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ND Women’s Soccer: ‘Canes upset No. 4 Irish

Conor Kelly | Sunday, October 6, 2013

After a seven-match unbeaten streak, the Irish fell 2-0 in disappointing fashion to Miami on Sunday afternoon in Coral Gables, Fla. Junior forward Ashley Flinn scored two second-half goals for the Hurricanes (7-4, 2-4 ACC) as Miami pulled off the upset of No. 3 Notre Dame (9-2-1, 5-1-1).
“The game today was just poor. We were not good from the opening whistle,” Irish coach Randy Waldrum said. “You can blame it on a lot of different things, but we just came out very unprepared to go in and battle.”
The loss comes just three days after the Irish tied No. 11 Wake Forest – the first time Notre Dame left the pitch without a victory in its inaugural conference schedule in the ACC. For Waldrum, the defeat to the Hurricanes proved to be much more disappointing.
“This is a game that we expected to win and we didn’t,” Waldrum said. “Getting a tie against a top team like Wake Forest doesn’t hurt you, but this hurts you. They’re not a better team or better players than us. They just outworked us.”
While Notre Dame held the slight advantage in shots, the team struggled to string together passes in the attacking third and put together scoring chances. Hurricanes junior goaltender Emily Lillard came off her line numerous times to grab passes and shots before the Irish could put them in the net. Lillard made a number of stops in the second half to earn the clean sheet.
“It’s one thing to get a lot of shots, and it’s another thing to create quality chances,” Waldrum said. “We really had only one or two bona fide chances in the game. We had forwards with chances to create and took a bad touch, we never strung passes together. We couldn’t seem to do anything right.”
Although the Irish did not score a goal in the game for just the second time all year, Waldrum did not lay all the blame at the feet of his offensive players. He also cited the uncharacteristically poor play from Notre Dame’s veteran defensive corps.
“We were as bad defensively as we’ve been all season,” Waldrum said.
After winning their first five games in the ACC, the recent stumble from the Irish has Waldrum worried that his team will lack confidence heading into the remaining six games on the team’s conference schedule, especially Thursday’s date at No. 1 Virginia, he said. The Irish are still tied with Virginia Tech for the third spot in the ACC standings, but first-place Virginia has played one fewer conference games than the Irish, Hokies and second-place Florida State.
“We know we played poorly and that we have to turn around and play Virginia on Thursday,” Waldrum said. “If we dwell on the loss too long, it could affect us. We’ve got to go with the approach that these are the things we did wrong and we need to fix them. We can still come out [of the ACC] in really good shape, there’s just more pressure now.”
The Irish will resume action when they next play at Virginia on Thursday.
Contact Conor Kelly at
ckelly17@nd.edu