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ND Women’s Soccer: Irish win two over weekend

Matthew Robison | Monday, October 1, 2012

Notre Dame continued its early-season tear through the Big East this weekend with a 1-0 road win over Providence on Friday and a 4-0 rout at Connecticut on Sunday.

The Irish (9-3-1, 5-0-0 Big East) have won six straight.

The only goal in Friday’s game came off a cross from junior tri-captain and midfielder Elizabeth Tucker in the 83rd minute that deflected off a Providence defender and into the back of the net. It was scored as an own goal.

The Irish dealt with more than the opposing 11 players Friday when they stepped on the field against the Friars (7-5-1, 2-3-0 Big East). Mother Nature also played an important role, hindering both teams from executing well.

“The rain disrupted the whole game,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said.

Despite the win, Waldrum was not entirely pleased with the way his team played Friday.

“It wasn’t one of those games when you walk away saying, ‘I feel great about the way we played today,'” Waldrum said. “I thought we were the better the team and created the best chances. But then again, it wasn’t a stellar performance.”

Four different Irish players scored goals Sunday in the shutout win over the Huskies (7-5-1, 3-2-0). Sophomore forward Lauren Bohaboy scored on a free kick in the 43rd minute, and freshman midfielder Cari Roccaro and freshmen forwards Anna Maria Gilbertson and Crystal Thomas all scored in the second half. Tucker and sophomore midfielder Karin Simonian notched assists.

Even after going into the half with a 1-0 lead, Waldrum felt his team was outplayed in the first half.

“We honestly were fortunate to not be down maybe even as much as 3-1 going into the half,” Waldrum said. “We really struggled in the first half. They dominated.”

But a stalwart defensive effort from freshman defender Katie Naughton and sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Voigt kept the blank slate alive.

“I really thought Katie and Sarah were the only two players who had a decent first half,” Waldrum sad. “We were just really poor in the first half.”

But the fact that Notre Dame played subpar soccer and still came away with a win points to a winning mentality, something Waldrum has cultivated in his 14 years at the helm.

“Not playing well and going into the halftime up 1-0, again, is a sign that a good team finds ways to make things happen,” Waldrum said.

In terms of execution on the field, Waldrum thinks there is plenty of room for improvement. In terms of mental preparation, he said the Irish are exactly where they need to be.

“I wouldn’t say from our performance level that we hit full stride,” Waldrum said. “But by the terms of our confidence and our maturity and our growth, and I think the experience of playing in tight games, I think that part has really hit a stride.”

Notre Dame’s next Big East test is a home matchup Friday against Seton Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Matthew Robison at mrobison@nd.edu