EAST LANSING, Mich.
— University of Notre Dame women’s soccer senior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson buried the game-winning goal in the 32nd minute, and freshman forward Natalie Jacobs added an insurance goal less than 10 minutes into the second half to help the No. 6/4 Fighting Irish down Michigan State on Sunday at the DeMartin Soccer Complex.
The Irish (5-0-1, 0-0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) looked strong bouncing back from a 2-2 draw with Western Michigan on Friday, controlling the tempo of the match on offense and smothering the Spartans (3-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) on defense.
Notre Dame owned a 23-1 advantage in shots, including a 8-0 edge in shots on goal, and carried an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks, effectively keeping Michigan State bottled on its own end of the field.
“There were some things we weren’t happy with on Friday and we wanted to come out today and be better,” Romagnolo said. “I think we saw that, specifically defensively. We were happy with the way we defended, the attention to detail and the composure.
“We wanted to be a little bit more in control of it. I think we got a lot of the ball and I think we’ve been a little bit too casual (on defense so far this season). We wanted to remind the defenders that their primary responsibility is to stop the other team from scoring. I think they paid more attention to the little things today.”
The Irish outshot the Spartans by 14-0 in the first half, but didn’t find the goal until Gilbertson’s tally 32 minutes in. The Irish veteran corralled the ball from 15 yards out along the right side and snuck it by Spartan goalkeeper Gabrielle Guaruder into the left corner.
Gilbertson finished the match with a team-high 10 shots to give her 39 on the season, also good for the team lead. Her goal was her fourth of the year — also a team high — and matched her total scoring output from each of the past two seasons. She scored a career-best five goals as a freshman in 2012.
“Anna’s an incredible goal scorer,” Romagnolo said. “She can go one-on-one and beat people, she can create with other players as well and spot great shots from anywhere. I think she can be dangerous in so many ways and we’re seeing that this year.”
Gilbertson nearly extended the Irish lead in the 51st minute with an open look from 12 yards out, but it was deflected high by a Spartan defender. Three minutes later, Jacobs took a cross from junior midfielder Sandra Yu at the eight yard mark and poked a low shot into the left corner to give Notre Dame some cushion.
Romagnolo credited her team for responding positively to Friday’s sluggish outcome. She said the Irish exhibited an edge from the moment they hit the field, and it was too much for the fresh Spartans to handle Sunday.
“I think we were just excited to get back on the field after Friday because there were things that they wanted to do better,” Romagnolo said. “It was that next opportunity to be better, and that’s what we saw. We saw a great performance.”
The Irish will return to action against another Big Ten opponent at 7 p.m. ET Friday when they welcome Indiana (3-1-1, 0-0-0 Big Ten) to Alumni Stadium.
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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#6/4 Notre Dame 2, Michigan State 0
Sept. 6, 2015
East Lansing, Mich. (DeMartin Soccer Complex)
Notre Dame 1 1 — 2
Michigan State 0 0 — 0
Total Shots: ND 23 (14-9), MSU 1 (0-1)
Shots on Goal: ND 8 (5-3), MSU 0 (0-0)
Saves: ND 0 (Lexi Nicholas 0 in 90:00), MSU 6 (Gabrielle Gauruder 6 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 8 (3-5), MSU 0 (0-0)
Fouls: ND 11, MSU 12
Offsides: ND 0, MSU 1
Records: ND 5-0-1, MSU 3-1-1
Next for ND: vs. Indiana at 7 p.m. ET Friday at Alumni Stadium
— Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant