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ND Women’s Soccer

ND finishes regular season, looking to extend win streak

| Thursday, October 30, 2014

After clinching an ACC tournament berth with Sunday’s win over Louisville, the No. 9 Irish will travel to Newton, Massachusetts, on Saturday to face Boston College in their final regular-season game.

Irish freshman forward Karin Muya connects on a header during Notre Dame's 1-0 win over Baylor on Sept. 12.Rosie Biehl | The Observer

Irish freshman forward Karin Muya connects on a header during Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Baylor on Sept. 12.

Notre Dame (12-4-1, 7-2-0 ACC) has won five in a row and looks to continue that streak against the Eagles to close out the season and ensure that it enters the postseason with positive momentum.

“I think [the winning streak] is great,” Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “There’s a lot of confidence. I think more importantly, we’re playing very well offensively and limiting the other teams’ opportunities defensively. Winning can be contagious, but I also feel that the way we’re playing is more important than momentum.”

Romagnolo said the looming postseason won’t cause the team to overlook Boston College.

“For us, it’s an important game in terms of setting us up for postseason play beyond the ACC tournament,” Romagnolo said of the matchup with the Eagles. “We want to win all the games we get to play against an ACC team. Every game matters — you can’t write any team off.”

Though the Eagles (10-8-0, 3-6-0) are unranked and are 10th in the ACC while Notre Dame sits fourth, their offensive production makes them a threat, Romagnolo said. Boston College sophomore forward Hayley Dowd has 14 goals this season, more than any other player in the ACC. That total also places her in the top-10 scorers in the nation.

“They’re a good team with good strikers up front who create a lot of opportunities,” Romagnolo said. “One of their players is one of the best in the ACC. They have a very potent attack, so we’ll be focusing on shutting those strikers down and getting a hold of the ball.”

Romagnolo said she hopes to see her team exert more dominance in the midfield and stoutness on defense, which have been major factors in the five-game winning streak.

“Our midfield has been doing a great job setting the tone and getting a hold of the ball, and we’ve had some great defensive tenacity that really helps us,” Romagnolo said. “We need to work on playing a little bit quicker on the ball and finishing opportunities when we get them around the goal.”

Romagnolo also emphasized the intangibles that have brought the team to this point. She said the squad’s mindset is solid, especially in light of their winning streak, and it has put in the work required to compete with the best teams in the nation.

“[Our mentality is] very strong — there’s a lot of belief and confidence to be taken from the way we’ve been playing,” Romagnolo said. “I’m also very proud of the effort we’re putting on the field. I think our success is a result of hard work. We’re earning every win we get.”

Notre Dame finishes its regular season with a matchup against Boston College on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Newton Campus Soccer Field.

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About Renee Griffin

Notre Dame senior, formerly of Farley Hall. Originally from Lake Zurich, IL, majoring in American Studies with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Enjoys talkin' about practice.

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