Irish tie Syracuse to start ACC play
Tobias Hoonhout | Monday, September 19, 2016
Once again, the Irish battled for 110 minutes, only to emerge with a draw as Sunday’s 1-1 contest against Syracuse proved to be the third straight double overtime draw the Irish (5-1-3, 0-1 ACC) have played in. While they did battle back from a first half deficit, Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo thought the team deserved to win.
“I think, overall, the feeling we took away from the game was disappointment,” Romagnolo said. “We felt we played well enough where we should’ve won the game, although we did come from behind and I think that was good to battle back — at the end of the day we felt disappointed. We created enough chances where we could’ve won the game, and we didn’t really feel like they had that many great chances. The shots they did have weren’t really that threatening, so I think we felt we should’ve had the better of the game. “
The Irish started brightly, as the first 15 minutes saw the team manage four shots, forcing Syracuse sophomore goalie Courtney Brosnan to make two saves. But a common trend for Notre Dame recently once again emerged: as the half progressed, the Orange started to play better, and, in the 33rd minute, took the lead thanks to junior forward Eva Gordon, who put in the rebound on a corner kick for her third goal of the year. The half ended with that score, 1-0.
In the second period, the Irish looked for an equalizer, and got it in the 53rd minute, thanks to junior midfielder Taylor Klawunder, who managed to bundle the ball in from the resulting scrum in front of goal for her second of the season. Other than that, however, Notre Dame only managed two shots, and were kept in the game by senior goalkeeper and captain Kaela Little, who had three saves late in the half to send the game to overtime.
Over the two overtime periods, the Irish had the better chances, but simply could not find the back of the net. In the first 15 minutes, the Irish had four shots to the Orange’s two, and in the second period, Klawunder came closest when her shot hit the post, but it just was not going for Notre Dame, and the game ended scoreless. After traveling to California last week and playing back-to-back double overtime games, fatigue may have been a factor.
“I think we need more polish in the final third — we want more quality,” Romagnolo said. “I think that’s what we’re disappointed with, just that final pass, final decision on the ball — we just need more quality out of our attacking players.”
This was the first of many conference games for the Irish, and the schedule includes games against fifth-ranked Virginia, seventh-ranked North Carolina and thirteenth-ranked Clemson.
The Irish continue their season this coming Thursday when they travel to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State at 7 p.m.