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ND Women’s Soccer

No. 14 Notre Dame looks to build on winning streak

| Thursday, October 15, 2015

No. 14 Notre Dame gets set for its last four conference matches of the season this week, as its stretch begins with a home game against Wake Forest on Friday.

The Irish (10-3-1, 3-3-0 ACC) ride a two-game winning streak heading into the match, but they currently sit in 9th place in the conference. However, the team is also one of six teams in the ACC currently ranked in the top 15 nationally.

That conference depth will once again be on display Friday, when the Irish take on the Demon Deacons (4-9-2, 1-5-0). Despite their 12th place standing in the conference, the Demon Deacons are fresh off of a tight 1-0 loss to No. 2 Virginia. Additionally, they defeated a Miami team 3-0 earlier this season that stole a win from the Irish just two weeks ago.

Senior defender Brittany Von Rueden moves the ball forward during a 1-0 loss to Florida State at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 27.Emma Farnan | The Observer

Still, Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said her team needs to approach the matchup as it would any other conference game.

“It’s like any ACC game,” Romagnolo said. “I think everybody’s competitive, and you got to show up and give your best performance [each game]. You have to click offensively, create chances, and put them away. Then, obviously, we want to defend well and limit the opportunities that they have.”

The defense has done just that as of late for the Irish, as their efforts have led to consecutive shutouts of Syracuse and Boston College and a combined six shots against. The offense has also began to turn things around, as they’ve scored three goals in the last two games and totaled 39 shots, which is an improvement over the back-to-back shutouts the team suffered during a two-game skid that preceded their current stretch.

Following the game at Wake Forest, the team will have just three regular season games remaining. This includes a trip to the state of North Carolina, where Notre Dame will battle No. 7 North Carolina on Oct. 22 before then taking on Duke on Oct. 25. The Irish will then conclude their regular season Oct. 30 when they welcome No. 12 Virginia Tech to Alumni Stadium.

With a big stretch run needed for the Irish to make a push for the conference playoffs, Romagnolo said it is important for her team to take each game one at a time and let the big picture take care of itself.

“For us, every game is important,” Romagnolo said. “We get up for each game as it comes, so right now the focus is on Wake Forest. Then, we’re heading into fall break, which is nice because its a time they can relax a bit from the academics. Then we’ll be in [North] Carolina together as a team, and at that point we’ll get focused on [North] Carolina and Duke.

“But for right now we’ve got four games left in the ACC. We want to finish strong and keep really developing who we are as a team.”

While their current standing in the conference might suggest otherwise, Romagnolo said the Irish are in a good position and continue to make strides towards their goal of postseason play.

“I think we’re using every game to prepare us for the postseason, so the mentality is that we try to approach every game and put forth our best effort,” Romagnolo said.

Notre Dame will next take the pitch when they welcome Wake Forest to Alumni Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.

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About Benjamin Padanilam

Ben is a senior and The Observer’s former Editor-in-Chief, now serving as its interim Sports Editor. He is in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and also pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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