Oct. 24, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It took a complete team effort from the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team to overcome a game Clemson squad on Thursday night at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish persevered through the rough and tumble battle with a 1-0 victory thanks to a first half goal from senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, California/Santa Margarita).
Arguably the most dangerous forward in the lineup for No. 9/7 Notre Dame during the match was not prominently featured in the postgame box score. Thursday was merely another opportunity for sophomore Kaleigh Olmsted (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands) to showcase her talented technical skill.
Olmsted set the offensive tone in her season-high 84 minutes for Notre Dame almost from the outset against Clemson, attempting the first shot of the night by either team less than two minutes into the match. During the 13th minute of the opening half, Olmsted had a spirited run into the 18-yard box while tracking a dangerous cross from the right wing. A leaping stab at the service just careened wide of the right goal post to deny Olmsted a highlight reel goal.
Even on Bohaboy’s game-winning goal at the 26:06 mark, which followed a great charge into the Clemson corner by freshman defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, New Jersey/Livingston) before she was able to center the ball, Olmsted, too, was right on the doorstep. If not for the deflection off a Tiger defender that set Bohaboy up for her winning score, Flores’ pass potentially would have found its way through to Olmsted for a prime goal scoring opportunity.
Olmsted has six points (two goals and two assists) in 16 match appearances, including 10 starts, with both goals and one assist coming during Atlantic Coast Conference play. She earned the primary assist on Notre Dame’s winning goal at Syracuse last Saturday in the 69th minute before adding an insurance goal of her own less than 10 minutes later to put the match away in her best conference showing of the year to date.
“Kaleigh brings great speed, skill, and she is a great 1V1 player,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “She can get in behind players and set people up really well, as we saw at Syracuse. She brings a lot of energy and quality.”
Notre Dame will enjoy the benefit of the ACC’s Thursday-Sunday scheduling model, taking advantage of the opportunity for a Friday off day to recover from the physical meeting with Clemson. The recovery day will be invaluable in aiding the Fighting Irish regain their collective legs heading into Sunday’s Senior Day match with Louisville at Alumni Stadium.
“I think it’s huge,” Romagnolo said of the recovery window. “Hopefully they recharge a little bit, and we’re not going to do a whole lot Saturday. It’s just about getting mentally prepared for Senior Day against Louisville.”
NOTRE DAME FEATURED PROMINENTLY IN TOPDRAWERSOCCER.COM MIDSEASON RANKINGS
Five Notre Dame players were recognized in the TopDrawerSoccer.com midseason upperclassmen and freshmen rankings that were released earlier this week. Three Fighting Irish players, junior midfielder/tri-captain Cari Roccaro (No. 12), sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (No. 22) and junior defender/tri-captain Katie Naughton (No. 61) were each listed among the NCAA women’s national top 100 players in the midseason report.
Roccaro has scored two goals and added one assist in 12 matches this season, all starts, earning the game-winning goal at Syracuse last Saturday night. Roccaro is the active Notre Dame leader in career ACC goals with six over her first 20 conference starts, adding two assists. The East Islip, New York native served as the team captain for the United States Under-20 Women’s National Team during the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada this past summer.
There has been no sophomore slump for Andrews, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, in her second season at Notre Dame, as the versatile midfielder has posted a team-high six goals and five assists in her first 16 starts to lead all Fighting Irish players with 17 points. Andrews is one of two Notre Dame players with a multi-goal game this season after scoring twice against Toledo on Sept. 14, and has been named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week a team-high four times in 2014. The Milford, New Hampshire native is also a member of the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team pool, winning the 2014 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands alongside Roccaro and Naughton in January.
Entering her second season as a Notre Dame captain, Naughton has been a constant force on the Fighting Irish back line throughout 2014. The polished center back has played all 1,470 minutes for Notre Dame during the first 16 matches, scoring three goals off set pieces to tie a career-high in the goal column. Naughton has also helped anchor all 10 Fighting Irish team shutouts this season, which rank at the top of the ACC alongside national No. 2 Florida State. The native of Elk Grove Village, Illinois played every minute of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup next to teammate and fellow Notre Dame captain Roccaro on the U.S. defense.
TopDrawerSoccer.com also ranked two additional Notre Dame players in the NCAA’s national top 100 freshmen earlier in the week. Defender Sabrina Flores (No. 12) and midfielder Taylor Klawunder (No. 48) each earned top 50 frosh distinction.
Flores has started every game at left back for Notre Dame during her rookie season, logging nearly 1,400 minutes of match time on the Fighting Irish back line. Flores ranks second on the Notre Dame roster in assists by a defender with two, trailing only junior right back Brittany Von Rueden (3). A native of Livingston, New Jersey, Flores has played a key role in all 10 Notre Dame shutouts through the team’s first 16 matches in 2014.
Klawunder enjoyed one of the most sparkling debut games in program history on Aug. 22 at Illinois, becoming just the fifth Notre Dame freshman to ever score the team’s first regular season goal of a given campaign with an equalizer in the 40th minute. Klawunder’s tally sparked a three-goal Fighting Irish surge and capped an opening day comeback win. The Coto de Caza, California native added her second career goal during the first half against No. 9 North Carolina on Sept. 20.
FIGHTING IRISH WITHIN REACH OF AN ACC CHAMPIONSHIP BERTH
Following Thursday’s crucial 1-0 home win over No. 20 Clemson, Notre Dame is a mere one point away from securing the fourth and final bid into the 2014 ACC Championship on Nov. 7-9 at the UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A draw in either of Notre Dame’s final two regular season matches against Louisville (Sunday) or Boston College (Nov. 1) is all it would take to push the Fighting Irish out of Clemson’s reach in the conference standings. Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia, all top five nationally ranked sides, have already clinched three of the four possible bids to the ACC Championship.
Notre Dame closes the 2014 regular season home slate on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET), welcoming Louisville for Senior Day at Alumni Stadium. The match will air live on ESPN3. Notre Dame will recognize its six seniors, Lauren Bohaboy, Jennifer Jasper, Taylor Schneider, Sammy Scofield, Karin Simonian and Sarah Voigt, prior to the start of the match.
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