Sept. 4, 2014
#25/18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-2-0) vs. #16/21 Santa Clara Broncos (2-1-0)
DATE: Sept. 5, 2014
TIME: 7:30 p.m. PT
LOCATION: Santa Clara, Calif. (Buck Shaw Stadium – cap. 6,800)
LAST MEETING: ND 2-1 (8/31/12 at ND)
LIVE STATS: StatBroadcast
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– The Fighting Irish are 11-6-1 (.639) all-time against Santa Clara.
– Notre Dame has earned a result in seven of the past 10 meetings with the Broncos, posting a 6-3-1 mark (.650) in that span.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The first extended road trip of the 2014 season is set to begin for the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team this weekend. The No. 25/18 Fighting Irish open a two-game swing on the West Coast on Friday, taking on No. 16/21 Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m. (PT) at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Notre Dame (2-2) enters Friday’s matchup with Santa Clara having claimed a result in the past three matches between the teams (2-0-1) dating back to Sept. 3, 2010. The Fighting Irish downed the Broncos 2-1 in the most recent series meeting on Aug. 31, 2012 during the adidas Invitational at Alumni Stadium.
“It’s a good test,” Notre Dame head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “We’ve got two great opponents out there, and we are going to look to get better every day. We’ve talked about the things we need to improve on from last weekend and we really want to make that our focus this weekend. Put together two great 90-minute performances on the defensive end, and score goals as well.”
Flipping coasts for the first and only time during the 2014 regular season schedule brings with it a departure from the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Even with seven California natives on the current Notre Dame roster, a natural adjustment to the time change is far from immediate upon arrival out West. Romagnolo believes travel will have little consequence in Friday’s match.
“I don’t worry about that, I think going out there to play these type of opponents is exciting and we will be up for them,” Romagnolo said. “The time change won’t be a big factor.”
After holding the statistical advantage in both matches during last weekend’s Notre Dame Invitational, the Fighting Irish were unable to claim a result in a pair of 2-1 defeats at the hands of No. 16/12 Texas Tech and USC. It was the first time Notre Dame was swept during its annual home tournament since 2002 (4-0 loss to No. 12 Santa Clara; 1-0 loss to No. 18 Portland).
“I think we learned some really great lessons over the weekend, and it’s important that we learn from them and improve on those things,” Romagnolo said. “We also did many things well, so we want to continue to get better at the things we need to improve on. We also want to keep getting better at what we are doing well, find a way to score more goals, and work to shut out opponents.
“As a whole we were very disappointed because we felt we should have probably had two results,” Romagnolo added. “They were hungry to get back after it during Tuesday’s practice and prepare for the upcoming weekend.”
Santa Clara enters the weekend with a 2-1 record in 2014 after downing Florida International 1-0 last Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium. The only loss thus far for the Broncos was a 2-1 home setback in overtime against California on Aug. 24. Longtime coach Jerry Smith has led Santa Clara to 24 NCAA Championship appearances in his 27 years at the helm of the Broncos, and is one of three career 400-game winning coaches (412-127-52) in women’s Division I soccer.
“Right now the focus is on getting better this week, and focusing on Santa Clara who we face on Friday,” Romagnolo said. “On Saturday, we will recover and start thinking about Stanford.
“Both teams like to play, so it’s going to be two games out there against teams that like to possess the ball, get numbers forward in the attack,” she said. “It should make for two good soccer games.”
Notre Dame closes its two-game road trip at No. 4 Stanford Sunday at 1 p.m. (PT). The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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.
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SCOUTING SANTA CLARA
Santa Clara enters the weekend with a 2-1 record this season after downing Florida International 1-0 last Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium. The only defeat thus far on the Bronco ledger was a 2-1 setback against California on Aug. 24 after the Golden Bears converted a penalty kick during extra time (93rd minute).
Senior forward Sofia Huerta has been the top attacker for the Broncos through three starts, scoring three of Santa Clara’s four goals thus far in 2014. Huerta tallied both goals in a season opening win over UC Irvine on Aug. 22, and added the lone tally of the match in the overtime loss to California on Aug. 24. Senior midfielder Kat McAuliffe logged the winning Santa Clara goal Friday against FIU.
Junior goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski has stopped 14 of 16 shots she has faced through her first three starts, posting a 0.66 goals against average and a .875 save percentage. Tostanoski has earned the decision for Santa Clara in each of the first three contests.
Longtime Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith is in his 28th season at the helm of the Broncos, and is one of three coaches in the history of women’s Division I soccer with 400 career victories (412-127-52). Smith has led Santa Clara to 24 NCAA Championship berths and 10 West Coast Conference Championship titles during his tenure.
THE NOTRE DAME-SANTA CLARA SERIES
Notre Dame is 11-6-1 all-time against Santa Clara, with the Broncos holding a decided 5-1-1 advantage over the Fighting Irish in matches played at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Notre Dame maintains a slim aggregate goal advantage of 32-30 in 18 prior meetings with Santa Clara, including a pair of wins during NCAA Championship play in 2000 (2-1 in 2 OT in an NCAA Championship quarterfinal) and 2004 (1-0 in College Cup semifinal during eventual national championship season).
THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND SANTA CLARA MET
Defender Sammy Scofield picked the perfect time to score her first career goal, heading in a service from midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker with 18:25 remaining to help Notre Dame defeat Santa Clara 2-1 on Aug. 31, 2012, in the adidas Invitational opener for both teams before a crowd of 1,271 fans at Alumni Stadium.
Forward Crystal Thomas gave the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead at 37:58, converting a penalty kick, before SCU tied the match 1:46 into the second half on an unassisted goal by Olivia Klei.
Goalkeeper Elyse Hight went the distance between the pipes for Notre Dame, registering three saves. Her opposite number, Andi Tostanoski had five saves, including three dynamic stops in the second half for Santa Clara.
The Fighting Irish earned their third consecutive win by outshooting the Broncos, 17-11, including a 7-4 edge in shots on goal. Each team registered four corner kicks during the match, while SCU committed 13 fouls, one more than Notre Dame.
THE ND/CALIFORNIA CONNECTION
A total of seven players on the current Notre Dame roster hail from the state of California, the most among 14 states represented by the 33-member Fighting Irish roster in 2014.
Dating back to the first varsity season for the women’s soccer program in 1988, a total of 33 native Californians have appeared in at least one career match for the Fighting Irish, making California the most well represented state by residency in program history.
LAST TIME OUT: USC
Senior forward Lauren Bohaboy scored her team-leading third goal of the season, but USC came back with two goals in the second half to rally past Notre Dame 2-1 last Sunday before 1,755 fans on the final day of the Notre Dame Invitational at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame finished with an 18-10 edge in total shots over USC, while shots on goal were even at 5-5. The Fighting Irish also held a 4-1 advantage on corner kicks.
After Notre Dame controlled the run of play early in the match, USC tied the contest at 1-1 in the 65th minute, as Jamie Fink sent a pass from the middle of the attacking third out wide left for Savannah Levin. Levin angled into the box and scored with a rising left-footed shot on the short side high into the upper left corner near the left post.
The Trojans then took the lead in the 72nd minute, as Tamara Mejia shook free from her defender on the right side of the box and sent a low cross through traffic. Reilly Parker crashed hard to the net on the back side and poked in a close-range shot inside the left post to put USC in front 2-1.
Notre Dame appeared to square the match in the 74th minute, as freshman midfielder Taylor Klawunder poked in a loose ball from the edge of the six-yard box. However, a foul was called on USC before the goal was scored and, instead of playing the advantage, the Irish were awarded a penalty kick. Junior midfielder Glory Williams stepped up to take the spot kick, but the USC goalkeeper Caroline Stanley made the save and Notre Dame sophomore Kaleigh Olmsted sent the rebound opportunity over the crossbar.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: USC
-Of its nine losses all-time during play at the Notre Dame Invitational dating back to the tournament’s inception in 1992, Notre Dame has been defeated by a top 25 opponent, or a top 25 opponent in the following week’s polls, in each of those nine contests.
-The Fighting Irish fell for the first time to USC after entering the match with a 2-0 record in series history against the Trojans.
-Senior Lauren Bohaboy scored for the eighth time over her final 11 career matches during the month of August with her tally against USC.
-Junior tri-captain Cari Roccaro registered her first point of the 2014 season against USC, logging an assist in last Sunday’s match with the Trojans. Roccaro served a through ball into the right penalty area that Bohaboy finished from 16 yards out to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
-Freshman goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas made her first career regular season start in net against USC, turning aside three shots in 90 minutes of playing time against the Trojans.
IRISH ON THE WEST COAST
Friday’s match at Santa Clara marks the 36th time in program history that Notre Dame will compete in the Pacific Standard Time Zone, and the first time since a Sept. 9, 2012 loss (3-1) at Washington in Seattle.
The Fighting Irish are a combined 15-17-3 (.471) when playing on the West Coast, including matches in neutral locations during tournament play. Notre Dame’s best head-to-head record against an opponent out West is a 4-1-1 all-time mark at Portland.
NEXT UP FOR THE IRISH…
Notre Dame caps its West Coast road trip on Sunday against No. 4 Stanford at 1 p.m. (PT) at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Fighting Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo was an assistant coach at Stanford from 2008-10.
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant