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ND Women’s Soccer

Noles force Notre Dame exit

| Monday, November 10, 2014

No. 10 Notre Dame fell to No. 2 Florida State on Friday in an ACC semifinal by a score of 3-1 at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Seminoles (18-1-1, 9-0-1 ACC) were the top-ranked team in the ACC, while the Irish (12-5-2, 7-2-1) were ranked fourth. Florida State went on to defeat No. 4 Virginia, ranked second in the ACC, 1-0 in the final match Sunday, giving the Seminoles the conference tournament championship for the second year in a row.

The high-powered Seminoles outpaced Notre Dame in shots, 18-5.

“FSU is a very good team that took us out of our game, so I have to give a lot of credit to them,” Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “We were a little bit undisciplined in our defensive organization. We also weren’t able to get the ball and hold onto it and weren’t quick enough getting after the ball. We just weren’t able to establish possession, and that hurt us.”

Florida State put the first point on the board with a goal in the 22nd minute as the Seminoles passed the ball down to the left corner of the field where senior midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir shot the ball past Irish sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little, who made seven saves in the contest.

The Seminoles scored again less than five minutes later off a penalty kick, leaving Notre Dame in a 2-0 hole.

In the second half, the Irish held off the Seminoles attack until the 84th minute when senior midfielder Jamia Fields launched the ball into the back of the net to widen Florida State’s lead to 3-0.

An Irish goal by senior forward Karin Simonian in the final five seconds of the game prevented a shutout.

“Coming out of the halftime, we were very disappointed to be down 2-0, but at the end of the day, finding a way to score even in the last 10 seconds really showed how we weren’t giving up,” Romagnolo said. “We’ve never found ourselves down like that, so it was definitely new for us. We continued the battle and fought back the whole second half. There were some important lessons learned, that we have to make sure we always play hard every time we step on the field and keep our focus even when the game isn’t going very well.”

Although Notre Dame was unable to keep up with Florida State, Romagnolo said the match gave the team valuable preparation against an elite opponent in advance of the NCAA tournament, beginning this weekend.

“It was awesome that we were able to have this game before heading into the NCAA tournament,” Romagnolo said. “We got to see what that top competition looks like. At this point, every game is going be a battle, and we’ve got to put our best foot forward every time. FSU is a very good team, and they can hurt you in a lot of ways.”

Romagnolo also said she saw a few positive takeaways during the lopsided defeat.

“In the second half, we came out and improved on what we did in first, so I liked that mentality,” Romagnolo said. “[Freshman midfielder] Taylor Klawunder played well for us off the bench and had a big impact in that game. [Junior defender] Katie Naughton did very well in the back. She found herself in a lot of one-v-one situations and really did a good job of shutting them down.”

The next postseason challenge for Notre Dame will be the NCAA tournament, which begins Friday, with brackets announced Monday at 4:30 p.m.

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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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