Oct. 10, 2014
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – One of the main products of the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team’s 2-0 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday night was the ability of the Fighting Irish to push the offensive pace. The 32 shots attempted by Notre Dame were the most since a first round NCAA Championship match against Iowa on Nov. 15, 2013, and equaled the team’s shot output in a 3-0 win over Pittsburgh last Sept. 29 at Alumni Stadium.
A total of 10 different players for No. 14/11 Notre Dame (8-4-1, 3-2 ACC) found their way into the shot column on Thursday, with sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford) leading the way with a team-high seven shots, one goal and one assist. All told the Fighting Irish midfield, consisting of Andrews, junior tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, New York/East Islip), junior Glory Williams (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands), and freshmen Ginny McGowan (Lake Forest, Illinois/Lake Forest) and Taylor Klawunder (Coto de Caza, California/Santa Margarita) attempted 11 shots as a position group, reinforcing what had been a main focus in the pre-match game plan.
“I felt like even before the game we started communicating with each other and telling ourselves this is what we have to do in order to win this game,” Andrews said. “We have to work together, we have to communicate, and we have to come out with aggression and motivation. Those were the keys to success in this game, we came out and worked hard, we got to every ball that we could, and we tried to find the ball and develop a sense of chemistry with our back line and forwards.
“It just felt good being in the midfield with my teammates,” Andrews added. “It’s one of those things that we have to keep up to keep winning.”
On the defensive end the Fighting Irish limited Pittsburgh to a total of seven shots, with only four finding goal. None of the four attempts that were logged as official shots on goal were taken from within the Notre Dame 18-yard box, alleviating much of the pressure from sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley) during her seventh shutout of 2014.
Though she attempted only one shot on the stat sheet, Williams played one of her best games of the season in a departure from her traditional role as a holding midfielder. Over her 80 minutes of game action, Williams was a constant force at each end of the field, disrupting Pittsburgh runs on the defensive side before helping Notre Dame flip to its own attack.
“G and I have been talking about getting more movement out of her and getting her on the ball, because when she is on the ball she makes some great things happen for us,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “I thought she was great on the ball, but I also thought she had some key tackles for us, breaking up plays in the midfield.”
Notre Dame resumes its home Atlantic Coast Conference schedule on Sunday against Miami at Alumni Stadium. The first meeting between the Fighting Irish and Hurricanes in South Bend in more than 10 years will take place at noon (ET), with live streaming available through WatchND.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @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.
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant