NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Following the bye week, the 14th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team is back in action this week to finish off it’s four-game homestand. The Irish (3-1-0, 3-1-0 ACC) begin the week with a Thursday night clash against Wake Forest (1-4-1, 1-3-1 ACC) in a rematch of one of the most exciting games from the 2019 season. The Irish and Demon Deacons played through snow, wind and freezing rain and the Irish prevailed 3-2 in 2OT in the season finale in 2019 to clinch a berth in the ACC Championship. Thursday’s matchup will begin the second half of the fall season for the Irish as they look to clinch a berth for the second-straight season to the ACC Championship.
KNOW THE OPPONENT: WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS
- The Irish return to the pitch Thursday to take on the Demon Deacons for the 11th time in program history.
- Notre Dame holds an 8-1-1 record all-time against Wake Forest and are 3-1-1 in games played at Notre Dame.
- The last meeting between the two squads came in the regular season finale in 2019 with postseason aspirations alive for both squads.
- Both teams tallied a goal in the first half, Hulda Arnarsdottir opened the scoring in the 37th minute and Sammi Fisher got the Irish on the board right before the half in the 43rd minute.
- Notre Dame took the lead in the 76th minute as Bea Franklin notched her first career goal from just outside the box.
- In the waning moments, Ryanne Brown scored for the Demon Deacons with just nine seconds remaining to tie the match at 2-2 and sent it into overtime.
- Given the other ACC results at the time, Notre Dame needed to win to clinch the eighth and final spot in the ACC Championship.
- In the final minute of the second overtime, Shannon Hendricks fired off a shot that was saved by the Wake Forest keeper. The rebound came out and deflected off a Wake defender and into the back of the net for the game-winning goal.
- With the win, Notre Dame advanced to the ACC Championship and helped secure the bid to the NCAA Championship last season.
- Wake Forest enters Thursday’s match with a 1-4-1 overall record and a 1-3-1 mark in the ACC. They are coming off a 2-0 road loss Sunday at Clemson.
VAN ZANTEN IS ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S BEST
- Sophomore Kiki Van Zanten has been unstoppable for the Irish as they hit the halfway mark of the fall season.
- Van Zanten has been used primarily off the bench but has been incredibly effective when she gets on the field.
- The forward leads the Irish with six goals and 12 points through the first four games in just 133 minutes of game action.
- She holds the NCAA lead in goals per game with 1.50 and ranks second in the country in goals and second in the NCAA in points per game (3.25).
- Van Zanten leads the ACC in goals in conference games as all six of hers goals have come against ACC opponents.
- She has scored in three straight games, including her first career hat trick against Miami and her second career brace against Syracuse.
IRISH CONTINUE HOME UNBEATEN STREAK
- With the win over the Orange on Oct. 4, the Irish extended their home unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1) dating back to last season.
- During the streak, Notre Dame has allowed just two goals in 759 minutes of game action over those eight games.
- The Irish have picked up seven shutouts during the streak and have outscored opponents 18-2 in those games.
- It is the longest home unbeaten streak since 2015-16 when the Irish went unbeaten in 12 consecutive games (12-0-0).
BRACE FROM VAN ZANTEN PUSHES IRISH PAST ORANGE
- The Irish secured their third win in a row with a 2-0 win over Syracuse.
- It was also the third shutout in a row as the Irish have not allowed a goal in 191:33 minutes of game action.
- Kiki Van Zanten got the Irish on the scoreboard late in the first half. She volleyed in a great cross from Brooke VanDyck and snuck it inside the near post for the first goal of the match.
- Notre Dame had a number of opportunities on the afternoon, as they tallied 29 shots including 11 on goal.
- Van Zanten recorded her second career brace after scoring in the final minute to clinch the 2-0 win over the Orange. She dispossessed the Cuse keeper on the back pass and had a wide open net for the goal.