Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct.10, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 OCT. 10, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY DAVID MCKINNEY I t's been a rare occurrence in 2016 for a ball to find the back of the Notre Dame women's soccer team's net. Through Sept. 28, the No. 24 Irish had shut out eight of their opponents on the way to a 7‑1‑3 record. The staunch Irish defense has been led by senior goaltender Kaela Little, who started all 11 games between the pipes and made 47 saves while com‑ piling a goals‑against average of 0.44. After missing time during her soph‑ omore year due to an injury, Little came back strong the next year and cemented her place as the best option in goal. Head coach Theresa Romag‑ nolo said that Little's success so far in 2016 can be attributed to her desire to prove herself in her final season at Notre Dame. "She has the excitement of it being her last season, and she wants to give it everything she's got," Romagnolo said. "She's extremely athletic and a talented goalkeeper, and we're seeing what she can do. "I think we're seeing the consis‑ tency of it now. It's been really excit‑ ing." Romagnolo added that commu‑ nication and organization have also been instrumental in Little's fast start. "She's organizing well in front of her and communicating well with the team," the coach noted. "She looks like an experienced veteran." Little said that experience is a vital part of how she's performed so far in 2016. "It's two‑fold," Little said. "One, I think having the experience of three previous years under my belt has helped a lot with my communica‑ tion skills and seeing how the game develops. Also, the four backs and the other six people on the field have played a huge role in our ability to [record eight shutouts]. … "It's definitely been a team ef‑ fort." ✦ Irish Roundup MEN'S GOLF The Fighting Irish finished 14th out of 16 teams at the Georgia State Maui Jim In‑ vitational Sept. 23‑25 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Irish were led by sophomore Ben Albin, who carded a 3‑over‑par 216 to tie for 40th individually. Notre Dame will return to action Oct. 9‑11, when they host the Fighting Irish Golf Classic at Warren Golf Course. WOMEN'S GOLF N o t r e D a m e o p e n e d t h e s e a s o n Sept. 24‑25 with a sixth‑place finish at the 12‑team University of Oklahoma's Schooner Fall Classic. The Irish were led by sophomore Emma Albrecht, who carded a 2‑under‑par 211 to tie for 10th individually. The Irish will return to action at the Texas State Jim West Challenge Invite Oct. 9‑10 in The Woodlands, Texas. MEN'S SOCCER (7-1-0, 2-1-0 ACC) The No. 3 Irish edged No. 2 Syracuse 2‑1 at Alumni Stadium Sept. 23, giving head coach Bobby Clark his 200th career victory. The decisive goal came off the foot of junior for‑ ward Jon Gallagher with 18 seconds to go in regulation to give the Irish the lead after the Orange had tied the game in the 79th minute. Notre Dame played at Pittsburgh Sept. 30, before hosting Indiana Oct. 4. WOMEN'S SOCCER (7-1-3, 2-0-1 ACC) No. 24 Notre Dame posted a dominant 4‑0 victory at home against Pittsburgh, giving the Irish their eighth shutout of the year. Senior forward Kaleigh Olmsted was one of four Irish players to tally a goal and led the team with three points (one goal and one assist). The Irish headed to Louisville Oct. 1 and were slated to return home for a matchup with Clemson Oct. 6. VOLLEYBALL (11-3, 2-0 ACC) The Irish opened up ACC play with a 3‑0 victory over visiting Louisville Sept. 23 and picked up a 3‑0 win at Miami Sept. 25. The 11‑3 record marks the best start for Notre Dame since 2005. Next up for the Irish were home matches versus Duke Sept. 30 and Wake Forest Oct. 2. — David McKinney Little, a senior, posted 47 saves and a 0.44 goals-against average during Notre Dame's 7-1-3 start this season. PHOTO COURTESY UND.COM Kaela Little Anchors Women's Soccer's Staunch Defense

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