Oct. 8, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame women’s soccer junior Sandra Yu gave the Irish an early lead, and a strong Irish attack stymied any hope for Syracuse on Thursday as the No. 16/1 Irish defeated the Orange 1-0 at Alumni Stadium.
Playing on the Irish front line to provide an offensive spark, Yu notched the only Irish goal when she headed home sophomore defender Monica Flores’ perfectly placed cross from 25 yards. Yu punched it in from around the six on the back post and into the left corner to put the Irish up 1-0 in the 16th minute.
Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo used a pair of lineup changes in the hopes of getting an Irish offense that had stalled the past two games moving again. Romagnolo moved the dynamic Yu up front, replacing her in the midfield with sophomore Ginny McGowan, who had started the previous two games at outside back. Flores moved back into the starting lineup on defense after playing the last two games off the bench.
“We were looking to mix it up,” Romagnolo said. “We hadn’t scored in the last two games. … I was happy with what I saw. We have so many talented players that on any given day, different people can step up and have an impact.”
After spending the first five minutes of the game on the defense, the Irish (9-3-1, 2-3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game. Notre Dame kept the ball in their attacking half for nearly the entirety of the contest, building an 18-1 edge over the Orange (4-9-1, 0-5-0 ACC) in shots, including a 6-0 advantage in shots on goal.
Yu’s goal came on the first shot of the game for the Irish, who would go on to take a 6-0 lead in shots into the half.
“It was kind of different for me today being up front instead of in the midfield, and sometimes you don’t really know what to do, but the one thing you can do is work,” Yu said. “I think that’s one thing we all did up front today. We just continued to work and eventually we got one in. I think a lot of our success today was due to our movement and playing off the ball for each other. We were combining a lot more and connecting and I think that really helped us.”
Romagnolo saw more energized play on offense than had been evident in Notre Dame’s previous two matches, in which they couldn’t manage a score. McGowan and Sabrina Flores were active in the midfield, allowing the forwards to attack, while outside backs Monica Flores and Brittany Von Rueden got up on the attack as well, with Flores providing the ball that would become the decisive goal.
“I like the rhythm that we had today,” Romagnolo said. “I thought that we were connecting between the lines better. … We just created a lot of great chances and I think we definitely could have had some more goals, but that’s the first step: creating opportunities and getting shots off, so I was happy to see that tonight.”
Yu finished with three shots, including two on goal, while senior Anna Maria Gilbertson led all players with seven shots and two on target. Sabrina Flores tallied five shots on the night (two shots on goal), a new career best.
The Irish will be back in action at 1 p.m. ET Sunday when they take on Boston College at Alumni Stadium.
#16/6 Notre Dame 1, Syracuse 0
Oct. 8, 2015
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
Syracuse 0 0 — 0
Notre Dame 1 0 — 1
Total Shots: ND 18 (7-11), SU 1 (0-1)
Shots on Goal: ND 7, SU 0
Saves: ND 0 (Kaela Little 0 in 90:00), SU 5 (Courtney Brosnan 5 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 6 (3-3), SU 5 (3-2)
Fouls: ND 2, SU 3
Offsides: ND 0, SU 0
Records: ND 9-3-1, 1-3-0 ACC; SU 4-9-1, 0-5-0 ACC
Next for ND: vs. Boston College, Sunday, October 11 at 1 p.m. ET at Alumni Stadium
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.
Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant