Sept. 28, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A fast start to the match was all the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team needed on Sunday, as a goal in the sixth minute from senior forward Karin Simonian (Westbury, New York/W.T. Clarke) carried the Fighting Irish to a 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) victory over Wake Forest at Spry Stadium.
No. 20/16 Notre Dame (7-3-1, 2-1 ACC) won in its first ever trip to Wake Forest (3-6-1, 1-2 ACC), improving to 4-0-1 all-time against the Demon Deacons. The Fighting Irish have earned a result in six of their last seven matches overall, posting a 5-1-1 mark during that span.
“I think it was huge to get that quick goal,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “It was a really heads-up play, Karin has a great finish, and I think it set the tone from there. We started the game very well, we were on top of them and had some chances. It was a nice reward for the energy that we brought at the start of the game.”
Notre Dame took the early lead after a hard run by sophomore Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford) earned a free kick straight on net from 25 yards out. Andrews was shaken up on the play, leaving the Fighting Irish with only 10 players on the field for the free kick. It mattered not, as junior defender Brittany Von Rueden (Mequon, Wisconsin/Divine Savior Holy Angels) rolled a short service left to Simonian, who completed a nice run into the box before beating Wake Forest goalkeeper Lindsay Preston with a strike into the right corner of the net for the 1-0 Notre Dame lead at 5:22.
“We had a hard decision in deciding if we were going to run that play or not, because we haven’t done it in a month or so,” Simonian said. “We were on and off whether I should take the free kick or if Brit should take it, but then Anna (Maria Gilbertson) stepped up and said let’s do ‘The Play.’ We discussed it two days ago with Coach to try the play with Virginia Tech but we didn’t have the opportunity. We saw it and were like, what was there to lose if we didn’t try, and we got exactly what we wanted out of it.
“(Wake Forest’s) positioning, the way they set their wall and how they had a sub wall deeper behind that, was perfect for how we wanted the play to go,” Simonian added.
Being able to recognize the scenario on the fly, and having confidence in her players to make that kind of a call on the field and execute to perfection, made Romagnolo beam after the match.
“We work on a lot of different set pieces, but the great thing about that goal is they recognized it was on,” Romagnolo said. “They were able to play it without us screaming to set it up, and at the end of the day we try to give them plenty of options. They are good enough players to be able to assess what the best option is.”
Simonian capped a successful weekend ACC road trip with her first points of the season, picking up the winning assist on Thursday at No. 2/3 Virginia Tech before connecting on the only score Sunday to open her 2014 goal account.
“We’ve tried to be in the box as much as we can,” Simonian said. “I know Anna had a few times, and Lauren (Bohaboy) had a few chances, but I wanted to get that deflection goal if they didn’t put it in. We could have put a few more goals in the back of the net tonight.
“For me and the rest of the forwards, we have been switching off on our runs,” Simonian added. “We have done so well the past week with the forwards actually connecting. That had been a problem the past few games. This weekend we found it and it clicked, and we got the result that we wanted to. We could have scored a few more goals this weekend, but we will take the win.”
The Demon Deacons looked to answer in the 12th minute after Riley Ridgik got loose behind the Notre Dame back line. Ridgik stuck a solid attempt from 10 yards out, but the ball skipped into the grasp of diving sophomore keeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley).
Wake Forest continued to apply the pressure as the half progressed, as a lob from distance by Jenai Davidson in the 21st minute sailed into the grasp of Little. Kim Marshall added a try from deep in the 24th minute that missed wide to the right.
The Fighting Irish nearly added their second goal of the contest in the 36th minute. Simonian found freshman Katie Uhler (San Antonio, Texas/Saint Mary’s Hall) moving up the left wing. Uhler served a perfect cross toward the front for streaking senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, California/Santa Margarita), but a Bohaboy header rang off the crossbar.
The near conversion was one of many heads-up plays by the Notre Dame front line during the contest, finding a collective groove after Simonian’s early goal.
“I think for everyone, scoring gives them a little more confidence,” Simonian said. “I am going to do whatever it takes to help the team win, whether it’s an assist or a goal, I am just looking for the win and what’s best for the team.”
Wake Forest had its best run of the opening period in the 42nd minute. Katie Dry sprung free down the right side unimpeded on her way toward goal and tried to beat Little short side, but the Fighting Irish keeper cut down the angle and made the stop.
Bohaboy looked to complete a Notre Dame run in the 49th minute, working toward the top left of the 18-yard box. A stiff right-footed try from the Fighting Irish senior attacker just barely cleared the crossbar and flew into the netting behind the goal to halt the Notre Dame attack.
The Demon Deacons had a great shot attempt off the foot of Claudia Day at the top of the box in the 57th minute, but her try carried over the top of the frame. Notre Dame had a chance of its own on the counterattack in the 59th minute with Bohaboy working down the left side, and a cross into the six for Simonian was deflected out of play by the Wake Forest goalkeeper Preston.
Freshman defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, New Jersey/Livingston) won possession on the left sideline as Wake Forest tried to clear the ball in the 67th minute, serving a great ball from the left end line out front to senior Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior). Schneider’s shot on the doorstep was deflected out of bounds by the Demon Deacon back line.
A flick header by freshman Ginny McGowan (Lake Forest, Illinois/Lake Forest) off a corner kick in the 71st minute found its way into classmate Taylor Klawunder (Coto de Caza, California/Santa Margarita). Klawunder’s own header was deflected over the end line to stall the scoring surge.
Notre Dame finished the contest with a 16-12 edge in shots, including an 11-5 margin during the second half. The Fighting Irish also held the advantage in shots on goal (7-4) and corner kicks (7-3).
“I was super proud of our effort in the second half,” Romagnolo said. “It was a really hot day and we used a lot of our bench, and I felt everyone came in and contributed. It really raised the intensity level, and we kept it up for the duration of the game.”
Junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, California/Davis) provided Notre Dame with its best chance of the second half, showing some great footwork down the left sideline to beat the Wake Forest defense. A rocket shot from the right foot of Gilbertson was turned aside by Preston, and Simonian was unable to connect on the rebound in front of the net for her second goal of the afternoon.
“Simonian brings great control to the game,” Romagnolo said. “She’s able to possess for us and she’s a great playmaker. She is also dangerous around the goal as you saw this weekend, in terms of setting people up and even scoring herself. For me, she is a great player that we can play in a lot of different positions.”
Wake Forest threatened in the 86th minute following a corner kick, with Kendall Fischlein throwing a high lob up for grabs in the box. Little skied to the spot to bring down the pass and turn away the Demon Deacons in tight.
Simonian led all players in the match with four total shots, including three shots on goal. Bohaboy and Schneider added three shot attempts each.
Little made four saves during the full 90 minutes in net to post her sixth shutout of the season.
Notre Dame hosts No. 3/2 Virginia on Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. The Cavaliers entered play on Sunday as the only team in Division I women’s soccer without a blemish on their 2014 record (10-0-0).
“We’ll enjoy this win, and then take some time off and start to prepare for Virginia,” Romagnolo said. “We’ll make sure we’re fresh and have our energy going into that game.”
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.
#20/16 Notre Dame 1, Wake Forest 0
Sept. 28, 2014
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Spry Stadium)
Notre Dame 1 0 – 1
Wake Forest 0 0 – 0
Total Shots: ND 16 (5-11), WF 12 (7-5)
Shots on Goal: ND 7 (1-6), WF 4 (3-1)
Saves: ND 4 (Kaela Little 4 in 90:00), WF 6 (Lindsay Preston 6 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 7 (1-6), WF 3 (0-3)
Fouls: ND 6 (3-3), WF 9 (5-4)
Offsides: ND 5, WF 2
Records: ND 7-3-1, 2-1 ACC; WF 3-6-1, 1-2 ACC
Next for ND: Vs. No. 3/2 Virginia, 1 p.m. (ET) Oct. 5 at Alumni Stadium