Oct. 4, 2014
DATE: Oct. 5, 2014
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium – cap. 3,007)
LAST MEETING: UVA 3-2 (2OT) (10/10/13 at UVA)
TEXT ALERTS: Sign up at UND.com
– The Fighting Irish are 0-2 all-time against Virginia.
– Notre Dame and Virginia are meeting for the first time ever in South Bend. Virginia won both prior matches in Charlottesville.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following two crucial Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) results last weekend, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team prepares for its most challenging hone contest of the 2014 season, welcoming Virginia on Sunday at Alumni Stadium in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. The 1 p.m. (ET) match will be streamed live on WatchND (WatchND.tv).
Notre Dame (7-3-1, 2-1 ACC) was ranked 14th in Tuesday’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire rankings, and 10th in the most recent Soccer America poll, while Virginia (10-1, 2-1 ACC) checked in at No. 4 in the NSCAA and No. 5 in the Soccer America polls.
The Fighting Irish and Cavaliers will meet for just the third time in series history, with Virginia appearing for the first official time in South Bend with a 2-0 record.
Junior defender/tri-captain Katie Naughton (Elk Grove Village, Illinois/Elk Grove) copped espnW Soccer Player of the Week recognition after her solid play in a pair of wins at No. 2/3 Virginia Tech (2-0) and Wake Forest (1-0) last weekend.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little (Tulsa, Oklahoma/Bishop Kelley) was recognized as the ACC Player of the Week with two solo shutouts during the most recent ACC loop. Little logged a total of nine saves in the two victories, and has shut out six of the 10 opponents she has faced in 2014. She also received TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week honorable mention accolades.
Senior forward Karin Simonian (Westbury, New York/W.T. Clarke) enjoyed a productive offensive weekend during Notre Dame’s 2-0 ACC road swing. She served the match-winning assist to junior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson (Davis, California/Davis) in the 62nd minute of Thursday night’s win over Virginia Tech. Simonian added her first goal of 2014 in the sixth minute of the Fighting Irish triumph at Wake Forest on Sunday to earn TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week honors.
“We want to keep building off the performances last weekend,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “We showed that we can compete with the best teams in the country, and I think we are growing in confidence for what we can achieve this year. For us, it’s about continuing to be consistent and growing in our attacking ideas and our defensive mentality.”
Part of growing that mentality has been Notre Dame’s return to a full lineup over its past three matches. Junior midfielder/tri-captain Cari Roccaro (East Islip, New York/East Islip) returned to the pitch for the Fighting Irish prior to the team’s Sept. 20 match with North Carolina, and together with classmate Glory Williams (Dallas, Texas/Lake Highlands) and sophomore Morgan Andrews (Milford, New Hampshire/Milford) has formed a steady presence in the Notre Dame middle third.
“Cari is a fantastic player, and she can play a lot of different positions for us in the midfield,” Romagnolo said. “She brings a great tenacity and bite to the game, she’s a great defender, she’s feisty, she breaks up plays, and she can also attack and set up players.”
Senior Taylor Schneider (Southlake, Texas/Carroll Senior) has provided additional veteran minutes to the Fighting Irish midfield since transitioning from defender earlier this season. Key contributions from the freshman class of 2018, namely Taylor Klawunder (Coto de Caza, California/Santa Margarita) with two goals in 11 games, Ginny McGowan (Lake Forest, Illinois/Lake Forest) with five straight appearances including one start, and Katie Uhler (San Antonio, Texas/Saint Mary’s Hall) fresh off her most impressive collegiate outing against Wake Forest last Sunday, has further expanded the Notre Dame talent pool.
“We’ve got a tremendous freshman class, and sometimes there’s a little bit of an adjustment period to work your way in,” Romagnolo said. “But I think they have been working hard, and one thing we keep preaching is how much depth we have on this team. If we can continue to rotate people and keep them fresh, that’s a huge advantage for us.
“One of the challenges is that since I didn’t recruit this class, I was learning a bit about them over the course of the preseason and non-conference,” Romagnolo added. “I feel like when we headed into ACC play we had a very good idea of what they all could bring to the table, so now you are seeing different players like a Uhler or Ginny being able to step in and have an impact.”
To purchase a season pass or single-match tickets for the 2014 Notre Dame women’s soccer season, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on match days.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women’s soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDSoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
Virginia is set to compete in its first match since suffering a 1-0 loss at Florida State on Sept. 28, when the Cavaliers entered the match with the only remaining perfect record (10-0-0) among all Division I women’s soccer programs. Virginia has won 15 of its last 17 matches dating back a 5-0 shutout victory during the first round of the 2013 NCAA Championship against Saint Francis (Pa.).
Junior forward Makenzy Doniak leads all Virginia scorers with six goals and five assists, posting a team-high 45 shots and 21 shots on goal. Senior forward/midfielder Danielle Colaprico has chipped in three goals and a team-high seven assists.
Sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Stearns has stood tall in the Cavalier net, posting a 9-1 mark and a 0.45 goals-against average. Stearns has faced only 14 total shots on goal in nearly 800 minutes of game play.
Head coach Steve Swanson is in his 14th season at the helm of Virginia, entering Sunday’s match sporting a 222-73-35 (.726) record with the Cavaliers. Swanson has led Virginia to two ACC Championships and 14 straight NCAA Championship appearances, including the 2013 College Cup.
THE NOTRE DAME-VIRGINIA SERIES
Virginia enters Sunday’s match 2-0 all-time against Notre Dame, scoring a 3-2 win in double overtime on Oct. 10, 2013 over the Fighting Irish in Charlottesville.
The only previous official meeting between the teams was 23 years prior, a 2-0 Virginia win on Oct. 21, 1989.
THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND VIRGINIA MET
Midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker scored a pair of goals at top-ranked Virginia, as No. 9/5 Notre Dame twice clawed its way back from a one-goal deficit, only to see the Cavaliers’ Morgan Brian score one minute into the second overtime, keeping UVA unbeaten with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action on Oct. 10, 2013 at KlÃƒÆ’Â¶ckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Brian’s goal, which came off a header from a Danielle Colaprico corner kick, was not without controversy, as it appeared the ball deflected off Tucker near the right post, spun towards the goal line and then was swept off the line by forward Kaleigh Olmsted. Virginia players began to celebrate as the ball was cleared and the assistant referee, positioned about six yards off the end line on the far side of the pitch paused slightly before raising his flag to indicate a goal. Television replays, both on the stadium video board and on the ACC Digital Network (which broadcast the match), didn’t provide a clear verdict either way.
Midfielders Morgan Andrews and Taylor Schneider registered assists on Tucker’s two goals in the match. Gloria Douglas scored Virginia’s first goal, also off a Colaprico assist, and the Cavaliers benefitted from a Fighting Irish own goal early in the second half.
Goalkeeper Kaela Little was outstanding in the wet conditions, making a career-high nine saves, including several diving and reflex stops. Virginia netminder Morgan Stearns collected six saves for the hosts.
The Cavaliers ended up with a 21-13 edge in total shots, including a 12-8 margin in shots on goal. UVA also had an 8-3 advantage on corner kicks, while fouls were nearly even (14-12 against Virginia).
LAST TIME OUT: WAKE FOREST
A goal in the sixth minute from senior forward Karin Simonian carried Notre Dame to a 1-0 ACC victory over Wake Forest last Sunday at Spry Stadium.
Notre Dame won in its first ever trip to Wake Forest, improving to 4-0-1 all-time against the Demon Deacons. The Fighting Irish earned their sixth result in the last seven matches overall, posting a 5-1-1 mark during that span.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaela Little made four saves during the full 90 minutes in net to post her sixth shutout of the season.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: WAKE FOREST
-Notre Dame took the early lead after a hard run by sophomore Morgan Andrews earned a free kick straight on net from 25 yards out. Andrews was shaken up on the play, leaving the Fighting Irish with only 10 players on the field for the free kick that senior forward Karin Simonian ultimately converted.
WELCOME BACK THE ’04 CHAMPS
Notre Dame welcomes back its 2004 NCAA Championship winning team this weekend to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the second national title in Fighting Irish women’s soccer history. A large contingent of the 2004 championship team will be recognized during Saturday’s football game against Stanford, and will be honored prior to the start of Sunday’s match with Virginia.
Members of the 2004 national championship team expected on campus for this weekend’s reunion include Nikki (Westfall) Fellhauer, Erika Bohn, Kim (Lorenzen) Trick, Amanda Cinalli, Lauren Karas, Katie Thorlakson, Jen Buczkowski, Mary (Boland) Roberts, Annie (Schefter) Knudson, Ashley (Jones) Penn, Maggie Manning, Jenny (Walz) Martin, Lizzie Reed, Becky Tweneboah, Sarah Halpenny, Kate Tulisiak, Molly Iarocci, Jill Krivacek, Amber (McMillin) Orozco, Susan Pinnick, Miranda Ford, Kelly Simon and assistant coach Dawn (Greathouse) Siergiej.
APPROACHING WIN #500
The Notre Dame women’s soccer program is two victories away from reaching 500 all-time wins, entering play on Sunday with 499 victories against only 99 losses and 29 draws (.819) in 27 seasons of varsity competition.
The Fighting Irish have averaged 18.5 wins per season since the women’s soccer program was elevated to varsity status in 1988, reaching the NCAA Championship in 21 consecutive seasons. Notre Dame has also appeared in the NCAA Women’s College Cup 12 times, including eight berths in the NCAA Championship match, and has won three national championships (1995, 2004, 2010) to tie for the second-most NCAA titles in Division I history.
The women’s soccer and softball programs at Notre Dame, both in their 27th official seasons of varsity status, are the only two Fighting Irish athletics teams never to log a losing season in their respective histories.
IRISH DOMINATE IN CONFERENCE PLAY
With its win at Wake Forest on Sunday, Notre Dame improved to 174-17-11 (.889) 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.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH: PITTSBURGH
Notre Dame travels to Pittsburgh for a road ACC contest on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. (ET). The Fighting Irish are 11-0-1 (.958) against the Panthers all-time.