TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team returned to the pitch Thursday night to kickoff the 2020 season down in Tallahassee. Florida State jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 5-0 win for the Seminoles on opening night.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Early on, neither team got into the flow of the game as much of the possession stayed in the middle of the field. The Seminoles tallied the first three shots of the match and Mattie Interian scooped up the third shot from Yujie Zhao, that came just outside the box.
Zhao got another opportunity moments later and did not miss. She received the ball in almost the same spot as her previous shot and she curled the shot past Interian for the first goal of the match.
Florida State stayed out on the front foot and tallied the next five shots of the match after Zhao’s goal. The fifth shot came after a great run from Emily Madril and led to the Seminoles second goal of the night. Madril took the shot at the top of the box and Interian guessed right but it got just by her extended dive to the right.
In the second half, Zhao added her second goal of the night in the 58th minute to extend the Seminoles lead to 3-0. Nighswonger scooped up a rebound opportunity in the 68th minute. The Seminoles initial shot was blocked by the Irish defense but the rebound came right out to Nighswonger who finished it off for the goal.
Jody Brown capped the scoring off in the 78th minute, after winning a battle in the offensive third and getting a deflection into the back of the net for the goal.
Interian finished the night with five saves, one shy of her career high of six that she set during her freshman year.
Notre Dame closes out the opening conference weekend with a match against Miami before returning back to campus. The Irish will head south to Coral Gables for a Sunday afternoon tilt set for 1 p.m. ET on the ACC Network Extra.