Aug. 16, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. - A pair of second half goals erased what was an early deficit for the University of Notre Dame women's soccer team, as freshman forward Kaitlin Klawunder (Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita) scored the equalizer with less than three minutes remaining in a 2-2 draw at Northwestern on Saturday at Lakeside Field. The Fighting Irish closed the 2014 preseason with a 6-0-2 mark in their last eight exhibition games, and are now a combined 14-3-4 against college opponents during the preseason since 1999.
Notre Dame posted a 10-4 shot advantage over Northwestern during the match, controlling the run of play in the second half with a 7-1 edge in total shots. The Fighting Irish also managed five shots on goal to the three of the host Wildcats, and earned four corner kicks to just one for Northwestern.
"We let in two sloppy goals but we learned from our mistakes," Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. "Sometimes I like when that happens in preseason because it gives us something to talk about and look at on film. We said in the second half, `What kind of a team are we going to be leading into this fall?' We have talked about being resilient already, and what you saw was a really resilient team that is going to respond when we go down.
"We had a lot of new faces on the field," she added. "Kaitlin (Klawunder) had a huge goal, Lo (Lauren Bohaboy) had a big goal for us. I saw some great things out on the field for what we are going to do if we do get down."
Northwestern struck for two goals during the first half, as a give-and-go from Katie Landgrebe to Addie Steiner found the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 16:59. The hosts extended the cushion in the 37th minute on a diving volley by Sami Schrakamp that floated over the reach of Notre Dame goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley), pushing Northwestern's advantage to 2-0 at 36:38.
Notre Dame clawed back into the contest in the second frame after senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) made a great turn on the turf at Lakeside Field to secure possession on a pass up the left wing from freshman defender Sabrina Flores (Livingston, N.J./Livingston). The Fighting Irish striker buried an attempt from 18 yards out into the right corner of the net for her second preseason goal, trimming the margin to 2-1 at 60:06.
"A big thing about the second half was we started pressing higher up the field," Romagnolo said. "In the first half we spent a lot of time in our half of the field trying to build out of the back, the second half we spent time putting Northwestern under that pressure to play out and forced a lot of turnovers. We were able to create chances off that and get more numbers forward, which led to quality chances."
The Fighting Irish continued to pour the pressure on as the half continued, as Bohaboy cleanly struck a free kick toward the right post that was snagged by Northwestern reserve goalkeeper Ali Herman in the 78th minute. Herman cut Notre Dame off at the pass on a handful of cross attempts over the next 10 minutes, thwarting the Fighting Irish surge by snaring a loose ball following a corner kick by junior midfielder Glory Williams (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) in the 85th minute to thwart the Fighting Irish surge.
Two Northwestern fouls in the 88th minute set Notre Dame up with a free kick opportunity deep in the Wildcat zone. Klawunder came out of a scrum inside the 18 to win the ball, curling a left-footed chance over the reach of the goalkeeper Herman and under the crossbar at 87:19 to cap the Notre Dame rally and square the match.
"You've got to create chances to score, so I was feeling good about the numbers we had going in the second half," Romagnolo said. "We were just lacking that one person who was going to put the ball in the back. I was happy to see Kaitlin do it, and she showed she is someone who can contend for minutes and make things happen out there."
Sophomore midfielder Cindy Pineda (Bolingbrook, Ill./Plainfield East) paced all players with four shots, including one on goal, while Bohaboy added three shots on goal.
Notre Dame travels to Illinois on Aug. 22 at noon (CT) for the 2014 regular season opener at the Illinois Soccer Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
"They all have worked really hard, and they are going to get a well-deserved day off tomorrow," Romagnolo said. "We will get back going on Monday and start looking at film, figure out what the best personnel will be moving forward for Friday."
To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2014 Notre Dame women's soccer season, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on match days.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDSoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
Notre Dame 2, Northwestern 2 (exhibition)
Notre Dame 0 2 - 2
Northwestern 2 0 -- 2
Total Shots: ND 10 (3-7), NW 4 (3-1)