ND Women’s Soccer
ND records two shutouts over opening weekend
Marek Mazurek | Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Notre Dame was clicking in all aspects of the game Sunday at Alumni Stadium, as the No. 9 Irish beat Toledo 3-0, improving their season mark to 2-0-0 after topping Valparaiso, 6-0, on Friday.
Junior forward Kaleigh Olmsted scored the first goal of the game 12 minutes in with assists from sophomore midfielder Sabrina Flores and freshman forward Natalie Jacobs. Just five minutes later, junior midfielder Sandra Yu added another tally on a cross from Olmsted.
Sophomore midfielder Taylor Klawunder scored the final goal for the Irish in the 74th minute on a header off a corner kick from senior defender Brittany Von Rueden.
The Irish have a total of nine goals from seven different players through their first two games; Yu and Klawunder each scored against Valparaiso as well. Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said that balance is key to Notre Dame’s attack.
“We have a lot of talented forwards,” Romagnolo said. “On Friday [against Valparaiso] you saw six different people score six goals, that’s pretty rare. And again [against Toledo] three different people scored. I think we’re a team that has a lot of different people who can be dangerous.”
With the offense setting the bar high, the Irish defense was able to perform as well, allowing Toledo just one shot, not on goal.
“I think that as a group we’re pressuring the ball very well, and we’re getting a lot of numbers behind,” Romagnolo said. “So far we’ve been very organized, and I think the first weekend of real games, we’re always going to have some things that need improving, but on the whole as a group, I think we defended very well.”
The win over Toledo came on a stormy night, as lightning delayed the start of the game and rain caused a 30-minute suspension of play in the first half. Romagnolo said the strong play of her substitutes was key for the Irish.
“I think whenever you have a delay like that, it affects both teams,” Romagnolo said. “It just makes for a different kind of atmosphere. Overall I was proud of our girls. … They kept their focus and concentration, and even the players coming off the bench for me were able to come in and raise the level.”
The team now gears up for the Notre Dame Invitational this weekend, where they will host Santa Clara on Saturday and Portland on Sunday. Romagnolo said she is looking for her team to continue to improve and establish a team identity.
“Our mindset is game-to-game,” Romagnolo said. “We’re just watching and assessing and seeing who steps up. We’re still learning about ourselves as a team. When we get to the ACC, we’ll have more games under our belt, so we’ll know more about ourselves.”