Courtesy of WMU Athletic Communications
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The historic run for the Western Michigan women’s soccer team came to an end after the Broncos fell 1-0 to Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA College Cup at University of Michigan Soccer Stadium on Friday evening.
Carri Roccaro took a free kick quickly in the 69th minute and caught the Bronco defense out of position and saw the ball go into the corner of the WMU net for her fifth goal of the season to give the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead.
“It was a service and I think it was a good one that went to the back post and it froze everyone and went in,” said head coach Nate Norman. “They were around our box a lot and I thought our girls did a fantastic job to limit their opportunities but unfortunately one of them got by us.”
Trailing the Broncos brought in more attackers to push for the tie but were unable to break down the Notre Dame defense and were held without a shot in the second half.
The two teams battled to a scoreless first half. The Broncos defended the relentless attack by the fighting Irish, who fired off nine shots in the first 45 minutes. The Broncos did get an early chance after Aubrey Sudomier played it to Ali Russo in the right side of the box. Russo’s shot was wide of the net and cleared out. Kyle Nylen also fired off a shot on goal from the right side of the box midway through the half.
Michelle Watson made seven saves in her final appearance with the Broncos. Though the Broncos were outshot 24-4 overall Notre Dame settled for a lot of shots outside of the box
“The game plan was if they take shots and hit crosses from 30 to 40 yards out that’s okay and they did have a lot of those,” Norman added. “I thought our girls did a fantastic job of sticking to the game plan.”
The Broncos end the season after winning the Mid-American Conference Tournament for the second time in program history. Their second trip to the NCAA Tournament was capped off with the biggest upset in the history of the tournament after the Brown & Gold upset No. 2 seeded Marquette last Friday, 1-0.
“I think it just shows you what hard work does. The girls worked so hard from the Spring. They had a difficult year last year and their hard work and dedication really paid off and I am just so proud of them,” concluded Norman.