ND Women’s Soccer
Irish set sights on California
Renee Griffin | Thursday, September 4, 2014
The No. 25 Irish will head west this weekend to play two highly ranked teams, taking on No. 16 Santa Clara on Friday and No. 4 Stanford on Sunday.
Notre Dame (2-2-0) will try to rekindle the momentum it lost after falling at home to No. 10 Texas Tech and No. 19 Southern California last weekend.
Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said the team has focused on preventing the mistakes that plagued it in the last two games, when both the Red Raiders and the Trojans scored two second-half goals to give them 2-1 victories.
“The biggest area to improve on is our concentration over the course of 90 minutes and being committed to defending in all areas of the field and putting away our chances,” Romagnolo said. “We’ve talked about bringing more urgency out of the halftime but also being organized in our urgency. We’re making sure we’re not taking our foot off the pedal just because we are up 1-0.”
The Irish will not greatly vary in their approaches to the two California teams, as their styles are somewhat alike, Romagnolo said.
“They’re both actually pretty similar in that they’re two very good possession teams, but so are we,” Romagnolo said. “Stanford has a little bit more of a potent offense, but both of them have some dynamic attacking players and have similar systems of play.”
Notre Dame will have to be sharp offensively and defensively to combat the strengths of the Broncos (2-1-0) and Cardinal (3-0-0), Romagnolo said.
“For us, we really want to keep the ball, dictate play and make a lot of quality chances for ourselves,” Romagnolo said. “Defensively, we want to deny shots, we want to deny crosses, and keep the ball on their side of the field.”
Thus far, the Irish have outscored opponents 8-5 overall, but they may have more trouble than usual getting the ball in the net against this weekend’s opponents. Stanford sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell has yet to allow a goal in three games this season, while Santa Clara junior goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski has a .875 save percentage.
Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy will lead the Irish charge against Tostanoski and Campbell, as she has three goals already this season. Junior defender Katie Naughton has scored twice. Junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson, freshman forward Kaitlin Klawunder and freshman midfielder Taylor Klawunder account for the rest of the team’s goals with one each.
Romagnolo said it’s impossible to guess which of her players is going to make the biggest impact on the next game, with so many contributions from veterans, starters, freshmen and players off the bench.
“We have a very talented roster; anyone can step up in each given game,” Romagnolo said.
Despite seven current players hailing from the state of California, the Santa Clara match will mark Notre Dame’s first West Coast game since Sept. 9, 2012, when the team faced off with Washington in Seattle. This weekend is also the only time the Irish will play outside of the Eastern Time Zone during the regular season.
Notre Dame faces Santa Clara on Friday at 10:30 p.m., with one day to rest before playing at Stanford on Sunday at 4 p.m.