Oct. 1, 2016
By Joanne Norell
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- For the fourth time this season, the University of Notre Dame women's soccer team went to double overtime Saturday, but for the first time in 2016, the Irish walked away with the win in a 2-1 victory over Louisville (7-3-2, 2-1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) at Lynn Stadium.
Junior midfielder Megan McCashland provided the heroics for the Irish with a header goal off a corner kick in the second overtime to give the Irish the victory. In their three previous overtime contests, the Irish picked up draws.
Notre Dame (8-1-3, 3-0-1 ACC) outshot Louisville 22-13, including 11-7 in shots on goal. The Cardinals snared the early lead with a goal by Alison Price in the fifth minute, taking advantage of a defensive miscue with a header finish off a free kick. The Irish, however, largely took control from there and picked up the equalizer in the 38th minute on an unassisted shot by senior Sandra Yu.
Player of the Game
McCashland picked a good time to net her first career goal, punching in the game-winner in the 105th minute to give the Irish a 2-1 win. It was McCashland's only shot of the game in 12 minutes of play.
Yu led all players with 6 shots, and registered a team-high 3 shots on goal. Her goal in the 38th minute tied the game for the Irish and was her first of the season.
Play of the Game
With McCashland perched on the back post on a corner kick opportunity for the Irish, freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf lifted a low service into the box. McCashland connected with the header and directed it squarely into the back of the net, sparking the golden goal celebration.
The Irish gradually swung the momentum in their favor with about 20 minutes remaining in the first half, but it was in the 34th minute when the Irish made the move that ultimately led to the tying goal. Head coach Theresa Romagnolo inserted freshman midfielder Alexis Martel-Lamothe for Westendorf, slipping Yu into Westendorf's open forward slot. Yu scored less than three minutes later.
Coach Theresa.Romagnolo Says
On responding to the early deficit...
"The first goal we allowed was on a miscue defensively, very uncharacteristic of what we've been doing in the back, so that was disappointing, but the great thing was that the team responded. I think we upped our intensity level and the fight out there and we found a way to get it back. It was a tough game. The style that Louisville plays is very direct and physical and it makes it difficult to get the ball down and play.
"I'm super proud (of the team) to be able to come back down 1-nil and to battle and scrap in a difficult game and go into overtime."
On Megan McCashland's goal...
"Cash was the hero today. Kiley (Adams) told her to be (during the team walkthrough) and she was. She was ready for her moment and she stepped up and had a great header to win the game for us. I'm proud that she was ready to come in and have that type of impact tonight."
On the play of Sandra Yu in the forward position...
"She can stretch the defense. She's got good pace; she's feisty; she competes for 50/50s really well. I think her ability to make runs from that central position was just a different look for us."
On finally breaking through in overtime...
"It's always tough to score, so to be able to do it in overtime is that much more exhilarating and it shows the fight in this team and I love it. I love this group."
Note of the Game
The Irish extended their ACC-best unbeaten streak to nine games, their longest such streak since the 2010 team went undefeated in 13 contests.
-- ND --
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication, and earned her master's degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013