Oct. 26, 2014
No. 9/7 Notre Dame (12-4-1, 7-2 ACC) won its fifth straight conference match, clinching the fourth and final berth into next month’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in the process. The Fighting Irish held a 22-5 shots advantage over Louisville (7-8-2, 3-4-2 ACC), including an 8-3 cushion in shots on goal, and attempted four corner kicks while holding the Cardinals without a single corner try.
Sophomore forward Kaleigh Olmsted (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodland) started a great Notre Dame run at the tail end of the eighth minute, gaining the Louisville zone with pinpoint dribbling acumen through the Cardinal defense. A looping cross from Olmsted on the right wing found its way to a waiting Bohaboy, who headed home her second consecutive game-winning goal to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 8:10.
“Lauren had the goal, just a great header off Kaleigh’s cross,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “Kaleigh (made) that happen going 1V1 and Lo, again, finding herself in the right place at the right time. Great instincts around the goal to get there.”
Bohaboy’s goal was the highlight for a Notre Dame squad in control over the match’s first 45 minutes, with the Fighting Irish heading to the break holding a 11-4 shots edge on the scoreboard. It was more of the same for Notre Dame in the second half, controlling possession once more while holding Louisville to only one shot attempt.
“Today we showed up again, and we moved the ball well,” Romagnolo said. “We knew what was at stake and we wanted to play well not only to get to the ACC (Championship), but to finish the season strong for our seniors.”
Finishing strong was not necessarily a given after a hard-fought, physical struggle in a 1-0 ACC triumph over No. 20 Clemson on Thursday night. Given the short rest time to regroup for another competitive conference game, Romagnolo felt her team answered the call.
“I think they handled it well,” Romagnolo said. “It was Senior Day and they were excited to get a result for the seniors, but also to get a result to get into ACCs. I think they responded really well.”
The effort and drive displayed Sunday by the Fighting Irish was not lost on members of the team’s leadership base, either, notably junior midfielder/tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, New York/East Islip).
“I think our team has grown a lot since the beginning of the year,” Roccaro said. “Now we’re having that tenacity, we’re finishing games, we’re finding a way to win, and we’re putting goals in the net. We’re having shutout after shutout lately, so I think we have been doing really well, and this is only going to help with our momentum going into the postseason.”
Notre Dame had its best chance to tally an insurance goal in the 30th minute after a great through ball from sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford) found Olmsted in front near the left post. From the short angle, Olmsted rung the finish attempt past Louisville goalkeeper Paige Brown but off the far post, thwarting the Fighting Irish forward’s pursuit of her third goal of 2014.
It was all Notre Dame for the first 35 minutes of the second half before Louisville nearly found the equalizer in the 82nd minute. Midfielder Kari Weinland worked the ball into the left corner of the Notre Dame defense on the counter and sent a bending right-footed strike toward goal, but Fighting Irish sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley) dove to snag the ball out of midair for a crucial save.
Little made three saves during the full 90 minutes to post her 11th shutout of the season, and seventh clean sheet during ACC play. Little has not allowed a goal over her last 450 minutes in net, dating back to an Oct. 5 match against No. 4/5 Virginia.
The success of the Notre Dame netminder, and the Fighting Irish team as a whole, for stellar play in winning seven of the past eight matches can be attributed to one key trait.
“Consistency,” Romagnolo said. “The team that steps on the field right now, it’s the same team every given game. We’re bringing toughness and a desire to compete. We’re organized and we are getting a hold of the ball, which is something we are good at, so we want to be on the ball.”
Bohaboy and junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, California/Davis) led all players with five total shot attempts, with Bohaboy, Roccaro and Andrews each logging two shots on goal. Olmsted picked up her third assist of the season on Bohaboy’s goal, and added two shots of her own.
Notre Dame closes the 2014 regular season on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. (ET), traveling to Newton, Massachusetts to take on Boston College at the Newton Soccer Field. Even with one game remaining on the regular season slate, Romagnolo and the Fighting Irish are aware of the opportunities that will follow at the ACC Championship the following week in Greensboro, North Carolina.
National top five opponents Florida State, Virginia and North Carolina will provide Notre Dame with perhaps its toughest test since joining the ACC prior to the 2013 season, paving the road for what may lie beyond the conference tournament at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
“For me, it’s great because it means we’re playing some high RPI games,” Romagnolo said. “It’s preparing us for games that we’re going to see in the NCAA tournament. Those are all final four teams, potentially, that are all in it.”
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.
#9/7 Notre Dame 1, Louisville 0
Oct. 26, 2014
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
Louisville0 0 – 0
Notre Dame 1 0 – 1
ND 1.Lauren Bohaboy 7 (Kaleigh Olmsted) 8:10.
Total Shots:UL 5 (4-1), ND 22 (11-11)
Shots on Goal: UL 3 (2-1), ND 8 (2-6)
Saves: UL 7 (Paige Brown 7 in 90:00), ND 3 (Kaela Little 3 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: UL 0 (0-0), ND 4 (2-2)
Fouls: UL 10 (4-6), ND 5 (2-3)
Offsides: UL 2, ND 1
Records: UL 7-8-2, 3-4-2 ACC; ND 12-4-1, 7-2 ACC
Next for ND: At Boston College, 7 p.m. (ET) Nov. 1 at Newton Soccer Field.
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant