Sept. 13, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The usual suspects led the No. 13/4 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team Sunday, with leading scorers Natalie Jacobs and Anna Maria Gilbertson tallying first-half goals to lead the Irish past Michigan 2-0 Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
Jacobs tipped in a goal off a rebound in the 25th minute, with assists credited to Brittany Von Rueden and Taylor Klawunder, while Gilbertson split a pair of defenders on the shot from a pass off Emily Geyer in the 35th to spur the Irish attack.
The Irish allowed just three shots on the day, and just one on goal, while registering nine total shots and six shots on goal on offense. Notre Dame had averaged 23 shots per game through seven matches heading into Sunday, but the drop off showed no ill effects as the Irish put 67 percent of their shots on the net.
“I thought we played well, especially in the first half,” head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “I felt like we were moving off the ball well. [Midfielders] Sandra [Yu], Sabrina [Flores], Taylor [Klawunder] were finding the ball and moving it side-to-side for us. In the second half, it was a little bit of a different half, but I still felt we stayed together and I thought the back four [defenders] played tremendous today, and we were pretty good as a group defensively.”
The Wolverines (5-3-0, 0-0-0 Big Ten) had entered Sunday’s contest averaging nearly 22 shots per game, but were unable to get anything going against the Irish (7-0-1, 0-0-0 ACC). Their lone shot came in the 30th minute when reserve defender Sura Yekka sent a shot wide left of the net to result in a goal kick. On three occasions did Michigan find itself with the ball in front of the Notre Dame net, but was turned away by a pesky wall of white Irish shirts.
Meanwhile, the Irish put the shots they did tally to good use. They put four shots on goal in the first half, including a header off Klawunder that a diving Wolverine goalkeeper Megan Hinz turned away, but right onto the foot of Jacobs. The crashing Irish freshman needed just to tip the rebound over the sprawling Hinz to give the Irish the lead.
Gilbertson added her insurance goal less than 10 minutes later when Geyer launched a pass to the right at the top of the 18. The senior collected the pass, faked right then went left and split her shot in between two Michigan defenders to give the Irish an insurance goal on her team-leading fifth score of the year.
“I loved the first goal because I think that’s a hustle play,” Romagnolo said. “We talk a lot about playing for rebounds and I think Natalie Jacobs just crashed into that back post and timed it right to arrive at the right time and I love that kind of hustle play. And then Anna is just such a good goal-scorer and any time she’s at the top of the 18 or inside the 18, she’s dangerous. She’s got a fantastic shot and I love that she took that.”
The Irish registered their third straight 2-0 victory on Sunday, which was also their sixth shutout in eight matches this season. The program moved to an incredible 361-1-1 when taking a two-goal lead, and it will enter Atlantic Coast Conference play undefeated.
“We’ve defended well [in the nonconference],” Romagnolo said. “I think the back four [of Monica Flores, Katie Naughton, Cari Roccaro and Von Rueden] has continued to grow as a group and I think they did a great job today of stepping to balls, preventing balls from going over the top, covering well for each other. Then the midfield did a great job of picking off passes and helping each other in double-teaming the ball.”
The Irish will open conference play when they travel to No. 8 Clemson for a 7 p.m. ET contest on Saturday at Riggs Field in Clemson, South Carolina. The Tigers (6-0-1) saw their season-opening six-match win streak come to an end Sunday when they tied South Florida 0-0 in double-overtime.
Season and single game tickets for Notre Dame women’s soccer are on sale now. Visit UND.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356.
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#13/4 Notre Dame 2, Indiana 0
Sept. 13, 2015
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
Michigan 0 0 — 0
Notre Dame 1 1 — 2
Total Shots: ND 9 (6-3), UM 3 (2-1)
Shots on Goal: ND 6 (4-2), UM 1 (1-0)
Saves: ND 1 (Kaela Little 1 in 90:00), UM 4 (Megan Hinz 2 in 45:00; Sarah Jackson 2 in 45:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 2 (0-2), UM 2 (1-1)
Fouls: ND 10, UM 10
Offsides: ND 1, UM 1
Yellow Cards: ND 1 (Brittany Von Rueden) 27:44
Records: ND 7-0-1, UM 5-3-0
Next for ND: vs. Clemson at 7 p.m. ET Saturday at Riggs Field (Clemson, S.C.)
— Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant