia Tech twice this season. That in and of itself has given us incredible experience as we moved into tournament play. To get back to the quarterfinals was a goal for this team, and to do it on our home field this weekend was special.”
Maddie Howe followed Wolak with four points on three goals and an assist while Madison Ahern also notched a hat trick. Kasey Choma, Andie Aldave and Samantha Lynch rounded out the scoring for the Irish.
Diana Kelly led the Irish with three caused turnovers to go with a pair of ground balls. Wolak and Howe each caused a pair of Virginia turnovers to aid the Irish defensive effort. Aldave also led the Irish with five draw controls.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Deehan made three early saves to keep Virginia off the board before Wolak broke the scoreless tie just over seven minutes into play and Ahern cashed in just over a minute later.
The Cavaliers responded to even the contest at 2-2 before Notre Dame closed the first half with five straight goals and kept Virginia scoreless for the final 20:07 of the half.
Wolak (2), Howe, Lynch and Ahern netted goals in the Irish run while Deehan finished with six saves in the first 30 minutes to anchor the Irish defense.
Aldave made it six straight Irish goals just over a minute into the second half before Virginia rallied to get back within three at 8-5 with 19:50 to go.
The Irish answered again to maintain control of the game, scoring four straight goals and blanking Virginia for the next 12:36 of play. Choma opened the run for Notre Dame before Howe netted back-to-back goals and Ahern made it 12-5 with 9:29 remaining.
Wolak closed the scoring for Notre Dame with her fourth goal with 4:32 to play.
- Notre Dame has reached the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth time in program history (2002, 2006, 2009, 2016, 2021).
- The Irish have won two games in the same NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history (2006, 2021).
- The four goals and six points were both career-highs for Jackie Wolak.
- Bridget Deehan reached the double-digit saves mark for the eighth time this season.
- The Irish defense held Virginia scoreless for 26:57 consecutive minutes from the 20:07 mark of the first half to the 23:10 mark of the second half.
- #5 Notre Dame (11-6) will meet #5 Boston College (15-3) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament this weekend (May 22 or 23).
- Date, time and additional coverage of that matchup is still to be announced.