ND Women’s Soccer: ND faces upstart Terps
Casey Karnes | Thursday, September 26, 2013
After a week off, No. 3 Notre Dame looks to extend its win streak to five games and remain undefeated in conference play with a victory Thursday against No. 22 Maryland.
The Irish (7-1, 3-0 ACC) will be hosting their second consecutive ACC opponent as part of a four-game home stand. While Notre Dame’s only loss this season was at home to UCLA on Sept. 1, it has only allowed three goals in its six games at Alumni Stadium this season. Irish coach Randy Waldrum said the timing of the home stand gives the Irish an advantage in their transition to the ACC.
“Yeah, you know what, that’s what you hope for,” Waldrum said. “I’d certainly rather have it at home, in front of our crowd, than having that stretch on the road. I think especially with being a young team, it has worked out really nice in that regard to have a good stretch [at home] early.”
While the Irish have built momentum during their four game win streak, Maryland (6-3, 2-1), coming off a 1-0 defeat of last week’s No. 3 team, Wake Forest, is unlikely to be intimidated by Notre Dame’s ranking. According to Waldrum, the Terrapins are a threat not because of their recent victory, but rather because of their style of play, which may look familiar to fans of the Irish.
“I think what everyone is going to see is that Maryland is kind of the mirror image of the way we play,” Waldrum said. “The formations are the same, the style of play is the same. They’re a team that’s going to know exactly what we’re trying to do. That was a huge result they had [against Wake Forest], and … clearly they’re fully capable of coming in here and causing all kinds of problems for us.”
Like the Notre Dame’s, the Terrapins’ defense is led by sophomore goalie Rachelle Beanlands, who has collected four shutouts on the season. On the other side of the ball, Waldrum lauded the play of Maryland’s offensive duo of sophomore midfielder Ashley Spivey and senior forward Hayley Brock.
Brock scored the Terrapins’ only goal against Wake Forest and leads the squad with eight, while Spivey is second with four. Maryland has struggled to score in its past six games, only reaching two goals twice in that span. All three of the Terrapins losses this season were to ranked teams, including one to No. 2 Stanford.
The Irish defense, with four shutouts on the year behind freshman goalie Kaela Little, will need support from the Irish offense, which has scored only two goals in the past two games. Waldrum is looking for players beyond leading scorers junior forward Lauren Bohaboy and freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews to step up.
“We have to get a little more production out of all three of the forwards we’ve been using,” Waldrum said. “These last couple of games we haven’t gotten much production out of them, which we were earlier in the year. I think a little bit of not scoring as many goals had to do with the opposition as well, but I’d also say we have take some ownership of it offensively. I’m hoping we can get [sophomore forward Cari] Roccaro unleashed a little bit, get some more offense out of her.”
Against a quality ranked team like Maryland, Waldrum said his team can’t afford to be stagnant or start slow.
“This isn’t the kind of game where we can take half an hour to get going,” Wadrum said. “Against a good team like Maryland, that might be a half an hour too late.”
The Irish look to protect Alumni Stadium from the upset-hungry Terrapins on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Contact Casey Karnes at [email protected]