Sept. 2, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Kaitlin Klawunder nodded home a 41st-minute header off of a Fighting Irish corner kick and goalkeeper Kaela Little made four saves to lead Notre Dame to a 1-0 victory over Illinois State University on Friday night at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish dominated possession most of the night, totaling 23 shots and nine corner kicks, en route to improving to 4-1-0 on the season.
Three of Little’s four saves came in the second half with Illinois State pushing forward in search of an equalizer, but the Notre Dame defense was able to limit the Redbirds to eights shots during the game.
Play of the Game
At 40:34, senior midfielder Cindy Pineda sent a corner kick into the box that Kaitlin Klawunder, making her first appearance of the season, nodded home for her third-career goal and her second-career game winner. The goal came just over seven minutes after head coach Theresa Romagnolo substituted Pineda and Klawunder into the match.
With the Redbirds threatening late in the second half, senior goalkeeper Kaela Little made one of her best saves of the night, diving to her right to deny Emily Dickman in the 85th minute. Little now has 26 career shutouts.
Players of the Game
In addition to Little, Klawunder and Pineda, Karin Muya was dangerous all night for the Irish and she put two of her three shots on goal. Jennifer Westendorf also gave the Redbirds’ defense a lot to think about as she got off five shots in 70 minutes of action.
Coach Theresa.Romagnolo Says
On the fast start ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“I thought it was our best first half that we have played, I thought we were moving the ball really well and I loved the rhythm of the game. We were attacking the open areas and was just missing that final piece in the box but other than that we were doing really well.”
On the goal ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“On the corner kick goal from Cindy to Kaitlin, there was great timing by Kaitlin to pop off the goalkeeper and head it in. It was her first game of the year coming off injury and it was one of her first touches so to come in and have an immediate impact made me proud to see what she can do.”
On the flow of the game ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“We were creating a lot of options and the decision making was good, especially in the first half. In the second half though we started just a little bit flat but we slowly played our way back into it and in the meantime Kaela [Little] made some great saves, she just has a way of making thing look easy.”
Note of the Game
The Fighting Irish defense pitched a second-consecutive shutout and Notre Dame’s four wins on the season have all been via the shutout.
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College (’06 & ’08G).