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Women's Lacrosse: #18 Notre Dame 18, Marquette 8

Well, okay. I guess that was to be expected.

Eric Decker/MarquetteImages.com

Cortney Fortunato and Rachel Sexton scored five times each, and #18 Notre Dame used a 7-0 run that bridged halftime to run away with Wednesday afternoon's game against Marquette, eventually winning 18-8 when the final horn sounded.  The Irish also got three goals from Heidi Annaheim, which was matched by a team high three goals from Marquette's Claire Costanza.

Multiple unanswered goals was the problem for Marquette in this game, ultimately.  Notre Dame took a 2-0 early lead on goals from Fortunato and Annaheim, but the Golden Eagles responded fiercely.  Hayley Baas, Julianna Shearer, and Emily Donovan all found their way past ND goalie Liz O'Sullivan as each woman scored their seventh goal of the season to give Marquette a 3-2 lead with 19:23 remaining in the first half.

Notre Dame would respond with a three goal spurt of their own to retake the lead, and retake it for good, as it would turn out.  Marquette would be unable to both stop Notre Dame from putting together multiple goals and also score multiple goals of their own.  Two goals from Costanza were the only markers that Marquette would score as Notre Dame turned the game from a 3-2 Marquette lead to a 14-5 Fighting Irish lead with 13:46 remaining.  After Costanza's first, ND fired back with goals from Fortunato and Annaheim again, and Costanza would get her second to stem that tide.  At that point, it was 7-5 favoring the Irish and still competitive.  That's also when the Irish launched into their game ending run, scoring three more times in the last 3:08 of the first half and four more times over the first 17 minutes of the second half to officially turn it into a blowout.

It's not even really the scoring that did it, it's holding MU without a goal in the second half until Costanza wrapped up her hat trick with 11:22 remaining.  It was 14-6 at that point, and Marquette had no real chance to make a comeback.  I suppose we could ask whether Sexton really needed to score two goals in the final two minutes when Notre Dame already had a 15-8 lead.  I'd shout about whether Shauna Pugliese needed to tack on a goal with one second left, but it's her first goal of the season, and her first run of play shot of the season, so I guess I can't really be upset about someone taking advantage of some playing time.

Up Next: Marquette heads into conference play with a 4-6 record.  They'll host Villanova on Saturday at noon down at Valley Fields.