ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s lacrosse had its four-game winning streak to open the season snapped Thursday, Feb. 23, by No. 11/9 Notre Dame in a 16-7 loss to the Fighting Irish at Rudd Field.
Sloane Kessler led the Phoenix with three goals and an assist while Jacie Cooper tallied twice in the second half. Shannon Horan and Stephanie Asher rounded out Elon’s offensive output with one goal apiece. Bridget Lamb picked up a team-high four draw controls and Alexis Zadjura added four caused turnovers.
Though only scoring a season-low once on the evening, Asher’s goal was historic. Now with 18 on the season, the tally was her 100th in maroon and gold. Already Elon’s all-time leading scorer after just two seasons, Asher hit the century mark in just 38 games, which averages out to 2.6 goals per contest in her career.
Notre Dame was paced by Cortney Fortunato’s four-goal game while both Nikki Ortega and Casey Pearsall added three apiece. Grace Muller scored twice with four other Irish notching one goal each. To go with her goal, Alex Dalton also added a game-high six ground ball and had three caused turnovers. Savannah Buchanan grabbed a team-high four draw controls.
Neither side could break through for a goal in the opening seven-plus minutes until the Fighting Irish got off and running at the 22:03 mark of the first half. After another Irish goal nearly two minutes later, Kessler cut the lead in half with 19:10 on the first-half clock but Notre Dame added two more to take a 4-1 lead with 15:36 to go.
Kessler again cut the lead in half with 13:23 to go in making it 4-2, but that was Elon’s final goal until the second half as Notre Dame went on a decisive 6-0 run with five of those goals coming in the first half to take a 9-2 lead to halftime.
Early in the second half after Notre Dame scored in the opening three minutes, the Phoenix put together consecutive goals from Horan and Asher before the Irish added four more to lead 14-4. Over the course of the final four minutes, Cooper tallied twice and Kessler scored her third of the night with 1:40 to go to make it 14-7. Notre Dame added two more in the final 1:36 of the game to finish the 16-7 win.
Elon will head out on the road for the first time since Feb. 11 when it travels to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, March 1. Elon and Virginia Tech have met once back in 2014 when the Hokies earned a 17-7 win in Blacksburg, Va.