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ND Women’s Soccer

Season ends with Sweet 16 heartbreaker

| Friday, May 15, 2015

No. 11 Notre Dame suffered only three losses in the months of September, October and November, before a Sweet 16 loss to No. 4 Texas A&M on Nov. 23 ended their 2014 season.

Notre Dame freshman midfielder Sabrina Flores brings the ball downfield during a 1-0 win over Baylor at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 12. The Irish finished the season with a 14-6-2 overall record.Wei Lin | The Observer

Notre Dame freshman midfielder Sabrina Flores brings the ball downfield during a 1-0 win over Baylor at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 12. The Irish finished the season with a 14-6-2 overall record.

Notre Dame (14-6-2, 7-2-1 ACC) came close to upsetting the Aggies (23-3-2, 9-1-1 SEC) on their home turf in College Station, Texas, but a goal in the game’s 82nd minute propelled Texas A&M to a 2-1 win.

“Things didn’t go our way in terms of goals that were put in the back of the net, but overall I loved the way we played in that game,” Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “We gave 100 percent of our effort, we executed on the most part on everything that we talked about.”

Before that, the Irish qualified for the four-team ACC tournament and fell 3-1 to No. 1 Florida State in the semifinals. The Seminoles went on to win both the ACC and NCAA titles.

“I thought that we showed great character [in the postseason], and I thought that we were playing some of our best soccer,” Romagnolo said.

The regular season started off slow for Notre Dame. After two wins against unranked Illinois and Oakland, the team lost at home to Southern California and No. 14 Texas Tech in consecutive game.

However, the Irish bounced back from there, with the only other regular season losses coming against No. 8 North Carolina in double overtime on Sept. 20 and No. 2 Virginia, who fell to Florida State in the national title game, on Oct. 5.

“It’s always interesting to watch a team evolve over the course of the season,” Romagnolo said. “There were a lot of different people who stepped up, but as a whole we were becoming more dangerous as the season went on.”

After the narrow loss to Virginia, in which the Cavaliers scored the game-winning goal in the final minute, Notre Dame went on a five-game winning streak and closed out the regular season with a 1-1 tie against Boston College.

“We were defending really well at that point in the year,” Romagnolo said. “The back four was very cohesive. [Sophomore goalkeeper] Kaela Little can come up with any save on any given day. …When you look back, most of those games were still 1-0 victories, so it’s not like we were a prolific goal-scoring team.”

Contributions from a number of different players were crucial to the Irish attack, Romagnolo said. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews, who has since transferred to USC, led the team in points with 17, followed by senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (16 points) and freshman forward Karin Muya (11).

“When I think about our strikers, we had a lot of people who kind of went in waves of being hot and scoring goals,” Romagnolo said. “Lauren Bohaboy had a good season for us, and especially started to peak as we got into the meat of the ACC schedule. [Forward] Karin Simonian had a good year I think as a senior as well.”

Romagnolo named players like junior defenders Katie Naughton and Cari Roccaro as important team leaders, while praising freshmen like defender Sabrina Flores for their rapid development.

On the whole, the season went well, Romagnolo said.

“We could have definitely gone further had some things gone our way and had we found the back of the net in that Sweet 16 game,” Romagnolo said. “I was really pleased with the strides we made from August to the end of November.”

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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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