ND Women’s Soccer
Irish prepare to defend home turf
Renee Griffin | Thursday, September 11, 2014
No. 19 Notre Dame will take on Baylor and Toledo this weekend at Alumni Stadium in an effort to get its first home wins since the opening weekend.
Last time the Irish (3-2-1) were at home, they fell to No. 7 Texas Tech and No. 14 USC. However, the team is coming off strong performances at No. 24 Santa Clara and No. 4 Stanford, as they defeated the Broncos and tied the Cardinal, 0-0.“Not only did we have good results but we played well,” Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “Playing well is where you get the confidence, and that should be good for us going into the weekend.”
Romagnolo said she noticed a marked improvement in the team’s beginning-to-end performance last weekend, in contrast to the losses to the Red Raiders and Trojans when the Irish surrendered two goals twice in the second half, costing them the victories.
“We played two complete games,” Romagnolo said. “They defended well and they were aggressive on attack which is something we’ve been emphasizing.”
Romagnolo said she expects the improvements to continue to show this weekend, as Notre Dame has been focused in practice, especially on attack.
“I think if we can work on our offensive side of the game and just get a little more chemistry going, then it would really make a difference and help us score more goals,” Romagnolo said. “We’re constantly a work in progress and we’re trying to get better every day. One thing I love about this group is that they’re always pushing each other. They’re never satisfied and want to keep working toward our team goals.”
Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy currently leads the Irish offense with three goals, while sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews, who led the team in goals last season, has only scored once this year. She has chipped in three assists to lead the squad.
Notre Dame’s freshman class has continued to make an impact on the veteran squad. Four of the rookies, forwards Kaitlin Klawunder and Karin Muya and midfielders Taylor Klawunder and Sabrina Flores, have each contributed a point and combined to make 13 starts.
Baylor (5-1-0) and Toledo (2-2-1), though unranked, should present good competition for the team, Romagnolo said.
“Baylor is a very good team,” Romagnolo said. “They have a great record this year and some dangerous players. They’re very physical and direct so we’re going to have to bring energy and intensity. Toledo is another team that has been solid, and we have to show up and bring them a quality game.”
Romagnolo said it will be important for the Irish to step up on their home turf in order to keep the momentum from their wins last weekend.
“[Getting a home win] is huge,” Romagnolo said. “Anytime we’re at home we want to use it to our advantage, because obviously we’re most comfortable in front of a home crowd.”
Notre Dame will face the Bears at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by the Rockets at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both games will be played at Alumni Stadium.