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ND Women’s Soccer: Offense dominates Detroit

Conor Kelly | Monday, September 9, 2013

In the team’s final tune-up before starting conference play, the Irish bounced back from last week’s tough loss to No. 3 UCLA in an impressive 4-0 victory over Detroit at Alumni Stadium on Sunday evening.

Freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews scored two goals, including one just four minutes into the match, and the Irish defense did not allow a shot on goal in the victory. With the exception of the UCLA match, the Irish have notched a goal in the first five minutes of each of their games.

“We’ve gotten off to quick starts, which is really important against teams like this that kind of bunker in,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said. “You don’t want to let them hang around.”

In the fifth minute, Andrews finished a ball slotted across the six-yard box by sophomore forward Crystal Thomas, sending it past Detroit’s sophomore goalkeeper Martha Dunbar and staking Notre Dame to an early lead that it would never relinquish.

The Titans, however, refused to give up more in the first half. A stingy defense in Notre Dame’s attacking third prevented the Irish, who handily controlled possession, from finding the net again in the first period.

The Irish struggled to string together passes in the 18-yard box and the team’s best chances were denied by Dunbar, who blocked point-blank attempts by Thomas and junior forward Lauren Bohaboy.

After halftime, however, Andrews struck again just minutes after the restart. The freshman received a pass and blasted a shot from 30 yards out past Dunbar and into the upper portion of the goal.

“We talked at halftime about being more efficient around the goal and creating more opportunities,” Waldrum said. “I think we did a really good job of that in the second half, and that second goal was so important to sort of put away a team like this.”

The second-half onslaught continued as Bohaboy found the net only 10 minutes later on a turnaround shot from just outside the box. Andrews received the assist.

Freshman midfielder Emily Geyer, who came on for Andrews with 10 minutes remaining in the game, finished the scoring and recorded her first collegiate goal with just a minute left in the match, heading in a cross from senior midfielder Rebecca Twining.

With the victory all but secured in the second half, Waldrum took advantage of the opportunity to test the depth that will be so important to Notre Dame’s success once ACC play begins.

“I’m pleased not just with the starting group but with the group behind them as well,” Waldrum said. “It’s important to gain some experience and get some depth for us.

The Irish now sit at 4-1 before starting their inaugural season in the ACC. Waldrum said he believes that his team is in a good position heading into conference play.

“At this point I’m very happy to be 4-1, and I think today was really important,” Waldrum said. “The non-conference schedule that we’ve played was a pretty good stretch.”

The Irish will have all hands available when then take on North Carolina State on Thursday since they were able to rest important starters like sophomore midfielder Cari Roccaro on Sunday.

That game will begin at 7 p.m. at the Dail Soccer Complex in Raleigh, N.C.

Contact Conor Kelly at ckelly17@nd.edu