Aug. 18, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 18 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team ended its season-opener in a 0-0 draw against Butler on Friday at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish midfield controlled the attack for much of the contest, giving Notre Dame’s offense numerous shots from all over the field. Freshmen Eva Hurm and Sammi Fisher and sophomore Jennifer Westendorf combined to take 10 shots on the night.
The return of juniors Sabrina Flores and Natalie Jacobs to the Irish roster impacted the midfield immediately, evident by the team’s control of possession. As a team, Notre Dame totaled 15 shots, including four shots on goal.
Flores connected with her teammates on multiple corner kicks, but Notre Dame was unable to capitalize throughout the match.
Notre Dame sophomore goalkeeper Brooke Littman saw her first career action, making her first start and collecting two saves. Littman defended the goal for the entire 110 minutes and recorded the shutout.
The Bulldogs took six shots – two on goal – and tallied four corner kicks in the match.
Coach Romagnolo said…
On her thoughts about Notre Dame’s opportunities offensively…
“A lack of quality is what summed up the game for me. We had some people coming back from injury, so they hadn’t necessarily gotten a lot of practice minutes. As a whole, in the final third, we lacked quality on our first touch, on our final pass and on our runs. It was just lacking.
“I expect more from this group. I expect them to bring more, and I expect them to execute. And they expect that of themselves.”
On Littman’s first career start…
“She was great. I was really proud of her,” Romagnolo said. “She did the simple things, and I thought she made good decisions. She got her first shutout.”
On adjustments the team needs to make going forward…
“[This team] knows what they need to do. They know what they need to do. They need to play harder in the final third. They need to bring some composure and some quality. Those are the two things they need to bring in the final third.”
- The Irish are 10-0-1 against Butler and control a 6-0-1 record at home versus the Bulldogs.
- Notre Dame is now 25-3-2 in season openers all-time. The Irish are 10-2-1 at home in the first game of the season. Dating back to 1999, Notre Dame is 15-2-2.
- Notre Dame outshot Butler 15-6. The Irish tallied eight shots to the Bulldogs one in the first half.
- Four Irish student-athletes made their collegiate debut, including Littman, Fisher, Hurm and freshman Kate O’Connor.
Coming Up Next
The Irish return to action at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, when they host Ball State at Alumni Stadium. The match will be broadcast by the ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.
Notre Dame and Ball State will square off for the first time in program history.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.