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ND Women’s Soccer

Captain Sabrina Flores provides veteran leadership to squad

| Friday, August 31, 2018

As Notre Dame begins another season, there will certainly be a mix of new team members, as well as familiar faces working to develop chemistry and get their year underway on a positive note. One of the keys to success for any team is veteran leadership, something the Irish will be looking for out of their juniors and seniors. Senior defender and midfielder combo Sabrina Flores will certainly play one of those roles in providing the team with a veteran presence this season.

Hailing from Livingston, New Jersey, Flores was handed a critical role in her first year as a member of the Irish back in 2014. That season, she was the only freshman to start all 22 games, playing a key role in the Notre Dame defense throughout the process. On the year, Flores totaled three assists while playing nearly 2,000 minutes and received ACC All-Freshman Team honors for her efforts.

After the success of freshman year, Flores changed positions in her sophomore campaign, moving from defense to midfield where she found more success offensively. She scored her first collegiate goal against Portland back in August of 2015, one of three she had on the season. Flores has continued on in her career at Notre Dame to start every game, although she did miss the entirety of the 2016 season as she trained with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Ian Groover | The Observer
Irish senior midfielder and captain Sabrina Flores prepares to kick the ball during Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Cincinnati on Aug. 30 at Alumni Stadium.

While he is only in his first year as head coach at Notre Dame, Irish head coach Nate Norman has already noted the impact Flores has on the team, something that became clear from the beginning as she was named one of the team captains.

“Sabrina was voted one of our captains because she is a great leader not only on the field but off the field as well. She brings intensity every single day and she comes ready to compete,” Norman said. “She is one of our most technical players and really a great two-way player. … She does a lot of things really, really well for us.”

Flores is one of five seniors on the Notre Dame roster, and Norman recognizes how important the leadership they provide is for the team’s success.

“Having that senior leadership is really important,” Norman said. “At times they help get us on the same page … they help to make sure we stay strong.”

Aside from her success on the field, Sabrina also holds a unique distinction in Notre Dame women’s soccer history as she along with her sister Monica join Kaitlin and Taylor Klawunder to become the first pair of twins to appear on the Notre Dame women’s soccer roster in the same season. Before the 2014 season in which the Flores and Klawunder sisters joined the program, the Irish had only once ever had a pair of sisters back in 2001.

With Flores now in her final year, she’ll certainly be looking to have a big impact as she leaves her final mark on the program. Notre Dame is currently ranked at No. 17 nationally, but after a strong start thus far it will be looking to shoot even further up the polls in the coming weeks. Flores will undoubtably be instrumental to the team’s success this season as she captains the 2018 Irish.

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