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Early Goals Spur #24 Irish to Victory

Aug. 27, 2017

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By Megan Golden

IOWA CITY, Iowa — On a dreary day in Iowa, the No. 24 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team recorded its third shutout in a 2-0 victory over Iowa at the Iowa Soccer Complex on Sunday.

Just two days after tying Minnesota 1-1 in a neutral-site contest, the Irish returned to the win column in their first true road match of the season.

Notre Dame improves to 2-0 all-time against the Hawkeyes.

How It Happened

Notre Dame’s offense got off to an early start against the Hawkeyes, controlling the ball and attacking Iowa’s defense for much of the first half.

Sophomore Jennifer Westendorf took a corner kick in the 12th minute of the game, which landed at the feet of graduate student Sandra Yu and ultimately was scored by junior Sabrina Flores. The goal was the first of the season for Flores. Yu was credited with her second assist of the season on the play.

The Irish continued attacking the goal, and just one minute later, sophomore Natalie Jacobs drew a foul in the box. Jacobs scored on the penalty kick (12:35), her second goal of the season and Notre Dame’s second goal of the match.

Notre Dame totaled 11 shots in the first half and took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

The Hawkeyes tested the Irish defense early in the second half, doubling its total shots from the first half (three) within the first 17 minutes of the half.

Notre Dame juniors Natalie Ward and Shannon Hendricks worked the ball up the field several times but to no avail. Westendorf took back-to-back corner kicks, but both were blocked by Iowa defenders.

The Irish offense took their first shot of the second half in the 65th minute of play.

Westendorf and senior Meghan Doyle each had opportunities offensively late in the match, but Notre Dame was not able to put the ball in goal.

Note of the Match

Both of Notre Dame’s goal scorers — Flores and Jacobs — returned to the Irish in 2017 after competing with the United States’ Under-20 Women’s National Team last season. The duo owns three of the team’s seven goals this season.

Match Notes

  • Notre Dame is 4-1-4 in its previous nine true road matches. Notre Dame is 4-1-5 in its last 10 matches away from Alumni Stadium.
  • Notre Dame has gone 1-0-1 against the Big Ten Conference this season and is 9-2-1 against the Big Ten in its last 12 matchups, dating back to 2013.
  • The Irish have won each of their afternoon matches in 2017.
  • Littman finished the match with two saves and now owns 14 saves on the year.
  • Notre Dame totaled 19 shots, compared to Iowa’s nine. The Irish also won the corner kick battle, taking three corners to the Hawkeyes one.

Coming Up NextNotre Dame returns to action on Friday, when it hosts the Notre Dame Invitational at Alumni Stadium. The Irish continue their non-conference slate with their first matchup between ranked opponents of the 2017 season.

Santa Clara and No. 22 Michigan will square off in the weekend’s opening match at 4 p.m. ET at Alumni Stadium. The Irish will play in the nightcap of the doubleheader, facing No. 3 South Carolina at 7 p.m. ET.

The Notre Dame Invitational concludes on Sept. 3, when Alumni Stadium again hosts back-to-back matches. The day begins with Notre Dame’s match versus Santa Clara at noon ET. Michigan and South Carolina will wrap up the action at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Both of Notre Dame’s matches will be streamed live on the ACC Network Extra.

Tickets for this weekend’s action are available at a discounted rate. Fans who show the women’s soccer advertisement in this week’s South Bend Tribune at the ticket window will receive four tickets for $10.

For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and @NDWSoccer on Instagram. For tickets to a Notre Dame women’s soccer match, click here.


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.