Head coach Theresa Romagnolo will coach her first regular season match at Notre Dame on Friday against Illinois

#16/11 Irish Travel To #RV/NR Illinois For Season Opening Matinee On Friday

Aug. 21, 2014

Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

2014 Notre Dame Women’s Soccer – Match 1
#16/11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-8-1 in 2013 / 7-5-1 ACC) vs. #RV/NR Illinois Fighting Illini (11-9-3 in 2013 / 5-5-1 Big Ten)

DATE: August 22, 2014
Champaign, Ill. (Illinois Soccer Stadium – cap. 2,000)
TWITTER: @NDsoccernews
TEXT ALERT: Sign up at UND.com


  • Notre Dame is 22-3-1 (.865) all-time in season openers, including a 12-2-1 (.833) mark since 1999.
  • The Fighting Irish open the season against a Big Ten Conference Opponent for the eighth consecutive year (5-1-1 in previous seven matches).

Following two exhibition matches and multiple weeks of fall training camp practices, the curtain is finally ready to go up for the 2014 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer season. The No. 16/11 Fighting Irish officially begin the regular season on Friday at noon (CT) against No. RV/NR Illinois at the Illinois Soccer Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

Live stats for the match will be available through UND.com, with Twitter updates throughout the contest @NDsoccernews.

Notre Dame returns 22 veterans (18 monogram winners) from last season’s 13-8-1 squad that finished fifth in the final Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) standings. Seven regular starters are back in the Fighting Irish fold in 2014, as are 36 of 45 goals and 100 of 133 possible points from a year ago.

Friday’s contest will be the first regular season tilt for new Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo, who begins her tenure after serving the previous three years at the helm of the Dartmouth College women’s program (25-22-3 record). Romagnolo, just the fourth head coach in the history of Notre Dame women’s soccer, is joined by assistant coaches Dawn Siergiej (12th season) and Diego Bocanegra (first season).

Notre Dame holds a slim 2-1 advantage in a limited series history with Illinois, splitting matches with the Fighting Illini in each of the last two seasons. Notre Dame raced out to a 3-0 first half lead in the 2013 season opening matchup between the teams, ultimately holding on for a 4-1 victory on Aug. 23 at Alumni Stadium in the most recent meeting in the series.

Illinois also kicks off its 2014 campaign on Friday, returning 13 letterwinners and seven starters from last season’s 11-9-3 team that finished tied for fifth place in the Big Ten Conference (5-5-1). Senior forward Jannelle Flaws led all Fighting Illini scorers last season with 23 goals as a redshirt junior, claiming Big Ten Forward of the Year accolades.

Notre Dame will open its 2014 home schedule on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) against Oakland. The contest will be streamed live through WatchND.tv, and the WatchND app.

To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2013 Notre Dame women’s soccer season, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on match days.

For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s soccer Twitter pages (@ndsoccernews or @ndsoccer), like the program on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.

Illinois enters Friday’s match receiving votes in the preseason NSCAA top 25 poll after finishing 11-9-3 in 2013. The Illini tied for fifth place in the final Big Ten standings last season with a 5-5-1 conference mark.

Senior forward Jannelle Flaws returns as the leading Illinois scorer from one year ago after tallying an impressive 23 goals as a redshirt junior, earning Big Ten Forward of the Year recognition. Flaws also was named to the all-Big Ten and NSCAA Great Lakes all-region first teams.

Sophomore goalkeeper Claire Wheatley played all but 51 minutes in net during her freshman season in 2013, compiling an 11-9-2 record and 2.14 goals against average in 23 games. Wheatley also recorded one solo shutout, and was involved in a pair of shared clean sheets last season.

Notre Dame owns the all-time series lead between the two teams 2-1-0, with each club holding a home win over the other during NCAA Championship play.

Despite playing without leading goal scorer Brittany Bock, Notre Dame earned a 2-0 victory over Illinois in the first-ever meeting between the teams during the second round of the NCAA Championship on Nov. 18, 2007. The Fighting Irish finished with a 13-10 edge in total shots and 6-3 in shots on goal, with Illinois attempting many of its shots in the late stages of the game after committing more players into the attack.

Notre Dame took over the series lead with a 4-1 win in last season’s home opening contest at Alumni Stadium.

Freshman Kaleigh Olmsted collected a goal and an assist in her first college match to help No. 10/5 Notre Dame roll to a 4-1 victory over No. RV/25 Illinois in the season opener for both teams on Aug. 23, 2013 at Alumni Stadium.

The Fighting Irish featured a balanced scoring attack, as junior forward Lauren Bohaboy, sophomore forward Anna Maria Gilbertson and senior defender/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker also opened their goal scoring accounts on Friday. Junior forward Karin Simonian earned a point by picking up the assist on Bohaboy’s tally.

Notre Dame nearly doubled up Illinois in total shots (25-13) and shots on goal (13-7), while compiling a 6-1 edge on corner kicks. The Fighting Irish also had twice as many fouls as the visitors (8-4), although Illinois did receive the lone yellow card of the match.

Another Fighting Irish freshman, goalkeeper Kaela Little, registered her first collegiate win, going the distance in the Notre Dame net and making six saves.

Illinois avoided the shutout on Casey Conine’s goal in the 66th minute. Fighting Illini goalkeeper Claire Wheatley was under duress for much of the night and finished with nine saves.

A pair of second half goals erased what was an early deficit for Notre Dame, as freshman forward Kaitlin Klawunder scored the equalizer with less than three minutes remaining in a 2-2 draw at Northwestern last Saturday at Lakeside Field. The Fighting Irish closed the 2014 preseason with a 6-0-2 mark in their last eight exhibition games, and are now a combined 14-3-4 against college opponents during the preseason since 1999.

Notre Dame posted a 10-4 shot advantage over Northwestern during the match, controlling the run of play in the second half with a 7-1 edge in total shots. The Fighting Irish also managed five shots on goal to the three of the host Wildcats, and earned four corner kicks to just one for Northwestern.

After failing to score a goal on its first five team shots of the match, Notre Dame tied the contest with two goals on five shots over the game’s final 30 minutes.

-Forward Kaitlin Klawunder became the only Fighting Irish freshman to tally a goal during the exhibition slate with her equalizer in the 88th minute. Defender/midfielder Sabrina Flores and forward Meghan Doyle also added assists during the two preseason matches.

Notre Dame will begin the 2014 regular season with a full roster after junior tri-captains Cari Roccaro and Katie Naughton re-joined the team on Monday after competing for the United States in the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. The U.S. U-20 WNT fell to Korea 3-1 in penalties after drawing 1-1 in the knockout stage of the tournament last Saturday.

Roccaro, who served as team captain in each of the four matches of the U-20 World Cup, and Naughton played the full 390 plus minutes on the U.S. back line throughout the tournament.

The Theresa Romagnolo era will officially begin for the Notre Dame women’s soccer program on Friday at Illinois, the first-year Fighting Irish head coach’s regular season debut match. Romagnolo will try to continue a first match, first win precedent established early in the team’s varsity history.

Of the three previous head coaches in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, two skippers led the Fighting Irish to victory in the first game he coached at the university. Dennis Grace led Notre Dame to a 5-1 win over IU-South Bend on Sept. 1, 1988 in the program’s first varsity game at Moose Krause Stadium. Chris Petrucelli equaled the feat two years later with a 5-1 win against Northeast Missouri State on Sept. 2, 1990 to open old Alumni Field.

The only Fighting Irish head coach not to win in the first match of his tenure was two-time national championship mentor Randy Waldrum, who fell 3-2 in double overtime to No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 3, 1999 at old Alumni Field.

Notre Dame will officially lift the lid on the 2014 home season when the Fighting Irish welcome Oakland to Alumni Stadium on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. (ET). The match will be streamed live on WatchND.tv. Notre Dame defeated Oakland 4-0 last season in the most recent series meeting.