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Irish Prepared to Host Notre Dame Invitational

Aug. 31, 2017

Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

By Megan Golden

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will square off against No. 11 South Carolina (3-1) in its first match of the Notre Dame Invitational at 7 p.m. ET on Friday at Alumni Stadium. The Irish (2-0-2) will follow Friday’s match with a matinee on Sunday versus Santa Clara (2-2).

Notre Dame is coming off of a 2-0 victory at Iowa in the team’s first true road match. While the Irish dominated the Hawkeyes at times in the match, Notre Dame was unable to string together quality shots and ultimately dictate the style of play on the field throughout the game.

On Friday, the Irish will look to maintain possession and to control the pace of the game. Notre Dame will rely on its offense and its midfield, in particular, to limit the Gamecocks opportunities against the Irish back line.

“We are continuing to develop in a lot of aspects of our game,” Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. “So far, I’ve been pleased with our defensive mentality and building ideas in our attack.

“We need to continue to grow as a team and build on some of the things we did well last weekend. We are excited for a challenge and ready to face two top opponents this weekend.”

The Gamecocks will serve as Notre Dame’s first test against a ranked opponent in 2017. South Carolina previously was ranked as high as No. 3 in the country before being upset by Wake Forest.

Similarly, the Broncos opened the season on the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll at No. 24 in the nation, but two losses have just barely pushed Santa Clara out of the rankings.

WHAT: No. 11 South Carolina vs. Notre Dame
WHEN: Friday, September 1, 2017 at 7 p.m. ET
WHERE: Alumni Stadium
LIVE STREAM: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

WHAT: Santa Clara vs. Notre Dame
WHEN: Sunday, September 3, 2017 at Noon ET
WHERE: Alumni Stadium
LIVE STREAM: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN

Series History

Notre Dame and South Carolina will square off for the first time in program history on Friday.

The Irish and the Broncos will compete for the 22nd time in school history. Notre Dame will look to add a win to its 13-6-2 record in the all-time series. Historically, the home team has had a slight advantage in each outcome as Notre Dame owns a 9-1 record at Alumni Stadium, while going just 2-5-2 on the road against the Broncos.

Most recently, the Irish and the Broncos went to double-overtime and finished in a 0-0 draw in Santa Clara on Sept. 9, 2016.

Notre Dame Invitational

Notre Dame hosts four matches, including two neutral-site contests, this weekend as part of the Notre Dame Invitational.

In addition to Notre Dame’s games against South Carolina and Santa Clara, No. 23 Michigan will host the Broncos at 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The Wolverines and the Gamecocks will face each other at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the final match of the tournament.

Home Sweet Home

Notre Dame returns home for its third of nine home matches this season. The Irish, which will host four non-conference affairs in 2017, own a 1-0-1 record at Alumni Stadium this season after tying Butler 0-0 and defeating Ball St. 4-0.

In 2016, Notre Dame concluded the season with a 10-1-1 record at home. Over the last three-plus seasons, the Irish are 29-6-2.

Shut-Down Defense

Notre Dame’s defense has limited its opponents to just one goal in 2017, coming in the second half against Minnesota. The Irish went on to tie the Gophers 1-1 in the neutral-site match.

The Irish and first-year starting goalkeeper Brooke Littman have tallied three shutouts in four matches this season. The Irish back line, which returned all four defenders, allowed only two goals through its first seven contests in 2016.

Both of Notre Dame’s matches this weekend will be streamed live by the ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and @NDWSoccer on Instagram. For tickets to a Notre Dame women’s soccer match, click here.


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.