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#12 Irish Fall To Wolverines 2-0

Aug. 25, 2016

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By Joanne Norell

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team dropped its first match of the season, falling in a 2-0 decision to Michigan on Thursday at U-M Soccer Stadium.

The Wolverines scored twice within three minutes midway through the second half as the Irish offense struggled to find a rhythm, managing just six shots.

Michigan tallied nine shots on the night, putting five on frame. The first Wolverine goal came in the 62nd minute despite appearing off-side, headed in off midfielder Abby Kastroll. Midfielder Katie Foug added the second goal in the 64th minute, punching it in off a play from the left side of the box.

Irish freshman Jennifer Westendorf led the Irish with four shots. Senior goalkeeper Kaela Little tallied three saves, including two on diving attempts.

Player of the Game

Kaela Little once again set herself apart, forced to put in extra work as the defense broke down at times in the second half. Despite the two goals that got by her, Little was active all night, grabbing jump balls in traffic in the box, coming out to direct balls out of the defensive third, and diving for a pair of tough saves to keep the goal count down.

Play of the Game

With the score still tied at zero, senior goalkeeper Kaela Little flexed her aerial skills to save a strong Wolverine shot in the 50th minute. Midfielder Jessica Heifetz launched her shot from the top of the box that looked like it would sneak in the near post, but Little laid out to her left and punched the attempt over the net for the save.

Turning Point

The Irish were called for a foul in the defensive third in the 62nd minute. That set up the Wolverine free kick by Reilly Martin from 25 yards. The feed was kicked around the goal box before midfielder Abby Kastroll punched it in for Michigan. The Wolverines added a second goal less than three minutes later.

Coach Theresa Romagnolo Says

“I don’t think we deserved to lose the game … but I don’t think we played particularly well. We can play a lot better. (Michigan is) a hard-working team. I think it was an even battle and we made two mistakes that ended up costing us. I expect us to play a lot better and I think we could have done a lot more in our attack. It was a bit stagnant, so that was disappointing. We need to be more dynamic. But we’ve got to move on, learn the lessons and move on to Sunday’s game.”

Note of the Game

The Irish lost for just the second time against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Notre Dame entered the contest with a 5-1 record in road games against Michigan, but lost their second in a row at U-M Soccer Stadium.

#12 Notre Dame , Michigan
August 25, 2016
Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Stadium)

Notre Dame 0 0 — 0
Michigan 0 2 — 0

UM1. Abby Kastroll (Ani Sarkisian, Reilly Martin) 61:38. UM2. Katie Foug (Reilly Martin, Nicky Waldeck) 64:00.

Total Shots: ND 7 (3-4), UM 9 (4-5)
Shots on Goal: ND 3, UM 5
Saves: ND 7 (Kaela Little
3 in 90:00), UM 3 (Sarah Jackson 3 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 2 (1-1), UM 2 (0-2)
Offsides: ND 0, UM 1
Fouls: ND 9 (5-4), UM 8 (3-5)
Yellow Cards: ND Jennifer Westendorf (85:51)
Attendance: 837

Records: ND 2-1-0; UM 2-0-1
Next for ND: vs. Western Michigan, 5:00 p.m. ET Sunday at Alumni Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)

— ND —

Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.