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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Women's Soccer: Team faces Beavers in Sweet 16

After advancing to the round of 16 in the College Cup for the sixth year in a row and 14th time in program history, No. 5 Notre Dame is hoping that their title hopes aren't dammed up by the Oregon State Beavers.

The Beavers (14-7-1, 4-5-0) enter their third-round game against the Irish after pulling off consecutive upsets in the first round against host Ohio State and third-seeded Florida in the second round.

The Beavers 3-1 win over the Buckeyes last Friday was the program's first victory in NCAA Tournament history. Their 1-0 win against the Gators came on a golden goal in the 99th minute by sophomore midfielder Melinda Ingalls.

Although Oregon State enters its matchup with Notre Dame with Cinderella aspirations, Irish coach Randy Waldrum said he doesn't think that his team has to prepare any differently than they normally would at this stage of the NCAA Tournament.

"I don't think you prepare for them any different anyone," Waldrum said. "Whoever you play in this round has won two straight games. I don't view it as you have to treat them differently because at this point in time, everyone is good."

The Beavers are led on offense by freshman forward Chelsea Buckland, who leads the team with seven goals. On defense, sophomore Colleen Boyd and senior Ashley Wood have split time in goal, but Boyd has played well in Oregon State's last three wins, including the two NCAA Tournament wins.

Despite injury concerns entering the tournament, the Irish turned in dominant performances against IUPUI and Central Michigan in the first and second rounds, outscoring their opponents by a combined scored of 11-1 for the weekend. Waldrum said his team is trying to build on the positives from both games to stay hot on both ends of the field.

"I think what we do is we try to pick out the positives from both games, and just because we scored 11 goals last weekend doesn't mean we'll score that much this weekend," Waldrum said. "We just try to do what we did well last weekend in practice, just like we do on the other side of the ball. I just look at last weekend like we did what we needed to do, and if we do things like we did to prepare last weekend we'll be fine."

On the injury front, Waldrum expects that many of his injured players, including seniors Haley Ford and Michelle Weissenhofer and junior Rose Augustin, should be able to play.

"I think we came out last weekend in good shape," Waldrum said. "Ford and Weissenhofer both played a lot last weekend, and I think they're both doing well. Augustin sat out last weekend more as a precaution, and she played Sunday and did well with it, so we should be in good shape this weekend."

The Irish and Beavers are set to kickoff at Alumni Stadium tonight at 7:30 p.m.