No. 7 Notre Dame Cuts Through Spiders' Web to Go 6-2

RICHMOND -- Richmond put up the proverbial fight, but visiting sixth-ranked Notre Dame had too much first-half firepower, and the Fighting Irish defeated the Spiders 13-6 to snap Richmond's two-game winning streak Tuesday afternoon at Robins Stadium. Richmond is now a level 3-3 on the season, while the Irish improve to 6-2.

Less than two minutes into the game, Richmond's Charlett Stevenson (Darien, Conn.) posted the game's first goal, on a feed from Anna Jeszeck (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) for the 1-0 lead.

The Fighting Irish then reeled off three goals over the next eight minutes and took a 3-1 lead before the Richmond answer, an unassisted score from sophomore Brooke Wilson (Ijamsville, Md.) with 19:23 remaining in the first half.

Notre Dame kept winning the draw, however, and kept the ball mostly away from Richmond in the opening half. The Irish put together four more goals before the teams traded two goals each in the final 8:13 for the 9-4 halftime lead. Jeszeck and Stevenson scored the final two goals of the half for the Spiders.

Notre Dame won 11 of the 14 draws in the first half, but the Spiders turned UND over nine times in the first 30 minutes.

Senior captain Hayley Ross (Annapolis, Md.) scored twice in the second half, but the Irish managed four more goals in the win.

The Spiders pulled in 21 ground balls to 20 for the Irish and had fewer turnovers (18-14) than UND. For the season, the Spiders have 12 more ground balls and nine more draws won than opponents.

Stevenson, Ross and Jeszeck all had two points for the Spiders. Reigning A-10 Defensive Player of the Week Emily Boyce (Middleton, Md.) made a season-high 12 saves.

The Spiders have 10 days before their next game, a home contest against William & Mary, starting at 6:00 p.m. That game is part of a doubleheader, with a men's game against Wagner scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Admission will be free.

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RICHMOND, Va. Rachel Sexton had a career-high five points and Cortney Fortunato had her sixth hat trick in eight games as No. 7 Notre Dame (6-2) picked up a 13-6 win on the road Tuesday afternoon at Richmond (3-3).

Sexton's big day included three goals and a pair of assists. The reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Week, Fortunato added an assist along with her three goals for a four-point day. Goalkeeper Allie Murray, named today as the ACC Defensive Player of the Week, made 12 saves, backstopping an Irish defense that held its opponents to a single digit goal total for the sixth time on the season.

Notre Dame moved the ball well and had an assist on eight of its 11 goals, the second-most assists for the Irish this year behind just the 11 collected in a 25-1 rout of Cincinnati. In all, nine different Irish players factored into the scoring of the team's 13 goals and five Notre Dame players had both a goal and an assist. Notre Dame enjoyed a 15-6 edge in draw controls with freshman Casey Pearsall collecting a career-high five to top the Irish.

Richmond scored first but two quick goals shortly thereafter put the Irish on top for good. Fortunato controlled the draw after the Spiders' strike and, less than a minute later, fired home her 21st-goal of the year off of a feed from Pearsall. Pearsall controlled the draw after Fortunato's goal and, 17 seconds later, Caitlin Gargan scored for the Irish with Kiera McMullan assisting. Notre Dame's lead grew to 3-1 at the 20:26 mark when Michele Phillips scored her second goal of the year off of a Fortunato assist.

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