ND Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame tops Panthers
Greg Hadley | Friday, October 10, 2014
Still frustrated from a devastating loss to No. 4 Virginia on Sunday, No. 14 Notre Dame traveled to Pittsburgh and unleashed an offensive barrage, burying the Panthers, 2-0, Thursday night.
In the win, the Irish (8-4-1, 3-2-0 ACC) outshot the Panthers (6-7-0, 2-3-0) 32-7 on the evening and led 10-4 in shots on goal. The 32 chances were a season high for the squad. Pittsburgh allows an average of 14.2 shots per game and 1.08 goals per contest.
“We dominated possession,” Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “We created a lot of chances for ourselves, and we never let up. It was a great effort. We asserted our will on them.”The victory came after a 2-1 Sunday afternoon home loss to Virginia in which Romagnolo said the Irish allowed the Cavaliers to push them around. After trailing 1-0 for most of the second half, junior midfielder Cari Roccaro unleashed a strike from the top of the penalty area to tie the game with less than five minutes to go. Then, with 21 seconds remaining, the Cavaliers rallied to stun the Irish and the Alumni Stadium crowd.
“We were disappointed with the Virginia game,” Romagnolo said. “We only had one day of training this week … and we were excited to get back out there and take advantage of this opportunity.”
The Panthers entered the match on a two-match winning streak, both of which came on the road. Like the Irish, the Panthers have played better away from their home field, sporting just a 2-5 mark on their own turf. On the road, Notre Dame is unbeaten with a record of 5-0-1.
“We were playing on turf, and we haven’t played on turf this season,” Romagnolo said. “It was a little different … but we did a good job of settling the ball down.”
Leading the way offensively for Notre Dame, sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews fired seven shots and collected her team-leading fifth assist of the season in the 42nd minute when she connected with senior forward Lauren Bohaboy on a cross into the box.
In the second half, Andrews added to her point total and her team-leading goal total when she struck from 25 yards out into the lower right corner of the net, beating Panthers sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Francis. Francis ended the game with eight saves.
“I thought Morgan Andrew was … exceptional tonight,” Romagnolo said. “Her ability to take the ball through the midfield and run at their back four and create offensive opportunities and then to get a goal of her own was fantastic.”
Bohaboy’s goal was her first since August, when she scored three times in three games. She is second on the team in goals and points.
“I thought [Lauren] played an exceptional game,” Romagnolo said. “She made a lot happen. She made good decisions on the ball in deciding when to pass and good decisions when to go at them. She scored a great ball from the top of the box.”
Junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson also made a mark on the scoresheet, recording the second assist of her career.
Entering the matchup, the Irish and the Panthers were tied in the middle of the conference standings.
“We had the same record, so they had some belief at the beginning of the game,” Romagnolo said. “But I really thought from the whistle, we had this attitude about us. I don’t know if it came from the Virginia game, but we stepped on the field, and we were ready to get after them.”
The victory preserves Notre Dame’s unbeaten record against Pittsburgh (12-0-1) and also gives the Irish momentum heading back to Alumni Stadium, where they will face ACC foe Miami on Sunday. Romagnolo said the team has continued to improve through the season but still has room for more improvement.
“With every game, for the most part, I feel that we get better,” she said. “It’s about building against every opponent that we have. So we’ll continue to build. One thing I looked at this game and saw, we could have finished more opportunities. We were creating lots of chances, but we want to be more precise with our finishes.”
The Irish and the Hurricanes face off Sunday at noon at Alumni Stadium.