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ND Women’s Soccer

Notre Dame falls to NC State 4-1 in ACC quarterfinals

| Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunday afternoon, Notre Dame women’s soccer traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, where it took on NC State in the ACC quarterfinals. While the Irish had beaten NC State earlier this season by a score of 4-0, the Wolfpack were able to secure the win Sunday, defeating Notre Dame 4-1. The loss snapped a five game winning streak for the Irish over NC State, including a victory in last year’s ACC quarterfinals. This was Notre Dame’s fourth appearance in the ACC tournament.

Anna Mason | The Observer

Irish senior defender Monica Flores prepares to pass the ball during Notre Dame’s 3-0 loss to Duke on Sept. 21 at Alumni Stadium. Flores took one shot in the game and played all 90 minutes.

Play got underway at Dail Soccer Field with fairly wet conditions, but the Irish (9-6-4, 5-3-2) didn’t let it faze them as the offense was on the attack early on. Notre Dame was able to get off five shots in the first 15 minutes of action as well as two corner kicks. However, NC State’s defense, which had given up just four goals at home all season, adjusted and kept chances limited for the remainder of the first half. Notre Dame would have another opportunity in the 42nd minute when sophomore forward Natalie Jacobs headed a pass from senior defender Monica Flores. The NC State goalie was able to make the save, however, and the game remained scoreless at halftime, marking the 11th time this season Notre Dame has gone to the locker room tied after 45 minutes.

In the 61st minute, Notre Dame was finally able to get on the board when junior midfielder Sabrina Flores got ahold of the ball inside the box and buried it in the left side of the net. It marked her first goal on the season and fourth of her career. The 1-0 lead did not hold for long as NC State (14-4-1, 6-3-1 ACC) went on the attack in the following minutes and forced some rare mistakes out of the normally strong Irish defense. In the 66th minute, the Wolfpack notched things up as Tziarra King found the back of the net, getting the ball just past a diving attempt by senior Notre Dame goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas. From there, NC State continued to apply pressure, scoring just five minutes later to take the lead, a lead that would hold for good. King added another pair of goals in the 77th and 85th minutes, completing the hat trick and capping off the 4-1 victory. For NC State, this marked their sixth straight victory, and the Wolfpack will now go on to play North Carolina in a battle for state supremacy Friday.

On the day, Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said she saw some positive things out of her team, but noted they didn’t come consistently enough.

“Sabrina Flores scored a nice goal for us. At times we connected our passes and got into dangerous areas, but we didn’t do it consistently enough,” Romagnolo said. “They scored on a set piece which we can’t continue doing, so that’s disappointing, but moving forward we have to correct our mistakes and avoid doing the same things.”

Now eliminated from the ACC tournament, the Irish await a potential bid in the NCAA championship. Notre Dame has played in the past 24 NCAA tournaments, most recently having lost in the first round to SIU-Edwardsville last season. The selection show is Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. while tournament play gets underway starting Nov. 10. Until then, Romagnolo said she hopes her team can use the time off to rest up and get ready for the next step.

“We want to get rest, regroup, and see what we want to focus on moving forward, and from there we will have our first round game,” she said.

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