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ND Women’s Soccer

Irish dominate Cardinals, remain unbeaten in ACC

| Monday, October 2, 2023

Arisa Custodio
The Notre Dame women’s soccer team celebrates a goal during a 3-1 defeat of Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium on Sep. 15.

Though the Notre Dame women’s soccer team entered Saturday still in a good position in the ACC standings, there was a lot at stake. That isn’t usually the case against an overmatched team like 2-6-4 Louisville, unlikely to make noise in one of college soccer’s top conferences. But the Irish have to win games in their current stretch. Saturday’s contest kicked off a three-game homestand, all against unranked ACC opponents. That’s the calm before the storm of playing the top two teams in the country back-to-back on the road.

Those games against North Carolina and Florida State will be daunting and vital. For now, though, all the Irish can do is get to that stretch in as good of shape as possible. After conceding a late goal for a disappointing draw against Pitt, Notre Dame bounced back as emphatically as possible, beating the Cardinals 3-0.

That score, while convincing, doesn’t capture the extent of Notre Dame’s domination. It took less than four minutes for the Irish to strike. Freshman forward Meg Mrowicki took a feed from graduate student midfielder Kiki Van Zanten and turned in her fourth goal of the year. It was the start of a big night for Van Zanten. She would eventually tally twice in the second half to put the game out of reach.

Before that could happen, the Irish had to deal with some first-half frustration. Through 45 minutes of play, shots were 14-2 in Notre Dame’s favor. But the Irish had just the Mrowicki tally to show for their domination. Louisville keeper Erynn Floyd did her best to keep the Cardinals in it, making several aggressive, highlight-reel saves on just about every type of shot possible. Her best came on an impressive denial of Irish freshman forward Charlie Codd streaking down the left side late in the half. She one-upped herself by getting up to make a one-handed leaping stop early in the second half as well.

But eventually, her heroics couldn’t hold up. Mrowicki snuck a shot through the legs of Floyd only to clank the second post of the night. This time, the rebound kicked out in front where Van Zanten was first to the spot to put the Irish up 2-0. About 15 minutes later, Van Zanten drew her second penalty of the season. Like her first, Van Zanten made no mistake, securing the Irish victory. Freshman goalie Atlee Olofson, making her third consecutive start, stopped each of the two shots sent her way.

The Irish return to action at Alumni Stadium on Thursday against Boston College. The match starts at 7 p.m. and is available to watch on ACC Network Extra.

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About Andrew McGuinness

Andrew McGuinness is a senior in Siegfried Hall and Sports Editor of The Observer. He is from Haddonfield, New Jersey, and loves all of his Philly sports teams, even if they don't always love him back. Reach out below or on Twitter (@_AndrewMcG) to talk sports or TV shows, especially if they're Stranger Things, Survivor, Abbott Elementary or/and Severance.

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