ND Women’s Soccer
Irish set for match with No. 4 Cavs
Renee Griffin | Thursday, October 2, 2014
The No. 14 Irish will face their third top-20 ACC team of the season Sunday as No. 4 Virginia visits Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame (7-3-1, 2-1-0 ACC) is coming off two ACC road wins, 1-0 over Wake Forest and 2-0 over then-No. 2 Virginia Tech. Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo said the momentum is helpful, but it does not guarantee another victory.
“I think momentum is always great, but you’ve got to show up every game and play hard,” Romagnolo said. “Anytime you’re winning, I think the mentality is going to be pretty positive. People tend to believe more in themselves.”
However, extending the win streak to three would be a major morale boost, Romagnolo said.
“[A win] would be great for us,” Romagnolo said. “We’ve started with a lot of tough teams in the ACC, and I think we’ve done well. We’re battle-tested. But it would be great to get the win at home.”Already, the team has high expectations and is confident in its ability to compete with any top team, Romagnolo said.
“Something we’ve talked about is we’ve shown we can play with those premier teams, and we are one of those premier teams,” Romagnolo said. “We know we can go in and compete against anyone and have a chance to win.”
Virginia (10-1-0, 2-1-0) could be considered one of those premier teams. Until a loss to No. 2 Florida State last week, the Cavaliers were undefeated and had maintained a 17-game ACC regular-season winning streak.
“They’re a very organized team with some dynamic players on the attack,” Romagnolo said. “They like to possess the ball, and they’ve got a good defense as well.”
With a week between games, Romagnolo said the practice schedule is a little unusual, but Notre Dame will be careful that its players are fully prepared.
“It’s a longer week than usual since the game is on Sunday, and we want to make sure that they’re fresh,” Romagnolo said. “In practice, we’re just trying to improve so we can keep running off the ball and playing great defense.”
Thus far this season, the Irish have spread around goals and production. Senior forward Karin Simonian scored her first goal of the season against Wake Forest, and sophomore forward Kaleigh Olmsted notched her first against Virginia Tech.
Offensive leaders like sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (four goals) and senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (three goals) are often prominent on the attack, but Romagnolo said there is always a chance someone new will step up.
“We have a lot of talented players, and anyone can step up on any given day,” Romagnolo said, “[Who it will be] is the question every week. We choose an 11 based on the week of training and look at players off the bench who would be able to come in and make an impact.”
Notre Dame takes on the Cavaliers at 1 p.m. Sunday at Alumni Stadium.