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ND Women’s Soccer

Irish edge out Louisville in double overtime

| Monday, October 3, 2016

On Saturday at Lynn Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky, late-game dramatics helped lift No. 22 Notre Dame over the Louisville in double overtime by a score of 2-1.

This marked the fourth time this season that Notre Dame had played into double overtime, but only the first time the team was able to pick up the win. The victory moved the Irish to 8-1-3 on the season and 3-0-1 in ACC play.

Senior Irish senior midfielder Sandra Yu muscles out a defender  during Notre Dame’s 1-0 win against Missouri on Sept. 4.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Senior Irish senior midfielder Sandra Yu muscles out a defender
during Notre Dame’s 1-0 win against Missouri on Sept. 4.

Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said she is pleased with this strong start to conference play.

“I feel good about our play recently,” she said. “We focus on one game at a time and strive to get better each and every game. I think we’re doing a great job growing and getting results, so it’s nice to see.”

The game was underway for about five minutes when Louisville (7-3-2, 2-1-1) took the quick lead on a goal by junior forward Alison Price. The goal was the result of a defensive miscue by Notre Dame that allowed for a header finish off a free kick. From that point on, however, the Irish would turn the tide and take control for the majority of the game.

It was in the 38th minute when Notre Dame was able to tie up the game, as senior midfielder Sandra Yu was able to convert on an unassisted shot and net the equalizer. For Yu, who had come into the game just three minutes earlier, this marked her first goal of the season, and Yu had a strong offensive performance throughout the entirety of the matchup, leading the team with six shots, three of them on goal.

The two teams would each have chances going the rest of the way in regulation, but the goaltending on both sides stood strong and kept the game notched up at 1-1. For Notre Dame, one of its best chances to take the lead came in the 54th minute when senior Kaleigh Olmstead got off a strong shot that was followed up with a rebound opportunity for the Irish. The opportunity was to no avail as the Louisville goaltender was able to come up with a key couple of stops.

On the defensive side of the ball for Notre Dame, senior goaltender Kaela Little came up big on a number of occasions, especially in the 70th minute when a shot from just outside the box off of a corner kick presented a good opportunity for Louisville. Little stayed big and kept the ball from reaching the back of the net.

The game would head into double overtime, an experience that has become familiar to the Irish, but unlike in the past, they were able to cap off the game with a win. It was the 104th minute when junior midfielder Megan McCashland found herself in back corner of the box, and that proved to be the perfect spot when the corner kick came in from the foot of freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf. McCashland headed in her first career goal and helped the Irish walk away with the 2-1 victory. Coach Romagnolo saw a lot of positives from this game and was happy to see her team pull out a tough win.

“I think it’s hard to score in overtime, especially with both teams being fatigued, so I’m proud that we were able to dig deep and get the result,” Romagnolo said. “This was a physical game, but we fought through it and scored a pair of tough goals.”

Romagnolo also made specific comment on the performance of the team’s late-game hero, McCashland, saying she was proud of the junior.

“It was especially great to see Meghan McCashland, who came off the bench come in and score that big goal,” Romagnolo said. “I’m proud to see her score her first career goal and it’s great that she was able to have that impact and could help our team.”

The Irish are undefeated in their last nine games and will look to rest up before two games at the end of the week with a pair of visits from Clemson on Thursday and Virginia on Sunday.

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