ND Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame women’s soccer dominate Boston College to continue best start in years
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Notre Dame women’s soccer notched their third straight ACC win Sunday, taking down Boston College 4-1 at Alumni Stadium.
Goals and penalty kicks were aplenty in the annual rivalry match, as Notre Dame earned two spot kicks and Boston College earned one. The Irish opened the scoring just five minutes in when Olivia Wingate was brought down in the box attempting a shot and earned a penalty. Leading scorer graduate student midfielder Sammi Fisher made no mistakes from the spot, and the Irish took an early 1-0 start on home turf.
After a scoreless final forty minutes of the first half, the scoring took off in the second half. The Irish would double, and then triple their advantage in the 65th minute and 70th minute via another penalty, this time scored by junior midfielder Maddie Mercado after a Boston College handball in the box. Freshman defender Kaylie Ronan added a curled finish into the far bottom corner from close range — her first goal for the Fighting Irish.
The Eagles would get one back with a penalty kick of their own in the 75th minute, as an Irish handball in the box gave Boston College a prime chance to get on the board. Sophomore forward Linda Boama stepped up for the Eagles and converted to pull the visitors within two goals, but that was all the Boston College attack could muster up in the final stages of the game. The Irish would add one more goal to their tally before the games end, however, as Sammi Fisher made it a brace on the day after latching onto a searching kick by sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Naylor. Fisher’s finish made it a three goal margin of victory for Notre Dame, their third consecutive conference game won by that margin.
The win marks Notre Dame’s strongest start to a season in a long time — the Irish haven’t matched their current 9-1-1 clip since their 2015-16 campaign. And while their conference schedule is extremely backloaded (it’s possible all five of Notre Dame’s final matches will be against ranked opponents, with three in the top ten), it’s looking more and more fair to say that this is the best Irish team in a long time. While it remains to be seen how they’ll stack up with the ACC’s elite, if they continue to keep pace in their final five matches, there’s no reason Notre Dame won’t find themselves in the top fifteen of national polls. And as of right now they’re doing exactly what they need to do: win emphatically against the teams in front of them. Moving onto a road trip to North Carolina State this midweek, there’s momentum in South Bend previously unseen in Nate Norman’s tenure.
North Carolina State is not an easy opponent. In their last two games, while they have not yet earned a point, the Wolfpack have forced both Clemson and Virginia (national quarterfinalists and semifinalists respectively last year) into games that went until the last kick (Clemson scored the winner in the 86th minute, and Virginia in the 90th). With home fans at their back, the Wolfpack should provide the Irish another major hurdle to clear.
The match is slated for 7 p.m. Friday and will kick off at Raleigh’s Alumni Stadium. A broadcast can be found on the ACC Network.