O’Sullivan, Pearsall star for Notre Dame women’s lacrosse

Notre Dame’s Liz O’Sullivan, the goalie for the New Canaan Rams’ state champion girls lacrosse teams in 2012 and 2013, was named the ACC defensive player of the week following her team’s 14-4 rout of fourth-ranked Virginia on Saturday, April 5.

O’Sullivan, a sophomore, has started all 14 of Notre Dame’s games this season and has helped the team build a 9-5 record. She has allowed 119 goals for an average of 8.81 per game, and has kept opponents in single digits for scoring nine times.

O’Sullivan shared the ACC defensive player of the week honor with Duke’s Isabelle Montagne.

The Fighting Irish roster also includes Casey Pearsall, a sophomore midfielder and former star for the Wilton Warriors.

Pearsall has been outstanding in her second season at Notre Dame, and her 16 assists leads the team. She also has 16 goals, ranks second on the team in draw controls (42) and third on the team in points (32), caused turnovers (21) and groundballs (22).

O’Sullivan tied a career high with 11 saves in the victory at Virginia’s Klockner Stadium, keeping the Cavaliers off the scoreboard for the first 42:03, as the Fighting Irish built an insurmountable 11-0 lead.

The victory was Notre Dame’s first over Virginia and their most lopsided win over a ranked team since 2004.

O’Sullivan was one of two Notre Dame players to earn ACC honors during the week of the game versus Virginia, as Cortney Fortunato was the conference’s women’s lacrosse player of the week, and the national player of the week. Fortunato had six goals and two assists for eight points against the Cavaliers.

Pearsall scored twice in that game.

Just two days after beating Virginia Notre Dame knocked off seventh-ranked Syracuse, 12-11 in overtime.

O’Sullivan had a huge game, making nine saves and coming up with a stop on a free position by Syracuse’s Kayla Treanor with 1:45 remaining in overtime.

Pearsall had one goal and also assisted on Rachel Sexton’s overtime goal, which put the Fighting Irish ahead for good at 11-10. Caitlin Gargan made it 12-10 Notre Dame seconds later, before Syracuse’s Devon Collins cut the deficit to 12-11.

The score remained there, however, as O’Sullivan and the defense shut out Syracuse the over the final three minutes.

Notre Dame is hosting Northwestern tonight at 7 p.m., and will host Louisville on Sunday at noon to close out the regular season.

The ACC tournament will get underway with the quarterfinal round on April 23 in Charlottesville, Va.

New Canaan’s Liz O’Sullivan was named the ACC defensive player of the week after making a career-best 11 saves in a 14-4 win at Virginia on Saturday. — Notre Dame Athletics photo