Oct. 13, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will celebrate its senior class with a matchup against Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Irish (7-4-3, 3-2-1) will host the Hokies (6-4-4, 0-3-3) in their regular-season home finale at Alumni Stadium.
Entering play, the Irish stand tied for fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. With four remaining regular-season conference matches, Notre Dame will try to position itself in the top four, which would grant it another home match in the ACC Championship Quarterfinal.
The experienced Irish back line will be the key to a win over Virginia Tech, which averages 1.0 goal per game. Notre Dame also will try to score against the Hokies defense early and often as it owns a 7-1-0 mark in games decided by two-plus goals.
Graduate student Sandra Yu, who will be one of 12 seniors recognized prior to the game, will play a critical role in the Irish attacking unit. The Strongsville, Ohio, native is having her best season in an Irish uniform and continues to dominate all over the field. In 14 matches this season, Yu has recorded a career-high 18 points on seven goals and four assists.
“Going into the last home game for any senior is always a bittersweet moment,” Yu said. “A lot of emotions pour out as you start to reminisce on the past years here and how far you have come.
“As a team, our mentality won’t change from what it has been all season, which is to leave it all out there and enjoy the game. We will continue to fight for each other and play for each other. Overall, I’m excited, just like I am for every game I get to play wearing an ND jersey, and I’m excited I get to do it with an amazing group of girls.”
Notre Dame has gone 3-2-1 all-time against Virginia Tech, including a 2-0 mark at home. The Irish and the Hokies last met on Oct. 20, 2016, when they battled to a 0-0 draw in Blacksburg, Virginia. Notre Dame defeated the Hokies in their last match at Alumni Stadium, coming on Oct. 30, 2015.
Celebrating the Seniors
Twelve Irish seniors will be recognized as part of Saturday’s Senior Day pregame ceremony. As a class, the seniors have combined to play in 502 career games and record 127 points on 43 goals and 41 assists. The Irish, behind goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas, also are responsible for 12 saves and seven wins in goal.
- Notre Dame checked in at No. 11 in the most recent RPI. The Irish own the third-best RPI in the ACC behind North Carolina (No. 3) and Duke (No. 4).
- The Irish have three ACC victories, tied for the fourth-most in the league. Notre Dame is 3-2-1 in conference play and is tied for fifth overall in the standings.
- Notre Dame will play its fifth home game in six contests and final of nine home matches this season. The Irish, which host five conference affairs in 2017, own a 4-3-1 record at Alumni Stadium. Over the last three-plus seasons, the Irish are 32-9-2.
The ACC celebrates sportsmanship week with a pregame handshake at all women’s soccer matches this week. The Notre Dame versus Virginia Tech game will be streamed live by 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.