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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

ND Women's Soccer: Augustin helps Irish advance

The Notre Dame offense couldn't get much going Friday night against a tough Oregon State defense, but junior Rose Augustin's blast in the 62nd minute was all they would need.

Sophomore Melissa Henderson slid a pass into the penalty box that found a wide-open Augustin who calmly one-touched a shot past the Beavers keeper, giving the No. 5/6 Irish (20-3-1) a 1-0 victory over the Beavers (14-8-1) at Alumni Stadium.

"In games like these, you either play afraid of losing or someone has to step up to the plate and take all the chances," Irish coach Randy Waldrum said of the goal. "I thought Henderson did that at the right time for us tonight."

The Beavers dominated play in the first half, keeping up constant pressure on the Irish end, but failing to breakthrough with a go-ahead goal.

"I think in the first half they were clearly the better team," Waldrum said. "They dominated play because we really struggled to match up in the middle."

The Irish came out in the second half determined to bounce back.

"We knew we had to pick up our strength and determination," Augustin said. "If we didn't come out better in the second half, we weren't going to win."

After a few personnel changes, Notre Dame flipped the momentum by forcing the issue on offense. Henderson had a field day down the right side, creating a number of chances, including a set up of the game-winner.

"Henderson was a handful for them on both sides," Waldrum said. "Her pace was just too much for them to handle. She was the player of the match for us tonight."

Irish goalkeeper Nikki Weiss was solid again in net, turning away four shots including one from close range with just minutes remaining to conserve her first career solo shutout in the NCAA tournament.

"I thought we did a better job controlling the game after the goal," Waldrum said. "They threw everything at us trying to get a goal and we dodged some bullets at the end."

The final opportunity of the game for Oregon State came off a free-kick from near midfield that ricocheted around the penalty area before finding its way to an open Beaver player.
With the defense closing in, the shot was hurried and didn't have enough power to sneak by Weiss, who tracked it the whole way.

With the win, the Irish advance to face top-seeded Florida State in the regional final Nov. 27 in Tallahassee, Fla. The Seminoles knocked off a feisty Texas A&M squad 2-1 in double overtime Friday night.

Next weekend's matchup with the Seminoles will mark the fourth consecutive year the two teams have met in the NCAA tournament. The Irish are 2-1 in those matches, including last year's 2-0 victory in the quarterfinals.