Aug. 29, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A strong offensive showing and wise defensive decision-making propelled the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team past Western Michigan on Monday, with the Irish recording a convincing 3-0 victory over the Broncos.
The Irish outshot the Broncos 22-7, including 9-3 in shots on goal. A Western Michigan own goal, plus goals from junior forwards Karin Muya and Meghan Doyle lifted the Irish to their third shut out of the season.
Player of the Game
Karin Muya made her presence known on nearly every Irish scoring play Monday, earning credit for her first goal of the season in the 38th minute. Muya added an assist later in the game as her shot attempt rebounded off the goalkeeper and found the foot of Meghan Doyle for the goal.
On her scoring play, Muya connected with senior midfielder Cindy Pineda, who entered the game just two minutes earlier. Pineda gathered a loose ball in the middle of the field on the Irish offensive end and threaded a beautiful through ball into the box for Karin Muya. The junior forward followed the pass into the box, juked her defender and fired it past Bronco goalkeeper Stephanie Heber to give the Irish a 2-0 lead on her first goal since the 2014 season.
Play of the Game
Despite two first-half goals, the Irish really started to find an offensive rhythm in the second half. It paid off in the 52nd minute as the Irish stymied a Bronco burst toward midfield and worked to keep possession in the offensive third. After gathering a through pass up the sideline from senior forward Kaleigh Olmsted, Muya’s initial cross in front of the net deflected off a Bronco defender, but Muya regained possession and again sent one over the middle for junior forward Meghan Doyle. The pass was first batted away by Western Michigan goalkeeper Stephanie Heber, but Doyle fired on the rebound and popped it into the back of the net. The goal was initially called offsides but overturned upon discussion among the officials.
For the second time in three games, the Irish took advantage of an opponent miscue to take an early lead on an own goal. Similar to last Sunday’s game against Wisconsin, Olmsted got behind the Western Michigan defense and attempted a cross in front of the net. Rather than find the foot of a teammate, the ball caromed off a Bronco defender and into the near post to give the Irish a 1-0 lead and all the momentum.
Coach Theresa.Romagnolo Says
On the mindset coming in after Thursday’s loss to Michigan…
“We’re excited to continue to get better and I felt that we did that tonight. We had a couple nice sequences; movement was better off the ball; we connected more passes. I thought Karin Muya and Cindy Pineda had great games and I thought those two were really combining well and making that simple pass.”
On the play of Karin Muya…
“I thought she was buzzing, very active. She created a lot for herself and made some great passes, so I thought she played well.”
On the looking ahead to next weekend against Illinois State and Missouri…
“We want to continue to improve. There are some things in a game where we want to keep getting better, in terms of decision-making. Our decision-making out of the back was better (today) and I thought we didn’t force it as much as we have been. We just want to continue to read different situations. I think these two teams will give us some different systems and we’ll have to read those.”
Note of the Game
Meghan Doyle’s second-half goal was the second of her career. Her first career goal came almost exactly one year ago (Sept. 4, 2015), also against Western Michigan.
#12 Notre Dame 3, Western Michigan 0
August 29, 2016
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
Notre Dame 2 1 — 3
Western Michigan 0 0 — 0
Total Shots: ND 22 (7-15), WMU 7 (2-5)
Shots on Goal: ND 8, WMU 3
Saves: ND 3 (Kaela Little 1 in 72:35; Lexi Nicholas 1 in 17:25), WMU 6 (Stephanie Heber 6 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 7 (1-6), WMU 6 (2-4)
Offsides: ND 3, WMU 2
Fouls: ND 8 (3-5), WMU 6 (3-3)
Records: ND 3-1-0; WMU 2-1-0
Next for ND: vs. Illinois State, 7:00 p.m. ET Friday 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.