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Saturday, April 20, 2024
The Observer

No. 5 Stanford takes down Irish on OT penalty kick

The Irish had a rough weekend on the West Coast, where they lost to Santa Clara 7-1 Friday and dropped their second game to No. 5 Stanford 2-1 in overtime Sunday to lower their record to 1-2-1.

Sophomore forward Kiki Bosio, senior midfielder Brittany Klein and senior forward Meagan Snell had two goals apiece for Santa Clara.

The Broncos led 2-0 midway through the first half until sophomore forward Michele Weissenhofer scored off an assist from junior forward Kerri Hanks in the 24th minute. Santa Clara scored again and took a 3-1 lead into the half, when Irish coach Randy Waldrum felt it was time to make adjustments. The Irish played a 4-4-2 formation in the second half.

"So now at halftime, you're changing the game. You need two to tie it," Waldrum said. "We gambled a little bit, the coaching staff. I think the score really was not indicative of the game. We moved another player up front in the second half and took one of our defenders off. We needed to get a goal. It didn't matter at that point, losing 3-1 or 7-1."

The strategy failed. Santa Clara scored four goals in the second half, and the Irish were unable to put any of their six shots home.

"We kind of gambled a little bit and unfortunately it backfired on us," Waldrum said. "We gave up four goals in the second half because of it. I think it was a little bit more of an attempt to get back in the game. We could have continued playing the way we played, and maybe end up 3-1 and it looks respectable."

The Irish performed better against Stanford, which defeated Notre Dame on an overtime penalty kick.

Freshman midfielder Lauren Fowlkes put the Irish ahead in the first half on a one-timer off a pass from Hanks in the 34th minute. Sophomore forward Kelley O'Hara tied the game for the Cardinal in the 52nd minute, and the score remained tied until senior midfielder Shari Summers put a penalty kick past freshman Nikki Weiss in overtime.

"We played a very good Stanford team," Waldrum said. "It was one of those games that could have gone either way. It's one that you really want to at least get a draw or get a win out of."

For much of the Stanford game, Notre Dame was without senior forward Amanda Cinalli, who suffered a concussion in a collision with the goalkeeper and a defender during a cross.

"That really takes a lot away when you don't have her on the field as well, because her and Hanks are so good together," Waldrum said.

The Irish once again rotated all three of their keepers. Senior Lauren Karas started the game against Santa Clara, but was replaced by sophomore Kelsey Lysander at halftime. Weiss started and played for the entire game against Stanford.

"We were not good in goal at all Friday night, too many mistakes," Waldrum said. "And Nikki was there for us today. Still a couple mistakes that she made, but overall she was a little bit better for us today. I would imagine that Nikki would get the look next Friday in our tournament, and then we'll go from there. Basically, it's still wide open."

While Waldrum said he expected the defense to go through an adjustment period, he expected more out of the offense.

"I'm a little surprised because from an attacking standpoint we got pretty much everybody back," Waldrum said. "It's a little bit disappointing that we haven't done a better job on the offensive end of things."

Notre Dame has a very tough schedule to begin the season. Of its first six games, including the preseason, five teams have been ranked in the top 10.

Waldrum hasn't lost confidence in his team's ability to succeed this season.

"Tough weekend, but there's a lot of big games left for us in the year," he said. "If we continue to approach things the right way, we'll be okay by the end of the year. We'll be fine."