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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame falls 4-0 to Florida State, looks to rebound against NC State

Notre Dame will look to turn things around this weekend after a tumultuous past couple weeks of play, most recently with a 4-0 loss against No. 10 Florida State Thursday night. Next up for the Irish (5-6-0, 1-2-0 ACC) will be a matchup against No. 21 North Carolina State on Sunday.

After a trip to the west coast in the first weekend of September during which the Irish were defeated by both Stanford and Santa Clara, Notre Dame had roughly a week and a half break before beginning ACC play against Louisville and Wake Forest this past week. This past Thursday against the Cardinals (9-1, 3-0), the Irish were unable to capitalize on the opportunities they had, while Louisville was able to notch a pair of goals to take the game 2-0. Sunday in Winston-Salem was a different story, however, as Notre Dame was able to secure its first conference win of the season over the Demon Deacons (6-3-1, 2-1-0). In the second half, after fighting off a Wake Forest defender, junior striker Jennifer Westendorf was able to send a cross into the box where freshman forward Brooke VanDyck came streaking in to bury the ball in the back of the net. That would turn out to be all the offense Notre Dame needed, as the defense stood strong to pick up their second shutout of the season.

Irish junior forward Jennifer Westendorf finds open space during Notre Dame’s 4-0 loss to Florida State yesterday at Alumni Stadium.
Irish junior forward Jennifer Westendorf finds open space during Notre Dame’s 4-0 loss to Florida State yesterday at Alumni Stadium.

Yesterday at home against Florida State (8-2-1, 1-2-0), however, the Irish once again found themselves in the loss column. Notre Dame fell behind early after the Seminoles netted a goal in the 13th minute off a cross and proceeded to follow it up just ten minutes later with another goal to take a 2-0 lead. Florida State went on to tally two more late in the second half to put the game away in a contest that once again saw the Irish offense struggle to put away the chances they had. The Irish saw their most promising opportunity in the 31rd minute as Westendorf’s run into the box ended with a ringing shot off the bar, ending Notre Dame's best chance to climb back into the game.

On the season, the Irish sit at 5-6, and a large reason comes from the discrepancy between the team’s performance at home versus on the road. Notre Dame holds a 4-2 record at home matched with a 1-4 record on the road, so with a four-game home stand starting this weekend, the Irish will be hoping to get back on track. Following hosting the Wolfpack (8-2-1, 2-1-0) this weekend, the Irish will take on No. 3 North Carolina and No. 6 Virginia the following week before traveling to Syracuse for a matchup on October 13th.

Looking ahead to the matchup this Sunday, Notre Dame and North Carolina State played twice last season — the first being a 4-0 win for the Irish in late September. In the ACC quarterfinals, it was NC State that came out on top by a score of 4-1, bringing an end to conference play for Notre Dame, who will be out for revenge on Sunday.

Over the last few seasons, the Irish have prided themselves on strong defense, and the results so far this season indicate they’ll need more of the same as they look to improve in ACC play and get themselves back to above .500. The Irish will take on the Wolfpack on Sunday at 1 p.m. inside Alumni Stadium.