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ND Women’s Soccer

Notre Dame Women’s Soccer looks for conference win at NC State

| Thursday, September 22, 2016

No. 24 Notre Dame will look to pick up their first ACC victory of the season Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, as they take on North Carolina State.

The Wolfpack (7-2-0, 1-0 ACC) are coming into this game playing strong as they have won six straight games and recorded four consecutive shutouts. On the other side, the Irish have tied each of their last three games, those draws coming against Santa Clara, No. 1 Stanford and most recently, Syracuse on Sunday. The team holds a 5-1-3 record on the season and have only given up 5 goals all season.

Irish junior forward Kaitlin Klawunder looks to pass the ball in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Missouri on Sept. 4 at Alumni Stadium.Emma Farnan | The Observer
Irish junior forward Kaitlin Klawunder looks to pass the ball in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Missouri on Sept. 4 at Alumni Stadium.

Regarding the recent performances from Notre Dame, Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo has been fairly pleased overall.

“Obviously each game is very different,” Romagnolo said. “For us, out in California we played well but realized that we could still get more offensive chances. Against Syracuse, we had some good chances but again couldn’t convert on all of them. Throughout this stretch we have defended well though, and we’re just looking to grow, especially on offensive conversion. We are creating good opportunities, so we just need to convert.”

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of the recent Irish stretch of performances is the fact that the team has played 120 minutes in each of their last three games as each matchup went into double overtime. Romagnolo expressed pride in her team and their ability to play strong as these games have gone on.

“I think especially in the Stanford and Syracuse games we did a great job playing strong at the end of the game,” Romagnolo said. “We were down in both of these games so I love to see the mentality of our team to be able to come from behind.

“We’ve had to dig ourselves out of a bit of a hole before, but we fight and scrap. We’ve done a good job of doing the little things that matter and giving ourselves a chance in each of these games.”

Despite being unranked, the Wolfpack has had itself a successful season to this point, most notably a recent win against rival North Carolina who was ranked No. 7 at the time. The Wolfpack have shown their fair share of firepower offensively with 23 goals in their nine games. Romagnolo realizes this and understands that her team will need a strong game Thursday evening.

“I think NC State has been a really good team this year,” Romagnolo said. “They’re organized, athletic and overall a quality squad. I think what we have to focus on is our play with the ball and shooting the ball well. If we can do that we’ll have a better chance to dictate this game and create more offensive chances for ourselves.”

Notre Dame began ACC play against Syracuse on Sunday with a 1-1 tie, and the team has a long stretch of ACC games ahead — nine in a row, including North Carolina State. The team is hitting a crucial point in the year, but Romagnolo wants to keep the emphasis on her team just trying to continue to improve.

“Throughout the season, every game is very important to us, and so right now we just have to be focused on playing as well as we can and growing as a team,” Romagnolo. “We’re looking to put forth our best performance and continue to develop as a team.”

The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Dali Soccer Field in Raleigh.

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