ND Women’s Soccer
ND shuts out Virginia Tech for road upset
Greg Hadley | Thursday, September 25, 2014
They live for the road.
Five days after a crushing 3-2 double overtime loss to No. 9 North Carolina at home, the No. 20 Irish travelled to Blacksburg, Virginia, and handed No. 2 Virginia Tech its first loss of the season, 2-0.
The win keeps the Irish (6-3-1, 1-1-0 ACC) undefeated on the road this season at 3-0-1.“Every game we’ve played in we’ve had a chance to win,” Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “For some reason, on the road we’ve found a way to get that ‘W.’ For me, the real positive is that we can play just as well on the road as we do at home.”
The Hokies (10-1-0, 1-1-0) entered the game having outscored their opponents 38-3 on the season. The 2-0 loss to the Irish, was the first time Virginia Tech has allowed more than one goal in a game.
After a scoreless first half, the Irish offense received a spark from the bench in junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson. Gilbertson received a pass from senior forward Karin Simonian off of a Hokie turnover and scored in the 62nd minute.
Gilbertson is second on the team in shots with 27, but the goal was only her second of the season and her first since the opening game of the year.
Just over eight minutes later, sophomore Kaleigh Olmsted received a pass from senior defender Taylor Schneider and converted for her first score on the year.
“[Anna Maria and Kaleigh] were very dynamic,” Romagnolo said. “They had some great combinations up front [and] they were threatening the other team from behind. They brought so much quality and unpredictability to the offense.”
Schneider’s and Simonian’s assists were also their first points of the season, highlighting a complete team effort from the Irish, Romagnolo said.
“I think our midfield played fantastic,” she said. “And when I say midfield, there were about six players who all played there and they all went in and played fantastic. … To be honest, it was a fantastic team effort and everyone played really well.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little recorded her fifth shutout of the year, turning aside 15 Hokie shots and collecting five saves. After the Irish took a 2-0 lead, Virginia Tech began to push forward and recorded four shots in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
“Anytime a team is down at the end of the game, they’re going to throw a lot of numbers at you,” Romagnolo said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of dealing with it but Kaela did have to make some big plays. And that’s something Kaela can do. She’s a fantastic goalkeeper.”
The Irish now have an opportunity to complete their first ACC road trip of the season with two away wins when they play Wake Forest on Sunday.
The Demon Deacons (3-5-1, 1-1-0) are part of a six-team logjam for second place in the conference, but are coming off a 5-0 loss to No. 3 Virginia. They are 2-1 at home.
For Notre Dame, the focus will be on producing another complete effort, Romagnolo said.“In the games we have lost, we haven’t performed a … full 90 minutes,” she said. “For us, getting the result at Virginia Tech was important, but we’ve also got to take care of business on Sunday.”
The Irish travel to Winston-Salem, N. C., to take on Wake Forest at 1 p.m., Sunday.