Sophomore Crystal Thomas

Irish Continue March Toward Exhibition Slate

Aug. 9, 2013

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 2012 edition of the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team adopted the moniker “Baby Irish,” as a total of 12 freshmen saw the field for last season’s squad that reached the NCAA Women’s College Cup Elite Eight.

One year later the “Baby Irish” have grown into sophomores, but head coach Randy Waldrum again finds himself in the position of welcoming a large freshmen contingent, Mariel Adams, Morgan Andrews, Emily Geyer, Kaela Little, Rilka Noel, Kaleigh Olmsted, Cindy Pineda and Sandra Yu, in 2013.

The past two classes make up the bulk of a young, yet seasoned Notre Dame roster that continued its first week of training Friday at the Notre Dame Practice Field.

“The run that we made last year with that young team getting into the final eight is going to provide a lot of confidence for us,” Waldrum said. “We were young and did well in our progression throughout the season. We’re still young, but I think at this point having that kind of a year and getting as far as we did is going to bode well for us this season, especially going into the ACC. I think those kids learned a lot when the NCAAs came around last year, and grew up an awful lot. We hope that pays dividends this year.”

Andrews and Little, along with sophomore returnees Katie Naughton, Cari Roccaro, and Crystal Thomas, remain away from campus during the first week of Notre Dame practice at the United States Under-20 Women’s National Team camp in Carson, Calif. Roccaro and Naughton each earned a start for the U.S. U-20 squad against Japan Thursday at the U.S. Soccer National Team Training Center, while Thomas came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute. The teams meet again Sunday at the U.S. Soccer NTC to complete a brief two-match series.

All five players will rejoin their Fighting Irish teammates early next week in advance of exhibition contests against Xavier Aug. 14 and Baylor Aug. 17 at the Notre Dame Practice Field.

A significant program milestone was reached off the pitch Thursday, as it was announced that a total of 17 regular season Notre Dame matches will be televised. ESPN3, ACC-RSN, the ACC Digital Network and Fighting Irish Digital Media will carry the live broadcast of all but one Fighting Irish match during the 2013 campaign. Some highlights from the programming schedule include (all times Eastern):

Sept. 12 at North Carolina State ââ’¬¦ 7 p.m. on ESPN3 (ACC opener)
Sept. 15 at North Carolina ââ’¬¦ 1 p.m. on ESPN3
Oct. 10 at Virginia ââ’¬¦ 7 p.m. on ACC Digital Network
Oct. 13 at Virginia Tech ââ’¬¦ noon on RSN/ESPN3
Oct. 27 at Clemson ââ’¬¦ 1 p.m. on ESPN3
Oct. 31 at Florida State ââ’¬¦ 8 p.m. on RSN/ESPN3

The games aired by RSN (Regional Sports Network) will have clearances that include FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Florida, FOX Sports Indiana, Sun Sports, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, NESN, YES, ROOT SPORTS, and MSG.