ND Women’s Soccer
Irish go 2-1 in final road matchups as they prepare for postseason play
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Notre Dame headed into break knowing they had some work to do if they were going to make up some room in the ACC standings, and they were able to help themselves a bit by going 2-1 throughout the week. Those results move the team to 8-9 on the season and 4-5 in conference play, good for 10th in the ACC.
The action started Oct. 13, when the Irish headed to upstate New York for a matchup against Syracuse. There, the offense exploded for a season-high five goals to secure a 5-1 victory. It didn’t take long for Notre Dame to get on the scoreboard, as sophomore forward Eva Hurm was able to volley a cross into the goal just four minutes into the game. Action would slow for much of the remainder of the half before the 43rd minute, when fifth-year forward Karin Muya’s shot from outside the box deflected off an Orange defender for her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
In the second half it was Syracuse who drew first blood to make it a one-goal game in the 71st minute, but Notre Dame responded quickly as sophomore midfielder Sammi Fisher got around the keeper to score on an empty net just six minutes later. Junior striker Jennifer Westendor followed this up in the 85th minute with a header that found that back of the net. The scoring would be capped off by Muya’s second goal of the game and sixth on the season, when she worked her way through the Syracuse defense in the final minute of a solid Irish win.
Five days later, Notre Dame headed to Blacksburg, Virginia, where a comeback bid against Virginia Tech fell short in a 2-1 defeat Thursday.
The Irish fell behind early as they gave up goals in the sixth and 11th minutes to go down by a pair. Scoring largely stalled the rest of the game as both teams played impressive defense until the 77th minute, when Muya netted her seventh on the season off an assist from Fisher. The strong push toward the end of the game proved to be shy of enough for the Irish as the Hoakies held on for the win.
Finally, on Sunday, the Irish travelled to Pittsburgh for their final road game of the regular season and came out on top with a 2-0 win over the Panthers. After a quiet start, Notre Dame earned a free kick in the 13th minute, which was followed with chaos in front of the net before Fisher got ahold of the ball and scored her third goal of the season. Each team would have its opportunities over the next 40 minutes or so to no avail. In the 57th minute, however, it was Fisher who found her way back on the scoresheet off a Westendorf rebound passed across by senior defender Sabrina Flores. The Irish held on to the ball for the better part of the final 30 minutes to take home the win as freshman goalkeeper Mattie Interian earned her second shutout of the season.
Looking forward, the Irish will close out the regular season with a matchup at home Thursday against No. 10 Duke as the Irish continue their campaign for an ACC championship bid. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.