ND Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame continues five-game win streak
Greg Hadley | Monday, October 27, 2014
All year long, Irish coach Theresa Romagnolo has stressed to her ninth-ranked Irish squad the importance of consistency. Now, after a 1-0 victory over Louisville on Sunday at Alumni Stadium, that reliability has paid off for Notre Dame in the form of an ACC tournament berth.
“The team that steps on the field right now, it’s the same team every given game,” Romagnolo said. “We’re bringing toughness and a desire to compete. We’re organized, and we are getting a hold of the ball.”
With the victory over the Cardinals (7-8-2, 3-4-2 ACC), the Irish (12-4-1, 7-2-0) finished the fall break with a 3-0 record, stretching their season-high win streak to five games.
Before this streak, Notre Dame had not won more than two games in a row on the season. During it, the Irish have outscored their opponents, 11-0, and outshot them, 127-25.
“A good toughness,” Romagnolo said when asked what has been key in the recent stretch. “On the attacking side, we’re … building up the field and creating a lot of opportunities for ourselves.”
The win guaranteed the squad a top-four finish in the conference and a place in the ACC tournament with one game left in the regular season. The Irish also gave their six seniors a victory in the final home game of their careers.
“We knew what was at stake, and we wanted to play well not only to get to the ACC [championship], but to finish the season strong for our seniors,” Romagnolo said.
Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy led the way against the Cardinal defense Sunday afternoon, recording five shots and the lone goal of the contest in 76 minutes of play.
In the ninth minute, sophomore forward Kaleigh Olmsted dribbled down the right side of the field and found Bohaboy with a sharp cross, which the Mission Viejo, California native headed in for the goal. It was Bohaboy’s team-leading seventh score and fifth in the last six games.
“[The goal was] just a great header off Kaleigh’s cross,” Romagnolo said. “Kaleigh made that happen going one-v-one and [Bohaboy], again, finding herself in the right place at the right time. [She had] great instincts around the goal to get there.”
Defensively, the Irish once again shut down their opponents, limiting the Cardinals to five shots, including just one chance in the second half. Notre Dame also dominated possession, not allowing any corner kicks.
“We’re not allowing a lot of opportunities,” Romagnolo said. “We’re denying crosses, denying shots. … We’re really controlling the ball and giving ourselves the opportunity to possess a lot more than the other team.”
The victory capped off a whirlwind week for the Irish, who put away Syracuse on the road, 2-0, on Oct. 18 and then scrapped their way to a tough 1-0 win over No. 20 Clemson on Thursday. Romagnolo said she was pleased with how her team handled the turnaround from the win over Clemson to the Louisville game.
“It was Senior Day, and they were excited to get a result for the seniors, but also to get a result to get into ACCs.” Romagnolo said. “I think they responded really well.”
The win over the Orange kept Notre Dame unbeaten on the road this season at 6-0-1, and the team’s two wins at home boosted its record at Alumni Stadium to 6-4.
In those three games, the Irish unloaded 64 shots and scored four times, for a shooting percentage of .063, below their season average (.103). Heading into the ACC tournament, the offense will have to convert on more of their chances, Romagnolo said.
“I’d like to see us play a little bit faster,” she said. “Especially in a Sunday afternoon game, [we need] to come out and just attack an opponent [and] put two or three in the back of the net if we have those opportunities, not take for granted that we’ll have 22 shots like we had today. Maybe we’ll only have five opportunities, and we need to capitalize on those.”
Before Notre Dame heads to Greensboro, North Carolina, on Nov. 7 for the ACC championship tournament, the Irish wrap up their regular season Saturday in Newton, Massachusetts, against Boston College. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.