ND Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame bounces back from shutout to pick up first win over ranked opponent
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, October 1, 2018
Looking to bounce back from their 4-0 home loss to Florida State on Thursday, the Irish came out of the gates of Alumni Stadium to take on No. 21 North Carolina State on Sunday with vengeance, scoring in the first five minutes of the competition.
After two early corner kicks and a missed shot by junior midfielder Alexis Martel-Lamothe, graduate-student forward Karin Muya recovered the ricocheted save to sink a shot in the back of the net, giving the Irish an early lead.
However, the celebration was short-lived for Notre Dame (6-6-0, 2-2-0 ACC) because the Wolfpack (8-3-2, 1-2-1 ACC) quickly responded with an equalizing goal. Nine minutes into the match, the Wolfpack took their first corner kick of the afternoon and quickly evened the score with a goal by senior midfielder Taylor Porter to the bottom right corner, her first for the season.
After that strong offensive start, play stalled as both teams settled in. The Irish continued to dominate possession, recording three corner kicks and a shot on goal by junior forward Jennifer Westendorf. Notre Dame had another good look at the goal in the final minutes of the first half when sophomore midfielder Sammi Fisher made her way to the top of the box before launching a left-footed shot from 17 yards that went wide left, narrowly missing the goal. The first half was slightly in favor of the Irish, who placed two shots in goal, in addition to their early goal, compared to the Wolfpack’s zero shots on goal.
Returning to play in the second half, N.C. State looked to shift the momentum in their favor, taking four shots in the first 10 minutes, all of which went wide. Despite their arguably stronger attack, the Irish were once again the first to strike on a rebounded shot in the second half. Sophomore forward Eva Hurm took a shot from deep that hit the crossbar. Westendorf, conveniently located in the goalie box, quickly tapped the ball past the Wolfpack goalkeeper. This goal sparked a series of dominating plays by Notre Dame, including eight shots on goal. But the Wolfpack wouldn’t give up without a fight.
With 13 minutes remaining in the game, N.C. State junior defender Krissi Schuster poked the ball between two Notre Dame defenders allowing teammate junior midfielder Michaella van Maanen a chance to follow with a shot. However, van Maanen’s attempt was shut down by junioe goalkeeper Brooke Litman, who was able to deflect the shot out right, helping the Irish fend off the comeback and seal the victory.
This win over the Wolfpack marks the first for Notre Dame over a ranked opponent this season. After having lost five of their last six matchups, this win over the Wolfpack was needed heading into the latter half of the schedule.
Notre Dame will take on No. 3 North Carolina on Thursday in the third of their four-game homestand. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.