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ND Women’s Soccer

Irish get much needed win over Cardinals, move up ACC standings

| Monday, October 26, 2020

The Notre Dame women’s soccer team will be returning home with a big upset victory over the No. 13 ranked Louisville Cardinals (4-3, 4-3 ACC). The Irish earned the much-needed win after giving up two consecutive losses at home to Wake Forest and Clemson, the final two home games of the season. Before those losses the Irish were ranked No. 14 in the United Soccer Coaches poll but are now unranked.

The Irish (4-3, 4-3 ACC) now build some steam as they prepare for No. 1 nationally-ranked UNC next Sunday. The match against Louisville went the distance as defense was highlighted throughout, similar to the style of play the last time the Irish met the Cardinals last season, which saw a 0-0 double overtime stalemate.

This year’s game was slow to get started as the cold and wet conditions made for a defensive showcase in the first half. Both teams combined for just one shot on goal, coming off of a Louisville free kick. Notre Dame was able to hold on to the 1-0 lead that senior midfielder Camryn Dyke gave them in the 69th minute. Dyke’s second goal in her career and her first this season came when a cross from Olivia Wingate was nearly intercepted by a Cardinal defender who mistimed her slide, arrived late and inadvertently touched the ball with her hand, setting up a penalty kick and the game winning goal for the senior captain.

Erin Fennessy | The Observer

Irish sophomore midfielder Erin Hohnstein and an opposing player attempt to outmuscle one another on a kick during Notre Dame’s 3-0 win over Syracuse on Oct. 4, 2019.

Junior goalkeeper Mattie Interian made three crucial saves. The first came off a free kick in the first half, the second was a more impressive off-balance swipe and the third would seal the win for the Irish as a corner kick flew right to her gloves as time on the clock expired. The Irish did give up 13 penalties, but were able to pause with enough discipline to only concede just one yellow card in the game. 

The Irish victory was much more than just a much-needed win. It was a must-win game for Notre Dame, who came into the day ranked eighth in the ACC. Only the top eight teams in the conference qualify for the ACC championship tournament. The win gave the Irish three additional points and just a little more breathing room before they meet the top-ranked Tar Heels in North Carolina. The Cardinals will play host to the Tar Heels just three days before the Irish travel to Chapel Hill. This will be an important match for the Irish as they are currently tied with Louisville in points — 12 apiece. 

Irish head coach Nate Norman was glad his team was able to bounce back after a bit of a lull.

“This was one of those gut check games, and I am very proud of the way our team responded,” he said. “It was a tough weekend last weekend, we picked up some injuries in the week leading up to the game and we had a tough first half, but I loved our resiliency and response in the second half. I’m very proud to be a part of this team.”

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