Oct. 17, 2014
DATE: Oct. 18, 2014
TIME: 5 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Syracuse, N.Y. (SU Soccer Stadium – cap. 1,500)
LAST MEETING: ND 1-0 (9/19/13 at ND)
LIVE STATS: Cuse.com
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– The Fighting Irish are 10-0 all-time against Syracuse.
– Notre Dame has not surrendered a goal to the Orange in the last 278:32 of play in the series, dating back to a 4-1 win on Oct. 5, 2007 in Syracuse.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With wins in seven of its last 10 matches, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team returns to the field this weekend in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown on Saturday at Syracuse. The 5 p.m. (ET) match will be held at the SU Soccer Stadium.
The No. 13/11 Fighting Irish (9-4-1) improved to 4-2 in ACC play with a 5-0 conference victory over Miami (Fla.) last Sunday at Alumni Stadium. Five different Notre Dame players found the goal column in the win over the Hurricanes, the most scorers in a single game for the Fighting Irish since seven different players tallied goals during a 7-0 win over Cincinnati on Sept. 16, 2012 at Alumni Stadium.
Freshman forward Karin Muya (London, England/Burntwood School), sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford), senior forward Karin Simonian (Westbury, New York/W.T. Clarke), senior forward Lauren Bohaboy (Mission Viejo, California/Santa Margarita) and junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, California/Davis) combined to score the most Notre Dame goals in a match since Sept. 26, 2013 against Maryland.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley) made two saves in net to secure her eighth solo shutout of 2014. All four of Little’s ACC victories this season have been clean sheets.
A total of 19 Notre Dame players saw action against Miami, the most Fighting Irish members to compete during an ACC match in 2014. Being able to give the majority of the team’s regular rotation key conference minutes was very important for Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo, especially considering the team’s lineup can be ever-changing during the ebbs and flows of the regular season.
“Every week we re-evaluate and look at who is sharp going into the upcoming weekend, who’s sharp to come off the bench for us,” Romagnolo said. “When we did make the changes, we didn’t let down. We have more energy coming off the bench, and we have so much talent that you almost don’t see a drop off. It’s a very talented team, and if they’re getting it done on the field, a lot of times I’m not eager to make many changes.”
Syracuse (5-7-3, 2-4 ACC) will not only be looking to snap a two-game ACC skid during Saturday’s contest, but the Orange are also in search of their first ever win against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are a combined 10-0 all-time in prior series meetings, including a 4-0 mark at the SU Soccer Stadium, and hold an aggregate goal edge of 39-3 over Syracuse in the previous 10 meetings between the teams.
Past history is factoring minimally into Notre Dame’s game plan for Saturday, as every game in the rough and tumble ACC has the potential to be a grind.
“I love the ACC because you get tested in every game,” Romagnolo said. “It gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself early on and prepare for games that you’re going to see later on in the season. The ACC, for me, is fantastic preparation, and you get to measure yourself week in and week out.”
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Syracuse returns to the pitch this weekend after dropping a pair of shutout decisions at No. 2 Florida State and No. 24 Clemson last weekend in ACC play.
The Orange have posted a 5-7-3 mark over the season’s first 15 contests, posting ACC wins over Miami (1-0, Sept. 25) and Boston College (3-0, Oct. 4).
Sophomore forward Stephanie Skilton is the team leader in both goals (8) and points (17) through the first 15 matches of 2014, including two game-winning goals. Freshman forward Alex Lamontagne has added three goals and two assists to the Syracuse attack, while junior forward Maya Pitts has chipped in two goals and a team-high four assists.
Sophomore MacKenzie Moranz and freshman Courtney Brosnan have shared the Syracuse goalkeeper duties during the first 15 matches this season, with Moranz posting a 3-2-3 record and Brosnan a 2-5 clip. The Orange tandem has combined for a 1.08 goals-against average and four shutouts.
Head coach Phil Wheddon is in his seventh season at the helm of Syracuse, and enters Saturday’s match with a 44-64-19 record. Wheddon led the Orange to a 3-9-1 mark during the program’s first season in the ACC in 2013, after posting a 19-30-5 league record during Syracuse’s final five seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference
Wheddon has been an accomplished goalkeeper coach for the United States National Team system since 2002. Highlights of Wheddon’s tenure with the U.S. National Team have included Olympic gold medals at the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing Games.
THE NOTRE DAME-SYRACUSE SERIES
Notre Dame is 10-0 all-time against Syracuse, including a 4-0 record at the SU Soccer Stadium. The Fighting Irish hold a 39-3 series aggregate scoring margin against the Orange. Saturday’s match will mark the fourth time in the past five seasons the teams have met, and the third time in as many years.
THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND SYRACUSE MET
Defender Sammy Scofield went high to head in a deflected free kick with three seconds to play, giving Notre Dame a dramatic 1-0 win over Syracuse in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play on Sept. 19, 2013 before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,607 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Midfielder Morgan Andrews started the winning sequence with a free kick 30 yards out on the left side, driving her service towards the underside of the crossbar. Syracuse goalkeeper Brittany Anghel retreated and was able to punch the ball up into the air near the penalty spot, where defender Brittany Von Rueden headed the ball back towards the six-yard box. Scofield quickly went up to snap her header into the net past another Syracuse defender.
Scofield’s goal was easily the latest match-winning goal in Notre Dame women’s soccer history, either in regulation or overtime. For any match, Michelle McCarthy had the previous latest match-winning goal on Sept. 11, 1994, scoring with 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime for a 4-3 victory at 10th-ranked William & Mary (overtime periods were 15 minutes in that era, so her goal came at 119:35 elapsed time). In a regulation match, Ragen Coyne had the latest decisive goal on Nov. 1, 1992, scoring with 36 seconds left in a 2-1 win at Wright State.
Goalkeeper Kaela Little made two saves to record her second consecutive shutout and third in the past four matches. Anghel had four saves for Syracuse, while also benefitting from two other saves by her defensive backline.
Notre Dame finished with a sizeable edge in all statistical categories, including total shots (19-4), shots on goal (7-2) and corner kicks (8-2).
LAST TIME OUT: MIAMI
Notre Dame lit up the goal column on Sunday, as five different Fighting Irish players found the back of the net in a 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over Miami (Fla.) at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame improved to 7-1 all-time against the Hurricanes, including 6-0 in matches contested on the Notre Dame campus. The Fighting Irish avenged a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Miami last October in Coral Gables, Florida, the only win for the Hurricanes during the series between the teams.
Notre Dame held a commanding 31-4 shot advantage over the Hurricanes on Sunday, including a remarkable 18-2 count in shots on goal, while attempting seven corner kicks to just one for Miami.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: MIAMI
-The five goals scored by the Notre Dame offense were the most for the program in a single match since the Fighting Irish blanked Maryland 5-0 on Sept. 26, 2013 at Alumni Stadium.
-Freshman forward Karin Muya scored her second career goal just 45 seconds into the contest. It was the third-fastest Fighting Irish goal to open a match since the 1999 season (Kerri Hanks, 0:16 vs. UNC on Dec. 7, 2008; Melissa Tancredi, 0:27 vs. St. John’s on October 12, 2001).
-Muya, sophomore Morgan Andrews, senior Karin Simonian, senior Lauren Bohaboy and junior Anna Maria Gilbertson made up the five different Notre Dame goal scorers in the win. The five different scorers were the most in a single match for the Fighting Irish since seven players tallied a goal during a 7-0 BIG EAST Conference rout of Cincinnati on Sept. 16, 2012.
IRISH DOMINATE IN CONFERENCE PLAY
Entering Saturday’s match at Syracuse, Notre Dame is 176-18-11 (.885) all-time in conference play dating back to the 1991 season. The Fighting Irish have never lost more than five league matches in a single season, and have posted unbeaten conference marks on 15 occasions.
STILL UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD
Notre Dame improved to 5-0-1 in true road matches in 2014 with a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh, extending its ACC record in contests away from home to 3-0. The Fighting Irish have outscored opponents a combined 10-1 on their counterpart’s home field thus far in 2014, allowing a meager 22 shots on goal over 560 minutes of play.
Eight different players have tallied goals in away matches this season, with sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews and junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson leading the way with two goals each. Andrews has chipped in two assists for a team-high six points in six road starts.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little has earned five solo shutouts away from Alumni Stadium, posting a nearly flawless 0.16 goals-against average and .955 save percentage. Little has not allowed a goal on the road since the 23rd minute of the regular season opener at Illinois on Aug. 22, a span of just over 538 minutes of match action.
SIMONIAN FINDS ANOTHER GEAR IN ACC PLAY
Senior forward Karin Simonian has attempted 10 of her 11 total shots on goal this season in Notre Dame’s six ACC matches, scoring two goals and adding an assist in that span. Simonian’s shot on goal count leads all Fighting Irish players in ACC competition.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH: No. 24/21 Clemson
Notre Dame hosts No. 24/21 Clemson on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.