NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Much like the well-known fairy tale, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team spent much of Friday’s match with Santa Clara University playing the part of the “Big Bad Wolf,” huffing and puffing before, with less than 10 minutes to play, Glory Williams (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) was finally able to blow the Broncos’ house down.
The senior midfielder and tri-captain latched on to a loose ball near the penalty spot and drove a low shot inside the left post with 9:10 remaining to give the No. 7/6 Fighting Irish a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Santa Clara before a boisterous crowd of 1,123 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Junior forward Kaleigh Olmsted (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) helped Notre Dame erase an early deficit with her team-leading third goal of the season in the 36th minute, converting a pass from freshman forward Natalie Jacobs (Coto de Caza, Calif./Tesoro). SCU had taken the lead in the 24th minute on Jenna Roering’s first goal of the campaign.
The Fighting Irish (3-0) dominated every statistical category on Friday, posting a 29-2 edge in total shots, including a 14-1 margin in shots on goal. Notre Dame also had a 12-4 advantage on corner kicks, while SCU finished ahead in the fouls column, 12-9.
The Broncos (1-2) kept the final score from being even greater, thanks in large part to their senior goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski, who registered 12 saves, one shy of the Alumni Stadium record. Notre Dame’s sophomore netminder Lexi Nicholas (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) wasn’t tested nearly as much and did not record a save while picking up her third win of the young season.
Senior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, Calif./Davis) led the Fighting Irish offensive attack with eight shots, while Jacobs added five shots and Williams, Olmsted and junior midfielder Sandra Yu (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) each tallied four shots.
In three matches this year, Notre Dame has posted a staggering 82-3 edge in total shots, including a 41-1 spread in shots on goal.
“We created 29 shots for ourselves and were really knocking on the door there for a while,” Fighting Irish head Theresa Romagnolo said. “Anna Maria Gilbertson had an incredible game. She could have scored a number of different goals and was just so dangerous with her 1-v-1 attacking. Kaleigh Olmsted and Natalie Jacobs again, they combined for that first goal. All three of them up front were incredibly dangerous.”
The Fighting Irish were on the front foot throughout the evening, posting the first 10 shots of the contest. However, Santa Clara stunned the home side with Roering’s goal against the run of play, as the Bronco striker latched on to a long ball over the top, squeezed past a Notre Dame defender and poked her 10-yard shot over an onrushing Nicholas inside the right post.
Despite allowing its first shot on goal of the season after 203:47 of action, the Fighting Irish didn’t let up and the seemingly inevitable tying goal came exactly 12 minutes later. Jacobs found a seam down the right channel before chopping a pass inside to Olmsted near the top right corner of the box. Olmsted darted inside of her defender and cracked a rising shot that clipped the underside of the crossbar before settling into the net for the equalizer.
Notre Dame spent the next 45 minutes banging on Santa Clara’s door, keeping the Broncos bottled up in their defensive zone while tiring out the SCU backline with a constant barrage of timely runs around and through the visiting defense.
Williams finally pushed the Fighting Irish in front for good in the 81st minute on a play that started with a corner kick from the left flag. Jacobs appeared to get a foot on the service, but Tostanoski parried the shot out towards the penalty spot. Williams had time and space and drilled a low right-footed shot through traffic and past a diving Tostanoski for her second career match-winning goal (first since Sept. 21, 2012, at home against Pittsburgh).
The Fighting Irish return to the pitch at 1:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday, playing host to the University of Portland at Alumni Stadium. Santa Clara also will be in action Sunday, taking on Northwestern University at 11 a.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
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.
#7/6 Notre Dame 2, Santa Clara 1
Aug. 28, 2015
Notre Dame, Indiana (Alumni Stadium)
Santa Clara 1 0 — 1
Notre Dame 1 1 — 2
Total Shots: SCU 2 (1-1), ND 29 (15-14)
Shots on Goal: SCU 1 (1-0), ND 14 (7-7)
Saves: SCU 12 (Andi Tostanoski 12 in 90:00), ND 0 (Lexi Nicholas 0 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: SCU 4 (3-1), ND 12 (5-7)
Fouls: SCU 12 (5-7), ND 9 (5-4)
Offsides: SCU 2, ND 1
Records: SCU 1-2-0, ND 3-0-0
Next for ND: vs. Portland, 1:30 p.m. (ET) Sunday at Alumni Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana (live on WatchND).
— Chris Masters, Athletics Communications Associate Director