Aug. 30, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) scored less than four minutes into the second half, and sophomore midfielder Sabrina Flores (Livingston, N.J./Livingston) added an insurance goal in the 85th minute to help the No. 7/6 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team remain unbeaten this season with a 2-0 win over the University of Portland on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 1,017 fans at Alumni Stadium.
The Fighting Irish (4-0) finished with an 18-2 edge in total shots, including a 6-1 margin in shots on goal and an 8-1 spread on corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) made one save to record the first solo shutout of her young career, while UP netminder Hanna de Haan registered three saves and her defense added a team stop.
Portland (1-2) picked up single shots from Allison Weatherington and Hannah Griffiths Boston, the latter a harmless try from the top of the box that skipped in on Nicholas in the 63rd minute and marked just the second shot on target by a Fighting Irish opponent this season. Through four matches, Notre Dame is outshooting the opposition by a 100-5 margin, including a 47-2 difference in shots on goal.
“We talked about the things we needed to do in terms of playing against their shape, and in the second half, we came out and definitely brought that energy,” Fighting Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “The composure in that final third, and also running into the right spaces — that helped us get the goals.”
Facing Portland for just the second time in the past decade (and first time in South Bend since a 3-1 Notre Dame win in the 2004 NCAA Championship quarterfinals), the Fighting Irish stayed on the attack much of the afternoon, earning five of their eight corner kicks in the opening 20 minutes. However, Notre Dame had only two shots to show for that early effort, attempts from Jacobs and senior midfielder/tri-captain Glory Williams (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) that didn’t find the mark.
The best chance for either side in the first half came off the boot of junior forward Kaleigh Olmsted (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) in the 32nd minute, as she drilled a rising shot from the right channel that de Haan tracked well and tipped over the bar.
Notre Dame’s constant pressure paid off soon after the teams returned from the halftime break. After Jacobs just missed on a 1-v-1 try against de Haan 60 seconds into the second half, driving her shot straight at the Portland goalkeeper, Jacobs turned facilitator and found Gilbertson with a pass in the left channel. Gilbertson then found a crease on the edge of the area, angled towards the six-yard box and hammered a low shot past a diving de Haan inside the far right post (48:57).
The Fighting Irish had numerous chances to double their lead throughout the second half, most notably on a trio of headers — one by Jacobs on a flick on the 66th minute, and a pair from junior midfielder Sandra Yu (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit), the second in the 76th minute that just sailed over the bar.
Notre Dame finally got the added cushion it was seeking in the 85th minute. After a flurry of activity on the left side of the box, the ball squirted through the far right side where Gilbertson was unmarked and de Haan was out of position. Her bid for a brace was swept off the line by a Pilot defender, but the clearance pinballed to Flores near the penalty spot. She calmly settled the ball and clipped a low right-footed volley inside the right post before de Haan could recover (84:30), giving the Fighting Irish sophomore her first career goal.
The Notre Dame defense did the rest, closing out the program’s first shutout over Portland since Sept. 17, 2000 (a 1-0 win at old Alumni Field). It also marks the first time since 2011 the Fighting Irish have won both of their matches in the Notre Dame Invitational, which was played this weekend as a “classic format” with no champion crowned.
Notre Dame now hits the road for the first time in 2015, as it travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Friday for a 4 p.m. (ET) match against Western Michigan.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@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.
Season and single game tickets for Notre Dame women’s soccer are on sale now. Visit UND.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356.
#7/6 Notre Dame 2, Portland 0
Aug. 30, 2015
Notre Dame, Indiana (Alumni Stadium)
Portland 0 0 — 0
Notre Dame 0 2 — 2
Total Shots: UP 2 (1-1), ND 18 (5-13)
Shots on Goal: UP 1 (0-1), ND 6 (1-5)
Saves: UP 4 (Hanna de Haan 3, TEAM 1 in 90:00), ND 1 (Lexi Nicholas 1 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: UP 1 (1-0), ND 8 (6-2)
Fouls: UP 8 (4-4), ND 6 (4-2)
Offsides: UP 1, ND 1
Records: UP 1-2-0, ND 4-0-0
Next for ND: at Western Michigan, 4 p.m. (ET) Friday in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
— Chris Masters, Athletics Communications Associate Director