#14 Irish Rally Late to Down Loyola 2-1

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 14th-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team used a late two-goal rally to pick up its second win of the season Sunday, defeating Loyola-Chicago 2-1 at Alumni Stadium.

How it Happened

Despite Notre Dame’s 20-4 shot advantage in the contest, neither team scored until late in the second half, leading to a late scoring flurry to close the match.

The Irish got the game’s first chances just six minutes in when junior Jennifer Westendorf sent a centering pass into the box for Brooke VanDyck, setting off a series of blocked shots and culminating in Westendorf’s shot off the post. 

Eva Hurm gave Notre Dame their next best chance 25 minutes into the game, streaking up the left flank, but sending her shot just wide of the right post.

Despite Notre Dame’s 7-1 shot advantage, the teams went into the half scoreless. 

At the 55th minute, the Irish again saw a scoring chance they couldn’t convert following a corner kick from senior Sabrina Flores. The resulting Westendorf shot was blocked by a Rambler defender, and Brianna Martinez’ rebound was saved by Loyola goalkeeper Kate Moran. 

Less than five minutes later, Flores got a look of her own, firing a shot from the top right of the 18-yard box that snuck just over the crossbar. She followed with a similar chance in the 70th minute, this time from the top left, that also flew high.

Loyola broke through first, however, taking advantage of an Irish defensive misplay when Loyola’s Bella Lestina corralled a turnover and bypassed Irish keeper Mattie Interian for a walk-in goal. 

But the Irish responded with 14:45 remaining, as Westendorf slipped a cross into the goal box for Flores, who took the shot from left post and buried into the opposite corner. 

Less than three minutes later, the pair connected again, as Westendorf gave the Irish the lead with a clean back-post header off Flores’ corner kick with 12:11 to go.

Stat of the Match

  • Notre Dame improves to 7-0 all-time versus Loyola. The Irish hold a 44-1 advantage scoring advantage in the series.
  • The Irish outshot the Ramblers 20-4, including 5-3 in shots on goal. Jennifer Westendorf led all players with eight shots.

Coach Norman Said…

On overcoming the slow start on offense…
“I was very happy with how we played all game.  I felt like from the start we found a good rhythm and found pockets of space very well.  We need to be more efficient in front of goal but give Loyola a lot of credit by defending well.  I was so proud of the way we responded after their goal.  Our players did not get rattled but focused and got two goals back very quickly.”

Coming Up Next

The Irish will welcome Stony Brook to Alumni Stadium on Thursday as the finish off their three-game homestand to begin the season. Thursday’s match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and @NDWSoccer on Instagram. For tickets to a Notre Dame women’s soccer match, click here.