Sept. 20, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 18/12 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team stormed out to a two-goal halftime lead against No. 9/8 North Carolina, but the visiting Tar Heels rallied with two goals of their own, then slipped out of South Bend with a 3-2 double-overtime victory on Kat Nigro’s goal in the 101st minute on Saturday night before a raucous crowd of 2,024 fans in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opener for both teams at Alumni Stadium.
Saturday’s defeat marked the first time in 27 seasons of Notre Dame women’s soccer that the Fighting Irish lost after taking a 2-0 lead. That astonishing statistic included 326 consecutive wins when leading by two goals and a 351-0-1 all-time record with that 2-0 advantage.
Sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) helped stake the Fighting Irish (5-3-1, 0-1-0 ACC) to their early lead, scoring on a penalty kick in the 30th minute, and then assisting on a goal by freshman midfielder Taylor Klawunder (Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita) in the 40th minute. It was the first time since a 2006 match against Connecticut that UNC found itself trailing by two goals in the first half.
“We played one of the best first halves I have ever seen us play,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “I think we showed a lot of our potential, and (going into) the second half we talked about some of the things we were doing well, and what needed to continue to do.”
North Carolina (4-2-1, 1-0-0) broke through for its first goal in the 61st minute, as Cameron Castleberry poked in a delivery from Emily Bruder. The Tar Heels then tied the game with 14:13 left in regulation when Joanna Boyles curled in a free kick from 24 yards out.
That set the stage for Nigro’s golden goal in the second overtime, which started with Boyles finding Castleberry on a lead pass down the right flank. Castleberry then crossed a pass through the heart of the penalty area and, when Irish senior defender/tri-captain Sammy Scofield (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) slipped on the wet turf, it left Nigro with a 10-yard shot left of center that she tucked inside the left post.
Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Okla./Bishop Kelley) turned in a stellar night between the pipes, making five saves, including a pair of point-blank stops to keep her team in front for the balance of the evening. UNC netminder Bryane Heaberlin turned aside two shots for the visitors, who rallied from a two-goal first-half deficit to win for just the fourth time since 1999.
North Carolina secured the match’s first true scoring chance, as Megan Buckingham worked her way in behind to Notre Dame defense to set up a strong strike at frame. A sprawling Little turned the shot aside for a huge first save of the night, and Notre Dame was able to safely clear the defensive zone.
It was Andrews’ turn to answer at the other end, following a beautiful left-footed serve from the left flank by freshman defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, N.J./Livingston). Andrews connected on a strong header toward the back of the net, but Heaberlin recovered to toss the attempt away before it crossed the goal line.
Andrews earned her second penalty kick opportunity in as many matches following a competitive tussle inside the 18-yard box. The Fighting Irish midfielder struck the ball true from the spot for her second straight penalty kick conversion, and team-leading fourth goal of 2014, to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 29:41.
It took a little more than 10 minutes for Notre Dame to beak through for its second goal. Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) sent a perfect left-footed cross from the left corner into the six-yard box that Andrews centered with a header. Much as she did on her first career goal in the season opener at Illinois on Aug. 22, Klawunder alertly reacted from straight on at the top of the six, finishing the double service at 39:59 to extend the Fighting Irish advantage to 2-0.
Notre Dame had its best look in overtime following a looping Flores corner kick into the box from the left corner. After the ball spilled out to toward the top left of the 18, Flores booted a left-footed chance that sailed high and wide to the left in the 96th minute.
“Overall, I was very proud of the effort we brought,” Romagnolo said. “We had flashes of some of the best soccer we’ve played all year, and some of the best defending we have done all year. We’ve got to remember what’s working when we come out of a half, or if there is a long game, and continue to bring that defensive intensity and pressure.”
Notre Dame returns to action at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it heads to Blacksburg, Va., for an ACC match against No. 2/3 Virginia Tech at Thompson Field.
To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2014 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 Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDSoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
#9/8 North Carolina 3, #18/12 Notre Dame 2 (2OT)
Sept. 20, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
North Carolina 0 2 0 1 – 3
Notre Dame 2 0 0 0 – 2
ND 1. Morgan Andrews 4 (PK) 29:41. ND 2. Taylor Klawunder 2 (Andrews, Lauren Bohaboy) 39:59. NC 1. Cameron Castleberry 1 (Emily Bruder) 60:43. NC 2. Joanna Boyles 1 (-) 75:47. NC 3. Kat Nigro 1 (Castleberry, Boyles) 100:27.
Total Shots: NC 18 (7-9-1-1), ND 10 (5-3-2-0)
Shots on Goal: NC 8 (2-5-0-1), ND 4 (3-0-1-0)
Saves: NC 2 (Bryane Heaberlin 2 in 100:27), ND 5 (Kaela Little 5 in 100:27)
Corner Kicks: NC 4 (0-3-1-0), ND 4 (2-1-1-0)
Fouls: NC 10 (5-4-1-0), ND 11 (4-7-0-0)
Yellow Cards: Joanna Boyles (NC, 79:04); Morgan Andrews (ND, 80:38); Satara Murray (NC, 96:05); Brooke Elby (NC, 96:05)
Offsides: NC 0, ND 1
Records: NC 4-2-1, ND 5-3-1
Next for ND: At Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday at Thompson Field