Irish Fall to No. 5 Duke in Season Finale, 2-0

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team (8-10, 4-6) season came to a close on senior night at Alumni Stadium as the Irish were unable to pull the upset and fell to No. 5 Duke (14-2-2, 8-1-1) 2-0. After the game, head coach Nate Norman was proud of how hard his team fought against one of the top teams in the country.

“This was a tough way for our season to end,” said Norman. “I was so proud of how they battled against a really good Duke team. I am so proud of these seniors. It was my first senior class as a head coach here and they were awesome. I am proud of who they are on and especially off the soccer field and they are going to do wonderful things in life.”

How it Happened

The Irish got the first quality chance of the game in the opening minutes as Karin Muya weaved her way between a few defenders before winding up for a shot just outside the box. Muya’s shot had a ton of pace and it clanged off the crossbar and deflected out of play.

Later in the half, Sammi Fisher had the next chance for the Irish. She received the ball at the top of the box before making a turn towards the next. After one touch, she curled her shot towards the left post but Heinsohn for Duke reached out to her right and deflected the shot away.

Duke upped the pressure towards the end of the first half but it was scoreless at the half. The Irish held a 8-4 advantage in shots over the first 45 minutes of play.

In the second half, the Blue Devils pushed up early and scored within the first two minutes. Mackenzie Pluck started the play up the right side and got the ball over to Marykate McGuire who was streaking up along Pluck. McGuire sent a low cross towards the front of the goal and Taylor Racioppi put a shot on goal. Mattie Interian was right there to make the initial save but the ball went right back to Racioppi and she volleyed in to the back of the net.

Later in the half, Duke added to its lead after an offsides was called on the Irish. On the ensuing free kick, Duke sent it deep into the attacking third were McGuire settled the ball and dished if off to Racioppi. Racioppi faked the shot and took a touch to her left before getting a shot off inside the far post for her second goal of the game.

Facing the 2-0 deficit, the Irish adjusted their lineup and pushed the play into their attacking half in hopes of cutting into the lead. Unfortunately for the Irish, they were unable to break through and dropped the contest 2-0 to the Blue Devils.

Thank You Seniors

For the senior class and graduate students, their Irish careers came to a close Thursday night. Sabrina Flores, Rachel Heard, Shannon Hendricks, Karin Muya, Ann Marie Niro, Natalie Ward and Jennifer Westendorf accomplished so much during their time in an Irish uniform and made a profound impact on the program.