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#20 Irish Battle Santa Clara To Scoreless Draw

Sept. 10, 2016

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By Joanne Norell

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Strong defensive play and gritty determination down the stretch marked the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team’s efforts Friday evening as the No. 20 Fighting Irish scrapped to a scoreless draw in double overtime against Santa Clara at Buck Shaw Field at Stevens Stadium.

The Irish outshot the Broncos 12-8, but held Santa Clara scoreless despite the Broncos’ 6-3 edge in shots on goal. It was the sixth shutout of the season for the Irish, who moved to 5-1-1 on the season.

Players of the Game

Senior goalkeeper Kaela Little was once again steadfast in her job between the posts, snatching six saves to preserve her sixth shutout of the year. She was aided by the stout defense of her teammates, particularly sophomore center back Rachel Heard, who made three spectacular clears deep in the defensive zone to save chances for Santa Clara. Senior midfielder Sandra Yu gave the Irish a strong night offensively, firing four shots to lead the team’s efforts.

Play of the Game

In the 50th minute, the Santa Clara offense got behind the Irish line, creating traffic in front of the Irish net. The shot from Bronco forward Jenna Roering pin-balled into two Irish defenders and fluttered toward the goal line, but Irish senior goalkeeper Kaela Little smothered the chance to preserve the shutout to that point.

Turning Point

The Broncos came out attacking in the first overtime, firing two shots midway through the period, both of which hit on frame. Little made a pair of saves and the Irish managed to flip the field and keep Santa Clara out of the offensive end for the rest of the stanza. The Broncos would get just one more chance on a free kick in the second overtime that hit just over the net, but the Irish were otherwise defensively sound.

Coach Theresa Romagnolo Says

On the defensive mentality…
“I thought we defended well and that we got more organized as the game went on in terms of taking away the midfield and keeping them out wide. I thought we dealt with balls in the box really well, clearing them and dealing with loose balls. I thought Kaela made some great plays as well to keep the shutout.”

On the overall effort…
“I thought it was a great battle. I think they’re a good team, we’re a good team, and in a game like that, you’re not going to get a lot of chances. We had a couple chances we could have put away, but we didn’t, but so did they. I was proud of the way that we fought and were scrappy. It was a good game.”

Note of the Game

The Irish played in their first overtime game of the season Friday. The Irish were 1-2-1 in overtime games last season and haven’t played to a scoreless draw since September 7, 2014, when they blanked Stanford in Palo Alto, California. The Irish play No. 2 Stanford on Sunday.

#20 Notre Dame 0, Santa Clara 0
September 9, 2016
Santa Clara, Calif. (Stevens Stadium – Buck Shaw Field)

Notre Dame 0 0 0 0 — 0
Santa Clara 0 0 0 0 — 0

Total Shots: ND 12 (8-4-0-0), SCU 8 (1-4-2-1)
Shots on Goal: ND 3 (1-2-0-0), SCU 6 (1-3-2-0)
Saves: ND 6 (Kaela Little 6 in 110:00), SCU 3 (Melissa Crowder 3 in 110:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 9 (4-3-0-2), SCU 3 (2-1-0-0)
Offsides: ND 1, SCU 1
Fouls: ND 14 (3-9-2), SCU 10 (7-1-2)
Yellow Cards: SCU (Jenna Holtz, 32:17). ND (Karin Muya, 51:40)

Records: ND 5-1-1; SCU 2-2-3
Next for ND: vs. No. 2 Stanford (6-0-0), 2:00 p.m. ET Sunday at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium (Stanford, Calif.)

— ND —

Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.