Oct. 16, 2015

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame women’s soccer senior Anna Maria Gilbertson continued to make her case for All-Atlantic Coast Conference consideration, and the No. 14/9 Irish gave themselves plenty of offensive opportunities Friday in a 1-0 victory over Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium.

Gilbertson sunk her team-leading eighth goal of the season and accounted for half of Notre Dame’s shot total with eight fires as the Irish (11-3-1, 4-3-0 ACC) moved above .500 in ACC play for the first time this season.

“Anna’s so talented,” Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “She can score in a lot of different ways. She’s got great pace; she’s a great one-on-one defender; she can score with either foot; she can bend it in; she can score with power. Anna’s incredibly talented and she’s an exciting player to watch.”

The ACC’s shots leader with 82, Gilbertson also came in at a fourth-place tie in the league in goals entering the day. Friday’s goal moved her into a third-place tie with Miami’s Gracie Lachowecki.

The Irish began the game fast, getting off their first shot within a minute of the opening kick when junior Sandra Yu got by a Wake Forest defender and poked a ball toward goalkeeper Nonie Frishette, who tipped it aside and out of bounds on the back line.

Notre Dame continued its assault on the offensive end, amassing nine shots in the game’s first 35 minutes before finding pay dirt on the 10th.

The Irish finally broke through in the 36th minute as sophomore midfielder Sabrina Flores corralled a loose ball from around 30 yards out and slotted it up the left side for a charging Gilbertson. The Irish senior carried the ball from the top of the box until she was about 10 yards out, then buried it into the right corner to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.

“Especially in the first half, I thought Sabrina was just spreading the balls around really well,” Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “Our forwards were making really nice runs behind the back four, so we had a fair amount of chances and Sabrina was pulling the strings in there. … She had a great pass and Anna had a fantastic finish, so I think we were creating some good chances and putting the ball in the mix.”

Notre Dame got one more good look to end the first half, as freshman Natalie Jacob chased a ball down the left sideline and drove into the box from the corner, but her shot was tipped over the net by Wake Forest goalkeeper Nonie Frishette with just over a minute left.

Wake Forest managed to tamp down the Irish attack a bit in the second half, but Notre Dame still came away with a 5-3 advantage in the final 45 minutes. The Demon Deacons put a pair of shots on frame in the final minutes, but neither posed particular difficulty to Irish keeper Kaela Little, who posted her third straight solo shutout and lowered her goals against average to 0.41.

The Irish nearly won the game by a 3-0 margin, but a pair of apparent second-half goals were waved off. The first came off the foot of Yu early in the second half, but was called out of bounds before the apparent assist. The second was a rocket from the top of the box by Natalie Jacobs, but the Irish were called off-sides.

“I was happy with the scoring chances, I just think we need to put the ones away that we have,” Romagnolo said. “The other thing [we need to do] is at the end of the game possessing in the right areas of the field, putting the ball in the corners and holding it and taking care of the game better so we’re not dealing with balls lumped at us in our box at the end of the game.”

The Irish will look to win their fourth in a row on Thursday when they travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to face the No. 7 Tar Heels. North Carolina lost its third straight game on Friday to Duke.

Season and single game tickets for Notre Dame women’s soccer are on sale now. Visit UND.com/tickets, or call the Murnane Family Ticket office at 574-631-7356.

For the latest Fighting Irish women’s soccer coverage, be sure to log on to UND.com, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Soccer on Facebook.

#14/9 Notre Dame 1, Wake Forest 0
Oct. 16, 2015
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

Wake Forest 0 0 — 0
Notre Dame 1 0 — 1

ND1. Anna Maria Gilbertson 8 (Sabrina Flores) 35:03.

Total Shots: ND 16 (11-5), WF 3 (0-3)
Shots on Goal: ND 8, WF 2
Saves: ND 2 (Kaela Little
2 in 90:00), WF 7 (Nonie Frishette 5 in 45:00; Lindsay Preston 2 in 45:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 10 (6-4), WF 1 (0-1)
Fouls: ND 8, WF 7
Offsides: ND 4, WF 1
Attendance: 1,246
Yellow Cards: ND (Katie Naughton) 47:10
Records: ND 11-3-1, 4-3-0 ACC; WF 4-10-1, 1-6-0 ACC
Next for ND: vs. North Carolina, October 22 at 7 p.m. ET at Fetzer Field (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant