Sept. 28, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 22 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team closes its three-game homestand with a top-25 matchup against No. 20 Wake Forest. The Irish (6-3-2, 2-1) are scheduled to play the Demon Deacons (8-2-1, 2-1) at 5 p.m. ET on Friday in the first game of a women’s and men’s soccer doubleheader.
Notre Dame will face its fourth nationally-ranked Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in as many contests in league play this season. The Irish have gone 2-2 against top-25 teams, including two dominant four-goal performances.
Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said that playing a daunting ACC schedule challenges the team to be resilient week after week.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be challenged in these types of matches,” Romagnolo said. “We continue to strive to improve in different aspects of the game, and these matches push us to be better each week.”
Romagnolo shuffled up the starting lineup against NC State, resulting in a 4-0 shutout victory over the Wolfpack on Sunday. The key to the team’s success, regardless of personnel, has been the ability to link up between the defense, the midfield and the attack.
Freshman Kate O’Connor, in particular, has been an asset for an Irish midfield looking to connect passes and control possession.
“I can’t single out a player in our defense because I think the mark of a successful defensive performance is team organization and positional discipline,” Romagnolo said. “As a group, we have been committed to our pressure and organization starting from the front, and each person can count on their teammate to do their job and cover as needed.”
The Irish and the Demon Deacons have met seven times, and Notre Dame is unbeaten in the all-time series with a 6-0-1 mark. The two schools will square off for the first time since 2016, when Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 1-0 on the road.
Notre Dame also topped Wake Forest 1-0 in their last meeting at Alumni Stadium on Oct. 16, 2015. The Irish have gone 2-0-1 against the Demon Deacons on their home turf.
Scoring in Bunches
Notre Dame has gone 6-1 in games decided by two-plus goals. The Irish offense has rallied to score four goals on five occasions this season, turning in dominant performances in such matches. Overall, Notre Dame is just two goals away from its 2016 scoring total (26 goals).
As a team, the Irish have been most successful in regulation, with all six of their wins coming in the first 90 minutes.
Notre Dame’s match against Wake Forest will serve as its fifth annual SEGway game. The Irish will auction off game-worn green jerseys following the game, and all proceeds will go toward the SEGway Project.
Former Irish soccer player Lindsay Brown (’12) founded the SEGway Project, which stands for “Soccer Empowering Girls Worldwide & You.” The Segway Project is a nonprofit organization that uses soccer to empower girls in the developing world, helping them achieve their potential both on and off the field.
Friday’s SEGway game is the first game of a women’s and men’s soccer doubleheader. The Irish men’s soccer team will face Virginia at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans only need to purchase one ticket to attend both matches of the doubleheader. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive green rally towels.
The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.