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ND Women’s Soccer

Irish set to bounce back from loss to Butler

| Thursday, August 30, 2018

Notre Dame will face Cincinnati at home Thursday evening, coming off of a 4-1 loss on the road against Butler last Sunday.

Irish head coach Nate Norman sees that loss, the first on the season for the Irish (3-1), as a teaching opportunity for his team.

“Seasons are really defined by how you handle adversity,” Norman said. “Sometimes adversity can destroy teams; sometimes it can make teams stronger. Sometimes it can bring you together, push you harder, help you learn from mistakes … I expect we’ll come out stronger and more hungry to compete.”

The Irish had outscored their first three opponents 6-2 heading into the Butler game, and have outshot opponents 68-21 on the season. However, the statistics don’t give the full story. The Irish have struggled getting the ball in the back of the net, with less than a third of their shots being on goal, compared to their opponents having quality looks on over half their attempted shots. Notre Dame is capable of creating scoring opportunities, Norman said, but they’ll definitely be looking to do more against the Bearcats (3-1), whose only loss came at the hands of No. 6 Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I think we’ve done a really good job keeping the ball and trying to control the tempo of the play,” he said.

Cincinnati’s defense is expected to give the Irish plenty to handle, having only given out four goals on the season, three of which were to the Cavaliers (4-0). Norman stressed the need for a careful, measured Irish attack.

“They’re a tough, physical team,” he said. “They’ll try to be effective on the counter. We’ll have to make sure we match their physicality, and that when we have the ball we take care of it and [don’t] turn the ball over in tough areas.”

Notre Dame is only four games away from the beginning of conference play, but the Bearcats won’t be the worst of their worries. After taking on Ohio State at home, Norman’s team will head west to California to take on No. 1 Stanford and No. 9 Santa Clara to wrap up their non-conference regular season.

The Irish, who finished fifth in the ACC last season, were ranked No. 7 in the preseason ACC poll. With five teams in the top-25, including three in the top-10, Notre Dame will be in for a fight against their conference foes.

The match against Cincinnati will be held at Alumni Stadium and is slated to kick off at 7 p.m.

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